Words & Photos by Henry Phull
I had been looking forward to this one for some time. It’s no secret that Retro Rides Gathering is my favourite show on the season calendar, thanks to the sheer variation of cars that you just don’t see anywhere else.. anything and everything is accepted, and to top things off, the day is mixed up nicely with an adrenaline pumping hill climb allowing general show-goers a chance to hoon it up the hill in their own pride and joy. Plus everyone has a chance to walk around the paddock and experience the essence of motorsport right up close. It’s a pretty awesome set up that you don’t usually get at other shows.
This year welcomed a venue change to Shelsley Walsh in Worcestershire, the historic hill climb venue. As good as Prescott Hill has previously been for the gathering, it seems to have been outgrown. Shelsley Walsh happens to be a much bigger venue, and the attendance was still phenomenal.
Just chilling out around the paddock and you’ll encounter a continuous line up of cool machinery waiting for their turn up the hill.
This year the trade stands seemed a little on the thin side compared to previous years, but there were still some gems like this Audi Quattro. A seriously mean bit of kit.
I’ve never seen so many E21’s all together in my life, there was a whole row of them.. it was a lot to take in. Here are two of my favourites.
I’m a sucker for a nice 190E. This one was super clean and ready for the track.
Another thing about Retro Rides I like is the amount of Jap classics that turn up, very rare cars over here in the UK.
Two of the most breathtaking cars from the show have got to be the following Lotus Esprits which were sensational. The first one we saw a couple years back at Prescott, but we hadn’t seen the white one before. These are a rare sight, let alone modified examples. Very cool indeed.
This Triumph was really well executed, such an awesome little car.
The banded wheels really add something extra to the car and make it stand out.
Of course Retro Rides always graces us with a few AE86s..
The E30s were plentiful, each with a variety of modifications and styles.
It was nice to see these two M3’s together again. What a colour combo.
One of the best bits of the day is being up close and personal at the start of the hill climb. Noise, petrol and burning rubber gracing the air, pure heaven for us petrolheads.
A major highlight for me was this track spec E30, rocking an S50B32 motor in the bay with some tasteful velocity stacks fitted. Pure porn. The best bit? It was actually being thrashed up the hill all day!
Let’s revisit what I said at the start.. Retro Rides is the most varied show there is. There are no rules or scene you need to stick to, to ‘fit in’. Check out this Hillman Imp for example…
Now check out this Hillman Imp. Two very different cars, unique in their own ways!
The cars on the RollHard stand were looking stunning as usual. Good work guys.
Slowly but surely we are starting to see a few more E34s at shows. This one was sitting well on banded steels.
This must still be one of the lowest static E30s around.
Nice to see a set of real G60 steels on this Mk1, colour coded too and looking classy.
An E34 M5, it doesn’t get much better than this, one of the last hand built M cars.
I see a lot of Mk1 Golfs on my travels, and this has to be one of the cleanest I’ve seen. A credit to the owner.
As common as the MK2 + BBS look is, it does work and looks awesome.
This Hot rod was a pretty insane vehicle. Definitely cool. I’d sort out that rear tyre though, blimey.
I was a big fan of this Mk1 sitting on a set of Work Equips.
There must be some sort of record for the amount of banded steels in one place!
It’s pretty gutting to think we’ll have to wait another whole year before we get our next Retro Rides fix. Cannot wait! Props to all the organisers for doing so well with everything, being their first time at the new venue they still managed to keep it all running smoothly. And luckily for us, the new campsite was good too. We were there all weekend, and it’s definitely recommended, but make sure you book early, we know a few friends that missed out on tickets. Don’t be one of those people – see you next year.