The Newport Antique Auto Hill Climb located in Newport, Indiana will begin with the Queen Pageant on Sunday, September 28 at 7:00 pm in the Newport Library Auditorium.
The dates for the 2014 'Festival Weekend' are Friday, October 3 through Sunday, October 5. Plan to be here and help us run the Newport Hill another year. There will be about 300 competition and 600+ practice attempts at running the "Hill". Join the competition; run the famous hill; show your car, truck or motorcycle; eat the good food; scour the flea market for stuff, lots of stuff. Join in on the festivities and have fun or just come and check us out.
The Hill Climb is not all about classic vehicles, although it is the central theme. It's about everyone in the family having a good time. Review our Schedule of Events page.
A Brief History
The "Newport Auto Antique Hill Climb" is an international antique auto up hill timed event held each year in the small Indiana town of Newport, an event that attracts crowds of one hundred thousand plus to a town with a population of less than six hundred people. Automobiles, trucks and motorcycles from the Steam, Brass, Vintage, Antique, and Classic Car eras, make timed runs from a standing start, up a steep hill to a finish line 1,800 feet away. It is an Indiana auto event second in size only to the annual "Indianapolis Speed Way" events.
In 1909, Newport Hill was part of the main, north to south, road going through Vermilion County. A local road that went through the middle of the town of Newport. It was a route that connected Northern Indiana and Terre Haute. The hill had been used from time to time by a few automobile manufacturers for testing their cars. Maybe, that is what triggered the Hill Climb contest idea. The first Hill Climb Contest took place June 8, 1909 and was promoted by local merchants as were the six other following Hill Climb Contests. There were large crowds in those early years. People came by horse and buggy, automobile and chartered train. One newspaper wrote that every Danville, Illinois automobile was in Newport. By 1916, other more profitable automobile racing events took attention away from the Hill Climb and it was discontinued until it was resurrected in 1963.
1963 brought a two year resurrection of the Hill Climb by the Newport Volunteer Fire Department. The crowd was estimated at 7,500 the following year, but the Fire Department lost money and the resurrection attempt was discontinued.
In 1968, a new Newport Lions Club was formed and chartered by a group of local area men. They met on the west side of the town square at a restaurant owned by Bill Hawkins, named Bill's Grill (presently a Tavern). One of the club's charter members, Bill Wiggins, asked fellow members to sponsor the defunct Hill Climb. This was in September of that year and with notes and minutes of the meeting scribbled on napkins the 1st annual Lions Club Newport Hill Climb took place the following month. There were 80 competition entrants in the 13 classes that first year.
Today's Hill Climbs have evolved into technically sophisticated events with hundreds of supporting volunteers and huge international crowds all stuffed into a small town of less than 600 people.
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Top New Zeland Driver's eye a 2013 run at the Hill. Say they will regester soon.
Follow the signs for easy $10.00 all day parking.
In Jr. Partnership with the Town of Newport and the Newport Fire Department.