All roads lead to Bicester on Drive It Day

| 29 Apr 2015

Bicester Heritage was inundated with 891 classics for the sell-out Brunch Scramble on Drive It Day. The evocative refurbished buildings of the former WW2 bomber base made a brilliant setting for vehicles from all eras, while all the specialists and dealers on site opened up for the day.

A remarkable display from the Bristol Owners Heritage Trust spanned virtually every model made by the company, including specialist Andrew Blow’s 400 drophead – one of only two built – and most variations of the early ‘Aerodyne’ cars. 

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Trust chairman Sir George White, whose father was founding MD of Bristol Cars, brought the 404 that he was given as a 16th-birthday present more than 50 years ago and has kept ever since. The group also included a 406 Zagato, one of just seven.There was something interesting or unusual wherever you looked around the 48-acre facility, in fact, ranging from pre-war tourers to the two-tone AMC Pacer featured in Classic & Sports Car, May 2007. Nearby an early Chevrolet Corvair fascinated onlookers with the fanbelt’s tortuous route around its air-cooled flat-six.

Bicester

Three Vauxhall saloons looked spot-on with an early ‘Cyclops’ Rover P4 on a tree-lined avenue, as did a Daimler SP250 alongside a Bristol 405 with a rare Austin Sheerline limousine nearby. There was even a unique Frazer Nash roadster.

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Vintage hot rods featured, too, mostly gathered by James Mitchell’s Pendine showroom in the former Blast House after a reliability run to the venue.

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Dealers’ stock proved as much of a draw as the visiting classics, ranging from glorious pre-war machinery with Robert Glover and at The Motor Shed, to a stunning Ferrari Dino 206S replica and a genuine Shelby Mustang GT500 at Legends.

Bicester

Clubs were out in force, with a fine selection from the Midland Vehicle Presevation Society across the way from the Austin-Healey Club. The Jensen Owners’ Club spanned the ages with 541 and C-V8 to FF and SP, while bigger groups from the MGCC, TR Register and Porsches Club GB assembled alongside a wonderful line-up of vintage aircraft.

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Visitors had converged on Bicester from across the UK. David and Cindy Russell drove down from Wilmslow, Cheshire, in their ’94 Porsche 993. “It took us 2 hours to get here – about the same as going to Silverstone – and we’ll definitely be coming again,” David enthused. “It’s a fabulous venue with some lovely cars here.”

Bicester

Hagerty Insurance’s Drive It Day tour – for 100 pre-1990 cars finished at Bicester after a 72-mile tulip run from Towcester Racecourse around Northants and the Cotswolds. The eclectic turnout included the immaculate ’72 Earls Court Show Clan Crusader and a beautiful pre-war BMW 328. 

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Find out more about Bicester Heritage here or tell us what you did on Drive It Day on our Facebook page

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Lots of tempting classics for sale at The Motor Shed.

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Exacting Ferrari 206S Dino replica and Shelby Mustang GT500.

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A lovely varied line-up from the Midland Vehicle Preservation Society.

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Jensen Owners’ Club selection included Interceptors, 541, C-V8 and FF in centre.

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David and Cindy Russell drove down from Wilmslow in their Porsche 993.

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Superb Clan Crusader (car no 133 of c357 factory built) was ’72 Earls Court car.

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Fabulous pair of Ford Model Ts, with Drambuie-liveried coach.

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Lovely two-tone Lotus Elan +2 with Esprit Turbo and Triumph 2500 estate

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Stunning Porsche 911RSR.

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Morris 1000 looked perfect in the setting.

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Austin Westminster looked great on RoStyles, by E-type with Alvis behind.

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Gorgeous Lancia B20 GT alongside trials car – not sure of make, sorry!

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Lovely 330GTC with Ferrari V12 Group and Ferrari Cotswold Group.