Simms Hill

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Simms Hill remains one of the most feared sections in the MCC’s Exeter Trial, the classic event dating back to 1910, and a formidable obstacle to winning a gold, silver or bronze medal.

The hill, near Islington in South Devon, was described by The Autocar as 3200 yards long, starting with a 1-in-5 stretch to a sharp right-hand bend, then rising for 60 yards of 1-in-3.5, where the gradient measured 1-in-2.75. It was discovered by the Junior Car Club in 1923, when it was regarded as a freak hill, not suitable for trials. This go-ahead Club held a rally there that year for those who wanted to see light cars with hopefully successful assaults on the horror. The Hon Victor Bruce went down the day before in a sports AC and got up, but on the day failed due to wheelspin. A great many people many arrived that February to watch what The Autocar would call Stubbs Hill.

They would have seen men with chocks ready to catch any cars that began to run backwards. In fact, nearly 40 attempts were ‘clean’, three GNs being among the successful cars, proving that air-cooling was no detriment up the short climb. Most of their drivers were well-known professionals. All the GNs were the Vitesse models, of which Finch’s made the quickest official time, in, followed by Walsgrove’s Riley and a sports Marseal, both taking 19.4sec. The slowest successful ascent was that of Bennet’s Rover 8, in 30.4sec.

There were many failures we need not bother with, except to remark that W Bennett stood on his Rover’s seat, that Harvey’s Alvis had spiked back wheels sans tyres but failed, that Mr And Mrs Carr’s overturned.

Even those who were ‘clean’ often were so only after several attempts “on one of England’s worst hills.” Prates sent down a fuel lorry and Topical Budget showed a film of it all. An interesting feature is the JCC checked bottom gear-ratios, which varied from 24:1 of the Rovers to 12:1 on the Marseal and 13:1 of the two faster GNs. Finch used Parson chains and his GN was driven unofficially by Norman Black, who clocked 13.0sec. I will refrain from listing the many famous makes which could not conquer this ‘new’ gradient…

It remained the greatest ‘stopper’ in these MCC Exeters, the next trickiest hill until 1938 being Fingle Bridge, which caused 85 to fail in 1933.

Severity notwithstanding, the MCC decided Simms should be used in its Exeter trials, providing one of the most difficult tests as it had in the ’20s.

You may also like

Related products