Donington Historic Festival – May 2013

Having enjoyed plenty of favourable feedback from the first two Donington Historic Fesitvals, the organisers promised us that the 2013 event would be even better and bigger than before. Newsletter updates, which started many months ago did little to quell my impatience for this early May Bank Holiday, as everything I received just increased my level of expectation. An event which comprises a variety of historic cars of every category from pre-war machines to Sports/GT racers from the 1950s and 1960s, early Touring Cars, Group C and more is compelling enough, but allied with the excellent spectator vantage points of the Donington circuit, and the numerous Car Club displays, and without the huge crowds that can intimidate at the similar Silverstone Classic event, all meant that this was one of the first things to go in my 2013 diary. Last year I organised an Abarthisti Car Club presence, which was much enjoyed by all who participated, so it was also clear that this needed to be repeated for 2013, giving an event double-header following on from the Brooklands Auto Italia event. My high expectations were more than surpassed, and the day shot by, with so much to see, do and talk about. And photograph. Even with the 400 photos in this report, there is plenty that is not covered. Nothing from the track (I need a better camera), and nor did I capture the Lancaster bomber that came over in the middle of the afternoon and did a couple of loops overhead.


As soon as we were parked up, he hot-footed it up to the Pits to see what was going on. Answer is that there was a hive of activity in some, and others looked quite dormant, though that soon changed during the morning. I do relish the opportunity to wander around so close to the action, and indeed we were actively invited to one garage when we were choosing not to get under the feet of the mechanics. That was one of the ones which contained several cars from my favourite race of the day, the pre-war GP cars.

There were 7 ERAs in action, and none of them were the 3 that typically appear at VSCC events. English Racing Automobiles (ERA) were successful in the 1930s and the voiturettes, with their supercharged Riley-based engines, remain hugely popular. Each ERA is unique, so they are easy to identify. The seven examples competing were R3A, R4, R4A, R5B, R9B, R10B and GP1. Winner of the race was R3A – driven by Briton Mark Gillies, who is came over from the USA to race. This was the first ERA to compete at Donington Park, in April 1935, while new ERA owner Nick Topliss’ R4A won the 150-mile Nuffield Trophy at Donington in July of that year, in the hands of Liverpudlian Pat Fairfield. Pat Fairfield would die two years later, in a crash at Le Mans, and a memorial to him can be found at Donington Park. Peter Whitehead and Peter Walker drove R10B to third in the 1936 Donington Grand Prix, behind a pair of Alfa Romeos, and Whitehead went on to win the 1938 Australian GP in it. US-domiciled Irishman Paddins Dowling will race it this time, while Germany’s Rainer Ott plans to bring R9B – Charlie Martin’s 1936 Donington Park Nuffield Trophy winner. Another period podium car that appeared was R5B ‘Remus’, in which Prince Birabongse of Siam scored a second place and Tony Rolt won club races in 1938. It is now owned by American Charles McCabe R4, by then in C spec, won the 1937 British Empire Trophy with ERA founder Raymond Mays aboard, while GP1, the sole ERA Grand Prix car to be completed pre-war, was driven by Arthur Dobson in practice at Donington Park for the Nuffield Trophy but was a non-starter, due to an engine failure.

 photo P1160506_zpse772a33b.jpg  photo DSC08340_zpsfcd124b2.jpg  photo P1160502_zps5761d0b9.jpg  photo P1160510_zpsb525f81e.jpg  photo P1160885_zps1040264d.jpg  photo P1160892_zps601a9e44.jpg

Also fabulous were the Alfas. Two P3s and and an 8C2300. One of the P3s won the inaugural Donington Grand Prix in 1935.

 photo P1160511_zpsf005c3e2.jpg  photo P1160504_zps18a2c38d.jpg  photo DSC08339_zpsb94f2aeb.jpg  photo DSC08552_zps4df6c85b.jpg  photo P1160503_zps3951c3e5.jpg  photo P1160501_zpsd94dbf59.jpg

And then there were the Maseratis. Late in the day we found a garage with no fewer than 7 of them, from the 1930s and 1950s. Predicted to be quickest of the Maseratis was the 1934 8CM driven for owner Chris Jacques by Dorset farmer Rob Newall, who raced Formula Ford single-seaters in the 1970s and remains one of Britain’s quickest Jaguar XK pilots. This car is dark blue rather than the traditional red of Italy, as it was originally raced by Prince Birabongese of Siam.

 photo P1160507_zps7c775f2d.jpg  photo P1160508_zpsaf73d4b8.jpg  photo DSC08341_zps3760a7ea.jpg  photo P1160891_zpsadf9c39e.jpg  photo DSC08547_zps4346e82c.jpg  photo P1160890_zps0273c5c3.jpg  photo DSC08549_zpsc0c78d7b.jpg  photo DSC08548_zpsf9aa52b3.jpg  photo P1160889_zps29e574f7.jpg  photo P1160888_zps57387646.jpg  photo DSC08544_zpsc1009e5a.jpg  photo P1160887_zps4d8ac966.jpg  photo DSC08546_zps4990f1f0.jpg  photo P1160886_zps9baa8396.jpg

Other pre-war GP cars included a twin rear-wheeled Alta, the Frazer Nash Nurburg, the Parnell-MG as well as a number of Bugatti Type 35s, 37s and a 39.

