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Welcome to our October newsletter which contains details of upcoming events and exhibitions as well as this preview of the features coming up in Classic Wheels in the weeks to follow.

These features include stories on one of the most famous Porsche racing cars ever seen, namely the 718 Spyder, and the incredible four-cylinder 125cc Ducati that was track tested but never raced.

There is another article by award-winning American journalist, Joe Scalzo, one of the best-known chroniclers of automotive history in the USA. This one looks at the life of the flamboyant Marquis de Portago who lived fast and died young in one of the worst crashes in motor racing history.

We are also really pleased to welcome another award-winning journalist to our ranks. Alan Cathcart, the world’s best-known motorcycle journalist by virtue of his regular contributions to more than 30 magazines, will be entertaining you with extracts from his massive back catalogue of features on the world’s rarest motorcycles. In this issue he writes about the Honda 500cc four from 1966/67 that even the great Mike Hailwood found hard to handle and equates it to the even-more fearsome two-stroke Grand Prix racers from the 1990s.

Finally, there is a wrap-up report from Salon Prive at Blenheim Palace in the UK, now established as one of the most exclusive Concours d’Elegance events in the world, plus a look at the star cars at Bonhams Auctions in Switzerland and Belgium,

All this content and more is to come from Classic Wheels over the next few weeks so make sure to subscribe (free of charge) at so that these features, and many more like them, drop into your e-mail inbox every few days.

Now read on….


Vauxhall – Made in Luton, the first display of its kind in the company's 115-year history, opened on September 5 at Luton's Stockwood Discovery Centre and tells "the incredible story of Vauxhall Motors rise from a niche sporting car manufacturer to one of the UK’s best-known automotive brands."

The Vauxhall VXR Concept Car

On show until Easter 2021 will be some of the most significant cars to roll off the Luton factory's production line, including the very first car to be produced there – a 1905 7/9hp – and the very last car that was built there – a 2002 Vectra. The Luton UK plant of course now exclusively produces commercial vehicles.

A different 'Hero' car will be featured in rotation during the display's run, starting with American-inspired, chrome- and fin-laden 1959 PA Velox. Other cars that will be featured as 'hero' cars include the legendary Vauxhall Lotus Carlton, the Firenza HPF ‘Droopsnoot’, and the OE-Type 30-98, which was Britain’s first 100mph car.

"This is a perfect opportunity for the public to get up close and personal with cars from our collection that are normally only seen via the hundred-or-so media loans that we arrange each year," said Simon Hucknall, Vauxhall's head of PR. "There are some extremely rare and valuable cars on display, but many that will conjure 'my-dad-had-one-of-those' memories, too.

Vauxhall – Made in Luton runs until Easter, 2021 at Stockwood Discovery Centre, Luton. Opening hours are Thursday to Sunday 11am to 5pm and admission is free. COVID-19 protocols will be in place to ensure social distancing.


Japanese classic bikes at the Stafford ‘Classic Motorcycle Mechanics’ show

Celebrating the growing popularity of emerging and modern classics from the 1970s, 80s and now covering the retro-cool bikes of the 90s, the Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show has grown in popularity year after year and now regularly welcomes more than 30,000 enthusiasts through its doors.

Taking place at the superb Staffordshire County Showground, UK on October 10th & 11th, the event features over 900 traders, dealers and autojumble stands offering a wealth of parts and spares for every project.

There’s a host of excellent club stands, exciting live action, the Bonhams Auctions autumn sale, classic competition machines and special guest stars from iconic eras of motorcycling.


Two of the most-missed events during this virus-ravaged season were the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival race meeting, But all is not lost for fans of these truly iconic annual events as the Goodwood management have come up with a unique virtual event that can be visited online from October 16th-18th, Following are full details provided by the organisers of what is going on and how you can interact with the happenings,

Photography by Drew Gibson and Malcolm Griffith

The first ever Goodwood SpeedWeek from October 16th to 18th will be a festival of motorsport like no other. Taking place at the Goodwood race circuit and combining the very best elements of the Festival of Speed, the Goodwood Revival and even Goodwood’s revived Members’ Meetings. Due to the restrictions in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic all three of Goodwood’s major motorsport events could not be held as we would like, so have been postponed until 2021. Goodwood SpeedWeek will serve to fill the gap in the motorsport calendar and fulfill your appetite for Goodwood motorsport.

