Players Classic 2018
by James Preston
Can we call Players Classic our favourite show of the year? Let's talk about it...
Before we start this article, I'd like you all to take a seat, get your books out. It's time for a brief history lesson into the Goodwood Motor Circuit. Without understanding a little bit of the heritage that surrounds the venue some of the magic of this place is lost. The circuit was built on an airfield that was donated by the 9th Duke of the estate in order to assist with the war effort during the battle of Britain. The circuit was home to the first post-war motor race meeting, bringing in crowds of over 15,00 and 85 drivers. No matter how interested you are in cars, the chances are that you've heard of the Goodwood festival of Speed. It's odd to describe a motorsport venue as beautiful but I really struggle to think of a better word to describe it.
For the first time, this one day show became two. The Saturday show & shine takes over the venue, with cars parked in every nook and cranny the Players guys could find; props to the guys parking the cars. While you could spend hours drooling over the machinery in the show & shine, you might be a little distracted by the sound of cars hammering the track in the back ground.
Throughout the Saturday cars lapped the historic track, making an awesome spectacle as motors from all different classes took part. Another aspect of Classic that you can't ignore is the "vibe". If there is one thing that is going to make or break a car show, it's just that. Whatever 'vibe' actually means. Classic hits the nail on the head. It makes you feel relaxed. The place is full of spots to have a sit down or a lie down and just watch the world go by. Everyone just seems to be having a good time. I think that's the best way that I could describe the show to you, it's just a good time.
Sunday seen the return of the Show & Shine, but this time around the cars had been completely rearranged and had taken over the track. This mean't there was even more awesome machinery to look at. A lot of people have asked us what we thought of the show being made into two days, and honestly; we all agree it's only got better.
We go to car shows all year, travel all over Europe and even further. But still, the Players guys manage to put on a show with cars that we have never seen before. I have no idea how they do it. You can see everything from a DKW Schnellaster Van to a 3 series estate converted to an F80 M3. It's a beautiful mix of classic cars, drift cars, race cars and hot rods, the list goes on. It's like they all come out of the wood work just for Classic. It feels like every time you take a lap around the show, you find something you missed out.
"I'm going to take the E28 to Players Classic I think." - Our resident BMW enthusiast Adam McPeake had been telling me all year that he was going to take his 1986 525i BMW from Belfast to Goodwood. This is a mere 533 mile trip there and over 1000 miles on a round trip. The car had only been at two shows previous, Dubshed and Districts; both local shows to Northern Ireland. Adam told me that there was only one show that he has ever wanted to bring the car too, and that is Players Classic. In typical ILB fashion, Adam done absolutely no preparation for the trip other than adding some spacers to the front wheels and filling the petrol tank. Luckily there was no reason to do any preparation to the E28 as it drove the whole trip there flawlessly.
As mentioned before, Players Classic is renowned for having cars that you've probably never seen before. This DKW Schnellaster Van is exactly that. The translation from German to English of "Schnellaster" is Rapid Transporter. Featuring a 900cc 32bhp engine, I'd say it was anything but that. This build has so such character, awesome work Steven.
When at a prestige British motor circuit, it would be rude not to mention a little British race car. This boosted Mini Clubman is the perfect mix of classic and race car. The workmanship and finish of this clubman was on power with Goodwood. Great job Nick.
No stranger to the track, Ryan Stewart was absolutely hammering his E92 M3 around. Lap after lap he was reeling in the car in front just for fun. Cars used for that they are built for.
This has to be the coolest Ford Ka we have ever seen. Or maybe I should say that this is the only cool Ford Ka that we've ever seen. Too harsh? It's probably the truth.
I don't want to mention these guys in every blog we write but when you drive from Belgium and pick up the car of the show on Saturday, and your friends car picks up car of the show on Sunday, well then you leave me no choice. The guys at Kean Suspensions brought their very best over. It was good seeing them on home soil.
Players Classic really is home to the weird and wonderful. I'm not going to pretend like I know what this is. But I like it.
I don't want to make it a competition between shows but let's just say that Players Classic is up there with the very best. We want to say thank you to the guys at Players for making us feel as welcome as they always do. And a special thanks to Jamie for helping us out with our van and everything else. Awesome bunch of people and we can't wait for next year. I know that this isn't the end of new things for Classic either. This show is seriously not one to be missed.
Photos by: Alex Carroll
Words by: James Preston
Location: Chichester, England