Chelsea AutoLegends Celebrates the Dynamic 60's

09/09/2011

Chelsea AutoLegends 2011 Celebrates the Dynamic 60's

We felt a gentle drizzle of rain as we entered the lovely tree-lined grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea to see the Chelsea AutoLegends vast display of fascinating, rare and legendary cars brought together for a grand celebration of motoracing with a 60's theme - AutoLegends was launched in 2010 and founded by Michael Scott.

My daughter Gina and I strolled around the grounds unsure where to begin viewing as we were surrounded by vintage cars of every description lined up and stretching far and wide including the Sunday Times Pistonheads Supercars and beyond - the sight was something to behold, akin to entering a car - lover's dream travelling back in time.

Whilst taking photos, over the loud speakers we heard Sir Sterling Moss being interviewed and we managed to make our way to the Autoglym main stage where already a crowd had gathered.  Sir Sterling Moss seated on stage was in top form, chirpy and animated as he happily answered all of the interviewer Simon Taylor's questions in detail and, with humour related some of his many exciting racing exploits and experiences being a 16 times Formula 1 Grand Prix champion.  "I'm a racer not a driver" he joked as he was a highly competitive racing driver on the circuit with a determined and sterling personality.

He'd also competed in Rally racing and told us how he'd make a recce of the long rally route and do practice runs. He'd work out a strategy and tactics calculating his moves down to fractions of a second in races he entered.  He enjoyed his many years in racing with Bob Walker his patron and Team Manager and also revealed he liked collaborating with Team Mercedes and the Germans as they were better organised while Ferrari and the Italians were more passionate.  He talked candidly about some of his best moments in racing and his love of the sport as well as his fears.

People were listening to him intently when suddenly it poured, umbrellas went up, some of us were drenched but, Sir Sterling Moss resolutely continued with the Q & A's under an umbrella until the interview concluded in the rain.  The great English sportsman and living legend then descended to sign publications the public had brought with them.  We were very glad to have been present for part of Sir Stirling Moss's interview mapping out an extraordinary career, he's an inspiration to both the young and mature; we then went to seek out cars that had been driven by him in races.

Wandering about we discovered vintage cars driven at Goodwood and the famous Hollywood cars such as the Pink Panther Panthermobile and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...yes they were there too, to the delight of many.  This second AutoLegends car show was a tremendous one-day family event which also included top brand motor-bikes and bikers with representation of the bikers ‘Ace Cafe' and an appearance was due by motorcycle hero Phil Read 8 times world champ.

Numerous exhibitors' stands and stalls were set up with racing merchandise, food, a mini funfair for children and we even spotted a Chelsea Pensioner or two in smart scarlet garb.  The event was a success and more importantly raised funds to improve lodgings for the esteemed Chelsea Pensioners.

The 60's was a daring, dangerous, a tad decadent dynamic era not only for motor racing and its heroes but also for fashion, music, flower power, hippies, the Jaguar E-type, the Mini Cooper and the ubiquitous Mini skirt - a thrilling and vibrant period in our history.

©Article & photos by Amita Chatterji

Pukka PR thanks Public Relations & Programme Editor Jonathan Gill, MPA Creative for granting permission to cover Chelsea AutoLegends

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      Sir Stirling Moss OBE                         Chelsea Pensioner

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