A Ferrari 488 Pista it's not but there's something truly special about vintage racers. The faded paint and worn leather tell stories of a bygone era when race cars were built in the garden shed, not multi-million pound factories.
Although built in 1924, this car didn't appear in competition until 1953, as a Peugeot Quadrillette in the hands of Frank Lockhart. By 1955 Frank had installed a JAP v-twin, he spent the next decade competing in VSCC (Vintage Sports Car Club) races and hillclimbs. In the 70's the car was used as a commuter vehicle by the assistant to the VSCC club secretary. After her death the car lay in storage for 2 decades until it was discovered, in a dismantled state, by Gary Claire and Keith Mainland. Two years ago Colin Rogers acquired the parts and restored the car to it's 1970 'Lockhart special' form. Yesterday its wheels once again turned on the Brooklands banking as Keith Mainland's wife, renowned Mexican racer Angelica Fuentes Garcia, competed in the VSCC speed trials.
The speed trials consist of a series of driving tests using different parts of the Brooklands circuit and site, including the test hill and banking. Competitors are given maps detailing the route they must take through a series of cones, in some cases including coming to a complete stop between 2 cones or reversing back between them. Speed is important but so is accuracy as penalty points are accrued for hitting cones, missing a stop line or deviating from the set route.
The event attracted a huge variety of cars from a sublime Alfa Romeo 6c through to a 3 wheeled vintage Morgan whose lack of reverse gear entertained the crowds; his able assistant pushed the car backwards at the appropriate points!
What I love about these events is the diversity of the people they attract, old and young with a large percentage of lady drivers too. Speaking of which I didn't see the lady I met in the petrol station last week but I did see her BMW 319 and her husbands car, a BMW 328 in matching livery.
So how did Angie do? The results were published today and, despite a minor error early on, she came third in class! As for me, I'm now trawling the internet, dreaming of buying my own vintage racer. The lack of a garage has put me off of going the vintage route in the past but when I saw so many of the competing cars being transported in LWB sprinter style vans it got me thinking, a van is essentially a mobile garage and workshop in one. Don't hold your breath but you never know, I may just do it!
Bugatti being loaded into a Sprinter van
You can read more about Angie and her husband Keith's race and rally exploits on my World Rallies tribe page. Most recently they have competed in the London to Brighton veteran car run and Angelica completed the Carrera Panamericana race in her Mexican homeland. Look out next month when Angie will be in the navigators seat of a Porsche 924 on the Monte Carlo Historique Rally.