 photo P1160509_zps4e1bac81.jpg  photo P1160505_zpsa1281bcf.jpg  photo DSC08338_zps0e1c3e61.jpg  photo P1160893_zpsd6062b80.jpg  photo DSC08551_zpsb4a9cd38.jpg photo P1160884_zps47828578.jpg

The Group C cars are always a big draw wherever they go. My personal favourite was the Lancia LC2.

 photo P1160514_zpsc8e073a4.jpg  photo P1160513_zps1894f385.jpg  photo P1160512_zps8d9097fc.jpg  photo DSC08345_zps57b6db69.jpg  photo DSC08343_zpscd27f451.jpg photo DSC08342_zps80885b1b.jpg  photo DSC08346_zps2d7f4415.jpg  photo DSC08454_zps7b2ea725.jpg  photo DSC08449_zps8da8da3c.jpg  photo DSC08444_zpsad9ae3d5.jpg

There were some lovely Aston-Martins, including a DBR1, a DB3 and a long tailed DB4

 photo DSC08533_zps3ebba9b4.jpg  photo P1160871_zps3c4e19d8.jpg  photo P1160870_zps0e69eec9.jpg  photo P1160869_zps499e9090.jpg  photo DSC08531_zps16dcacbc.jpg photo P1160868_zps127bf5a9.jpg  photo DSC08529_zps41afcf20.jpg  photo P1160532_zps9a5891fe.jpg  photo DSC08374_zpsf9fec19d.jpg  photo DSC08375_zpsb3d1e43d.jpg photo DSC08377_zps8acb3d66.jpg  photo P1160873_zps159b0ec3.jpg  photo DSC08365_zps6d21ba1e.jpg  photo DSC08364_zpsf73ef616.jpg  photo P1160526_zps72f75d8a.jpg photo DSC08532_zps844fd407.jpg  photo DSC08366_zps813a5942.jpg

There were plenty of saloon and touring GT cars from the 1960s and 1970s

 photo P1160540_zps28c8860e.jpg  photo P1160523_zpsf7372f85.jpg  photo DSC08358_zpsd0cfebf6.jpg  photo P1160877_zps47d2f78f.jpg  photo P1160878_zpsa0cd43a4.jpg  photo P1160519_zps1b6cedcb.jpg  photo DSC08353_zpsa0ba5a15.jpg  photo P1160536_zpsd099d84a.jpg  photo DSC08384_zps5574c7e6.jpg  photo P1160535_zps70f8db87.jpg photo DSC08385_zpscfc3473b.jpg

There was also a class of GT cars, ranging from the very lairy Allard to TVRs, E Types

 photo P1160531_zps544adada.jpg  photo P1160520_zps1acdb340.jpg photo DSC08355_zps92ec36a3.jpg  photo P1160525_zpsbcf91aa9.jpg  photo P1160530_zps1a89daa2.jpg  photo P1160527_zps462283f8.jpg  photo DSC08367_zpsb6d68020.jpg  photo P1160529_zpsdfb066a1.jpg photo DSC08369_zps65d5e070.jpg  photo P1160522_zpsf35e3369.jpg photo DSC08357_zpsfc5ddd17.jpg  photo DSC08354_zps90ba919b.jpg  photo P1160521_zps1cbd47d8.jpg  photo P1160528_zpsec04aae6.jpg  photo P1160538_zps06f18f4e.jpg  photo DSC08388_zps153ae46a.jpg  photo P1160537_zpsd9401b4a.jpg  photo P1160872_zpsa74e417d.jpg  photo DSC08363_zps6ca69c67.jpg  photo DSC08360_zps2f2a5e36.jpg photo DSC08372_zps63752121.jpg  photo DSC08371_zps6ce8a90f.jpg  photo DSC08386_zps49d4b31e.jpg  photo DSC08383_zps06e7e8b9.jpg  photo DSC08368_zps716a0e4a.jpg photo DSC08535_zpsb289bb17.jpg


There was a large showing of ’70’s F2 cars

 photo DSC08534_zps74d4fb4a.jpg

One other joy of wandering the paddock is that you come across all manner of road cars just scattered around the place. And while some of them are merely prosaic rental cars, there were plenty that were not. The red McLaren MP4-12C car that was there early in the day was joined by an orange one later in the day.

 photo P1160498_zps0ffddaf6.jpg  photo DSC08333_zps8a9aadad.jpg photo DSC08334_zps6fa188a4.jpg  photo DSC08335_zps755c4907.jpg

 photo P1160883_zps5b099e1b.jpg  photo P1160881_zpsa33723c9.jpg  photo P1160894_zps75e1c060.jpg  photo P1160882_zps55b7d246.jpg  photo P1160880_zps49a9a32f.jpg photo DSC08553_zpsc5457af0.jpg  photo DSC08539_zpsa912a572.jpg  photo DSC08538_zps22471f48.jpg  photo DSC08542_zps373c80d5.jpg

There was also a Porsche Carrera GT, along with a number of other Porsche models.

