Silverstone: The World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival
Greeted to blistering sunshine and a distinct buzz in the air, arriving at the second day of the Silverstone Classic annual weekend offered promise of a fantastic day. And it certainly didn’t disappoint! Dubbed “the World’s Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival”, the event attracts the crème de la crème of manufacturers, makes and models.
Wandering closer to the track through the countless car clubs chatting avidly among one another, the sound of revving engines and screeching brakes filled the air and induced thrills and excitement that seemed to echo around the crowds.
Highlights of 2012 included the 50th anniversary celebration of the AC Cobra of 1964 Le Mans fame. Other aging beauties proudly showcasing their 50 year history were the Lotus Elan, the MGB and the Ford Cortina MK 1.
What set apart the day for me was the freedom we humble event goers were given to amble through the awe inspiring pits of Silverstone; the very home to the British Formula 1 Grand Prix. No matter where you stood, there was something to distract you from your current muse. E type coupes and roadsters featured prominently as did the immaculate Aston Martin DB 4. Watching the mechanics performing meticulous maintenance and various tweaking, it felt good to absorb the atmosphere and the gratifying mixture of engine oil and petrol fumes as you inhaled.
Strolling around the unmanned race-homes (most of which accompanied not one but several different pristinely kept classic cars!), I noticed a crowd of people gathered around one vehicle. With no shortage of attention grabbing cars around, I knew it had to be something pretty special. Drawing closer, it was none other than the Mercedes Benz 300 SLR! Having seen countless pictures and marvelled at the legend that is Sir Stirling Moss, it felt pretty special to see one in the flesh!
All that excitement before we’d even settled in for the racing! The Pre ’66 Gentlemen’s GT is an absolute must see. That said, you’d be forgiven for covering your eyes as a mass of over fifty Cobras, E Types, TVRs, and Porches (to name a few) tear into the first corner nudging and pranging one another as if they’re fairground dodgems! It certainly isn’t for the faint hearted!
While I may have to accept it’ll remain a dream to compete in races such as these, my passion for classic cars was definitely dowsed with accelerant throughout the day. If you’re considering an old motor, you can browse a wide range of used cars for sale at www.exchangeandmart.co.uk.
The Pre ‘66 Rear Engine Grand Prix race was another not to be missed. The star car of that race had to be the 1962 blue Lola MK4, what a beauty! Others featured in this particular nail biter of a race included numerous Cooper T45s Brabham BT11s and a solitary 1952 Cooper-Bristol featuring in the invitation class.
Aside from the staggering collection of cars showing off our consistent ability around the globe to design and produce powerful, aesthetically pleasing motors, the Classic weekend offers something for everyone. Helicopter rides, off road experiences and stunt bike displays are carried out over the three day event and there are stalls and stands aplenty. Campsites are conveniently based a short walk from the entrance to the circuit and live music replaces the roaring engines once the race schedule is completed for the day.
The only regret of my day was that I wasn’t able to return the following day. This is an eventuality I will certainly be accounting for next year. A three day ticket and good pitch at the campsite will be in order. Along with sun lotion and a decent camera!Oliver Emms writes for AXA Insurance Limited. You can find Northern Ireland car insurance from AXA here.
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