Plenty to see both on the ground and in the air, and whether static or at high speed, made this third Flywheel really take off at Britain’s classic-friendly business park
It’s difficult to believe that the first Flywheel festival was just two years ago, because it has increased in both size and popularity.
Staged at Bicester Heritage – the Oxfordshire heritage park dedicated to historic motoring and aviation – the ex-bomber base surroundings were the perfect location for the blend of heritage vehicles, classic aircraft, history re-enactors, live music and vintage shopping. In addition to these attractions, many of the businesses at Bicester Heritage also threw open their doors so the public could explore the site properly.
Clubs and individuals turned out in force with their cars for the pre- 1970 parking area, which formed part of the static display area rather than being gathered outside the perimeter. Tanks and other military vehicles were put through their paces in their own display section.
While Bicester doesn’t have racing facilities, the old airfield roads do form a handy circuit on which a variety of vehicles were demonstrated for the delight of visitors. There was a particular focus on pre-war motorsport, with vehicles dating back to 1901 showing their different capabilities on the figure of eight track. Not having other cars to contend with around them meant that the machines could be properly thrown around, surprising many spectators with just what these aged cars were capable of. The machines could be inspected in the paddock both before and afterwards.
The cars constantly vied for attention with the aircraft overhead – ranging from World War One fighters through to helicopters, naturally with a good dose of essential Spitfire action thrown in for good measure. There were plenty on the ground to see as well.
Visitors seemed very impressed by this third staging, many that
CCW spoke to likening it to a mini Goodwood Revival, but without the pressing crowds and corporate omnipresence. It’s all looking very good for future festivals.
Peter Thompson had to ‘do everything’ to his 1969 Rover P6 3500 Series 1 when he bought it four years ago. The base unit was repaired and the full length Webasto roof, which had gone completely rusty, was removed and replaced by a conventional panel. The engine and gearbox were also rebuilt and power-assisted steering retro-fitted. Classics that took to the historic airfield’s figure of eight runway track included this splendidly patriotic 1930 4 ½-Litre ‘Blower’ Bentley, complete with suitably attired driver.