Two more rare and fascinating land and air craft – a Hellcat tank destroyer and a Jet Provost – have been confirmed as part of the line-up for Croft Circuit’s much anticipated third Nostalgia weekend (4/5 August).
The event, with an enchanting mix of historic motor sport on track with retro motoring, lifestyle and wartime themes off it, is unique in the North East and fast-becoming one of the region’s best social occasions of the year.
An opportunity to dress in period style (Forties through to Seventies) and soak up the festival’s bygone era atmosphere is a major appeal. Another is the vast static and moving displays arranged by the organisers who, for 2012, have already announced an air display by what many believe to be the ultimate fighter plane, a WWII Spitfire.
It’s now confirmed that joining the Spitfire in the skies above Croft on both days of the Nostalgia weekend will be a spectacular Jet Provost. The plane was the world’s first all-through ‘jet trainer’ for young pilots when it was introduced by the Royal Air Force in the mid-Fifties. The example being demonstrated at this summer’s Croft Nostalgia dates back to 1960 and is believed to be the sole surviving Mk3 built – indeed, it is also almost certainly one of the oldest active Provosts in existence anywhere in the world.
The Provost’s private owner and pilot Neil McCarthy from Newcastle upon Tyne commented: “Bear in mind people think Spitfires are rare – well there are probably more Spitfires in the UK than there are classic jets like the Provost. Owning it is a boyhood dream come true, even if I have had to re-mortgage the house along the way. But it’s all been worth it – it’s colourful, very manoeuvrable so good for putting on a display and it makes the right noise! To show it off in front of a sizeable crowd at an event such as Croft Nostalgia which is very much on the up will be very exciting.”
Meanwhile the WWII Hellcat will be on static display during Nostalgia weekend. Though it dates back to 1944, the Hellcat’s capabilities meant it was still being used in combat by some Western countries up to the mid-Nineties! Only six are left in the UK and the example being brought to Croft is owned by enthusiast Chris Till from Preston, Lancashire.
“It’s a very intimidating piece of kit and I think people who take a look round it at Croft will be a bit in awe,” he explained. “Bear in mind it’s arguably the fastest tank destroyer ever produced with a top speed of 55mph. You wouldn’t want to see one of these in your mirrors.”
The Provost and Hellcat are just two more exciting additions to a line-up of military machinery that is expected to exceed more than 100 vehicles inside the grounds of Croft Circuit on the weekend of 4/5 August.
Elsewhere Croft Nostalgia draws motoring and motor sport enthusiasts from far and wide thanks to its mouth-watering displays of around 500 classic and vintage cars and motorbikes as well as some exhilarating action on the track with a packed programme of races for single-seater, saloon, GT and sportscars from the renowned Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC). More details of these will be announced soon.
Tickets for the Croft Nostalgia are priced just £10 Saturday and £12 Sunday if booked in advance from the www.croftcircuit.co.uk website. Admission for accompanied children aged 15 and under is FREE all weekend.