24 April 2011

Loton Park Hillclimb

Loton Park, Alberbury, is one of only two private deer parks in Shropshire, and has been in the hands of the Leightons since 1391. The eleventh baronet, Sir Michael Leighton, has planted over 200,000 trees, and it is through these that the hillclimb rises and, unusually, for part of the run, dips.

The climb was laid out in the mid-1950s by the Severn Valley Motor Club. Since 1970 the course, 1,475 yards long, has been included in the British Hillclimb Championship, organisation being in the hands of the Hagley & District Light Car Club.

No fewer than ten championships are contended for this weekend, the climb tackled by road-going production, modified production, sports libre, racing, and classic cars (Hillman Imp, second from top); motorcycles, and motorcycle side cars. Particularly stylish are the cars of Club Alpine Renault - Renault 8 Gordini, and Alpine Renault A110, above.

It's a relaxed venue, with full access to the paddock, and no over-zealous security. Many of the spectators' cars are as interesting as those competing - TVR Vixen (top), and Lancia Flavia coupé (above). The Dolomite 1500 SE didn't look at all out of place.

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