Bicester Heritage hosted it’s ever popular Sunday Scramble last weekend, the event which draws very large crowds, is a mecca for vintage car and aviation enthusiasts. Car owner groups and clubs such as Porsche Club GB, The Abarth Owners Club, Morgan Sports Car Club and G4 Challenge Owners Club were out in force as well as a local Home Guard reenactment group.
But the highlight was probably the wealth of classic British cars on display such as Gilbern, Alvis, Bristol and Jaguar. Many of which were available to view in the conserved redbrick buildings of the former RAF bomber base, now used as workshops by the specialist motoring and aviation companies on site.
Also in attendance was a huge number of cars from Ford Escorts to René Bonnet, Ferraris to Renaults and McLarens to Mini’s.
Unfortunately poor weather early on hampered flying plans but a static display of bi planes including a Plumb BGP-1, Piper J-3 Cub, Beagle A61 Terrier and a Tiger Moth by Finest Hour Experiences looked great on the airfield.
Bicester Heritage is based at the former RAF Bicester, although the sites history predates WWII by 28 years, when in 1911 a Bristol Boxkite landed at the airfield. In 1916 the Royal Flying Corps began training there and in 1925 the development of the site as a bomber base began. Several bomber squadrons were based at Bicester throughout WWII but by 1944 the base became a non-flying unit. Although the RAF stopped using Bicester as a military base in 1976 there was a continued presence in the form of glider training. Glider clubs have operated from the airfield since 1956 and continue to do so today.
In 2013 Bicester Airfield was obtained from the MOD by Bicester Heritage who aim to create a home for vintage cars, motorcycles and aircraft and all the supporting specialist industries that entails, in one historic hub. Some of the companies already on site include Atalanta Motors, Kingsbury Racing Shop & The MG Automobile Company.
Students from Banbury and Bicester College who are participating in the Classic Vehicle Restoration Apprenticeship, work on site on many vehicles including a Formula Vee car.
A recent addition to the specialists is Mission Motorsport, the Forces motorsport charity who have taken a unit specifically for instrument repair, alongside the likes of Ryan Edwards Exhaust Fabrications Ltd, who has worked with many sports cars such ERA’s, Ferrari 250’s and is currently working on a Lotus Exige for Guglielmi Motorsport. Also on site is SWB Motorsport who run track days and driving experiences in many vehicles from Formula Ford to large military vehicles, the team who have raced in Formula Ford , Formula Renault and British F4 have taken a year out but are set to return to FIA F4 in 2017.
Bicester Heritage Sunday Scramble Gallery Link http://www.finishlinesports.net/2017/01/11/bicester-heritage-sunday-scramble-gallery/
Allison Remzi All images ©Andy Fitzpatrick