The arrival of the month of June heralds the arrival of summer and kicks off a series of grand classic car events. Last weekend saw the automobile opulence known as Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este held on the shores of Lake Como. This week features the slightly less grand but no less worthy London Concours.
The venue for this event is the home of the Honorable Artillery Company and has been since 1537. It is an oasis of tranquillity in the heart of the City, London’s financial centre. There may not be a lake in view but the Italians don’t have a cricket pitch. Indeed when one of the soldiers on duty was asked about the proximity of all the windows surrounding the cricket green and the danger of them being broken by a cricket ball he replied that their team was not very good, neither were their opponents. Bit like the current England squad came the sharp retort.
Sporting matters to one side the Concours, now in its second year, has matured and is set to become a firm fixture on the UK’s motoring calendar. A high standard of exhibits graced the grass, something for everyone to savour. Not all on show were high performance classics, some were a little more workmanlike.
There were a few familiar faces, the ex-Rob Walker Ferrari 250 GT SWB, immortalised by Sir Stirling Moss at Goodwood, now the proud possession of Ross Brawn.
The latest movement in the historic motorsport world, Global Endurance Legends, was also represented by a few GTs, this brace of Lotus BPR challengers attracting attention.
The show takes motoring excellence to the heart of London, it is a great way to spend a few hours in the company of like-minded machines and men………..roll on 2019.
Thruxton celebrated its 50th anniversary last weekend. The super fast Hampshire race track has been a popular motor sport venue since becoming the BARC’s home after the closure of Goodwood in 1966.
Originally used for racing in the ’50s, a new track was opened in 1968. Like many other race circuits in the UK it was the site of a military airfield during World War Two. It was operated as a fighter base with the United States Army Air Force taking over from the RAF in 1944 in the run up to D-Day.
Since 1968 it has become a favourite venue for motor sport fans of two or four wheels persuasion. I recall many great days’ racing on the traditional Easter Monday Formula Two meeting. It was a fine way to welcome in a new season and to see the next generation of Formula One stars in the making.
In recent years there has a major investment program with the opening of the Thruxton Hospitality Centre.
The racing was its customary close, competitive self, with the inner hooligan of the Mini fraternity never far from the surface.
And what would a Formula Ford race be without a bit of rough and tumble?
Motorsport’s answer to Morecambe and Wise, Nigel Mansell and Murray Walker, were guests of honour, deservedly so.
The sun shone and another excellent weekend of racing and things generally automotive were enjoyed by an appreciative audience. Here’s a salute to the next 50 years!
As part of the tribute from those of us at DDC Towers we bring you another fabulous collection of imagery courtesy of the man of the moment. Simon Hildrew.