Motorcars have been challenging Britain’s Kop Hill since 1910, at least that’s the earliest date for which there are records. Since then, the likes of Malcolm Campbell, Henry Segrave and Count Zborowski have seen how quickly they could reach the summit.
The original hill climb competitions were halted in 1925 because of safety concerns, but in 2009 a group of volunteers convinced local officials to close the public road long enough for yet another go at speed up the hill. The ninth revival of the Kop Hill climb is scheduled for September 16-17 in Princes Risborough.
The event raises money for local causes; last year more than £100,000 (nearly $130,000) was distributed among 32 projects.
More than 400 vintage vehicles — cars and motorcycles — get to challenge the hill each of the two days of the event, and many more vehicles simply are on display in the paddock car show.
Hill climb entries range from a 1914 German-built Fafnir with a 10.5-liter, four-cylinder aero engine, to a 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC and a ’73 Daytona competition model. Edd China, former host mechanic of the popular Wheeler Dealer television series, also is entered and will take his Casual Lofa Sofa up the hill.
The activities not only include climbs up the hill, but a Soapbox Challenge with teams of youngsters aged 10 to 17 seeing which can cover the greatest distance in their gravity-powered vehicles as they travel down a route that includes a chicane and several obstacles.