Flywheel features a unique mix of splendid live action and static displays, showcasing aviation, motorsport, motoring and military history...

Flywheel 2017 Latest News


Bicester Heritage was brought to life over the weekend, as the former Second World War bomber station played host to Flywheel, a celebration of classic wings and wheels. The festival experienced its most successful year to date, welcoming hundreds of cars, motorcycles and vintage aircraft to the iconic site.
Highlights from this year’s event included a huge collection of motorcycles, with models ranging from the 1920s through to the 1970s. The oldest confirmed entrant, a 1924 Henley, proved a firm crowd favourite. Also on site was an exclusive collection of Brough Superiors. Regarded as the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles, they delighted spectators with riders resplendent in motorcycle gear from the period.
Taking to the skies were vintage aircraft, performing gravity-defying aerobatics. Nine Tiger Moths swerved and ducked in the sky, showcasing the impressive manoeuvrability of these light aircraft. Festival-goers were also treated to a Mk IX Spitfire flying in its original 222 Squadron Code ZD-B livery joined in a dogfight recreation by a Hispano Buchon in Messerschmitt ‘Black 8’ livery.
Cars, it goes without saying, spilled out of aircraft hangers and onto the track, as world famous Jaguar D-types, Bentleys and Aston Martins took to the course. Highlights included Simon Evans’ 1953 Allard J2X Le Mans, a prime example of motorsport aesthetics shaping competition car design, and Julian Grimwade’s 1934 Frazer Nash ‘Norris Special’, which is still running on the original Alvis engine that was fitted back in 1948.
Richard Grafton, director of Flywheel, observed: “It was the best year yet for Flywheel and we can’t wait to see what next year will bring. The event has a great atmosphere and it attracts the UK’s best examples of cars, aircraft and military vehicles. Entertainment such as the Demon Drome wall of death, as well as all of the military hardware that is brought onsite, add a huge quantity and range of entertainment, that allows Flywheel to appeal to the whole family.”



Five decades of British, American and European two-wheeled engineering excellence will add to the excitement at this year’s Flywheel at Bicester Heritage.


The celebration of classic wings and wheels will see more than 20 performance motorbikes taking to the live action demonstration track while further examples will be on show in the paddock.

Covering the period from 1920 through to 1970, manufacturers represented at the show will include AJS, Harley Davidson, Moto Guzzi, Norton, Triumph, Velocette and Vincent. The oldest confirmed entrant is a 1924 Henley, closely followed by the Yorkshire-built Scott motorcycle, built in 1928, a very innovative machine being the first ever two-stroke motorcycle to win the coveted Isle of Man TT races
The exclusive Brough Superior motorcycles are widely regarded as being the ‘Rolls Royce of motorcycles’ and a pair from 1930 and 1931 represent the British inter-war period. For those who appreciate motorcycle engineering, the Birmingham-built 1937 Velocette is descended from the very first overhead camshaft engine type from this maker which first enjoyed competition success in the mid-1920s.


Adding to the mix is a 1928 Ariel road machine and, at the other end of the timeframe, a 1969 Manx Norton built by noted tuner Ray Petty and ridden at Flywheel by Ray’s grandson. A 1966 Triumph racing outfit which runs on methanol will also be on display.
For a seriously different take, a recreation of an early board track racer, based on a period Peugeot frame but powered by a scaled-down nine cylinder 100cc aircraft radial engine normally used to power model aircraft, offers a visual and aural treat. There’s further small-sized engineering in the form of a 1956 100cc Laverda, a 1956 175cc Moto Morini and a 1958 Ducati single.
Richard Grafton, director of Flywheel, said: “Motorcycles are an important part of Flywheel and this year we have brought together a truly exciting mix of machinery spanning more than 50 years and charting the development of ’bikes in all sizes and forms.”
Richard Duffin, motorcycle content coordinator at Flywheel, added: “I believe we have a great selection of motorcycle entries which will enable visitors to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone era. Close examination of the machines and interaction with our riders in the paddock will be most welcome!”


