Postcard from Race Retro - report & pics by Ed Brown


Now in its eighth year, the Race Retro International Historic Motorsport Show took place over the weekend of 25 - 27th February, at the National Agricultural Centre, nr. Coventry UK.

With four exhibition halls, an H and H auction and the adjacent “Group B” rally stage, there was something for everyone at this year's event; whether your book collection was incomplete, your racer needed new tyres or you wanted to better understand Lancia’s significant contribution to the World Rally Championship.

Whilst the main reception celebrated 50 years of the Jaguar E type, there wasn't much for Ferraristi, with only 2 present – 1979 F1 World Champion Jody Scheckter’s championship winning T4 and Tony Worswick’s versatile, rally spec 308GTB.

Undoubtedly "Stand of the Show" was Jaguar Heritage Collection’s display, celebrating the aforementioned birthday, with a selection of some of the most coveted touring and sports racing cars ever built. Octane magazine's stand created much interest, displaying Alan Minshaw’s Maserati Birdcage, complemented by Scheckter’s Wolf WR1 and Ferrari T4 on the Motor Sport stand on "Speed Street", whilst for me the “vehicle” of the show, was the newly rebuilt, ex Dennis Poore Racing Dodge transporter, fresh from a 7 year, complex restoration.

For those interested in other marques - the Brooklands Museum displayed a very original “WO” Bentley 6 litre, Jim Stokes Workshop a much used Lancia Aurelia and superbly presented Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 and historic race restorers Crosthwaite and Gardiner, proved there is always a secondary use for an engine block!

The art gallery brought together work by several of the UK’s most celebrated automotive artists, none more so than the evocative action style of John Ketchell and Paul Dove. 

Outside, the Rally Stage was organised by the Slowly Sideways Group GB and featured several flame belching Group B rally cars, including MG Metro 6R4, Lancia 037 Rallye, Ford RS200 with the “star drivers”, Mikki Biasion, Jimmy McRae and Russell Brookes.

H and H reported a good sale %, with strong prices realised for rare, excellent condition automobilia; top bid amongst the motorcycles was £38.5k for a 1955 Vincent Black Knight, whilst a much campaigned 1950 Healey Silverstone, was the days top sale at £121k (sale prices include buyers premium). 
In the world of historic motorsport, the season is now underway with the 7th Rally Clasico Isla de Mallorca in 10 days, where German Michael Stoschek will give his “New Stratos” its competition debut and the Shannons Phillip Island Classic in 2 weeks, celebrates Porsche’s 60th Anniversary in Australia. My next trip is very local…20 mins from home, and the majestic Oulton Park circuit, where the Masters race series commences its 2011 calendar on March 12th…see you there!! 

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