The birth of the Swinging Sixties

Tuesday 20 February 2018

The next instalment of the blog series about the first ten years of motorsport at the Chateau Impney.

To put things in perspective…. 1960 is the year that the first Playboy club was opened in Chicago featuring bunnies, and Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird was first published.

1960 saw 102 entries to the Speed Trial at Chateau Impney, the biggest year to date and to mark the occasion the course was fully resurfaced. The event also reaped considerable news coverage, notably from Autosport, describing the course as “demanding the utmost from car and driver” and providing “all that a true road course can, even a bridge and other natural hazards”.

A new record was set, not however by David Good who was largely expected to record the fastest time of the day, but rather by Reg Philip. Reg recorded a time of 22.08, and this record then stood until 1964.

This year also saw the first entry of the ever popular Mini. The Mini was launched in 1959 under the two names of the Austin 7 and the Morris Mini Minor, and was by far the most popular car in the Grand Touring Class For Up To 1300 cc. Out of 24 entries, 7 were listed as one of the two types of Mini. Pitted against the likes of Lotus Elite’s, Morgans, Austin’s A40, and Sprites, the Mini topped the class. Daniel Richmond came first in the Austin 7 incarnation, whilst Bill Cleave in the alternate Morris version came in second, pushing a Lotus Elite into third.

This solidified the Mini’s popularity both on the track and on the road, and the car still endures today as one of Britain’s favourite cars, despite a face lift or two.

To continue reading about the history of motorsport at the Chateau Impney, look out for our next blog post in this series.

The Chateau Impney Hill Climb 2018 will take place on 7th & 8th July, and to ensure you don’t miss out, buy your tickets here. Alternatively, VIP tickets are also on sale now and in high demand for those looking to enjoy CIHC2018 in unparalleled luxury. 

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