Race Retro in Stoneleigh Park approaches

Race Retro in Stoneleigh Park approaches  
Filed under:
on 03/09/2010

This year’s Race Retro, held at Stoneleigh Park from 12th to 14th March, is serving up a hearty feast of cars for lovers of historic motor sport, giving enthusiasts to get up close to cars they usually only get a passing glimpse of on rally stages or race circuits.

Pushing the boundaries of historic motor sport is Dennis Welch Motorsport with its record-breaking Austin-Healey 100 record breaker, which late last year, at industry test track Millbrook, took numerous British and International speed records. The car achieved a top speed of 152mph, up on the works car record set in 1954.

Meanwhile, representing the later historic era is Juha Kankkunen’s Group A Lancia Delta Integrale rally car, which is fresh out of a sympathetic restoration.

The Historic Sports Car Club has a selection of cars representing the eras and grids it caters for, including a 1964 Dodge Dart and a 1962 Jaguar E-Type, along with a Macon Formula Ford single seater, 1964 Merlyn sports racer and a 1972 Royale RP11 Formula 3 single seater.

Two true rarities on show are a Peerless and a V8 Firenza. The Peerless, built in Slough not far from the Mars Bar factory, is a former factory press car but has been modified for greater performance. Fewer than 350 Peerless cars were made between 1957 and 1960 and when the company folded the model was resurrected as the Warwick, at a factory in nearby Colnbrook.

The V8 Firenza is a tribute to fire-breathing models built in South Africa to rival Ford’s V8 Perana Capri. Badged as Chevrolets in South Africa, a 302 cubic inch (4949cc) engine was squeezed under the Firenza’s bonnet, creating a car with plenty of power, but in a nimble, European-sized package. The Firenza on show is based on the early ‘70s works cars and is lined up for a full historic rally programme throughout 2010.

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