Giants Despair Hillclimb

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Giants Despair Hillclimb
Location Laurel Run, Pennsylvania, United States
Coordinates 41°13′18″N 75°51′33″W / 41.221551°N 75.859201°W / 41.221551; -75.859201
Opened 1906
Hill Length 1 mile (1,800 yd)
Turns 6
Hill Record 38.024 s (John Burke[1], 2014)

The Giants Despair Hillclimb is a hillclimb established in 1906 just outside Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in Laurel Run, Pennsylvania, United States.[2] The contest was first run in conjunction with Wilkes-Barre's centennial celebration.[3] It is the oldest continuing motorsport event in Pennsylvania.[3] Race drivers from across the nation gather annually on East Northampton Street, a road that winds its way through a 1 mile (1.6 km) section of Pennsylvania's steep mountains. Rising 650 feet (200 m), the course reaches grades up to 20% and has six turns—including the 110 degree "Devil's Elbow"— on the way to the top.[2][3] The original race was won in 2 minutes 11.2 seconds.[3]

In its first years, the race was used as a proving grounds by the biggest names in the automotive industry. Louis Chevrolet raced the hill in 1909 driving for Buick. He won Event No. 2, Gasoline stock cars, selling from $851 to $1,250 in a time of 2:34.4 sec, his car being the only entry in the class. He is chiefly remembered for an accident: "A Buick with Louis Chevrolet driving, turned turtle on the course and narrowly missed a group of people. Chevrolet was not badly injured." [4]

Bill Milliken drove the AJB/FWD Butterball Special, #111, in 1955 finishing third overall in a time of 63.771 sec.[5]

Carroll Shelby,[6] Roger Penske, and Oscar Koveleski are just a few of the famous drivers that set out to tackle the mile. The hill has been paved many times and the records have been shattered. The current record holder is John Burke, who ran the course in 38.024 seconds in 2014.[7] /> Today, the Hillclimb is run on the second weekend of July and is organized by the Pennsylvania Hillclimb Association (PHA).[8]

Giants Despair events and past winners[edit]

Year Driver Vehicle Time Notes
1906 Hugh N. Harding English Daimler 35 h.p. 2:11.2 sec R [9] May 10.
1907 William Wray Simplex-Peugeot (Motorcycle) 1:40.0 sec [10] May 30.
Walter C. White White Steamer (Steam car) 1:49.8 sec
J.B. Ryall Matheson 60 h.p. (Gasoline car) 1:59.2 sec R
1908 Willi Haupt Great Chadwick 6-cylinder 1:38.4 sec R [11] May 30.
1909 David Bruce-Brown Benz 120 h.p. 1:31.6 sec R [12]
1910 Ralph DePalma Fiat 200 h.p. 1:28.4 sec R [13] June 14.
1911-1915 No events.
1916 Fred Junk Chalmers 1:41.0 sec [14] Oct 7.
1917-1950 No events.
1951 Dellevan Lee Allard-Cadillac 1:07.5 sec R [15] May 11/12.
1952 Phil Walters Cunningham CR-4K 1:02.3 sec R [16] July 24/26.
1953 Dellevan Lee Allard J2 1:04.4 sec [17] July 24.
1954 A. Erwin Goldschmidt Ferrari 4.5 1:01.26 R [18] July 24/25.
1955 Duncan Black Ferrari 4.5 #44 1:02.4 sec [5] July 22.
1956 Carroll Shelby GP Ferrari 4.5-liter 58.768 sec R [19] July 20.
1957 Dr. Louis Winkler Chevrolet Corvette 58.35 sec R [20] July 19.
1958 J. Robert Bucher Allard-Cadillac 1:00.933 sec [21] July 18/19.
1959 Roger Penske Porsche RSK 59.1734 sec July 30/Aug 1.
1960 John Meyer Meyer Special 57.5 sec R [22] July 29/31.
1961 John Meyer Pontiac Spl. 56.576 sec R [23] July 30.
1962 John Meyer Meyer Special 55.858 sec R [24]
1963 Charlie Kurtz Porsche RS-61 56.3543 sec [25] July 27.
1964 Hal Keck A.C. Shelby Cobra 4.7-litre 55.6619 sec R [26] July 24/25.
1965 Harold Keck A.C. Shelby Cobra 7-litre 51.9152 sec R [27] July 24/25.
1966 Oscar Koveleski Cooper-Chevy 50.336 sec R July 30.
1967 John Meyer Cooper-Ford 53.281 sec July 29.
1968 John Meyer Lola T70-Chevrolet 49.100 sec R [28] July 27.
1969 Oscar Koveleski McLaren Mk6B 47.636 sec R [29] July 27.
1970 John Meyer Lola T70 52.524 sec
1971 Jerry McKown Caldwell Super Vee [30] 54.391 sec
1972 Cancelled.
1973 Craig Smith Cooper-Chevy 51.551 sec
1974 Don Smith McLaren Mk8B Chevy 48.455 sec
1975 Oscar Koveleski McLaren Mk6B Chevy 45.123 sec
1976 Oscar Koveleski McLaren Mk6B Chevy 45.206 sec July 17/18.
1977 Oscar Koveleski McLaren Mk6B Chevy 44.127 sec
1978 Jim Willauer LeGrand 5000 48.661 sec
1979 Oscar Koveleski McLaren Mk6B Chevy 46.110 sec
1980 Robert Oswald Sr. VW-Kellison 51.185 sec
1981-1985 No event run.
1986 Tommy Van Scoy Ralt RT1 Formula Continental 49.666 sec
1987 George Bowland LeGrand Formula Continental 49.110 sec
1988 Jerry Coffee March Formula Atlantic 45.840 sec
1989 Tommy Van Scoy March Formula Atlantic 45.368 sec
1990 Carl Jones Open Chevy Sports Racer 49.786 sec
1991 Jerry Coffee March Formula Atlantic 45.485 sec
1992 John Habling Chevy Camaro GT-1 43.491 sec R
1993 John Habling Chevy Camaro GT-1 43.919 sec
1994 John Habling Chevy Camaro GT-1 42.632 sec R
1995 Jerry Kieft The Bandit S2 44.308 sec
1996 John Habling Chevy Camaro GT-1 45.213 sec
1997 Ron Moreck Formula Reynard S3 43.320 sec
1998 Ron Moreck Formula Reynard S3 43.784 sec
1999 Ron Moreck Formula Reynard S3 43.259 sec
2000 Ron Moreck Formula Reynard S3 43.595 sec
2001 Ron Moreck Formula Reynard S3 39.914 sec R
2002 Ron Moreck Formula Reynard S3 40.865 sec
2003 Barry Griffith Swift Formula Continental 44.743 sec
2004 Mark Mashburn Chevy Camaro GT-1 44.309 sec
2005 Darryl Danko Swift Formula Atlantic 43.559 sec
2006 Darryl Danko Lola TB900 Special 3 39.000 sec R July 7–9.
2007 Darryl Danko Lola TB900 Special 3 38.360 sec R
2008 Darryl Danko Lola TB900 Special 3 40.047 sec
2009 Darryl Danko Lola TB900 Special 3 41.157 sec
2010 George Bowland BBR Shark 40.917 sec July 11/12.
2011
2012
2013 John Burke 1997 Reynard Champ Car 39.672 sec July 13/14.
2014 John Burke 1997 Reynard Champ Car 38.024 sec R July 12/13.

