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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2: Pikes Peak - a hill to climb

Pikes Peak. This is one big hill. Why, one might even call it a mountain, one that is almost three miles (or for us Canadians, nearly 5 kms) high. Every year since 1916, Pikes Peak has been the sight of a yearly hill climb event. Now, I don't mean folks climbing up this impressive "hill", I mean drivers racing to the top, trying to beat the other cars in their categories. Since 1916, these crazy competitors have been courting disaster in order to win the Pikes Peak laurels. Formerly dirt from top to bottom, the hill is now paved, but that hasn't taken away from the danger involved.

How dangerous? How close to the edge?


This pic shows you some of the peak's 156 torturous curves and notice something else that is missing........yep, there is no guard rail. Doesn't help if you go over the edge. Just last week, a regular motorcycle competitor did go over the edge to his death, so it is not impossible.

For some reason, this hill climb has become very important and some hugely exotic vehicles are put together to race their way to the clouds. Why to the clouds? A picture is worth a lot of words, so take a look at this one.......


.......notice that this hot new Jag F-Type's driver can look down upon the clouds in the distance. And what a nice feature at this point on the mountain, guard rails!

How important is this event? Well, just take a look at the pace car........


......isn't that the brand new, not even in the showrooms yet, Acura NSX? Why sure it is, and you know Acura wouldn't waste one of these on something that didn't generate mucho publicity.

What makes Pikes Peak, so much more interesting is the wild variety of vehicles that careen up its slopes in search of the lowest times. Everything from.......


........this open wheeled beast driven by eventual winner, Rhys Millen (he and other family members are there every year and have held many records) to this relatively stock looking new Mercedes C250 diesel parked in the snow at the end of its run (remember this was just last week).......


or to this heavily modified Japanese sedan.......


......or this vintage 1963 Ford Falcon..........


 .........of course, the only thing on this one that is 1963 is the body, all else including the driver is much newer. Or this new Lexus RC-F (note the huge wing)........


Want some numbers? The hill climb starts at the 9390 foot mark and runs to 14,115 feet (no conversion for us Canadians). The record set a couple of years back is 8:13 minutes. The course is 12.12 miles or almost twenty kms long. Think about it, that means that the average speed is close to 90 miles per hour and a sheer drop if you sneeze while going around a corner. Omigod!

Just about every time of vehicle has made its way up Pikes Peaks at one time or another. One of my favorite pics is of this old Mercury stock car driven by famed Indy racer, Parnelli Jones, making a spectacle in 1963, before the road was completely paved.......


And what I really like about this pic is the proximity of that spectator. There is probably a memorial plaque to this fellow on that very spot.

So, Pikes Peak. A race to the clouds. Balls out with no safe barriers. No ambulance on duty at every corner. Just pure testosterone and lots of skill. Want to give it a try, but at sensible speeds? The road to the top is open year around in good weather. Have fun and amaze your family.

Until next time.......



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