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Speed Hill Climb

It is with great pleasure that the VHRA are returning to Prescott Hill for the 10th annual running of GOW!, over the August Bank Holiday in 2023. This event is open exclusively to members of the VHRA and their invited guests. With the famous hill at the home of the Bugatti Owners Club only being available to VHRA member’s vehicles, it means that it’s non-stop hot rod action from the moment the track opens, until the very last second, when the final car makes its assent.


GOW! is the time for those owners within the ranks of the the VHRA to test their cars capabilities on the bends, and there’s better place to be doing it than on Prescott Hill. Set in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds, this historic racetrack has been a home to motorsport since 1937 and is still as exciting today as it was 80 years ago. Along its 1,128 yards, the track has twists, turns, hairpins and blind bends that seem to drop to infinity. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted!


Saturday is the day the cars take to the hill, and it’s an early start for when the first car is waved off, charging under the bridge into the long left hander that is Orchard Corner. Make sure you’re there on time, we wouldn’t want you to miss a moment of the action on those famous curves. To help add to the fun, passengers can be carried and there is no limit to the number of runs you can have.


Our latest report can be found here.

Evening entertainment

On Friday and Saturday evenings we’ll be having a have a bit of a do in the BOC clubhouse, with our resident DJ, Little Carl, playing from his big box of original 45s. 

On Saturday night we have a special treat, especially for our tenth anniversary. Appearing live in the clubhouse will be CASH, an exciting and unforgettable tribute to the man in black himself, Johnny Cash. We'll be treated to a couple of sets ranging from the early days of the Sun recordings through to his time on stage with June Carter Cash. It's a not to be missed gig just for those attending GOW!.

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Bugatti Trust

The doors of the Bugatti Trust will be thrown open on Saturday, exclusively to GOW! attendees, with free entry to boot. For 2023 , the Bugatti Trust are celebrating their 30th anniversary, which was postponed by the pandemic, so they are pulling out all the stops for a fantastic display. 


Catering is handled on-site, with food and drink available for the duration of the event from Friday afternoon through to Sunday morning. The bar is in the capable hands of the Prescott Brewery, serving aptly named ales such as Hill Climb and Chequered Flag.

Booking Conditions

GOW! is open exclusively to Vintage Hot Rod Association members and their guests only. Pre-entry is advised due to limited places on the hill. Bookings can be made online below. If you book in your hot rod for a hill pass, you get as much track time as you can squeeze in on the Saturday. Competing and VHRA member's cars will have access to the Paddock. Other in period vehicles up to 1963 will have allocated parking in the Orchard. All vehicles outside of this criteria will have to be parked in a separate area. No refunds on any tickets if you do not attend. If VHRA membership is allowed to lapse before the event, all tickets will become invalid. Sorry, no dogs as this is a motor racing venue. Full details of entry and rules & regulations are on this page. 

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Pre-entry is £66 per person, or it’s £72 on the gate. Pre-entry closes midday 21st August 2023. Early booking is advised, as the earlier the booking, the closer you'll be to the front of the queue on race day and hill passes are limited. No day passes, only weekend tickets are available and the price includes camping and evening entertainment, as well as time on the hill. Lead name must be a VHRA member. If you are taking your car on the hill, you need to book a ticket that includes a hill pass. If you want to transfer a hill pass to another member, you must advise the VHRA of the change not less than one week before the event. Non-competing members and/or guests should book a regular entry ticket. A maximum of six adult tickets are permitted per member, children under 16 do not count in this total, have free entry and no ticket is needed, ID may be required. Tickets must be exchanged for wristbands on arrival. Wristbands are non-transferable.

Competing Car Details

The hill will be open on Saturday from 10am to 1pm and again from 2pm till 4pm. Time on the hill is only available to VHRA members and their vehicles that are VHRA eligible. Cars outside of the VHRA remit will not be permitted to race. Only one car per member is allowed. Cars may be subject to a safety inspection. Please note that runs will not be officially timed. Passengers are allowed and helmets and and seat belts are not required. Children may be carried but must wear the appropriate harness. Children under 16 years of age less than 135cm tall cannot be carried in an open car. Prescott rules specify road legal vehicles only. A decibel meter will be in place, cars exceeding 107db will not be able to run. Any number of drivers are allowed per vehicle. All drivers must hold a valid driving licence. All drivers and passengers, including children, must complete an application for a Motorsport UK Clubman Licence, sign on with the Bugatti Owner's Club and read the briefing prior to going on the hill. Please apply your membership number to you vehicle in some way. This can be more discreet than what we ask for Pendine, so in a window, or a small number on the cowl, boot or bonnet will suffice. Full details of signing on will be emailed to entrants nearer the event. 


