Sywell Classic

Sywell Classic – Pistons and Props

Sywell Aerodrome
Northamptonshire, England
23 – 24 September 2017

Sywell Classic, an interesting and absorbing 2 day event of a considerable size, showcasing classic cars, motorbikes and aircraft, sponsored by the Footman James classic car insurance company. As well as exhibits of the mechanical kind there opportunities to browse and buy classic fashions, bric-a-brac and motoring and aeroplane related paraphernalia. Some people indulge in the spirit of the event and dress in period clothing. For me, the event illustrates the wonderful British enthusiasm for classic motor vehicles, with representations from many motoring clubs and individuals. All in all a great event with a good atmosphere.

Drag racing

My personal interest for the weekend is the drag racing. This display is one of the main features of the show, with the cars out there doing their stuff twice each day. The vehicles create a mighty impression as they file through to the paddock and wait for their turn to burnout, line up and race. Its a pure conveyor belt of sound, clouds of burning rubber and automotive aromas, and attracts a large crowd of spectators.


There were plenty of motorbike enthusiasts in attendance. This unique line-up of early classics, cafe racers, Moto GP and TT bikes in the paddock, prior racing along the airstrip, created a mighty atmosphere of revving engines and automotive smells with the light and colours just right to display the bikes and riders in all their glory.

Wall of Death

No self respecting event would be complete without a mesmerising and gravity defying spectacle such as this Ken Fox Wall of Death. The performance moved through a series of stunts by female and male riders culminating in a three bike formation display. The audience were kept enthralled and showed their appreciation by clapping and cheering throughout.

Classic racing cars

A fascinating collection of historic GT and Formula cars executed full speed demonstrations on the airstrip. The impressive looking turquoise Leyton House and red and white Penske are of particular note. The Leyton House was designed by current F1 Red Bull aerodynamicist Adrian Newey in the 1990’s. The Penske saw life in Indycar racing in the USA, also in the 1990’s and was fitted with a 4 cam engine by world renowned local high performance engine developers Ilmor.

Breitling Wing Walkers

Spectacular aerial displays take place throughout the weekend, one of which is the Breitling Wingwalkers, reputedly the the only formation wingwalker display in the world. Their totally impressive and polished show involves the wing walkers throwing many coordinated body “shapes” as these photos testify.

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