[dropcap]M[/dropcap]alcolm and Donald Campbell were honoured at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb during Classic Nostalgia with a fabulous display of cars, including the Napier Bluebird replica.
Gina Campbell and Don Wales joined in the Midland Automobile Club’s celebrations as the family’s Speed Records were put on display.
Eight cars associated with the family surrounded the middle of the paddock, a stunning Rolls Royce Phantom 2, a Porsche 356, Jaguar XK150, an Aston Martin Le Mans, Ford V8 Woody and E-Type from the film ‘Across The Lake’ and the mighty Napier Bluebird replica set the scene.
Inside the wooden barn was a wonderful display of images, books, models and further items of interest about their achievements, which was very busy all weekend. Don and Gina happily chatting with everyone who came to visit.
At lunchtime on each day, both Don and Gina took to the stage to chat about the family history and the records. The crowd was transfixed as they talk very openly and at times very movingly. They received a huge round of applause at the end.
Each day there was a parade of the eight cars up the hill with the Napier Bluebird doing “fire ups” in the paddock at random moments. Don drove Gina up the hill in the beautiful Porsche 356, whilst the lead car was a stunning Atalanta of which a special Bluebird edition had been revealed on the Friday.
There were autograph sessions at the Peter James and Stewart Miller Insurance stand with the signing of a very special book ‘A Matter Of Time’. One chap even produced the steering wheel of one of the Campbell record-breaking machines.
As the enthusiasts’ insurance broker, Stewart Miller & Peter James Insurance was at the heart of the action, surrounded by Group A Rally Cars and hosting Donald Campbell’s daughter Gina Campbell and nephew Don Wales for autograph signings, with lucky mascot Mr Whoppit keeping a watchful eye on proceedings.
Peter James, managing director, said: “What better way to spend a weekend than in the company of such inspiring people and beautiful cars at such an iconic venue, celebrating so many motoring achievements of days gone by and witnessing, we believe for the first time, a parade of MG Y-Types ascend the hill to mark the 70th anniversary of the marque.
“In the courtyard it was a joy to join the crowds and hear that, 50 years since Donald Campbell’s death, Gina and Don are both certainly keeping The Campbell’s family legacy for speed alive.”
Both Don and Gina complimented everyone on the event and how wonderful it was and how delighted they were to see so many cars and the enthusiasm for the family and its achievements.
The club was established at The Grand Hotel in Birmingham on the 11th January 1901 by a number of prominent members of the early motor industry whilst Queen Victoria was on the throne and as such is arguably the oldest motor sport club in the world.
Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb is the oldest motor sport venue in the world still in continuous use. It was first used in 1905 and still uses its original layout, although there are a few close rivals.
Our first speed event was held in 1901 on the edge of the rolling hills of the Cotswolds at Sun Rising Hill.
The club has always been innovative. In 1932, the BBC chose Shelsley Walsh for its first ever outside broadcast. Electronic timing was first introduced at Shelsley and in 1998 the club organised the first ever classic trial on the Isle of Man
The MAC hosts rounds of the British Hill Climb Championship, The Midland Championship and The Leaders Championship, with classes for a variety of cars from road going to full on specialist hill climb cars. The MAC also organises, sprints, sporting trials, classic car, and social events. The Midland Automobile Club features something for every motor sport and motoring enthusiast.