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Our competitive nature

It didn’t take long for motorcars to be involved in motorsport. This started with many unrecorded unofficial races between one man and another to see who had the fastest machine. We know this without researching because if you give two men two objects that move, they will race them – it is almost guaranteed.

By 1894, the world’s first successful car race, a road rally between Paris & Rouen in France, took place. The first over the line was a steam powered car – although it was later disqualified for needing a stoker. This spawned numerous other competitions in varying forms, causing cars to be developed to best match the racing conditions.

Brooklands classic racewayThis uptake in motor racing spawned motor racing tracks, initially using existing horse racing tracks in the USA. Shortly after Brooklands in England became the world’s first purpose-built motor racing venue in 1907.

At first, motor racing was based on standard cars, or those lightly modified by their drivers. However it quickly became obvious that those with mechanical knowledge could get much more out of the factory machines with a few special modifications. Tuning engines, fitting altered bodies and changing cooling systems (along with countless other adaptations) started to show that cars could be heavily adapted for racing.

From this point on, both major manufacturers and privateers started building some the world’s most successful and recognisable classic racing cars – and it still continues today.

This has not all been just for fun though. This drive to win and the positive publicity it generates has meant that the development of cars has been pushed faster and harder than it would have been without racing.

It has created innovation that has improved every aspect of motoring, from speed and comfort, to safety and reliability.

Today it is difficult to image the world of classic cars without the world of classic motorsport.

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