Virginia City Hill Climb
Most challenging and fastest Father's Day weekend destination
The Virginia City Hill Climb in Nevada's historic mining town will always be the most rip-roaring and exhilirating Father's Day road racing experience in my husband's life. Where else in the world can a truck route be blocked off for the open-track weekend by the local law enforcement so that 70 high-horsepowered cool cars can be turned loose every 60 seconds on a 5 1/2 mile stretch of paved road with 21 turns and a 1216-foot rise in elevation to see how fast they can complete the hill in record time. It is a solo race against the clock.
All photos belong to me (Bakerwoman) and on Flickr as jennysh_who.
What is the Virginia City Hill Climb? - Rip-roaring open-track weekend
The Virginia City Hill Climb is an annual car event co-sponsored by the Ferrari Club of America Pacific Region and the Northern California Shelby club. The club rents a stretch of the Nevada State Highway for the open-track weekend which is blocked by the local law enforcement for club members' use only. Hill climbs have a long tradition going back to the early days of motoring competition.
Highway 341 North from SIlver City to Virginia City is the 5.5 miles of paved road with 21 turns and 1216-ft elevation that makes up the hill climb. Shelbys and Ferrari 360, 355, 430, Spyder, Testarossa, Daytona in reds, whites, blues, and yellow zigzag on both lanes to see who gets to the top of the hill in record time. Highway 342 is the return route for cars that have completed the run up the hill and drivers will have to drive with caution as this becomes a public highway again.
Horsepower, handling, age and condition of the car are only some factors that can get one as the King of the Hill. And what kind of prize does the fastest driver get? A trophy, and for the honorable mentions, smaller trophies; and for those that were lagging behind, bragging rights.
The drive is not always smooth as there may be mechanical failures, blown engines, going offroad on some of the blind bends, to name a few. The local sheriffs, fire truck, ambulance and paramedics are at hand to deal with occasional mishaps.
Highway 341 is the same truck route that was used to haul ore during the gold and silver rushes of the 1850s which made Virginia City the riches spot on earth. It is also referred to locally by the Nevada Department of Transportation as the Comstock HIghway.
Early birds get the best parking spots
The early birds parked their Ferrari "prancing horses" while waiting for the arrival of 50-70 more cars. It is not surprising that all were red, except for our silver car. As you can see from the picture, this highly social weekend has all the conveniences available for the participants.
Racers were separated into groups as indicated by the sticker on the side of the car. Our car belonged to Group C. All drivers took their turns as volunteers aside from completing the hill climb. The flag men were stationed at the beginning and end of the course, and corner workers communicated any spinouts, crashes, engine problems with their walkie talkies. It was teamwork and good-natured rivalry at their best.
Our car did not go "braless" - Some cars chose to go "topless"
More drivers showed up with their cool cars and spent time exchanging stories about their past hill climb experiences. Every hill climb event has its own unique ups and downs, literally. One driver was saved by a tree; there are only 3 guardrails along the hill climb course. Like every sport event, there is a lot of risk-taking involved.
My husband made sure his 360 Modena F1 was not "braless" to keep rocks from dinging the car when going at high speed. Unfortunately, that did not prevent the car from spinning around 1 1/2 turns.
Gentlemen, start your engines - Cars get in line
Gentlemen, start your engines!! The race begins and every 60 seconds, a high-performance Ferrari, vibrant in red, fly yellow, blue or silver grey tears down the highway with a familiar loud hum on its way to the top of the hill. This is where high horsepower, driving skill, and ability to accelerate to the high elevation (1216-ft) in the shortest amount of time along a 5.5 mile course becomes a challenge.
Red Ferrari 355 Spyder
H ere we see a red Ferrari 355 Spyder let loose and zigzagging with wild abandon up the Hill Climb route at full throttle. You can smell the hot oil and rubber. Three-quarter of the way is an uphill climb to 1,216-ft elevation with 21 turns and a few straight routes and the last quarter of the course is mostly flat. The fastest time up the hill was 3:10 by a Ferrari F40. My husband was at 3:56 in his 360 modena F1 and received a gag prize.
