Saturday the 24th of September saw us attend the Footman James Sywell Classic: Pistons and Props event. Most of the morning the sun was attempting to break through but with such a high wind the clouds were ever changing... Luckily, most of what we wanted to take in was on the ground.
As we pull up however we hear the roar and cackle of 27 litre Merlin V12 engines hammering past us, we look to the skies and see a couple of spitfires that command a presence that can send chills down your spine at will, true hotrods of sky. The afore mentioned wind however called a stop to most other aerial activity that day.
We grab our tickets and are presented with the ever enticing NHRA display stand. Some familiar looking cars and faces are always a welcome site and great for inspiration for the Coupe build (more on this another time) and the looming apparel range that is coming together.
Justin Woolner’s Chevy ratrod was having a little engine rebuild after a hard season of NHRA demos, burnouts, drag racing and passenger rides in the name of charity, so instead they were out in Sally’s (wife) 1st Gen Camaro and what a looker it is too. A great family of petrol heads with a stunning collection of cars that get used in all weathers, even if things get a little hairy in a 700bhp supercharged open wheeled rat…
The great thing about the Sywell Classic and most Footman James events for that matter, is that there is a huge variety of cars to look at and enjoy. Kit cars to muscle cars to straight up classic British cars with engines big and small.
UK Street Machines attend this particular event and put on what they call a ‘Drag Demonstration’ which means that a selection of race ready street cars young and old get to burn some rubber on the (still active) air strip and do some drag racing!
Over 50 cars took part in the demo and on a track that isn’t usually raced on it’s safe to say that traction was an issue, but hell it made for some great watching.
Live music and pin up girls added to the entertainment for the day, but for us the racing and getting up close and personal to the cars is always the highlight. Towards the end of the show field where all the car clubs had set up their individual displays, was a sort of makeshift show field for visitors which was nice.
Public parking was over in a different field but if you turned up in something pre 73 you were giving the red carpet treatment and were surrounded by fellow car nuts. Parked up here and looking rather large and rather shiny was a good friends recently imported F100 pickup that runs a rather modest 460 cubic inch v8! We took it for a little ride around the field and kicked it’s tyres for a bit… Many more updates on this truck soon as it loses some altitude and gets some more road miles on it.
A final walk around gives us a chance to check out all the cars we missed the first time and with it being a bit quieter now, a chance to grab some photos without hundreds of people all trying to do the same thing. Some firm favourites to note were:
Le Mans style Cobra…
Used and abused Pontiac Firebird…
And this patina clad Chevy Apache pickup.
We will be back to the Sywell Classic again next year and strongly suggest you check it out if you haven’t before!
– Octane Riot