  photo P1160867_zps086e7d81.jpg  photo P1160866_zps3ff71975.jpg  photo P1160865_zps1a710ce9.jpg  photo P1160864_zps30cfd44b.jpg  photo P1160863_zps7e9c5d33.jpg  photo DSC08527_zpsdee94602.jpg  photo DSC08526_zps8b75faf4.jpg  photo DSC08525_zps508cfbef.jpg  photo DSC08524_zps3024094b.jpg  photo DSC08528_zps0e0b33e7.jpg photo DSC08376_zps55cbdac3.jpg  photo DSC08336_zps39b2c132.jpg  photo P1160499_zps3812da0e.jpg

I am not sure which model MG this is. I think perhaps an L Type?

 photo P1160500_zpse6679afa.jpg  photo DSC08337_zps7523e911.jpg

I also liked this Ferrari 599 H-GTE

 photo P1160524_zps371ea804.jpg  photo DSC08359_zps824eabf2.jpg

This original Quattro was for sale. £15,500 sounded very reasonable.

 photo P1160534_zpsf63f06e7.jpg  photo P1160533_zps07172c00.jpg  photo DSC08380_zpsf5fb9eaf.jpg  photo DSC08382_zps0bc30345.jpg

The owner of this Mercedes 300SL Convertible was clearly trusting, as he left the keys in the boot lock and walked away!

 photo P1160876_zpsb53d3898.jpg  photo P1160875_zps748f2747.jpg  photo P1160874_zps8f49f1ac.jpg  photo DSC08378_zpse4a33955.jpg  photo DSC08373_zpsa0ab0ba8.jpg

Mundane this one might be, but it is now rare. A Fiat Marea saloon.

 photo P1160539_zpsf2af8a7c.jpg


With over 60 clubs booking space, it was always clear that there would be plenty of interest parked up in the infield, and so it proved. With no challenges of water-logged ground as there were in 2012, there was more space available for everyone, making it hard to determine if there were actually more or fewer cars than last year.


As the person responsible for booking the Abarthisti presence, I knew exactly who was coming, though as always with these things, there were a couple of surprises on the day. One was that our allotted area moved, and we ended up with lots of space and a pitch right by the pedestrian tunnel under the circuit. I don’t think I could have asked for a better location. Although I was only expecting one classic Abarth, Mike Foster’s lovely 1000TC, I was approached mid-morning by someone who asked if he could bring his 124 Sport Spider in to join us. It turned out to be absolutely immaculate, thanks to a recent (second) restoration.

 photo P1160548_zps274a201c.jpg  photo P1160547_zpsec603783.jpg  photo P1160862_zps4e01469d.jpg  photo P1160857_zps2cbee23d.jpg  photo P1160859_zpsbe936ebf.jpg  photo P1160861_zpsc629311d.jpg  photo P1160860_zps7d0aa008.jpg  photo P1160858_zpsf5a8acfc.jpg  photo P1160546_zps69309116.jpg  photo P1160545_zpse56b5c13.jpg  photo P1160544_zps2241a368.jpg  photo P1160543_zps3fba1bde.jpg  photo P1160542_zps5533247c.jpg  photo P1160541_zpsf0a0d29b.jpg  photo P1160674_zps6a4e3f22.jpg   photo P1160672_zpseed76906.jpg  photo P1160671_zpsa329eeca.jpg  photo P1160660_zpsadaabf17.jpg  photo P1160659_zpsd5999755.jpg  photo P1160658_zpsa6e66470.jpg


A number of “Cobra” models.

 photo P1160657_zpsa474b8fa.jpg  photo P1160655_zpsaadbb18c.jpg  photo DSC08392_zps02ab2192.jpg  photo DSC08433_zps0a6ab352.jpg  photo DSC08431_zps97a11fa3.jpg


A small collection of Alfas included a couple of “step front” Giulia GTs and a Spider, as well as a 155

  photo P1160709_zpsbe965c1b.jpg  photo P1160708_zpsa2bbaf8b.jpg  photo DSC08477_zpsa842dc7d.jpg  photo DSC08475_zps68774eda.jpg  photo P1160820_zpse058e8ba.jpg


A nice assembly of Astons, ranging from a DB5 through the DBS and V8 models to plenty of  more recent models

 photo DSC08425_zps6e9595b8.jpg  photo DSC08417_zpsf5a8b247.jpg photo P1160623_zpsdec02060.jpg   photo P1160847_zpsc1c1751d.jpg  photo DSC08423_zps57e289bf.jpg photo DSC08420_zps5847629d.jpg photo P1160617_zps5b246582.jpg  photo P1160610_zpsafec71b0.jpg photo DSC08416_zps78b0250a.jpg  photo DSC08441_zps643f58d2.jpg photo P1160613_zpsfb43fe3e.jpg photo DSC08421_zpsf6f8c3ed.jpg  photo P1160618_zpsfc23030a.jpg  photo P1160620_zpse06e5f7b.jpg  photo P1160848_zpse0bcdca2.jpg  photo P1160609_zps114a373a.jpg photo DSC08415_zps738f3c83.jpg  photo P1160608_zpsc78ae5d7.jpg  photo P1160619_zpsa99f0237.jpg  photo P1160611_zps41ae45f1.jpg  photo P1160621_zpsefae41ad.jpg  photo P1160614_zpsb4a1e4a1.jpg  photo P1160615_zps308b135c.jpg photo DSC08424_zps8d76a8bc.jpg  photo P1160616_zps263b9be3.jpg  photo P1160612_zpsfbdb924b.jpg  photo P1160622_zps2e9f48df.jpg  photo DSC08422_zps854aad09.jpg  photo DSC08520_zps76441d32.jpg


