Silverstone classic car festival review
Courtesy of the Silverstone Classic motorsport festival we sent along a couple of our young drivers to experience this unique event.
An alternative couples day out
As soon as it's summer, every young person's schedule seems to be full of plans to attend every festival under the sun. I love a good music festival but I love a day out too. When I was younger I was never interested in Barbies or dressing dolls up - I actually had a massive interest in cars.
Therefore, when the opportunity arose to be able to attend Silverstone Classic Car Festival, I jumped at the chance. My boyfriend is obsessed with cars and his car is his pride and joy so we ended up travelling down to Silverstone and I was excited to see what the festival had in-store!
I'll be honest - when we arrived it was pouring it down. Instantly then, I was very glad I was at a motor show with miles of tarmac and not a muddy field in Somerset! Whereas the rain would have seriously dampened our spirits at a music fest, it didn't stop us from having fun at Silverstone.
There were races going on, auctions, car clubs displaying old, vintage cars and performance cars, activities and loads of food to choose from too. I loved seeing the Ferrari members' cars and the MG members' cars - talk about mint condition... these motors were absolutely spotless. I find it incredible the attention of detail that goes into preparing for a festival like this.
From a young person's perspective it did open my eyes to something I might not previously have tried. It wasn't just a car enthusiast's dream (I mean, my boyfriend has a huge interest in cars so clearly he had a great time). No, it was more that there was something for everyone with all the sideshows and activities, not to mention the exhibitors we talked to who were so knowledgeable and engaging.
We'll definitely both be heading back to the festival sometime in the near future and hopefully it'll be a lovely sunny day this time!
Silverstone Classic: The golden nugget with a shed load of torque
Well it's safe to say the 25th Annual Jubilee of the Silverstone Classic this year was nothing but a pure delight. As soon as we arrived in the lovely little village of Silverstone I instantly felt a rush of excitement! That excitement then made its way up to my face and into one big smile, when the first thing I saw roaring its way up a small side alley was a gorgeous bright yellow Lotus Elise! What a way to kick things off!
Get ready to rev your engines
As we got closer to the main gate 'Welcome to Silverstone' began emerging in the distance and soon after we were directed to our car park. We were then able to collect our wristbands and programme (with free handbag!) and make our way down to the main event passing all these wonderful little merchandise stalls, car display tents, auctions and even the silver car parade was in progress!
We'd heard that the Friday and Saturday had brought glorious weather however the day we attended (Sunday) was expected to be a wash out due to the heavy rain. As excited as I was, I've also learned the hard way that rain and festivals really aren't the best mix unless you're happy playing stuck in the mud!
Cursing myself for not bringing wellies, I was extremely surprised to see that wherever you looked the grass was practically untouched and in the most pristine condition! There were also lots of little concrete pathways which allowed you to weave in and out of the stalls, tents and attraction areas with no worry about losing a shoe or getting caked in dirt. Considering how spacious and large Silverstone is, this was generally the case wherever you ventured off to. That on its own really made the day for me!
I love the smell of chargrilled asphalt in the morning
The first thing you notice when stepping into the festival itself, is the smell of burning rubber, and boy does it hit you in the face! We then heard the drilling sound of the cockpits in action and rushed over to see if we could get a few snaps, however they had just started closing them off to the public as the next race was about to begin - The FIA Masters Historic F1! After filming a lovely long line of vintage beauties outside, we headed over to the main track to get ready for the carnage!
Need for speed takes the lead!
Seeing these wonderful cars whizz round the track after each other was a great experience. Despite the fact that it was pouring, it did not take anything away from what we were watching and nor did it seem to bother the rest of the crowd. Some of the cars were going round the circuit so fast you could literally see the spray from the road begin to dry up!
Going once... Going twice... Sold!
We then made our way into the auction centre where we were quite taken aback by the amount of beautiful shiny classics they had on display (by this point in the afternoon 90% had already been listed as 'SOLD') as we tip-toed our way round the room taking it all in, we came across a gorgeous 1972 BMW CSL, a 1969 Lynx-Jaguar, a 911 Porsche RS, 1975 BMW Osella and many more!
Making our way to the upper level of the building we also discovered a small dedicated cafÃ© which had a whole shop's worth of merchandise on display, from a giant Michelin man statue to a reasonably large model of the Ferrari Nano Dell'Orto!
Get in ma belly!
Next we went to get a well-needed bite to eat, and can I just say that the food stalls they had there were out of this world. My partner had a foot long hot dog packed full on crispy onions with a mustard and ketchup relish that I was told off for when what was meant to be one small nibble turned into half the sausage! I then also treated myself to a hot roasted pulled pork with stuffing and applesauce baguette and it was probably one of the best baguettes/sandwiches I have ever had in my life! Any of the food stalls were enough to make you salivate just by looking at them. It goes without saying that they definitely had something for everyone whether you are veggie, vegan or just looking for something a bit lighter than a burger!
Scream if you wanna go faster!
We then made our way over to another section of the festival where we came across a whole area dedicated to fair rides which were put there courtesy of JET! (That's right... all the rides were free!) Had it not been raining so much we would have gone on a lot more than just the Ferris wheel, but some of the rides were understandably not operating at the time due to it being too wet.
I must say that JET were fantastic and so hospitable. We wandered into their marquee after some lunch as the rain was getting worse and we needed somewhere to rest our legs for five minutes. Inside we were instantly greeted by a friendly member of the organisation offering a lovely hamper of free goodies, from a pocket torch to lip balm, to pens, keyrings and even disposable rain macs! Basically... a JET survival kit! Inside the tent they also had their own version of a kid's Scalextric where little enthusiasts would go head to head in a bid to make the fastest time.
In the corner there was a rather sexy-looking 1965 Ford Mustang right next to Nicolas Hamilton's first ever Audi S3 Touring car! We were even fortunate enough to take a look under the bonnet of this piece of history and what a delight that was!
'The greatest supercar the world has ever seen'
The next highlight of our day out was seeing a car park full of classic and modern Ferraris, all graciously lined up next to each other. It all became quite overwhelming at one point; just knowing that we were standing amongst millions of pounds worth of supercars would make anyone feel a bit nervous! Snapping as many pics as we could, it was then that we saw the one phenomenon we had been waiting for... the F40! With only 1300 ever made, we weren't even sure if we would get to see one. The fact that this car was once rated the 'the greatest supercar the world has ever seen' by Jeremy Clarkson himself, just goes to show how much of a rarity it was to see one in the flesh. A truly beautiful and remarkable creation.
We then took a short stroll around the next car park which was dedicated to a load of classic Aston Martin's (James Bond's 1965 DB5 was the first one we saw!) that then lead us into a further car park round the back where we discovered an incredible collection of Lamborghinis. You could tell Lambo had had a successful day of auctions by the amount of spaces leftover. A clear indication that there must have been some keen buyers at the event!
Rain, rain go away!
We wandered round for a couple more hours after this, taking pictures and videos and ensuring we got to as many of the races as we could. It then got to a stage where the rain was becoming increasingly worse and my feet along with the bottoms of my trousers were completely soaked, so it was with deep regret that we had to miss the Maserati trophy 66' Grand Prix...
As we made our way back to the carpark we stopped off at one of the last food stalls and tucked into a chocolatey waffle before braving the journey back... YUM!
Go experience it for yourself!
Overall I cannot really fault the event in any way shape or form; despite the horrific rain it really didn't take away anything from the festival itself. Whether you're looking for a fun day out with your family or partner, the ultimate motor experience or you're just generally a car fanatic, you won't be disappointed with what Silverstone has to offer!