Also, because it is held behind closed doors, it gives us the chance to bring you new cars to the Motor Circuit, doing more incredible things than ever before. From the first Timed Shootout to take place on the Goodwood Motor Circuit, to cars leaving the circuit and using areas normally reserved for spectators or buildings.

Can I go to SpeedWeek?

Sadly not. Due to the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the physical distancing restrictions put in place to help flatten the curve, Goodwood cannot allow spectators into the event as normal. Even if the government allowed mass gatherings of people, the social distancing restrictions would mean the event could not provide the usual high standard of experience our customers expect from Goodwood. We have chosen to take this as an opportunity though, creating elements of SpeedWeek that just would not be possible with spectators on site.

How can I watch SpeedWeek?

The whole event will be streamed live through GRR and all our social media channels. We are looking to create new and innovative ways for you to get involved and interact with our coverage, as well as exploring new ways to film and stream the event.

What races will take place in SpeedWeek?

SpeedWeek will include elements from all of Goodwood’s major motorsport events. From the Revival all the major races you know and love will take place at SpeedWeek. These include the RAC TT Celebration for big banger GT cars, the two-driver touring car fight for the St. Mary’s Trophy, F1 races for the Glover Trophy (‘1960s) and Richmond & Gordon Trophies (1950s), a pre-war Grand Prix race for the Goodwood Trophy and the classic Can-Am vs. GT40 fight for the Whitsun Trophy.

From the Festival of Speed, SpeedWeek will host supercar debuts and new car reveals, and the classic Timed Shootout – for the first time taking place on the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit.

The Members’ Meeting donates the legendary Gerry Marshall Trophy, an awesome race for 1970s touring cars, the Goodwood Rally Sprint and the incredible S.F. Edge Trophy for pre-war Edwardian specials.

Who will be presenting the SpeedWeek live stream?

Goodwood has pulled out all the stops with its presenters for the live stream, with four stars from television, Formula 1 and our own live streams. The broadcast will be led by broadcaster, X Factor host and radio DJ Dermot O’Leary, former Top Gear presenter and current Auto Trader video host Rory Reid, previous Goodwood stream presenter and Capital FM Breakfast Presenter Siân Welby and 2015 World Endurance Champion and nine-time F1 race winner Mark Webber.

How can I get involved with SpeedWeek?

Viewers and fans will be able to get in on the action from the comfort of their own homes, participating in competitions, polls, quizzes and votes, predicting the results of each race, creating their own digital ‘garage’, joining virtual paddock tours and much more, with winners, champions and prizes awarded along the way.

Are there any SpeedWeek competitions?

We’ll also be launching our SpeedWeek@Home initiative, bringing you right into the very heart of the live stream. As part of this we’ll be running two awesome competitions.

First we’re asking you to design your very own Festival of Speed Central Feature and bring it to life. We want you to create a Central Feature idea that reflects a theme or story of your choice – and then bring it to life and send us an image on social media. Entrants can use any resources and materials they wish, with extra points awarded for recycled or sustainable materials. The judges will be looking for a winning combination of clever design, innovation, creativity and a great story.

The second competition is just for the younger members of the family. We’re looking for a brilliant livery design to go on a classic Mini. We’ll provide a downloadable template for you to use for your creations, and not only will the winners see their entry on the live stream, the victor’s design will be used to wrap an actual Mini racing at the Revival in 2021!

Will there be any rally cars at SpeedWeek?

Yes! In fact, we’re holding our first ever set of rally stages at SpeedWeek, with the innovative layout of the event allowing us to create a series of Special Stages on both tarmac and gravel within the confines of the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Final details are still being worked out, but stages will begin as darkness descends on the evening of Thursday 15th October, concluding with two more stages the next day, Friday 16th October.

The “SpeedWeek Super Special” will bring together cars representing nearly half a century of the World Rally Championship, competing in separate classes and for outright victory. There will be Group 4 cars like the Lancia Stratos, Ford Escort RS2000 and ultra-rare Ferrari 308GTB, along with the car that changed rallying forever, 40 years ago, the Audi Quattro. Following these will be the monsters of the Group B era, cars like the Lancia 037, Delta S4, Metro 6R4, Audi Sport Quattro S1 and Peugeot 205 T16.

