Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Events Previews -


A pre-war-style rac­ing car that’s taken its owner 23 years to build is mak­ing its com­pe­ti­tion de­but at Chateau Imp­ney’s two-day hill climb event.

The re-cre­ation of John Parry Thomas’ 1922 Ley­land-Thomas (pic­tured above at Brook­lands) can trace its roots back to owner David Hay­wood buy­ing a 7.3-litre en­gine – which he later dis­cov­ered was the en­gi­neer’s first race en­gine – back in 1992. He’s taken the car on demon­stra­tion runs at the Kop Hill Climb and other events since its com­ple­tion, but the grounds of the lux­ury ho­tel in Worces­ter­shire will be the first venue where it’ll be driven com­pet­i­tively.

David says he’s look­ing for­ward to mak­ing his de­but at Chateau Imp­ney and is en­joy­ing the car to the full af­ter the painstak­ing job of get­ting the re-cre­ation as close to the orig­i­nal as possible.

‘All sorts of things didn’t work dur­ing the project and there was a lot of heartache. But now it’s run­ning, it’s go­ing, and it’s a lot of fun! While the en­gine won’t rev much more than 3000rpm, there’s mas­sive torque thanks to the back axle.’

It’ll be joined by the 1905 White ‘Whistling Billy’, which is also be­ing driven com­pet­i­tively for the first time in a cen­tury af­ter its owner per­suaded the Mo­tor Sport As­so­ci­a­tion to re­peal a ban on steam cars tak­ing part in historic mo­tor­sport. Roger Fowler’s Lola T60, which took part in the orig­i­nal Chateau Imp­ney events in the mid-1960s and hasn’t been raced in the UK in half a cen­tury, is also mak­ing its de­but.

Tick­ets are priced from £20 per per­son, and un­der-16s will be ad­mit­ted free with a tick­ethold­ing adult. The 200-strong en­try list of pre1967 cars also in­cludes plenty of ve­hi­cles en­tered by driv­ers who took part in last year’s re­vival of the event, in­clud­ing Mark Ri­ley, who set a class record in the Creamer Spe­cial sin­gle-seater.

‘If I had to com­pete in only one event in Eng­land, I would want to come back to Chateau Imp­ney,’ he says. ‘I’ve walked it and planned it out, but when you drive it, I know it’s go­ing to be very dif­fer­ent. It’s a tech­ni­cal hill – and the set­ting is ab­so­lutely gor­geous.’


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