This year’s Silverstone Classic was a stunning coming-together of some of the finest historic racing machinery for a weekend’s nose-to-tail, tyre-to-tyre thrash at one of this country’s most iconic circuits. The variety of cars in action was sublime, so picking five stand-out examples was difficult.
AUG 01st 2017
Our 5 favourite cars from Silverstone Classic 2017
BMW 635 JPS Group C
We begin with perhaps our favourite car of the event. The attention that this glorious unicorn of touring car history received from spectators, commentators and media alike was such that it already feels like a bit of a cliché highlighting it. It’s an absolute home run of a car and livery combo and don't even get us started on the noise! We had a good chat with period driver and Australian touring car legend Jim Richards on what makes it so special. You can read that here if this shot doesn’t sell it to you, which it should!
The XJ220 parade celebrating the controversial supercar’s 25th anniversary was a fairly awe-inspiring sight. A rumoured 18% of all XJ220 production took to the track to show us all what makes the biggest of the big cats so special. As you can read here, we were thoroughly convinced. Stand-out examples included the unique Don Law-built V12 car and the hilarious Transit drivetrain mule. Even they couldn’t dwarf the majesty of the would-be Le Mans-winner.
Another proper headline of the Silverstone Classic is always the Masters Historic F1 featuring some the finest late ’70s and early ‘80s Grand Prix machinery running. Out of a truly spectacular grid, one marque stood out: Williams. As we all continue celebrating 40 years of one of the all-time great F1 constructors, the FW07B had to be our F1 pick of the Classic.
We had to pick something from Group C. This might be one of the greatest eras in endurance racing and we had an all-star grid of monster machinery battling it out in the wet before our eyes. To single out something here does no disservice to the spectacularity of any of the cars here, but the thunderous Mercedes C11 had to have it. The way the deluge was cast across the modern silver arrow’s haunches, as well as out of its various ducts. The way it spat an enormous 15-foot rooster tail out via the monstrous aero: Utterly spellbinding.
De Tomaso Pantera Group 5
This is a bit of a different one. As a racer this Group 5 De Tomaso Pantera was a bit of a flop. It wouldn’t see which way a 935 or a BBLM went. But not only is it unique in the grid of Masters Historic Sportscars that raced at Silverstone Classic, it’s unique full stop. This is the only example of a Group 5 Pantera in existence. Those haunches, those intakes, and that monstrous Ford GT40 powertrain make it a just so pucker. It had a turbulent second outing being involved in a bit of a shunt. We’re glad we got to shoot it and chat to its preparer beforehand. Story to follow shortly…
Photography courtesy of Silverstone Classic and Tom Shaxson
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