Kop Hill Climb Returns Part 1

After a year out after the 2020 event was cancelled as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic, the eleventh running of the Kop Hill Climb in the modern era took place on the last weekend in September 2021. This two-day festival of motoring commemorating the original competitive hill climb, the last to be held on public roads in England, has always had close links with the Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust. There was a big change this year, however, in that Graham Robson, a long-time MSMT Trustee and volunteer commentator passed away in August. Graham's easy manner when interviewing drivers, combined with his encyclopaedic knowledge of the cars, made him a favourite. Peter Card, chairman of the MSMT had been Graham's co-commentator for some years and he was on duty again, this time joined by Wayne Scott, a stalwart of the TR Register, which was appropriate as Graham was Honorary President of that club. Graham's enthusiasm for Triumphs was evident in his books, particularly The Book of the Standard Motor Company which was published with MSMT support in 2011. Standard had of course acquired Triumph in 1944 and in due course became the dominant brand name of the group. Our top photograph shows Coventry-registered 4VC, a TR4 used for competition by the Works Team, when Graham was Competition Secretary and responsible for the Works entries into competitions. Our second photograph, is of Graham Robson interviewing the driver of this car at the start line of a previous Kop Hill Climb.

Our third photograph is of Peter Card enjoying the sunshine and interviewing one of the drivers at the start line at this year's event.

As with the other parts of this article, all references to books are those supported by the Michael Sedgwick Memorial Trust as detailed on the Supported Books pages of this website.

Kop Hill Climb embraces a smorgasbord of motoring, from Hotrods to Motorcycles, Vintage to Supercars. The public car parks are often as interesting as the entry list for the event. The Lanchester in our next photograph, found in the cherished vehicles section of the public car parking appears to be a Lanchester 10 of circa 1935, reminding us that the Chris Clark's The Lanchester Legacy Volume IVĀ  - the final part of his history of the company was published earlier this year. Lanchester Legacies 1895-1931 Volume I, was published in 1995 and also supported by the MSMT.

Another 2021 publication supported by the MSMT was Aspects of Motoring History 17, the annual publication of the Society of Automotive Historians in Britain. This year's publication, edited by Craig Horner, included a biography translated from German of Fritz Fiedler a designer whose work was represented at Kop Hill by a 1935 BMW 315/1, a 1938 Frazer Nash BMW 327/80, a 1939 BMW 328 Roadster and a Neue Klasse BMW 2002Tii of 1972.

One notable entrant on both days of this year's Kop Hill Climb was Oliver Heal, who wrote the 2020 book Louis Coatalen - Engineering Impresario of Humber, Sunbeam, Talbot and Darracq. Appropriately Oliver was driving his Coatalen-era Sunbeam Twin Cam 3 Litre of 1926 and the marque and era was further represented by Michael Matthews 14/40 of 1926. Both of these models also featured in 2004's, Bruce Dowell's Sunbeam - The Supreme Car 1889-1935.

A plethora of motorcycles at Kop Hill of all types and makes was a reminder of the 2018 book, British Motorcycles 1945-1965 : from Aberdale to Wooler. Our next three photographs don't cover the full alphabetical spread but go from Ariel to Velocette via Panther.


More News...