Thanks to MyCarHeaven I was fortunate to win two tickets to this years Footman James’s Sywell Classic Piston and Props event in Northamptonshire. I’d never been to this event before and having been to Bicester Heritage Classic Wings and Wheels event in June and Goodwood Revival at the beginning of September, it was going to be interesting to see how Sywell fared.
Getting in and out of the car park was good and for me that counts for a lot, so it was a promising start and the weather was just right with no wind, which helps considerably in an aerodrome event and the sun was very kind for the whole day.
Sywell Classic certainly looked as though its found its own stamp and I find that events which create its own identity will aways benefit from the public and motor enthusiasts support, plus its geographical location appeals to car enthusiasts in and around the Midlands and this was clearly borne out by the very large number of car clubs from the region, who in turn sat side by side with dedicated owners clubs, and there were lots of them to walk around.
Looking at Vauxhall Vivas and Chevettes , (where did they all go?) Berkley’s, Renault and Various Sunbeam Car owners clubs, etc., brought back many fond memories, well you only remember the good times don’t you? The inconvenient breakdowns, flat batteries, foggy windows and sticking handbrakes memories all seem to disappear when confronted with past familiar shapes, well maybe not all bad memories.
Never seen so many Austin and Riley 1100’s in one spot before, and I once recalled driving the automatic version of one of them, I seem to recall that it didn’t have the best driving position and I never remembered these cars being so small.
A large number of classic motorbikes were on show and also incorporated unique modern versions as well.
A great feature over both days was the live action area, where timed runs were carried out on tarmac sprint strips. Cars and bikes where there covering all aspects and ages of motor sport, from drag racers (a Fiat 126 with a bonkers MR2 engine was my favourite), through to current Formula 4 racing cars and not forgetting the noise of F5000 cars from the 1970’s.
Very impressive ariel displays were done by the Blades aerobatic display team, the Breitling Wingwalkers and a pair of Yakolevs, single seat 50 and a two seater 52, interestingly the 52 has tricycle under carriage and the 50 is a tail dragger, well I thought is was an interesting fact.
In addition to the cars on display the large hangers provided a covered space where vintage clothes aficionados could find all that they desired for the next classic event and for the more energetic individuals, singers and dance bands proved poplular throughout the day and there are the usual large choice of stalls and stands plus an impressive Big Horse Carousel for those who want to go up and down and round and round!
What I liked about Sywell was that you had space to walk about without the need to take evasive action, which made it a very comfortable event and its well worth a visit, its not often that I manage to find the front of the Air Display line!
If you are looking to see high end classics, like Ferraris and Aston Martins, then you may well be disappointed, but its a great trip down memory lane with a very large display of good old honest cars and motorbikes.
My only criticism is that they really do need to get in some decent coffee sellers!