SHOW REPORT | Players Classic

There really is no place like Goodwood.. With it’s majestic trees, white suit clad marshals and retro adornments aplomb, it is by far the classiest motor racing establishment on our green earth. So, what better place to hold what is without a doubt one of the greatest and most diverse automotive events on the calendar: Players Classic. Jay and the team somehow seem to make the event bigger and better year upon year, so we expected great things this year. We weren’t disappointed…

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We’d managed to wangle a top spot on the hallowed grass area next to the exclusive lounge, with our friends Wheel Whores. Elliott and the team always make sure they have nothing but the best, and this was evident in the standards of cars we were sharing the stand with. Dean Meeson’s incredible Esprit was rocking its new look, resplendently wrapped in flawless Oracle 970 by Alex at Vivid Vinyl. We had to take a second look when he told us that it wasn’t paint, it really is that good! The Compomotive CXNs have been replaced by what can only be described at utter pornography, in 16×8.5″ and 16×11″ flavours. Completely one-off, built by Dean and his colleague specifically for the car, and finished in Land Rover Kaikoura Stone, these are something very special.

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Friend of WCS Tom Lilico brought his Lamborghini wheeled Z3 Roadster down for the day. His newest addition caused something of a rift, with many people preferring the original look, whilst others (us included) are loving the wang.

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Continuing the theme of new looks, we thought there was no better event to debut our two freshest projects at. First up is the WCS 840i, which has had something of a transformation since its last outing at Wörthersee. You’ll no doubt recognise the wheels as Bugatti EB110s, made famous in the scene by Nick Sahota’s gorgeous E30 M3. These are something very special though; 18″ magnesium monoblocks. Fitted as an option on the frighteningly rare (we’re talking single figures) GT model , these are as close to unobtainable as you can get. Ceramic polished (which Matt loves), in 18×9″ & 18×12″ varieties, they suit the car perfectly. With full Alpina pin striping offsetting the new wheels, the fresh style certainly drew some admiring glances.

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It was also chosen as the launch for our long-awaited Project Trackster. Affectionately known as “The Bastard,” that’s a fully forged, race spec 3.1 12v in the engine bay. With a custom built FIA spec cage, composite Corbeau seats, and a track wide enough to rival that of an Australian road train (not built on spacers, it’s the real deal), this isn’t just built to look pretty. Thanks have to go to our friends at Fifteen52 for pulling out all the stops to get the first set of 16×9″ Formula TRs to us; to Patrick and the team at MBL76 for supplying what are, without a doubt, the best quality arches we’ve ever come across (no, really!), extending the body 8″, allowing us to fit those beautiful wheels with the extended track; and to Toyo tyres for stepping up to the plate with their consistently awesome Proxes T1Rs. Even if we did order the wrong size originally. Keep an eye out for this, you’ll see it pop up in more than a few places.

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We were also joined by Audi’s flagship R8 and S8. Two perfect examples of some of the best cars ever created, they drew crowds over to the stand all day long.

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WCS Pro-Tog Mat Bedworth brought his beautiful static E36 along too. He’s now on his sixth front bumper…

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Our first stop, after cleaning the cars, was the Meguiars Paddock. To say that this is the “lesser” of the areas you can apply for is to do it a disservice. With some of the UK’s best cars in here, you begin to see why the standard of vehicle at Players events is so high.

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Tucked away at the side was Adam Pope’s amazing little Fiesta RS Turbo. Favourite of the boy racer brigade for years, a good one of these is a hard thing to find nowadays, but the Alcester Car Care head honcho has made sure his is one of the best around.

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We also got chance to have a good look around Bryan Marland’s stunning Audi Coupe. Complete with a full detailed 20v turbo heart, you’ll be able to read a full feature on this incredible 80s throwback in an upcoming feature.

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One thing that there was no shortage of were old school Fords. Amongst the omnipresent (but suitably awesome) Mk1 Escorts were the incredible Cortina Estate of our friend Paul Whisker, and the most beautiful Mk1 Zephyr we’ve ever seen.

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As always, the bonkers Mk1 Fiesta made an appearance, along with John Meade’s stunning Mk3 Escort. The sudden explosion of Dagenham’s finest examples of 80s machinery is a welcome addition to the scene.

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Another staple part of any European show are the BMW boys, and there were no shortage of Bavarian beauties to ogle this year.The juxtaposition between simple, unadorned classic and lairy modern bruiser was inspiring.

