On the weekend of May 27-28, 2017, the tenth annual pageant of French motoring excellence — La Vie en Bleu — will take place at Prescott Hill Climb, Gotherington in Gloucestershire, home of the Bugatti Owners’ Club. This spectacular two-day event has always been a favorite on the motoring calendar, and this year should be no exception. Last year, “La Vito Rossa” was introduced to celebrate everything Italian as well.
This year’s Prescott Hill Climb will once again provide a celebration of fine French and Italian automobiles, themed entertainment, musicians, dancers, actors and trade stalls. The first car will take to the track at approximately 8:30 a.m. both days, with the scheduled finish time around 5:30 p.m.
The event will feature further French and Italian content on the track with special competition classes available for marques from those two countries. A round of the Ferrari Hillclimb Championship will be staged on the Saturday. Fans of British cars will also be well served with a special class for ERA cars. There will also be non-competitive runs by a LaFerrari and a Bugatti Veyron, plus the new Bugatti Chiron may make an appearance.
Another treat for visitors to Prescott will be an appearance by the “Beast of Turin” (above, photo by Pete Michaluk). The fabled Fiat S76 known by that name is the one surviving example of a pair of land speed record contenders the Italian automaker built before WWI. It was built in 1910 with the express intention of beating the existing record, held at the time by Mercedes’ Blitzen-Benz. Its 28.5-liter engine was capable of providing an impressive 300bhp — sufficient to propel the car to 116 mph, and a one-mile land speed record in 1911.
At war’s end, Fiat dismantled one of the two impressive machines to prevent rival manufacturers from obtaining its technical secrets, while the other was purchased by Russian aristocrat Boris Soukhanov. In 2003, engineer, enthusiast and current owner Duncan Pittaway discovered the remains of one chassis in Australia, and eventually united it with the surviving S76 engine from the other car. Duncan will be firing up the Beast to compete during the weekend.
As Nick Mason, the drummer from Pink Floyd and avid car collector said, “The event is quintessentially British — a mini Goodwood Festival of Speed set in the glorious Cotswolds. It’s a club motor sport at its best, where visitors can mingle with the cars, speak to the drivers and watch rare historic vehicles to modern day supercars being pushed to their limits.”
Advance tickets are now available on the Prescott Hill Climb online shop for £15 for a day (£20 on the day) or £25 for the weekend (£35 on the day). Ticket prices include parking and full access to all the public areas including the paddock. Children 14 years of age and under will be admitted free of charge. For all the up-to-date information please visit www.prescott-hillclimb.com