With less than a week to go until this year’s Flywheel, organisers are urging families and fans to make the most of the advance discounted ticket offers before they end. 
Flywheel returns for its third annual showcase at Bicester Heritage on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June. Celebrating classic winged and wheeled vehicles, the event coincides with British Armed Forces Day, where visitors can immerse themselves in the military atmosphere at the UK’s best preserved Second World War Bomber Station. 
Last year, the Oxfordshire festival saw hundreds of historic cars, aircraft, motorbikes and military vehicles come alive on the demonstration track and in the sky. Taking to the track will be Edwardian chain-driven monsters, vintage Bentleys and iconic Le Mans Jaguars. While above the crowd will be Spitfires, Great War Display Team dogfights and 9 Tiger Moths performing astounding precision flying displays.
Richard Grafton, director of Flywheel, commented: “We’re in the final run-up to Flywheel and we urge anyone who is considering attending to make the most of our advance discounted ticket offers. With the selection of quality cars, motorbikes and aircraft, complemented by the unique setting of Bicester Heritage, there is no better way to kick-off your summer than at Flywheel. We look forward to welcoming you!”



Hot on the heels of the inaugural Bicester Heritage sale, Brightwells returns on Saturday 24th June as the official auction partner for Flywheel.
The first Brightwells at Bicester Heritage auction, on 5th April, posted an impressive 75% sale rate, grossed more than £1m in sales value and attracted buyers from as far afield as Canada, Dubai and Singapore.

Quality classics with interesting histories are the order of the day for Saturday, one of the star lots, a 1930 straight-eight Delage (estimate £150,000 - £180,000) having been owned by big band impresario Philip Cardew before the War. Retaining its original VdP tourer coachwork, this magnificent and exotic four-litre, four-carburettor tourer has also starred in numerous films, including Tender is the Night, Brideshead Revisited and Fortunes of War, and has created a storm of interest from collectors around the globe.
At the other end of the spectrum, Brightwells is offering an ultra-rare Lamborghini Jalpa (£70,000 - £80,000). Only 410 were ever completed, with just 35 of these in right hand drive. Being sold with a considerable history and sounding superb, this fascinating ‘Prancing Horse’ alternative looks enormous fun. Other more affordable Italian exotics include an immaculate 1995 Maserati Ghibli (£8,000 - £10,000), charming 1942 Lancia Ardea (£10,000 - £12,000), a baby Aprilia complete with brilliant pillar-less monocoque and typical Lancia sliding-pillars and a 1975 Alfa Giulia Super (£14,000 - £16,000).
For those who prefer something more British and traditional there’s the beautifully restored Rolls-Royce Twenty with Lawton and Goodman Landaulette coachwork (£35,000 - £40,000).

Brightwells has a truly international, first class reputation when it comes to selling classic cars and th
e auction adds an extra layer of excitement to this year’s Flywheel.


Entrance to the Brightwells at Flywheel auction on Saturday 24th June is by catalogue only, with advance orders available from for just £10, which allows entry for two people (catalogues will be £20 each on the day).


All visitors attending the auction will also need a Saturday ticket for Flywheel; access to the Brightwells Auction Hangar will be through the Flywheel event. 


Flywheel, the renowned annual celebration of classic wings and wheels, has announced an action-packed timetable for its third consecutive year.


Taking place on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June in Oxfordshire, the festival will be welcoming more than 100 competition cars, bikes and dozens of aircraft to Bicester Heritage, the UK’s best preserved Second World War bomber base.


Bringing together the best in live action cars, motorbikes, aircraft and military vehicles, the festival allows visitors to get close to the drivers, riders and pilots while enjoying the festival’s relaxed and inclusive atmosphere.


Visitors to this year’s Flywheel can enjoy an even more relaxing day thanks to the launch of the brand-new Atalanta Motors Flightline Enclosure package.

