Autosport International puts on stellar display


The Autosport International is celebrated its 25th anniversary from 8-11 January, with a host of big-name drivers including Allan McNish, David Brabham and Petter Solberg joining the party. 

The real stars, however, were the racing cars, with a stellar selection of historic vehicles on display, in addition to more modern metal. 

A mammoth headline display celebrating 60 years of Motorsport News dominated the historic show hall and offering a stunning selection of competition classics. Among their number was an Alan Mann Ford Mustang, 555 Subaru Impreza, Lancia Stratos, Honda Accord Touring Car and Jaguar D-type. 

The Silverstone Classic took the plaudits for its stand highlighting Track Icons, which included a number of rare race machines laid out in grid formation, including a second Jaguar D-type, E-type, Lister Storm GT and Cooper T53, among others. 

The 1960 Cooper garnered plenty of attention, despite its diminutive size in comparison to other cars on the stand. It served as Bruce McLaren's racer during the 1960 championship, finishing second at Monaco and Spa, and third at Rheims. McLaren finished second in the championship, with Jack Brabham taking overall victory in the sister T53. 

Though it seemed in stock configuration from a distance, the 1962 Jaguar E-type was campaigned extensively in the USA from when it left the factory until 1989. It was later converted to right-hand drive and is eligible for the Pre-'63 GT, E-type Challenge, Masters Gentleman Drivers, GTSCC and HSCC Guards race series. 

Gary Pearson's Jaguar D-type also proved a hit with the crowd. The car was driven in period at Le Mans, Aintree and Dumford in 1955, and also boasts an impressive tally of results in historic racing. Most recently, the car was driven to victory in the Goodwood Lavant Cup, Silverstone's Woodcote Trophy and at the Le Mans Classic in 2014. 

Silverstone Classic's stand was bolstered by a selection of Wild Road Cars chosen by Classic & Sports Car. On show was a Ferrari F40, Jaguar XJR-15, Audi Sport quattro and Lamborghini Countach 5000QV. 

A Lister Jaguar 'Knobbly' impressed on the firm's stand, it being one of 10 recreations built to celebrate the model's 60th anniversary. The Jaguar 3.8-powered historic racer weighs just 787kg yet produces 330bhp, and is eligible for a number of events, including the Stirling Moss Trophy. 

Elsewhere, the Maserati 250F of Nick Mason graced Zircotec's stand. The car was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio in practice for the 1957 Monaco GP and recently starred as part of a massive display of Trident-badged cars at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show. 

A fine display was also put on by Classic Team Lotus, which dominated proceedings with its enormous liveried car transporter. A number of significant racers graced its stand, including a Type 38/7 raced by Jim Clark at Indianapolis in 1967 and a one-off Type 32 fitted with a 2.5-litre Coventry Climax engine. 

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