Playing With Detail: <br/>20 Ways To Stand Out At A Car Show
Simply Rolling

There are so many ways of connecting with whatever interests you these days, that there’s really no excuse for not embracing anything that grabs you and finding out more. I love the availability of information at our fingertips, but with it comes the need to then take it in. The fact is, sometimes it can all be too much.

If that’s how you feel sometimes, I’m not here to help you… Oh no, instead of rounding up a few of the stand-out cars from the excellent Players Classic event last weekend and showing them to you in a Spotlight-o-Rama post, I’ve decided to bombard you with all the little details that left a lasting impression. This is the stuff that interests and inspires me – and perhaps it will for you too – so get your project notepads at the ready!

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-98

Why don’t we start with a little drink? Soft of course… I’m of the opinion that if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it to the best of your ability. As we’ve been saying for years, styles and genres are mixing up all over the world, so if you’re going to build a VIP-style Lexus in the UK, the authentic accessories will make all the difference come show time. It also helps other people who might not have experienced the scene before understand it a little bit more. The cut glass tumblers in the dash-mounted holders might be considered tacky by others. But here? An absolute must!

Players Classic Goodwood 2014 batch-1-11

It’s often the small things that can make the most difference. I don’t know if these vinyl graphics were found on a dusty shelf somewhere or had been recreated by a talented hand, but then that’s part of their beauty. Are they or aren’t they original? Subtle and effective.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-19

Given the more eye-catching candy that was on show nearby, it would have been easy to give this Integra an appreciative glance and pass on by. Which, to be honest, is almost what I did. But something about the way it sat drew me in…

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-60

Then I noticed the gorgeous – and hard-to-find – Gotti wheels; not overly refurbished or detailed, just sitting pretty under the arches. These are expensive and rare, so kudos to the owner for tracking them down and then probably having to rebuild them to achieve a good fitment.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-17

Of course, wheels and tyres are one of the bigger decisions you’ll make when piecing together a project, as they’re normally the first things you see when approaching your car. But this is the difference for me between getting it right and wrong. This E36 M3 track car doesn’t stand out at first, aside from the slicks of course.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014 batch-1-7

But the Team Dynamics Pro Race wheels are the kind of kit you’ll find on a touring car. And coupled with Yokohama ADVAN slicks, they’re the sort of thing BTCC driver Matt Neal (who runs Rimstock – the company that manufacture them) would be proud of.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-50

So simplicity is the key here. How many times have you heard somebody say, ‘It just needs a drop and some wheels?’ The E34 BMW saloon is kind of in the lost period at the moment – a bit too old, yet not old enough. Give it a couple of years and we’ll be wondering where they all went! This 520i had been treated to a decent bit of suspension rake and some M package wheels. Nothing dramatic, but it looks right and wouldn’t have busted the owner’s bank balance.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-153

Another simple modification is to take a hidden panel and add a point of interest to it. Maybe a door card – or as in this case – the underside of the bonnet on our Mercedes-Benz 190E #FeatureThis winner.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-303

The obvious downside of that, however, is that you’re going to have to have an engine or engine bay worth showing off in the first place. But if you’ve gone for a swap and don’t know how to make it stand out, or simply want an interesting way of continuing a colour scheme, this sort of thing could be for you. Notice how both the Honda and Mercedes have a solid external colour, which is then accentuated by the underbonnet action?

Let’s Go Inside
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-10

Roll cages are cool. Fact. Okay, so the owner of the VIP Lexus at the beginning of this post might not agree, but very few things give off such an obvious statement of intent as a cage. This BMW owner has taken it one step further though, and for a couple of very good reasons. Here you can see how the interior panel work has been drilled out in an attempt to save weight. With the cage providing added rigidity, you can break out the hole cutter and lose some metal.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-53

Or maybe you just add some well chosen props. This stack headlight Mercedes owner had gone for a box of cigars and an umbrella. These two small additions were enough to draw me in for a closer look.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-253

Whatever seats you choose for you project, you’d better consider them carefully because they’re the place where you’ll probably spend most of your time when you’re finished. Unless you’re like me, who has a sense of frustration every time I walk past it. I can think of a few places to start looking for some genuine Lamborghini seats, but I dread to think how much they’d cost. That’s before factoring in an impressive full retrim, which is a big investment. But wow factor? Guaranteed.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-43

Since the Players crew started doing their own thing back in 2007, they’ve made some friends along the way who have joined in with the fun. So if your budget doesn’t stretch to custom-trimmed Lambo seats, why not go for some unique aftermarket action? Cobra offer a personalised embroidery service as you can see here. Or if that’s still too much, why not get your own logo added to some factory seats?

