Castle Combe is but 20 miles away from Chateau Colin and yet it is a venue which I attend surprisingly infrequently given its proximity. My eye was caught by an advert in the local paper of an event entitled Classics and Sports Cars Action Day, though, which promised a vast number of Car Club Displays and lots of short bursts of action on the track. Since the event was scheduled for a Saturday, it did not even clash with anything else in the rather full 2012 events diary, so it had to be worth a look, with a possible eye to arranging some form of participation in 2013. The weather forecast was not terribly auspicious, and judging by the number of marked up display areas with no cars in them, I suspect quite a few people decided not to come, but in fact the day started off with some quite reasonable sunshine, so I headed off. Here is what I found:
David Roots had chanced the weather and brought along his Special, as promised. I did stop by a few times in the hope of saying “hello”, but there was never anyone by the car when I was passing.
A number of other Alfas were also present, including Mike Hurst’s fabulous 1929 6C 1750 Zagato, as well as an SZ, a Duetto Spider, a 916 series GTV and a rather nicely presented 145.AUDI
A lovely Sport Quattro.
The bright orange colour on this S3 looks far better than when I saw the same hue on an A6 last year.AUSTIN
This Austin Eight was made in the 1940s and was typical of the sort of pre-war model that was simply put back into production when car manufacture resumed after the cessation of hostilities.
An example of the popular A35, in Van form.There were a couple of these lovely A105 Westminster models. These were top of the range cars when new in the mid to late 1950s.There were also a couple of the “Farina” A55 Cambridge models, both finished in two tone colours that are far from the sort of hue that buyers today would select.AUSTIN-HEALEY
There were lots of Big Healeys, with a mixture of the earlier 100 and the later 3000 car
There were also a couple of the smaller Sprite..BENTLEY
One of the rarer cars of the day was this, an E23 7 Series. It was joined by a 2002 and an E30 model M3.
Here in force, which is hardly a surprise, as these cars are just made for track action which was on offer. There were a couple of genuine Lotus Sevens as well.
An example of the current Camaro. Very nice, if a trifle big for the country roads that surround Castle Combe.
The Crossfire Owners Club (yes, there is one) had 15 cars on show, a mix of Coupes and Convertibles.
The Crusader was based on the Hillman Imp and enjoyed modest popularity until the introduction of VAT made kit cars such as this no longer financially competitive.
The Fiat Motor Club brought along a number of rare models, lead by this beautifully presented 127 Palio.
Other cars included a number of first generation Pandas, a Uno Selecta and a 124 Spider.FORD
An event like this always attracts a vast number of Fords, reflecting their popularity among the enthusiast community. Some of the cars were very recent, with Focus RS models among them.
There were Escorts of every generation, some more “original” than others.Plenty of Sierra Cosworths, tooThere were also a couple of first generation Capris, along with a late model car.Among the Cortinas was a first generation Lotus-Cortina and a second generation GT.One of the oldest Fords at the event was this Anglia 105E.This Mustang was a Saleen modified car.GILBERN
This Series 3 Invader appeared to have undergone some modifications, with completely different rear lights from the original car.
The G15, a rather nicely styled small sports car based on Hillman Imp mechanicals.
Three very different Avengers, from the Tiger through a works support Estate car to a late model Talbot badged car.
There were also a couple of the smaller Imp models, which were joined by their Sunbeam close relatives.HONDA
An interesting collection of cars included several of the tiny S600 cars from the 1960s, as well as a rare surviving Z Coupe and the more recent Beat.
A great disparity of models here. Numerically there were more of the popular E type than any other model.
Other Jaguars included an XK120, an XK150, several of the Mark 2 Saloons and a couple of the XK8 model.JENSEN
There was a great collection of Jensens to admire. Three of the rare GT model arrived. This car had a short life as by the time production had started, Jensen were in serious financial trouble and were wound up only a matter of months after the GT was launched.
There were plenty of Healeys, too.The Interceptor was not left out, with a few of these cars on show, too.LAMBORGHINI
This was the only real “supercar” at the event, a Diablo.
Two of the original Seven cars joined the more recent Caterhams.
An example of the first generation Elite.There were a couple of Esprit modelsMARCOS
The Marcos Owners had a big display of cars, with all manner of models from the 1960s to some of the last Mantis and Mantara models made only a few years ago.
A small display of cars from the Three Pointed Star included some nice machinery such as this “Pagoda” W113 230SL, a couple of R107 SL cars, a W124 Cabrio and an E55 AMG.
Arriving mid morning was this lovely W108 280SE.MG
A big showing of ZTs, focused on the V8 model 260s cars. These cars have definitely become a classic and the Owners Club is clearly very active in getting their members to a wide variety of events.
There were also a good number of the F and TF cars of recent times.There were also a couple of the V8 engined MGR car.This late model MG Metro Turbo is absolutely immaculate;. It has recently appeared in an article in Practical Classics.Other MGs included a couple of TCs, an MGA and an MGCMORRIS
This 1800 is still in the process of being restored.
An R32 Skyline GTR.
A far larger collection of Manta B models than I can recall seeing for many a year. Models included not just the 400, but the more prosaic Berlinetta.
A 405 in race trim.
This 205 Rallye had been further lightened for better performance on the track.PORSCHE
A number of Porsche cars included 911s of every generation bar the latest 991 car, along with several of the front engine 924/944 cars.
A small collection of Subarus appeared to concentrate on the first and second generation models, with examples of some of the rarer versions such as a first generation 2 door WRX.
A couple of the Imp-based Stiletto models.
The camera only captured a first generation MR2s, but there were a couple of Celicas also in attendance.
A wide variety of Triumph cars, as you might expect. Stags were the most numerous individual model.
The Herald-based Vitesse reaches its 50th anniversary this year and it was good to see a number of these cars at the event. The first cars had a 1600cc engine, and this was later enlarged to 2 litres making the car notably brisker than the Herald.There were a good number of TR models, too, with examples of the TR4A, TR5 and several TR6s. .Among the smaller sports cars were a Spitfire Mark 3 and a GT6A couple of Dolomite Sprints.Rarest Triumph of the day was this, an Acclaim. Purist may decry these as not a real Triumph, as the car was based on the Honda Ballade, but they are a rare sighting now.TVR
Another marque that you can expect to see in quantity at an event like this, and I was not disappointed. There were several of the 1980s S cars along with some of the more commonly seen 1990s cars including Chimaera, Griffith, Tuscan and the more recent Tamora.
Not quite pristine, but a rare survivor of the first generation Cavalier.
An Omega 3000 GSi in race livery.VX220.WOLSELEY
Joining the pair of Austin A55 Cambridges was the more luxurious Wolseley 15/60 version.………. AND FINALLY
Something rather different was this, commissioned by Cadbury Schweppes and built in the late 1980s, it was based on a Bedford Rascal van, with Citroen 2CV headlights The car even took to the track at one point during the day.
This was an interesting event, with lots of variety on show. I timed my departure perfectly, as about 30 seconds after getting into my car, the heavens opened which would have rather spoiled things for the afternoon.