 Flywheel brings together the best in live action classic cars, motorbikes, aircraft and military vehicles for a fun-filled weekend at a renowned former RAF base at the start of summer. With free-ranging paddock access, visitors can get close to the action, meet the drivers and chat with the owners. The Atalanta Motors Flightline Enclosure package takes this to another level, providing hospitality guests with morning and afternoon teas and a two-course buffet lunch, enabling visitors to relax and enjoy the event in style.
Hospitality guests have the use of a private hospitality enclosure and private garden seating area, offering the best seat in the house when it comes to watching the air displays and aircraft flying in and out of the former Second World War airbase. The hospitality suite, which includes a pay bar, is also handily situated near the motor sport paddock, where notable cars of all eras will gather.
Richard Grafton, director of Flywheel, said: “With classic themes running throughout Flywheel, it was entirely appropriate to offer the best in traditional British hospitality, and what better way than with the Flightline Enclosure package? Atalanta Motors embodies the ‘best of British’ and this way to relax and enjoy the event keeps that theme going.”


Martyn Corfield, CEO at Atalanta Motors, added “With an 80-year heritage, Atalanta Motors is an ideal fit for Flywheel’s time period. We’re really excited to launch a premium hospitality option to event visitors and look forward to meeting fans and families alike in our exclusive Flightline Enclosure.”


Prices for advance tickets for Flywheel at Bicester Heritage start from just £23 per adult and £52 per family. Adult tickets include free parking as well as a complimentary souvenir programme, while admission for children under the age of five years is free. Tickets are available to purchase from this website. Prices for the Atalanta Motors Flightline Enclosure start from £99 per person. For more information, visit:



There’s more to Flywheel  than the outstanding gathering of classic cars and aircraft. For those looking for excitement of a different kind, but still with a traditional flavour, there’s plenty to keep visitors occupied.

 Always a crowd-pleaser wherever it goes, the Demon Drome Wall of Death shows how motorcyclists have, down the decades, defied gravity on the vertical wooden wall. Originally built in the USA in the late 1920s, the Demon Drome was shipped to the UK, where it entertained Skegness visitors until the 1980s. It was then sold, restored and brought back to life in 2006. Now, Flywheel’s visitors can enjoy this much-loved entertainment which, just as it did many decades ago, continues to thrill and amaze spectators of all ages.

For anyone who has ever wanted to ride in a tank, their dreams can come true with the live tank display arena, which gives an up-close-and-personal experience of just what these vehicles are capable of, regardless of the surface under their tracks.

Flywheel wouldn’t be complete without its classic aeroplanes, and spectators who want to look down on the event from the skies can experience a ride in a 1930s de Havilland Tiger Moth aircraft with Finest Hour Experiences.

Traditional fun fair rides bring back the time when the fair came to town and, for children and adults alike, it’s a great way of enjoying true yesteryear entertainment.



The winner of the newly-launched Footman James Cup, a prestigious award for the best car in the paddock, will be announced at this year’s Flywheel. 
The partnership with specialist vehicle insurance broker Footman James, new for this year, will see a shortlist of ten exceptional cars selected in advance by a panel of experts and put up for a public vote in the run-up to the festival, with the overall winner announced at Flywheel on the Sunday.
Voting opens on Friday 2nd June, where visitors to the Footman James website ( can choose their favourite car from the shortlist. Those that vote will also be eligible to enter a prize draw. The winner will receive a free family ticket to Flywheel and an exclusive, high-octane, passenger ride in either a classic Jaguar E-Type, Ford Mustang or Classic Porsche 911 courtesy of U Drive Cars.  
Richard Grafton, Director of Flywheel, said: “We work closely with our partners to ensure that the relationships we create deliver real value to our event participants, visitors and enthusiasts. The passion which Footman James has for the classic motoring sector, and its knowledge of the people and vehicles involved, made it the ideal partner for Flywheel. With the Footman James Cup, we are able to bring something truly special to this year’s event and we hope it becomes a regular feature.” 
David Bond, Director at Footman James, added: “We are delighted to be involved in Flywheel this year; the excitement around the event and Bicester Heritage as a venue encapsulates everything that is great about this industry. The Footman James Cup, we hope, will capture the imagination of all involved and we are looking forward to seeing the entries. We’re also delighted that the public will have their say in deciding the winner and we encourage enthusiasts to get involved and choose their favourite.”




The live music acts for this year’s Flywheel have been announced and there will once again be a distinctly vintage feel, with Perfect Vintage, The Candy Girls and The FB Pocket Orchestra providing the musical backdrop to a celebration of historic motoring, aviation and military endeavour.  

