THE intoxicating sounds of high-revving bike-engined single seaters, singing turbo four-cylinders and Aussie-built throbbing V8s shattered the peaceful Noosa hinterland over the weekend.
It was the 18th annual running of the Historic Noosa Hill Climb - "The Hill" - organised by Noosa Beach Classic Car Club and Historic Racing Car Club of Qld, and saw Tewantin's State Forest abuzz with spectacular racing machinery of all types and vintage.
A mixed bag of conditions made the weekend's racing a real trial for competitors, from pleasingly hot and grippy to drainingly steamy and humid - reducing race-suited drivers to sweaty wrecks.
And after Sunday morning storms, a torridly wet Gyndier Drive track ensured spectators were treated to some spectacular slips and slides from the tail-happy race cars, and nervous faces from brave drivers.
Especially brave were pilots in charge of some very expensive looking machinery. Of course, there were the cheapie specials - Hyundai Excels and Holden Barinas included - but also risking the tight and testing track was a stunning replica of the 1963 Watson Roadster Indy 500 winner, a Brabham Dolphin F2 single seater, Porsche 996 Convertible and a unique $300,000 Redback Coupe.
Noosa Car Club president Malcolm King said the Redback car in particular was a huge drawcard for spectators.
"It was hand-built by Nick Tomkinson, of Emu Park, and has featured in many magazines and TV specials so it was a real treat to see this famous car compete here for the first time," he said.
"It's encouraging to see competitors come from all over the state, and interstate, for one of Australia's premier hill climbs."
Overall event winner was a 1992 single-seat Dallara Hayabusa driven by Michael Von Rappard, who climbed the 14-turn 1.5km route in just 53.12 seconds: an average of more than 100kmh.
A brace of all-wheel drive turbocharged Subaru WRX racers were the fastest of the recognisable road-car based machines - closely followed by a pair of Mitsubishi Evo 9s - while quickest true classic car home was Garry Ford's 1970 Ford Escort (with 5.0-litre engine transplant) which completed the course in exactly one minute.
Spectator numbers were once again impressive, with race fans given open access to drivers and cars in the pitlane, as well as excellent vantage points along the course to enjoy watching the race cars in full flight.