Warm and windy weather welcomed a weekend of wings and wheels at the Flywheel Festival, Bicester Heritage, held at the former Second World War bomber station situated in Oxfordshire. Like a fine wine this event has matured with each and every edition, leaving the crowds of visitors eager to return in 2018. While there were hundreds of cars, motorcycles and vintage aircraft on display, there were also numerous attractions for all the family to get involved with, as well as a good number of trade stands — including our own Vintage Racecar/Vintage Roadcar booth where we greeted many visitors.
“We had a superb weekend,” enthused VR’s European Editor, Mike Jiggle, “thankfully with a significant lack of ‘in your face’ corporate styling. It produced a wonderful relaxed ‘garden party’ aura and atmosphere for the many visitors.”
Many were the cars that spilled out of aircraft hangers and onto the track, as world famous Jaguar D-Types, Bentleys and Aston Martins took to the course. Highlights included Simon Evans’ 1953 Allard J2X Le Mans, a prime example of motorsport aesthetics shaping competition car design, Julian Grimwade’s 1934 Frazer Nash ‘Norris Special,’ which is still running with the original Alvis engine that was fitted back in 1948, and the unique 1965 Bentley SSS-C2 recently purchased and renovated by Ben Eastick, son of former owner Barry Eastick.
A huge collection of motorcycles was on display with models ranging from the 1920s through to the 1970s. The oldest confirmed entrant, a 1924 Henley, proved a firm crowd favorite. Also on site was an exclusive collection of Brough Superiors. Regarded as the Rolls Royce of motorcycles, they delighted spectators with riders resplendent in motorcycle gear from the period.
Taking to the skies were vintage aircraft, performing gravity-defying aerobatics. Nine Tiger Moths swerved and ducked in the sky, showcasing the impressive maneuverability of these light aircraft. Festivalgoers were also treated to the sight of a Mk IX Spitfire, flying in its original 222 Squadron Code ZD-B livery, joined in a dogfight recreation by a Hispano Buchon in Messerschmitt “Black 8” livery.
Richard Grafton, director of Flywheel, observed: “It was the best year yet for Flywheel, and we can’t wait to see what next year will bring. The event has a great atmosphere and it attracts the UK’s best examples of cars, aircraft and military vehicles. Entertainment such as the Demon Drome wall of death, as well as all of the military hardware that is brought onsite, add a huge quantity and range of entertainment, that allows Flywheel to appeal to the whole family.”