Classic Car Drive In Show


Bicester, 18-20 September, 2020

The second annual Classic Car Drive In Show was held at the Bicester Heritage Centre over the weekend of 18-20 September, drawing a wide variety of vehicles to the historic airfield venue. Many of the classic vehicle workshops that form part of the site were also open to give visitors another perspective on the classic car scene, that they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity of seeing at a regular show. Equally, the weekend was blessed with warm late summer sunshine for the duration, whilst the expanses of the site allowed plenty of visitors to enjoy the displays and track activity, at the obligatory socially distanced spacing in these Covid-19 pandemic times.

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There were numerous single marque and model club displays spanning a wide range of cars, together with classic dealer displays, and the associate trade stands offering a broad selection of motoring related merchandise. Those arriving in classic cars had a special parking avenue between the main car park and show entrance, which was nice idea as it meant that spectators had a further element to enjoy even before they reached the show proper. Bonhams held an auction at the event, which featured a wide variety of vehicles at a broad spectrum of prices, ranging from a 1912 Daimler 15HP Open Drive Laundelette, through a number of vintage vehicles, including a 1931 Leyland Lioness Six Fire Engine, to a later 1958 Leyland Super Comet Petrol Tanker in National Petroleum livery. There was also the quirky, like the 1921 Belsize Flat Lorry and the French built 1979 Cicostar Matic 50 with a 50cc Mobylette 2 stroke engine. At the other end of the scale there were sports cars like a Jaguar XK 120 and E-Type, Aston Martin DB7 Vantage, and coming more up to date with a 2010 Bentley Continental Supersports and a 2018 McLaren 570S Spider.

One of the big attractions of the gathering was the test track, where throughout the three days there was activity at set intervals, with again a wide variety of machinery taking part. These included a tribute to the great rally driver Colin McRae, with a number of the rally car that he drove through his sparkling career on display in the paddock, and in action on the track, notably the “555” branded Subarus in their iconic metallic blue and yellow liveries. There was plenty of exciting action and antics, from a wheel waving Bugatti Type 35B, a variety of specials from the pioneer days of motor racing, like the GNs from the twenties, the Morgan RIP Special from the same period, an Indianapolis Peugeot from 1914, through a wave of rally cars and racing saloons to a Benetton B193 F1 Car. After the first runs, the most eagerly anticipated car was the Jaguar Mk 1 saloon, the famous ex-Coombs “BUY 1” registered example of Grant Williams, who put on spectacular tyre smoking displays of great car control, rarely having it in a straight line, much to the appreciative applause of the spectators around the circuit. It was a definite spirit uplift that took one’s mind off these depressing pandemic times.

Keith Bluemel