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Just like previous years, priceless classics driven in anger will open the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, the premier event at the Knysna Speed Festival. Whilst the finale set for Sunday, 18 May, will once again feature the very latest, techno-laden automotive monsters, the classic car run on Friday, 16 May, will allow enthusiasts young and old a glimpse of the old-school.
While the older machines (many of which are more than 50 years old) might seem slow to the fans of modern hillclimb weaponry, they should still respect the bravery required to push a classic to the grip limits of narrow tyres on the uneven surface of the Simola hill.
One of the most interesting cars on the entry list is Gino Noli’s 1937 DKW F7 Meistertklasse Cabriolette. Powered by a 692 cm3 engine, it produces only 15 kW but in favourable conditions this was enough to propel it to 85km/h. In hillclimb specification, Noli will dispatch of most of the DKW’s bodywork to improve his personal best.
Timothy Abbot, a respected South African authority on early Porsches, will drive a Porsche 356A, a vehicle that combines lightweight construction with brilliant handling and a willing four-cylinder motor. The ultra rare Elva Porsche with 2,0-litre, twin-cam Porsche motor will also be in attendance and will make its attempt up the Simola hill with Clive Winterstein at the wheel.
The “newest” classic is Lew Baker’s Mallock Mk6B, which is powered by a 1,6-litre, twin-cam Ford four-cylinder motor. It dates back to the late ’60s.
“When you’re on the limit, it doesn’t matter what you are driving, you are still on the limit and the rush is the same,” says CAR’s track-test ace Deon Joubert, who will also be racing that weekend.
The 2014 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb will be staged from 16 to 18 May.