Coachlines - May 2021

11.05.21 Liveryman John Kendall

Motorsport and classic car events are back!

Roger Woodbridge in his FJ Volpini

Roger Woodbridge in his FJ Volpini

With almost no classic car and motorsport events staged in 2020, summer 2021 is shaping up to be a real feast for aficionados. Although no spectators were present, the Donington Historic Festival was staged on 1st-2nd May, with racing live-streamed by Historic Motorsport TV.

Roger Woodbridge, Bandini Trophy Formula Junior Front Engine Champion and Simon Diffey

Roger Woodbridge, Bandini Trophy Champion and Simon Diffey

Several Liverymen dusted off their Nomex suits to take to the track. These included Duncan Rabagliatti, watching over the Formula Junior races as well as entering at the wheel of his 1959 Alexis HF1. Duncan Wiltshire, Chairman of Motor Racing Legends could also be seen at the wheel of his 1928 3-litre Bentley. Roger Woodbridge and John Clark were also in attendance, with Roger driving a 1958 Volpini FJ and John sharing a 1961 Jaguar E-Type with Miles Griffiths.

The competition opened with the Jaguar Classic Challenge for pre-1966 Jaguars and a grid of 32 racing E-Types, won by Gary Pearson. Day one closed with the inaugural race in the Motor Racing Legends’ Amon Cup for Ford GT40s, with 11 GT40s making up the grid. After 80 minutes of close competition, in which rain threatened but thankfully never arrived, Gordon Shedden and Miles Griffiths took the chequered flag.

Sunday opened with the “Mad Jack”, a race for pre-war sports cars. The grid included many cars approaching their centenary. Father and son Justin and Ben Maeers were first across the line in their nimble 1926 GN Parker.

The RAC Pall Mall Cup brought an end to the Festival. At the end of the three-hour race, Roger Wills and Tim Harvey proved victorious in a Lotus XV.

Simon Diffey in the Veedol Lotus 20/22, having won third place in the FJHRA/HSCC Silverline Formula Junior Championship for 1961-1963 cars

Simon Diffey in the Veedol Lotus 20/22

Another Lotus, in the hands of the Master’s Consort Simon Diffey took third place in the FJHRA/HSCC Silverline Formula Junior Championship for 1961-1963 cars. Simon’s Veedol Lotus 20/22 came home comfortably ahead of another 20/22 driven by Lee Mowle at the end of the 13-lap race. The racing from the day can be seen via the Donington Historic website at:

London Concours

The London Concours is just a few weeks away, taking place between 8th & 10th June at the Honourable Artillery Company. Liverymen can obtain a discount to attend the event as raised in the Clerk’s Notes for April. Evo magazine founder Harry Metcalfe will be the host for the event’s annual “The Collector”, feature, displaying a range of his own cars including a Ferrari Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach.

Metcalfe’s Countach was the London Motor Show car in 1987, launching the 5000 Quattrovalvole series. Metcalfe will also be bringing several cars from his Jaguar collection, including an F-Type Project 7 and XE SV Project 8, both rare and distinctive models. A selection of motorbikes will round off Metcalfe’s display with six Paris Dakar winning motorcycles covering 1979 to 1998. Further information and tickets from

Hot Rod Custom Show

Hot Rod Custom Show

Setting a very different tone will be the Beaulieu Hot Rod and Custom Show on 20th June. The show promises a display of customised cars and hot rods, American motors, motorbikes and trikes and pre-1980 classics. Prizes will be awarded for top machines at the Covid-secure show, with trophies for Best Custom, Best American, Best Hot Rod, Best Bike and Best in Show.

In addition, there will be a selection of “retro traders” at the Vintage Pop-Up as well as music and dancing. All tickets must be bought in advance and there will be carefully managed capacity limits in place. Further information and tickets are available at

The London Classic Car Show is now in its seventh year and will be staged at Syon Park from 25th-27th June. This year the show will be celebrating the evolution of car design from the beginning, through the elegance of the 1930s’ Grand Routières to contemporary supercars. There will be talks from Tiff Needell and a range of car clubs attending. Details and ticket information can be found at:

More than 100 cars will feature in the inaugural British International Concours d’Elegance on the front lawns of Waddesdon Manor between 16th-18th July. Special classes for this year include the Maharaja Cars, Jaguar XK, Scaglietti and Drogo, while the remaining 60 cars will compete in traditional age classes.

Up to 70 exhibitors will display their latest models and services including Alpine, Polestar, Girardo & Co, Aston Engineering, Everrati and Meguiars, while three large public hospitality areas will feature a selection of bars alongside award-winning street food vendors, and live music. The exclusive VIP Lounge will serve lunch by multiple-Michelin starred chef, Jean Christophe Novelli. Ex-Le Mans racer and raconteur, Alain de Cadenet will act as Master of Ceremonies for the weekend. Information and tickets can be found at:

Festival of The Unexceptional

Festival of The Unexceptional

At the opposite end of the Concours spectrum, the Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional celebrates cars that were once a common sight but are now a rarity on UK roads. The seventh Concours de l’Ordinaire, will take place at Grimsthorpe Caste in Lincolnshire on Saturday 31st July. The Festival showcases much maligned and long forgotten ‘ordinary’ classic cars and commercial vehicles of the late 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s, and remains the only concours to give merit to a Merit, sees a Popular as a plus and has a brim-full of passion for a (Yugo) 45.

This year will see the introduction of improved show facilities with a wide range of food and beverage outlets, more display cars, comfortable seating areas, increased interaction, and entertainment as well as entertaining judging and award ceremonies. Details and ticket information can be found at:

Race start at the Silverstone Classic

Race start at the Silverstone Classic

The spirit of the Festival of the Unexceptional has clearly permeated the Silverstone Classic this year. The event will take place at Silverstone from 30th July-1st August and besides the full programme of racing, the Classic will host a display starring 50 of the UK’s most seldom-spotted cars. This new collection will showcase more familiar mainstream motors from bygone eras that are hardly ever seen on our roads today. Incredibly many of these so-called ‘ordinary’ cars are now more endangered than most Ferraris and Aston Martins.

All tickets for The Classic must be purchased in advance and a wide selection is available including hospitality and camping options. All tickets will give access to both racing paddocks, trackside grandstand seating, live music concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings and much of the family entertainment on offer including funfair rides, driving experiences and stunt shows. Information and tickets can be found at:

Motorsport and Classic Car Diary Dates:

London Concours 8th-10th June
Beaulieu Hot Rod and Custom Show 20th June
London Classic Car Show 25th-27th June
Goodwood Festival of Speed 8th-11th July
British International Concours d’Elegance 16th-18th July
Festival of the Unexceptional 31st July
Silverstone Classic 30th July-1st August