We take a trip Retro Rides Gathering 2018 at Shelsley Walsh

In science you’d get to burn and dissect stuff, in design technology you’d get to make desk-tidies out of MDF and acrylic, and in PE you’d get to play football. But one lesson that always sucked, was history. The classroom had a musky smell and the teacher a bad case of body odour – it was about as much fun as a double-detention on a Friday.

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius and story of Pompeii is a very tragic one, but to be honest, I was more interested in blinding the teacher by reflecting the sun off my Casio calculator watch than learn about the Romans (although they did build straight roads, race chariots and have gladiators). But not all history is dull…

Shelsley Walsh, for example, is the oldest motorsport venue in the world, and has attracted drivers to the venue for over 113-years, damn, that’s even longer than our FC’s Art Editor Initial G has been alive. Why is this relevant? Because it’s also the venue to one of the coolest events on the show calendar, the Retro Rides Gathering.

Which, indecently, is also about cool old shit. Someone needs to ring the Department for Education and get them to include retro cars in the curriculum, we reckon truancy would drop and grades would rise. I mean, who wouldn’t want to learn about cool cars?

The Retro Rides Gathering campsite is, for many, as big a part of the weekend as the show. On site modifications, weird creations spluttering around and late night sneak peaks of the show cars are all part of the fun.

The customary tat auction never fails to entertain and supply bargains. All sorts was auctioned off by ‘Kev from Wales’ and his ever failing croaky voice including bargain Merc wheels, random wings and panels and even an ‘emergency 10mm socket kit’ which consisted of a socket and a cable tie which fetched a comically high bid. It’s all going to charity, so the more bids the merrier!

The star of the Retro Rides Gathering is the hillclimb and variety is the name of the game here. This years we had everything from a Commer camper van to a big block hot rod to typical track day machinery. There’s no timing gear switched on, so nobody is fretting over that extra tenth of a second. All the better for a bit of relaxed fun. Especially when it descends into a comical procession of one-upmanship in the tyre warming area. Yes, basically a burnout competition!

Anyway, here’s what went down at Retro Rides Gathering 2018…

Words Ade Brannan & Slim Jules Pics Ade Brannan