The 2011 Silverstone Classic (22-24 July) broke many records, but the biggest accolade for the event comes after Guinness World Records confirmed that a new record was set for the ‘largest parade of Jaguar cars’ when 767 Jaguar E-types took part in a special parade lap of the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.
On-track, a total of 1104 race car entries and a crowd of 80,000 across the weekend ensured that the Silverstone Classic proudly lived up to its claim of being the 'the world's biggest classic motor racing festival'.
But that was only part of the story for this sensational event, as thousands of classic cars packed into the Silverstone infield to be part of the world’s biggest celebration of automotive heritage.
The 2011 event was the major celebration of the 50th birthday of the Jaguar E-type, first produced in 1961. More than 1000 E-types were on site and the vast majority of these took to the Grand Prix circuit on Saturday for a unique parade. Although in excess of 800 E-types took to the famous grand prix track, the record of 767 is based on the number of participating cars meeting the strict record verification criteria.
Getting over 800 gleaming E-types on and off the Silverstone track presented a considerable logistical challenge and the result was an unrivalled display of one of the most beautiful sports cars ever produced. Owners came from across Europe, from North America, Mexico and Australia to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Among the parade were some very special examples of the E-type. These included famous E-types with registration numbers 9600 HP, 77 RW and 848 CRY as well as the Lindner/Nocker low-drag racer.
9600 HP is the oldest surviving E-type and the only 1960 prototype in existence. It was the original launch car, the 150 mph road test car and the subject of the book ‘The Most Famous Car in the World’. 77 RW is the earliest surviving production roadster and an original press car. 848 CRY was the twelfth roadster produced and the most active racing E-type in 1961; it also appeared in the film ‘The Italian Job’. The Lindner/Nocker low-drag lightweight racer was one of the 12 original Lightweight E-types, raced in 1963/64 by Peter Lindner and Peter Nocker and the subject of a famous recent restoration.
However, the Silverstone Classic was not just about the Jaguar E-type as over 7000 classic cars from 120 clubs filled the venue in a stunning display of automotive design, development and passion. Many of the clubs present were celebrating anniversaries, including 75 years of the Bentley Drivers’ Club, 25 years of the BMW M3 with the BMW Car Club UK, 60 years of the Morgan Sports Car Club, 75 years of the BMW 328 with Historic BMW, 50 years of the Porsche Club GB and 50 years of Reliant sports cars with the Reliant Sabre and Scimitar Owners’ Club.
"The whole Silverstone Classic weekend set many new records, both on and off the track," said event director Nick Wigley. “The icing on the cake is to have achieved a new Guinness World Record for the number of Jaguars on parade. It was an incredible sight to see so many examples of the beautiful and iconic E-type four abreast stretching all around the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit.”