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Sold-out Scramble sees sensational cars congregate at Bicester Heritage

Words: Elliott Hughes | Photos: Bicester Scramble, author

Bicester Heritage, in Oxfordshire, UK, opened its doors to passionate motoring enthusiasts for its second Scramble event of the year on April 21, 2024. 

The springtime Scramble coincided with the UK’s annual Drive It Day, which sees thousands of classic vehicles across the country take to the open road in support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s (NSPCC) Childline service.

Bicester Heritage Scrambles are renowned for attracting a remarkably eclectic array of machinery to the venue’s former RAF buildings and aircraft hangars, and April’s sold-out event was no exception.

Magneto was there for the duration of the Scramble, but it still felt like we were only scratching the surface

Magneto was there for the duration of the Scramble, but it still felt like we were only scratching the surface

Magneto was there for the duration of the Scramble, but it still felt like we were only scratching the surface, such was the quantity and quality of what was on display.

On the apron outside the main hangar, visitors were greeted by one of the most eye-catching cars of the event: the Lotus Type 66. Finished in a stunning livery reminiscent of Gold Leaf Lotus Formula 1 cars, the Type 66 was a stillborn Can-Am racer penned by Lotus founder Colin Chapman. The car was revived in 2023 as part of the marque’s 75th anniversary celebrations, and made its UK public debut on April 13 at this year’s Goodwood Members’ Meeting.

Parked nearby to the Type 66 was a selection of supercars, including an all-electric Lotus Evija, a menacing McLaren 765LT, a second-gen Honda NSX and various Porsche GT3 RS models. Within the main hangar was another highlight: a rare Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution that was developed as a homologation car for the Dakar Rally’s T2 Class.

Listing all of the jaw-dropping cars on display around the buildings within Bicester Heritage is an impossible task, but there were certainly some standout models. 

Nearby to Hagerty’s HQ was the McMurtry Spéirling fan car that shattered the hillclimb record at Goodwood in 2023. The Intercooler, meanwhile, assembled an incredible collection of McLarens that included an F1, P1, Speedtail, Elva and Senna, all parked line abreast. Other highlights included a Bentley Speed 8 Le Mans racer, a rotary-powered Mazda Cosmo, a Ferrari F50 and a Jaguar CX-75, and Pagani Huayra brought along by Kaaimans International. 

At noon, Hagerty announced its new RADindex, which tracks the values of RADwood-era classics of the 1980s and ’90s in the UK. The announcement follows the launch of the US RADindex back in November of 2023. Market expert and Magneto columnist John Mayhead explained the rationale behind the Index in a fascinating yet light-hearted presentation alongside TV’s Paul Cowland on stage in the Hagerty Clubhouse. 

In a similar vein to Goodwood events, the Scramble car park was a car show in its own right, with incredible vehicles from every era gleaming on the grass airfield. As usual with the Scramble, vehicles and visitors began to head home by mid-afternoon, which provided the perfect opportunity to witness a remarkable cavalcade of these machines heading back out onto the open road. 

As a diverse, simple and relaxed event, the Scramble remains a highlight of the enthusiast’s calendar. Tickets for the final event of the year on October 6 are already on sale. Be quick, though – they sell out fast!

For tickets and more information, click here.

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