Relax, It’s Players Classic
Year Four

I often worry about the good things in life.

I’m not sure why, but there’s always that feeling that eventually everything must come to an end, good or bad. It’s not necessarily a car thing either; your favourite coffee place which isn’t quite what it used to be, or that time your go-to pizza place shut down. None of us can say for certain what the future holds, so when I get this foreboding feeling I try to turn it around and begin to appreciate the good that’s before me.

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Players Show has always been good for me, and fortunately 2016 was no exception. I’m not sure how the organisers, Jay McToldridge and Carl Taylor, maintain the high standards that Players has become renowned for; the entry criteria is strict, but it never comes off as elitist. People are refused the right to exhibit, but there’s never a feeling of resentment or bitterness. It’s a remarkable ambiance.

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When you consider this, and then manage to host it at one of the most prestigious venues on earth, you have a surefire recipe for success. There are very few places on earth quite like Goodwood and the natural positive atmosphere the venue seems to create.

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This is a proper enthusiasts event where prejudice and begrudgery aren’t welcome.

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This is a place where genuine car lovers gather to check out other people’s cars and show a level of mutual respect to each other. This is what it’s all about.

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I believe the key to what makes Players successful is the all-embracing attitude when it comes to car selection on behalf of the organisers. A good car is a good car, regardless of what manufacturer or scene it might come from. This absolutely slammed Porsche 356 replica sat opposite a very tidy Nissan S13. They’re not typically two cars that would, umm… mingle, shall we say.

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It’s also the sort of event where a home-built Group 5 Capri replica doesn’t feel out of place. In fact, it feels right at home.

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The sprawling paddock lends itself very well to keeping things interesting. You’re never really aware of how much ground you cover because every area is different and it feels more like an exploration than a typical event walkabout.

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Cars are tucked away in different corners; some in obvious places and some less so. Although it’s hard to hide a Capri funny car. Two Capris in one chapter? That has to be a first.

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There were cars present which left people scratching their heads…

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And others which received constant nods and smiles of approval. Even at this point, I’m struggling to convey the variety on offer without feeling like I’m just skipping over things.

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I’ll try cover off as much as I can here and go into a little more detail with some of the spotlights I picked up on my exploration. I think the word ‘eclectic’ is appropriate.

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‘Exquisite’ would probably be another. This E46 M3 really struck a chord with me. It was just the right amount of everything; from the multi-piece ACS wheels, to the perfect paint and the subtle OE additions like the CSL trunk lid.

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The open trumpets on the factory ITBs along with the subtle colour co-ordination should give you an idea of the standard required to gain access to the Players Classic paddock.

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It wasn’t just a static thing either; the event also hosted an open track day for those who wanted the opportunity to stretch their cars’ proverbial legs on a very exclusive circuit.

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This only added extra variety to the event and a further interesting aspect where a car could be appreciated at a standstill one moment, before being seen hammering down the start/finish straight a short time later.

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Like the static portion of the event, the track cars came from varied backgrounds; some being humble street cars, others fully fledged race cars. I don’t think many made a racket quite like this B5 S4 though; anti-social doesn’t even come close to describing the Audi’s fire breathing and anti-lag characteristics.

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A good mate of mine, Ryan Stewart, was finding the limits of his Regal Autosport-prepared Cayman at every opportunity. One of the interesting aspects about this particular car is that it’s wearing the most lightweight wheels Rotiform has produced thus far, specifically designed for the track.

With a focus on handling rather than outright power, this ‘Clubsport’ build represents Regal’s interpretation of the ultimate dual-duty road and track Cayman. We might just see more of this in the future.

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I had the full intention of joining Ryan on track, but I wasn’t able to make it due to being unable to get my car sound tested in time. It was a bit disappointing, but something that was as much my fault as anything for allowing the car to be blocked in. I’ll talk more about it in a future Project GTI update.

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On the plus side, it meant I could spend more time talking to others with experience of running an Air Lift Performance kit on track, and adding to my own knowledge for when I finally get out myself. There were several ALP-equipped cars on track and everyone of them seemed to be going very strong, so I think it bodes well.

Best Of The Best
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If I was to raise one issue with Players Classic, is that it’s only a single-day event. Okay, I understand that by increasing it to two days it would introduce new logistical and organisational nightmares, let alone essentially doubling the cost of running the event, but it’s just so hard to take everything in over the course of one day.

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It’s the type of event where you arrive first thing in the morning – I think I joined the queue at around 7.30am – and before you know it, the day is already over. It absolutely flies by because you’re never bored or looking to waste time.

