And hey, I’m talking really high… 14,110 feet to be exact. As a matter of fact I have already begun training for it. Last week when Gary was here visiting Aaron and I took him for a quick spin around San Francisco. It was while I was stopped so Gary could snap off some photos in the middle of the very steep Lombard Street better known as the crookedest street in the world that I began thinking, “Hmmm, I haven’t done Pikes Peak yet.”
The world famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb had not run vintage race cars in many years until last year and even though I was invited sadly I was unable to attend. This year that is not the case. It was simple… There is Pikes Peak, the ultimate hill climb that I have spent a lifetime of watching drivers race up to the clouds. Some of my fondest memories of my father include him and myself glued to a TV set watching as some of the biggest names in racing gave it their all.
Racing in the La Carrera Panamericana is one of the toughest races in the world for a driver but even harder for an engine builder and engine when you consider the amount of horsepower lost at the altitudes found there. But when it comes to altitude La Carrera Panamericana simply has to be considered child’s play when compared to Pikes Peak considering it starts out at 9,390 feet and then rises up to 14,110 feet. The good news is, the course is only 12.42 miles long. The bad news is it has 156 hairpin turns, 6 miles of which are paved and the restÃ‚Â are gravel. Last years event was blessed by beautiful summer weather but it is not at all unheard of to start out in 85 degree temps and on the way up to run into rain, fog or snow. To make it just a little more interesting the grade of the road is 10.5 percent.