VSCC SeeRed 2007 - Review
"Here’s to the boys of the Buzz-Box Brigade" goes the first line of a ditty published in the inaugural issue of the Vintage Sports Car Club’s 'Bulletin' magazine, back in 1937. It still holds true 70 years on. Last weekend’s SeeRed meeting organised by the Club celebrated two 70th anniversaries; one being that the VSSC held its first ever meeting at Donington Park in September 1937, and the second, that the mighty Mercedes-Benz W125 raced in the British ‘Grand Prix’ that same year.
Well over half the cars entered for the weekend’s 13-race programme were of the anniversary vintage, being 70 years old or more. In addition, there were two races for classic motorcycles with models mostly from the 1950s and ’60s. You can be forgiven for thinking that machinery this old, racing around a circuit, might be a little slow and processional. How wrong you would be: the boys of the Buzz-Box Brigade saw to that.
For the Williams Trophy race, no less than 14 Bugattis took to the grid with Charles Dean taking victory in his T51 after fighting off a challenge from Duncan Ricketts in his Riley Dixon. Edwardian cars had a race to themselves and entertained the crowd with some fantastic driving; Mark Walker’s 1908 12.8-litre Panhard swapped places with William Way’s 1906 8-litre Mors Le Sanglier repeatedly, Mark eventually taking fourth place just ahead of William’s fifth spot. In the same race, on his way to third, Robin Tuluie burnt rubber on the inside wheel of his 1916 Sunbeam Indianapolis at most corners in the search for grip.
On Saturday evening, the VSCC staged its annual Pre-War Team Relay with a fantastic entry of 23 teams that fought it out for an hour and half, until the race was red-flagged after an incident at Lodge corner. More modern cars were not completely left out in the cold, as there were races for 1950s grand prix cars, 1950s sportscars, Group C/GTP and pre-66 single-seaters, all producing some exciting racing with plenty of wheel-to-wheel dicing and apex-cutting action.
Now to that second anniversary. The VSCC had persuaded the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart to bring over its 1937 W125 for some demonstration laps around the circuit. So, for the first time in 70 years, Donington reverberated to the distinctive growl of this 600bhp monster.
Tony Dron was the lucky man selected to drive this huge silver machine, and as Murray Walker put it: "The noise and speed! Just imagine what four of them, plus the same number of their rear-engined Auto Union rivals, all on the track at the same time must have been like".
We can only imagine, but at least the VSCC gave us the chance. There was a screen set up in the Paddock Exhibition Centre for those who wanted to watch the Belgian GP live, but who wants to spend time watching something you can see every two weeks and miss the sight of the Buzz-Box Brigade sliding around on their four inches of rubber?
Full results and dates for next year can be found at www.see-red.uk.com.
Story and photos by Roger Dixon - all strictly copyright.
For further information please visit www.rogerdixonphotography.com
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