E.P.J. Reynolds drives his Dellow nearing the upper end of the course.
Photo: Hugh Miller
Set in 140 acres of rolling, English, Worcestershire countryside—with its own lakes, waterfalls and ornamental garden—Chateau Impney, or Impney Hall as it was originally known, was constructed 140 years ago by industrialist, philanthropist and Liberal Member of Parliament, John Corbett. Designed in the style of a French chateau, it was his effort to ease his Parisian wife’s incessant bouts of homesickness. Since completion, the story of this building is as checkered as the flag that will fall at the end of each flying run of the new hill-climb event planned for July this year. It has been a family home, lain unoccupied for many years throughout its history, it was once purchased by one of the original builders, requisitioned by the War Office during WW2, restored to become a restaurant, became the first UK disco venue in the 1960s, held live pop performances for artists including The Drifters, Joe Cocker and Fleetwood Mac and now currently fully refurbished as a luxury hotel, wedding venue, conference and exhibition center, to mention but a few.
Being built at the dawn of the motoring era, Chateau Impney has also flirted with motorsport events too, including speed trials and Concours d’Elegance meetings, particularly in the 1950s through to the latter part of the 1960s. This July sees a return to a competitive hillclimb staged around what was described in 1957 by Autosport magazine as “Easily the most picturesque of this country’s sprint and hillclimb venues.” Prior to this revival event, Vintage Racecar traces the motoring past through the eyes of some of those who took part or observed the events of a bygone era.
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