By Mike Knapman
The organisers of the Silverstone Classic set out to make 2011’s Classic the biggest and best ever. “Rocking & Racing” were the two keywords. They succeeded. Over 1100 entrants ensured full 52 car maximum grids for the historic races that went on from dawn to after dusk. 120 Classic car clubs and 7,000 thousand classic cars were on display. A staggering 800 E-Types paraded on Saturday. 80,000 members of the classic car public paid to come in. The weather was not bad either, cloudy with sunny periods or vice-versa. This was “the biggest race meeting ever staged in international motor racing history”.
The Allard Owners Club has been a small but regular part of the three-day long Silverstone Classic since 2007. This year the event provided an ideal platform on which to celebrate the 60thAnniversary of the club’s foundation by Sydney and his fellow Enthusiasts. The hope was to persuade sixty owners to bring their cars. Although Club Captain Dave Loveys brought his two cars, this target proved overly optimistic. However, Allard turnout was better than previous years, especially on Sunday and the feeling of enjoyment and conviviality prevailed throughout, stimulated no doubt by relief at finding the stand after some frustratingly long periods in queues. No reports though of any breakdowns or boil-ups. Things must be improving!
The location of the Club’s site in the infield had been moved at short notice as someone forgot to remove the Brooklands grandstand so it stayed where it was and it was the Allards which moved! The new site lay between one “street” of the “Shopping Village” and the Wellington straight. It was noisy as everything from Formula Junior to F1, big and small engined saloons and sports cars not to mention E Type Jaguars fought out their battles a few feet away. The site was on grass, roomy and the attraction of the shopping village and the good track-side view brought lots of people to the area.
Brian Taylor (blue cap) President of the ACAG points something out to Alan Allard, Patron of the Allard Owners Club (maybe the nearest toilet block, but probably the new Wing complex) -Mike Knapman
The Club’s Concours on the Saturday was the main attraction for Allard Owners and 20 cars turned out. Examples of J1, L, M, K1, K2, P1 and J2 lined up to entice the voters. The Conc
ours is decided by members’ votes with classes for best two seat open, best four seat open, best saloon, best -replica/modified, best other make and longest distance travelled.
Allard Owners were joined by Brian Taylor and representatives of the Allard Chrysler Dragster Action Group (ACAG) who, with the National Motor Museums’s permission had brought Sydney’s Chrysler Hemi powered dragster along. It was celebrating its 50th anniversary to the day of its first showing at Silverstone. The ACAG objective is to restore the dragster to running order for display at “Cracklefests” in Europe and perhaps in the USA. It was the first opportunity for most to study Sydney’s creation close up and in the flesh.
Early birds assembled. -Mike Knapman
As Saturday afternoon drew to a close, members and friends gathered to watch Club Patron, Alan Allard present the Concours awards, drink a toast to the Club and enjoy a piece of birthday cake. The award winners were:
- Best 2 seat open Allard Simon Hope Allard J2
- Best 4 seat open Allard Mel Herman M Type
- Best Closed Allard Tim Baker P Salon
- Best Modified or Replica Allard Tim Baker J2 Replica
- Best Other Make Brian Taylor Dragster
- Best Allard to take Home Steve Taylor Palm Beach
- Furthest Distance travelled Allard Docter Allard J2
No cake or sparkling wine for Sunday but the prospect of parade laps around the Grand Prix Circuit made up for that and 19 cars were present to savour it. Instructions were to line up four abreast, but there was room for ten abreast. Once on the track there was a certain amount of speeding up and slowing down. Nothing reckless and all great fun. Twice the group passed by the new Wing complex and pits where the British Grand Prix had taken place only a few weeks before.
Queing for the on-track tour -Darell Allard
By five o’clock on Sunday the gazebos were down and the site empty. Allard owners made their way homewards, some for quite long distance, others not so far, the fortunate without traffic hold ups, the less-fortunate with, but all enjoying the buzz that comes from having a truly classic car at a great event. It is early days but the Allard theme next year could be the Monte Carlo Rally and the P1. Perhaps ten of them at Silverstone Classic 2012? That is a realistic possibility.
Allard owners find it impossible to pass up an opportunity to tinker! - Mel Herman