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Silverstone Classic to celebrate 25 years

22 May, 2015

The Silverstone Classic festival, held over July 24–26, was always going to be a big one for the festival that is known as “the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival” — add in the fact that 2015 also marks the festival’s 25th anniversary, and this year will be something extra special.

The biggest feature of the event will be the Silver Jubilee parade, which will see an enormous array of silver cars take to the Silverstone track. The parade is open to anyone with a silver car, be it new or old, and has already attracted a diverse and wonderful line-up — from a 1934 Austin Seven Special, through to Land Rovers and Aston Martins.

With the Silverstone Classic already renowned for its huge display of classic and vintage cars — around 10,000 privately owned classics are expected for display — yesteryear’s finest will be sure to be well represented.

It won’t just be old vehicles, though. “For once it’s not limited to those lucky enough to own an E-type, 911, or F40 – it’s open to all those millions of motorists who simply have a silver car,” said event director Nick Wigley. Attendance is expected to top 100,000 for the first time.

Other highlights of the event include the RetroRun parade, as well as two of the festival’s most prestigious races — the Royal Automotive Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars for Pre ‘63 GTs and the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for Pre ’56 Sports Cars. These two race events will play host to a wonderful line-up of automotive history, from E-type Jaguars, to Ferraris, and Le Mans–winning D-type Jaguars and Aston Martins.

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.