The Grand Ascent Hillclimb 2012


On Tuesday 12/11, you'll get to see a classic episode of Chasing Classic Cars where Wayne Carini goes through his plan to market and then sell th Porsche Special Hill Climb Car. He takes it to the Hershey Hill Climb race to put it through its paces and has a darn good time doing it. But that doesn't stop him from taking it to auction.

THough the Hill Climb took place back in June, we were lucky enough to have Kenneth Visser - automobile fan, blogger and photographer extraordinaire on site and reporting back on the action. Take a walk down memory lane below, and don't forget to tune in to Chasing Classic Cars starting on Tuesday 12/11 starting at 9p.

Another fine tradition has been reignited with the second running of the The Grand Ascent Hillclimb held on the grounds of the Hershey Hotel.  This is a VSCCA sanctioned hill climb exhibition and features a wide variety historic racing cars thundering up a five turn three quarters of a mile long course.  A unique opportunity to see, hear and smell vintage race cars slamming gears.  This event was reignited with the start of the Elegance At Hershey.  We'll talk more about the Concours later.  Let's take a look at some of the neat machinery that was attacking the hill.

Wayne Carini was selected as the Honary Grand Marshall of the Grand Ascent.  He brought his smile and his driving skills to the hill.

Eac12 hc Porsche special 031 lr

Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars took the Bill Rutan VW* special with a 356 four cam motor up the hill.  Wayne spoke about the rides up later "I had a blast"  And his sub 57 second times were reflective of his blistering pace. 


Eac12 hc 12 Mercedes 014 lr

Hal Fillinger man handled his 1912 Mercedes Grand Prix with a 9 liter aeromotor.  Note the outside brake lever which operates the rear only brake system.  Add to that a solid rear axle and you have a tail happy race car.  Hal gave me a ride in St Michaels a few years ago.  It was misty out so we power drifted around every corner.  Pretty amazing feat for a car that is 100 years old!


  Eac12 hc 57 cooper norton mk xi fiii  003 lr

This 1957 Cooper Norton MK XI FII screamed up the hill like a shrill chain saw chewing up the trees.  It was loud!

 A big improvement from last year was the opening of the trail.  You could hike up the hill from the start line, and get to the upper grand stands and then civilization.  The Cooper Norton photo above was taken along the path.  You get the real feel for the canopied track.  Its very tight.

Eac12 hc 63 cooper t-67 formula jr 010 lr

1963 Cooper T-67 Formula Jr was a significant race car back in the day.  It was a razor sharp design and very light at 880 pounds. 

Here I was using my old school 15mm lens for this neat look.  There is no photoshop done to these images beyond some raw adjustments.

Eac12 hc Corvette 042 lr

Frank Buck's 1957 Corvette thundered up the hill.  During the middle of the day, drivers gave charity rides up the hill raising almost $3000 for Juvenial Diabetes.  The Corvette was featured on One of a Kind and is know as the airbox Corvette.

I had a great time at the Grand Ascent.  It reminded me of the Duryea Hillclimbs I used to attend in the 70's.  With the improved access, the spectators were all in for a vintage automobile experience.  And then there was the Elegance which will be in my next blog.


warm regards and happy motoring to all,


Ken Visser

Velocity Blogger

Visit daily for posts about the shows and spirit of Velocity, an upscale male lifestyle network, featuring the best of the automotive, sports, adventure and travel genres.





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