Prescott at 80 The Bu­gat­tis and a Brab­ham-lo­tus that stood out at the hill climb’s big an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion week­end

Gal­lic trib­ute to 80 years of Glouces­ter­shire hill climb­ing

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Aspec­tac­u­lar field of Bu­gat­tis shunned Good­wood this year for Prescott’s 80th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions. The hill climb cir­cuit opened in 1938 and hosted many of the mar­que’s most sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ments on British soil.

Bu­gatti Type 37

Robs Lam­plough was cam­paign­ing this ex-sir Mal­colm Camp­bell Type 37 for the first time since its restora­tion. ‘It’s prob­a­bly the most doc­u­mented Type 37 of all – one owner had it for 57 years, fol­lowed by his me­chanic who im­ported it to Tas­ma­nia in pieces along with his house fur­ni­ture to avoid im­port tax.

‘Camp­bell or­dered three Type 37s, de­liv­ered to his deal­er­ship in April 1936. He kept one for him­self and sold the oth­ers, in­clud­ing this one which went to WB ‘Bum­mer’ Scott, who ran it at Brook­lands with his wife Jill.

‘The owner after him, Ron­ald Mac­cloed­carey, had it un­til 1940 and de­vel­oped it fur­ther for rac­ing, with twin car­bu­ret­tors, mag­neto, com­pe­ti­tion oil pump and a fly-off hand­brake for hill climb­ing at Shel­s­ley Walsh. The next owner, Dud­ley Ga­ha­gan, had it from 1940 to 1997 and be­queathed it to his me­chanic, Tim Whitely.

‘I bought it just be­fore Christ­mas, and Gen­try Restora­tions in Ox­ford­shire has re­built it. They’ve had to re­make all the en­gine’s mov­ing parts, but man­aged to re­tain Bu­gatti’s cast­ings. When it came over from Tas­ma­nia, the con­rods were from a Holden diesel trac­tor, and the cylin­der block was twisted be­cause of a re­place­ment iron bot­tom end that had warped. Fit­ting the new crankshaft bear­ings was largely guess­work!’

Brab­ham-lo­tus BT18

Phil Chat­ter­ton pre­sented this Brab­ham for the first time at Prescott hav­ing re­stored it him­self in his garage. ‘Chris Wil­liams ran it in the Euro­pean For­mula 3 Cham­pi­onship in 1966-67, win­ning at Good­wood, Monza and Di­jon,’ said Chat­ter­ton. ‘Its pa­per­work in­cludes let­ters from Jack Brab­ham say­ing things like “put these parts on for Monza.”

‘Sadly, Wil­liams was killed in a race in 1968 and the car was just slung in a shed. It ended up at Retro Track & Air, where the chas­sis was sorted, but it was fit­ted with a 1.0-litre ‘screamer’ en­gine and dif­fer­ent body­work, crashed at Sil­ver­stone, and put back in a shed again.

‘I’ve re­stored it to its orig­i­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tion, with a Lo­tus twin-cam. How­ever, I found a photo of it be­ing used at a For­mula 2 race at Rouen with a very rare Cos­worth SCA en­gine in the back. The driver’s not in the photo but he’s left his hel­met on the body­work – we’re still try­ing to iden­tify him and un­lock that part of its his­tory.’

Bu­gatti Type 54 by Uh­lik

This stun­ning Bu­gatti came to Prescott – and the UK for the first time – cour­tesy of Peter Mullin. It wears a body by Prague coach­builder Uh­lik, which orig­i­nally re­placed Grand Prix coach­work on a Type 54 that was fa­tally crashed by the Czech Prince Lobkow­icz at Avus in April 1932. His friend Zdenik Pohl com­mis­sioned the body­work, which was re­moved by a later Amer­i­can owner so the orig­i­nal chas­sis could be re­turned to rac­ing use. It was trans­ferred to an­other Type 54 chas­sis by an­other Cal­i­for­nian owner, Skip Berg, be­fore be­ing ac­quired by Peter Mullin. It won Best in Class at the 1991 Peb­ble Beach Con­cours d’el­e­gance.

Ex-sir Mal­colm Camp­bell Bu­gatti Type 37 pre­dates the Prescott Hill Climb by two years

Brab­ham BT18 was home-re­stored

Uh­lik-bod­ied Bu­gatti Type 54

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