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-208

Themes are everywhere in the car world, but by using careful consideration and extending them, you can do something different, and often with very little effort – outside of coming up with the idea in the first place, of course.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-287

Air suspension systems are becoming increasingly popular, so why not personalise the tanks? The possibilities are endless here. Well, almost, but there’s certainly enough to fill my tiny mind!

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-269

This Karman Ghia caught my attention early on. Lined up alongside some other fine aircooled VWs it might have looked pretty stock to most people, but the nose-down stance (remember the E34 BMW?) gives the game away. The traditional big-power Cal Look approach is to have a lower front, so that when you nail the loud pedal the rear end has room to squat and help give traction to the rear tyres. It also looks good!

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-259

Peering through the window revealed a period EMPI GTV steering wheel, plus a Gene Berg (legendary VW tuner) shifter, along with an array of buttons on the steering wheel. If only I’d got a chance to look under the deck lid, because that lot just teases me with what it’s all in aid of.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-222

Too often the stripped-out race look can be an excuse for an untidy car. Although this particular Porsche 964 wasn’t devoid of its interior, you can take a cue from the way the harnesses have been tidied up with a hair band. Again, it’s the little things, and this owner had it nailed.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-219

Laid carefully on the back seat was this Heuer-sponsored race jacket too.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-224

And on the front passenger seat, a carefully positioned pair of worn (but not worn out) driving gloves to complete the line-up.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-210

On the outside it was a similar story – an authentic number plate surround and proper tow hook should you have a ‘moment’ or an ‘off’. Lovely stuff, but there’s still so much to see though. Time to move on…

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-64

It’s the one component that ties all of our projects together, because without an engine we’re not really going anywhere, right? So, I find it interesting to see how different people solve problems, and often ones I didn’t even know existed. Remember the 400hp Golf from my previous Players Classic show story? Well, I’m guessing the engine mounts will have been uprated, but even then maybe the builders experienced problems? A little engineering later and you get this trick rose jointed brace.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-71

Gold heat shield material always looks good – especially when there’s some simple co-ordinated graphics to match.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-73

And how cool is this? Looking to tidy up your engine bay? Often the battery can clutter things up and it’s one element you can’t really change too much. So even though LEGO might not be your thing, think about how this was probably a kids toy box and the builder saw it in a completely different role. Now apply that thought process and see where it takes you.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-167

The V8-engined Mk1 Golf I showed you in my first story is pretty radical, and adding to the confusion are some Volkswagen-scripted valve covers. Imagine taking a factory script and then having it engraved on another manufacturer’s component! Mercedes-Benz logo on Land Rover wheels. Chevrolet logo on some Porsche seats? What would you do?

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-207

Sometimes originality is where it’s at. The Pinto engine in this Mk2 Escort has stayed put with some period twin Weber carbs, but instead of alloy trumpets we’ve got carbon ones.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-246

Maybe you want to be more obvious and let everybody know exactly what’s under the bonnet? Thanks to period hot rodding and more and more people trying their hand at it, the automotive art of pinstriping has seen a huge resurgence in the last decade. It’s only now when I look at this picture that I’ve noticed the MINI badge has been modified to take a different logo. It’s that of Ace Cafe, an old school venue on London’s north circular road where bikers used to race back in the day, which now holds enthusiast meets on an almost daily basis.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-154

Then, of course, there’s the engine itself. Engine swaps are a lot of work, whichever way you look at them – especially when you’re putting an aircooled motor where the spare wheel used to sit, as had been done with this Mk3 Golf.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-257

It was also good to catch up with Nick Pritchard and his phantom M3 wagon which Paddy shot earlier on in the year. If you want a lesson in how to observe details then this is it. I’m not sure if many people at the show even realised how special it is, and if you’re not sure you should read the feature to find out.

