A well-attended press day for the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power was treated to a tantalising taste of the delights – on land, water in the air – planned for the now-three-day event in Cheshire from 15-17 July. The weather also hinted that this might be the first properly "dry" event in the festival's four-year history, rewarding booming ticket sales that are so far up 40% on the same time last year when 50,000 people attended CPOP.
The Friday is to be a "preview day" focusing on the 1.2-mile track through the Cholmondeley estate and offering the high-profile sponsors a chance to exercise their more modern wares.
Star cars over the weekend will include the ex-Moss Lotus 18 that snatched possibly the greatest GP win of all time – Button's recent heroics aside – at Monaco in 1961.
As ever, via Hall & Hall and Kevin Wheatcroft, the Donington Collection will be a major supporter of the event, including running for the first time all three of the museum's Vanwalls – Thinwall, Streamliner and Teardrop – together. Auto Union, Jackie Stewart's 1971 Tyrrell, hopefully with JYS accompanying it, and Sinsheim's 47-litre Brutus will also stand-out from a superb array of historically important cars. C&SC will be represented by Simon Taylor in his rapid Stovebolt Special.
There will be plenty of 'bikes and rally cars, too, the latter being run for the first time on a specially created rally stage.
A big part of the event is the military presence with combat demos, tanks and much more, all complemented by power boats on the mere and wing-walkers and helicopters in the air.
CPOP director James Hall said: "Every vehicle here is of significance and it is difficult to mention just a few, however; the Pre-War class would not be complete without the fire-breathing aero-engined monsters that literally burn our ears and the adjacent flooring. Chris Williams is bringing his famous Napier Bentley and 42-litre torpedo boat engined “Mavis”. They are joined by the enormous 47-litre “Brutus” coming over from the Sinsheim Museum in Germany.
"One of the most celebrated of British designs, the Jaguar E-type celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and we are honoured to have coming possibly the most important restoration of recent times: the Lindner-Nocker Low Drag E-type. In the Sports Racing Class, the 1959 Le Mans winning Aston Martin driven by Roy Salvadori will be competing."
There will also be a brace of interesting new car launches: the British-built 200mph Trident Iceni allegedly capable of 100mpg, plus Cheshire's own 520bhp per tonne BAC Mono, while Bentley bigwig Dr Ulrich Eichhorn has apparently ordered a range of modifications to his Continental Supersports in a bid to set the first sub-60 secs lap.
Last year CPOP raised £75,000 for Help for Heroes and this year, Combat Stress is the lead charity with Remount and the Mercian Benevolent Fund in support.
For details and ticket bookings see here. As a special offer for C&SC readers, paddock tickets are reduced from £27 to £20 (and child tickets are only £5) when booked in advance. All you have to do is book via the website or the telephone hotline on 01829 772433 and quote the special code CSCPAD
More press day pictures...