Select Page

Bo’ness Revival: Keeping motorsport history alive in Scotland

Words: Keith Mainland, Photos: Alastair Peacock

Bo’ness Hillclimb started in 1932 and was the first purpose-built motorsport venue in Scotland. As a round of the British Hillclimb Championship it attracted top flight drivers over the years including many from Formula One. Jim Clark won the Bo’ness Hillclimb in the Border Rievers Lister Jaguar in 1959, the year before competing in his first Grands Prix.

This year’s Bo’ness Revival was the 11th and included two days of competitive hillclimbing for a full entry of 100 cars on much of the original half-mile course in Bo’ness’s Kenneil Estate about twenty miles north-west of Edinburgh. Fourteen classes provided an interesting variety of sports, saloon and racing cars from the 1930s through to the 1980s. There was also a classic car run for over 300 cars and a well attended static display of classic car clubs including a celebration of seventy years of the Jaguar XK engine. Ian Scott-Watson, whose cars Jim Clark drove in his early career was a welcome visitor to this year’s Revival along with the many cars and drivers who had competed in the original Hillclimb.

Weather was a factor all weekend after rain on Saturday and the tree-lined lower section of the track from the start through the hairpin and on up to Old Paddock Bend remained damp and tricky, allowing some less powerful cars to challenge for honours on Sunday. Despite the rain, Saturday was dominated by the Invited class of more modern and powerful machinery with George Coghill provisionally fastest in his single seater Lola hillclimb car in a new track record of 28.34secs. Coghill was followed by Jock Ramsay in his Opel Manta in 32.98secs and Nigel Galvin in his Mk2 Escort RS in 33.53secs, the latter looking well controlled rather than typically sideways due to the closeness of the hay bales to the track. Sunday saw the single seaters at the top of the timesheet with Andrew Patterson in his Formula Ford Lotus 61 fastest in 30.12secs, just four hundredths faster than Coghill and Keith Harris third fastest in his Chevron B25 in 30.73secs.

Cars on the entry list that caught my eye were the class winning Austin Seven Speedex driven by Robin Liddell from Edinburgh who races professionally in the USA, Russell Jordan’s Cooper-MG prototype and John Albiston’s beautiful ex-Ronnie Peterson Brabham BT38C. Mike Sythes extraordinary recreation of the Freikaiserwagen vintage special sadly failed to complete a timed run all weekend. Amongst the classic cars, the 1950s Drocott Jaguar in the XK celebration is as eccentric a car as you will ever see. Also on display was the new Alpine A110 which is probably the best modern retro design yet.

The Bo’ness Revival Organising Committee are passionate about the history of the Hillclimb and work with a lot of enthusiasm to make the event enjoyable for competitors, participants and spectators alike. As Committee member Kenny Allen explained to me, the challenge of keeping any motor sport event going in Scotland is attracting a small community from a large area. The Bo’ness Committee are proud but not complacent about the Revival having outlived the Scottish Ignition Festival, Ingliston Revival and stillborn Argyll Festival of Performance – probably due to its lack of financial aspirations.

Class winners:

Class 1: Saloons and Sports Cars prior to 31/12/1930

Saturday:       Adam Smith              Frazer Nash Supersports                41.72secs

Sunday:         Derek Sweeney       Riley Brooklands                               45.47secs

Class 2: Saloon and Sports Cars 01/01/31 to 31/12/1946

Saturday:       Robin Liddell             Austin Seven Speedex                  40.68secs

Sunday:         Robin Liddell             Austin Seven Speedex                  36.80secs

Class 3: Saloon and Sports Cars 01/01/47 to 31/12/1961

Saturday:       Keith Beningfield       MG TC                                              38.01secs

Sunday:         Keith Beningfield       MG TC                                              33.98secs

Class 4: Saloon and Sports Cars 01/01/62 to 31/12/1973 up to 1499cc

Saturday:       Leslie-Ann Scoular    Morris Minor                                       55.10secs

Sunday:         Leslie-Ann Scouler   Morris Minor                                       49.04secs

Class 5: Saloon and Sports Cars 01/01/62 to 31/12/73 above 1500cc

Saturday:       Robert Bremner        AC Cobra                                         34.24secs

Sunday:         Harry Simpson          Ginetta G4                                         31.37secs

Class 6: Sports Racing Cars 01/01/47 to 31/12/1973

Saturday:       Angus Buchan:          Terrapin SR                                       38.04secs

Sunday:         John Albiston                        Lotus 23B                                          31.88secs

Class 7: Single Seater Racing Cars prior to 31/12/65

Saturday:       Steven Cooper        Cooper T19                                      36.62secs

Sunday:         Steven Cooper        Cooper T19                                      32.29secs

Class 8: Single Seater Racing Cars 01/01/66 to 31/12/1973

Saturday:       Andrew Patterson     Lotus 61 FF1600                              34.17secs

Sunday:         Andrew Patterson     Lotus 61 FF1600                              30.12secs

Class 9a: Single Marque – Porsche pre-1974

Saturday:       Colin MacKinnon       Porsche 911RS                                35.65secs

Sunday:         Colin MacKinnon       Porsche 911RS                                31.76secs

Class 9b: Single Marque – Triumph pre-1974

Saturday:       James Coltart            Triumph TR3A                                  37.78secs

Sunday:         Markus Bewley         Triumph GT6 Mk3                            34.61secs

Class 9c: Single Marque – Jaguar pre-1974

Saturday:       Rob Bremner                        Jaguar E Type Lightweight              34.71secs

Sunday:         Anthony Stewart       Jaguar Aristocat XK                           35.41secs

Class 9d: Single Marque – Mini variant pre-1974

Saturday:       Adam Forster            Wolseley Hornet                              35.20secs

Sunday:         Adam Forster            Wolseley Hornet                              33.87secs

Class 9e: Single Marque – Spridget pre-1974

Saturday:       Steven Muir               Austin Healey Sprite                        35.52secs

Sunday:         Steven Muir               Austin Healey Sprite                        32.99secs

Class 10: Invited 1974-83 cars

Saturday:       George Coghill         Lola                             (provisional) 28.34secs

Sunday:         George Coghill         Lola                                                     30.16secs

Auto Addicts is proudly associated with:


Stay in touch
To receive the latest news as it breaks

Stay in touch
To receive the latest news as it breaks