Record crowds enjoyed one of the North West’s biggest free family days out as Ormskirk MotorFest roared into town bathed in glorious late summer sunshine.
Some of the best drivers in the region showed off their expertise by competing in the AutoSOLO Challenge which this year forms part of the North West Regional Championship. Former Top Gear presenter Steve Berry gave live commentary on the AutoSOLO which was organised by Bolton-le-Moors Car Club and Alec Tunbridge took the coveted title in a winning time of 39 seconds. James Robinson won Class A in 42.5 seconds and Phil Clegg won Class B in 41.1 seconds.
Emergency services and Highways England staff gave a live demonstration of how they would rescue someone from a road traffic accident. This was part of the road safety campaign being run by Aintree Circuit Club and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.
Nearly 300 vehicles covering over a century of motoring and automotive heritage and history were on display in Ormskirk Town Centre and Coronation Park.
Star cars of the show included a superb AC Cobra 289 and a fabulous Ultima GTR which is based on a design used in the Le Mans 24 Hour Race. There was also a Vauxhall Chevette driven in rallies by the late great Bill Gwynne.
There was a whole host of other classic, competition and sports cars and motorcycles on display. These included Minis and Bentleys being on display in the Town Centre and Coronation Park to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Bentley being built and the 60th birthday of the mini.
Many vehicles took part in parade laps which legendary motor racing commentator Neville Hay and Classic Car Weekly Editor David Simister commentated on to keep the crowds informed about the wonderful cars going around the town centre.
The Mayor’s Choice was awarded to Barry Lewis with his Jaguar XK120 Roadster.
Neville and David also used their expertise to judge the Concours d’Elegance competition, which saw some of the best presented cars competing for prizes in individual classes, and David and Neville presented the prizes. The overall winner was Dave Bulmer with his 1934 Hillman Aero Minx. Stuart Kelly won the prize for Best Saloon Car with his 1977 Opel Manta and Kevin Bridge won the Best Sports Car class with his 1989 Porsche 928.
Former Isle of Man TT competitors Dave Thomas and Derek Rumble enjoyed great success in their racing days and they brought their wonderful motorbikes, the 1967 Manx TT record holding Kawasaki and a replica of the 1964 Rumble/BSA racing sidecar outfit.
There was even an Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah 7-Cylinder engine from an Avro Anson C19 aeroplane which was used to help test Concord’s weather Radar that was brought to MotorFest by local engineer David Houghton.
Ormskirk MotorFest is a free event organised by Aintree Circuit Club and supported by West Lancashire Borough Council. Figures show the day of the MotorFest attracted the highest ever footfall figure for Ormskirk town centre for any day since West Lancashire Borough Council started collecting records in mid-2016.
Councillor David Evans, portfolio holder for Planning, said: “Ormskirk MotorFest was a marvellous occasion for people of all ages to enjoy and the beautiful weather made the day even better. West Lancashire Borough Council works well with the organisers Aintree Circuit Club to set up this fantastic event and it was wonderful to see so many people of all ages in Ormskirk enjoying themselves.”
Mike Ashcroft, Aintree Circuit Club chairman, said: “There was a fantastic array of vehicles on display at the MotorFest and I am delighted we were able to bring such a marvellous event to the streets of Ormskirk once again.
“We are very grateful to West Lancashire Borough Council and the police for their support and to all our sponsors and volunteer marshals. We would like to thank the medical staff and volunteers who gave us great support on the day.
“We are also very grateful to all the drivers and riders who came from far and wide to display their cars and motorcycles.