Fly­wheel Fes­ti­val

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

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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