Ballyrobert Vauxhall & Lotus Hill Climb Saturday 30th April 2016

The Ulster Automobile Club are absolutely delighted to announce that Ballyrobert Vauxhall & Lotus, plus Simon Brien Properties are kindly sponsoring Craigantlet Hill Climb  2016 with Belfast City Council once again supporting us.

With just a few weeks to go a hardy few made their way to Craigantlet Hill this morning. Fortunately it stopped raining long enough for us to get some ;pictures.

Alan Lyness, a Lotus Expert from Ballyrobert Lotus, Mallusk, brought us over a Lotus Exige Club Racer 350 to photograph this morning. Powered by a 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine it hits 0-62mph in 4.0sec and has a top speed of 170 mph. The rrp starts from £56k, with the model shown being £63k.

As it’s our ninetieth year in Motorsports we asked Simon Johnston to bring a 1930’s sports car as well. His MG J2, 847cc was first registered on the 18th August 1933, costing in those days approximately £199, with the first registered keeper being his Dad. As a contrast the engine is a four cylinder overhead cam unit with twin SU carbs, a crossflow head and a four speed non-synchromesh gearbox It currently develops about 48hp as it has a modified camshaft and higher compression as well as larger 1 1/8″ carbs (as opposed to the original 1″ ones). In its original guise it had 36bhp. It was road tested by Autocar in August 1933 and had a top speed of 80 mph, quite respectable for then. Thank you for all the details Simon. 

It has a marvellous story which we would like to share. Simon’s Dad kept the car for four years, eventually trading it in for an Austin Seven Ruby saloon just before he and Simon’s Mum married. The car left Northern Ireland for Anglesey after the war and finally ended up in Leeds in the late 1960s. Simon tried to track it down, without success, but then by good fortune replied to an advertisement in Motor Sport in December 1972 and found it. It was completely dismantled, down to the last nut and bolt, and despite his best efforts, progress over the next nearly forty years on rebuilding it was slow. Mike Allison did some sterling work on it in the 1990s but it was still far from completed by the time he retired from the restoration business. Finally, it was entrusted to Oliver Richardson on the recommendation of Charles Jones of Bayton Jones who had agreed to take on the engine rebuild. Some eighteen months later Simon took delivery of the car in time to enjoy MG Silverstone in it and then finally brought it home to Belfast. It is a beautiful example.

If you are free on Saturday the 30th April 2016, come along to Craigantlet Hill Climb, on the Belmont Road, Belfast from 09:30 onwards you will see some fantastic local drivers and their cars along with a number of beautiful British Hill Climb Championship vehicles, similar to Formula 1 cars, just faster. A  big thank you to Karla Dance our lovely model and all the other brave folk who came out to support us, and help whilst subjected to todays weather.

Craiganlet small

IMG_9882 IMG_9890 IMG_9899 IMG_9902 IMG_9904 IMG_9907 IMG_9913 IMG_9917 IMG_9930