Classic car men take to the hill

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Three Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area classic car fanatics enjoyed the thrill of taking part in one of the country’s longest-established speciality events – whose past enthusiasts have included motor racing superstar Jackie Stewart.

The Bo’ness Hill Climb has been a popular niche attraction for 80 years, but the annual event was shelved for several years, and is now referred to as a Revival contest.

Taking part in the special 80th anniversary event were (pictured) local man Stephen Cooper (car 19, red car body), in a 1950 Cooper Sports 1460cc,Jamie Gibbons (car 25) in a black 1970 Austin Healey Sprite, and Kilsyth man George Cooper (car 56, white helmet) driving a Cooper MG prototype from 1950.

This year’s climb was the seventh Revival event, and took place on the same track used over the past eight 
decades.

It’s described as a great family day out, with two days of racing involving vintage autos dating to before the First World War to classic cars from the 1970’s.

Some of the cars that compete are unique, and, say the organisers, “this is a great opportunity for all petrol heads young and old to get up close and personal”.

The pedigree of the cars was impressive, including winners at Le Mans, Goodwood and Formula 1.

The Cumbernauld drivers were among members of classic car clubs, who attend the car show - at the top of the course near historic Kinneil House - where vehicles on show range from American Hot Rods to classic Porsches.

The event also features a dedicated car park for classic cars, allowing enthusiasts to bring along their own car to join in the fun.

The day, with around 90 cars taking part, also featured an air show and other 
attractions.

This year marked the 80th anniversary of the Bo’ness Hill Climb and featured a range of legendary racing cars from as early as 1904 right through to the 1970s including Lotus, Bentley, Morgan, Aston Martin, Austin Healey, Porsche, Cooper and Triumph.

The Bo’ness Hill Climb was established in 1934 and racing – including British Championship meetings – regularly took place until in the circuit was closed in 1966, attracting top drivers from across the UK such as Sir Stirling Moss.

In 2008, a group of dedicated enthusiasts – Bo’ness Hill Climb Revival Ltd – re-opened the racing track with the help of Falkirk Council and staged the first competition at Kinneil for over 
40 years.

This year, the organisers pulled together an amazing selection of visitor treats, including historic racing action on both days, an overhead aerial display by an aerobatic biplane and a huge classic car show with trade stands.

There were also demonstration drives by British Touring Car Championship drivers Anthony Reid, John Cleland and Bill Dryden.

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE said: “Bo’ness has a great history of motorsport in Scotland and some of the greatest hill climb champions have performed at the venue.

“My brother drove there, as did I, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

“I went along to the Bo’ness Hill Climb as a wee boy to see people like Denis Poore and Ken Wharton performing up the hill.

“They are happy memories and it’s wonderful that the event has been brought back to Bo’ness.

Pat Reid, Provost of Falkirk Council, said: “The Bo’ness Hill Climb remains one of the most exciting events to be held annually in our area and continues to attract hundreds of visitors from across the globe each year.”