Turn back time with the Retro Rides Weekender 2024

If you’re a car event organizer and you’re putting on a show at Goodwood Circuit, you know you’ve made it.

The Retro Rides Weekender is organized differently from other events at the prestigious motorcycle circuit/airport. Not for a bad reason, but because of the healthy atmosphere it brings. Let me explain…

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I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived; I only have my annual pilgrimage to Players Classic as a benchmark for a Goodwood Motor Circuit show. But I soon found myself sipping an espresso and enjoying a pistachio cookie while watching (and listening to) a pair of classic Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprints fly by on the straight.

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After preparing myself for the scorching heat on the hottest day of the year, I grabbed my camera and started slowly walking around the room, admiring the cars on display and thanking people for coming out of my photos without that I had asked them that.

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It wasn’t until I came across this DR30 Nissan Skyline RS-Turbo that it dawned on me: I didn’t feel the need to rush like a maniac to find a corner or dart between crowds of people who weren’t paying attention.

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What was going on? Had that cookie taken me to another universe?

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No, it was just a good cookie, and the crowd was unlike any I’d ever experienced.

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Retro Rides is certainly an old-school entity, having existed as a forum for over a decade. But unlike most popular groups that have moved to a social media-only approach, Retro Rides is still an incredibly active and popular forum for older and modified car enthusiasts.

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I miss forums. They were full of people who were genuinely interested in each other’s projects, having discussions and checking daily for updates on their Internet friends’ cars, which they were about to reveal on show X or event Y.

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I was an Edition38 guy myself. It’s where I learned to write for an audience and part of what led to me getting into the Audi/VW scene as a teenager. My thread wasn’t anything special – my Audi wasn’t old or cool enough to attract much attention – but I was proud of my posts and appreciated the conversations with others.

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Social media apps are just not the same. Most interactions on a post these days involve someone commenting on three fireballs and a little emoji boy drooling. It’s a shame that we are declining as enthusiasts.

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But the Retro Rides Weekender took me back to a time when people actually seemed to care about the cars in front of them.

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I heard a guy talking to himself about how an Aston Martin DB7 is the most affordable model you can buy right now, while at the other end of the spectrum crowds of spectators cheered every time a drift-spec BMW E36 sent up clouds of smoke at the Autosolo ( autocross) course that was set out on Sunday.

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Families watched in awe as the V8-powered Special Saloon race cars thundered through the final chicane, with their young children giggling through the barriers behind me as I photographed along the track.

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In fact, that ridiculous bunch of race cars even stopped on the straightaway for spectators to watch. Drivers answered questions from fans and happily posed for photos with their cars. I’ll go into more detail about these beasts in a separate post.

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All this just adds to the fact that Retro Rides currently attracts a mix of the quirkiest, rarest and downright coolest classic cars in Britain. I’d be wrong if I didn’t mention some of my favorites that go along with my social commentary.

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This combination of heroes from Group A and Group B was phenomenal. The drivers of the Lancia Delta and the Audi quattro, converted into a SWB, grabbed them by the scruff of the neck and sent them onto the track.

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But no matter what, my heart still leans toward an E30 BMW M3.

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But it’s not just racing cars that catch my attention.

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A beach buggy on the road is always fun…

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Shoutout to everyone who competed in the Autosolo on machines that were simply not designed for aggressive precision riding. Together with the absolute hero who put the Toyota bus with storage container on the track…

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…James Yarrow gets a special mention for completing the course at a certain speed without removing the stretched tires from his recently built VW Corrado VR6.

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However, there could only be one car of the show for me and that was this sensational Ford Mustang Boss. A black-on-black leather example with wood inlays, a four-speed manual transmission, polished wheels and what appears to be a 408ci stroker V8 engine. In my eyes it was the most perfect car there.

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From the outside it may be ‘just’ another car show with a track day in the mix, but I’ve learned that it’s not the basic ingredients that make the Retro Rides Weekender what it is.

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It’s a safe place for car enthusiasts to be car enthusiasts, without ego or stigma, and to nerd out to their heart’s content.

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Long live the Retro Rides Weekender! Enjoy the HUGE gallery below and don’t forget to tell us which weird and wonderful car is your favorite.

Mario Christou
Instagram: mcwpn
mariochristou.world

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