Mount Equinox Hillclimb Awards.
One of the club’s signature events is the annual Mount Equinox Hillclimb. The event has been running since May of 1950 and is one of the most historic sports car competitions in the entire United States of America. Very much in keeping with the club’s role of not only protecting the cars of the era and their histories but it extends to protecting the histories of the places and events where they ran, the VSCCA took over stewardship of the event and of its history in 1973. It has been a vintage event ever since. Protecting that history requires that the competitors understand and appreciate what it is.
To encourage that understanding and appreciation the club has several awards associated with the event. All three encourage the members to reflect the best parts of that tradition in their experience at Mount Equinox.
1.) The Malcolm Donaldson Award is named after the gentleman, who served long and enthusiastically as the starter at the bottom of the hill each year and flagged the cars off for their runs. It is awarded by the club to recognize a driver who most exemplifies the spirit of the event and has often maintained a commitment to it for many years. The permanent trophy that is the Mal Donaldson Award is kept on display in the St. Bruno Visitors Center at the top of Mount Equinox.
2.) The Rene Dreyfus Cup is awarded by the corner marshals, not the club nor the chairman of the event. It is given by the corner marshals to the driver that they have observed driving with enthusiasm, skill and safety over the course of the weekend. They choose the car and driver combination that they find to be the most memorable for those standing along the side of the course and observing.
3.) The 5-50-500 Award is the final Equinox Award and is not always bestowed. It is given to the driver who drove his or her car the farthest to the event over the public roads, competed in it and then would be driving it home again. The 5-50-500 award is named for an idea first articulated by John J. Schieffelin for preparing or restoring vintage cars for driving on the roads. First one goes five miles. If an old car will go five miles then it will surely be good for fifty. Once it is good for fifty then there no reason not to drive it five hundred. In the earliest days of this event and of the sport in general the cars were nearly always driven to the events. They weren’t consigned to trailers or to transporters. This was the case for the 24 Hours of LeMans in France as much as it was the case for the Watkins Glen races and the Mount Equinox Hillclimb in the United States.