Pikes Peak Hill Climb programs over the years.

1916 Pikes Peak Hill Climb program

In the beginning .

The first “Pikes Peak National Hill Climbing Contest” program was really spectacular  for its time.  Thirty two pages in full, with classic ads throughout. Name brands like, Cadillac, Packard, Marmon, Excelsior Autocycles, White Motor Company, Gargoyle Gasoline and many more. Luckily the PPIHC organization reprinted this program during the 100th anniversary in 2016. It is a must have souvenir program even as a reprint. One bit of trivia from the program, is the Broadmoor Hotel advertisement. The actual construction wasn’t completed when the program was printed and the drawing of the Hotel placed in the ad was for a  different design then what finally got approved and built.

The 1920s and 30s

No race from 1917-1919. When racing resumed after World War I in 1920, the program was reduced to a four page handout for the remainder of the 1920’s. Not many of the folded paper versions of the program have survived.

The 1925 PPHC program hand out.
1925 Pikes Peak Hill Climb program 4 page handout.

In 1935 once the original contract for ownership use of the road was completed, no one picked up a new contract. The wasnt a race in 1935. The local VFW (Veteras of Foreign Wars) picked up the sponsorship for the hill climb race in 1936 up until the race stopped in 1941 for WW2.  The format was more like a traditional program with a thicker cover type with more pages (6-8 pages).

1936 Pikes Peak Hill Climb program.
PPHC 1938 program

1940s

The paper handout style was used one last time in 1940. The first use of color since 1916 appeared on the cover in 1941.

missing 1946 program cover image please help

The 1950’s

The use of photography, graphics and color would signify the programs of the 1950’s. The “Princess Power” contest ladies made the cover in 1954 and the Dodge Pace Car made the cover in 1955. The first full color race car photograph cover was in 1956. (Keith Andrews). The famous PPHC fish logo, made the cover in 1957 and stayed for the last three years !

The 1960’s

The cover graphics got a little boring in the early sixties with the fish logo theme, but the wonderful cover photograph covers from 1966 and on would make up for it.

The 1970’s.

In addition to the use of photographs on the covers, several years, the covers would receive an artist touch. Note worthy covers were , Peter Helck in 1973, and Leonard Wheatley in 1977 and 1978.  Buick Pace Cars made the cover in both 1975 and 76 and the only dune buggy to ever appear on the cover was in 1971.  Artist H. Gene Yancey would finish off the decade with the cover art in 1979, including drawings inside the program of Rick Mears and the PPHC flagman Art Walsh.

The 1980’s.

What can you say about the 80’s ?? Graphics would take over most of the cover designs. Buick would once again have a Pace Car on the cover (1981), except the Indy 500 targa top pace car on the cover wasn’t used at Pikes Peak, but a more subdued T-Top car was used. Artist H. Gene Yancey did the wonderful cover in 1980. Modern computer art made the cover in 1982. There was an art contest done for the 1984 cover and the winner was Lori Pate of Littleton Colorado with her colorful tire tread design. The 1988 cover illustration was done by automotive airbrush artist Mark Westfall. My personal favorite, in the 1980s, was the 1989 cover with a Newman-Dreager open wheel race car artwork. Chevrolet provided limited edition posters to it’s dealership with that image in 1989 to celebrate some of the greatest Chevrolet wins at Pikes Peak. ( PPHC fans will notice that the car on the cover,is actually going downhill at that location on the course.)

The 1990s.

Race cars and photographs would take the majority of the covers in the 1990’s. Bill Brister in his Wells Coyote took the cover in 1990 starting the decade off with a bang. The cover artwork in 1992 was by Jim Swintal and was also used for posters that year. Those marvelous posters have become a much desired PPHC collectible.  Besides the drawing in 1971, the cover in 1994, was the first year for a motorcycle photo to make the program cover. Likewise the first semi-truck made the cover, ( Kenworth driven by Glenn Brown) in 1998. The program from the “75th Running of the Race to the Clouds” in 1997 is also a much sot after collectible for hill climb fans.

PPHC Programs available for viewing !

The Pikes Peak Library District Special Collections department has 31 programs available for the public veiwing. You can’t check them out but they have a great room to read them in and the folks are great to work with. Here is the list of what years they have and contact info.

https://pikp.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/PPLD/search/results?qu=pikes+peak+hill+climb&te=

The Pioneers Museum in Colorado Springs also has around 20 programs that the Library doesn’t have. A little harder to get access too but available by appointment only. Contact info below:

Welcome to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Did you like this blog post ?