Our thanks go to the sponsors of the event, click on their logo’s below to find out a little more about them.



Press applications must be made in writing by email to Requests by social media will not be accepted. When getting in touch, let us have a link to your website and details of your media credentials. This is a private event and we only accept a very limited number of press applications. Priority will go to those in the national and international motoring and vintage lifestyle press that will best represent the VHRA. Any form of recording or photography for commercial purposes requires the formal consent of the VHRA for which there may be a fee payable. Press applications come to a close on 1st August 2023.

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2022 GOW!
Speed Hill Climb


This was the Vintage Hot Rod Association’s ninth time at Prescott Hill to run GOW!, and we were just as excited this time as we were the first time round. Pre-bookings had as good as filled the card for hill passes, so we knew we were on for a corker of an event.


GOW! now follows a tried and trusted format, with the East Coast Sidewinder arriving ahead of the masses, so that they are able to set up in readiness for Friday arrivals. The entry gate to the Orchard is manned from early morning into the late hours, and a lot of fun is had greeting friends old and new and getting the first look at the hot rods and customs as they arrive. At the same time as the meet and greet, the VHRA set up shop in the Paddock office, selling event T shirts designed by our resident artist, Jacqueline Davies. These proved incredibly popular and apart from a few men’s large T shirts were sold out by the end of trading on Friday. Because of this, we are doing an addition run, of which you can pre-order from our Store. We also had a small batch of GOW! pint glasses, engraved and supplied by Simon Richens. He asked we donate funds raised to a charity, suggesting a young man who goes by the pseudonym of Background Bob, with whom Jacqueline has recently collaborated with. Check out @background_bob on Instagram to find out what it’s all about. As soon as the glasses hit the table they were sold, so thank you to everyone that bought one, and of course Simon for coming up with the idea.


Saturday morning rolled around, and the first onsite movement is from the arriving BOC staff, including the marshals in orange, who often tell us that thesis their favourite event at Prescott. They love the low-key nature of the event, and tell us a finer bunch of people couldn’t be found than those in the VHRA. Not bad for a bunch of hot rod hoodlums! Signing on takes a different format to the early days of GOW!, when a line snaking around the Paddock waited patiently for the days briefing. Everything is now done online, along with applications for a Motorsport UK RS Clubman licence, so everyone is fully briefed and aware of how things work before arrival. This is backed up with a refresher from the clerk of the course before the hill opens at 10am. All entrants listened intently, eagerly waiting the clock to strike ten, so that they could make their assault on the hill. When the time came, Dougie Brennan found himself at the head of the line, and was waved to the start line by the ever attentive marshals. Joined by VHRA frontman, Neil Fretwell, they were then left with a half hour wait before getting off the line. Some unexpected debris on the track needed to be cleared, then a bonfire self ignited, which led to smoke drifts across the track. Finally, at 10.30, with everything clear on the hill, Dougie was given the green light, and he made a storming run up the hill in his 1934 three window coupe. With the late start, it was decided that fifteen minutes would be added to each session, shortening the marshal’s lunch break, and adding a quarter of an hour onto the end of the day. 

What followed Dougie’s run is now written into GOW! folklore. More than a hundred of the finest hot rods and customs, blasting up Prescott Hill’s 1127 yards of twists, turns, hairpins and climbs, all filled to the brim with drivers and passengers baying for more. Due to the semi-private nature of the event, the Paddock atmosphere is both relaxed and excitable at the same time. If a spare seat is spotted, it’s quickly filled, and strangers become friends in a short while as the anticipation of running the hill builds. There were a number of

