Vintage Speed Trials showcases vintage pre World War II and Edwardian vehicles at Grimsthorpe Castle near Grantham
A vintage racing event brought a variety of authentic Edwardian and pre-WW2 vehicles to the Grimsthorpe Castle Estate over Bank Holiday Weekend.
On Saturday, the third iteration of the Vintage Speed Trials was held, since the event moved to Grimsthorpe Castle in 2018.
Organised by Richard Powell, the Vintage Speed Trials allowed owners of classic pre-1939 cars and motorcycles to showcase their historic vehicles, with vintage racing also on show.
Before 2018, the event was held at a track at Syston Park near Grantham, which held speed trials in the early 20th century. However, Richard found that site limited the capacity for the event, and sought a site that could hold greater numbers.
He settled on Grimsthorpe Castle, as the location allowed the speed trials to grow but still held significance in motoring history, with the castle hosting speed trials held by the Lincolnshire Automobile Club, also in the early 20th century.
These trials held by the club featured many notable names, including the father of racing driver, Raymond Mays, from Bourne.
Richard said: "If that wasn’t enough juicy history for us to get our teeth into, one of the curators at Grimsthorpe found out that one of the relatives of the aristocratic owners of Grimsthorpe was a chap called Zbrowski, a very rich gentleman who owned a lot of real estate in Manhattan in the early 1920s.
"He was hell-bent on having a significant speed trial at Grimsthorpe and persuaded the owners that this was the way to go, that this was what was happening in America."
Zbrowski died in a race in the 1920s, but his son Louis picked up the mantle, and went on to achieve fame for developing the car from a WWI aircraft engine that inspired Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Richard said: “He is a significant part of Grimsthorpe’s history. I say all of that, because it’s really the history that has been driving us forward."
Richard, who has always loved historic racing and vintage cars, added that it was his desire to "create an event as close to a straightforward, simple gathering with everything as authentic as we can".
The Vintage Speed Trials draw a crowd of between 1,200 and 1,500 people, but Richard believes that future iterations of the event could accommodate 3,000 people without any trouble
Richard received positive feedback on the event from his team about Saturday. He said: “They were saying it felt busy, it felt alive, it felt very happy, very relaxed. All of the things that we desire to do.
"The first event [at Grimsthorpe] in 2018, it was an absolute disaster. The weather was awful, the track was too far from the crowd, we were too small a footprint on a big site and it just wasn’t what we wanted.
"2019 was a brilliant event, we moved onto the main drive, we moved all of the marquees, and that worked, we got good feedback.
"Obviously, 2020 was scrapped, but the 2021 event on Saturday was the coming together of all that we had hoped for and planned for because we had good weather, some really good entries.
"The entries were significantly greater in variety and greater in status in the historic world than most little events ever get to see."
Richard was also pleased to see the amount of families who turned out, bringing their kids just to see "these intriguing machines and that is a joy for me to see young people looking quizzically at all of these valves and pistons moving up and down. That is the way to create something that is sustainable."
He added: “I can remember going to race meetings when I was a kid and you got out of the car and you heard these roaring machines in the pits and you smelt them, and you were just drawn to it. It’s a visceral experience.
“I’d even go as far to say it’s better than the experience that you would get at Silverstone, because a lot of the time you’re so far away from the action. You can’t see around the pits, you can’t get up close to the cars, you can’t talk to the owners. It’s a distant experience, and we’ve tried to create something that’s immediate."