All The Small Things
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-145

This ’70/71 Mini Clubman is pretty stock; it’s early ’70s colour being original and the Minilite-style 10-inch wheels of the same era. The lip spoiler and yellow headlights just add that little something for me though. Just imagine it for a second without them and you’ll see what I mean.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-76

In fact, there’s very few little cars yellow headlights don’t work on. Where did they come from, though? All I know is, they were popular years ago in France on what seemed like every other Renault and on some rally cars, where the yellow light was thought to provide better vision in certain conditions.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-301

Pick up some tint paint and for very little outlay you can make a big impact.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-116

And that’s the lesson to be learnt here. It’s not all about money – it’s about choosing carefully and getting creative. This rusty old roof rack is a super-rare item that the Beetle it was mounted upon looked like it had worn for a very long time. With the advent of the internet, similar things are relatively easy to find, although you’ll usually pay a finders tax unless you’re prepared to put some leg work in yourself. Older neighbours and junk yards often have this stuff lying around, and secondhand/yard sales can prove good hunting grounds too.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-261

Two wheels are sometimes as good as four. Okay, so not too often, but Jay from Players has added a bike mount in the back of his Datsun pick up since our feature and the Air Lift Performance tank makes for a great rear wheel rest.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-300

Anybody who has ever taken on a project will rarely tell you it’s absolutely finished. So, after you’ve welded up the holes, swapped the engines and rebuilt the interior – then the details can kick in. Inspiration can, and should, come from everywhere. Race liveries have always been popular, but would you have ever thought to set this white Golf apart from the crowd by choosing a Wrigley’s scheme? I wouldn’t have, but fair play D. Guirey!

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-272

Of course, it can always be on a smaller scale if you prefer. The Martini Racing livery is more commonly seen on Porsches, or even Fiats if you’e going way back – but it works really well on this Corrado.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-226

Maybe you just start small with OE touches like this dealer plate.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-212

Or a license plate from another country. Be wary of this one though, as we’ve seen some very modern UK plates (which are defined by year) on some proper old school motors.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-297

Or what about this? To 99 percent of people this will mean nothing other than some random stickers on a windscreen. But here they’re badges of honour. These are Vignette tags and show that a road toll has been paid in Austria. Why is that significant? Because that’s where the annual Wörthersee gathering is, and these are proof that over 6000 miles of road trips have been completed in the name of good times.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-95

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look through the details of the Players Classic show – I just couldn’t not take a closer look when I saw that second or third layer of engagement. To be honest, I should have expected it given that the prize for best paint was a heavily-flaked and detailed skate deck.

Players Classic Goodwood 2014-214

If you’ve been inspired to try something different by reading this story, then great – the more we look around and learn about things outside of our experience, the better. Players Classic was an education for me, but I guess I should have expected it from a show that even features a coordinated venue! Now I’m going to turn off the computer and get in the workshop. There’s an old tool box I need to turn in to a battery cover and some oil cans that cut up will make a perfect dash board for my beach buggy. What have you got planned?

Bryn Musselwhite
Instagram: speedhunters_Bryn

Cutting Room Floor
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-11
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-12
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-52
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-88
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-151
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-169
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-198
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-248
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-294
Players Classic Goodwood 2014-307


Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Awesome article, always loved yellow headlights since old school rallye

Gianluca FairladyZ

Auto Bahn Vignette of Switzerland is present as well mate!!!!!! ;)


It is all about the details either oe parts or correct year scene after market bits.Although sometimes less is more!!!!!!!!


that last bonus image with the 5 different colored bolts. now that got my attention :)


My dad had yellow headlights here in Michigan and he got pulled over and was told their illegal. Same really.


The "trick rose jointed brace" is not very well engineered.  Two rose joints stacked on top of each other using a bolt in single shear, attached to a flat plate.. Not much thought went into that.


Yellow headlights weren't completely for having better vision - they were legally required for French car manufacturers up untill '93. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Germans almost always used white headlights after WW2, whereas the French car manufacturers used yellow. It was legally required, because that way you could spot the difference between ''a dirty German pig and a great nationalistic French driver'', as a friend of mine used to put it.


I love that the " 'proper' tow hook" had an integrated billet GoPro mount.


That "Duracell" setup would look grand on a hybrid or an electric dumped on air.


that bike on the datsun pickup is worth something like 10 grand


Thank you so much for the tips on how to stand out at a car show. I really like the tip to get my car detailed. I have never done that because I want to keep the car in its original condition. I feel there is more value in that than in looks. However, most people don't agree with me. Perhaps I will have to get it detailed and then see how much people will like it and want to buy it.  Thanks again for the tip!


joshwfifty5 all are classy ways. keep posting. :-)