With a carefully curated selection of classic F1 cars, historic rally cars and celebrated race cars from a bygone era, the 2018 Classic Nostalgia motorsport festival certainly lived up to the hype. Hundreds of cars, thousands of spectators and plenty of noise from the exhausts of notable race cars (and bikes) from the past made for quite the experience.
F1 Through the Ages
Formula One cars from all eras were on static display, and some of them even completed demonstration runs up the hill, despite the wet weather.
The earliest F1 car was a Bugatti Type 35 GP, which was manufactured in 1926 and driven regularly at Shelsley Walsh in the late twenties and early thirties. It was entered by Chris Jaques and driven by Rob Newall at Shelsley Walsh Classic Nostalgia for the first time in 85 years.
The most modern car (provided by Williams Grand Prix for static display) was a 2016 Williams FW38, driven in the 2016 Formula One World Championship by Valterri Bottas and Felipe Massa, setting the record for the fastest speed ever recorded during an official session at 235mph. It certainly showcased just how far F1 technology has come.
A demonstration highlight was undoubtedly the 1989 Camel Lotus Type 101, entered and driven by Steve Griffiths. The sound of the 3500 cc normally aspirated V8 engine shook the ground as it set off and looked absolutely incredible in its unforgettable Camel livery. The car itself was driven to two fourth-place finishes by Satoru Nakajima during the 1989 Formula One World Championship.
Historic Rally Cars
Ralli22, a register of important rally cars from 1982-2004 was set up in the last 12 months after previous successful events at Shelsley Walsh in 2016 and 2017. Demonstration runs on the hill were provided by a whole bunch of Group A, Group B and WRC rally cars including a Toyota Celica Turbo, MG Metro 6R4, BMW M3, Ferrari 308 GTB and a Hyundai Accent WRC car.
One particular highlight was the antics of Ryan Champion in a Group A Subaru Impreza 555, drifting through bottom ess as if it were a tricky corner on a genuine rally stage. Also catching the eye (and ear) was the 4998 cc Chevrolet Firenza Can Am from 1972, which made a wonderful V8 noise as Mick Strafford warmed up the tyres before thundering up the hill.
Rare and Classic Motorcycles
Classic motorcycles were another special part of the Classic Nostalgia motorsport festival for the first time this year. Bikes making their way up the hill ranged from the 500 cc 1929 Rudge Ulster ridden by Zach Burns to the 1000 cc Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, piloted by famous motorcycle racer Jenny Tinmouth, who also gave an insightful interview to the crowd, but not before she had performed a burnout on the start line.
Other notable inclusions were the 1000 cc Indian Chief, a 500 cc BMW R5 from 1967 as well as some of the finest creations from world-renowned bike manufacturers such as Ducati, Yamaha and Suzuki. Because of the open-paddock policy at Shelsley Walsh Classic Nostalgia, bike enthusiasts were able to get up close and personal to a superb collection of rare and classic motorcycles.
Customers and guests of Stratstone enjoyed trackside grandstand seating overlooking the start line as the hundreds of classic racers attacked the famous hill climb.
Sheltering in the Stratstone tent from the many showers that came down over the course of the weekend, customers and guests were also treated to a complimentary bar stocking beer, wine and soft drinks. Food was also provided and included breakfast sandwiches and hot lunch from MYO Pizza, who served authentic Italian pizza and pasta street food from a retro 1980s Renault panel van, as well as afternoon treats on the Sunday and complimentary tea and coffee all day.
We also had our own car display featuring two McLarens, a brand new BMW i8 Roadster and an AC Cobra.
If all this sounds great to you, we're offering the same experience to Stratstone customers for Championship Challenge on 11-12 August - ticket details here.