Hollier Debuts Empire

The recent British Hillclimb Championship round at Gurston Down over the August Bank Holiday saw the debut of a new single-seater in the 1600cc Racing Car Class.

Ed Hollier Empire 00

The new car rolled out of Empire’s Somerset workshop just a couple of weeks ago.


Following the domination of the class by the scintillating GWR Raptor in recent years new cars for the 1600cc class have been somewhat thin on the ground, but maybe that is about to change…

As reported by us late last year, South West superstar Ed ‘Kimi’ Hollier ordered a modified version of the Empire ’00′ Series from Bill Chaplin. Well, the car made its public debut at Gurston and performed spectacularly well.

The car is based on the ’00′ space frame chassis, but has had some chassis tubes removed and replaced with carbon panelling to create a stiff, but very light structure without the high cost of a carbon fibre monocoque. The car has front suspension similar to that used by Simon Fidoe on his 2012/13 car and rear suspension based on the carbon-tubbed Empire Wraith.

Unlike the previous ’00′s which have been for the 1100cc class, Ed has installed the 1600cc Mistral-built Suzuki Hayabusa which has previously seen use in Ed’s ultra-successful OMS Sportscar and Pilbeam MP62.

As you would expect from an Empire chassis, the car has a lot of carbon fibre aero appendages including a massive floor with huge tunnels. The package is in quite a basic format at the moment, but will feature aero development during 2015.

Ed Hollier Empire 00

View of the enormous Empire floor and tunnels.


We all know about Ed’s spectacular talents behind the wheel, but even his ultra-supportive Father Bob was surprised at the pace the combination achieved straight out of the box at the Wiltshire hill. Despite being under strict instructions not to go quicker than 32s on his first run, Ed had such confidence in the chassis straight away that he banged in a ‘comfortable’ 29.80s run!

After a weekend of tweaking and tuning the Devonshire ace got down to a very promising Gurston PB of 28.29s which was enough to claim the 1600cc class victory and set 15th fastest time overall.

Ed Hollier Empire 00

Kimi settles into the cockpit for a practice run as Haimesy checks out the tunnels!


Speaking a couple of day after the event, a delighted Ed told us “I’m still on cloud nine! It was really surprising how good the car was straight out of the box, we have some mods to do to the suspension settings, but so far it feels very good.”

Very well done to Ed & Bob, as well as Bill & Ronnie at Empire, we can’t wait to see what can be achieved after some development!

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