Well over 4,000 motoring and aviation enthusiasts braved the below zero icy, but bright and gloriously sunny weather to attend the annual New Year edition of the Bicester Heritage Sunday Scramble. It’s an occasion when many of the resident businesses throw open their doors for the public to visit. There’s everything from car sales to race engineers, coachbuilders to storage facilities and even those who keep traditional means of trimming and leatherwork methods alive for future generations.
The open day is augmented by numerous car club members and individuals with classic, historic or iconic vehicles attending that gives a diverse mixture of automobile marques from all eras for all to enjoy (above, Kary Jiggle photo). All this at a setting of a 1930s RAF Aerodrome that has been partially, but sympathetically renovated to preserve the essence of the period while other parts of the venue remain completely original bearing the patina of its WWII past.
On entry there was the distinctive cry and reverberation of a Ford Cosworth DFV being revved, the cacophony grew louder as I approached the garage. It was a Williams FW08 being warmed up. It’s very strange seeing and hearing Formula One technology of the late 1970s, early 1980s, in the midst of a 1930s Aerodrome. It is, however, this juxtaposition of period buildings, technologies and mechanical excellence of varying eras that keep the enthusiasts’ minds ticking over throughout the event. Walking down the main thoroughfare, the horn of a Torpedo bodied mid-1920s Lancia Lambda hails its approach. In period, the Lambda was the pinnacle of automotive ingenuity and inventiveness, fitted with independent suspension, shock absorbers and four-wheel brakes — did the car turn heads? Yes, of course, just as it must have done more than 90 years previous.
A number of cars from across the pond, notably Studebaker, were represented in an eclectic parade of vehicles outside one of the hangars. In the sky there were a couple of biplanes visiting and the sky was peppered with a good number of gliders from the local gliding club, all adding to the ambience of a very interesting morning.
Naturally, there’s an opportunity to meet and catch up with friends from the pits and paddocks of the circuits visited on a regular basis throughout the racing season. Long may this event continue to run. if you’ve not visited, you really don’t know what you’re missing. For further details please visit http://bicesterheritage.co.uk