There’s surely no better way to honour the memory of a racing figure than to restore his most famous cars and demonstrate them at major events.
That’s just what brothers Andrew and Stephen Hepworth have done to celebrate their father, David, who died in 1992 at the age of 52. And they’re doing it in style with, notably, his one-off Hepworth FF hillclimb car and his mighty BRM P154 Can-Am sports car.
In June 1971, David carved himself a place in hillclimbing history by becoming the first driver to complete Shelsley Walsh in less than 30 seconds. It was a fearless 29.92sec ascent in the brutish 5.0-litre Chevrolet V8-powered Hepworth, which was effectively a Formula 5000 car with Ferguson four-wheel drive.
David’s passion for big-engined cars was obvious from the start, as one of his early competition cars was an Austin-Healey with a Chevrolet unit shoehorned into the front.
The self-conceived FF single-seater took the Yorkshireman to the British Hillclimb Championship title in 1969 and 1971 before he switched to racing the BRM machine.
Half a century later, Andrew took the single-seater back to the famous 1000-yard climb to run it at the Classic Nostalgia event. He had no intention of trying to emulate his dad’s sub-30-second climb, but he did thrill a bumper crowd by making a lot of noise going up the hill and coming back down.