Every single year, there is one date that we look forward to putting into our calendars and that is the annual Players Classic show at the prestigious Goodwood Motor Circuit. Now to many, if not all of you reading, this show needs no introduction but just in case, here is a quick summary of what you can expect from this weekend event in sunny West Sussex.
The show takes place in the historic surrounding areas to the track and airfield which offers vintage racing paddocks, historic buildings and beautiful scenery between. Formerly a one-day event, Players Classic has a full day of track action on the Saturday and now with an extension to the full weekend, a breakfast club style meet on the Sunday with cars parked on track. The show is split into various areas with a vast array of builds ranging from immaculate concours classics to cars you would have expected to grace the cover of Max Power circa 2003 and it is this, along with the atmosphere that Goodwood brings, that make the perfect show.
Variety is hard to come by in the car scene, especially in a world of finance options where brand new cars can be built to the highest spec in weeks rather than years of saving and slaving away. However, the team at Players work tirelessly to curate a selection of cars that literally tick every box going and build qualities are up there with the highest you will find from a bunch of car/bike/van/truck enthusiasts in the UK. If it’s balls to wall weekend race cars, ground skimming stance builds, unusual barn finds or attention to detail you’re looking for, there really is something for everyone and I put it to you to go to Players Classic and not find something that motivates you to try a little bit harder with that project.
While the show is about the cars, the appeal of Players is so much more. As one of, if not the best shows in the UK, the pull this show has brings people together from all over the world, meaning that you stand a very high chance of seeing new faces, old friends and meeting the people who have influenced your part of the car scene. While wheels can make or break a car build, people can definitely make or break a show.
This year’s show did not disappoint, having decided to make a conscious effort not to be my usual antisocial self, I set off at 6am from a very dreary Rugby down the M1 with a rather apt Sam Dobbins – Revival Motoring interview playing through the speakers. Weather at home was looking like a complete washout, but I was crossing everything that the usually questionable at best Apple weather app was correct in saying that Goodwood would have warmth and sun with almost no chance of the wet stuff and oh boy was it right! By 10am I had sweated so much that the free Monster being handed out was looking increasingly appealing.
I like to get to a show as close to gates opening as possible (normally because I want to get in and out before it gets busy) to get a bit of a lay of the land and work out what there is to shoot, who I want to catch up with etc. and rolling into Players just after half 8 was ideal. There is something weirdly nostalgic about that first walk through the tunnel, the Rolex clock on the wall and that burst of sunlight as you come out the other side, immersed in the best cars the UK and the rest of the world has to offer. The other great thing about getting to shows early is watching the cars getting parked up, which I always feel offers a much better experience than just seeing a parked car. The fully immersive experience of hearing the carbs, superchargers, exhausts and the scrapes of metal on tarmac can really make you appreciate all of the aspects of a build.
Now, I should probably talk about the cars a little, as none of us would have been there without them. I had a few cars I was keen to see that I knew would be there, one of which was Dan’s mk1 (@dan.rollhard) which after finally getting a chance to talk to him, I realised I hadn’t seen in person for a lot more years than I thought! While on the subject of Dan, I have to mention the new Rollhard merchandise (available on their new site at www.rollhard.co.uk). Printed on sustainable washed cotton, their t-shirts are great quality and made a perfect replacement for the Makea tee I was wearing which was sopping wet by this point.
Another car on my must-see list was Kustom Kolors E21 Group 5 project (@kustom_kolors) which was parked pride of place in front of the stage area and honestly, if you weren’t there, try to find it at the next show they attend because it was unreal! Unfortunately and rightfully so, it was crowded all day so photos were a little tricky.
The final car that I knew I had to see was Dom’s mini on hydros (@doomatt). This build is perfection. Having spoken to him a lot, I knew he was stressed about it not living up to the expectations of others or the hype from going a little viral on the internet not being justifiable, but I can safely say it exceeded all expectations in my book. (There are more photos of this to come but this is the only one I snapped at Goodwood.)
Other cars that really caught my attention were @joshbrxwn’s static IS200, @ruinedbywillem’s Volvo 480 from the Netherlands, @kieranpenfold’s E36 on the @latitude_tents stand and @therollindead’s S13 which I have been a fan of since I saw the first photos of it emerge on the internet.
I could probably waffle all day about how great this show is or the high quality of cars, but for now I am going to let some photos do the talking instead. Huge thank you to Aidan and Beth for letting me third wheel with them for the day and to everyone else that took the time to chat.
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