There’s something particularly special about an old car with an appropriate backdrop. We could have shot this month’s Mercedes 300SL ‘Gullwing’ feature (p138) anywhere, but former editor James Page was adamant that it had to be at the former RAF station at Greenham Common. The abandoned nuclear missile silos and cracking concrete of this Cold War-era base gave the perfect atmosphere for Tony Baker’s wonderful photography of a car whose first home was on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
Another British base that was also long neglected – but is now very active once again – brought this to mind in early October. I’ve been meaning to get to one of the Bicester Heritage Sunday Scrambles ever since they began four years ago, but somehow fate had conspired against me and until the final event of this year I hadn’t managed to make it.
Boy, have I been missing out. The combination is just about ideal: one of the most varied collections of cars I’ve had the pleasure to view, mingling with the historic buildings and leafy avenues of the restored Bicester Technical Site – with the bonus of its knowledgeable and enthusiastic residents opening their workshop doors to share their latest projects. And all accompanied by a delightful, relaxed atmosphere, in which enthusiasts can simply get together and talk about the things they love best: the cars. Perfect!
“My favourite detail is the dials. I love timepieces, and the craftsmanship is on the level of the Swiss watchmakers”