For the past eight years we’ve collectively told you how great Players Classic is.
Ben kicked things off in 2013 followed by Bryn in 2014 and 2015.Then, it’s been down to our resident Irishman Paddy who’s taken charge all the way to 2019. And every time the result has always been the same; good cars and chilled vibes at one of the world’s best venues.
If you’re someone whose never been – or reside outside of the UK – you’re probably getting quite irritated hearing the same Players Classic song being repeated in various different ways.
Want some good news? This story isn’t going to repeat that same song. The bad news? It’s actually just a remix.
Big question first: is Players Classic still the must-visit show of the year? Absolutely. It’s hands-down the best show we’ve got here in the UK when it comes to car culture, and if we were only allowed to visit one each year, it’d still be Players Classic.
The past eight years have been an evolution rather than revolution, originally starting off as a single-day event before growing into the full weekend behemoth it is now.
You could argue this format now feels a bit normal, but the general consensus in 2021 is that a bit of normal is absolutely what we all need right now.
Does that mean it’s been the best Players Classic to date? Bosh, edgy question. I don’t think anyone (including Players bossman JayMac) could say it was for the simple reason there were so many hoops to jump through purely to get the green light in a post-Covid world.
There was always going to be a compromise, and for 2021 that came in the form of cars on display and the number of visitors – two integral things for the vibe and atmosphere of Players Classic.
Sure, the weather wasn’t as good as it has been, but the 2021 Classic still managed to operate at its maximum capacity for what restrictions would allow.
But – and this is an important but – we’d argue 2021 was the most ambitious Players Classic on record because of those restrictions above.
Having cancelled both events in 2020, the need for something positive to remind us why we all love this wacky world of car culture couldn’t have come at a better time.
Like the past few years, Players Classic 2021 divided itself into two full show days across the 19th and 20th of June. Camping was a strict no-go this for obvious reasons, but Saturday would see Goodwood Circuit open up for those track fiends (Ryan included) to hammer around all day.
On the Sunday – with track running closed – the Goodwood Circuit then forms part of the show to cater for all of the additional show cars as well as giving everyone a bit more space to chill.
The keen-eyed amongst you will notice that the bulk of these pics are from Saturday, coincidentally the day I visited. Don’t get me wrong, both days are well worth attending, but if you can only do one, I’m a sucker for watching cars hammer it out on track, especially when those doing so are as diverse as the ones on display.
Air suspension has changed the game here in the UK over the past decade, and nowhere is this more apparent than the Players Classic show paddock.
What’s properly refreshing here is just what cars now boast air. Go back even five years ago and the majority of air-equipped cars would be those with off-the-shelf options available, like the Mk5 Golf and E46 BMW.
Now, thanks to a greater understanding and universal components such as Air Lift Performance’s ‘Builder’ Series, anyone with a little know-how and fabrication skill can get their car sitting right. We’ll be looking over some of our favourite aired-out builds from Players Classic 2021 in a few days’ time.
Back in its early days, Players was always looked upon as a bit of a Volkswagen show open to other marques. That shouldn’t make sense, but the VW scene has always approached shows in a slightly different way to others.
They’ve always been more lifestyle-led rather than dictated by how many narcotics can be ingested over a weekend. And let’s be honest, nobody is going to take their kids to Ultimate Street Car unless you’re actively trying to get social services on your case.
That’s ultimately where Players Classic has grown and become such a pillar of the events calendar. There’s no stigma or shame coming here; it’s a brand you want to be associated with and it’s a legitimate day out for all the family.
People have a full set of teeth, DJ Zinc only gets played a few times, and even when leaving there’s little chance of being yeeted into West Sussex by someone trying to donut an E46.
It was the perfect pick-me-up for a nation stuck in a 16-month comedown; a double espresso at 7:00am without the opposite-end consequences 30 minutes later.
The fact JayMac and the team were able to put on a show at the same level as pre-Covid was beyond ambitious, and for that, we salute the Players and Goodwood teams for making it happen.