The Herkules Bergpreis is a Hillclimb with a difference...
It was another spectacular event for the VSCC, with several long-standing records being smashed at Vintage Prescott
More than 250 cars took to the hill at the VSCC Prescot Vintage Speed Weekend, with an estimated crowd of over 10,000 enthusiasts turning up to watch. FTD went to Class 16 entrant James Baxter with a superlatively quick time of 40.18 seconds in his 1934 single-seater Frazer-Nash and thus breaking the previous record set in 1997 by Mark Walker in a Parker GN of 41.40 seconds.
Mark Walker was also in amongst the action with his recently restored 1905 Darracq 200hp WLSR car, which chalked up a time of 47.96 seconds which eclipsed the previous Class 7 record of 51.76 seconds set back in 2003.
Roger Collings enjoyed a run aboard a 1912 Zust Brixia to commemorate 50 years since his first event with the car at Prescott in 1960, which is now owned by Lady Louisa Collings. Sunday also saw the official naming of ‘Rolt’s’ Corner, in memory of VSCC stalwart Tom Rolt, who first saw the suitability of Prescott as a sporting hillclimb venue back in 1936.
In addition to the splendid variety of vintage cars entered for competition on the hill, the Orchard car park is always brimming full with a static display of VSCC members’ cars. Indeed, the Vintage Prescott Weekend is probably the finest gathering of vintage cars of the year in the UK. Claiming to own possibly the slowest car up the hill of the weekend was Chris Longman and his 1909 Riley 12/18! It’s currently the sole roadworthy example in the UK and is totally original in every respect.
David Barker’s 1910 Delage R Type had one of the most chequered histories of any car at Prescott. It was new to the night watchman at Ballantyne’s Department Store in Christchurch, New Zealand. He ran it for the next 15 years until it was sold, cut up and the engine used for a saw-bench. It stayed in the bench for 40 years until purchased by another New Zealander, armed with the engine, fuel tank, bonnet and radiator, he spent the next 40 years looking for the rest of the car! He did indeed find all the correct period parts, but unfortunately died shortly after. The car’s current owner, David Barker, took the restoration project on in 2008.
Simon and Frederica Fitzpatrick, accompanied by their young daughters Larissa and Alexandra brought their Bugattis all the way from Guernsey. Their 1928 Type 37A affectionately known as ‘Flighty’ was the highest placed British entrant in this year’s Mille Miglia and finished 44th out of 375 starters. Their 1924 Type 13A ‘Jaunty’ was purchased by Frederica as a present for Simon’s 50th birthday several years ago and was making its UK competition debut, having previously spent all of its life in Spain.
Clive Press had just completed a full rebuild of the 9934cc Hall & Scott aero engine that powers his 1913 Peugeot 148. ‘This seems to have improved matters somewhat and it doesn’t leak so much oil everywhere now,’ he joked!