2023 Show Reviews 

September - Sywell Classic Pistons and Props 2023, Northamptonshire

After a very mixed show season of sun cream and wellies the 2023 Sywell Classic finally pushed all the right buttons with another glorious sunny Saturday… Sunday was a different story!!!

With new attractions for this years event and an increasingly varied and diverse array of vehicles and aircraft, whatever your interest, whether four wheel, two wheel or four wheel that race on two wheels, there was plenty for everyone.   

On the racing runway classic Lola, Lotus, Chevron, March and Penske race cars exhibited alongside hybrids, hotrods, dragsters, historic race karts and karting legend outfits. If two wheels is your thing, bikes ranged from classics to modern race bikes and for the classic enthusiast a plethora of classic and sports car clubs exhibiting throughout the showground.  

Since 1958 karting has been part of the UK’s motorsport scene with many current and former F1 drivers starting their careers in cadet classes around the country. So it was particularly pleasing to see the British Historic Kart Club attending the Sywell Classic with around thirty karts on display. Alongside the BHKC exhibited the Karting Legends with an impressive front line up of 250 Superkarts liveried up to represent and re-create Roger Goff's, Tim Parrott's and Martin Hines championship winning outfits. These karts would reach top speeds in excess of 165mph with a 0-60 of around 3 seconds. Impressive stuff when you realise that a fifty pence piece stood on its edge on the circuit would touch the bottom of the seat. If you haven’t seen these karts race it makes for exciting spectating, with gear changes of less than a second between shifts, full bodywork and 250 race engines that sit just under the drivers armpit.  


Returning again to the event saw the crowd pleasing displays from The Bremont Great War Display Team with their Triplanes, SE5’s, an Avro 504 and Junkers CL1. The display is cleverly choreographed to re-enact the chaos of a WW1 aircraft dogfight with a good dose of airborne and ground flash bangs, pyrotechnics and attention getters.

Appearing for 2023 saw “The Starlings” British Aerobatic Champions Tom Cassells and Michael Pickin. Both pilots have combined aerobatic experience of over 50 years and have performed worldwide in solo and formation displays. Their aerobatic display of opposition manoeuvres,  aerobatics and tumbles is absolutely breathtaking. Using the latest designed aircraft the Extra NG and the Cap 232, these aircraft are capable of unlimited aerobatics pulling plus or minus 10G with a roll rate in excess of 420 degrees per second. Checkout the pictures… absolutely awesome!!!  


Mid afternoon and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flights Lancaster entered from the west to hold centre stage with a succession of low fly-bys before tipping its wings and heading home to Coningsby. 



On the main stage The Dream Belles performed on both Saturday and Sunday with their 40’s 50’s and 60’s numbers taking you back in time with songs from the likes of Vera Lynn, The Andrews Sisters and Gracie Fields. 





As the event drew to a close, what an absolute honour to be approached by the Silverstone Group and presented with their “Most Interesting and Best in Show” trophy for the event. 
Thanks guys, you put on a great stand, well attended and I look forward to seeing you all next year. What a great show to round off the season!!! 


Photos by Chris and Jordan Howlett

August - Stamford Car Show 2023,  Lincolnshire. 



Always a popular event held within the picturesque town centre meadows and booked to capacity weeks before the event. This years event had every vehicle exhibitor up early on the day to hear the latest from the regional weather presenters… Is it going to rain…Or is it going to shine?  

News is… a mixture of sunshine, “Yes“… rain … “Oh”… thunderstorms…“What”… and possible hail stones to add into the mix ? …“They’ve got to be kidding this is August Bank Holiday !!“. 


Arriving at the showground, the sun is shining and it's already filling up nicely, with a constant stream of vehicles entering the meadows. We are quickly marshalled to our display area for the day by the very well organised Round Table event marshals. Once set up a quick stroll around the show ground and chat to some very familiar faces proved that we’d all been doing the same thing, with some choosing last minute to bring the classic tin top as opposed to the open top sports car… “Nobody needs a mobile Jacuzzi”.


As the exhibiting vehicles continue to flood in to the meadows…“no pun intended” the show ground was soon full to capacity and the sunshine was still playing its part. 

With over 500 cars and bikes now on display, ranging from prestige sports cars, classics, customs and vintage race bikes, the footfall visitors through the gate started to arrive and the show ground was quickly alive and buzzin’. Visitors to the event could browse the automotive works of art and trade stands. Mums, Dads and Grandparents could enjoy a relaxing choice of showground coffee and food outlets or buy a plastic duck for the annual afternoon charity duck race. While the kids could burn off excess energy on the fairground ride and bouncy castle. 


By midday the weather was still holding with people tuning into their weather apps and talking of impending rain at 1.00pm… But still blue skies for the time being. 1.00pm comes and goes.. 2.00pm and 3.00pm ... Still dry… looks like we’re going to make it!!  In the distance to the west could be seen the silhouette of the BBMF Spitfire as it came into view with the sound of its Merlin engine bringing a hush across the showground as all eyes looked skyward. This beautiful aircraft performed three low fly-bys along the full length of the showground before finally tipping its wings to return home. 


4.30pm and vehicle exhibitors are saying cheerio and starting to pack up kit and leave the show ground for another year.


With all the trepidation at the start of the day, this years event turned out to be another fabulous success. 

Thanks must go to the Stamford Round Table for organising this annual event and if you’ve not been to the event or this beautiful Lincolnshire town before, its definitely one for the calendar in 2024. 

P.S. And for all those who are still wondering, as we leave the meadows for another year …Yes, we still had blue skies overhead!!.  “Thanks up there for watching over us“.

July - Kimbolton Country Fayre & Charity Car Show, Cambridgeshire.


Sunshine or showers… Rainbows or storm… it was anybody’s guess, but whatever your guess, you’d have been right at some point throughout the day. Did it put people off…absolutely not !!! This is a real family show with main arena entertainment, a live stage, prestige and sports car displays, refreshment outlets, fair ground, craft and trade stalls and much more!! 


Held within the beautiful grounds of Kimbolton Castle, Cambridgeshire and organised by the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle in partnership with the Sporting Bears, this event is a must and annually pencilled in on many kitchen calendars. 


As I entered the showground I was marshalled straight to our display location for the day. Marshalling for this event is always very well organised with separate entry lanes depending on your display location. 


A quick stroll around the showground found the Outlaws Wild West Show setting up shop with Colt Bandersnatch ready to show Diego the Mexican who rules the roost.!! The show features many horse riding stunts and tricks as the team of professional riders and performers head off Diego’s attempted bank robbery and live to fight another day. 


On the live stage the Galaxy Swing Band entertained throughout the day with their mix of Swing, Jive & Jazz with accompaniment from the Lindy Hopper Dancers. 


Thanks to the ongoing dedication and efforts of the Rotary Club of Kimbolton Castle and the Sporting Bears, and despite the good old British weather doing its best, the event was a great success and is well worth pencilling in for 2024. 

Print | Sitemap
© Richard Howlett 2013 - Website created by Rich and Christine Howlett