first-timers on the hill, of particular note was Mark Roberts in his fifties built blown A-V8 roadster, who could be seen lapping the paddock and hill as fast as the queue would allow him. Another newcomer to GOW! was the neat little T speedster belonging to Graeme Hardy, which gets it motivation from a Model T engine that has a Scat crank and domed high top pistons, amongst a myriad of other modifications. A veteran of VHRA events, Dave Brock, brought along his recently finished 36 coupe for its VHRA debut. This car picked up Best in Show at the recent Hot Rod Hayride, and as it slinked into the pits, it was obvious what all the fuss is about, the finish is impeccable and it’s arguably the finest custom in the VHRA ranks. The icing on the cake was Dave running the car up the hill, even to the point he broke it! It was flooding carbs, so nothing too serious, but cars are meant for driving, and that’s certainly what Dave was doing. Equally, there were some familiar faces and cars in the Paddock, along with Dougie’s aforementioned 34, there were numerous cars that were a blast from the past, not limited to; John Blackmore’s Chevy powered 32 roadster, John Wicks’ straight six T, Chris Rawlins ever present 32 phaeton, and Kenny Brookes’ 32 coupe, resplendent with its blue and white livery, harking back to the the time he and his fellow Flyers painted their cars in club colours back in 1988.

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Lunch came and went, and during the quiet, many members took the opportunity to visit the neighbouring Bugatti Trust to take a look at the incredible Bugatti Atlantic on display as part of Jean Bugatti celebrations. A special mention of thanks at this point to David Morys, the Trust's Senior Archivist, who kindly donated a pair of 1:24 scale Model A Coupes to be raffled. It was decided to stick with Background Bob for the charity drive, so once again, thanks David to everyone that bought a ticket.


The afternoon session kicked off at 2pm, and was a little more relaxed than the morning rush. That’s not to say people weren’t queuing round the block, so the hill never had a moment to fall silent until racing ended. There was lots of action, but very few spills, and only minor spinouts to delay things. The most undramatic of all was when Steve Read’s Model T decided to put out its back end on Ettore’s. The newly orange painted competition roadster gracefully swung round, no doubt aided by its long wheelbase and a little too much right foot from Steve. We continued until it was 4.15pm, at which time the hill gate finally swung shut, sadly in front of a few expectant drivers, but close it must as there is a strict curfew at Prescott. 


Prize giving followed in quick succession, with the raffle for the scale Model As being drawn first. First out of the hat was a young lad by the name of Connor who was there in his dad’s Model A coupe. We have it on good authority the prize now has pride of place in his room as he dreams of owning a hot rod of his own. The second one went to Mark Roberts, an older kid going by the handsome beard he was sporting!


When it comes to the car of GOW!, it’s voted on by the attending Sidewinders, who simply pick the car that has been a stand out for them. Cars are proposed, discussed and then whittled down to three, with two taking equal second place and then the top spot for Car of GOW!. never have three cars been so swiftly nominated and settled upon. The first runner up was Dougie Brennan’s 34 coupe. A car that has been around since the days of the Low Flyers when it was put together by Andy Collins. Dougie has owned the car since the early nineties, keeping the look Andy created, all the whilst thrashing it back and forth from Scotland for events all over the UK. Second up was Steve Read’s Model T. This car debuted at Pendine this year, where it ran an incredible 114.26 mph, giving him the third best speed of the meet. He has since painted it orange, just in case you didn’t notice it before, but it’s the sheer audacity of driving a completion roadster on the street that makes it all the more impressive. Finally, our car of GOW! was decided on in the first five seconds of the Sidewinders getting their heads together. It had to be Dave Brock’s 36 coupe all the way. This era correct custom has all the right touches on the outside, plus it no slouch with its hopped up flathead under the hood. Well done to all, and thanks to our sponsors Stromberg, Men’s File, Retrophoto and Classic Metal Shaping for the prizes and trophy.


Closing out the report is our list of thanks. To the previously mentioned sponsors, plus Jacquline Davies for the event artwork, and the East Coast Sidewinders for their tireless efforts in making sure the event runs smoothly. To the Bugatti Owners Club staff and marshals for letting us use their hill and looking after us whilst we do, plus extra thanks for their kind words about how much you enjoy hosting us. One for Neal Reed, at Retrophoto for the images on this page, and finally one for Ella Mae Walker for the picture of Dave Brock’s coupe, as it was just a little too quick for Neal’s lens!


GOW! 2023 will be our tenth running of the event and will be taking place over the August bank holiday as always. We hope you can join us to celebrate the big occasion.


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