Hope you enjoyed seeing the many years of Pikes Peak Hill Climb program covers. (If you have a picture of the 1946 program cover please contact me)

What other items from the race are you interested in besides the race cars and drivers? Posters, diecast, books, clothing etc……?

If there are enough folks responding to this post, there could be additional posts of  PPHC memorabilia in the future.  There is a bunch of stuff out there, but getting harder to find as the years go on.

Thanks for checking out the blog.  Nice to see many of you folks coming back time and time again!

The Pikes Peak Snow Run

When did it start ?

The Pikes Peak Snow run was an annual event to race a group of motorcycles from Glen Cove up to the summit of Pikes Peak on New Years Day. Some say it all started as a bar bet, in Manitou Springs in the 1920’s .  How many other great ideas have started from a few adult beverages, many is my guess. For the Pikes Peak Snow Run the question was, could you take a motorcycle all the way to the top, in the dead of winter and  who can do it the fastest?  (Crazy  wasn’t it ! )

In the early years it was done on New Year’s Eve and later changed to New Year’s day. The start of the race would be at Glen Cove seven miles from the summit of Pikes Peak. The local motorcycle clubs would run the show and try keep track of the riders. There can be several weather patterns on Pikes Peak at any given time.  Snow at Glen Cove, fog at Devils Playground and sunny at the summit and all those above switched around and mixed up to include, wind, rain, sleet, hail and perhaps a little sunshine.

Harry’s Roamers M.C. 

The Harry’s Roamers Motorcycle Club of Denver was the driving force behind the run in the early years before WW2. The earliest written article that I have been able to find  about the race comes from” The Motorcyclist” magazine in 1938.

From’ The Motorcyclist” magazine 1938

Some years all the bikes would make it to the top,  some years  only one or two and some years the mountain would win. In the beginning the number of bikes was low from a few to perhaps as many as twenty or thirty.

From “The Motorcyclist” magazine 1940

After WW2  it seems different motorcycle clubs carried the weight of the race. The Pikes Peak Comets and the Dusters M.C. are mentioned the most.

Those who make it and those who don’t.

Most of the motorcycles were stock and the regular transportation of the riders. The event was more about the fun then the actual racing.  Local newspaper accounts are hard to come by. The Snow Run competed with the College Football Bowl game results for column space the following day. Even results from the motorcycle magazines from the day are limited. By the 1950’s this was a big event with up to a 100 riders plus,. Still considered for the most part a local event with racers nearby showing up to test themselves against mother nature and the mountain.

Pikes Peak Snow Run trophy 1955 Best Sportsmanship Ray Koch

Classes were broken up my engine size with professionals and  amateurs classes

Every bike imaginable competed, Harley-Davidson, Indian, Triumph, BSA, etc..  The history of the motorcycle unfolded right there on Pikes Peak for the 50 years the Snow Run was allowed.

Mass starts in the 70s

As the road got better and many families were on the second generation of riders at the Snow Run, the class sizes increased dramatically .

Robert Talbot #44 in the lower center in 1971

Robert Talbot raced this iconic race in the 1970’s and has a replica of his  !971 Yamaha Snow Run bike at his museum in Camel California.

http://www.mototalbott.com/

The race would go from calm to chaos in the first few hundred feet.

Above three pictures are from the 1975 Pikes Peak Snow Run start line at Glen Cove

Coming to it’s end

By the 1980’s the race was getting to be a handful to control. Plenty of people wanting to ride but not many to help setup and control the race. The huge elephant in the room was working with the City of Colorado Springs who owned the road and Forest Department.  The end was near.

Event poster for the 1981 Snow Run

The poster says it all !!

Not for the Rose parade on TV types-for the riders with enough grit to prepare for the cold and wanting a treasured experience.

The last record I have of the race comes from the Gazette Telegraph newspaper in 1982.  Richard Dostal of Layfette Colorado, B.Theil,  King of Denver, Blake of Colorado Springs and Brewer of Lakewood were all winners. Yes, even when results were given it was tough to figure it out. (You try getting times at 14,000 feet and 30 below temps with winds of 30mph plus)

The race had run it’s course, starting out as a drunken bet and running for 50 years, the Pikes Peak Snow Run had changed the lives of the thousands of racers that had the gall to take a motorcycle in the dead of winter to the top of a  mountain.

If you have additional pictures or stories from the Pikes Peak Snow Run, please contact me. Over time I hope to update this post with a more complete story.