A small collection of classic Audis, including a 90 quattro and a couple of the second generation Coupe

 photo P1160651_zps824f544f.jpg  photo P1160644_zpse9ec2396.jpg photo DSC08396_zps07a648bb.jpg  photo P1160650_zpse53edaf5.jpg  photo P1160643_zpsfa749167.jpg  photo P1160646_zps5e732bb4.jpg  photo P1160647_zpsa86ea527.jpg  photo P1160645_zps7c122efb.jpg  photo DSC08393_zps39ec149e.jpg


A nice mix of Sprites and “Big Healeys”

 photo P1160705_zpsaddfd4dc.jpg  photo P1160704_zpse76cd5e5.jpg  photo P1160801_zps1e854d71.jpg  photo P1160800_zpsa47558d5.jpg  photo P1160799_zps4c6c3391.jpg  photo P1160798_zps7ff9004d.jpg  photo P1160797_zps3efe9344.jpg  photo P1160796_zpsc02ff33d.jpg  photo P1160795_zps162d9d1e.jpg  photo P1160804_zps7ffd1b12.jpg  photo P1160794_zps6c96a41d.jpg  photo P1160777_zps94c6da3d.jpg


A rather nice E24 series 635CSi.

 photo P1160722_zpsf378af9b.jpg  photo P1160721_zpsceb2030e.jpg  photo DSC08484_zps39767144.jpg


An early Equipe 1300

 photo P1160855_zps18ecc3df.jpg


A nice line up of SP250 “Dart” sports cars

 photo P1160720_zps5a065fdf.jpg  photo P1160719_zpsca107d9d.jpg  photo P1160718_zpsb817e0c5.jpg  photo DSC08483_zps0f160553.jpg  photo P1160717_zpse9ab1eb9.jpg  photo P1160716_zps8f54de9c.jpg  photo P1160715_zps7141ab51.jpg


There were a line of Ferraris parked up right close to the track, with all manner of different models from 246 GT Dino to the 599GTB

 photo P1160815_zpsc45b1d3e.jpg photo DSC08510_zps736cb150.jpg  photo P1160816_zps1c0ae851.jpg  photo P1160814_zps3f693300.jpg  photo P1160817_zps4fe07ca0.jpg  photo P1160813_zps4d36a2eb.jpg  photo P1160818_zpsef6cda84.jpg  photo P1160845_zpsc1a6de06.jpg


I first saw most of these classic sporting Fords in the car park at the Service Area. A mix of Fiesta XR2s and Escort XR3 models, they drove off just as I emerged from my room with camera in hand. When I caught up with them at Donington, though I discovered that all were immaculate, looking almost better than new.

 photo P1160642_zpsfc4b1697.jpg  photo DSC08397_zpsd12f84d7.jpg  photo P1160641_zps04dca351.jpg  photo P1160640_zps5978932e.jpg  photo DSC08398_zps786a0dbd.jpg  photo P1160639_zps436773c7.jpg  photo P1160638_zps04a4790d.jpg  photo P1160637_zps97d2c89d.jpg  photo P1160636_zps9d316868.jpg  photo P1160635_zps0c052e10.jpg photo DSC08429_zps7d5b8394.jpg

The Capri Owners Club had a number of cars on show, too

 photo P1160812_zpsb43a9cb6.jpg  photo P1160811_zps0d3f8b62.jpg  photo P1160810_zps8f37d719.jpg  photo P1160809_zpsc54c5c41.jpg  photo DSC08509_zpse261a2d4.jpg

There was also a small number of Mustang, which were parked right opposite the Abarths.

 photo P1160673_zpsd8a06741.jpg  photo P1160670_zps9e8179c5.jpg  photo P1160669_zpse184e252.jpg  photo DSC08432_zpseabd9809.jpg  photo DSC08440_zps2faef631.jpg photo DSC08439_zps34e095b3.jpg  photo DSC08438_zpse3b5280a.jpg


A duo of Imps were parked up in the middle of the infield and elsewhere there was a very early car reminding us that 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of this small car.

 photo P1160550_zps2e77bf22.jpg  photo P1160549_zps4614c5f0.jpg  photo P1160838_zps37775ff5.jpg  photo DSC08389_zps0560c433.jpg


A splendid array of NS-X

 photo P1160700_zpsbd03391c.jpg  photo P1160699_zps73c4e520.jpg  photo P1160698_zps1aca61d7.jpg  photo P1160697_zps0e6f4945.jpg  photo P1160696_zps273c9cc2.jpg  photo P1160695_zps24fba187.jpg  photo P1160694_zpsb6d766e5.jpg  photo P1160693_zpsecd79b44.jpg  photo P1160692_zps7b206811.jpg  photo P1160691_zpsbd67a3fb.jpg photo DSC08472_zpse0ba42f9.jpg  photo DSC08470_zps2f114c87.jpg  photo DSC08469_zpsbcf59937.jpg  photo DSC08473_zps2263dbf0.jpg  photo DSC08474_zpsd2212e75.jpg

There were also a good number of S2000 sports cars.

