Shelsley Results 170808

Shelsley Walsh 16th/17th August 2008

To mark fifty years since Kidderminster born Peter Collins died in the 1958 German Grand Prix the Midland Automobile Club organised a special tribute as part of their August British Hill Climb Championship meeting.

Significant cars from the all too brief career of Peter Collins were gathered to do timed and demonstration runs with Fords and his Sunbeam Talbot to mark his rallying exploits, and examples of Allard; Aston Martin; HWM; Maserati and Ferrari celebrating his circuit racing career. From a 500 point of view the interest centred on Mike Fowler’s spirited demonstration of Richard Utley’s ex Collins JBS-Norton. Sadly there was no early Cooper running but Tom Willoughby represented the marque in the timed handicap with the ex Dickie Henderson blown Mk VII to record 40.61 seconds for his only completed run. Later on I did find tucked away on display in the spectator area the ex Collins Cooper Mk III of Alan Dunkerley as well as a restyled DB3 Aston Martin.

For my staunch supporter John Furlong the meeting was of considerable moment because he knew the Collins family when a young man and was delighted to meet Peter Collins’ widow, Louise King, who flew in from Florida to attend.

A fine entry of thirteen 500s assembled to compete at the historic hill and I’m pleased to report that save for a downpour on Saturday night which disturbed the campers the threatened rain didn’t appear, leaving a dry course.

Steve Lawrence took full advantage of the conditions to better his own class record stopping the clock at 37.54 seconds on his second run to win the class by a country mile, being the only one to break the magic 40 second barrier. Mike Fowler had a very busy weekend competing in his familiar Cooper Mk V as well as demonstrating the JBS and after a clutch change recorded 40.36 seconds to snatch second place from Jan Nycz in the Staride who posted 40.39 seconds. Mike Lawrence took 4th place on his only run with a time of 40.66 seconds, losing his transmission just after crossing the finishing line.

Your writer posted a 41.72 climb for 5th place just ahead of the rapidly improving Smith Mk III of Mark Riley on 41.96 seconds. I had to take my second run again after being red flagged; Chairman Nigel Challis having lost fuel feed on the preceding run.
John Dent had a frustrating weekend with magneto problems and was untypically out of the money, as was son Alistair with the Hornet. Keith Robinson got quicker all weekend with his Cooper Mk V as did Colin Rawlinson who got into the 43 second bracket with the Smith-Buckler. Patrick Riley shared the other Smith special with son Mark and enjoyed himself hugely while the award for determination must go to Vernon Williamson who brought the historic “Squanderbug” all the way down from Scotland and overcame clutch problems to complete his two climbs successfully – wonderful to see the car out again. Mention must also be made of our Australian correspondent Terry Wright who was competing in the Classic car class with the blown Walton-Cooper Mk VIII.

Classified Finishers

Pos Name Car Best

Report by James Holland  Photos by Nigel Challis

Our thanks to the MAC


1 Steve Lawrence Cooper-JAP Mk VIII 37.54
2 Mike Fowler Cooper-Norton Mk V 40.36
3 Jan Nycz Staride- JAP 40.39
4 Mike Lawrence Cooper Special 40.66
5 James Holland Cooper-JAP Mk VIII 41.72
6 Mark Riley Smith-JAP 41.96
7 John Dent Cooper-JAP Mk VI 42.79
8 Alistair Dent Hornet-JAP 43.43
9 Colin Rawlinson Smith-Buckler 43.64
10 Keith Robinson Cooper-JAP Mk V 43.67
11 Nigel Challis Cooper-Norton Mk VIII 44.50
12 Patrick Riley Smith-JAP 45.44
13 Vernon Williamson GS1 “Squanderbug” 58.07

James Holland's Mk VIII, photo Zula.