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August 26, 2013

Sports cars rumbled up Mount Utsayantha in the early 1960s


In all, 25 cars were entered in the hill climb, and 30 drivers participated. The Mirror-Recorder reported the event to be a success and plans were being made for the next year’s climb.

The 1963 Utsayantha Hill Climb was moved to July. That year, 50 cars were entered in competition on Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21. Although there was heavy rain reported, the event went on. Only one incident took place on Saturday when Bob Moran of Buffalo, driving a Triumph, passed the finish line but then flipped over and onto the side of the course, and fortunately was not injured.

The Stamford Body Works, working all night, put Moran’s car back into shape so he could race on Sunday.

David Hillson, event chairman at the close of the race said, “due to adverse weather conditions, we were happily surprised with the large number of people who attended the meet. The contestants proved themselves real sportsmen to compete under such adverse conditions.”

The 1964 edition of the Hill Climb was apparently the last. While there were advertisements for another, no results were published by The Oneonta Star.

On the same weekend of July 1965 as the previous two hill climbs, the Stamford Chamber of Commerce was sponsoring a new event, a Quarter Horse Show, a two day event that took place on state Route 10 at the ball park, “adjacent to the Conservation Office.” It boasted of prizes, games and “Western Stars and Personalities.”

Princess Utsayantha had regained her peaceful, less noisy rest on Mount Utsayantha.

This weekend: A back-to-school picnic for boys in Oneonta, in 1923.

City Historian Mark Simonson’s column appears twice weekly. On Saturdays, his column focuses on the area during the Depression and before. His Monday columns address local history after the Depression. If you have feedback or ideas about the column, write to him at The Daily Star, or email him at His website is His columns can be found at

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