The closest description of the environment surrounding the hill climb’s history and it’s stories, is to equate it with the history of Moonshiner’s in the southeast of the Untied States. Many of the stories are passed down by word of mouth and are passed down from generation to generation. An outsider wouldn’t walk up to a moonshiner and asked about the family recipe and not expected to get shot. The same seems to go with the digging into the past of the second oldest race in the country, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
Making moonshine was and still is illegal . Staying away from “The Man”, a reference to law enforcement was vital part of survival in the illegal liquor business. If you talked about your business to the wrong folks and the word got back to “The Man” things could get bad for the moonshiners. In the old days of the hill climb race, it was much the same. Instead of “the man” to worry about you had the local race establishment or some times refereed to as “the board”. If you said the wrong thing about the race or did something outside of “their guidelines”, you could get blacklisted or shunned for the most part. The thrill of racing on the mountain is as addicting, as the sweet taste of moonshine. You do what you have to do, to keep “The Man’ from shutting you down.
A recent search on amazon.com has some enlightening statistics comparing books for sale on history subjects.
- Moonshine over 1000
- Indianapolis 500 503
- Pikes Peak Hill Climb 10
Some will say the results are slanted due to the “Hill Climb” being a niche market. My experience has shown there is a much larger demand for the history of the race then the number of books written. (Resale values of the few books have skyrocketed)
Whatever the underlining reason for the lack of books available, this site will still try and get as many stories of surviving cars and drivers out to the public and at no cost.
Unless, of course some time in the near future, the history of the PPHC happens to get “Outlawed”.
Thanks again for all of the folks coming back again and again to this site. The numbers just show there is a large demand for the history of America’s second oldest racing event. I will work harder at getting updated posts out on a more regular schedule.