Key: R = Course Record.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://thetimes-tribune.com/sports/burke-sets-giants-despair-mark-1.1718880
  2. ^ a b "Giants Despair Hillclimb - Laurel Run, PA". Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d Nardone, Ralph (May 30, 2006). "Giant's Despair Hill Climb marks centennial". Northeast Business Journal (Northeast PA Business Journal). Archived from the original on 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  4. ^ The Patriot, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, June 2, 1909, Page 6.
  5. ^ a b Sports Car, S.C.C.A. magazine, Sept-Oct 1955, Page 27.
  6. ^ Dallas Morning News, July 21, 1956, Page 11.
  7. ^ http://pahillclimb.org/2014/09/john-burke-takes-giants-despair-record-from-darryl-danko/
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Hillclimb Association
  9. ^ Trenton Evening Times, May 11, 1906, Page 15; New York Times, May 11, 1906, Page 10.
  10. ^ New York Times, May 31, 1907, Page 10.
  11. ^ New York Times, May 31, 1908, Page S1.
  12. ^ New York Times, Jun 1, 1909, Page 11.
  13. ^ Chicago Daily Tribune, June 15, 1910, Page 12.
  14. ^ Chicago Daily Tribune, October 22, 1916, Page F9.
  15. ^ New York Times, May 12, 1951, Page 30.
  16. ^ National Newsletter, S.C.C.A., No.2, July 30, 1952. Coupled with Brynfan Tyddyn road races.
  17. ^ National Newsletter, S.C.C.A., No.7, July 31, 1953.
  18. ^ Sports Car, S.C.C.A. magazine, Sept-Oct 1954, Pages 14-16, 18-20, 22, 44; Road & Track, November 1954, Page 28. Coupled with Brynfan Tyddyn road races.
  19. ^ National Newsletter, S.C.C.A., No.25, August 10, 1956; Dallas Morning News, July 21, 1956, Part 1, Page 11.
  20. ^ New York Times, July 24, 1957, Page 22; Sports Car, S.C.C.A. magazine, Sept-Oct 1957, Pages 20-22.
  21. ^ New York Times, July 19, 1958, Page 10.
  22. ^ Competition Press, August 27, 1960, Page 3.
  23. ^ Road & Track's Competition Press, Vol.7-No.3, Aug 12, 1961, Page 1; Sports Car, S.C.C.A. magazine, Sept 1961, Page 35.
  24. ^ New York Times, July 29, 1962, Page 122.
  25. ^ Road & Track's Competition Press, Vol.11-No.3, Aug 17, 1963, Page 6. See also obit: Competition Press and Auto Week, Vol.11-No.3, Aug 22-Sep 11, 1964, Page 3.
  26. ^ Competition Press and Auto Week, Vol.11-No.3, Aug 22-Sep 11, 1964, Page 6.
  27. ^ Competition Press and Auto Week, Vol.15-No.4, Aug 28, 1965, Page 9.
  28. ^ Competition Press and Auto Week, Vol.18-No.33, Aug 31, 1968, Page 9.
  29. ^ Competition Press and Auto Week, Vol.19-No.33, Aug 30, 1969, Page 23.
  30. ^ For the story of Ray Caldwell, race car constructor, see: Competition Press and Auto Week, Vol.21-No.33, Aug 28, 1971, Page 5; Competition Press and Auto Week, Vol.21-No.34, Sep 4, 1971, Page 5.

External links[edit]