A YouTuber is celebrating hill climb racing, one of the oldest forms of motorsport in the world, with a 17-minute video of race-bred machines making short work of hairpin turns. Turn up the sound; there’s over a quarter of an hour of purpose-built engines revving to the limit. You can almost catch a whiff of burnt rubber just by watching a short segment of it.
Most of the videos were shot in Italy, a nation famous for its unconstrained need for speed and for its mountainous terrain. It’s the perfect breeding ground for generations of espresso-fueled hill climb racers.
The footage zeroes in on valuable, rarely seen machines like the original Audi Quattro, a coupe developed specifically to participate in Group B rally events during the 1980s. If you’re not familiar with Group B, imagine today’s rally cars put on a strict diet of steroids, energy drinks, and speed.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and the Subaru Impreza WRX STI are common sights at hill climbs because they come ready to race straight out of the box, and their tuning potential is huge. The Lancia Delta Integrale — the predecessor to today’s crop of all-wheel drive hot hatches — is prominently displayed on several occasions during the flick.
Other highlights from the video include an awesome Porsche 911 RSR and a mean-looking Ferrari 550 GT1. Not many of each were built, and a few have already been crashed, so the remaining examples are usually tucked away in heated garages and taken out for the occasional cars and coffee gathering. Not in Italy. People race them, which is even braver than it sounds. What happens during a hill climb race doesn’t stay there; it goes home with you on the back of a trailer regardless of how badly bent it is.
Contrary to what the video suggests, you don’t need a high-end car to compete in a hill climb event in Italy. The races are typically divided into several categories, and they’re open to anything from a Peugeot 106 to a McLaren F1. But, the faster, high-end stuff that’s expensive to fix when it breaks is undeniably more interesting to watch.