After a successful return in 1989, the 1990 Merlin Manx Classic Car Sprint proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that road racing for cars has firmly re-established itself in the Isle of Man. The 1990 series attracted some of the most valuable and revered vintage cars (and drivers) in the U.K. and their joint performances were by no means dimmed with age; on the contrary, as soon as exhausts started to crackle, the years just slipped away as though time itself had stood still in respect.
The venerable gathering, representing some forty odd million pounds worth of vehicles, included Rileys (one immaculate white model carrying an on-board camera), Jaguars, including a fabulous 'knobby bodied' Lister/Jaguar, an Austin 7 Sports Special, a Frazer/BMW, a Morris Special(1936), a TT Replica Nash, Shelby's famous AC Cobra - and a magnificent flame red, single seater Bentley - a unique beauty which once held the Brooklands lap record of a staggering 137.69mph in the 1930's. This wonderfully nostalgic video contains some early black and white footage from the 1936 Gordon Bennet RAC Light Car Race, which was dominated by the charismatic Siamese driver Prince Bira , and early colour footage showing the great Reg Parnell winning the last British Empire Trophy Race of 1953 at an average lap of 73.96mph. Both of these events took place on the course re-used in 1990.