Photos by John Retter Photography
The Oxfordshire countryside reverberated with the sound of engines last weekend for The Classic & Sports Car Show in association with Flywheel, held at Bicester Heritage. A magnificent collection of classic road and competition cars, motorcycles, vintage aircraft and military machines entertained a crowd of thousands during the two-day show, with special guests including Le Mans legend Derek Bell MBE, Car SOS presenter Fuzz Townshend and seven World War Two veterans to honour the centenary of the RAF and end of the First World War.
A diverse array of machines took to the Show’s demonstration track from the 1914 aero-engined Fafnir Hall-Scott Special to the 1926 Bentley 3 Litre Sports that competed in the 1926 Le Mans 24-Hour Race and 1957 AC Aceca Bristol. Meanwhile, in amongst the historic buildings of Bicester Heritage’s Technical Site – the UK’s best-preserved WW2 bomber station – a specially-curated collection of classic cars gathered for the inaugural Flywheel Concours. Six categories of cars were present, all pre-1976 to reflect the fact that RAF Bicester was closed in that year.
As well as the Flywheel Concours, visitors to the Show got a behind-the-scenes look at the businesses that operate in the Technical Site at Bicester Heritage, including: vehicle storage specialist Historit; Porsche experts Sports Purpose; paint restorers Auto Wax Works, and historic car sales companies Pendine and Robert Glover Ltd.
Alongside the on-track action, a host of vintage aircraft took to the skies, including the bright red Pitts Special aerobatic biplane of former British Female Aerobatic Champion Lauren Richardson, who gave aerobatic demonstrations, while Finest Hour Experiences offered Tiger Moth flights above the historic site. The Show also paid special tributes to the centenary of the RAF and end of the First World War with air displays coming courtesy of the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Dakota, the Bremont Great War Display Team and the BBMF Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster. There were also recreations of a WW1 ‘dogfight’ with Sopwith and Fokker Dr1 triplanes.
During the weekend, seven WW2 veterans visited the Show including 97-year-old Wing Commander John Francis Durham ‘Tim’ Elkington, one of the few surviving Royal Air Force fighter pilots who flew during the Battle of Britain. Elkington, who lives in Little Rissington, Gloucestershire, joined No. 1 Squadron RAF at RAF Northolt in 1941, from where he flew Hawker Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain.
As this year’s Show concludes, next year The Classic & Sports Car Show in association with Flywheel has been confirmed to take place on 22-23 June 2019.