Event>>retro Show Santa Pod

Santa Pod was real busy over the weekend, Ross has already brought you the latest EDC action from Saturday and I made the trek round the M25 and M1 early Sunday morning to have a look at this year's Retro Show.  It was Editor Rod's idea to send me as this sort of event, get back to your car enthusiast past, he commanded. To be truthful, I wasn't sure about this or what to expect when I got there. I suspect that had he been there it would have been a very different article but the diversity of opinions and styles is one of the strenghts of SpeedHunters.

First off there were many really cool cars on display, some running down the famous drag strip, some just static. My preference was for clean and tidily restored cars such as this Mazda RX4, great attention to detail and a car anyone would be proud to own.

From this angle you can see how the Mustang influenced the lines and maybe that's why I liked it.

And now for something completely different………….the Nissan President…………….this one has been modified I hope, or maybe the country's Gold Reserves are in the boot………..has anyone seen Gordon Brown?

"From our 'Ben Hur Chariot Race' range, Sir…………………………

OK enough of this import stuff……….this is Santa Pod after all…………so a salute to Ford and this neat 2.8 Capri.

Fords of all eras were on show, here a Zephyr Six from the 50's partners a MKl Escort. Once again very tidy, just as if it were 40 years ago.

Escort, Capri, Cortina, Anglia, all the usual suspects were rounded up.

Of course there is always the drag strip at Santa Pod and on days like these it will be RWYB (run what ya brung).

First out on the strip two heavily modified cars, Austin A40 and Ford Cortina MKlll.

There was also the House Dragster, jet powered, utterly mad.

Funny Car? Bloody scary trackside, the bang it made taking off, tripped out the fuses of the timing system………..Nuts about sums it up…………can't wait to see it again.

If a Jet Funny Car is one end of the spectrum on the drag strip, surely Farmer Giles' Land Rover against Mr Bookeeper in the Volvo represents the other. Drag Racing is a broad church.

In the queue for a run, three, yes three Ford GT40s, all original.

More strange equipment for a drag meet, a P6 Rover 3500…………….my father had a succession of these, heavy old things with a big V8 lump up front.

Back in the Show and Shine arena, one of Munich's finest.

Yes a 'Batmobile' probably one of my favourite cars of all time.

This example looked immaculate and totally original, although I prefer it in white with the red and blue pinstipe……….I know an Editor who will like this car.

Another really clean BMW is this 316, simple but very smart. I walked round the paddock in the company of Drift Media Meister, Ed Fahey and the winner of the EDC round at Brands Hatch, Mark Luney and we all agreed that this was the style of Retro car that we thought worked best. I'm sure not everyone will concur.

There was a trend within the paddock to have the old cars in a distressed state, like this 2002. Having a few rust buckets in my time I cannot see the appeal.

In search of authenticity some cars had luggage stacked up on their roof, not sure about the Iron Cross…………..

And if nature's paint erosion is not fast enought apply some lighter fluid.

For me tidying up or just cleaning up a classic is the right way, as with this Citroen DS23.

Or this lovely Opel GT.

Of course the impulse to alter the original machine cannot sometimes be resisted.

The quality of the work on this Mkl Cortina is fantastic, even down to the new Nissan engine.

Another Mkl Cortina modified……………

This is now a proper drag car but with a real 60's feel, Jim Clark would have looked good in this.

And fans of the MKll should not feel left out.

Nor should supporters of the Ford Anglia, a well kept squad here.

Early 70s UK Muscle car, the Hillman Avenger………….not that you would see Bullitt flying through San Francisco in one, more like Dixon of Dock Green rolling through Coventry.

Another Rootes Goup mainstay, the Hillman Imp, very successful in Touring Car races in the UK at the time.

A French cousin, the Simca Rallye

My experience of TVRs could be summed up by this picture, it used to said that you were advised to buy two at a time so that you might have something to drive when the other car was broken down and off the road…………..Sniff Petrol has many references to this famous Blackpool marque………..none good.

The Rotorstock 6 show had been on the day before so Mazdas were in the ascendant.

The heart of the matter.

Battle Honours are displayed with pride.

I don't think Norbert Singer would approve………………

Somewhere behind this lot is a Lambretta, how long would the battery last?

Classic Show cars a Combi and a Mini

What's in a name?