 photo P1160775_zps5d9e71b3.jpg  photo P1160774_zpse60c942a.jpg  photo P1160773_zps6e3b1068.jpg


A real highlight was this, an XJR15, one of just 16 such cars that were made for three support races in the 1991 Grand Prix program.

 photo P1160681_zps25716716.jpg  photo P1160687_zps257f2583.jpg  photo P1160682_zpsd40d4f46.jpg  photo P1160686_zps62e01a3b.jpg  photo P1160683_zpsd3479980.jpg

 photo DSC08464_zps62715116.jpg  photo DSC08461_zps61e89d1f.jpg  photo DSC08458_zpse4d5c31b.jpg  photo DSC08466_zps2d564dad.jpg

There were lots of E Types

 photo DSC08468_zpsd6ff6000.jpg  photo DSC08455_zps1a33aa55.jpg  photo DSC08515_zps8f9b1ff8.jpg  photo P1160836_zps99f60fb5.jpg  photo P1160835_zps1d90ad2b.jpg  photo P1160834_zpsd52cdf83.jpg  photo P1160833_zps08c8d21f.jpg  photo P1160831_zps79c1b6d7.jpg  photo P1160830_zps15b6d6a5.jpg  photo P1160829_zpsdccf41ac.jpg  photo P1160828_zps285445f2.jpg  photo P1160827_zpsa7948f1f.jpg  photo P1160690_zps04b8be29.jpg  photo P1160685_zps019e2bb2.jpg  photo P1160684_zps7e9e3527.jpg  photo P1160675_zps717adf12.jpg  photo P1160679_zps899490f9.jpg

Other Jaguars included a number of saloon cars and several XJS as well as a C Type

 photo P1160832_zps720d596a.jpg  photo P1160676_zps0941c292.jpg photo DSC08456_zpsf733bdc9.jpg photo P1160678_zpsd39ca6b5.jpg photo DSC08457_zpsb0e41ddc.jpg  photo P1160677_zps68fb97dc.jpg  photo P1160841_zpsda324a68.jpg  photo P1160840_zps7966f94e.jpg  photo P1160839_zpse4a83584.jpg  photo DSC08517_zps1c34005c.jpg photo P1160680_zpsf31e8429.jpg  photo P1160837_zpsc600ed68.jpg  photo P1160826_zps87cf8bb3.jpg  photo DSC08514_zpsf7bc3111.jpg  photo DSC08513_zps96b50d64.jpg


Aurelia GT

 photo P1160825_zpsdc248dc8.jpg  photo DSC08512_zps179b1c58.jpg


An array of Lotus ranged from a first generation Elite to several classic Elans, Esprits and a front wheel drive Elan, along with an more recent Elise and Exige

 photo P1160844_zps368424a1.jpg  photo P1160666_zps2b7c7a7d.jpg  photo P1160824_zps7ffca785.jpg  photo P1160819_zps9a8b0fa8.jpg photo DSC08511_zps71b8e147.jpg photo P1160823_zpsd7981a7a.jpg  photo P1160667_zps7d303ffa.jpg  photo P1160822_zps7bdee10f.jpg  photo P1160821_zpsf8a186aa.jpg  photo P1160668_zps43b5cb0d.jpg  photo P1160843_zps854b6d99.jpg  photo DSC08516_zps1a5d096d.jpg


Just two cars, including one of the very last models made, a TSO.

 photo P1160626_zps05182cfb.jpg  photo DSC08518_zpsb698c7c1.jpg

 photo P1160625_zpsdb06ad77.jpg  photo P1160624_zps7b900ece.jpg  photo DSC08413_zpsd6be233c.jpg photo DSC08412_zps5c264ac1.jpg  photo DSC08409_zps05722f13.jpg  photo DSC08414_zps2e0aea90.jpg


There were plenty of MX5s, of all three generations.

 photo P1160633_zpsd6bc06df.jpg  photo P1160632_zps17ff8e40.jpg


Lots of MGs, ranging from a TD to several Midgets and MGBs, as well as an MGR V8 and a ZT260 in one of those special paint finishes which changes colour depending on the angle at which you view it.

 photo P1160807_zps05482ffd.jpg  photo P1160707_zps0490eb0a.jpg  photo P1160706_zps907e1843.jpg  photo P1160703_zpsaf788c94.jpg  photo P1160702_zpsd4d5fc9f.jpg  photo P1160701_zpsc379db0b.jpg  photo P1160802_zps97b83ff5.jpg  photo P1160592_zpsb813738c.jpg  photo P1160591_zps0c124836.jpg  photo P1160806_zps645d0f97.jpg  photo P1160803_zps8f2ec39b.jpg  photo P1160689_zps1cc28061.jpg  photo P1160648_zpsd4a9b391.jpg  photo P1160688_zps7c4e95c7.jpg photo DSC08467_zps5274497c.jpg  photo P1160808_zps6745d305.jpg  photo P1160649_zpsbb59c884.jpg  photo DSC08508_zps576af087.jpg


 photo P1160842_zps1ae32abe.jpg


Plenty of Morgans, with most of them having the traditional bodyshell. There was also an Aero car.

