On a sun-kissed Wednesday in April, in excess of 200 media and VIP guests descended upon the legendary 'Home of British Motorsport' for the Silverstone Classic Press Launch day to discover details about this summer's special 25th anniversary meeting.
The Silverstone Classic is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015 and is firmly established as the World's Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival. Organisers are expecting to top last year's event that enjoyed a record 1,125 race entries in front of a crowd of 94,000.
The spectacular event – winner of the prestigious 'Motorsport Event of the Year Award' - is staged at the famous Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, birthplace of the FIA Formula One World Championship and home of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix. The three-day festival features the very best of historic racing covering more than eight decades of motor sport as well as live
music from classic rock bands. This year the legendary Status Quo will be headlining alongside a wealth of family entertainment.
Three of Britain's best-loved and iconic TR sportscars will be celebrating major milestones at this summer's extra-special 25th anniversary Silverstone Classic (24-26 July). It is sixty years since the TR3 was born, fifty years since TR4A was introduced and forty years since the launch of the TR7 – all three significant birthdays will be marked with massive displays plus a memorable circuit parade.
The TR Register – in partnership with the TR Drivers Club and Triumph Sports Six Club – has teamed up with the event organiser to ensure a huge turn out and more than 100 models are expected to join in the festivities.
When released in 1955, the Triumph TR3 was a considerable progression from the previous TR2. Most notably, perhaps, it was the first British series production car to feature disc brakes, technology that we all now take for granted.
Ten years later in 1965 the Triumph TR4A was introduced, again showcasing significant steps forward in sports car engineering with its independent rear suspension and revised styling to fit the requirements for indicator repeaters in the vital American market.
The most radical evolution in Triumph sports car designs however came in 1975 with the bold, slashing wedge styling of the TR7. The newcomer featured a monocoque, MacPherson strut suspension, an overhead cam 'slant-4' engine and initially was offered as a fixed roof coupe.
Though much maligned at the time, the TR7 became the best selling of all the TRs and has enjoyed something of a renaissance with enthusiasts and collectors in recent times. Surviving cars in good condition are becoming more and more sought after as their rarity increases.
A full range of all three fabled TRs will be on show for the public to savor at the Classic alongside key variants from the legendary marque's successful racing and rallying programmes. As part of the comprehensive infield showcase, the TR Register is aiming to recreate the TR7's Motor Show launch display from 1975. Classic car enthusiasts will be welcome on the stand throughout the three-day event where they will be able to meet owners and learn more about these magical models over a complimentary cup of tea or coffee.
"This summer's Silver Jubilee Silverstone Classic is going to be very, very special
for lots of great reasons and this trio of outstanding TR anniversaries is certainly
one of those," enthused Event Director Nick Wigley. "Along with MG, the TR brand is synonymous with a glorious age when these wonderful British sports cars ruled the world. We'd be delighted to be celebrating one TR birthday, so to have three is just fantastic!"
The undoubted highlight of the weekend's birthday celebrations, though, will be the special TR anniversary parade staged on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. This is scheduled for Saturday evening shortly before chart toppers Status Quo take to the main stage.
To launch the celebration of these milestone anniversaries to the worlds press, the TR Register Press Office took along five cars to the Silverstone Classic Media day one sunny Wednesday in April. Present on the day was Mick Forey (TR3) and Tim Sharp (TR6) of Leicester group, Colin Boother (TR4A) and Ian Brown (TR7 convertible) from Cotswold Vale plus the TR Register's own Coca Cola Levis TR7 coupe looking resplendent after its recent re-commissioning work.
The day began with the customary coffee and pastries before we were welcomed to the event by motorsport pit lane correspondence royalty, Louise Goodman. The press launch took the several hundred journalists present through a detailed presentation of the many aspects that make up this massive and prestigious event.
Touring car veteran Tim Harvey took to the stage alongside Patrick Watts to announce the appearance of his championship winning Peugeot in the super Touring Cars category. We were tantalised with previews of the cars battling it out for the Kidston trophy for pre-war racecars. The race, new for 2015, is named after one of the rich Bentley Boys who enjoyed so much success in the late 1920s and early 1930s at events like Le Mans and was brought to life by an opportunity to be driven flat out around the famous Silverstone Classic in one of those pre-war Bentley racecars, an experience that your TR Register Press Officer will never forget!
A particularly interesting discussion explored the meteoric rise in classic car values since the very first Silverstone Classic was run in 1990 with some cars more than tripling their value in the last twenty five years. Some staggering examples included genuine AC Cobras that have risen in value from £170k
to £1.3million since 1990. Sadly fuel has also shot up; it was just 40.2p per litre twenty- five years ago! As a result of all this though, the attendance at Silverstone Classic now represents tens of millions of pounds worth of historic motoring.
Alongside the much loved Tourist Trophy and sixties touring car races there will also be a spectacular race involving the 1980s Group C sports cars including the 1989 Le Mans winning Sauber Mercedes, driven by the likes of Henri Pescarolo, Jochen Mass and Johnny Dumfries. Formula One history will also be represented and Michael Schumacher's genuine Benetton car was present at the media day for numerous photo opportunities with the many dignitaries present.
For the rest of the day it was an opportunity for the hundreds of journalists from national newspapers and car magazines alike from around the world to pore over the TRs assembled in the anniversary display area. We were extremely privileged as a
club to have been invited to this unique
and exclusive industry event and I know
from spending the many hours talking to photographers and writers that quite a few went away educated and inspired about the TR story and our anniversary cars in particular.
The day rounded off with a photo-shoot for the TRs in motion around the famous circuit for the Silverstone Classic event's media agency who have kindly given us permission to reproduce the results here for you and will be distributing our club news releases to the wider classic car press between now and the event in July. If you have not yet booked your ticket to come and join us, then what are you waiting for?