Wilton Classic and Supercar 2013: PH Blog

It takes a pretty special kind of an event to set an alarm for 04:05 on a Sunday morning; fortunately, Wilton Classic and Supercar was well worth it.

Bleary eyes awakened with horsepower!
Bleary eyes awakened with horsepower!
The pre-dawn start was mandated by a 5:30 meet at the Brooklands Hotel in Mercedes-Benz world. The first group of display supercars were convening here, and there was already a fairly wonderful display of machinery when I arrived at 5:28; a trio of Ford GTs, a Porsche Carrera GT, and a Ferrari 599 GTO were sights for sore eyes.

It's not often that a 'Magna Monza Grey' Mercedes SLS AMG GT is overshadowed in a car park, but such was the calibre of cars. However, Stuart soon rectified that situation by raising the gullwing doors and treating the hotel to a very PH alarm call. It may not be the rarest or fastest supercar around, but 'our' SLS could most certainly do theatre with the best of 'em.

Once on the road, first stop for the convoy was Reading. Fast. An early morning blast down the M4 surrounded by Lamborghinis, Porsches and Ferraris is an incredible experience, mirrors crammed with lurid colours and dramatic shapes as far as the eye could see.

Not your average car meet then
Not your average car meet then
And then an Enzo came past. Stuart had excitedly warned me about the noise, but it was difficult to prepare for; a blaring, angry, sharp V12 with the volume turned up to 11 (in fact, both occupants have to wear ear defenders it's so loud!). Fantastic.

But then the SLS was hardly lacking when it came to aural drama. When the petrol runs out and people want to be reminded of a V8, a recording of the 6,208cc M159 has to be the first reference point. It rumbles and thunders its way to beyond 7,000rpm, then gargles and spits on the overrun as if disgruntled that you've backed off.

After picking up yet more exotica (including two Murcielago SVs and another 599 GTO) at Reading, it was off to a disused RAF base for some runway drag races. As you do.

Highlights of the 90 minutes there include both Enzos against each other, David Yu's GT-R annihilating every competitor in sight and each Aventador (I counted three) launching very, very rapidly indeed.

Arriving in style and with exalted company
Arriving in style and with exalted company
We both thought that was our fun over, but that was before we arrived at Wilton. Throngs of people lined the driveway to Wilton House with phones, tablets and cameras snapping the procession of cars. There were hundreds, maybe thousands. "Rev it!" was the shout from kids young and old as we trundled through. It would have been rude not to, right? With enough right brogue, the SLS will gently rock on its springs in true muscle car style. It was wholly gratuitous, but elicited cheers of approval from outside (and inside!) the car.

After such a journey to Wilton, the event itself risked being something of a disappointment. Not a chance! Having spent the morning with the contemporary supercars, I was keen to dig out some classics, of which Wilton had a superb collection. There was a BMW M1, a Ferrari 275 GTS, a Miura SV and a Porsche 356 to name but four. The PH car park had its share of delights also; the yellow RS4 Avant, 309 GTI Goodwood and 200SX were particular personal favourites.

Of course the experience of Wilton was heightened by travelling in the SLS, but it's a fabulous event nonetheless. The array of cars on show makes it worth the admission fee alone, but there are also the manufacturer stands and stunt bike teams too. Bring on next year's 4am alarm call!


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