While this might have been my first Sunday Scramble, it was not my first time at Bicester Heritage. However, it might as well have been. The last time I had been there was for Rollhard’s show in 2019 and 2021. With the 2019 show having only been towards the airfield side of the field and one of the hangers, then their 2021 show having access to the whole grounds, this was still far from what was previously experienced there. You see, Sunday Scramble is more than just a typical Sunday gathering of cars in a field. With nearly all of the workshops open on the campus displaying the cars they’ve been working on and others showing the trades they practice, it is far from any event that I have been previously used to. I’ve come away from this event feeling like the five hours on-site wasn’t enough. Two days on, I’m still seeing images of cars I didn’t see nor even realize that were there. Even with what in retrospect might have been my camera having a slight Stuttgart bias to its actions on the day, I feel delighted with the images which I have come away with.
The day began at 5 am, having to leave at around 5:30 am, due to being situated roughly 130 miles on the other side of the country to Bicester. As far as Sunday morning drives go, it was relatively uneventful and quiet, or at least that was how it presented itself or was hidden to me by the thick layer of fog that seemed to span my entire journey. And while in some form of coffee lacking daze with endless clouds of fog, I had caught a glimpse of a black car with a gold livery pass me on the M25 around 7 am. The only possible person that could have been was my friend Lewis from Takona. After a slight misunderstanding on the phone with him, I pulled into the wrong services, looked for him, and with failure, I hit the road again and decided to carry back on with my journey, and I’d catch up with him much later. (Now, to my novice knowledge of the Scramble event, Lewis later revealed to me that Beaconsfield Services is the place to be around 8 am on the morning of Scramble).
Upon finally arriving at Bicester Heritage, I was overwhelmed with the verity of cars in front of me once I had parked up. While being more familiar with modified shows, this event did feel like a retreat for car enthusiasts all around. While it might feel cliché to use the phrase “a little something for everyone,” this would be a genuine use case for such an easily thrown-around term. Do you want something pre-war? Modern Supercars? Something slammed on bags? Seriously, do not worry because it is all covered.
While others have informed me that the event isn’t as intimate as it once used to be since it has risen in popularity, I wouldn’t be able to complain because I could still feel its once personal roots. It didn’t feel like a show as I knew it (because, well, it wasn’t. Yet it felt on that level of an event), but it felt more of a coffee morning with a few extra people around in a vast, historic place.
Perhaps the atmosphere is what I enjoyed the most? There wasn’t any show, no competition, no egos. It was just a large group of enthusiasts meeting and displaying what they enjoyed most. This feeling is the only feeling I want to feel from any event (whether it is a show or not). In a way, it is that grassroots feel, the people doing it because it’s what they love and wants others to enjoy. Anyway, enough of going through my mind of what makes an event enjoyable to me, enjoy the next load of images going through just some of the vehicles on display at the event.
Samm Smith – UK Based Contributor