My first Sunday Scramble and my first visit to Bicester Heritage starts very early on a bright Sunday morning in October. I turn up at this former RAF base, sans breakfast or tea, with my camera, 35mm lens, new polarising filter and a desire to get as many great shots as I can and chat to some fellow motoring enthusiasts.
The first car I see is a gold Warsteiner BMW 2002 (straight from my bedroom wall, aged ten) next to a pair of 1960s Mini Coopers and an aircraft hanger full of 911s. I am completely awe-struck by the place. I can’t really think straight about what I’m doing with the camera and my first twenty or so shots are all fit for the bin. Luckily, it’s so early that I have time for a quick cuppa, to compose myself and start again.
The variety of metal on display is breathtaking, covering pre-war to early 90s, from humble family saloons to aggressively styled racing cars. Around every corner is an unexpected automotive delight and someone willing to chat enthusiastically about it. A crowd gathers around an unusual orange Skoda Spyder, one of only two in existence, that completely debunks all the well-worn Skoda prejudices. The pillared Sports Purpose showroom houses three stunning Porsches of significance: The Mikka Hakkinen 1993 Monaco Carrera Cup 964, a red 959 that looks like it just rolled out of the factory this morning and the 1965 911 dressed in Paul Smith’s iconic stripes (arguably the star of the show).
The Bicester Heritage site offers a setting that is unequalled, in my experience, for seeing amazing machines against a perfectly suited backdrop. It’s as though the brick walls, rusty hanger doors, tree-lined avenues and carpet of Autumn leaves have been placed here for my benefit ( and that of the many other photographers here today).
So, did I get all the shots I wanted? No, of course not.
Did I remember to move the polarising filter to avoid rainbow-striped windows? Um…
Will I return for more of the same next year? Oh yes!
In the meantime, here are a bunch of my favourite shots…
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