Retro Rides Gathering 2016

26th September 2016

The Retro Car Event

I'm proud to say that I've been a part of Retro-Rides since the very start, one of the team that kickstarted the whole thing in February 2004. Little did we realise back then just how influential and successful the site would grow to be. This is reflected in just how good the associated Retro Rides Gathering has become.

Retro Datsun Skyline GT
Yellow retro Ford Escort Mk2 RS2000
Retro Alpina BMW e12 B7S Turbo
Retropower Dialynx Audi Short Sport quattro

Held at the historic Shelsley Walsh hillclimb venue, the 2016 show attracted some of the finest retro machinery in the country today and many of the most vibrant community/forum members that help the retro car scene continue to go from strength to strength.

The misty grey drizzle didn't hang around for long and couldn't keep me away from the cars. There was so much to see! From the stunning Lotus Esprit on airride to the pristine Vauxhall Nova Sport, the super rare Renault 9 (where did they all go?) to the Alpina BMW E12, there was something for everyone.

It's not just a static show-in-a-field though, there's the hillclimb too. The pair of Mazda RX7s sounded glorious and the twin Vauxhall-engined Mini Estate looked terrifying as they made their way up the hill.

There are over 450 photos in the full Retro Rides Gathering 2016 gallery, have a look. If your car is in there then please get in touch and tell me about it, I'd love to know more about what I saw!

Bagged stanced Lotus Esprit
Rare Vauxhall Nova Sport
Stanced Peugeot 405 Estate
Magenta Retro Ford Escort Mk4 on Three Spoke Wheels


Viva SkegVegas

22nd August 2016

A VW show with a few surprises!

I hadn't been to Viva SkegVegas before so I was intrigued to see what awaited at the end of a horribly soggy three hour drive across the country to Lincolnshire.

It was definitely worth enduring the weather. Things brightened up and although it was drizzly for much of the weekend the sun broke through enough for me to snap a selection of photos.

Click for the full Viva SkegVegas 2016 photo gallery.

In amongst a wide variety of aircooled Volkswagens lurked a few non-VW gems, including a gorgeous Citroen Visa and a lovely Fiat 900 Camper Van. A handful of Porsche 356s were a welcome sight too, and who wouldn't be charmed by the supercute Mini Pickup-based Ice Cream van? Of particular VW interest was an amazing Phoenix Camper kit, a real slice of 1970s retro sci-fi fantasy made real. I want one, as did many others over the weekend!

Hayburner Mag Squareback Project Car
Citroen Visa Classic Car
Phoenix Camper VW Kit Car
Classic Mini Pink Ice Cream Van



Oselli Ford Capri 230S NBW345W - Where is it now?

21st May 2016

I received an e-mail a little while ago from Jarrad who came across a scan I've got in the magazine archives. It's a road test of an Oselli tuned Ford Capri, from Cars and Car Conversions, October 1983.

CCC Magazine Ford Capri Tickford Cover
Oselli Ford Capri Road Test
Oselli Ford Capri Road Test 2

It sounds like a fascinating car. As if a standard big Capri wasn't beefy enough, Oselli saw fit to take the 3.0 V6 to heights only reached by the hardcore race variants of a few years earlier. Jeremy Walton wrote:

"This is the toughest Capri in street fighter trim that I have ever encountered. All you need is Bruce Springsteen's Cadillac Ranch and some muscles to ripple beneath a T-Shirt in order to convince yourself that this choice was smarter than buying a great fat Yank. This is Life In The Fast Lane personified."

