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Historic Racing: AC Cobra & Lotus Anniversaries head Silverstone Classic Celebrations

The Classic is where UK's passionate car clubs celebrate major milestones in model and marque histories with huge on and off track displays, whether it's a parade of sublime McLarens or an evocative E-type Jaguar.



Last year's anniversaries included a collection of steely DeLoreans celebrating 40 years since the 1981 launch of the movie star DMC-12 and more than 400 colorful Triumph Stags celebrating their 50th birthday a year later than originally scheduled because of the pandemic.


This August bank holiday weekend (26-28 August), The Classic will honor even more milestones, including AC, BMW, and Lotus.


It's 60 years since Carroll Shelby modified the Thames Ditton built AC Ace to accept a 4.7-liter Ford V8 created one of the world's best classic sports cars. It was an instant hit, instantly capturing the hearts of enthusiasts across the globe and inspiring a whole raft of look-a-likes.


A number of clubs attending The Classic will honor the Cobra's Diamond anniversary, including The Cobra Register, 289 Register, and Cobra Replica Club UK.


With a full timeline of Cobras on display, The Cobra Register will have a variety of models from an AC Ace to an AC Mk.IV, and close to 100 cars are already confirmed for a rumbling track parade at lunchtime on Saturday.


A light, nimble British chassis powered by a big, powerful American engine took the racing world by storm as well, and the legacy of the mighty Cobras lives on too at The Classic. Earlier roadsters are among the front-runners in the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for Historic Cars on Sunday morning, while beefed-up late models - including Shelby Daytona Coupes - star in the International Trophy for Classic Pre-66 GT Cars on Saturday.


The Lotus Elan - born in 1962 - looks like a featherweight next to the Cobra, but what it lacks in brawn it makes up for in brains. Thanks to Colin Chapman's minimal weight philosophy, the little Lotus rewrote the record book in terms of handling and road holding.


In honor of Chapman, the Lotus Car Club and Lotus Drivers Club will parade more than 60 Elans on the Silverstone Grand Prix track on Saturday.


The Elan was the first Lotus not created specifically for racing, but such was its deftness, that competition versions quickly became giant-killers on the circuits and they still are today, along with Cobras and E-types in the International Trophy for Classic Pre-66 GT Cars.


BMW's sporty M division is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, so BMW Car Club GB is showcasing 50 of its finest cars on Sunday. In Saturday's Tony Dron Memorial Trophy for MRL Historic Touring Cars, BMW M3s and Ford RS500s will renew their epic rivalry.


Cobra, Elan, and M-Sport are just 3 of more than 30 anniversaries being celebrated at The Classic. There's also the Austin Healey 100, Ford Cortina, McLaren F1, Mercedes S Class, MGB, Porsche 944, Renault 5, Triumph Spitfire, and TVR.


You can still take advantage of special display packages if you're a member of these - or other - registered car clubs. The package deal comes with a pair of general admission tickets and the chance to display your car right at the heart of the action.


Also, since the fun-fuelled three-day festival takes place a month later in 2022, the booking window for these exclusive display packages has been extended until 26 June.


“Along with an unrivalled programme of action-packed retro races and the line-up of great family entertainment, these massive car club displays have always been part of The Classic’s DNA and we are eternally thrilled that so many choose Silverstone for their special celebrations,” said Nick Wigley, CEO of The Classic promoter Goose Live Events. “Now, with our new end-of-summer Bank Holiday date, owners of these cherished classics have even more time to make their plans to join us for this year’s not-to-be-missed celebrations at the end of August.”


In addition to giving you access to both racing paddocks and trackside grandstands, all Classic tickets offer access to fun fair rides, stunt shows, interactive demos, and Lewis Hamilton's championship winning cars.


There will be live music performances on all three evenings, plus the new Foodie Fest and Switch Live powered by myenergi.


Full details of tickets for The Classic 2022 at Silverstone can be found at: www.silverstone.co.uk/events/the-classic.

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