The first weekend of September kicked off with an open house at Prill Porsche Classics, which served as a precursor to the main event: Classics at the Castle, held as always at the wonderfully preserved Castle Hedingham
Classics at the Castle and Prill Porsche Classics open house
Eagerly anticipated after a yearʼs hiatus, Classics at the Castle was back again held, as in previous years, at the delightful Castle Hedingham close to the Essex/suffolk border. In past years, weʼve enjoyed brilliant sunshine and suffered heavy rain, and this year the weather couldnʼt quite make up its mind once again – a threat of rain ahead of the event didnʼt really materialise until the journey home when yours truly ran into some downpours of biblical proportions!
The main focus of the event this year was the celebration of 50 years of the Porsche 911S, with a call put out for examples of each year of production to go on display. The result was a near 50-car showing, the numbers swelled by a worthy selection of RSS and a number of rare and desirable models, such as the T/R, ST and RSR. Paul Howells drove his RSR across country from his west country home, earplugs firmly in place we suspect!
Sadly this year there was no ʻmoving motorshowʼ of cars paraded up and down the driveway to the main house, concerns about crowd safety putting an end to the much anticipated parade. However, Mark Finburgh drew in the crowds when he fired up his Gulf-liveried 917. Itʼs amazing that no matter how many times you see and hear a 917, you canʼt help yourself from stopping whatever youʼre doing and listening in awe to the sound of the mighty flat-12.
There was a small number of trade stands from the likes of Roger Bray Restoration, PR Services, Spikeʼs Vintage
“THE MAIN FOCUS OF THE EVENT THIS YEAR WAS 50 YEARS OF THE 911S…”
Restorations, Classic FX, Classic Retrofit and Prill Porsche Classics, the latter having held a well-attended pre-event open day at its impressive workshop and offices in nearby Halstead on the Saturday.
Here we were able to take a close look at a number of customersʼ cars including a 910 which was coming towards the end of a rebuild following a ʻshuntʼ at the Nürburgring, and a stunning ex-le Mans Carrera Abarth. Outside was an impressive gathering of visiting Porsches, from Speedsters to the latest 991. The sun shone, the beer flowed and bratwurst was consumed. A perfect way to kick off the premier classic Porsche weekend in the UK.
This yearʼs Classic sat the Castle was hosted by Porsche Club Great Britain, but the main thrust of the show was driven by the three people behind this event from the start: Fred Hampton, Simon Bowery and Jamie Richardson, to whom we offer our thanks.
Some visitors have suggested that overall numbers were slightly down on past years and this may have been due to tickets only being available in advance via PCGB, or it could have been the uncertainty of the weather. From the point of view of the magazineʼs trade stand, it was just as busy as ever, giving us the chance to meet readers and advertisers in an informal atmosphere, where the cars were very much the stars. Needless to say, we look forward to the next show although whether that will be next year or in two yearsʼ time is uncertain at the moment. Watch this space… CP For future updates, visit www.classicsatthecastle.com
Above: Mark Finburgh brought along his magical 917, which was on display alongside the ex-mickie Most flatnose Kremer-built Turbo
Bottom left: Quite possibly the best registration number for a 1973 Carrera RS you could wish for!
Far left: One of the earliest 911s in the UK, LGK 6D was built in July 1965 and one of two RHD cars in Slate Grey
Left: Paul Howellsʼ RSR was driven all the way across country from its Herefordshire home. Earplugs, anybody?
Bottom right: First-series RHD Carrera RS was on show courtesy of Andy Prill
Top right: 911 T/R was originally owned by Dan Margulies. Itʼs one of just 28 T/RS built in 1968 for race and rally competition
Top left: Just a hint of the number of cars that showed up. Remember when all new Porsches were this colourful?
Above: Part of the near 50-car 911S display, celebrating 50 years of this iconic model
Middle right: Although there was no dedicated swap meet, that didnʼt stop some horse trading going on in the 356 display area
Right: Andy ʻSpikeʼ Finch put on a fine display of customer cars heʼd painted
Far left: 1966 RHD 911S was driven to the event by Phil Hindley of Tech9 Motorsport. One of the earliest ʻSʼs in the UK, it looked stunning
Bottom left: 910 was nearing a rebuild following a contretemps at the ʼRing. We look forward to seeing it back in action again at Spa
Far left: At Prill Porsche Classics, ex-le Mans Carrera Abarth was undergoing last minute fettling ahead of the show at Hedingham
Left: RHD 1967 911S was ordered with customerspecified paintwork – the only special order ʻSʼ in the UK that year. Bodywork by Chestertons, paint by Canford Classics, engine by Redtek and interior by Classic FX…
Left: 910 engine was ready and waiting to be reinstalled following a freshen up
Left: Trio of roofless 356s enjoyed the sunshine
Bottom right: We loved this ʻpatinaʼ Pre-a Speedster, complete with its unrestored interior. As the saying goes, theyʼre only original once