This year will see The Candy Girls and Perfect Vintage make their Flywheel debuts, entertaining the crowds during both days of the event. Sunday will see the return of The FB Pocket Orchestra following their successful debut last year.
The Candy Girls are a vintage-style harmony trio which specialises in high-quality performances of classic music from the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. In recent years, the group has performed at some of the UK’s most prestigious venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Wembley Stadium. They have also appeared at several Royal Galas, where they have performed for the Queen.
Elkie Jeffery, founder of The Candy Girls, said: “We have heard so many positive things about Flywheel and we are delighted to be performing at the event later this summer. We look forward to showcasing our enthusiasm for all things vintage and hope that the visitors enjoy our performances.”
Perfect Vintage features vocal duo Brian and Cherie, who will be performing a collection of popular wartime classics. Their appearance at the event ensures that all visitors will be effortlessly transported to the 1940s. Perfect Vintage is a highly-regarded act, having performed at numerous air shows, county fairs and 1940s weekends across the UK.
Brian Shaw, one half of Perfect Vintage, commented: “Performing at events such as Flywheel is something that we thoroughly enjoy. We are really looking forward to appearing at Flywheel and taking people on a nostalgic trip with our vintage style and wartime classics.”
Joining The Candy Girls and Perfect Vintage at Flywheel on Sunday is The FB Pocket Orchestra. Formed in 2012, The FB Pocket Orchestra will take its listeners back in time to the hot jazz, blues, ragtime and popular dances of the 1920s and ‘30s. The group returns to Flywheel following a superb debut at last year’s event.
Jenny Russell from The FB Pocket Orchestra commented: “We are thrilled to be returning to Flywheel this June. We thoroughly enjoyed performing at last year’s event and look forward to adding a touch of jazz, blues and ragtime once again in 2017.”


The skies above Bicester Heritage will be the backdrop for the return of one of Britain’s most famous flying machines, a Mk IX Spitfire flying in its original 222 Squadron Code ZD-B livery. It will be joined in a dogfight recreation by this Hispano Buchon in Messerschmitt 'Yellow 10' livery, with both aircraft also touching down to be on static display. 

Dogfighting action from the renowned Great War Display Team and precision flying from the Tiger 9 Aeronautical Display Team also feature on the programme, while historic helicopters and bi-planes will showcase their skills in the sky. 



Flywheel 2017 will bring together more than 100 competition cars for an action-packed timetable hosted on its specially-designed demonstration track. Taking place on the Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June 2017, the festival will welcome Edwardian chain-driven monsters, vintage Bentleys and iconic Le Mans Jaguars with a programme expected to be substantially larger than previous years.
Not many competition cars can say they’ve boasted the same engine for more than 70 years, but Julian Grimwade’s 1934 Frazer Nash ‘Norris Special’ is still going strong on the Alvis engine fitted back in 1948. Believed to have taken part in more than 450 events, achieving over 150 wins or first in class recognitions, this is one of the most competed cars in the UK.
One of the backbones of 1950s rallying and British club motor sport, the Triumph TR3 and 3A featured in the early careers of several sporting greats, including Jim Clark and Paddy Hopkirk. Rebuilt in 2002/3, Tom Purves’ 1958 3A example of this exemplary racing model has won Concours, Sprint, Hillclimb and Rally cups in the past 15 years and joins the demonstrations at Flywheel for the second consecutive year.
Fresh from a rebuild, Simon Evans’ 1953 Allard J2X Le Mans is a prime example of motorsport aesthetics shaping competition car design. As debate rages on over the look of modern single seaters and their aerodynamic complexities, so too did rule changes impact on the Allard. Just eleven of these cars were built with the all-enveloping body, after Le Mans changed the rules to eliminate cycle wing designs. This is a rare chance to witness one in action on the Flywheel demonstration track and to see how a small South London manufacturer understood the complexities of aerodynamics and how an interpretation of the rules resulted in a striking-looking sports car.
Alongside the road, sports and single seating racing cars, there will also be a large collection of historically-significant motorcycles. Live action arenas will play host to a wide variety of cars, bikes, aircraft and military vehicles, while the open paddocks provide close access for the thousands of visitors expected through the gates of Bicester Heritage, the UK’s best preserved Second World War bomber station.     
Confirmed flying displays include the Great War Display Team dog fights and precision flying from the Tiger 9 team. On the ground, visitors will be treated to an array of pre-1970 music, fairground and shopping attractions.
Richard Grafton, director of Flywheel, noted: “Over the past two years, we’ve worked hard to deliver an atmosphere that really sets this event apart. Flywheel is now firmly-established in the UK's classic calendar because of the quality of cars, motorcycles and aircraft it attracts. Complemented by the spectacular Bicester Heritage setting, visitors can get close to the action in the open-access paddock and stand trackside as hundreds of classic cars, motorcycles and aircraft demonstrate their prowess.”



