Climb To The Clouds: 2010 Mount Washington Hillclimb

I got an email from Jim Blumenfeld last night about the Mount Washington Hillclimb which was held this weekend.

I have included in this posting Jim’s email about the Mount Washington Hillclimb:


Just got back from Mount Washington.  It was a great event replete with challenges.  I was the radio operator at the finish line for all three days so got to see all that was going on.

Friday and Saturday we had 2 runs for each competitor on the bottom half of the course only.  Both days were rainy and this disallowed us from using the upper half which included the unpaved section.  The unpaved section was so wet and muddy that it was impassable.  Fortunately, the rain stopped on Friday noonish which allowed this section to dry out and be regraded for Saturday afternoon recce runs and Sunday racing.

On Sunday the only rain (to the best of my knowledge) was on the last mile or so of the course.  Apparently the course below this point was generally clear, but the last 1/2 mile of the course was very foggy with visibility commonly in the 100-foot range – sometimes getting to be as good as 250 feet, but sometimes down to 50 feet or less.  The finish line was always foggy – very foggy, often terrifyingly so.

This Wells Coyote Crosses the Finish Line in the Fog

You can see the results here:

Higgins set a dominant course record with a 6:11.54 in a Subaru beating the Wells Coyote of Cook by about 28 seconds.  Shocking when you consider the Wells is a purpose built race car and the Subaru is based on a street car, albeit a factory supported effort.  Third place went to the #237 “Super Chicken” home built special of Tingaud.  Shocking – since this home built racer was based on the running gear of a 5 cylinder turbo Audi.  It was truly audacious and undeniably front engined!

The “Super Chicken” is Based on an Audi Drivetrain 

The crowd favorite was the Freightliner – 1950 HP and 9995 pounds of twin turbo oomph.  The shocking thing is that it was quite possibly the quietest racer out there!

The Big Freightliner on Mount Washington

See attached pictures.  The one of the Wells gives you an appreciation of the foggy conditions at the finish, the truck is awesome, the Chicken is unique to the extreme and the Kurtiss is just wonderful.

The Front Wheels of this Kurtiss 500 Catch Air

If you get the Boston Globe there was an article about the Jaguar aka “The Beast” in the Metro section.  BTW, take a look at the caption (and author) of the winning “Caption that Toon” contest.

Hope to be able to help you guys out at your rally (I may need to work that weekend).

Jim Blumenfeld

Further to Jim’s email, I do get the Boston Globe delivered to to the house on Sundays.  This Sunday they did have an article about Roger Dowd of Framingham, MA who owns “The Beast”, as it is known in the northeast USA.

Roger Dowd and “The Beast”

“The Beast” was based on a 1951 Jaguar XK120.  This car was raced by Sherwood Johnson on Mount Washington many times and at one time held the record for the hillclimb.

Sherwood Johnson with “The Beast” at the 1954 Climb to the Clouds

And finally, I did check the winner of the cartoon caption contest.  It turns out that the winner was the same Jim Blumenfeld.  Congratulations Jim!

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