Retro Rides Gathering 2017

20th August 2017

A trip to Shelsley Walsh for the highlight of the Retro Car calendar.

Click for the full Retro Rides Gathering photo gallery

After a bright early start (for a Sunday morning anyway!) I hitched a ride in the back of the Sambasaurus over to the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb track for the annual Retro Rides gathering.

It's always a special event, the sort of show where you've just no idea what you'll find. You can walk past what you assume to be a relatively standard old car, only to find it later on with the bonnet up and some unlikely and improbable power plant grafted in. A Ford 100e with a Nissan RB26 engine up front, a Vauxhall Firenza with an S14 motor, or a Hillman Imp with a BMW boxer motorcycle engine... You have to look twice at everything.

This isn't just a static event with cars parked up in a field. There's the famous hillclimb track too, where I saw a Pikes Peak Ford RS200 hurl itself up in a blur and heard the glorious bark of a Triumph TR7 V8 in full flight.

Memorable moments included watching the cries of excitement from Pipey McGraw the team working on the rotary powered Jaguar E-Type when it finally fired up for the first time after a lot of hassle, the rotary engine barking as the gathered crowd applauded. A fascinating car and one that is getting a whole lot of coverage web-wide.