 photo P1160772_zps11dd3be7.jpg  photo P1160771_zps48329c73.jpg  photo P1160770_zps3b2c563a.jpg  photo P1160769_zps6bb3c507.jpg  photo P1160768_zps83572c51.jpg  photo P1160767_zps1de6c562.jpg  photo P1160766_zpsa60f1175.jpg


A whole row of Z cars presented quite a striking sight. Most of them were the first generation 240Z cars.

 photo P1160776_zps960e71ed.jpg  photo P1160741_zps28e98a15.jpg  photo P1160740_zps45217f94.jpg  photo P1160739_zps52a1e522.jpg  photo P1160738_zps24b7e470.jpg  photo P1160737_zps60a0f8ba.jpg  photo P1160736_zpsffa091c7.jpg  photo DSC08501_zps8bc11e13.jpg  photo DSC08506_zps10ce7f26.jpg  photo DSC08494_zpsbd2d8ba3.jpg photo DSC08495_zpsc3f21311.jpg  photo DSC08499_zps35ea5f14.jpg  photo DSC08498_zpsda37b339.jpg  photo DSC08497_zpsb877f464.jpg  photo DSC08496_zpsea2931b5.jpg photo DSC08493_zps84602153.jpg  photo DSC08492_zpsdccf32b8.jpg

There were also a small number of Skyline models, including the current GT-R

 photo P1160735_zps769d83d0.jpg  photo P1160734_zps4a648b64.jpg  photo P1160733_zps7c773d7a.jpg  photo DSC08489_zpseeb90ad1.jpg  photo DSC08490_zpsff33e45d.jpg


The Porsche Owners Club had a huge number of 911s on show, and 50 of them took to the track for the lunchtime Parade Laps on the Sunday.

 photo P1160573_zpsa17f9f15.jpg  photo P1160572_zps4b939795.jpg  photo P1160571_zps4879c2a9.jpg  photo P1160570_zps9ab3010c.jpg  photo P1160569_zpsdf7d86ea.jpg  photo P1160568_zps1f7a21cb.jpg  photo P1160567_zps612fca79.jpg  photo P1160566_zpsd92a52e5.jpg  photo P1160565_zps3276ac8c.jpg  photo P1160564_zps0c62b557.jpg  photo P1160563_zpsf2e62df8.jpg  photo P1160562_zps28e074b6.jpg  photo P1160561_zpseffd5f24.jpg  photo P1160560_zpsf1122bdd.jpg  photo P1160559_zps96a1ad53.jpg  photo P1160558_zps1dbd07d6.jpg  photo P1160574_zps5bcc0a9b.jpg  photo P1160556_zps37b697d2.jpg  photo P1160557_zpsf22dee63.jpg  photo P1160856_zps235a771a.jpg  photo P1160854_zps627deec2.jpg  photo P1160853_zps4b4454ed.jpg  photo P1160852_zps382d81a1.jpg  photo DSC08428_zpsb5f4229e.jpg  photo DSC08427_zps9f7e8eac.jpg photo P1160851_zps1d9aa740.jpg  photo P1160850_zps053e33d2.jpg  photo P1160581_zps2c8eec79.jpg  photo P1160580_zpse005fdef.jpg  photo P1160579_zps4bf0afb5.jpg photo DSC08400_zps9fecf2e0.jpg  photo P1160578_zps35865c32.jpg  photo P1160577_zpsf18dec08.jpg  photo P1160576_zps247d372e.jpg  photo P1160575_zps87f0f1f3.jpg  photo DSC08401_zpsc68a8f51.jpg  photo DSC08399_zpsa2906bb5.jpg  photo DSC08394_zpsfa33f725.jpg  photo DSC08395_zps7f63822d.jpg  photo DSC08426_zpsf7da71f7.jpg

There were other Porsche models as well in the display, from 924 and 928 to Boxster and Cayman.

 photo P1160586_zpse82fb572.jpg  photo DSC08403_zps2c1aa7ef.jpg  photo P1160585_zpsc1ff4af3.jpg  photo P1160587_zps19f0ec7c.jpg  photo DSC08402_zps33822ee5.jpg  photo P1160588_zps44f64276.jpg photo DSC08404_zps4f513965.jpg  photo P1160582_zps2a4896ee.jpg  photo P1160584_zps8720ad7d.jpg  photo P1160590_zpseb0c56f9.jpg  photo P1160583_zps15916915.jpg  photo P1160589_zpsfe9390db.jpg  photo DSC08522_zps0c79d2f4.jpg  photo DSC08406_zps6360264f.jpg


There were a number of Scimitar models, with GT Coupe and GTE cars.  A late model Sabre too.

 photo P1160724_zps8627d028.jpg  photo DSC08486_zpsf605226b.jpg  photo P1160723_zpsc1684099.jpg  photo DSC08485_zpsc1a87181.jpg  photo DSC08487_zpsdf2eb3e5.jpg


A quintet of these French sports cars included a couple of A110s and three of the later A610 models.

 photo P1160765_zps69380e19.jpg  photo P1160763_zps5a1ec08a.jpg  photo P1160762_zps710fdb85.jpg  photo P1160764_zps4b743648.jpg  photo P1160761_zpsc00ea803.jpg  photo P1160760_zpsb84ab3e8.jpg  photo P1160759_zps321fc98e.jpg


