The Words: From Pete Clews
The mountain race Küssnacht – Seebodenalp is held on the original course of the historic race from the 1920s and 1930s. The start is located below the Gesslerburg in Küssnacht (478 metres above sea level). The climb has an average gradient of almost 11% over a length of 5.90 km and a height difference of 545 m. The first race was on July 7th 1929 under the patronage of the Central Swiss Motorcyclist Association and known as “the first Mountain road test “. The race was able to attract over 2000 spectators. In the years 1930 and 1931 it was called the “mountain race for motorcycles and sidecars” and by 1932 and 1933 the races were already known officially as “National Hill Climb” and were recognized at the same time as the championship race for amateur drivers.
The road climbs steeply out of the village and is narrow in places with a bumpy wooded section and sharp hairpin bends rather like a mini Klausen. The paddock is at the end of the climb and on Friday it was very wet; however Saturday dawned with everything in a heavy mist but no rain and practice got underway on time. Sue was snuggled down in the passenger side and two practice runs gave some chance to become familiar with parts of the course. There were 3 other Morgans, club member Chris Dravec in his 1931 Super sports, a 1928 2 speeder driven by Franz Dorig and another 1931 Super sports driven by Josef Ehrier.
The F-type with a 16 tooth sprocket was pulling very well out of the hairpins, so well that we caught several of the outfits and the three Morgans that had set off at 20 second intervals before us. Sunday was true to its name, the sun shone and the mist burned off very quickly to leave a beautiful day. The startline marshals agreed to let us run ahead of the 3 Morgans remaining after practice and with a 3 minute gap from the last outfit. Our final and fastest run was 5 minutes 24.6 seconds to win the class although we hit a rut in the wooded section which bent the chain adjuster and allowed the rear spindle to move and the chain to jump; if you listen carefully on the Youtube video you can hear the chain jumping for the last 700m. Edy Schorno and his family made us very welcome and it was a very well organised and friendly event.