All roads lead to Bicester on Drive It Day


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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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. 

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

Lots of tempting classics for sale at The Motor Shed.

Exacting Ferrari 206S Dino replica and Shelby Mustang GT500.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stunning Porsche 911RSR.

Morris 1000 looked perfect in the setting.

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

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

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


Chris Martin

Hah, wish I could have been there. It is good to see the old site being used for something now, I remember when it was a derelict mess. The selection of classics shown here demonstrate the variety available at such gatherings, much more interesting than many one-make club runs and this will always introduce fans of one type to many others they may not otherwise see. That photo of the contrast of seventies styling showing a Stag and a Pacer sums it up for me. Thanks.


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