UK’s oldest hillclimb celebrates 110th anniversary


The Cultra Hillclimb will return to Cultra Manor in the grounds of the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum to celebrate its 110th birthday on 13 June. The world’s longest running active hillclimb was founded in 1905 by the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, and will mark the milestone with dozens of vehicles testing their mettle across ten different classes.

This year’s theme is the ‘Road to Recovery’ and, in addition to the time trials, it will also include restoration workshops, demonstrations and static displays. Among the cars taking to the hill in a non-competitive capacity are a fleet of Ford Escort MkIIs, which will be commemorating 40 years of the model.

A Chevron B1 will also be making an appearance to celebrate the firms win at Kirkistown half a century ago. The car will be on display in front of the Manor alongside a Chevron B26 and an ex-Tommy Reid F2. 

“The Cultra Hillclimb has developed into a motoring garden party throughout the years, which, in partnership with the Thoroughbred Sports Car Club NI and our many motoring friends, we continue to develop each year,” said Mark Kennedy, road and rail curator at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum.

“We will also be opening our restoration buildings to fit with the theme; visitors can explore the workshops, where our experienced engineers work on everything from Rolls-Royces to horse-drawn carriages. There will be a barbecue, Bangor-based art collective ‘Boom’ will be delighting us with something creative on the day and there will be a special Father’s Day lunch offer in the Manor House.”

William Heaney, president of the TSCCNI, said: “We are delighted to bring the Cultra Hillclimb back to the historic grounds of the transport museum for what promises to be a fantastic day for car enthusiasts and the whole family.”

“We are especially excited to see our deputy competitions secretary, Trevor McIlroy, back behind the wheel after his recent hiatus, and wish him all the best on his own road to recovery.”

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