Coventry MotoFest 2015
Motofest 2015 is to enjoy a gas powered blast from the past with the iconic Rover-BRM gas turbine race car set to take to the city’s ring road for the first time since the 1960s.
Jointly built by Rover and the Owen Organisation, the Rover-BRM gas turbine race car was the first gas turbine powered vehicle to take part in the Le Mans 24 Hour race, when it competed in the famous endurance race in 1963 and 1965.
While competing as an experimental car in 1963, in 1965 it was officially classified as a two litre vehicle and driven by motor racing legends Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart, it achieved 10th place in the overall race standings.
The car was also first tested at the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) track near Nuneaton by Graham Hill and was road tested in and around the Coventry ring road.
Now over 50 years later, its Rover 150bhp 2S/150 two-shaft gas turbine engine, which runs at a constant 35-40,000rpm, is set to roar again on the city’s ring road as it takes its place on the Motofest sprint circuit.
It’s currently based at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire, who will also a bring a selection of classic cars from their wonderful collection to display at the festival.
James Noble, Festival Director said: “It is truly wonderful news that the Heritage Motor Centre will be bringing the Rover-BRM gas turbine car and we are very thankful to them for their support.
“The car is a classic icon of its age and when Graham Hill was first testing the car he commented that ‘it sounds as if you’ve got a 707 just behind you, about to suck you up and devour you like an enormous monster’.
“So you can begin to imagine the amazing spectacle it’s going to create when it takes to Coventry’s roads again after first being road tested on the ring road in the 1960s.
“It will be a real homecoming for the car and we are so excited to have it as part of the sprint circuit racing display at Motofest 2015.”
The Heritage Motor Centre is based at Gaydon Warwickshire and is home to the world’s largest collection of British built vehicles.
It boasts nearly 300 cars in its collection which span the classic, vintage and veteran eras and is a mecca for car enthusiasts from all over the world. It also houses a huge archive of over two million historic photographs, brochures, automotive drawings, and records.
Coventry Motofest is a three-day festival – running from Friday, May 29 to Sunday, May 31 – dedicated to the city’s motoring heritage involving pop-up racing, demonstration events, static displays, live music and fringe events.
If you want to bring a classic vehicle to the festival have a look at the display section.