Ushering in the modern era will be the Group A cars, the likes of the Subaru Legacy and Impreza WRX, Lancia Delta Integrale and Toyota Celica GT4. Finally, the very latest and quickest cars of the WRC will also be tackling the stages with representation from Ford, Subaru and Toyota amongst others.

The stage will also feature an appearance from the brand new Toyota GR Yaris, the 250bhp homologation special that precedes the new WRC Yaris.

What road cars can I see at SpeedWeek?

As already mentioned the new GR Yaris will be seen in action at SpeedWeek alongside the rally cars on the rally stage. There will also be a series of debuts and supercar celebrations as part of the event, we’ll announce more details as we approach the event.

What drivers will be appearing at SpeedWeek?

We’ve started announcing drivers as of mid-September) and with a pretty amazing first name for the list. Three-time Le Mans winner, Porsche Formula E factory driver, one-time F1 racer and RAC TT Celebration-winner Andre Lotterer has confirmed he will race at SpeedWeek.

We’ll have more star names to announce over the next few weeks and will update the SpeedWeek section of GRR with every new announcement.


The National Motorcycle Museum in the UK wants to give enthusiasts a reminder that there is still time to buy tickets for a chance to win a brand new/old stock Triumph T140J Silver Jubilee Bonneville 750cc motorcycle in its summer raffle draw.

Museum Director James Hewing stated: “we have another amazing ‘new/old stock’ 1st prize for our summer raffle with a brand new/old stock Triumph T140J Silver Jubilee Bonneville which has never been run or registered and is showing just 4 “push” miles only!”

Details of the prizes are as follows:

  • 1st Prize: Brand New/Old Stock 1977 Triumph Bonneville T140J Silver Jubilee motorcycle. Never run or registered, showing just 4 “push” miles only

  • 2nd Prize: Sealey Retro Style Combination Tool Chest. Blue & white 10 drawer retro style tool chest -RRP £850.00

  • 3rd Prize: Luxury Hotel Break & Dinner for two people. Includes VIP museum tour, 1 night stay & dinner at the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse in the Manor Hotel, Meriden

The summer raffle will be drawn at the museum on Saturday, October 31st.


As well as the museum’s normal summer 2020 raffle, the NMM also has its special Covid-19 appeal raffle running at the same time.

This will be drawn at the museum on Monday, December 21st, when one lucky 1st prize winner will receive a brand new/old stock 1977 Norton Commando 850cc Interstate (see above).Tickets cost £2.00 each for our summer raffle, £6.00 each for our Covid-19 appeal raffle, and both can be entered by visiting


The British Motor Museum is to host a brand new exhibition to celebrate one of Britain’s best-selling small cars - entitled “Metro at 40”. For the first time the Museum will be hosting the exhibition online as part of its drive to have more online and accessible insights into their collection. The exhibition, which went live on 9 September, is free to view from their website and gives everyone the chance to celebrate this iconic car’s special birthday.

2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the Austin Metro and 30th anniversary of the Rover Metro. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Museum hosted a one day celebration of the two iconic British small car marques. The National Metro & Mini Show took place on 6 September and saw enthusiasts enjoy a scaled back, but very enjoyable show.

Cat Griffin, Curator at the British Motor Museum said “We opened our other anniversary exhibition “Range Rover at 50” in March but due to lockdown it was only open for two days. As the Museum was closed for three months we decided to extend the run of that display until 28 September and come up with a new way for people to enjoy the story of the Metro. We thought it would be a great subject to present as our first virtual exhibition”.

The online exhibition is packed with all things Metro from the Archive, including facts, photos and film clips. Visitors can also read about many fond memories of the small hatchback which have been submitted to the Museum by Metro owners. Anyone that would like to send in their own Metro musings for the ‘Metro & Me’ feature can email their stories and images to

The Museum is now reverting to Friday to Monday opening until October half-term (24 October - 1 November), when it will be open daily, subject to any changes in government advice. It will then return to Friday to Monday opening throughout November & December until 20 December when it will close for Christmas, reopening on 2 January 2021.


Ducati 125cc four cylinder

Porsche 718 Spyder

Mike Hailwood’s 500cc Honda Four

The Marquis de Portago

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