HomeCar CultureCommentaryInaugural Petrolicious Drivers’ Meeting draws quite a crowd

Inaugural Petrolicious Drivers’ Meeting draws quite a crowd


More than 200 exotic and racing cars, one of them dating to 1906, turned out at Bicester Heritage in England on May 12 for the inaugural Petrolicious Drivers’ Meeting. The event drew more than 4,000 people and celebrated 100 years of Zagato and 50 years of the Williams Grand Prix team.

“The now-ubiquitous Petrolicious #DriveTastefully motto was made real by the new event,” according to petrolicious.com. 

The event was held at the former Royal Air Force base, with the huge, 50,000-square-foot main hangar occupied with automotive artists, various retail stands and a cinema showing Petrolicious films. Not only were the films shown, but the cars appearing in those videos were parked next to the screen, including a Ferrari Daytona, “The Rusty 911’”Porsche, a Golf GTI Mk2, NSU Ro80, Mercedes-Benz 280SE, Lancia Delta Integrale and Bentley 4 ½ Liter.

The event also featured two Jaguar D-types, the Jaguar Project 7 and the debut of the new Bremont Jaguar D-type timepiece.

The Williams F1 display included the team’s first race-car transporter, now restored, and the 1979 FW07 and 1987 FW11B cars.

Other featured displays included “Slowly Sideways,” showcasing Group B rally cars from the 1980s; the “Endurance Racing Legend,” several cars that had raced at Le Mans; a Singer Design 911; and the “Multi-million pound Ferrari” display with an F40, Daytona, 330GT, 275 GTB and F12 TDF.

Another highlight was the reunion of the Alan Mann Lotus Cortina Mk1 and the Autodelta Alfa Romeo GTA that raced against each other 53 years earlier.

The Zagato display included cars from Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin and Porsche.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
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.


  1. As a child of the first American muscle era, growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the eldest son of a life-long GM/UAW employee (Delco-Remy, Anderson, IN), I’ve been a Pontiac GTO guy all my life. But post-USAF service as a civilian advisor in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa in the go-go-get some ’80’s introduced me to the wide world of foreign exotica. The capitol of the Kingdom, Riyadh, where we were based, was a hotbed of high-end Euro alloy in the early/mid ’80’s, and as a young car guy, who spoke Arabic and was almost fluent in French, I had many opportunities to interact with the local and expatriate auto culture.
    Examples? Was allowed to drive a GM TH400 equipped Ferrari 400i, a V12 gentleman’s express coupe that just begged for the manual, but would still spool up and jet even with the mandatory "max air" on- and never come close to overheating. In white, with a saddle/black interior, it was both exotic and understated. I must say that I was highly amused to find the exact same t-handle auto shifter and quadrant in the beautiful wood console that came in my first car, a ’67 Impala SS 327, with a much less woody console.
    I also was privileged to have been given a ride in a white Audi Sport Quattro- yeah, the Group B shorty- by the owner’s son. Never ride in a car like that with a driver who believes in predestination and learned to "drive" by wrecking Dad’s cars starting at 7 years old. Aged me 50 years in half an hour. Still, a brilliant car; I wish I could have driven it myself.
    Everything in this article’s photography pleased me immensely, kudos to the lens artists. But the most pleasant surprise was to see both Subaru, and STi, mingling with the million+$ Euro toys. Most of the Euro stuff is so far out of reach Jay Leno might cringe when writing the check, but Subaru provides exotic performance on a working man’s budget. ‘Bout time their serious racing/street performance cred is officially recognized… do ya think a pristine, race trim Audi Sport Quattro could take a race trim WRX STi? I suspect you’d need to be Travis Pastrana or Tanner Foust, plus blessed by Race Jesus to even come close. And check the price/availability differential.
    Would love to see that matchup on the unpaved Pike’s Peak run- ‘member that Michele (Alboreto?) lady smoked the Peak in a Sport Shorty, and kicked the AWD door wide open. But the course is paved, SportShorts are WAY too valuable to trash, and I think we know how it would play out anyway.
    Loved the coverage.


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