Jarrad's Mother was the original owner of this mighty Ford before it ended up undergoing the Oselli transformation. He writes:

My mother was the original owner of this car. It was bought new from Hartford Motors, Seacourt Tower, Oxford. She part exchanged it at Scotts garage, Watlington for an early 2.8i 4 speed. Scotts sold it to Oselli for the 230 conversion.
The car was a full spec car as far as I know with sunroof, opening rear quarter window, tinted glass and the radio cassette player. It has the blue check recaro trim and fishnet headrests. It was Cobalt Blue.
Early on in its life when only a few months old, it was in Hartfords being serviced and they dented the bonnet. When it came back from the bodyshop, the bonnet was a different colour so my father sent it back to them. It went back and forth many times, eventually with them painting the car from the top of the S stripe up. They also painted the tops of the innerwings under the bonnet as on one of the attemps they over sprayed into the engine bay. I had polished everything under the bonnet and Hartfords replaced the rocker covers etc. I stripped the paint off the top of the radiator and polished the brass top.
Oselli sold it to the next owner through an ad in Motoring News (or similar). I met him many years later at a Ford fair but lost touch with him. He was from Yorkshire I think but could be completely wrong. I tracked him down about 8 years ago and he still had the car although it was not in a very good state and was partly stripped for a rebuild. However, again since then I have lost touch with him as he must have moved and do not have any more up to date history.
I keep searching the web hoping to come across it again one day as I am a big Ford fan. I still have my first car and RS1600i which I have owned for nearly 30 years. I would love to have this Capri back so if you are able to track it down, please pass on my details to the current owner I would love to get in touch with them.

If anyone has any information about where this car is now I'll be glad to pass it on. E-Mail me if you have any information I can share!


New Old Photos : MSC am Tegernsee 13. Historische Ausfahrt 2011

13th April 2016

Back in August 2011 I photographed a Historic Car Rally in the beautiful town of Bad Tölz, Germany. A cool, damp morning became a wet soggy afternoon but it didn't matter - just look at the cars!

It was a very eclectic mix of machinery, from a vintage 1937 Rolls Royce 25/30 to a 1976 Ford Escort Mk2 RS2000 special. It's difficult to choose a favourite but I particularly enjoyed seeing the pilots of the alloy-bodied Austin Seven Special braving the elements.

BMW CS Coupe and Porsche 911 Targa
1938 Lagonda LM 45
BMW 2000 TiLux
Yellow Porsche 914

Click for the MSC Tegernsee Bad Tölz Ausfahrt 2011 full photo gallery


Retro-Motoring in the media : Hayburner issue 17

31st March 2016

It's always nice to see my work in print and over the years some of my photographs have featured in the Motorsport News, The Guardian, Performance VW and VolksWorld magazine. This time a couple of my photos are in the new issue of Hayburner magazine.

If you are in to your aircooled Volkswagens then you are probably aware of Hayburner. It's a free, grass roots and very interesting quarterly mag featuring all kinds of aircooled VW goodness. You can pick up a copy from many aircooled VW suppliers and businesses, or subscribe directly from the Hayburner website.

My featured photography this time is of Matthew Dolby from Autohaus Dolby in his Savannah Beige '67 Cal-Looker and John Mills' beautiful black 1956 Oval.

Retro-Motoring photos in Hayburner magazine

Grab a copy and take a look!


Freddyfiles, Ninove, Belgium 2016

14th March 2016

Aircooled VWs, Belgian Beer and Waffles, sunshine.

Had the chance to get to the Freddyfiles in Belgium. It's an aircooled VW event, they close off the centre of the town to just about everything else on the Sunday and there are fabulous old Beetles, Karmann Ghias and Buses as far as you can see. The day before there was a meet at the local brewery in the town, where I of course tried the local brew. It was lovely!

I was expecting to see some stunning old VWs and I was right. I wasn't expecting a beautiful Aston Martin DB5, a rotary engined NSU Spider or a BMW E28 5-Series tucked away in a car park looking well used and very cool on some five spoke wheels and a bit of a suspension drop.

Click for the full Freddyfiles gallery.

Green Oval VW Beetle on the French Autoroute
VW Karmann Ghia T34 Razoredge
Lowered VW Beetle in Ninove


MSV Track Day at Oulton Park, 19th Feb 2016

19th February 2016

Had time to pop down to Oulton Park to see what was going on at the Motorsport Vision Track Day they had running.