Three classic RM model Rileys, one of which was a former police car, and it amused everyone when it took to the track for the parade laps, with the bell ringing

 photo P1160552_zpsfebeb281.jpg  photo P1160551_zps3f0d9f48.jpg  photo DSC08390_zps4d663aff.jpg


A rather nice P4

 photo P1160805_zpsac8894af.jpg


The Saab Enthusiasts Club were situated right next to Abarth and for quite a while it looked like the phrase could be written in the singular, with just a “bullnose” 96 on show. Then a series 1 Sonnet arrived and later a 900.

 photo P1160663_zpsa0cfe0df.jpg  photo DSC08436_zpsdbca288f.jpg  photo P1160662_zps78fe378b.jpg  photo P1160661_zpsaa5181c1.jpg  photo DSC08434_zps99f582d6.jpg


Once quite well known, this kit car is quite a rare sighting these days.

 photo P1160554_zps593eecde.jpg  photo P1160553_zps4713efe6.jpg  photo DSC08391_zpsfecd5b20.jpg


There was a good gathering of the Tiger sports cars

 photo P1160732_zps18e1114a.jpg  photo P1160731_zps10ef5f59.jpg  photo P1160730_zpse3b921da.jpg  photo P1160729_zps5e153abf.jpg  photo P1160728_zpsaf4e6944.jpg  photo P1160727_zpsf547aee6.jpg  photo P1160726_zps9e7637c2.jpg  photo P1160725_zps0a3ea36f.jpg  photo DSC08488_zpsc42e5d51.jpg


Nice Sunbeam-Lotus

 photo P1160665_zps32f9d1fd.jpg  photo P1160664_zps1adae63e.jpg


A vast array of TRs were on show.

 photo P1160631_zps74eab911.jpg  photo P1160629_zpsbbf2b176.jpg  photo P1160597_zps7e1c8de0.jpg  photo P1160607_zps96f08ea1.jpg  photo P1160606_zpse0dfde7c.jpg  photo P1160604_zps57a09b36.jpg  photo P1160603_zps6730b52a.jpg  photo P1160602_zpse33dceb7.jpg  photo P1160601_zps5174749f.jpg  photo P1160599_zps32b15a57.jpg  photo P1160598_zps25e198c3.jpg  photo P1160596_zpseec14c4d.jpg  photo P1160594_zpscf57544c.jpg  photo P1160593_zpsb6568cab.jpg  photo P1160628_zpscd9a20b8.jpg  photo P1160627_zpsf04ab64e.jpg  photo P1160846_zpsaf33e1b2.jpg  photo P1160653_zpsd3e9a9ab.jpg  photo P1160630_zps9ddaafde.jpg  photo P1160634_zps830029ce.jpg photo P1160605_zps5fc8aadf.jpg  photo P1160595_zps49ef6519.jpg

There were also lots of Stags, with just about every colour that was offered except Topaz and Magenta

 photo P1160793_zps13e33676.jpg  photo P1160792_zps8fb43322.jpg  photo P1160791_zpsec8b511d.jpg  photo P1160790_zpsbb8f5a57.jpg  photo P1160789_zpsa27436c2.jpg  photo P1160788_zps90673d06.jpg  photo P1160787_zps2f587db4.jpg  photo P1160786_zps941090c6.jpg  photo P1160785_zps735011f3.jpg  photo P1160784_zps9ca4c0f4.jpg  photo P1160783_zps77a793d4.jpg  photo P1160782_zps3129592b.jpg  photo P1160781_zpsa127a6f0.jpg  photo P1160780_zps4b125937.jpg  photo P1160779_zpsf616479f.jpg photo DSC08407_zps707eac4b.jpg  photo DSC08507_zps677f7ef4.jpg

Among other Triumphs were  a 2500S saloon and an earlier 2.5 PI Estate, as well as Spitfires and GT6s

 photo P1160555_zpsb2cb409b.jpg  photo P1160778_zps45932779.jpg  photo P1160654_zps3eb1f865.jpg  photo P1160652_zpsf9f1c071.jpg  photo P1160600_zps1b473e33.jpg


A colourful assembly of TVRs, with most of the different models produced during the company’s life time on show.

 photo P1160758_zpsf53cd81f.jpg  photo P1160757_zps9c8ffd41.jpg  photo P1160756_zpsaccb4753.jpg  photo P1160755_zps0de97980.jpg  photo P1160754_zps6ac85ea6.jpg  photo P1160753_zps7606daea.jpg  photo P1160752_zps2261b04d.jpg  photo P1160751_zps73e054f7.jpg  photo P1160750_zps798d2fac.jpg  photo P1160749_zpse41df664.jpg  photo P1160748_zpsf7af8619.jpg  photo P1160747_zps776d87eb.jpg  photo P1160746_zpsf74f64f1.jpg  photo P1160745_zps871d0350.jpg  photo P1160744_zpsf07b3123.jpg  photo P1160743_zps8e4f1067.jpg  photo P1160742_zps230e4f00.jpg  photo DSC08505_zpsc378f2bd.jpg  photo DSC08504_zpsf0a949b7.jpg  photo DSC08503_zps54dc9b38.jpg photo DSC08502_zps2b18aeae.jpg


There were a number of Viva models, from a de Luxe HA car to a slightly less spartan HB car in SL trim, and the coupe version of the HC car, the Firenza.

