The last 8 weeks have been manic. Good manic. Show season is in full effect and I’ve barely spent a weekend at home. when I have been back at HQ I’ve been spannering on a new project that’s gotten massively out of hand. More on that in a bit. Here’s a taster of some of the action:
Castle Retro Show
The annual pilgrimage to South Wales went off without a hitch and even the sun shone. I rocked down with the usual suspects in the Herald for the full 3 days and it was EPIC. From a Mobile cinema to blazing infernos, we glamped the place to death.
Northern Classic Show
A random show in the North near Manchester: Indoor is the key here, it is England after all. As a rest from the usual scene suspects it was refreshing: Flat caps and beards more the order of the day, but a chilled vibe and diverse mix made it well worth the trip. The ’90s spec hotel I stayed in didn’t, but we’ll gloss over that.
Like normal Edition, but earlier. A random spot of Mercedes love by the organisers saw me roll into the show and shine in the Benz totally unprepared! Luckily the legends at Meguires sorted me out and the daily got lime light for one night only. The only Mercedes in the village: Hell YES.
Retro Mania smashed it this year and finally got the weather it deserved to make a good go of it. The mix of Dubs and Old Skool was great, filling the place all day Saturday and Sunday.
Players Classic x Speedhunters
Oh yeah, a couple of wees ago there was this show you might of heard about…what was it again, erm: PLAYERS CLASSIC. You know I love a bit of Goodwood, so when Speedhunters gave me the opportunity to have the KP there with them I jumped at the chance. 522 miles in 35 hours saw me take in the historic circuit, race around it (and ticked a big one off the bucket list) and mix it up with some great people. The whole thing was amazing; expect a BIG update on this when I get my act together!
And that project I mentioned…
Well, I bought a ’64 MINI as a quick 3-day turn-around job and a bit of fun. 7 weeks. SEVEN weeks it’s taken to get it finished. It’s been worth it though and as I sit here now it’s covered 600 miles and it getting the final touches this weekend. Once it’s all done I’ll get it shot and fill you in…it’s a MINI, but it’s a bit special….
It was always the small details that were going to help deliver the “outlaw” or “cafe racer” image I wanted for the Herald and this is been one I’ve been waiting to do for a while; I just had to wait for the perfect watch to come along. Unfortunately this missed the Retro Cars shoot due to a shipping delay, but here’s a few pics of my Heuer and the brushed alloy mounting plate I made up.
It had to be a Heuer simply due to the motorsport heritage and outlaw Porsche links. It’s in perfect condition and fully working; ideal for timing those cross-city races and posing at Goodwood later in the year.
Maybe it was the atmosphere at the Revival, or just the realisation of how much I take my 7D for granted, but me and my wing man Rog decided to have an old school shoot out: 24 shots, no deletes and all straight out of the camera, just like the good old days. I very rarely shoot in B&W and worse still never use an SLR (despite having a few and some films gathering dust in the loft). For shame. It’s amazing how knowing you only have a limited number shots focusses the mind and really gets you thinking about every aspect of what you’re pointing your lens at. Here’s a few of mine, the winner is still up for debate…
After dropping the Retro Cars W115 for Si I was on a roll (broken, but on a roll) so had another play with mine: It’s down a little more at the back and now packing 20mm spacers to even it up with front. Other work has included ‘box and diff oil changes, fresh plates, new grill, deleting the high level stop lamp and filling it with so much waxoil winter can’t touch me.
Money can’t buy you taste, but those with money and taste go to Goodwood Revival. How do I even begin to put this event into words…breathtaking? Not really cutting it. Everything apart from the cars was amazing: the clothes, the people, the details, the shows, the signs, the venue, the food, the aircraft and the atmosphere. The cars however, were mind-blowing and the racing was the best I’d ever seen (including, but not limited to the WRC and F1). I wanted that weekend to be the rest of my life. I wish it was 1964. I wish ever day was filled with Ferraris, Aston Martins, Porsches and touring car races won with grit and fearlessness, rather than billion pound aerodynamic tweaks.
Here’s round one of my pics, drink ‘em in, because however good you think it was from seeing these…it was better.
This is why I should stop looking. I was happy. I had an E28 that was a done deal: it looked good, drove well and was all the ’80s saloon car I needed….wasn’t it…? The grass is always greener and in this case…literally. I stumbled across this immaculate ’84 E-Class whilst flicking through the usual classifieds and well, found myself driving to what felt like the end of the world to see it (12 hours, 400 miles no stopping ’till bedtime). I’d bought it before I even got there, turning up was just required to drive it home.
The car has had one owner from new who maintained it at the supplying dealer fastidiously. It’s never wanted for anything and it’s only ever known OE parts. It’s amazing, an absolute credit to the poor guy who let it go because, at 90, he was unable to drive any more. I love it.
I love everything about it: Every piece of trim, the pneumatic central locking that makes the door pins lift like a Bond girl rising out of treacle, the way it rides, the chrome trims, the zebrano wood on the dash, the light in the rear you switch on from the front….EVERYTHING.
So far I’ve got about 30 hours in the suspension alone just working on getting it sitting right: it’s been up, down, down some more, back up again, I’ve raised the engine, raised the exhaust, lowered them back down and gone through two sets of springs, 2 profiles of tire and most of the skin off my hands. But now I’m happy. It’s not the lowest in the world (though it is down a good 4+”) but it rides right and I can drive it anywhere. Maybe I won’t impress the internet with this one and maybe I’m getting old, but a touch of luxury is cool, dragging your exhaust off outside your house is not. Eventually, I need Air. or do I? I’m still thinking about it.