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The AirLift Paddock where the best vehicles living #lifeonair were on display, more than a few new looks were unveiled. Paige and Dan from S6 Wraps decided subtle was the way to go this time on their 335i…

27014631764_adc8de8a62_k…whilst our friend Tom Heap opted for something equally eye-catching on his nut job W124 CE.

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Edward Johnston’s ludicrous E36’s new incarnation was also out for all to see, complete with M50B32, bolt on arches and the biggest wing you ever did see. We like.

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By far and away one of the most off the wall cars in attendance was Henry from Riiva Design’s US spec Healey, riding on a full AirLift setup. There wasn’t a moment all day that this thing wasn’t surrounded by curious onlookers. One to watch, this.

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The Meguairs boys brought along their legit Crown Vic Interceptor, complete with perfect pin striping and frame laying stance. This thing is cool.

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The whole American/custom scene seems to have collided with our world with a bang over the last couple of years, and it’s mainly down to people like Jamie and the team thinking outside the box. There was a definite undercurrent this year, and the standard of rods, trucks and the most beautiful 356 we’ve seen certainly showed that this is only going to get stronger. Bring it on!

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One of the most controversial cars of the day was the satin black Rolls Royce Silver Shadow of sideways pedalling teen heartthrob, Shane Lynch. Complete with striking red quilted interior, the workmanship in this was mind bending. It certainly split opinion, though it was good to finally see it in the metal…

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At the polar opposite of the size spectrum, but built with just as much craftsmanship, was Carl Raine’s cheeky little Fiat 126. With what we’d imagine to be the quickest air ride system known to man, the dinky Italian drew admiring smiles all day.

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With Goodwood being the quintessentially British Motor Racing venue, you’d almost be annoyed not to see at least a few Minis there. From full on, balls out, road legal silhouettes, through standard bodied, V-Tec engined monsters, to proper hillclimb cars, there was something for all tastes. As long as your taste was for ludicrously quick race cars. Speaking of which…

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…Zach and the boys from WCS’ tame tuners Forge Motorsport were there, with, as always, their ever impressive Berg Cup Mk1, With a table full of shiny engine wares, tuning goodies and stickers on sale all day, there was never a shortage of people talking to the team.

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With cars like Dan Guirey’s Mk1 and Nick Sahota’s E30 M3 mainstays of the scene now, it’s no surprise that the motorsport look is predicted to be the next big thing. This is going to be massive next year.

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One of the highlights of the day for us was finally seeing Steve Foxall’s homebuilt and static M50 turbo powered E30 properly. One of our most anticipated cars of 2016, to see it arrive under its own steam was a glorious moment. The detail on this car is exquisite, and it’s fair to say he drives it “properly.”

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As with any Players event, Jay’s Mk1 and Café Racer can be found lurking. We never get bored with looking at the period details on the bright green weapon. Divine.

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Our eastern cousins were well represented, as always. No matter how much time we spend with Rich Tapp and his beautiful red R32, we still seem to spot more and more detail. Definitely one of our favourite cars on the scene right now.

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It’s always nice to see friends come together at things like this, and even more so when they get the family involved. Along side Governors Club members Rory’s W115 and James Aveil’s W114 was perhaps the craziest W114 we’ve ever seen, and it belongs to none other than James’ dad. It’s a work in progress, but if you get chance, have a look at the bonkers interior…we promise you won’t be disappointed.

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With a name like Players, you’d be disappointed if there weren’t some big money motors sat around. The Ballers were certainly out in force, upping the game with high end automotive engineering and big money builds…

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…much like our friend Pipey and his insane W8 K70. You’ll have spotted this in our Ultimate Dubs coverage, and there’ll be a full, in-depth feature, on what is possibly the best sounding car of all time, winging its way to these hallowed pages in the not too distant. Suffice to say, epic doesn’t even begin to cover it.

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With more than a few interesting creations scattered around the outfield, most of the afternoon was spent scouting out some hidden gems. We were particularly taken by the blue Sport Ka, and it was nice to see resident WCS photographist and media supplier Phil Hulton’s 90s as you like Passat back out.

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WCS home boy and Wheel Unique tea monkey Dan Taylor was there in his E46 M3. Deciding to run it static for the weekend, the loss of a carbon CSL splitter was too much to bear, and it’s now back on air.

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Every year we remark on how perfect a venue Goodwood is for a show like this. The atmosphere is incredible, the show ground is beautiful, the cars are world class…it’s going to take something special top it next year. Best get planning Jay…

Photography by Mathew Bedworth.

Words by Si McNally

 

 

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