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Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

Mr Sylva goes to Ireland

After a break of many years Tosh is bringing the Sylva Fury out again - this time to compete in the 2013 Cultra Hillclimb at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in County Down, Northern Ireland.

This year, however, marks Brian's entry into the world of competitive motorsport as he will be sharing the car with Tosh to make it a true Father and Son combination on the day.

The last time the Sylva was out in anger was back in 2001 when Tosh had been competing in the Northern Ireland Roadsports Championship at Kirkistown, County Down for a number of seasons. At that time the competition was mainly Ginettas, MGs, Midgets, Westfields and Caterhams, Sylvas, Locosts with a smattering of bike-engined Sevenesque type cars and the odd Lotus thrown in for luck.

As the years have gone by the Sylva has languished in the garage becoming more and more covered in piles of general junk until last year when Tosh's friend Smyth, who he's raced against since the early Nineties, announced they would be sharing a car affectionately known as 'Stevenson's Rocket' at last years event.

Cultra 2012 2

That was just the catalyst needed as it certainly got everyone enthusiastic about competing again, and considering the only time of late that the Sylva has been fired up in anger was at the AutoSolo a couple of years ago when too much enthusiasm and too little grip resulted in a rather red face and a little damage to the poor vehicle, it wasn't really before time.

This year, however, it is the turn of Mr Sylva to make an appearance, and so he was duly pulled out from the garage, given a thorough inspection and oil and filter change prior to shipping him off to Norn Iron for the month, where we could have the chance to leisurely go over him with a fine tooth comb and sort out any last minute niggles.

Ferry was booked for early May, and the penalty of having no roof at all was that we got very wet indeed standing at Cairnryan while the combination of the Scottish weather and a cruel boarding official saw us have to wait in the pouring rain whilst all the cars that arrived after us were herded onto the Ferry before us. Still, we had the last laugh as we drove off the ferry and straight onto the trailer and off to Smyths for some very gratefully received pints of Guinness!

Once in the garage very little was actually needed, apart from new Pipercross Air filters, a complete brake check (nothing to do) and a thorough spanner check over the whole car. One minor repair courtesy of the AutoSolo and a complete clean and polish, all of which were completed in a single day were all that was needed and he was completely ready for action.

Cultra 2013 Garage

Background of Cultra Hillclimb

On May 6th 1905, the gentlemen of the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, Cultra gathered at the estate of Mr. Robert Kennedy for a motoring hillclimb event, on a circular course, in the grounds. It became an annual feature of the RNIYC season until the outbreak of the First World War. Between 1920 and 1930 it was run over various courses in the Cultra and Craigavad areas. In 1931 the Cultra Hill-Climb moved to the Creightons Green Road nearer Holywood and was renamed Croft Hillclimb, which was “gifted” to the TSCC in 1989 thereby establishing the link between the Club and the Hillclimb.
The Kennedy estate was subsequently gifted to the Nation and became the site of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. These facts gleaned from the archives of the Co.Down Spectator and other sources gave us the evidence that, with the revival of this event on 1st April 2000, we became the oldest active hillclimb venue in the World. In 2003 Cultra Hillclimb provided the competitive speed element for the UVCC Ards TT 75th Anniversary Celebrations and in 2005 became the first event to celebrate a centenary at its original venue.


The Cars

As with any Hillclimb of note, the event at Cultra attracts a very healthy entry list, with competitors travelling from far and wide to take part. Some of last years cars are shown below, and you canread more about the event at the Thoroughbred and Sports Car Club of Northern Irelands website here

Cultra 2012 1

Cultra 2012 3


Cultra 2012 5

Crossle 9S

Cultra 2012 6

Ferguson 4-Wheel drive Formula 1 car

Cultra 2012 7

Renault Alpine

Cultra 2012 8

Cultra 2012 9

Nissan 200SX Drift Car

Cultra 2012 4

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