Revelling in the high life

Ian Kerr MBE puts on his climbing boots, and goes on a hill climb pilgrimage.

In the last few years, the two-day Kop Hill climb run has established itself as a Mecca for those keen on classic cars and bikes.

The London Motorcycle Museum brought a wide and varied display.

Raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for local charities, the event held each September is in many ways a much smaller version of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where motoring enthusiasts gather to talk and admire each other’s set of wheels, while giving them a good blast up the famous hill that is closed to other traffic for the occasion.

Originally, Kop Hill, situated in Buckinghamshire between High Wycombe and Aylesbury, was just one of a number of sinuous, stony and bumpy cart tracks in the Chiltern Hills.

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Some quick fettling before this Triton takes to the hill

It was the motorcycle brigade who saw the potential to challenge their steeds, and it quickly became a fixture in the calendar.

Testing times

Not only would the steep climb have been a challenge, with its famous hump two-thirds of the way up which launched many a vehicle into the air, but the surface itself tested the primitive tyres and suspension, to destruction in some cases.

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Deeply desirable Dougie awaits its turn on the rollers.

Nowadays it’s a normal public road, smooth and well maintained, and it is still a gradual climb to a 1-in-6 gradient half way then a short section of 1-in-4, before the crest, and it is still sufficient to test many of those with two and four wheels who flock to the location to test their period machinery.

Read more and view more images in the October 2018 issue of OBM – on sale now!

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