Billed as the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival, Silverstone Classic is an absolute monster, with something for every taste spread across its vast 760 acre site. To experience everything, you’d need all three days, a meticulous itinerary and a massive degree of self-control.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of those – much as I tried – so despite rinsing the day for all it was worth, I left feeling like I’d barely scratched the surface. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – however awesome – you can guarantee there’s something equally amazing happening elsewhere, so it’s very likely that no two people will have exactly the same experience.
Here’s my 2017 Silverstone Classic story. Enjoy.
This is typical of Silverstone Classic. Hidden away close to the paddock area was this gorgeous little Triumph 2000 Italia, looking for all the world like a baby Ferrari. I’d never seen one before, but it’s now right up there on my Cars I’ll Buy When I Win The Lottery list.
There are little moments of wonder and discovery like this everywhere you go.
And when was the last time you saw two Jaguar XJ220s together, never mind a whole paddock full. And I mean full.
I even followed one up the M40 on the way home. It was funny watching other motorists’ reactions as they were overtaken by a UFO mothership.
But as always at Silverstone Classic (you may have seen my photos from last year’s event), my go-to areas are the paddocks.
While in the paddock, I met the extremely genial Ernie Nagamatsu, racer of the legendary ‘Old Yeller II’ and Kilpatrick Speedster. He talked in great detail of his pride at being the custodian of these iconic cars.
And then I saw this.
Cheekily rubbing shoulders with the mega-money Bentleys was this fire-damaged and rust-addled 1935 BSA Ten, assembled using only bits found in the owner’s garage (including an MGB engine and ’box) at a total cost of a thousand quid.
Needless to say, I think it’s wonderful.
High-five of the day went to the crazy Russians that drove a convoy of fifty year-old GAZ-21s halfway across the world just to attend Silverstone Classic.
And who could fail to love the crowd-pleasing Celebrity Challenge Trophy Race, where a bunch of famous folk get to tear up the track in rainbow-hued Austin A35 pocket rockets?
And that’s it for another year. All that remains now is to massage my poor old feet back to life.