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I found myself trying to revisit my favourite cars again and again, just to try shoot them as best as possible. I’d seen Jason Laroza’s Speedhunters video of this Mini when it first came out, but it’s even better in the metal and composite materials.

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Some cars were easy to miss, not because they weren’t impressive, but because they were literally tiny in size. Good things in small packages and all that.

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There was no shortage of vintage Fords either, quite a few of which spent more time on track than they did in the paddock. My inner Ford fan was overjoyed. Yes, there will be spotlights and I will not be apologising for them.

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At this point of the day cars were beginning to hit the high road and head for their respective homes. With Goodwood being located right on the south coast of England, for many it was going to be a long drive back.

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I’m so genuinely grateful for events like this that attempt to bridge the gaps between the varying automotive sub-cultures. They’re such an important part of what we live for.

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To come back to my opening point, I do wonder how an event like Players Classic can be improved upon. The two-day thing might be an option, but then there’s also the risk of having too much of a good thing. Maybe leaving an event still wanting more is the perfect way to keep the passion alive?

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I was satisfied, but I still wanted more. Even when I eventually got home, I headed straight to Facebook to check out galleries from the event and still found myself discovering cars that I hadn’t even seen or finding out friends were there and I didn’t even know.

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I can’t think of the correct words to appropriately praise the Players guys and girls for doing what they do and making such a wonderful event happen every year. It sounds ridiculous, but it feels like an honour to attend, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event. Not to mention the Essex event, which is only a few months away. I don’t think I’ve even covered half of what went down, but I’m not sure that would have been possible either. I guess I’ll just have to try again next year.

Is it June 2017 yet?

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
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Really enjoyed this event! Was great to finally meet the man behind Project GTi! You are right though Paddy, so hard to take everything in just over the one day but considering myself and Skip were only there for a couple of hours it was even harder!!! Some of the cars were just simply gorgeous, yours included, loved that Lotus and the Classic Minis also.

Hoping to get involved in the static display area next year, but aside from being overtaken by a Mclaren 675LT on the way home (which was awesome) the RS has developed a major issue in the gearbox so guess what I will be doing this weekend?? Meh..

Anyway, great coverage Paddy and hope to catch you again soon, maybe I'll buy you a coffee next time. Enjoy Oz


TurboHippie It was great to meet the both of you, really appreciate you coming over to say hello! Sorry to hear about the 'box though, always a good excuse for an upgrade though ;-)


Shout out to the person with the Zakspeed Capri replica. Loving it!


Oh well, Quaife speed (6?) straight cut here we come.
(I jest. Sort of.)
It really was a great show. hmmmmm.
Now, how do we convince our respective partners that we really, really do need air ride set-ups.......
Good to meet you too Mr McGrath, excuse my rather exasperated look.... We might of forgotten my medication in the rush. Whoops.


ok not gonna lie, that slammed 356 looks pretty damn good. surprised it can pull off a slammed look. and that crown vic looks pretty badass too, in a land where they're essentially nonexistent.


Thanks for the snap of my old Celica and my gf's Integra in front! I had a look round the GTI after reading all your posts on here. I was eager to hear how the air ride performed on track, but I had no clue what you looked like to say hello on the day!


It was a great event, first time I've been. I particularly loved the w8 k70 I spent ages looking over it.

Simon Coleshill

I managed to have a decent chat with the owner of that S4 on track. Really nice guy and knew his stuff about them. He never got a black flag waved whilst he was on track. Came off after his second session and they gave him 2 black flag warnings due to breaking the limit twice in that one session!
Thing was mentally loud though!
Shame he had to turn off the anti-lag after that though as it was the main focal point of the car! Haha


DecMcClure Even though I have absolutely no idea about it, it's getting a spotlight just because.


awesomefearwave I'm a big fan of the simplicity of that Crown Vic, it sounded insane too.


BennyRees You're very welcome, sorry I didn't get around to your cars before you left.


JakWhite Thanks, mate. Spent a good bit of time looking around the K70 as well. Should have a spotlight in the coming week.


@Simon Coleshill It genuinely frightened the shit out of me at one point, wasn't expecting it to be that loud!


Anybody have more info on that Austin Healey?


That Tom's Castrol JZA80 ftw!


Best show of the year for me! Great write up Paddy


So many very cool cars. E21's are all amazing, love each one!

That harlequin Polo though.....useless wings are for penguins! It's a new fad that boggles my mind.


