Bigger events have generally been off the agenda this year, but the organiser of the London Classic Car Show was determined to fill the void by arranging its inaugural Covid-secure Classic Car Drive In show at Bicester Heritage on September 19-20. And despite only being announced a mere six weeks in advance, it proved to be a very welcome get-together for enthusiasts.
The event took its name from the two big silver screens featuring three car-related films per day, but there were plenty of other attraction for visitors to enjoy at the 444-acre former RAF site. Over 60 iconic Grand Prix, Le Mans, vintage and touring car race cars took to the site’s track for demonstrations in front of special socially-distanced viewing points and trackside bays for ‘bubbles’ of up to six, with a special tribute also paid to Colin McRae on the 25th anniversary of his World Rally Championship victory.
Elsewhere, a diverse selection of nearly 30 car clubs included displays from the Fiat 500 Club, the Bristol Owners’ Club, the National Street Rod Association, The Gay Classic Car Club, BMW Club GB, Porsche Club GB, the Figaro Owners’ Club, the Sunbeam Tiger Club, Retro Rides and many more. The most impressive display was by the Afro Classics Register however, whose members had dressed to reflect the era of their cars and had brought together a brilliantly varied collection of vehicles including a concours Triumph TR4 and a stunning Fiat Strada Abarth 130 TC.
The variety continued amongst the trade stands, with one vendor’s stand positioning a Porsche 911 next to a Wartburg, plus displays from Ferrari specialist GTO Engineering and Aston Martin Works. There were also plenty of cars to choose from amongst the entries for Sunday’s Bonhams MPH auction; you can read the Bonhams auction review here.
With blues skies throughout the weekend, a bustling classic-only parking area and plenty of historic vehicle specialists elsewhere on the Bicester Heritage site opening their doors, the event was well worth a visit, even if the Friday was reportedly a little quiet. By and large attendees were very respectful of social distancing and the ‘rule of six’ too, helping to boost confidence that events of this nature still can go ahead in the right conditions.