ONE GREAT THING about Race Retro is that it marks the beginning of the end of retro classic hibernation, and this year’s featured marques were Jaguar (in case you hadn’t noticed, the E-type is 50), Lancia and for bi-curious types, there was a celebration of Italian racing motorcycles.
Well, I’m sorry to report that my personal highlight was none of these. No. Instead I got very excited about a piece of triangular toughened Triplex glass and a bit of old rubber. Yes, I’d finally managed to RV with Andrew McAdam from Macs Factors, the Rootes specialists from Norfolk, for my Gazelle’s replacement quarterlight glass and rubber seal. A daft unglamorous part, which has prevented me from getting the car road legal and using it. Sorry, where, was I…?
Oh yes, Race Retro…
The Friday was as busy as we’ve seen it and there were a lot more stalls at the autojumble too, which is really where we spent most of our time.
Speaking personally, of all the headline acts, much as I liked seeing Jackie Stewart’s E-type racer in the main entrance hall, I have to point out the replica Lancia Delta S4 which was on display and currently in progress. The attention to detail was so breathtaking that it fooled many, and provided this old GpB lag with a rare chance to see one of these awesome machines. It’s fully spaceframed, built around a 1986 donor Integrale and hopes to have an output of 400bhp – matching that of the original S4s.
More randomly, it was great to see a good spread of Abarths which had been brought along to support the credibility of the modern FIAT-derived models on the Abarth stand. Others that tickled my tastebuds? A fantastic fat-arched Alfasud racer with brilliant styling touches and a superb stance. A beautiful Porsche 907. Jody Scheckter’s Ferrari 1979 312T4, Michael Schumacher’s GpC Mercedes-Benz C291, and the Alan Jones/Colin Bond 1988 Bathurst Sierra RS500 Cosworth to name but several.
Yet the one thing I really couldn’t stop perving over, had to be the limited edition Métisse Steve McQueen Triumph TR6 desert racer motorcycle. Okay, I can’t ride, but man, it’s just such a beautiful thing to stand and stare at, that I’d be tempted to stick it where the telly lives in the front room.
Most of the day was spent hunting down bits and pieces, and it was very successful for both of us. Gez scored a battery cut-off switch and some new period pressed plates for the ’Crab and was inspired to fit a new set of raised digit plates to his sweet Champagne super Mini. Meanwhile in the cold ’n’ drafty cattle shed hall, I found a NOS set of Trico wipers for the Gazelle (all being well, I suspect a new set of tyres are all that stands between the Singer and its first MoT in over 15 years) and yet more bargainiferous 1:43 Alfas.
Strangely – probably because I wasn’t expecting to spend much – I ended up with nothing but fluff in my pockets. Making us both wonder if Race Retro should be viewed as a retro motorsport show with a good autojumble or the other way around. Either way, it was a great way to catch up many familiar faces and to limber up for the 2011 retro show season.