I was filming at the Autosport International show at the NEC in Birmingham this week, and as you can imagine there was enough content there to keep me going for the whole of the year. When it comes to classic motoring, at least.
From ex works Group B rally cars, to the latest LeMans winning car, there is something for everyone. But for me, this year’s event was all about two cars; the Williams FW14 and FW18.
The numbers perhaps don’t mean much to you. But if I tell you that they are the cars with which Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill won the Formula One World Championship for Williams, you will perhaps take a look at my age, and realise that these two cars both define me as a petrolhead, and tell a big story about why I’m so passionate about F1.
Oh, and because the newest of these cars is 20 years old, that makes it a ‘modern classic’ and means I can blog about them here.
Everything about the ’90s for me gave me enough fire for my motorsport passion to burn eternally; the car designs, the noise of the engines, the technology, the characters, the sponsors, the quality of the racing, and the glamour.
Williams, in fact had brought along cars to represent every era of their history, including their latest project in partnership with Jaguar for the latest Bond movie – the C-X75. Indeed, Felipe Massa also piloted the Tag-sponsored FW08C in the live arena show, which was quite a spectacle.
But for me, seeing the Hill Rothmans car, and the Mansell ‘Red Five’ gave me an energy that only a true petrolhead and motorsport nut would understand.
These cars are heroes of my childhood, and I wanted to share both my feelings, and photos from the moment I met them. Oh, and here’s the 1983 FW08C in action…