Group A, Campbell Tribute Highlight Shelsley Walsh Classic Nostalgia
The Shelsley Walsh Speed Hillclimb course in Worcester hosted its annual Classic Nostalgia celebration last weekend, July 22-23, honoring the achievements of Malcolm and Donald Campbell and presenting a selection of classic Group A rally cars.
The Group A cars put on a tremendous display as they traversed the hill climb course on both pavement and grass! Some 20 rally cars, ranging from the Rover Mini of John Partridge to Ryan Champion in the ex-Piero Liatti Subaru Impreza and Malcolm Proudlock in the ex-Carlos Sainz Subaru Impreza thrilled the crowd, with the latter putting on a superb display of driving skill, taking Bottom Ess on the grass in full opposite lock!
Taking part in the action over the two days were Toyota Celicas, Mitsubishi Lancers, BMW M3s and the very last — and incredibly immaculate — Lancia Delta Integrale. Everyone enjoyed a special moment on Sunday when all three Subaru Imprezas — two Group As and one WRC — lined up in chronological order before taking to the hill as a full commentary about each of the cars and their histories informed the crowd.
Wide grins spread across drivers’ faces after the runs, which were done in spectacular style to the delight of the crowd, including burnouts up to and away from the start line by Kevin Jones in the ex-Tony Pond Rover SD1. Almost everyone was having a go into Bottom Ess, with some superb car control being demonstrated, and the requisite spreading of dirt across the track — which kept the marshals on the their toes. Finland’s Kristian Sohlberg took best time of day in class with the Lancer WRC04.
Elsewhere, Malcolm and Donald Campbell were honored with a fabulous display of their cars, including the Napier Bluebird replica (above, Robin Batchelor photo courtesy of Shelsley Walsh). Gina Campbell and Don Wales joined in the Midland Automobile Club’s celebrations as the family’s Speed Records were put on display.
Eight cars associated with the family surrounded the middle of the paddock, a stunning Rolls Royce Phantom 2, a Porsche 356, a Jaguar XK150, an Aston Martin Le Mans, a Ford V8 Woody and an E-Type Jaguar from the film Across The Lake, which, along with the Bluebird replica, set the scene.
Inside the wooden barn was a wonderful display of images, books, models and further items of interest about their achievements. Don and Gina were kept busy all weekend, happily chatting with everyone who came to visit. At lunchtime on each day, both Don and Gina took to the stage to chat about the family history and the records, speaking very openly and at times very movingly.
Each day there was a parade of the eight cars up the hill with the Napier Bluebird doing “fire ups” in the paddock at random moments. Don drove Gina up the hill in the beautiful Porsche 356, while the lead car was a stunning Atalanta, of which a special Bluebird edition had been revealed on the Friday.
Peter James, Shelsley Walsh managing director, said: “What better way to spend a weekend than in the company of such inspiring people and beautiful cars at such an iconic venue, celebrating so many motoring achievements of days gone by and witnessing, we believe for the first time, a parade of MG Y-Types ascend the hill to mark the 70th anniversary of the marque.”