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  1. #1
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    Motorsport at its grass rootsiest - the revived Valence Hillclimb

    Let's see if I actually manage to organise my time well enough to get this thread beyond the first post! The Valence Hillclimb, taking place on the attractive driveway up to Valence School in Westerham, was a proper hillclimb event way back in the '80s and '90s, run under the aegis of the Sevenoaks and District Motor Club - perhaps better known in recent years for bringing motorsport back to Crystal Palace, which sadly isn't going ahead this year because the professional events company that was supposed to help the S.D.M.C. pulled out at short notice, leaving them with nowhere to go.

    The S.D.M.C. revived the Valence Hillclimb in 2016, not as a timed event but strictly for fun, operating on a Run What Ya Brung sort of basis, so you had all sorts tackling the hill. It seems to have stayed pretty well under the radar, unless you're in the loop regarding hillclimbs and sprints or you have connections with the school, so that even though it's very local, I only became aware of it for the first time this year. Once I'd plonked my Hillman in the car show, I met up unexpectedly with the Kent Breakfast Club and enjoyed what the day had to offer.


    Here's a shot of the car show as it was just starting to fill up, with the handsome school building in the background. The building was originally a mansion house, built from 1885-87 in the fashionable Arts and Crafts style for Norman Watney of the Watney brewing family. The Lotus Club dominates the foreground, while a random assortment goes into the distance. I don't think I've ever been to quite such a relaxed event, to the point that I was simply directed into the field (rather than the race paddock) and told to park 'somewhere'. I like that arrangement very much, though it's surprising how messy people's parking is when left to their own devices!




    The Kent Breakfast Meet convoy, which apparently turned a few heads as it rumbled through Westerham.


    Pretty little drop-top Moggy has lost the original A-Series in favour for the livelier 1275 from an M.G. Midget


    Slab-sided '55 Chevy 150 Handyman is an exceptionally good-looking car, although it was one of the most basic cars available by American standards of the time.


    I really like the look of the Jailhouse Fords, like this '47 model. I'd not seen this one at a show before.




    Anyone could take a run up the hill, so some of the club did. You'll notice that the line up includes recent offerings from Dodge, Chevy and Ford, so perhaps the only injustice of the event was that there was no allowance for a side-by-side manufacturer showdown.

    More on its way - pics from around the show, the paddock and, of course, some of the action.

  2. #2
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    Hmmm... methinks I recognise 3 vehicles there, do I not?
    Oh, and kindly forward my address to the owner of that Europa, Mr Incubator-Jones, just in case he might wish to find it a new home...

  3. #3
    of the Croydon Teds
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    Handsome trio of '65/'66 Fastback 'Stangs, just pick your favourite colour...


    Rods and Yanks will occasionally be interspersed with some neat vintage machinery, like this 3.6-litre 1929 Sunbeam Tourer. Sunbeam agent Stanfield & White Ltd. of Exeter sold this car new to a large estate between Torrington and Bideford. It became an ambulance for the Air Raid Precautions during the Second World War and was subsequently turned into a recovery lorry with crane for Torrington Garage. By June 1964, it was in a completely derelict state in the Orchard Scrap Yard when a 20-year-old enthusiast rescued it and returned it to former glories.


    Spotless Mk. I Zephyr Zodiac - a similar (in some respects) example will feature later in the action shots


    1970 Chevy CST-10 arrived with a more unusual companion...


    ...this 1966 A.M.C. Ambassador DPL


    Lead-sledded 1949 Mercury Club Coupe is the latest acquisition of a local garage owner, who has an enviable collection of classic American cars. Chances are you'll have seen some of his and his wife's fleet if you've ever done in a show in Surrey or nearby. Obvious mods include air bags, 4" chop, frenched lights and detrimming. It also features a radiused bonnet, custom grille, 5.7-litre V8 mated to a Turbo 350 auto 'box and ostrich skin upholstery, among other things.


    We're straying a bit from my usual territory here, but this mid-engined Singer Chamois was a piece of kit. The Toyota 2000 Twin Cam taking up most of the rear half of the car probably propels it quite well, I should think.


    Like the Sunbeam a few posts above, this '40 Ford Deluxe Tudor Sedan was found in a pretty awful state, but it's salvator was a rodder rather than a restorer. It's an American build, imported in 2012.

    That'll do for this post.

