Vintage Sports-Car Club, Prescott Hill Climb

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Prescott is the great early August annual social occasion for VSCC members with the Orchard car park as full of desirable motor cars as is the competitors’ paddock.    Rileys are always well represented and with the grandson of founder William, and son of Victor Riley, Victor Jnr in attendance, this year even more so.   The hill also finds favour with Lady drivers, often sharing with their ‘other half’ which, of course, is more difficult to do when circuit racing, and there were many among the large entry.  

Patrick Blakeney-Edwards returned the ex-Fane 1929 Frazer Nash Shelsley to the hill where it appeared at the inaugural VSCC meeting in 1938 when it set a time of 48.59secs compared to the FTD of 47’62” from the Freikaiserwagen.  This year it did 45’40”.  With 15 different classes each with a 1st and 2nd and many with additional ‘Vintage’ awards it is almost a case of ‘everyone gets a prize’ but the coveted ‘Overall FTD’ went to James Baxter’s well driven and developed 1934/5 ERA engined Riley Special entered by D.G. Hawkins with a time of 40’36” on the first of his two runs. 

This year the Alvis marque was celebrated with a special display of
road cars as well as compe  on cars such as this, the 1923 Alvis
Racing Car No.1 and the Speed 20 on the hill. Photo John Retter

TD for James Baxter in the ERA-engined Riley Special Photo John Retter

The famous ex-Raymond Mays ERA R4D driven by Nick Topliss was second on 41’73” and another ERA, R12C, driven by James Crabb won the award  for ‘Fastest Young Driver’ with a time of 42’57”.  Fastest ‘Vintage’ was another well known hill car the AC/GN Cognac of Tony Lees at 43’01”.  A wonderful traditional event set in the glorious Gloucester countryside and this year blessed with appropriate weather.

Edwardian cars are always a strong presence at Presco such
as the Curtiss aircra – engined Le Zebre Special and Star 16 HP Raceabout.
Photo Eric Sawyer

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