Now that summer is over and we have nothing but wet days ahead for us, a bit of escapism is in order. All you need to do is hop to the northern hemisphere for your second helping of good weather and the chance to see amazing classic cars, motorbikes and racing cars, and meet like-minded people in the best motoring events the world has to offer.
So let’s think happy thoughts filled with roaring engines, shiny chassis and the smell of new leather.
February: Paris Retromobile
Widely considered one of the best classic car shows in Europe, the Retromobile takes place in Paris every year. Over five days, enthusiasts get the chance to admire vehicles from the 20s and the 30s, although a category of ‘newcomers’ for cars from the 70s and the 80s was recently added.
Compared to other car shows, it is relatively on the small size, but what it lacks in scale it certainly makes up for in quality.
May: London Motor Show
The London Motor Show is the UK’s largest car show. This year, it will display some 130 brand new cars in Battersea Park. Unlike other car shows, it isn’t a ‘look but don’t touch’ event and visitors are encouraged to try the vehicles. Don’t get too excited, you won’t be allowed to drive them, but at least you can sit in them and dream about the day when you can buy a Porsche.
The event is advertised as a family day out, and it is indeed much more than just a car show. The two simulator rides on offer will put you through your paces. Climb aboard the Top Gear Experience for an adrenaline-filled mountainous rally using the latest simulation technology, or Racing Aces where you can test your driving skills on the most famous Formula 1 circuits with impressively realistic steering action, gear selection, acceleration and braking. And with over 200 vehicles to choose from, you could happily spend your whole day there.
For all petrolheads out there, it is also the opportunity to attend lectures and meet racing legends such as Ben Collins, which you will probably know better as the Stig, well at least one of them; racing driver Jodie Kidd and champion rally driver Catie Munnings.
May / June: International Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race
Held annually since its birth in 1907 except during World War I and II, the Isle of Man TT is one of the most revered motorbike racing event in the world.
The 61km track tests bikers’ skills to the limits with hair-raising bends, bumps, challenging jumps and stone walls, at speeds sometimes close to 300km/h.
The races are held over two weeks, one week of practice followed by one week of timed races across the island, divided into bike categories, including Superbikes TT, Supersport TT, Superstock TT, Lightweight TT, Sidecar TT, Senior TT and TT Zero, all of this against the stunning scenery of the Isle of Man.
On June 10, the roads will be re-opened to the public, probably to the relief of the inhabitants!
June: Le Mans 24 Hour Race
A fairly short boat ride away, Le Mans race is the oldest active sports car in endurance racing in the world, and perhaps the most prestigious one. For a gruelling 24 hours, the best drivers in the world compete on this legendary circuit from Saturday to Sunday 3pm.
The circuit is a mix of public roads –closed for the occasion obviously- and a specialist racing circuit, in which the teams have to push the cars to their technical limits without incurring mechanical damage for the duration of the race.
It is so notoriously demanding that it has inspired innovation in aerodynamics, engines and brakes, as well as led to some horrific crashes from which drivers don’t always escape alive.
June / July: Goodwood Festival of Speed
A fairly recent race, the Festival of Speed opened in 1993 and is held on the south coast of England in late June. A hill climb race, it has seen its number of spectators soar so much over its short lifespan that admission had to be restricted to tickets only to keep the crowd at a maximum of 150,000 visitors for safety reasons.
Held at a time of the year when weather is more reliable – or at least as reliable as weather can be in England – the Festival of Speed gathers aficionados of all things racing. From Edwardian cars to Formula 1 models and futuristic supercars, there is something for everybody.
In addition to the hill climb, you can also enjoy the Forest Rally Stage and the Supercar Race that gives you the chance to see the very latest sports car models before anyone else, including prototypes that may never be commercialised.
The Cartier Style et Luxe, a beauty pageant for cars, is another event you can attend over the weekend as well as the Moving Motor Show, which gives prospective buyers of new cars the chance to test-drive models on the racecourse.
July: Formula 1 British Grand Prix
Silverstone is an iconic race track. Over a three-day weekend, you can get your fill of exhaust fumes, and applaud some of the best drivers in the world in a motorsport extravaganza. To make the experience complete, you can even book a ‘Pit Walk’ and get up close and personal in the pit. But grandstands seats are just as good to enjoy the thrill or roaring engines around nausea-inducing bends.
Birds certainly have the right idea, migrating from one hemisphere to the other to spend their lives in eternal summer. Should you, in your voyage, discover a car you can’t not bring back home, contact us to organise its shipping to Australia. We have been in business for over two decades and make sure that the process is stress free for our customers. You can request a quote online or contact us via email, or by phone on +64 9 303 0075.
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