For so damn long, Rollhard has been a brand that, in my opinion, has done everything right. I am consistently envious of how the Rollhard team make perfection look so effortless in literally everything they do. Whether it’s a new drop, a small impromptu meet or full rebrand, and in this case, their show at Bicester Heritage.
Bicester Heritage, similarly to Goodwood, don’t tend to relax the rules and let just anyone run an event in and around their venue, let alone have full access to the site, which says a lot about the type of spectacle this is. I am incredibly fortunate that most people don’t have a clue what I look like which means I can go under the radar and take in shows like this. I overheard old boys reminiscing about memories of Sunday Scrambles and comparing them to the genuine, enthusiast led vibe that Rollhard has curated. Talking about how they could remember the days where an owner didn’t have to be driving a six-figure classic to be accepted into the historical venues network of tree lined tarmac and red brick buildings. Moments later, younger enthusiasts were also comparing the show to the ones their dad would take them to when they were little. It’s these memories that Rollhard invokes which make this event unbeatable.
Rocking up at 8am on Sunday morning, greeted by friendly Rollhard crew, makes a distinct change to most shows where you either find an unprepared kid who was volunteered for gate duty or a miserable old git who, although he’s being paid, still isn’t happy that he has to check the tickets of a yob driving some obnoxious shit box. But most shows I’m used to attending don’t have 1950s Maserati’s and full rally spec 106’s turning up in amongst the stanced out cars. We were quickly parked up by friendly marshals and myself and Mr Broken Alloy himself, Matt, headed into the maze of trees and buildings to see what had already searched out the perfect spots in this incredible venue.
First up, a car which was finished just days before the event, Kyza’s FD! Featuring a mind-blowing new paint job that honestly looked so good with the morning sun breaking through the leafy canopy and conveniently parked a stones throw from Jak’s FD which has been turning heads at every show he has attended this year!
By the time we had completed a lap, the show was filling out fast! Car after incredible car was rolling in and parking up until just about every free bit of grass was ordained with some beautiful metal. I think by the end, we had done 7 or 8 laps and we were still spotting things we hadn’t seen the previous time round! A car that specifically caught my eye was this 924. Everything about it screamed at me; the green paintwork, the polished BBS, that tatty original interior! Can’t lie, I now have a saved search for 924’s on marketplace in the hope that one comes up incredibly cheap on my doorstep and my wife doesn’t notice another car coming into my ownership…
I genuinely enjoy attending a show with other photographers as it’s always interesting to see what is catching their attention, debating what is worthy in their opinion etc. I may have accidentally said that I didn’t understand the appeal of Mercedes which lead to Matt pointing every on out to me and subsequently judging me for taking any photos of them, but this particular w108 was something we could both agree was worthy and as it turns out, so did the Rollhard guys as it took home a top 10 award.
Speaking of awards, the Rollhard guys had a challenge on their hands, not only because of the searing heat but the quality of car to choose from was just ridiculous. Narrowing that down to just 10 would not have been an enviable task! Luckily they did manage to palm one award off onto John Ludwick to pick his favourite though!
Now before I stop babbling, I just need to reiterate to anyone that hasn’t had the opportunity to attend this event, ADD IT TO YOUR CALENDAR! Between Players Classic and Rollhard Bicester you will not find any better shows in the UK modified car scene. Now if you want to be one of the utter bellends in a Focus RS getting pulled by police after Ford Fair that I passed on my way home then go for it, but you won’t ever be as cool as the swallowtail mk1 Golf burbling past at 50mph while you’re getting your PG9. These are events for enthusiasts that give the younger generation inspiration to be better enthusiasts and I would do anything for this type of event to be the norm. While variety is the spice of life, no one, and I mean no one needs more Ford Fairs…
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