Classic car lovers start your engines – the wait is almost over. After so many spring and summer cancellations, this week’s innovative The Classic Car Drive In Weekend (starting tomorrow Friday until Sunday), welcomes buyers, collectors and petrol-heads to the ultimate Covid-compliant, socially-distanced outdoor Classic Car Show and Drive In Cinema.
Hosted at Bicester Heritage, the UK’s only Centre for Historic Motoring Excellence, the exciting new event is celebrating classic cars in all their glory on display, on track, on sale, under the hammer and, of course, on the silver screen.
“Whether you are an avid collector, a movie buff or a classic car enthusiast, what better way could there be to spend a memorable late summer weekend?” questioned show director Bas Bungish. “After such a long, hard hiatus we are delighted to be offering all classic car enthusiasts what’s an exciting, innovative and Covid-compliant festival.”
“In such challenging times, we have worked tirelessly to create a new style of classic car show that meets all the Government’s latest social-distancing guidelines and thus ensures visitors feel safe at all times. Now, with so much to admire and to enjoy, The Classic Car Drive In Weekend is all set to be a very, very welcome family day out,” added Neil Levene, the show’s Operations Director.
Visitors to the three-day festival will be treated to more than 500 stunning classic cars on display as well as in action on Bicester Heritage’s very own test track together with a choice of blockbuster films at the UK’s first drive in cinema dedicated entirely to epic car-themed movies.
Further fuelling interest and passions among automotive enthusiasts will be car club displays, classic car dealers, auto memorabilia traders, insights into many of Bicester Heritage’s on-site specialists plus a live classic car auction courtesy of Bonhams MPH.
All these magical elements add up to the ground-breaking and unmissable show which the classic car community has been craving ever since the lifting of lockdown regulations. It is also a welcome boost for the entire classic car industry.
For more information on The Classic Car Drive In Weekend and to purchase tickets visit: www.theclassiccarshowuk.com. The website also provides a full film schedule plus comprehensive information on all the Covid-compliant procedures being put in place to provide all-comers with a secure environment.
The Bicester Heritage test track will sparkle and roar to the glorious sights and sounds of Historic Motorsport as The Classic Car Drive In Weekend showcases some of the greatest cars ever raced or rallied.
With five daily track shows across all three days, visitors will be richly entertained and excited by more than 65 of the finest competition cars ranging from grand prix and sportscar winners to vintage racers and touring car legends. In a star-studded collection featuring almost a century of magical motorsport history, all the much-loved marques will be revving up for heart-stirring action – these include stellar idols from AC, Benetton, BMW, Bugatti, Cooper, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar, Lancia, Maserati, Porsche and Subaru.
What’s more, two special celebrations will add further sparkle to these dramatic live performances: the first will applaud the illustrious Le Mans 24 Race, the second will honour the 25th anniversary of Colin McRae being crowned as Britain’s first World Rally Champion driver.
Spotlight on Le Mans 24 Hours
With this year’s postponed running of the epic Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race being staged behind-closed-doors in northern France over the same weekend, The Classic Car Drive In Weekend will be paying special homage to the world’s most famous and best loved sportscar showdown.
Some of the finest examples of GT and sportscars that have competed – and won – at Le Mans will be among the 65 motor sport icons rousing show-goers on Bicester Heritage’s test track. In between five daily live performances, these Le Mans legends will also be on public display in the stringently socially-distanced paddock.
Adding to the celebration, Le Mans ’66 (aka Ford v Ferrari), the recent Oscar winning movie starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, is one of the great driving films being screened at the drive in cinema.
Honouring Colin McRae
The swashbuckling life and most momentous milestone of rallying legend Colin McRae will be honoured at The Classic Car Drive In Weekend on the silver anniversary of the Flying Scot’s golden moment when crowned as Britain’s very first World Rally Champion driver in 1995.
The majority of McRae’s successes came in iconic bright blue Subarus and, to mark this anniversary, three of these gold-wheeled rally winners will be among the motor sport stars wowing spectators on track at Bicester.
Adding further to the celebrations, they will be joined by a stunning replica of the Subaru Legacy in which McRae’s won the 1991 British Rally Championship as well as a number of the 200 limited-edition ‘Series McRae’ Impreza road cars built by rally team Prodrive to commemorate Colin’s WRC title win. One of these 208bhp, turbocharged deities is also coming under the Bonhams MPH hammer on Sunday with an estimated price of £5,000 to £10,000.