  4. #4
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Incubator-Jones View Post




    Spotless Mk. I Zephyr Zodiac - a similar (in some respects) example will feature later in the action shots




    ...this 1966 A.M.C. Ambassador DPL
    Mk1 looks lovely

    Interesting looking front on that Ambassador!

    Orange Bowtie badge! could that be a member on here

    Did you get any snaps of Gene whizzing up the hill

    Looked like a good day out, do like the hill climb events

  5. #5
    of the Croydon Teds
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    John - the green Europa's an excellent choice, but would Sir prefer it in white? The Valence event managed to draw in examples of both.
    Captain - no pics of Gene on the hill, I'm afraid. The '55 Chevy truck and the black Ford were the only two from the KBC to attempt it, since there was a fee for running up the hill and Gene was obviously far too tight for that... not that I can talk, but then I'm young and hard-up...




    A couple of low-volume British sports cars for any fans of such. The uncommon 1963 TVR Grantura is seen here above the completely obscure Fairthorpe Electron of 1960.




    These pre-war MGs made for an exceptionally pretty pairing. The two-tone touring model is a 1935 NB Magnette - its 1271cc crossflow straight-six good for 56hp and over 80mph when new - while the sportier model is a 1934 PA Midget.


    1931 Chevrolet Series AE Independence looks slightly rodded, though I don't know what powers it. I'm told the owner is responsible for the Bexley Grammar School Classic & Custom Show in June - one to consider if you're from the area.


    1927 3-Litre Bentley began as a maroon and black Vanden Plas two-seater Speed model, and has been a saloon prior to becoming this fabric-bodied four-seater


    '52 Fleetline added to the Chevy contingent

  6. #6
    Desparado
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    Yeah i creapt in after a fry up cptpug. Didnt race up the hill, but mooched round n watched instead. Real good day.

    Great pics as always mr jones. Keep em coming

  7. #7
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    Of course, my preference is for 100Es, but I'm still very partial to a pretty little 105E Anglia


    1927 Alvis TG 12/50


    1935 Wolseley Wasp looked rather sweet with its home-made convertible body


    1968 Dodge Polara looks just as cool but far more individual than the glamourised Chargers


    1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash was driven to and from the event (presumably using the A25 because Westerham Hill must be terrifying) and boldly fought its way up the hillclimb. Curved Dashes were clutchless cars, being belt driven with two forward speeds and one reverse. Brakes are not feature, so slowing down is achieved by engaging reverse.


    When the sun came out, so did the ghost flames on this '68 Cougar


    Edwardian cars will always look exceptionally attractive to my eye, and this 1913 Renault AX is no exception. The original owner was a Cpt. Moucrieff of the Royal Scots Greys who was sadly killed in action at Ypres, Messines or Hooge, but the car remained in regular use with his family for some time afterwards. The car cruises happily at 35mph and is apparently very easy to drive once the crash gearbox has been mastered, though the heavy body by Mills & Sons of London does nothing to help it up hills.

    That'll do for now - the next post will feature some of the competition.

  8. #8
    Carburetion 'sucks' !
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    Nice images Zak!

  9. #9
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    Great report! Look closer at that '55 wagon, it's not as simple as you may think.

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Ross and Steve! The '55s obviously lowered and looks like it's wearing Camaro wheels (though I could be mistaken there) but what else is going on? Don't think I'll be able to take a closer look at it unless I chance upon it at Krispy Kreme on Sunday.

    Should just about have time now to wrap this report up.


    Paddock had a few nice sights items in it


    This 1962 GSM Delta is a regular sprint competitor. The GSM Dart was a South African fibreglass sports car, though about 40 were built in West Malling, Kent, and these were sold as Delta's because Dart was a copyright of Chrysler/


    I reckon our Flyover Zone correspondent might appreciate this Alfa Romeo GTAm


    Based on MGB running gear, the NG TD looks like a fun way to get into hillclimbing for not too much expense


    1954 Lotus Mk. VI embodies the Chapmanian mantra of 'Add lightness'


    Sydney, patron saint of British drag racing, was spiritually present in this 1951 Allard K2




    The event being so informal and the runs untimed, some people decided to forego competition in favour of showmanship. The majority of Escorts preferred burning rubber to quick acceleration, and decided that the first corner would be best put to use as a donut arena.

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