This just got better thanks to Covid. If that seems an outrageous suggestion let me clarify. Drive In Movie theatres are springing up all over the UK. Last Friday I had the pleasure of pizza with a celluloid Sir Michael Caine, surrounded by fellow petrol heads and their wheels, at a pop up Drive In where classic cars nabbed prime spots to watch- what else? – The Italian Job.

A British movie icon, featuring a host of automotive national treasures, international stars, and also some well known actors, plus the brilliant, CGI free stunt driving of Remy Julienne, all on a full size screen and from the comfort of your car, and pizza. Seriously, what’s not to like?

This one is thanks to Ciro Ciampi, General Manager at the Sharnbrook Hotel, Bedfordshire. Ciro’s vision is to gather people together from all walks of life who share a passion for cars. His facebook group- Petrolheadonism- features mad motors and events, many of which he puts on at his Hotel.

Movies at The Sharnbrook is a Friday and Saturday night summer fixture. Arriving early in your motor (any age, any car, no snobbery here) gets you parked up with time to check out other peoples wheels before reclining the seat in your classic for the main feature. I’ve watched this film countless times but to see it outside on a big screen from the seat of your car makes for a fresh and immersive experience. The scene where the Minis jump roof to roof is enhanced tenfold, although the supersized view of Croker’s Aston getting trashed should carry a government health warning.

Naturally for a Drive In, car themed films fit in rather well. I missed the brilliant Ronin a few weeks before, but hope that Le Mans is on the cards in the near future. Sure, the script was written on the back of a fag packet, but to see it on the big screen would be a guilty pleasure, almost as lurid as the pervy habits of Professor Peach.

The event was small enough to be cosy, but large enough to draw an interesting mix of modern and classic cars. Minis were present of course, keeping a close eye on a svelte Alfa, basking in a glorious sunset. My winner of the night though, has to be the guys with the VW Camper. Think about it- These chaps could put the kettle on without having to leave their seats. Nice one, lads. I bet you shoot tigers with a machine gun.

About The Author

Steve Swanson

Steve turns any opportunity to write about cars into a roadtrip. It's seen him ride shotgun in a Bentley Blower with Clive Cussler, and cross paths with automotive YouTubers in Canada and the US. His work has been published in Magneto, Classic Cars, Classic American and some magazines that no MotorPunk reader has ever heard of. When he's not writing or driving you can find him kicking tyres at seedy auctions and hawking junk optimistically described as Automobilia

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