The Hill Was Alive…

… with the sounds of whining axles, crunching gears and racy exhausts.

I was going to take the Hillman down to Prescott but with the fading problem not yet sorted out, it was easier to load the Austin on a trailer…


… and go and have some fun. The event, ‘Pre-War Prescott’, was organised by the Vintage Minor Register and open to all-comers; it wasn’t a competition so no rules and regs except compulsory attendance at a driver’s safety briefing before going up the hill. There was a map so no-one got lost and the sun had got his hat on making for a very relaxed and jolly day.


The video was taken on our first run – a case of having a look at the course and working out the best lines through the corners. After the sweep through Orchard Corner, Ettore’s Bend was a double apex and needed to be entered wide to clip the second apex and stay out of the gravel trap.

1st corner

Pardons Hairpin was a bit more tricky and also needed to be entered on the outside in 3rd, with a slick change down to 2nd half way round. If you went in on the inside (the steepest part of the corner) changing down scrubbed all your speed. In this respect, the 3-speed cars did better than the 4-speeders – they were down into 2nd on the run up so didn’t have to mess about in the corner.

Learned Counsel

Learned Counsel stayed right out on the flattest bit.


Counsel thought it was better to get round on two wheels…

Second corner

.. and The Ambassador’s Daughter kept my wheels on the ground for a fast exit. The rest of the hill was straightforward – flat through the Esses (a slight lift off for the last left turn as there was some nasty concrete bits to keep away from) then power on up into the Semi-Circle (don’t look down otherwise you’ll instinctively lift off) then roar along to the finish and switch off to coast back down to the paddock.


The following day was a breakfast run to Andrewsfield airfield where Awkward suggested that the fading problem might be the Facet fuel pump pushing too much fuel through, overcoming the float valve and giving me a rich cut. I’ll have to look into that – maybe get a pressure regulator. The water pump seal is, after 300 miles, a great success. I had to take it off again last week because there was still a slight leak and I feared the worst but, it turned out that I’d used the wrong silicone sealant and substituting the Wurth black stuff solved the problem.


And while we were out enjoying ourselves, The Great Collector had been busy and quite by accident, he tells us, tripped over this 1924 Star tucked away in a garage and which hadn’t seen the light of day for a number of years. More pics when we get it home.

Austin 10 water elbpw

We had the idea that we might get the Gordon bodied Austin 10 going but this was the sight that greeted us when having a check round the cooling system. Fortunately we’ve been able to source a replacement but this one’s definitely over the hill.


5 comments on “The Hill Was Alive…

  1. darn , i forgot this was on .

  2. Sue Wilson says:

    Ye, ha! What a great run at the hill. With the AD in the car seems you had good balance for the corners…thanks
    for sharing!

  3. Agreed with Sue, though I’m not sure it’s a nice thing to say about a lady…Ha ha! Me beeing french maybe?
    What I do like very much is the dialogue between you two and the reflected varnished nails.

  4. Thanks Renaud, I put it as delicately as I could!

  5. sallyball4 says:

    Great post! Most exciting commentary!

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