Classics at Prescott 2018 – Bag a Seat!

Cleeve Vale Rotary Club will be running their annual event at the legendary Prescott Hill Climb on 13th May.  Always an enjoyable event for participants and spectators alike.  This year you might want to get a bit closer to the action by “bagging a seat” in a Classic and taking on the Hill!

The money raised will go to the  School in a Bag project in Battambang Cambodia.  You can book in advance at or on the day at the stand by the Moss Alley.

Why not get in the thick of the action and donate to a worthwhile cause at the same time?

We wish Cleeve Vale Rotary Club, Rotary E-Club of East Anglia and School in a Bag every success with their fundraising.

Small package packs a punch

We are very fortunate to be attracting a wide variety of vehicles to the Cotswold Festival of Motoring.  Recently the first vehicle with a military connection signed up – a 1939 Vauxhall J4.  This was one of the last saloon cars to be built by Vauxhall prior to World War II.  The Vauxhall will be displayed at the Festival as an army staff car and is to be joined by another interesting  military vehicle:

Damian Ball will be bringing along the Daimler Dingo,  seen above.  These light armoured scout cars saw service from 1940-68.  Despite weighing 3 tonnes it was capable of 55 mph.  This Dingo has a Bren gun, a Lee Enfield carbine and grenades, a radio transceiver, 4 wheel drive and 1 inch thick armour.  A remarkable vehicle with a fascinating history – a sure fire crowd pleaser!


Newly restored and campaigned rally Imp joins the throng

John Hallam is a longstanding motoring enthusiast and competitor in  historic rallying.  He and his architectural firm John Hallam Associates based in Chipping Norton have been an enormous help in shaping the layout of the Festival show ground.  John has done all this work pro bono; so we’re really very grateful. He has been a great sounding board for ideas about the content of the Festival too.

John has recently completed the restoration of his gorgeous 1972 Sunbeam Rally Imp above.  He plans to campaign it between now and the Festival so it may well have gathered a a bit of patina and rally rash by August!  This competition car will be joining others like the Jaguar D Type and Porsche 917; reinforcing our aim of displaying something for everyone.

Car with royal connections will interest stamp collectors

This 1930s Ford V8 22HP model Station Wagon is known as a Woodie for fairly obvious reasons. Woodies seem to have been favourites with the Royal Family in various guises and were used on their estates. It doesn’t take much imagination to see them as shooting party transport.

We’re very fortunate to have the above example belonging to local vintage car collectors Kirsten and Yushan Ng attending the Festival.  This particular car is believed to have been a particular favourite of the Queen Mother.  In fact, the car appears with a second, green, example on a postage stamp for St Helena.  The Queen Mother is posing with the 2 cars in front of Sandringham.  The face value of the stamp? – 70p.  Are there any philatelists out there who have one of these stamps today? – if so, wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the car in the metal all these years after the stamp was produced being preserved and enjoyed?


Electric Vehicle Owners to Share their Experiences at Festival

It won’t have escaped your notice that there seems to be a growing interest in electric vehicles (EVs) .  The government’s recent announcement about new vehicles having electric powertrains by 2040 may be a factor?  However, some people already drive EVs or are thinking about it.  Indeed, I know some enthusiasts whose day to day car is electric but still enjoy the experience of driving their classics enormously – perhaps even more so as the experience between driving their daily ride and their collector’s car gets wider.  I spoke to somebody recently who used the analogy of watches.  We all know that a digital watch keeps more accurate time and is easy to live with. Yet some people will pay a premium price to enjoy a mechanical collectors watch with a beautifully machined case and enjoy winding it everyday.  I suspect classic car owners and watch collectors may have a lot in common!

I spent some time yesterday with a small group of EV owners from the Electric Automobile Association at the Festival of Transport on Malvern’s Three Counties Show Ground.  The ElectrAA members attend shows and take their cars so that members of the public can ask questions about living with an electric vehicle on a day to day basis.  I spoke with one person who was considering an EV and he remarked that it was nice to be able to talk to owners who had no vested interest rather than salesmen in a showroom.  It was clear from my experience yesterday that many people want to know more about EVs as they want to make informed decisions when they choose their next car.  So I’m delighted that members of ElectrAA will be joining our Festival of Motoring to answer any questions people may have.  My thanks to Dan, Mark and David who looked after me so well yesterday  – I’m pleased we didn’t need the gazebo despite the weather forecast!

