Skyline Drive - Annual Sports Car Race

Mount Equinox Annual Hill Climb
Click On Photos For Larger Images

Even among hill climb venues, the Mount Equinox Hill Climb is unusual. Its the longest paved hill climb in the world, and it runs on the 3,848 ft. Mount Equinox near Manchester, Vermont. Among hill climbs on this continent only Pikes Peak predates Mount Equinox.


Vintage Sports CarOriginally a Sports Car Club of America contest, the Mount Equinox climb attracted competitors such as Briggs Cunningham, John Fitch and Sam Posey. The Vintage Sports Car Club of America took over sanctioning in 1973.


Competitors come from as far away as Arizona and they come not only to race up the mountain but for the ambiance of the event. The 5.2 mile Sports
          CarSkyline Drive twist and turns like a python to the summit. This course is some of  the trickiest miles in any form of racing, with 41 turns and 20 of which are hairpins (switchbacks) and an elevation increase of 3,140 ft. Except for one short down hill stretch, you climb all the way, running close to, sometimes a bit over, redline to avoid the risk of bogging down in a higher gear.

Equinox has the feel and distinction of a prewar event at Prescott England. As the events unfold picnics are spread on the green lawns of the Toll house. Its easy to think you’ve been
Sports Cartransported back in time and imagine Jack Myer (Mr. Equinox) quoted as saying “ You could bring Denny Hulme here in his Mclaren, and in the first two runs I could beat him, But after he had learned the course he could easily clobber me.” in his T-70 mk Lola Chevrolet or Raymond Mays is next to burn of the line in his ERA. Instead it might be Bill Vaccaro in his immaculate 1927 Type 37A Bugatti or VSCCA president Gil Stewart’s thunderous Four and 1/2 Litre Bentley.

Prewar machinery that have climbed the mountain include, J.R. Mitchell’s narrow, supercharged 1937 Austin, Bob Valpey’s 1932 Dreyer Special, a ford based creation from the Legendary “Pop” Dreyer, Dick Waite’s 1932 Ford sprint car, David Penittient’s
          Car1932 Lancia Dilambda racing special, to name but a few. The course record for a vintage car was set by Joel Finn, who drove his Cooper Formula 1 up the mountain in 4:28 an average of over 60 miles an hour. The oldest active race car has been Gordon Matson’s 1911 EMF. Some postwar cars have included Ed Sutherland’s C-Type Jaguar, T-series MG’s, Elvas, Lotus 7s, Hybrids like Allards, Arnolt/Chevy and some Formula 3s make this event irresistible to the serious car enthusiast.

The race is being held this year (2016) on July 9th &10th. The start is located at the Toll House at the base of the mountain. The event is free to spectators, but the course is closed once racing is under way.

© 2019 All rights reserved | Realization
Printer friendly version  Print