With over 67,000 visitors over 3 days, the 2014 Cholmondeley Pageant of Power was another success, and why shouldn’t it be? The Pageant combines the best of historic and contemporary automotive power from land, water and air. Central to the action is the 1.2 mile circuit within the castle grounds were over 150 cars and bikes spanning seven decades of motor sports compete against the clock.
This is my 4th year at Cholmondeley, which is pronounced ‘Chumley’ or ‘Chomley’ depending on where you’re from, and although it seemed a little quieter on the trade front this year, the action was as exciting as ever.
The weekend starts on the Friday, however, we only managed to get there for Saturday and Sunday and therefore missed the Friday night concert with Status Quo and ex-World Superbike Champion turned rock musician, James Toseland, which by all accounts was the wrong night to miss as it was cracking!
After signing in the first thing we normally do is to have a mooch around the paddock to see what vehicles have been booked to entertain us. There was the usual rally cars, classic pre-war cars, motorcycles, super cars and track day cars, supermoto, historic F1 and single seaters amongst many.
In the air this year were the ‘Old Buckers’ from the 1950’s, a Hawker Hunter named ‘Miss Demeanor’ which was thunderous as it flew low overhead, and of course the RAF Search & Rescue helicopter team doing a fine job demonstrating searching and rescuing on the lake.
Speaking of the lake, as well as the usual RIB rides we had Jet Ski racing which was round 3 of a 6 round tour with the JSRA. There was also a freestyle competition round and a bloke on Flyboard, which looked fun.
Elsewhere in the grounds you can hear the sounds of the classic scrambling bikes from the fifties sixties as they race around their purpose designed course. Watching these guys and gals race their heavy yet fast Triumph Twins, BSA single cylinders and the more lightweight two-stroke CZ’s and bultacos is something we look forward to every year.
Land Rover were present and excited the crowds with their Terrapod unit, and so were www.rallyschool.co.uk who offered 4×4 rides over in the ‘bomb pit’. For a small fee you could be driven around the small yet challenging course, or for a little bit more drive their Terrano II or Mavericks around the course yourself.
On the subject of rallying, Forster Racing School were providing high speed passenger rides in their quick and agile Rage Buggies which compete in both the Paris Dakar and British Rallycross championships. These little things can accelerate from 0 – 60mph in under 4 seconds!
In 2014, Maserati celebrated their centenary and had a selection of cars parading around the sprint track. Did you know that it was Mario Maserati, one of the 5 Maserati brothers who designed the emblem? He took his inspiration from the statue of Neptune in the centre of historic Bologne, the Maserati family’s home town.
On the subject of classics, Bentley was showing off their past with a 4.5ltr Blower as well as their present with a Continental GT Speed which has a top speed of 206mph! ‘Flaming Mavis’, Chris William’s extraordinary Packard engined Bentley was making thunderous noises around the course too.
It really is a busy weekend at Cholmondeley, but thankfully with so much going on, a lot of the track action is repeated therefore giving everyone the opportunity to walk around the many and varied trade stands as well as the 45 or so classic car club displays.
All too soon the weekend was over for another year, was it worth it? Of course it was, I’ve already booked time off for next years Cholmondeley Pageant of Power which is held on the 12th, 13, 14th June 2015.
For more information, check out www.cpop.co.uk