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Kop Hill Climb

Saturday 15th September, there we were again, the stalwarts and a few new faces lined up in the club "paddock" just as in years gone by, the only difference this year was the beautiful more September like weather. 

Kop Hill regular David Halliday, with his grey and light green ZA rally cars, Peter Martin and his grey ZA and Anthony White with his very original maroon ZA. A local newcomer with a maroon and cream varitone ZB, all,sadly, in terms of condition, putting my Farina Magnette "Madge" to shame.

My "Old English White over Tartan Red" Mk4 Madge certainly has a presence however and, without too close scrutiny looks a lot better than most fifty-two-year-old cars. Apparently, the assembled vintage and classic, modern supercars as well as motorcycles attending this fascinating event now pull in sufficient numbers of car owners and spectators to raise nearly a half a million pounds over the two days for charity. For those who have not been, the Kop Hill climb is a non-competitive untimed demonstration with a large paddock/assembly field on one side of a 'b' road and a closed section of road running up the hill which steepens greatly near the top but has no typical hill-climb bends, about one kilometre in total.

The event is marshalled by the very professional BMRMC most of whom are regulars at Silverstone some twenty-five miles North of here. There was even a contingent of the "Keystone Cops" policing the event. On the Sunday I had booked to run up the hill twice, as I first did in 2009 following one Paddy Hopkirk in his Monte Carlo Mini. The event now attracts many more entrants so my run number in that year was 240 is now 640. I'm not pretending my Magnette is in any way competitive, or a racing, hill climb car but the spectators in the paddock and the grandstands really seem to appreciate the sheer rarity of our cars on the hill, return road route and to and from my home some four miles away.

Sunday 16th dawned with sunshine as the day before. I noticed David Halliday had brought his MGB V8 to run the hill. After signing on, getting my wristband at 09.00 hrs, I was told it would likely be 12.30 first run. In the event it was 12.00 noon and the second run at 3.30pm.The car was great as always and made the hill in third gear but for the top fifty metres in second. The only modification I made was the red tape over the headlamps a la 1960's rally cars.

This year I finally got around to fitting the salmon pink "Original colour" interior purchased with the car with new Beige carpets all just in time to take my granddaughter to her wedding in June. I purchased my Magnette in 2006, with 45000 miles on the clock only and after some minor welding and suspension bush changes she passed her MOT and I have been using her for events only since April 2007. Madge has completed 4 MG Owners club tours of Ireland; two charity runs and 8 Kop Hill Climb events and is featured in a painting with Paddy Hopkirk's Monte Carlo Mini Cooper S lining up for the start. We took the car MG Car Club Abingdon Works Centre Boxing Day Runs 2014/15/16, the 2014 Old speckled Hen Run and the Magnette Register Quainton Railway Centre 2015. 

She has been almost trouble free for the 10'000 miles I have driven her. She is a very practical classic car indeed. I have now done 3 family weddings, my daughter, my niece and granddaughters and 1 friend's wedding with the car. During my period of ownership, I have had all new outriggers fitted to the chassis, and the inner cills repaired professionally. I have replaced all the brake cylinders, flexible and rigid brake pipes, all steering ball joints and rear shock absorbers. I was offered money by someone who wished to use her for classic banger racing. I won't repeat my answer to that person! I have loved driving and owning Madge to date she is a very rare MG.

Text and photos by Jeremy Carrington

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