The Test Hills Run

Guide Dogs For The Blind

The Test Hills Run has been devised by a former British Motor Industry employee, John Macartney, and now a writer on old car matters, whose father regularly drove the route as a Standard Motor Company Road Tester and Field Service Engineer in the 1920s and 1930s. 

All the hills on it were popular with test crews from Abingdon, Birmingham, Coventry and Oxford and, because of their proximity, were used by all manufacturers for out-and-back test journeys - often twice in a day. For companies based in Coventry, it was not at all unusual - even in the 1920s - for a test crew to leave the factory at 7.30-8.00am and be back in time for lunch. The car would then be re-fuelled and another crew would set off in it to repeat the route during the afternoon.


All the hills on this route are in regular daily use with modern traffic and although much widened, re-graded and with far better surfaces than sixty plus years ago, they are still fun to tackle, whether going up or down. In fact, parts of it are still used by Land Rover and Jaguar, so if you do happen to encounter one of these vehicles in camouflage, you'll know you're in good company! You'll also travel through delightful country and see many parts of the north Cotswolds not normally featuring on tourist trips, and for those who enjoy a bit of tourism, we've included a few roadside novelties you may care to visit.  


Enjoy The Test Hills Run - especially Bushcombe Hill at Bishop's Cleeve, near Cheltenham. It's narrow - VERY narrow in places, about 1 in 7 (or worse) for a considerable distance and just the place to warm up your clutch if you have to do a re-start on a steep bit!  


John raises funds for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (GDBA) so we ask that in return for us providing you with a printed copy of the route, you make a donation in our plastic retriever.


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