On the weekend of May 28-29, 2016, the tenth annual pageant of French motoring excellence – La Vie en Bleu – will take place at the U.K.’s Prescott Hill Climb, Gotherington in Gloucestershire, home of the Bugatti Owners Club. This spectacular two-day event has always been a fan favorite, and this year should be no exception. New for 2016 will be the introduction of “La Vita Rossa” as Prescott celebrates everything Italian!
Prescott Hill Climb will be transformed by this celebration of fine French and Italian automobiles with special competition classes for French and Italian marques, themed entertainment, trade stalls and visiting car clubs.
The paddock will be filled with iconic cars and supercars ranging from a Bugatti Veyron Supersport and Pur Sang, to its older cousin the Bugatti EB110, as well as a number of examples of the iconic French marque Voisin. Numerous Ferraris will also be on hand, including an Enzo, a 1965 275 GTB, a 246 Dino, a 330 GTC and a Fantuzzi 196S. Other themed marques will include, among many others, a 1975 Maserati Khamsin, a Lamborghini Countach Diablo TT, an Alfa 1750 6C, an Alfa Romeo 156 that once raced in the European Touring Car Championship and Nelson Piquet’s 1990 Benetton-Ford F1 car.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Miura, the “Twiggy” Miura, named by its first owner Justin de Villeneuve (fashion model Twiggy’s manager in the 1960s) will also be at Prescott.
Also included will be an invitational class for ERAs, with six cars already confirmed. Four of the ERAs will be competing on the Saturday, including the iconic ex-Raymond Mays R4D — the most celebrated chassis in the marque’s history. ERA R4D was built by English Racing Automobiles as the last development classic voiturette racing car in the 1930s, designed to compete with the highly successful Bugattis and Maseratis. In spite of its success, it was the only D-Type ever built, but accumulated a formidable reputation, and competition records in its various guises. ERA founder Raymond Mays set numerous pre-war records in the R4D, including ones at Prescott, Shelsley Walsh, Brighton Speed Trials and Brooklands Mountain Circuit. The vehicle remains one of the most successful pre-war competition cars.
Another treat for Prescott visitors will be the “Beast of Turin” Fiat, the sole surviving example of a pair of land speed record contenders the Italian automaker built before WWI. The Beast of Turin was built in 1910 with the express intention of beating the land speed record, held at the time by the Blitzen-Benz. Its 28.5-liter Fiat S76 engine was capable of providing an impressive 300bhp — enough to propel the car to 116 mph, and a one-mile land speed record, in 1911. Only two S76s were ever built. Owner Duncan Pittaway discovered the remains of one chassis in Australia, and eventually united it with the surviving S76 engine from the other car. He will be firing up the fire-breathing machine to compete during the weekend.
Also on display, courtesy of its current custodian Ross Brawn, will be the Ferrari 2119 GT famously driven to victory in the Goodwood Tourist Trophy of 1960 by Stirling Moss. The Ferrari 250 GT Short Wheelbase is one of the most highly regarded Ferraris, combining a great engine with a fine chassis and a beautiful body.
Aside from the impressive array of vehicles both on and off track, a variety of entertainment will also be presented,, including Mark Halliday, widely known for his Dean Martin act, who will channel the fabled crooner as he performs That’s Amore, Mambo Italiano and more. And, in possibly a first for a motorsport event, “Oyster Opera,” a group of professional opera singers will also perform.
Alongside the roving accordion player and popular stilt walkers, further entertainment will be provided by the stunning Vegas Showgirls swapping their feathers for flapper dresses and performing Charleston routines to French inspired Electro Swing songs. And, taking to the skies above on both days, weather permitting, will be the Tiger Aerobatics vintage air display.
As Nick Mason, Pink Floyd’s drummer and an avid car collector, says: “Despite being called La Vie en Bleu, the event is quintessentially British — a mini Goodwood Festival of Speed set in the glorious Cotswolds — celebrating French cars, but in a British way. It’s club motor sport at its best, where visitors can mingle with the cars, speak to the drivers and watch rare historic vehicles and modern day supercars being pushed to their limits.”
For more complete information, please visit www.prescott-hillclimb.com