Silverstone celebrates auto anniversaries and vintage racing

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Vintage racing
Vintage sports sedans race past the Ferris wheel and Merry-Go-Round at Silverstone Classic | Silverstone Classic photos
Vintage sports sedans race past the Ferris wheel and Merry-Go-Round at Silverstone Classic | Silverstone Classic photos

From the launch at dawn of 21 hot-air balloons through 16 vintage races all the way through an after-dark performance by ’80s rockers The Strangers, the annual Silverstone Classic lived up to its 2016 motto — Rocking and Racing — last weekend in England.

And there also was a car show featuring the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Miura and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ferruccio Lamborghini, plus the 20th anniversary of the Viper Club and a Porsche Club celebration of the brand’s first “transaxle” sports car introduced 40 years ago.

The Porsche Club — which had 1,200 member cars on display — enjoyed not only its celebration, but the presence of the 919 Hybrid that recently won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

Oh, and that was just Saturday’s show. Featured Sunday were vintage British touring cars, Can-Am and Group C cars and a vintage F1 race that many considered to be as thrilling as any of the British Grand Prix races held at the track.

Anniversaries celebrated Sunday included 50 years of the Historic Sports Car Club, the 20th anniversaries of the Mercedes-Benz CLk and SLK, and 80th anniversary of the Morgan 4/4.

Moto GP and World Superbikes also were on the track, ridden by racers such as Freddie Spencer and Wayne Gardner.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.