Aston Martin DB11 joins eclectic mix at Festival

In planning the Cotswold Festival of Motoring we’ve always wanted to assemble a collection of cars that truly offers something for everyone.  We have over 100 vehicles registered so far, 4 months before the event, and  already we are offering something for all tastes. Vintage and classic vehicles are always popular but seeing some of the latest high performance super cars up close to appreciate the detail, is always a treat.  Modern aerodynamics is a wonderful fusion of form and function and Aston Martin are masters of the art.  So, we’re very grateful to Andrew Mitchell, one of the organisers of the Festival, for agreeing to display his beautiful DB11.

Andrew’s car is an Aston Martin DB11 Coupe V12 “Launch Edition” in Tungsten Silver, a traditional AM colour. The car was first registered in March 2017 and since then has completed only 1500 miles. It is one of only two cars having the roof counter rails in aluminium.

The DB11 was designed by Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief creative officer and head of design. It continues the tradition of design focused on 1:3 proportions and includes a number of new and unique design features, including roof strakes that separate the body from the roof, normally available only in black or body colour (except the car shown here) and the “Aeroblade” intakes in the front strakes. These evolve the side strakes from purely visual to functional and channel turbulent air down the side of the car into intake ducts by the C pillars and force the air out from the rear vertically as a ‘virtual’ spoiler providing down-force. It is powered by an Aston Martin built 5.2 litre twin turbo V12 engine producing 600bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates from 0-62 mph in 3.7 secs and goes on to over 200 mph. It all makes for an excellent long distance GT and this car will  see many miles of European roads in 2018 as Andrew believes in using his cars.

This Aston Martin DB11 is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Classic tractors herald a return to Cotswold’s roots

One of the attractions of the Cotswold Festival of Motoring will be traditional fete stalls – and we’re getting wonderful support from the local community in Bourton-on-the-Water in pulling this area together.  To make this part of the Festival and its rural connections stand out we’re delighted to announce that Steve Freemantle, a linchpin of the widely enjoyed and respected Northleach Steam and Vintage Show, will be bringing along 4 of his fleet of classic tractors.  Steve’s is a wonderful collection and they will be an apt reminder of the Cotswold’s agricultural roots.

Some of Steve’s fleet on parade above

The Steam and Vintage show is on the 8th& 9thSeptember this year.  Visit their website for more details.

Iconic 100th registration – don’t leave your registration too late!

Geoffrey Hunter’s stately Mercedes Benz Grand 600 is the 100thcar to register for the Festival – and coincidently the model designation used by Mercedes for this car is W100!

The Grand 600, above, on display at this year’s London Classic Car Show

Geoffrey has an impressive collection of classic Mercedes and this is a car I know personally.  It is a UK-supplied RHD SWB model, chassis number 164, first owned by songwriter and music manager Gordon Mills, whose clients included Tom Jones amongst other famous names. The car then spent over 20 years in a private collection in Germany before being brought “home” by the current owner in 2007.

We’re very fortunate to have such a beautiful example of this iconic model attending the Festival of Motoring.

Thai Street Food at the Festival of Motoring

 A taste of South East Asia will be making its way to Bourton-on-the-Water for our Festival.  Thai Street Food has an international reputation for flavour and quality.  So we’re delighted that Just Thai, the Cheltenham based specialist in event catering, will be with us.  As preparations for the Cotswold Festival of Motoring continue we’re broadening the appeal for exhibitors and visitors all the time.  We’re sure the opportunity to try this amazing food will be among your highlights when you visit us on the 12th August.

Motion Picture Motors out in force at the Festival!

We’re excited to announce that Motion Picture Motors are bringing 13 cars to the Cotswold Festival of Motoring.  So if you’re a car, TV or film fan, this is for you!  For example, this year is the 50th anniversary of Steve McQueen’s iconic film Bullitt.  So how fantastic that we will be marking the occasion with the Bullitt pair on display.

These cars supported the Silverstone Classic with this YouTube homage to the original film

Other firm favourites for Festival goers to enjoy include – Knightrider,  Starsky and Hutch,  The Saint from the 1960’s, The Blues Brothers  and Only Fools and Horses.  There are other surprises too – treats for the eyes and ears!  So come along and get those Selfies with your screen heroes.  This promises to be a highlight for all the family.