Things are definitely hotting up in the Flywheel office, as more and more display aircraft and demonstration cars and motorcycles are confirmed. We will have plenty of exciting news to bring you in the coming months, so watch this space!  To get the ball rolling, here's just a tiny glimpse of what you will see in the air and on the demonstration track...


Flywheel offers a feast for aviation fans. The confirmed 2017 air displays will include the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire (Saturday June 24) and Dakota (Sunday June 25), the Great War Display Team's superb 'dog fights' and precision flying from the Tiger 9 team.  There's always plenty to see on the ground for flying buffs as well, as those display aircraft have to park somewhere when not entertaining us in the air, and a host of other historic aircraft fly in from all around. Plus in addition to the BBMF Dakota air display, there will also be a Dakota on static display for visitors to get up close to and even get onboard.


From the tyre-squealing action as historic competition cars and motorcycles do their thing on the demo track to the classic motor club displays and classic cars and motorcycles in the pre-70 parking area, Flywheel presents decades of motoring and motorsport history in spectacular style. Vehicular visitors being put through their paces to entertain you at Flywheel 2017 will include a 1907 Toledo Steam Carriage, a 1914 aero-engined Fafnir Hall-Scott Special, the fabulous 1929 Menasco Pirate, a trio of magnificent 1920s and 1930s Alfa Romeos, C, D and E-type Jaguars and a host of other rare two, three and four-wheeled competition machines from the golden years of motorsport.


Advance discounted tickets

Buy your tickets in advance online, beating the queues and making substantial savings on the on the day prices. PLUS each adult ticket includes a copy of the official Flywheel Souvenir programme worth £5, which can be collected on entry to the event. 


Image: A Spitfire from the BBMF - Crown copyright



With a week to go before earlybird tickets run out, families wanting to purchase discounted entry for Flywheel at Bicester Heritage 2017 are encouraged to get their skates on.


Available only until 31 January 2017, earlybird tickets offer an extra discount on standard advance ticket prices for those keen to attend the classic wings and wheels event, now in its third year.


Taking place on 24 and 25 June, Flywheel is a unique festival that transports visitors back in time with a combination of exquisite pre-1970 attractions and a genuine, perfectly preserved, wartime backdrop. Prices for earlybird tickets start from just £20 per adult and £45 per family. Adult tickets include free parking as well as a complimentary souvenir programme, while admission for children under the age of five years is free.


Organisers have also held full price tickets to this year’s event at the same rate as previous years, with standard advance ticket prices on sale from 1 February 2017 starting from £23 per adult and £52 per family.


Richard Grafton, director of Flywheel, noted: “Over the past two years we’ve worked hard to deliver an atmosphere that really sets this event apart. Visitors can get close to the action in the open-access paddock and stand trackside as hundreds of classic cars and motorbikes demonstrate their prowess. All of this while witnessing incredible aircraft displays on the Bicester Heritage airfield.


“Flywheel aims to bring to life the nostalgic ambience of the festival’s Second World War bomber station backdrop, Bicester Heritage, which celebrates 100 years since the Royal Flying Corps moved into the site.”


Highlights from the 2016 event included a live tank arena, an air display from the Great War Display Team, a collection of Sir Stirling Moss’ most notable race winning cars as well as the legend himself.