In between the dazzling track shows the complete collection of amazing motor sport icons will be on show in the socially distanced paddock.
Moreover, adding to the amazing spectacle, more than 25 of the UK’s leading car clubs will be promoting their own passions for chosen cherished models and marques with evocative displays while a special Owner’s Paddock will provide visitors with classics of their own. Visitors wishing to display their pride and joy can register in advance to be part of the impressive overall display totalling 500+ truly captivating classic cars.
As well as providing show-goers with a memorable opportunity to admire so many road and track marvels from yesteryear, The Classic Car Drive In Weekend also embraces a number of dealers and traders all keen to maximise this welcome post-lockdown opportunity to get their businesses back into top gear.
Renowned for selling eye-catching Rolls Royce and Bentley models, Vintage and Prestige Cars is among the classic car specialists exhibiting at Bicester while Aston Martin Works will be promoting its world-famous marque restoration skills. They will be joined by a host of specialist retailers purveying everything from vintage signs and period posters to collectible toys and more general auto memorabilia.
Under the Hammer
Adding further spectacle and buying opportunities, Bonhams MPH is staging its first live, ‘drive-through’ auction post lockdown with no fewer than 114 classic vehicles coming under the auctioneer’s hammer. All the vehicles on offer will be exhibited in Hanger 113 at Bicester Heritage throughout The Classic Car Drive In Weekend before bidding starts at 1pm on Sunday afternoon.
Established in 2019 primarily to serve the more modern and popular collectors’ car market, this Bonhams MPH sale certainly exceeds expectations with some standout lots including a 2010 Bentley Continental Supersports once owned by golfer Rory McIlroy, one of the earliest Land Rovers dating back to 1951, for rally fans a 1995 Lancia Integrale Evo II and, for the very first time in MPH Hanger, a McLaren supercar – namely a stunning 2018 570S Spyder.
On the Silverscreen
US-style drive in movies have become a somewhat unexpected hero of recent months allowing film lovers to maintain a safe social distance as they park up and enjoy the silver screen from the security of their own car. Fuelling this thirst, The Classic Car Drive In Weekend is the first drive in to be dedicated entirely to some of the best car-centric movies with four screenings every day. There’s a terrific choice of blockbusters, too, ranging from cult classics such as The Italian Job and Baby Driver to heroic motor sport movies including Rush, Senna and recent Oscar winner Le Mans ’66.
Furthering the Uncle Sam drive in experience, film goers can pre-order US-themed hot food to be delivered directly to their cars with gourmet burgers, flaming dogs and loaded fries all on the mouth-watering menu.
Bicester Heritage – The Perfect Venue
Bicester Heritage is the perfect home for the first major new Covid-compliant classic car show. Located on the UK’s best-preserved WW2 RAF Bomber Station, it is one of the UK’s most significant motoring destinations and home to the first Centre of Excellence for Historic Motoring. Moreover, the huge and easily accessible 444-acre site not only provides extensive airfield perimeter roads for eye-catching automotive action but also huge expanses of social distancing outdoor space ensuring this exciting new event meets the Government’s latest health and safety guidelines.
Daniel Geoghegan CEO of Bicester Heritage commented: “The Classic Car Drive In Weekend is the perfect excuse to throw open the doors again at Bicester Heritage and to share the vibrant spirit here, we look forward to welcoming enthusiasts to our Centre of Excellence for Historic Motoring.”
Open for Business
As the home to the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Historic Motoring, Bicester Heritage is residence to more than 30 outstanding historic motoring specialists; many of these will be open and showcasing their bespoke skills and great craftsmanship throughout The Classic Car Drive In Weekend.
Companies embracing the opportunity include Auto Wax Works, Golden Age Cycles, Harry Fraser Upholstery, Heritage Engineering, Legends Automotive, SWB Motorsport, The Motor Shed, Vintage Tyres, Porsche Classic Life and StarterMotor, the event’s official charity partner. Classic Oils will also be promoting a complete range of lubricants, coolants, and fuel treatments for all classic, veteran and vintage vehicles with its Penrite Classic Oils brand being appointed as the event’s Official Lubricant Partner.