06 October 2016
CROFT NOSTALGIA WEEKEND
Our “Travellin’ Man” RICHARD CARLSON went along.
Collectors from the North of England were able to join the thousands of enthusiasts at the Nostalgia Weekend at Croft racing circuit, near Darlington in North Yorkshire, over the weekend of August 6-7th. .Now in its seventh year, this event has grown in popularity and stature each time, and this year saw the usual full historic race programme of 16 events, featuring over 220 cars of all types and eras, on this challenging circuit.
There was a smallish selection of trade stands, (plenty of room for more – enterprising dealers take note!) but two with good selections of models, plus a few other exhibitors having more amongst their general stock. One of the specialist model sellers had a fine selection of original Somerville hand built models, kept safely behind glass, unusually for an event like this! These were not expensive either, from around £45 each – about half the price you usually see them at collectors’ fairs, and condition looked very good. These were supported by a wide array of volume-produced models, from all the usual major manufacturers, and a particularly good selection of part-work models, from £3 to £4 apiece.
Naturally, enthusiasts could also load up with books, DVDs and literature galore, period adverts, car parts, and, this being a generally-themed nostalgia event, plenty of authentic clothing from the period covered – 1930s through to the ‘70s. - so they could join the growing number who followed the organisers’ encouragement to dress in period outfits.
Besides these temptations and the on-track action, there was a large presence of military-preservation enthusiasts and their vehicles, and a wide variety of classic cars and motorcycles on show, both within the formal entertainment areas, and in the car park, where owners of classics were allowed a special “front-row“ position. There were plenty of gems in both, including the only known running Riley Riviera, an upgraded Farina 4/72, in beautifully restored condition. Another eye-catching display was of a 1950s roadwork-scene, complete with barriers, stop/go signboards, warning lamps, and a cement mixer, all on the back of a Bedford lorry, with a mobile worker’s hut in tow – and even a snoozing navvy when I went past!
The Croft circuit is one where spectators can get relatively close to the spectacular on-track dicing (full-on racing, no pussyfooting around!), and there are plenty of viewing areas from which large portions of the track can be seen. Entry to the paddock areas and grandstands is free, and the whole atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, from the officials to all the classic vehicle owners, who are usually only too happy to discuss the finer details of their charges with interested observers.
Next year’s event is already being planned, with a provisional date of August 5-6th, so, if you live anywhere north of, say, Bournemouth, why not give it a try? You’ll enjoy it!