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Sixties icon is hailed at historic hillclimb

It was the exotic symbol of the Swinging Sixties and this weekend the 50th birthday of the E-Type Jaguar will be celebrated at the historic Cultra hillclimb on the outskirts of Belfast.

Staged in the grounds of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, the event run by the Thoroughbred Sports Car Club, will also mark the 100th anniversary of the first running of the hillclimb in 1911.

Back then the fastest time was achieved by one of the most famous figures in the Ulster motor industry, Charles Hurst, who drove a Belfast-built Chambers car to victory.

A re-enactment of his winning run will be one of the features of Saturday’s event.

Taking centre stage, however, will be the E-Type Jaguar.

Working with the Jaguar Drivers and Jaguar Enthusiasts Clubs, the organisers have laid on a selection of classic Jaguar sports cars including five of the now much sought-after E-Types.

They will be on display at the recently re-furbished Cultra Manor where they will be joined by more than a dozen other rare Jaguars including a C-Type similar to one which won the Le Mans 24 hour race on its debut in 1951.

The event will also celebrate the 80th birthday of Holywood racing car constructor John Crossle by reuniting him with his 51 year old Mk3 design which he drove to victory on its debut at Kirkistown in April 1960.

The restored car, now an exhibit at the Transport Museum, will be joined by a time-line display of some of the greatest cars designed and built by Crossle at his nearby factory in the Holywood hills.

There will be a competitive element to the day, too, with historic and modern cars competing over the half-mile course which climbs through the scenic folk park just off the main Belfast-Bangor road at Holywood.

Belfast Telegraph