Friday August 12, 2016
Two very different shows, one very vibrant movement.
They were just a week apart and in the same venue, yet this year’s Silverstone Classic and Ford Fair couldn’t have been more different – although there was one marked similarity.
Amid the spectacle, rock music and high-end motors (and motor sport) at Silverstone there was also a more reserved, low-octane, audience - one that was there for the self-restored and selflessly maintained classic, just to admire, and maybe talk a little workshop shop.
Car clubs were very much in evidence, and the high-end marques like Lamborghini, Porsche and Ferrari were prominent and impressive, but it was also good to see the MG Owners Club out in force and many of the smaller enthusiast groups too.
In contrast, and making the Silverstone Classic atmosphere seem positively genteel, Ford Fair was the following weekend. Among the rows of bright blue & orange Focuses were every type of RS & ST badge, and even the occasional open boot lid, subs aboard and Drum ‘n’ Bass a-plenty.
Throw in personal track time, the UK’s Fastest Fords on the track and a healthy dose of donuts and smoking tyres, and Ford Fair is every closet boy-racer’s secret dream.
But Ford Fair too had a strong showing from the classic clubs; those amazing, Ford obsessed folk who’ve polished every inch of their Consuls and Capris a thousand times and buy genuine, period rear window stickers on eBay.
The thing that brings these two outstanding events together for us really is the enthusiast-led car clubs. They keep events like these accessible to all - many will even welcome members who don’t currently own a car, and membership can really pay off when you eventually decide to take the first step and buy one.