Story and photos by Simon Wright
Race Retro is the International Historic Motorsport show held each year at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, in the middle of England. This year the show, held March 12-14, 2010, was celebrating the centenary of Alfa Romeo and the Alfa Romeo Owners Club, under chairman Ed McDonough, had made a tremendous effort to fill the show with Alfa Romeo cars. As visitors entered the show, a pair of 1930’s Alfa Romeo Grand Prix cars valued at over £5million were on display. The Owners club had two large stands, and then various other clubs and organisations also contained Alfa Romeo competition cars on display. Former Alfa Romeo Grand Prix driver Bruno Giacomelli attended the show and was happy to chat to fans and sign autographs.
However, the show was not only about Alfa Romeo. The Audi Quattro has reached 30 years and was celebrated with a display of Rally cars while the Norton ‘featherbed’ Manx motorcycle was introduced 60 years ago and a special display was laid out in the classic motorcycle area.
The main Hall featured Speed Street, where a lot of the major Historical racing clubs and organisations had stands displaying some mouth watering cars. These displays featured all kinds of competition vehicles ranging from ex-Grand Prix cars such as a Maserati 250F to Le Mans cars, like the Duckhams Lola T280. Organisations such as the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) and the Vintage Sports Car Club (VSCC) had cars on display and details of championships which they run. Another stand drawing large crowds was the Super Saloon Association which had the Buick V8 powered Daf 55 and the Chevrolet V8 powered VW Beetle on display.
Brian Lister, the man behind the Lister Jaguars of the 1950’s and 60’s was at the show on Friday signing copies of a new book. There were four Lister cars on the standing, including the fairly modern Lister Storm and an earlier Lister Bristol.
Returning home to Coventry was the Broadspeed works Jaguar XJ12 group 2 saloon as raced by Derek Bell, David Hobbs and Andy Rouse in the European Touring Car Championship in 1976. The car was recently purchased by Chris Scragg and has undergone a full 18 month rebuild to get the car back to full race specification.
Drag racing is now very popular in Britain, and the National Motor Museum had the first Dragster built in Britain on display. The Allard Chrysler Dragster was originally built by Sydney Allard and first ran in 1961. It was last run in 1964 and was then put into storage. The car has now been restored by the Allard Chrysler Action Group and is just awaiting a new engine from America. After the engine has been restored, it is hoped to be able to run the dragster at various meetings as a demonstration. Also making its debut was the Fiat Toplino Competition altered Dragster. Originally run in 1979 with different engine configurations, the car is now Mopar powered.
2010 Race Retro Photo Gallery (click image for larger photo and description)