If there were two words that would be the sum of Retro Rides Weekender and the related web forum from which it developed, they would be Inclusion And Diversity
To understand how this has become a popular event in the UK, I first need to provide a history lesson …
Retro rides are made from regular non-VW discussions Volcano Forums need a place of their own. It was founded in 2004, and since then a large community of like-minded enthusiasts have signed up, shared project threads, celebrated and expressed sympathy for retro car ownership.
The whole idea of giving a home to cars that didn’t fit into other shows really resonated with the owners; There are currently 52,000 registered users, with over 2.6 million posts on 208,000 threads. It has evolved into an annual event, first held as a humble subject in 2007 and has grown considerably since then.
After surpassing venues many times over the years, Goodwood is now home to one of two annual retro rides events.
The history lesson is complete, Retro Rides Weekender continues the recipe that has served so well in the past. As mentioned above, retro rides are inclusive and varied; The only requirement for having your car or bike on the show is that it was made before 1998.
Weekender had both a static show and track action in the form of a sprint and circuit show on Saturday. Sadly, I didn’t show up on Saturday, but Mario did, so expect some more in-depth coverage of the track time as well as spotlights on Turing cars in the coming days.
Saturday night camping is also a huge part of the event, with hundreds of people pitching tents in adjoining areas and consuming suspicious amounts of alcohol and grilled food at disposable barbecues. Since my arrival early Sunday, some people may look a bit bad to wear, but are still enjoying the show.
Sunday swapped track action for a short autosolo-type course where people lined up to test their car’s low-speed handling. Some have performed better than others, but who’s to say that less suitable drivers are having less fun? I have seen many ‘jazz hands’ spinning to avoid the cone.
The show has seemed a bit unfocused in recent episodes, with cars lined up on both sides for more than a quarter of a mile, from the pit entry to the first corner. The paddock and outer tarmac areas were also packed, giving each area a very different feel.
This is a great thing about retro rides events – a combination of cars that present themselves at every opportunity. Sometimes they may have more similarities than a four-wheeler and a steering wheel, but the passion that the owners embody is a recurring theme. It extends beyond their own cars, with mutual respect held by everyone present. While a certain style may not align with yours, perception is given for the owner’s point of view. It was with this mindset that I set out to find some of the cars that caught my eye that day that stood out for a variety of reasons.
There was really something for everyone present. German turbo sedan? Done. Japanese subcompact kei The car? No problem. A Bugivan Seems like it came straight out of the 70s? Check.
“When was the last time you saw one of these!” – We had words spoken to friends on multiple occasions during the show. Cars I haven’t seen in years, many more that I completely forgot about, and a number I still would love to own.
An Alfa Romeo 156 GTA Sportwagon tops the list. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, the design did not originate from Giugiaro or Pininfarina, but was written by Alpha’s own design studio. This combination of styling and the beautiful Busso V6 implies that it is a potentially expensive itch that I have to scratch for some time.
Because of my friendship with the old Toyota, I was attracted to anyone I could find. Benny’s RA28 Celica has evolved slowly since its import in 2015, as does its collection of wheels. His car is one I set out to see more deeply in the summer.
This KP61 Starlet Rally car looked incredibly purposeful. It is powered by the F20C of a Honda S2000 and breathes through Jenvey ITBs and has proven to be a highly effective combination at the Irish Tarmac Rally associated with a small wheelbase.
Singer Chamois – Heard it? No? Neither do I. As can be seen, this model was marketed as a high-end version of the Hillman Imp in the ’60s. It has received a remedy from scrapyard after a large amount of rust removal and restorative fabrication.
The original 875cc engine has long been replaced with a Yamaha R1 motor, and helpful changes have been made to accelerate it properly around the circuit.
Continuing the theme of small cars for a moment, this Austin A30 looks a lot like the one I imagined would create an after-hours project by teams racing at Goodwood Revival. This car won the ‘Something Different’ award over the weekend.
The two superchargers are being compounded by twin turbos – yes, you read that right. While this may not be the most effective way to build power, the fact that someone is crazy enough to create and run something like this deserves respect.
The Japanese wheel of a German car is a look I rarely see. The RAYS Volk Racing GTPs on a BMW E36 and the Work Equip 03s on the Mk1 VW Cabriolet work equally well.
One of the more unique Weekender groups is the Gentsuki Gentlemen’s Club. Gentsuki (Japanese for scooters) has always been the most affordable way for young people to travel, often on crowded roads, and because of the Japanese interest in changing bikes and cars, it was normal for scooters to get the same treatment. . Scooters are often counterfeit Bosojoku Styling: Loud, low, bodywork changes and graphics that pay homage to race livery.
The club has grown rapidly, with a bike presence a dozen at this time a year ago. I can see the application – relatively low purchase and ownership costs as well as small enough to work in your living room. It’s fun to watch and as a result I now have an eBay watchlist for Honda Vision.
Cars like the Corsa, Nova and Mk3 Golf all feature classic 90s UK tuner signals. Back in the day, Morette headlights, TSW wheels and DTM-style mirrors were a common sight in every British modified car magazine and fast food parking lot at night.
After reflection, the retro rides weekend show really reinforces the way I believe retro and classic car ownership should lead. Although there are exceptions, enthusiastic cars are no longer modified, but to improve the cars and reflect the unique taste and personality of the owner – OEM + is enjoyed for the experience they offer, if you will. Michal cars have some spotlights that reveal this style especially soon.
The subtlety and character of an old car provide a sensational experience that many of us aspire to, which is often found missing in modern cars. Add it to the tight community on the Retro Rides forum that adds to the ownership experience and you find yourself a second family. Admission price? A good attitude and a love for old cars.
Additional photos by Mario Cristu