The Australian Hillclimb Championship was first run in 1938, the same year hillclimbing started at Mt Panorama . The event was first conducted in 1938 at Rob Roy hillclimb course in Victoria and was won by Peter Whitehead in an ERA. The same year that Whitehead won this event he also won the Australian Grand Prix in his ERA at Bathurst.
By the early 1950s, Jack Brabham was looking elsewhere for racing opportunities and ventured into hill climbing and road racing. He also met Ron Tauranac, another young, talented, and ambitious Australian, and formed a friendship that, in part, would lead eventually to Brabham’s career in Formula One and the formation with Tauranac of Motor Racing Developments, the company that produced Brabham racecars.
Brabham ran his initial hill climbs in a midget, destroying the hill record at Hawkesbury by several seconds on his very first outing. Much annoyed that Brabham and his midget were so unbeatable, the organizers disallowed his time because the midget didn’t qualify as a "proper” car--it didn’t have brakes on all four wheels.
In typical fashion, Brabham fitted four-wheel brakes to the midget in time for the 1951 Australian Hill Climb Championship at Rob Roy several weeks later. "It was my second event, and I won it,” he says. "It was a little hard for the organizers to accept.”
Brabham’s interest in hill climbs accelerated his progress into road racing, at which he was also successful, and by 1955 England and continental racing beckoned. "In 1955, I went to England for a year’s experience,”
Alex Davison also won the Australian Hillclimb Championship in 1955, 1956 and 1957 and the Victorian Trophy in 1955, 1957 and 1963. In 1957
1956 saw the first Australian Hillclimb Championship conducted at Mt Panorama won by Alan Davison driving a Cooper-Vincent. 2008 will be the ninth time the championship has been held on the mountain as a single event or as part of a series.
In South Australia
The Sporting Car Club attempted to organise a Hillclimb on Anzac Day in 1950. But the frustration of finding a suitable site meant the concept was cancelled. The Sporting Car Club had some 200 members in 1950 and the call went out to people to find a suitable venue to run a Hillclimb. RF Angus and his son Bob, both were club members and suggested their property at Angaston they had owned since the 1830s. It was purchased by one of the men born George Fife Angus. He was the chairman of the South Australian company formed in England to send settlers out to the colony. The Angus's property was Collingrove and in it’s centre was a large hill which they refered to as Angaston Hill. Bob with a fellow club member Howard Clisy set out to make a track. Howard Clisby and Bob used a Jeep to try and find a suitable course. Bob said " it was designed around the topography of the existing hill. We kept on driving around and we decided this would be a good line to use, and marked it out. We tried to fit in with the full contours of the land”. Then with a small grader attached to the Jeep they roughed out the course. Angus said "I wanted to be interesting and have very steep sections. I also wanted to have a distinct short downhill section” But members of the Sporting Car Club tried to over-rule Bob. But history will show that Bob and Howard got their way – Collingrove Hillcilmb certainly does have downhill sections.