The 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb took place from May 6 to 8 and there were several awe-inspiring machines that bolted up the hill. We take a closer look at five of the coolest cars that featured at this year’s event…
When we attended the event in Knysna, we witnessed adrenaline-fuelled racing and among all the high-powered machinery on display, Cars.co.za's road test editor, Ashley Oldfield, was behind the wheel of his Jaguar XE 25t R-Sport, which he piloted to victory in the Media Challenge as well as achieving a third-in-class finish. Although Ashely’s performance was impressive, there were other extraordinary cars blasting up the fabled Simola Hill...
Here is our choice of the five coolest cars at the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb.
1. 1972 Chevron B26
This 1972 Chevron B26, driven by Franco Scribante, was the star of the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb. Scribante set a new Simola Hillclimb record of 38.646 sec to win the King Of The Hill Shootout. The feat was made that much more momentous after the Chevron’s suspension failed during Scribante’s fourth qualifying run, but his team managed to repair the car in time for the record-breaking run. The Chevron B26 was one of the loudest cars in the pits and it wowed spectators with its blistering acceleration off the start line. Scribante also claimed his second Classic Conqueror title on Classic Car Friday in his 1970 Chevron B19, taking a double-scoop win at this year’s event.
2. 1989 Formula One Dallara 189
The Dallara, driven by André Bezuidenhout, made its debut this year as the first F1 car to navigate the 1.9-kilometre course. The Dallara posed a serious threat, qualifying for the Top 10 shootout with a time of 39.781 seconds. Things quickly turned sour for Bezuidenhout in his fifth qualifying round when his crankshaft failed, abruptly ending his campaign. Nonetheless, the Dallara was spectacular to watch and is expected to return to the event next year.
3. Jaguar Project 7
The Jaguar Project 7 made a brief appearance at the 2016 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb. It's a limited edition model developed by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) and the roadster pays tribute to the iconic D-Type and Jaguar’s seven historical wins at the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race. Power comes courtesy of a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine delivering 423 kW and 680 Nm of torque. With a global production of 250 units, only five Project 7s have been allocated to South Africa, making it a rare and highly sought-after vehicle.
4. 1993 Dezzi Nissan GT-R R32
The 1993 Dezzi Nissan GT-R R32 driven by 2015 King of the Hill champion, Desmond Gutzeit, was a major highlight at this year’s event. The powerful Nissan GT-R, with at least 1 118 kW on tap, put on a mighty performance in the Top 10 shootout with an impressive time of 40.324 seconds. Despite this, Gutzeit’s efforts were not enough to beat the Chevron B26 driven by Franco Scribante. Gutziet claimed an honourable second place and the 1993 Nissan GT-R R32 remains as one of crowd favourites at the event. Better luck next time, Dezzi!
5. Lamborghini Aventador V12
The Lamborghini Aventador, driven by Colin Cary, delivered a fine show of power and speed. With its 6.5-litre V12 engine producing lofty outputs of 515 kW and 690 Nm of torque, the Aventador was lightning-fast off the line. Although the Aventador put on a good performance for spectators in the King of the Hill Supercar Shootout, it was no match for the factory-backed Nissan GT-R driven by Jaki Scheckter, posting a winning time of 43.591 seconds.