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CELEBRATING HILL CLIMBING IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

By Doug Gordon


Long before Collingrove was operational, South Australia had an impressive history of motor hill-climbing competition, dating back to the Automobile Club of SA hill climbs at Norton Summit from 1904 to 1906. Then Belair, 1907, Morialta early 1920s (MCCSA), Glen Osmond from 1924 to c1946, Waitpinga 1935, Lobethal 1937, with both the Motor-Cycle Club of SA and later the Sporting Car Club of SA joining the ACSA as organizing bodies.


Norton Summit 1905


Shortly after the war a keen group from the Vintage Sports Car Club of SA set up a climb at Glen Ewin out of Houghton in the Adelaide Hills. This was a run up the steep driveway at the estate and out onto the Lower Hermitage Road and was commonly known as the “Jam Factory” hill climb, because of the produce made there – sauces, jams and preserved fruits.


The track was used from 1948 to 1951, when an Act of Parliament banned all further motor competition on public roads. (This same Act had to be revoked in 1985 to allow the Formula 1 events to operate on Adelaide roads in and around Victoria Park.) Collingrove opened in 1952 and the rest is history as the new track became the centre for hill climbing to the present day, supplemented seasonally by Mount Alma ad the Legend of the Lakes.


Ian “Bud” Jackson kicking up some dust with his Godfrey-Nash at Glen Ewin c1948


As a tribute to the pre-Collingrove days, the current owner/operators of the Glen Ewin Estate Function Centre and Fig Farm, the Wauchope family, would like to present a display of pre-war and early post-war cars at Glen Ewin on Australia Day, 26th January 2020, as part of the Adelaide Hills “Crush Festival”. The emphasis would be placed on cars of a type that were used in period at Glen Ewin and it would be even better if a few cars that actually competed there were present. This would be mainly pre-war sporting models and also include TA,B,C MGs which were starting to proliferate early post-war club competition.


Eldred Norman with his Mercury double -V8 special at Glen Ewin in 1948


If you have a suitable vehicle and would like to be involved, please forward an expression of interest to either –

Willa Wauchope – willa@glenewinestate.com.au or

Angus Mitchell – service@mitchellautomotive.com.au


Details will follow closer to the event.

Note that this is a display ONLY and not a speed event. It might be possible to run a re-enactment at a later date, but currently this is not possible.

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