Paddy McGrath JakWhite  I wonder what the people will make of the material used to hold the windows up haha!


Please tell me more about the Healey 100/6 on air!
And the whole "wheel face sticking out past the tire" that "cool" nowadays?


Its probably just a British thing, as far as their unique taste in modifying, but I always seem to find the British don't quite nail it when modifying cars. Always seem like they are lacking something or haven't quite hit the mark.


I went into the article hoping to see those mercs from the title pic, instead I saw a dog.


Some dudes from Wörthersee!


Paddy McGrath awesomefearwave Loved the crown vic, and the noise it made!


Paddy McGrath Thanks Paddy, no trouble at all, always great to put faces to names.

Yeah, gutted about the box, I'm hoping its not the diff as its already a Quaife ATB but I think it may be a bearing. Anyway, yes, upgrading has crossed my mind, shot-peened gears would be sensible as running over 230bhp is only ever going to keep causing problems with this box. It is currently the weakest link!! lol!


The owner of the Zak speed Capri replicas instagram is zakcapri, awesome dude. Every picture with an Escort in it got saved U0001f602 looking forward to the features


How the hell did you reach that conclusion?


His instagram i's zakcapri


Zero lip has been around for years


I don't care how far away it is. I HAVE to make it to Goodwood soon. This show looks epic and the variety is right up my street!


Thommo  Where are you from? If you say America, then I'm sorry but you just can't say something like that :D


Robo_No1 You live in South Yorkshire! That's hardly far away. I met people from Glasgow who drove down, so you've no excuse for next year!


LukeEVOVIII Thanks for that little detail mate, it has just come in handy.


squidlyness Hey, don't diss the dog.


Spaghetti Things like that are done purely to provoke a response; be it a laugh or outrage. I think it's funny, TBH and it's good to see someone not taking things too seriously.


OMG that 2.5-16 Cosworth engine, pure love


That SONAN MB is a bizarre mix of DTM and Stance..


Dayuuumm that Austin-Healey. Please. We need a feature! It's so wrong and should not exist... but looks so good... help


More photos of that blue Esprit pleeeeeeeeeaase!


Those guys have a Great collection of cars.


Paddy McGrath Cheers guys! It genuinely doesn't sound loud in the car!!


Paddy McGrath squidlyness Dog is fine, but you had three shots of that black 911 and no old merc, that's all. Love that Lotus by the way, one-off wheels?


Man, I think I want to go next time. I normally avoid going to static car events but this has really swayed me.
Nice to see you got a few shots of my buddies car. Glad you got to see the MkII Soarer that I shot too. I am sure Ash will be stoked!


Paddy McGrath It's things like that I don't understand though. Those sort of people are the ones that "love having haters"'s just another form of serious attention seeking.


Paddy McGrath Robo_No1 I know, I know! *hangs head in shame*


Are we going to see more from the BMW 2002?

You know which one I mean - the one parked next door to the Capri :)


yo wddup petol heads ;)))) I <3 cars ahahahha me to lol


LukeEVOVIII By looking at pictures of British car events? Cant pinpoint what it is, maybe the cars just aren't in my taste. But I look at other "World" car events and find it quite tasteful. Take that however you like?


TomRich Thommo No, not America, but I wouldn't go there. America has some of the most ridiculous builds anywhere in the world and the most varied. I'm Australian, we have a rich, diverse car modifying seen, highly recognised id say. I'm not saying the UK is crap for car modifying, I just find the builds I see don't really connect with me, that's all. Some do, most don't.


Well look at Paddy's post about that Group 5 Capri then. Personally I think the UK cat events are much better than the American counterparts


Awesome coverage and an awesome show. I can't believe how many amazing cars were there!

More photos please Paddy!


@SW1 ask and you shall receive...i found Becky to be a litle distracting  ;) but you get to see more of the Healey


Kyron_OKBYE lol jus posted this for someone else...should have scrolled down a little more, its a nice video though


I have got to get myself a trip to Goodwood FOS and the Player's Classic. The local car scene here in my section of Australia just ins't doing it for me.


what's the story with that orage Škoda Fabia?


Paddy McGrath Diff going back to Quaife tomorrow for a rebuild, fingers crossed its ok. Though I did get greeted with this after taking the box apart....(the magnetic pickup!)


@ Thommo. Knew you were an aussie a soon as I read your first comment! LOL! I think you're just missing your V8 RWD family sedans and the burnout comp!


with a very nice speed  sure the car could be a champion one


the car was very good 
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