Silverstone Classic celebrates the 50th anniversary of iconic sportscar
A glittering parade of more than 1200 Porsche 911s took to the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit earlier today (28 July) – a world record number of the machines – as the Silverstone Classic celebrated the 50th anniversary of the world’s most iconic sportscar.
In the spirit of being the biggest and best classic motor racing event in the world, the plan to produce a parade of 911 x 911s was almost immediately exceeded when the celebrations were announced, with registrations building hugely in the months leading up to the event. Records are there to be broken, however, so rather than settling for the initial target, organisers manage to squeeze an incredible 1208 of the Porsches on to a packed circuit – creating a breathtaking sight in the process!
The sensational spectacle, which raised funds for the Hope for Tomorrow cancer charity, was led by a number of famous Porsche legends as tens of thousands of fans watched on.
Mark Porsche, son of 911 designer Ferdinand ‘Butzi’ Porsche and great-grandson of the marque’s original founder, Ferdinand Porsche, got proceedings underway and he was joined by a number of the sportscar manufacturer’s most successful racing drivers.
Former F1 driver and five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell MBE drove a 911 as part of the parade and Richard Attwood – winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours for Porsche in 1970 – was also on hand to pilot another 911. Porsche owners made up the remainder of the wonderful convoy culminating in the remarkable world record number of 911s. Other notable legends taking part in the parade included John Fitzpatrick and David Piper.
Since its launch at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963, the 911 has been at the heart of the Porsche brand with more than 820,000 having been built in the proceeding five decades – making it the most successful sportscar in the world.
The 911 was committed to the performance principle from the start, and motor racing is its most important test lab. Many of the ideas and technologies that made their debut in the Porsche 911 were conceived on the race track. No fewer than two thirds of the 30,000 race victories achieved by Porsche around the world to date have been recorded by the 911.
Today’s incredible parade – organised by the Porsche Club GB and Silverstone Classic – included the most famous models from past and present, such as legendary Carrera, RS, RSR, GT, Speedster, Targa and Turbo variants. To this day the idolised 911 is also one of the most popular and victorious competition cars ever created and the dazzling on-track pageant also featured a plethora of winners from both racing and rallying.
Mark Porsche said: “Of course the 911 means a great deal to me as it’s my father’s big design and it will always have a special place in my heart. It’s a family member over all the generations of the 911 series and I'm very proud to be here today to represent the Porsche family at this great event. I think that to have these 1200 cars on track is the attention that the 911 deserves for its 50th birthday. I can’t thank the Porsche Club GB enough for making this event possible.”
Derek Bell said: “It’s because of the 911 that Porsche had the financial resources to go racing and create the history of the 917, 956, 962 and all the wins that we had around the world with all my fabulous team-mates. Porsche did a heck of a lot for me so to be here in this parade driving around my home track Silverstone is a great honour.”