Brook­lands New Year’s Day Gath­er­ing

Bri­tain’s big­gest New Year meet had just about every­thing – from As­ton Martin DB5s to Eight­ies Pro­tons!

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - David simis­ter

’You never know what’s go­ing to turn up on the day and how they’re go­ing to mix to­gether’

An em­pha­sis on va­ri­ety – and un­usu­ally mild weather – helped to make Brook­lands’ sea­son­starter the big­gest New Year’s Day event in Bri­tain.

More than 1500 cars took part in the mu­seum’s first clas­sic meet of 2019, and the num­ber of vis­i­tors – 7919 in all – was up nearly 50 per cent on the pre­vi­ous at­ten­dance record, set at 2016’s event, mak­ing it Brook­lands’ busiest ever single-day event. The in­for­mal ap­proach meant that Sun­beam Tigers and MGCs rubbed shoul­ders with a Pro­ton GLi on the for­mer race cir­cuit’s his­toric bank­ing. The mu­seum also waved in more mod­ern clas­sics than in pre­vi­ous years by al­lo­cat­ing an area in The Heights for su­per­cars and 1990-on clas­sics. Else­where the event’s fo­cus on pre-1989 clas­sics was re­laxed to al­low MGFs, Fiat Coupés and other Nineties clas­sics to into the mu­seum’s grounds.

Most of the dis­plays were fo­cused on the bank­ing and the Fin­ish­ing Straight – where the MGF Regis­ter, Rover P5 Club and Mini Cooper Regis­ter took part in pre-al­lo­cated club dis­plays – but with so many ve­hi­cles on show, vir­tu­ally all of the site was used for clas­sic park­ing, in­clud­ing a sec­tion in the pad­dock ded­i­cated to pre-war cars.

Mu­seum mar­ket­ing man­ager, Paul Ste­wart, said: ‘There are some peo­ple who only come to Brook­lands once a year, and it’s this event they come to, so you never know what’s go­ing to turn up on the day and how all the cars and bikes are go­ing to mix to­gether.

‘It’s the only event we have where you’ll get mul­ti­mil­lion-pound clas­sics park­ing up next to Austin Met­ros – it re­ally is the United Na­tions of clas­sics. What’s more, ev­ery­one who comes al­ways tells us how much they en­joy it, and how great it is to be out of the house and en­joy­ing clas­sic cars af­ter spend­ing so long at home over Christ­mas!’

Brook­lands’ next clas­sic gath­er­ing is its Win­ter Clas­sic Meet on 17 Fe­bru­ary, but it’s well worth head­ing there on 27 Jan­uary, too, for the Vin­tage Sports Car Club’s Driv­ing Tests event.

One of the big­gest dis­plays in the pre-al­lo­cated clubs area was put on by the MGF regis­ter’s south east re­gion branch.

Fred Parker’s look­ing for­ward to ex­plor­ing the French coun­try­side in the 1968 re­nault 10 that he’s owned since 1995.

Brothers David and Brian ranken’s 1951 Jaguar Xk120 raced at Goodwood in pe­riod. Brian bought it in 1966 for just £270!

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