Bicester Heritage is celebrating the overwhelming success of the first ever Classic & Sports Car Show in association with Flywheel, which saw over 13,000 enthusiasts pass through the gates.
Bicester Heritage is the UK’s only hub for historic motoring excellence, and its partnership with Haymarket brought about the union of two of the most revered events on the automotive calendar – The Classic & Sports Car Show and the action-packed Flywheel Festival.
It certainly didn’t disappoint, either, with a magnificent demonstrations and displays of classic cars, historic aircraft and military machinery together with various exciting activities across the stunning Bicester Heritage site for all the family.
Some truly exceptional models were on display and took to the famous figure-of-eight track over the weekend of the 22ndand 23rdJune, including a 1914 aero-engined Fafnir Hall-Scott Special, a 1926 Bentley 3 Litre Sports that competed in the 1926 Le Mans 24-Hours, Jaguar Classic’s first continuation XKSS ‘Car Zero’, a 1929 Alfa 6C 1750 SS driven by ‘Dudley’ Benjafield (founder of the BRDC) and entrant in to the 1929 Irish Grand Prix and a 1935 Eccles Rapier Special – the only car to ever be victorious on the Outer, Mountain and Campbell circuits at Brooklands.
Spectators witnessed some truly varied machinery in motion around Bicester Heritage, with everything from an outlandish Ford hot rod to a rally legend Lancia and myriad military machinery on the move in short succession.
Over the course of the weekend, seven World War II veterans visited Bicester Heritage, including 97-year-old Wing Commander John Francis Durham ‘Tim’ Elkington, one of the few surviving RAF fighter pilots who flew during the Battle of Britain.
Plus, there was a very special return to the skies for two World War II veterans – Maurice Marriott (aged 93) and Eddie Habberley (95) – who both got back into Tiger Moth aeroplanes that they piloted during their military careers. This truly poignant moment was just one of several aerial displays that lit up the skies of Bicester Heritage, including the re-enactment of a WW1 dog-fight by The Bremont Great War Display Team (official timing partners of Bicester Heritage).
The inaugural Flywheel Concours was one of the standout segments of the show, with some truly stunning metal being presented to the judging panel. A stunning 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV – formerly owned by singer Rod Stewart – won the Dawn of the Supercar category, while Best in Show went to a 1962 Jaguar E-Type Coupe that was driven by Sean Connery in 1964 British film Woman of Straw.
Elsewhere, Bicester Heritage’s Insurance Partner Hagerty UK offered on-site valuations of classic cars, while auction house Brightwells put more than 100 historic models under the hammer in another incredibly lively auction with an incredible breadth of vehicles offered. Mercedes AMG F1 also prepared and fired up the W05 Hybrid F1 car, outside their building on the Technical Site, in which Lewis Hamilton won his 2ndWorld Championship at Abu Dhabi in 2014 (the first F1 drivers title for a Mercedes driver since Fangio in 1955).
What’s more, the doors of Bicester Heritage’s over 35 specialist businesses on site, ranging from historic grand prix car preparers and magneto specialists, to dealers and exhaust manufacturers, opened their doors to visitors during the show. This allowed spectators a rare chance to see inside the incredible talents working together to provide a supportive ecosystem, which is revolutionising historic car ownership.
Dan Geoghegan, Managing Director of Bicester Heritage, said: “What a brilliant event! With its relaxed atmosphere and unparalleled access to fabulous motor-cars and their drivers, alongside breathtaking air displays, enthusiasts and their families had a truly memorable weekend. We even opened up the freshly restored, tree-lined 1926 Technical Site with its 35 historic car specialists, it proved a real haven – the resident micro-brewery did a roaring trade and several of the dealers sold cars. Aside from that, who could forget the sound of the racing Jaguar XJ 12 off the start line?”
Alastair Clements, Editor in Chief of Classic & Sports Car Magazine, said: “I’ve been absolutely thrilled by the success of the weekend. Teaming up with the Flywheel Festival at the magnificent Bicester Heritage site has resulted in a new era for The Classic & Sports Car Show, with stunning cars, breathtaking air displays and mighty military vehicles, all with the evocative backdrop of the UK’s best-preserved WW2 bomber base. I can’t wait for next year!”