Classic Nostalgia at Shelsley Walsh 2013

Report and pictures by Letitia Mace

There was a time when I only read about famous Jaguars, and the people and events connected with them, but then suddenly I found myself the guest of Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth and Stratstone of Mayfair following OKV1 to Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb!

OKV1 was the first works racing D-type, which finished 2nd at Le Mans in 1954, driven by Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton, missing victory by 135 seconds, after 24 hours racing in foul conditions. It then finished 2nd at Rheims that year, with the same drivers. It was retired from the classic Tourist Trophy, and then at the end of 1954, Duncan Hamilton negotiated with Jaguar to became the first private owner of a D-type. OKV1 had a fruitful racing career with Duncan Hamilton and many pictures of the car appear in his book “Touchwood”.

In recent years, CMC undertook a conservation restoration of this very historic Jaguar, going through the body, mechanics and interior, including the original seats. Every aspect of this car was kept as Jaguar designed and built the car to race at Le Mans. True to its spirit, this famous D-type is not just a museum piece, and has had a great racing career since its restoration at CMC. This peaked when it won its grid in the 2010 Classic Le Mans. It was also back at Le Mans in 2013 for the 90th anniversary, to pay homage to all Jaguars that have competed in the famous event, as reported HERE and is well documented in Norman Dewis’s book Developing the Legend

Brucie meets OKV1 as we breakfast at CMC of Bridgnorth

As a guest of CMC and Stratstones, Sunday began with breakfast, provided by our joint hosts, at CMC’s premises in Bridgnorth, during which OKV1 drew up outside. Seizing the opportunity for a portrait of Brucie with another renowned ancestor, I promptly grabbed my camera! Breakfast was followed by a guided tour of CMC’s workshops, with questions invited. For me this was a second opportunity, following my first visit, reported in Brucie’s Diary – May 2013 to view the amazing Jaguars under restoration, and for the guests from Stratstones, it was a unique opportunity. Among the cars currently being restored, are Ian Callum’s Mark 2 and a barn find E-type (the 60th off the line!)

As guests of Stratstones, who are significant sponsors of Shelsley Walsh, we benefited from dedicated parking, seats in the grandstand, and lunch in the Stratstone Restaurant, all provided courtesy of Stratstones, along with our entrance tickets and programmes.

The excitement of the Hill Climb followed our own drive in convoy behind Nick Goldthorp (Managing Director of CMC) driving MVC 630, the last C-type to run in the colours of Ecurie Ecosse. Following an eventful career, latterly this car has competed in the Mille Miglia as part of the Jaguar Heritage team. On arrival at Shelsley Walsh, OKV1, MVC 630 and an E-type, recently restored by CMC were put on display for the day.

C-type, D-type & E type in pride of place at Shelsley Walsh!

My first experience of a hill climb was unforgettable – the noise of the engines and squealing tyres; the speed; the smell of spent fuel and hot oil; the sight of the cars racing up the hill, or walking around the paddock and assessing the entries! The weather on the whole was very hot and sunny, but interspersed with sudden short, but heavy showers, so it was wise to stay within sight of the paddock or the grandstand!

This classic weekend coincided with Silverstone, but surprisingly, a number of familiar faces were to be seen here, including Sir Stirling Moss and Philip Porter. Peter James Insurance were among the trade stands, and I was able to meet Trevor Keeffe who has been taking care of my motor insurance needs through the favourable Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club scheme, for a number of years now!

There were a huge variety of cars of all types and ages competing in the event, but for me the most interesting were the two Jaguars, seen here in the paddock.

Bryan Eccles’ Jaguar XK120 Nick Thompson’s Jaguar E-type

For more pictures and information, view CMC’s own report on this event HERE

Stratstone of Mayfair

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All information correct at time of publishing.