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Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb

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The Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb is a hillclimb in Shelsley Walsh, Worcestershire, England, organised by the Midland Automobile Club (MAC). It is one of the oldest motorsport events in the world, and is in fact the oldest to have been staged continuously (wartime excepted) on its original course, first having been run in 1905. On that first occasion, the course was 992 yards (907 m) in length, but in 1907 it was standardised at 1000 yards (914 m), the length it remains today.

Shelsley Walsh is a notably steep course by the standards of today's hillclimbs. It rises 328 feet (100 m) during its length, for an average gradient of 1 in 9.14 (10.9%), with the steepest section being as much as 1 in 6.24 (16%). This makes Shelsley a hill on which power is important, and on which the gap in times between the most powerful cars and the rest is greater than at many other venues. It is also narrow, being no more than 12 feet (3.66 m) wide at some points.

The winner of the first event, held on Saturday 12 August 1905, was Ernest Instone (35 hp Daimler), who established the hill record by recording a time of 77.6 seconds for an average speed of 26.15 mph (42.08 km/h).

Shelsley Walsh winners from 1906 to 1913

Year Handicap Fastest Time Time sec Notes
1906 T. W. Husband (Alldays) F. A. Coleman (White Steam) 80.6 16 June
1907 T. W. Bowen (Talbot) J. E. Hutton (Berliet) 67.2
1908 P. C. Kidner (Vauxhall) S. F. Edge (Napier) 65.4
1909 P. C. Kidner (Vauxhall) H .C. Holder (Daimler) 68.4
1910 R. Lisle (Star) O. S. Thompson (Austin) 70.2
1911 P. C. Kidner (Vauxhall) H. C. Holder (Daimler) 63.4 10 June
1912 C. Bianchi (Crossley) J. Higginson (La Buire) 68.8 22 June
1913 H. G. Day (Talbot) L. Hands (Talbot) 57.2 7 June
Cycle Cars
G. W. Hands (Calthorpe) W. D. South (Morgan) 91.4 [1]

Shelsley Walsh winners from 1920 to 1924

Year Driver FTD Driver FTD (1,500 c.c.) Notes
1920 C. A. Bird (Sunbeam) 58.4 sec A Frazer-Nash (G.N.) 60.2 sec 3 July
1921 C. A. Bird (Sunbeam) 52.2 sec A Frazer-Nash (G.N.) 54.8 sec 10 September
1922 M. C. Park (Vauxhall) 53.8 sec H. K. Moir (Aston Martin) 57.2 sec 29 August
1923 R. Mays (Bugatti) 51.9 sec R R. Mays (Bugatti) 51.9 sec 8 September
1924 C. Paul (Beardmore) 50.2 sec R R. Mays (Bugatti) 50.8 sec 19 July[2]

Key: R = Course Record.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Table from The Autocar Imperial Yearbook 1914, Page 100, Iliffe & Sons Ltd., London.
  2. Motor Sport, April 1955, Pages 189-192.