OhSoRetro 2018

I started the season with big ambitions for the XR, after the Ohsoretro show last year I wanted my XR to stand out this year. I wanted to dramatically change her look. I also planned to do a lot of other shows and scream out the Modifly name. My show calender was filling up and I had no idea how I was going to find the time or the funds but I was keen. Then the XR failed its MOT. This was a kick in the finical nuts. With the help of friends I got her back on the road in time for incarnation in April. But the nut kick was real and the aftershock wiped out my calendar. I had to prioritise what shows couldn’t be missed and it came down to five. With OhSoRetro being the grand finale.

I had decided a while ago that Modify wasn’t going to do any stands, we arn’t that big, people arn’t that reliable and the stress of organising it wasn’t for me. Fortunately my club who normally do Ford Fest had decided that a retro show was going to be a better experience and had organised a stand, so everything was going together nicely.

Sunday morning, 4am, Above the clouds by Gangstar starts playing, my alarm tune of choice, it was time wake the XR up and start on my 127mile trip to Margate. Not having been up that early for a while I forgot how dark it is in September at 4am, not having driven my XR in the dark for a long time, I forgot how totally useless 1980’s headlights were. The first hour or so of my journey was a bit on the tense side, the roadworks on both the M23 and M25 weren’t fun either but I met the Ford Tec convoy by 5.30am and we were happily motoring towards Margate. A mk3 Lotus Escort taking the lead, a mk5 Cortina, mk4 Escort RS turbo, a  mk3 Fiesta, a mk5 Escort and two mk2 XR2s at the end, it wasn’t a bad line up. Another stop just outside Margate to pick up our showpiece Mustang and the last hour driving directly east into the blinding sun rise. By this time myself and the car were at one, I had learnt to bounce with the car, ignore the scrubbing and burning rubber smell that followed and wince but not cry at the scraping of my exhaust everywhere. The sun was rising, visibility was good, the temperature slowly bearable and the tunes were thumping. Ford Tec have a habit of getting to shows insanely early, it avoids traffic on the roads and queing at the event. As it happened this time we were so early we couldn’t get into the show ground but this gave us some time to park up and stretch our legs. The pre show excitement was in full swing and I was loving the day.

After watching a parade of retro cars in varying condition roll past we were eventually ushered into the show grown and into our spot, conveniently opposite a large tow truck which was not only a great landmark and crowd puller but one hell of a bit of machinery. As is now standard show procedure I got out the spray on shine and gave her a much needed once over. By the time I had finished I had already watched the Sussex Fiesta crew roll in, James Cox in his decked mk2 and Elias in his freshly repaired mk1 both part of the show stand winning Stardubs crew.

The OhSoRetro show is basically just the best carpark in a field you’ve ever seen. The range and quality of cars on show is unsurpassable. It surprised me how much time you can loose just doing the initial walk around. I met up with Elias and we got walking. I tried to take some great shots of some great cars but my talent and technology failed me, luckily for me Elias is a talented photographer and has offered up a great selection of shots for our viewing pleasure.

It would appear that most people I know have always wanted to go to OhSoRetro but for some reason have never made it before, I went last year so knew what to expect and wasn’t disappointed by the spread this year. However this year saw plenty of new comers and Elias was no different, he planned to go before but never made it, so we had to see what he thought…

“I had planned to go to ohsoretro show a few years ago but never made it. So 2018 was the year for me, it was a great place to be for a retro car lover, or even just a car lover. It was an awesome day with such a variety of retro cars, trucks and custom builds. Its always great to see such a mixture of vehicles in such a chilled out environment. Definitely a show not to be missed for next year and with their top 20 show and shine winners (myself happily included) its a great way to showcase some of the cars that stood out to the ohsoretro team”

I haven’t got to much to really say about the show itself, as mentioned earlier in its most basic form its just a cool carpark. Maybe it has something to do with being in Margate or the fact that having such a vast variety of interesting cars creates an atmosphere which you just don’t get in the Halfords carpark type show but OhSoRetro really nails the end of season car show vibe. After a early morning, a long drive, it the ideal way to while away a few hours. Now this year stood out for me as the four Fiesta convoy back to Sussex really was (for lack of a better word) divine, the cars all performed beautifully, the roads stayed clear and I got home more in love with my XR than ever before, this feeling was nicely extended over the next few days as I started seeing pictures some other great photographers took of my car on show day.

So it would appear that for another year running, their fifth year of the show, that Lee and his team have smashed the retro car show ball out of the park keeping the OhSoRetro show as a must go show for 2019. I just hope that I can up my XR game to get into the top 20 next year.

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