 photo P1160710_zpscd31932f.jpg  photo P1160714_zps714e44fc.jpg  photo P1160712_zps67606862.jpg  photo P1160711_zps11434208.jpg  photo P1160713_zps03946c72.jpg photo DSC08478_zpsa495ca49.jpg  photo DSC08481_zps6e870231.jpg  photo DSC08479_zps02167131.jpg

Elsewhere there was a droopsnoot Firenza on show

 photo P1160656_zps9c785955.jpg  photo DSC08430_zpsdd632d8a.jpg


There had to be a couple!

 photo DSC08537_zpscab88f55.jpg  photo DSC08536_zpseb33f20f.jpg


Amazing to realise that it is 19 years since the legendary Ayrton Senna’s untimely death. l have no doubt that there will be more tributes to one of the greatest racing drivers ever next year, but meanwhile, this year marked the 30th anniversary since he got behind the wheel of a Formula One car, and, of special significance to Donington, 20 years since he triumphed in appalling wet conditions at the European Grand Prix held at the Donington Circuit (and the weather was truly terrible, I still remember spending much of the day sitting in my car seeking shelter from rain and wind!). A special display of six cars connected with Senna were on show in the centre of the paddock, and a couple of them took to the track for demonstration laps at lunchtime.

 photo P1160497_zps3e4c7568.jpg  photo P1160494_zpsa85ae697.jpg  photo DSC08330_zpsa4cb46a8.jpg

In 1982 Ayrton Senna won the British and European F2000 Championships, and was rewarded with a drive in the season-end F3 race in a Ralt RT3. He famously won the race, and that very RT3 was both on show and then demonstrated on the track.

 photo P1160516_zpsfa03234f.jpg  photo P1160515_zps1a0b897c.jpg  photo DSC08350_zpsfcd86ae8.jpg  photo DSC08348_zps21c0057e.jpg

During his F3 Championship-winning season in 1983, Senna enjoyed his first-ever drive in an F1 car, testing Keke Rosberg’s Monaco GP-winning Williams-Cosworth FW08C at Donington Park. That very same FW08C is now a star feature of the Donington Collection, and this important machine was brought out of the museum for the Festival.

 photo P1160496_zps065ebcb6.jpg  photo P1160495_zps5c25757f.jpg  photo DSC08324_zps637f0b31.jpg

As a result of his impressive F1 tests in 1983, Senna moved into Grand Prix racing full-time in 1984, and his first Formula One race car – the famous 1984 Toleman TG-184-02 Hart turbo – was also displayed at the Festival. This is the car that Senna drove to a spectacular second place in the 1984 Monaco GP, overtaking Alain Prost for the lead but being robbed of his first Grand Prix win when heavy rain stopped the race the following lap.

 photo P1160518_zps9f516b18.jpg  photo P1160517_zps6a608d52.jpg  photo DSC08347_zps41d8b24f.jpg  photo DSC08351_zpsb3a761e1.jpg

Also on display was the 1986 JPS Lotus Renault Turbo in which Senna won the US GP at Detroit. The young Brazilian started the race in pole position, but tyre problems saw him initially fall back to eighth place, with the race lead changing hands six times between five drivers before – equipped with fresh tyres – Senna carved his way through the field to take victory.

 photo P1160493_zps5a6fb9a7.jpg  photo DSC08326_zpsfccd1ed9.jpg  photo DSC08328_zps3a2e39f9.jpg

I was a little more intrigued to discover the connection to the MG Metro 6R4 and the Brooklyn MotorSport Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. These were among five rally cars that Ayrton Senna test-drove in a Welsh forest in November 1986, for a feature that appeared in Car and Car Conversions magazine.  At the end of the day, Senna summed up his experience of these very different type of competition cars:  “I think, overall, it has been much more exciting than I expected. Much more involving. I didn’t feel the time going by. It went so fast because I was finding out, and learning more and going harder and harder. Having some moments… it was very exciting. Feeling the car in the air and then bottoming. Something I have never experienced before in a road car. In a road car you go easy, eh?” The Cosworth was in action in the live rally demonstration on the Melbourne Loop.

 photo P1160492_zps24586b2b.jpg photo DSC08323_zps1f31f293.jpg  photo P1160879_zpsc68a082e.jpg

Sadly, a brilliant day came to a premature and tragic end. When the track went quiet and emergency vehicles started tearing across the site, and then two air ambulances landed, it was clear that something serious had happened. So it proved to be, as I later found out that in the last planned race of the day, two of the competing cars had crashed heavily, with both drivers unconscious. Sadly, one of them, Christian Devereux  driving a 1965 Mini Cooper succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the crash. We all know that there are risks associated with motor sport and although accidents do happen, fatalities are thankfully rare, but this was one occasion when the luck ran out. Sincere condolences to his family and friends, who will take some solace, I guess, from the fact that he was at least doing something he loved doing.  Not surprisingly, this event brought racing to an end, and those remaining were able to leave the site.

That said, the rest of the event will be one which I will remember for all the right reasons, and long after the slight sunburn has gone. With a collection of friends from both Abarthisti and, some interesting cars, some exciting action on the track, and even some dry and ultimately sunny weather, this was an epic event. Definitely one for the diary in 2014.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *