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Old motorbike at Kop Hill Climb 2017
Cars setting off from Start Line at Kop Hill Climb 2017



Once again this September the Buckinghamshire town of Princes Risborough played host to the nostalgic two day motor-fest that is the Kop Hill Climb.

Kop Hill, on the outskirts of the town, was a popular speed hillclimb venue between 1910 and 1925 attracting famous entrants such as Malcolm Campbell, Raymond Mays and Henry Segrave. Since its revival the Kop Hill Cimb has been a non-competitive event with cars and bikes from the period, plus later classics and exotics, running up the hill – and has to date raised over £440,000 for local charities.

Today's tarmaced road still follows the line of the original unpaved track up the Chilterns escarpment and, with a steep 1:4 gradient towards the top of the climb, can still prove an insurmountable obstacle to some of the older, less powerful cars and motorbikes taking part.

This year spectators were treated to a wide range of vehicles tackling the hill, from the Darracq that starred in the 1953 film Genevieve to a cavalcade of Ferraris in celebration of the marque's 70th year. Other attractions included a few motorised oddities from Edd China including the famous Mini-engined sofa that went up the hill both days (although we saw it stopped by the side of the road in Princes Risborough later with some very wet passengers!), and the now traditional Soapbox Challenge featuring karts designed, built and raced by teams of 10-17 year olds.

As in previous years this was a great family day out with not just loads of old cars and bike to ogle; but plenty of attractions for non-petrolheads plus a live music stage. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate on the Saturday and a not-so-good forecast seemed to keep the spectator numbers down although heavy overnight rain didn't seem to deter many on the Sunday even though the ever-enthusiastic volunteer staff had to hastily reorganise parking arrangements to cope with the muddy conditions.

Hopefully, even with reduced visitor numbers, the organisers will be able to significantly add to the monies raised for charities over previous years. As always a tremendously enjoyable event, well worth attending – even in the rain.

Peter Osborne


Loads more pictures from Kop Hill 2017 available HERE


All photos © Peter Osborne