Bicester Heritage has become a mecca for classic car enthusiasts, and it isn’t at all hard to see why.
Anywhere you could find an E-type, Europa, an 1920s Bentley all rubbing shoulders would be somewhere worth visiting, but their location within a 1920s RAF base adds a whole other layer of attraction.
This classic car centre houses 30 businesses, and it’s the brainchild of businessman Dan Geoghegan. In his own words: ‘I spent thousands of miles fulfilling my hobby, trying to get cars restored and all of the specialists were scattered around the country. We had to find these people, get cars to them, get them restored and then try to enjoy them.’
Geoghegan thought that the fragmented but lucrative British classic car industry needed a core, and Bicester Heritage is the result. The industry clusters around this location, helping enthusiasts find the dealers and services they need.
Instead of having to take your model to garages, restoration clinics, and parts suppliers in different parts of the country, all you need to do is head here. You’ll be able to enjoy a landmark site when you do: a 1920s RAF bomber station.
Located just outside the Oxfordshire town of Bicester, this 348-acre site is home to 50 buildings and around 500 trees. With redbrick houses and hangers alongside tree-lined roads, it’s a wonderful taste of old England that fits its businesses down to the ground, and it comes with its own legendary history. First occupied in 1916 by the Royal Flying Corps, it was transformed into a top of the line Bomber Station in the twenties and then expanded once again in 1936 to play host to iconic Second World War planes. Mothballed in 1976, it has now found a new lease on life, and English Heritage describe it as ‘the best-preserved bomber airfield from the period up to 1945’.
Its 30 businesses now include historic car dealers, specialist workshops, and motorsport experts, with plans to add a hotel and conference centre. You’ll find anything from a 1935 Alvis Speed 20 to a stunning red 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia SS or a 1936 Riley Sprite. If you’re interested, head to Bicester for the next Sunday Scramble; held four times a year, it lets visitors explore the sites and view cars put on show by attending classic car owners.