Firle Hill Climb Revival: Classic car event to return to South Downs

Classic cars will flock to The Firle Hill Climb Revival on September 12.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 12:22 pm
Firle Hill Climb Revival. Photo by Bruce Hemming

The Firle Hill Climb at Bo Peep Bostal was started in 1949 by The Bentley Drivers Club. It is relatively short but steep and rises to the finish line at the top of the South Downs, in a picturesque location and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As a competition event it was abandoned in 1967 due to safety concerns but with the enthusiastic support of The Firle Estate and Henry Gage, local landowners and residents, the event was revived in 2015 as a non-competitive demonstration evoking the atmosphere of the early years of motor sport. Entries are open to all road-going cars registered before the end of 1989.

One of the motivations for Rob Bryant, the event owner and organiser, in reviving the event, was to raise funds for The Southfield Trust. This multi Academy Trust has four special needs schools in Sussex, one of which, is where his own daughter is a student. In addition, charitable funding is given to the CHEC, a printing business that employs young adults with learning disabilities and supports them in gainful employment.

To date £22,226 has been raised over the five years that the event has taken place.

The Firle Hillclimb Revival has become a firm favourite with drivers and spectators, it is a chance for visitors to get close to the cars, talk to the drivers and enjoy the spectacle of 80 period cars making three runs each, up the hill. A wide variety of cars are entered, the oldest to date being a 1904 Corbin Racer and the newest a 1989 de Tomaso Pantera.

As a relaxed, non-competitive event, the cars entered are selected for their interest as examples of the period as much for their sporting abilities. Visitors can also enter into the spirit of the event, dressing up in period clothing if they choose.

In the Paddock area, where the cars are displayed, there will be a bar in a London red double decker, Lady and the Dukes playing live music and The Seasoned Sausage Company serving locally sourced food.