Former RAF base becomes center for classic car and airplane restoration and events

Former RAF base becomes center for classic car and airplane restoration and events

RAF Bicester was the home to British military aircraft as early as 1916 and became a bomber station in 1925.

Tiger Moths and a Sunbeam Grand Prix racer at the former RAF base | Sophie Bolesworth photo for Bicester Heritage

Tiger Moths and a Sunbeam at the former RAF base | Sophie Bolesworth photo for Bicester Heritage

RAF Bicester was the home to British military aircraft as early as 1916 and became a bomber station in 1925. Today, it is considered the best-preserved of Britain’s World War II bomber bases and is in the process of a full restoration. Now known as Bicester Heritage, the site in Oxfordshire hosts its first major public event June 20-21 with Flywheel, a show of historic road and racing cars, military vehicles and aircraft.

Bicester Heritage is converting the 348-acre former bomber base into what it hopes will be “the UK’s first park for the restoration, storage and enjoyment of vintage and classic cars, motorcycles and aeroplanes.” Already, 10 specialist shops have opened on the grounds, which includes 40 red brick buildings, a 2-mile perimeter test track, and various runways and other facilities.

“Flywheel will celebrate the three parallel themes of motoring, aviation and military endeavour with attractions from the pre-jet age era,” Duncan Williams, managing director of events at Historic Promotions, said in a news release.

“The event takes the best elements of air shows and historic motoring to create something new in a very special location.”

In addition to Flywheel and a variety of club events, plans are already being made for a celebration of the centennial of British aviation in 2017.

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