The Fastlane Club promised that it would be a right good do, and it was. Whether your interest is vintage, classic or modern prestige then there was a car for you.
Jaguars dominated the event as they were celebrating the centenary of the formation of SS cars, which eventually became Jaguar. But there were plenty of other classics including a bevvy of Healey’s, Aston Martin’s, Bentley’s and Ferrari’s.
Yorkshire Elegance is a three day event combining stunning cars, great food and challenging drives. It’s not a competitive event, the priority is to enjoy the cars, the food and good companions.
The event started with a chance to drive the longest hill climb course in the country at Harewood. Today we will concentrate on this event and the rest of the event will be covered in other articles.
Most Yorkshire based events are concerned about the weather as rain can arrive even when not predicted. No such problems here though. This was the hottest day ever recorded in England and even here in Yorkshire it was hovering around 40 degree’s.
Guests started to arrive from mid morning and spent their time catching up with old friends and talking cars. After lunch those who wanted to take on the hill headed down the track from the paddock to the start line where they were flagged away.
For those who don’t know Harewood Hill Climb, it starts with a series of tight turns on the flat(tish) ground at the bottom of the hill. Immediately after the start is a 90 degree right hander, followed by the twisty S’s and things continue in that vein until we reach a long(ish) straight. Then we begin to climb. A right hander takes you into a straight that passes through Farmhouse and immediately into a long left hand bend. It is here that the long climb begins and we rise up the hill before a deceptive right hander takes you to the finish.
The time is not relevant here (in fact it isn’t event recorded) it’s just the challenge of getting the car up the hill as fast as you can. In many ways hill climbing is a sport where you compete against yourself. You push yourself to go a little faster and brake a little later until you beat your previous time.
It is fair to say that few of the drivers would be troubling the hill record, but many did have a good go. I have been a member and competitor at Harewood for many years and I have never seen such a variety of cars taking part in one event. A vintage Bentley was magnificent while the E-Type Jaguars still warrant the title worlds most beautiful car.
Modern prestige cars also took to the hill. A lime green Lamborghini, a black Mclaren but perhaps most impressive of all were the Bentley limousines. I bet they breathed in as they squeezed through the gate at Farmhouse.