There's always an interesting variety on days like this. Plenty of modern stuff but some interesting retro-fodder that I like to see too. Of particular interest was a Triumph TR7 V8 burbling around the track sounding lovely, a gorgeous AP Motorsport prepared Morgan, and a Vauxhall Nova Saloon with some Irmscher touches in the engine bay. Always nice to see a Mk2 Golf cocking a wheel around Lodge corner too!

Click for the full MSV Track Day gallery.

AR Motorsport Morgan @ MSV Track Day, Oulton Park
BMW E36 Coupe @ MSV Track Day, Oulton Park
Triumph TR7 V8 Convertible @ MSV Track Day, Oulton Park
Vauxhall Nova @ MSV Track Day, Oulton Park


Bryniau Clwyd Road Rally 2016

8th February 2016

On Saturday night/Sunday morning I braved the cold, wet, miserable Welsh weather to spectate on a bit of the Bryniau Clwyd Road Rally.

I had two reasons for going, one because my brother was competing, and two because it was a chance to see a Ford Escort Mk2 RS2000 of particularly special family relevance that I've been waiting to have a look at for a long time. Guy Woodcock's rally car was originally a Merseyside Police Traffic Car, driven by my Dad. Full story coming some time soon!

Bryniau Clwyd Road Rally Pictures

Guy Woodcock - Ford Escort RS2000


New Old Photos : 8. Oldtimertreffen in Gmund am Tegernsee - August 2008

Another set of old photos, this time from 2008 when I was lucky enough to find myself at a German Youngtimer / Oldtimer classic car event in Bavaria.

I remember this day well. It was scorching hot, blistering. I spent more time drinking from bottles of water than I did holding my camera. Wandering around taking in all the unusual motorbikes and cars and soaking up the atmosphere was pretty much my idea of heaven.

Among the highlights were a BMW 502 V8 "Baroque Angel", a stunning Borgward Isabella Coupe and an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale - such amazing curves!

Ferrari 365GT
DKW Auto Union 1000 Coupe
Rolls Royce Corniche III

Click for the full gallery


VW Beetle DAY512K - A past owner gets in touch

Marisa e-mailed me about a VW Bug she used to own:

Hi there

DAY512K was my first car! He looks a bit different now though- only the rear grid remains to distinguish him. He was a lovely metallic green. I had a new engine fitted and a complete respray.

I had him from 17 until I was 21, then my sister drove him. We finally agreed to sell him and there were tears as he drove away. Do you own him now? Would love to know where he has been since.


It's not mine but hopefully the owner will find this post and get in touch!


VW Beetle VVW759L - Family Memories

I heard from Robin a little while back, he contacted me about a photo I took at Big Bang in 2003 of this "Back To 89" style retro VW Beetle.

My Dad was the first owner back in 1972. Subsequently car was handed down to each of three sons. Many happy memories including being able to get seven in for day trips. My brother and I could both sit in the storage bin behind the back seats.

We sold it on in 1987. Would love to know if it is still on the road.

Well that photo was taken a fair few years ago now but hopefully it's still around... If the owner is out there then please get in touch!


Van Diemen RF86 - "Chissy's Car"

David Billington got in touch to tell me about his Van Diemen RF86 that I took a photograph of at Oulton Park in 2013.

I love the picture and am very happy to say that I am the very proud (if not the fastest) owner and driver of the black Van Diemen RF86 shown in your fantastic picture.

I have owned the car for a little over four years and at the grand old age of 52 I finally achieved my boy hood ambition of owning and driving a proper racing car.

Although the car has changed colour on a number of occasions (it was blue and white when I bought it) it is well known in the Oulton Park paddock as "Chissy's car" This is because it won the North West Formula Ford 1600 championship a few years ago in the very capable hands of Chris Chisnall. If that wasn't enough pressure the car is run for me by David Bailey who is also a past NWFF1600 Champion! No pressure on me then!

Although I didn't race last season I am hoping to be back out this season and hope to move the black number 32 towards the front of the field.

Thanks David!