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The Masters Historic Festival at Brands Hatch is one of the events that I try to get to every year. They always have a superb display of show cars and it’s always nice to see the vintage Formula 1 and saloon cars running.
This year there were quite a few surprises both on and off track. Thanks to my Dad, I also had the opportunity to hang out in the VIP driver’s lounge and have a complimentary beer! It’s not often that you get to say that!
As with any car show it’s always important to have a look around the car park. The owners of these historic race cars have some serious money and there were plenty of super cars scattered throughout the pit area and car park:
Which would you rather? The Falcon or the C63?
I much prefer the Abarth 124 Spider to the ND MX5. I know it’s more money but I do think you are getting a much more interesting car.
Rich or poor, everyone loves a Mini!
The best car in the car park for me however was this totally original S15 Silvia. Unmolested S-Bodies are getting very few and far between!
The show and shine area played host to a large variety of clubs who brought out some unusual cars.
I haven’t featured many Lancias before on this blog which is a shame as they have produced some great cars over the years! The Fulvia is a beautiful little coupe and I would imagine is a pleasure to drive. Front engined, rear wheel drive with a surprisingly spacious boot and a very spacious interior. Cars of this age tend to have very thin pillars too which let in a lot of light and make the cars feel very open.
The Delta Integrale is a great car. 4WD, turbo charged with a tonne of racing pedigree but it can comfortably seat four adults and is a nice size for day to day use.
The BMW 02 series are nice. These are the pre-cursor to the 3 Series we all know and love. Some very 1970s colours here! I approve!
The E36 and E46 M3s are still nice looking cars. The values of E36 M3s are shooting up and the E46 isn’t far behind!
The Mustang Owners Club of Great Britain brought out a range of cars from different ages.
The car that really caught my attention though was this Indianapolis Pace Car fox body. Really unusual car! I think the fox body is very much underappreciated. They are a great platform and they’ve aged really well!
The Mustang wasn’t the only American car represented. There were also a few Corvettes on show.
I’d still like to own a C4!
The final American car I saw on display was this lovely pre-war Chevrolet. It didn’t sound like it had the original engine in it which is absolutely fine by me! I’m sure with a more modern power plant it’s lovely to drive and surprises a few people too! If it was the original running gear then wow it sounded smooth!
There were of course loads of British cars on display! Some were standing by themselves without a club.
Some cars came in pairs.
Other British cars also came as part of a club. There were plenty of Triumph Stags:
The front spoiler on the two white cars were interesting. I do believe they were an aftermarket addition but if anyone could let me know anything more about them that would be great!
The Land Rover defender is, in my opinion, one of the best cars Britain has ever produced. Inspired by the American Willis Jeep the Defender stole the hearts of the British public with it’s practical utilitarianism and helped rekindle the fire of the British motor industry after WW2.
There were plenty on display in a number of specifications and wheelbases.
The way the door is split in two on the dark blue and green vehicles is curious. I don’t recall seeing that before!
Aston Martin also had a lounge type area at the top of the show and shine area. I didn’t try to go in but I had a look around at the cars outside.
I most certainly think the DB11 is a step up from the DB9!
I can’t say I’ve fallen for the new Vantage yet though.
I think it’s because this shape has been around for so long. However, I still think it’s a really good looking car. Especially in this AMR specification.
Finally from the display area, there was a line up of classic Formula 1 cars.
Of course, there was plenty of action on track. The Historic Formula 2 cars were brilliant fun to watch! There was some great wheel to wheel racing and the little Ford four cylinders in them made an amazing noise! It was honestly hard to believe they were only four cylinder!
It was this number 13 car that won in the end. It was in third for ages but the cars in first and second took each other out. I was pleased this one won. It was by far the best looking livery!
Some video of the Formula 2 cars from the first hair pin:
Here we have our winner! This is such a good looking car and livery!
One of James Hunt’s car was present. I was surprised to see Hesketh Finance adorning the Formula 2 car when Hesketh didn’t want sponsorship on the Formula 1 cars (at first).
Here are some of the other cars in the pits. Notice how much debris the tyres pick up as they are going around. There’s stones, paint off of the rumble strips and all sorts!
The beauty of this open pit style event is that you can see a lot of detail in the cars that you other wise wouldn’t be able to.
Following the Formula 2 cars were recent LeMans cars! This was a really nice surprise! I’ve not seen modern LMP1 machinery moving before so it was amazing to see them going around the track!
I love this picture of the Peugeot!
Here’s some video footage from the race:
There was also a LMP1 car parked outside of the drivers/owners area (That I got to have a beer in :D). It was for sale but didn’t state a price. Far out of my reach I’m sure!
It was now the turn of the Formula 1 cars to race. The cacophony of noise these classic Formula 1 cars produce is just immense! We took a seat by the start/finish line to get the full experience.
And they’re off!
This green Benetton was blisteringly fast and eventually took the win!
Here is a little video footage from that race:
I did see a couple of the touring and sports car races but wasn’t in a good position for photos. Being mindful of how long this article is becoming I’ve decided to clump both the saloons and sports cars together.
There was a massive range of cars racing though, from the usual Minis and Mk1 Cortinas to Dodge Challengers to Trabants and a Mazda RX3!
I do love a Datsun Z!
Talbot Sunbeam! A rare car now-a-days. I would imagine a RWD hatchback is great fun to drive!
Volvo 300 Series. I’ve seen a fair few of these done as drift cars but never as a circuit racer. They’re another car that looks great fun to own!
Trabants! These East German 2 stroke cars are brilliant! Another on my list.
All in all, it was a fantastic day! Brands Hatch Masters Festival is an event that always brings something unexpected and I will continue to try to get to it as often as I can!
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By Richard Francis