Skyline or not it wouldn't strike fear into a Porsche or a BMW round the Nordschleife……………….

No it is hard to imagine how this flabby thing emerged like a chrysalis into the GT-R……..

Still that is part of the appeal of shows like the Retro, you never know what you are going to see next.

More tomorrow.

John Brooks



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Now I understand why Nissan wanted to drop the name Skyline for the new one, with old skylines like those still driving around lol.


this isn't a opel gt, it's a opel manta a.


If you would have compared it with the Skyline 250GT V36 it would have been understandable, but you can't compare that Skyline R30 with the GT-R: the GT-R is a totally different car than the Skyline range and this Skyline was not even the top of the range Skyline!

It is like saying it is hard to imagine a 1962 Ford Cortina (not the Lotus!) 1.2 evolved into the Ford RS200... It just doesn't make sense!

Apart from that: great article! :)


To be fair, I don't think the TVR is having a break down. It's a drag-strip and lots of people push their cars along to keep the motor cool.


I couldn't have said it better than you Banpei.


@atze.........of course you are spot on

@Banpei............a little bit of fun on my part.........you are are right of course

@Mork............I knew that but the first time I drove a TVR it broke down, so it was payback time



Good to see a Lambretta making the cut John, it turns out you have some style, I stand corrected :D

Good feature and nice to see familiar cars to us Brits making an appearance finally on SH !

Agreed on the favourite, the CSL takes it for me...after the Lambretta of course...


Is Seibon Carbon fiber a bit dodgy?


Nice to see that 2002's still getting around, got a couple of shots of it earlier in the year [http://www.flickr.com/photos/jay_p/3428849237/in/set-72157616500091055/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/jay_p/3435513710/in/set-72157616500091055/]

Also, that yellow porsche's changed a bit since last year, you could still get a bonnet on it then :L

Loving the shots as always though John, should be up the pod myself at the end of the month :D


The 02 is a well known car in the retro 'scene' in the UK, the owner is an all round good egg and what he does not know about BMW's is not worth knowing! That ratty old thing gets rattled round regular trackdays and is a lot of fun, his next project is something to wait for, an E12 M535 with a V8 (possibly force fed) and a full aero floor including rear diffuser! Look for bodie&doyle on http://www.retro-rides.org for more info. ;)


that sketch in the badge saying (rotary wins le mans '91)

that thing looks like a Zonda


That yellow Porsche is from the town right next to me, and it is quiiiiiiiiick. My friend in his 300hp S14 raced him on the streets and got the absolute sh!t kicked out of him. Good to see someone else has noticed it!


The blue opel is a manta a ,not a gt.


Yeah Ryan, I'm pretty sure I've seen it at the pod a couple of times, but it's definately changed since i last saw it lol.


The yellow Mazda at the top of the page is an RX4, the RE 12 badge means Rotary Engine 12A.


I'm a little fuzzy on the quote for the picture with the GT40's. By "original", do you mean they are actual cars that were built in the 1960's, and so are cars that actually have a race history or are Mk. 3 street cars? Or that they are "original" kit cars that were made in the 80's and 90's before Superformance and CAV GT started making replicas on a larger scale. Or that they are "original" GT40s, and not the GT that Ford made a few years back?


Let us not forget the Skyline was a family car, turned into a race car, it never stopped being a family car during that time. The Porsche was always in the sports/race category.

Besides all that, the GT-R of course began it's life in the 60's. Your wording on the matter gives the illusion that there was nothing before the 30. Regardless, it's a weird comparo.

Also, further up from that the TWINCAM badge you've photographed and labeled as MkI appears to be that used on the right corner of the boot of the MkII, which you conveniently have a picture of right below, I would hazard a guess it's the badge from that very car.

As has been said the owner of the '02 is a good chap who knows his BMW's, some people focus on making a car look pretty, others on making it go well and being able to have a bit of fun. Whether you want to label it within a scene or not, it's clear that the owner is not as fussed on the external appearance of the car as you are.

Nice selection of photographs, though personally I would have liked to have seen more shots of the Opel Manta A that you've incorrectly labeled as an Opel GT. They're a seriously sweet looking vehicle.


Rover P6 V8, Heavy old thing?? Don't think so 1300 KG with a V8 is hardly heavy, though you could be forgiven for presuming that they are heavy, but in this case the facts don't support that at all.