To purchase an earlybird ticket, visit:





The organisers of Flywheel at Bicester Heritage – Historic Promotions – have confirmed new dates for the third annual showcase celebrating classic winged and wheeled vehicles. Flywheel at Bicester Heritage 2017 will now take place on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June, kick-starting a summer of British motorsport and coinciding with British Armed Forces Day.


Advance tickets are on sale from today (2nd December 2016), with special early-bird pricing being offered for the first time in the event’s history – available until 31st January 2017. Tickets for this live action celebration of historic wings and wheels are the perfect Christmas or New Year gift for any family wanting a fabulous day out.


Last year’s festival saw hundreds of historic cars, aircraft, motorbikes and military vehicles come alive on the demonstration track and in the sky at the UK’s best preserved Second World War Bomber Station, Bicester Heritage in Oxfordshire. The crowds were joined by Sir Stirling Moss OBE who, as well as signing autographs, was reunited with a host of his race-winning cars from the 1950s and 1960s.


While the theme is being kept closely under wraps, visitors are guaranteed an event that is even bigger and better than the two that have gone before. Plans are already firmly underway for the 2017 event, with organisers keen to further grow the attractions and increase the number of vehicles on display and demonstration.


With early-bird ticket prices starting from £20 per adult and £45 per family, organisers have also kept standard advance ticket prices at the same rate as previous years, starting from £23 per adult and £52 per family from February 2017. Each adult ticket still includes free parking and a complimentary souvenir programme. As ever, entry for children under the age of five years is free.


Richard Grafton, commercial director at Historic Promotions, said: “We believe the authentic wartime backdrop and the unique mix of historic wings and wheels at Flywheel make it one of a kind. We’ve been thrilled by the positive comments from those that attended the event in previous years and, with this support behind us, we are looking to offer even more entertainment in 2017. We’re currently growing the number of attractions and vehicles that will be on display and we have several exciting announcements that will ensure this is the best year to date.”

Flywheel 2016



Thousands of visitors were treated to the opportunity to hear Sir Stirling Moss OBE’s accounts of his motorsport days alongside his race-winning cars from the 1950s and 60s at the second annual Flywheel festival.


Flywheel, which took place at former World War Two bomber base Bicester Heritage on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July 2016, played host to hundreds of cars, motorbikes, aircraft and military vehicles in a celebration of historic motoring, aviation and military endeavour.


With the sunshine came the crowds, with queues for Sir Stirling’s four autograph signings over the weekend and a roaring trade in the event’s vintage tea room, silent cinema, fun fair, trade fair and catering facilities.


Owners and drivers from across the UK brought their vehicles to Flywheel to experience the thrill of the demonstration track and share stories of the vehicles’ histories with the enthusiastic public. Highlights included pre-War Bentleys, Jaguar C and D-types and a 1901 Toledo steam car.


Hundreds of cherished classics from dozens of car clubs also attended, with a superb turn-out of over 230 cars from the Mercedes-Benz Club and 45 jaunty MG Ts from the MG Car Club T Register on display as part of the entertainment. Other car clubs included Bentley Drivers Club, Ferrari Owners Club, Morgan Sports Car Club and Vintage Sports Car Club.


Visitors to the event were also treated to flying displays from the likes of the Tiger 9 and Great War Display teams, with further aerial highlights from a unique P-51D Mustang, Yakovlev YAK-50 and Supermarine Spitfire IX MH434. The event also featured flypasts from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire and Hurricane, while the D-day veteran Dakota and Catalina flying boat were literally the biggest features in an extensive and varied static display.


Military enthusiasts weren't disappointed either, with a tremendous range of military vehicles and displays to explore. Flywheel's new live-action tank display arena demonstrated just how effectively a Sherman, Grant and Centurion tank can plough up a field, and the tank passenger rides had ready takers all weekend, as did the Tiger Moth passenger flights. 


Organiser of Flywheel, Richard Grafton, commented: “It was fantastic to see so many people on the site over the weekend. There was a real buzz to the event and we were thrilled at the combination of avid motoring and aviation enthusiasts alongside the families who were able to enjoy a fantastic day out. We are already starting to plan for next year’s Flywheel and look forward to delivering something even bigger and better!”


Image: Tom Horna/Autohouse London

Please note all displays and appearances are subject to weather conditions and serviceability.


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