Where else would you get a thumbs up from a Sheriff for speeding up the hill?
Experience the sights and sounds of the Virginia City Hill Climb - Turn on your volume
Nothing sounds so distinctive as the hum of a high-horsepowered car engine. As most car nuts would say, the engine is music to their ears. Here are excellent videos of the Virginia Hill Climb with Ferraris and Shelbys making the rounds. Some of them have a videocam inside the race car so you can vicariously experience the exhiliration and excitement of the Hill Climb, 21 turns, screeching tires and all.
Virginia City holds a special place in history of the West and America - A unique place to take dad on Father's Day
You do not have to be a car club member to enjoy Virginia City. There is more to Virginia City than meets the eye. The great author, Samuel Clemens became Mark Twain in Virginia City; grubby prospectors became instant millionaries because of the Comstock Lode of the gold and silver rushes of the 1850s; the tv series Bonanza brought back to life a declining city. The Old West with its historic buildings and saloons are still preserved as they were during the bonanza years. Take the mine tours and visit the museum and shops.
- Virginia City History
Virginia City holds a special place in the history of the West and America. The first truly industrial city in the West began in the late 1850s. Gold was found at the Deadhead of Six-Mile Canyon in 1859 by two miners named Pat McLaughlin and Peter O
- Virginia City, Nevada - Official Site for Hotels, Restaurants, Museums, Attractions, Events, History
Official Virginia City, Nevada tourism information for hotels, restaurants, museums, attractions, events, and history by The Virginia City Convention & Tourism Authority.
- Virginia City, Nevada Pictures - Virginia City National Historic Landmark, Comstock Lode, Nevada
Virginia City is a place right out of the Old West. Visitors will find intact many of the places that made it one of the richest spots on Earth during its late 1800s heyday. You can stroll the wooden sidewalks, have a drink in a saloon, learn the his
- Virginia City - Nevada Ghost Town
Virginia City is the best known of the early Nevada mining towns. This is where it all began.
- Virginia City Nevada - Comstock Lode Silver Strike
Virginia City is one of the oldest established cities in Nevada. Like many cities and towns in the state, Virginia City was a mining boomtown; in fact it is one of the most famous boomtowns in the Old West as it virtually appeared overnight...
Books and DVDs about the rich history of Virginia CIty - The Old West and Boomtown and hill climb cars
Virginia CIty is rich with history of the old mines which made it the riches spot on earth during the gold and silver boom of th 1850s. The Old West with its wooden sidewalks, buildings, saloons and even bawdy houses were part of what made Virginia City a boomtown where prospectors from all over the world came here and made it rich. Even the TV series Bonanza has a fictional Ponderosa Ranch near Virginia City which made this once thriving and raucous town come back to life.
An excellent book that brings to life the boom and bust of the Comstock Lode that made Virginia City the richest spot on earth during gold and silver rush of the 1850s.
This book will will hold your interest from beginning till end.
Archaeologist and author Kelly J. Dixon unveils the stories behind the old mining town's saloons, of powerful men and politicians who passed their leisure time in these drinking places, the intrigues that went on in these establishments aside from the raucous happenings expected from saloons. Artifacts and remains of old saloons paint a different picture from what the stereotypical images of drinking houses portrayed in the cinema.
The NBC produced tv series brought back to life Virginia CIty through the Cartwright family. There series ran from 1959-1973 and people from around the world sought to visit Virginia City due to the shows' popularity.
This DVD will make a perfect Father's Day gift for the car enthusiasts. Outstanding reviews of one of the world's most outstanding cars with great stories, gorgeous photography and camera work. This is as close as one can get to one of these red beauties. Turn up the volume to appreciate the sound of the engine.
This has to be one of the best books ever written about the Shelby AC Cobra. Great photos and descriptions of the Shelby through 50 years will leave you spellbound. Another great Father's Day present for the car enthusiast for a car that is uniquely American.