Events

Motoring related events that I’ve attended.

Event: UltraCon 2015

Another year, delving into the world of make believe with a mixture of replica cars from famous TV shows and films, and costumers dressed as famous characters. This is the evolution of the original Knight Con gatherings, which started five or six years ago as a Knight Rider event in the UK.

This has grown over the years and become a full scale event, with a lot of displays, traders, characters and cars, this year at Magna in Rotherham. Disappointingly only one Knight Rider replica was on display, providing the only source of reference to the events roots. Perhaps interest is waning on the 80’s cars? Certainly the icon of The Hoff and his talking car seemed to be lost on the next generation as they passed by the display stands – excited parents trying to explain the significance of what is now a very old car! Nonchalant, the reaction was far greater to the commanding display of Transformers movie replica cars – including the Optimus Prime truck. The road-legal bat mobile was pretty jaw dropping, as was the guy dressed as Frankenstein’s Monster; the makeup and masks were really eerie.

Overall, it was a great event. The only spoiler was the traffic problems when leaving the event, which was a total nightmare, caused in part by roadworks on the entrance road to the event, and then exasperated by a subsequent lack of contingency planning by the venue. A secondary exit was eventually opened up, but it was far too late and very poorly communicated. A shame, as this was the final memory for many people as they left what was otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable event.

Roll on the next one! 🙂

Event: Fleur-De-Lys, Thornes Park 2015

This is a great little event. It seems to be held each year, but with little advertisment and so we missed last years event. However, my father in law caught wind of this years event and so we headed over again. A really relaxed ‘cars and bikes in a field’ type event, but the diversity of the displays is phenominal. From the old, to the modern classics, sports cars, big cars, US and Euro cars and everything in between, its a great way to spend an evening. Here are some point-and-click pictures of the event! 🙂

Event: Porsche Sheffield Meet

Another social gathering with the Supercar Driver club this month, a visit to Porsche Sheffield, where they had a number of special cars on display. As well as the latest and greatest, including GT3 models and the new 991 Targa and GTS, there was also a few classics – including the legendary Carrera GT.

A fun morning indeed. Here are a few pictures:

Event: Autosport International 2015

Fantastic looking greenery

Fantastic looking greenery

It’s an annual pilgrimage for me and a couple of lifelong friends, both equally as fanatical about cars as I am, to the Autosport International show, which seems to grow gradually in size year on year.

Once again in Birmingham at the NEC arena, the show featured all manner of weird and wonderful motorsport related cars, sitting alongside customer cars and small-production car makers which provided a refreshing confirmation that the niche motor industry is alive and well, confidently catering for those who want something different to the normal mass produced factory cars.

There were lots of trade stands too, where you could buy a variety of products, from model cars to a new set of wheels or suspension. And then there was the attached Performance Car show, which displayed all manner of sports and supercars, from old and new – with the Coys auction display at the centre, showcasing some of the most impressive past masters from the automotive era’s.

It was a great day out, topped off with the “Live Action Arena” show. A similar affair each year but it is a grand display for what is a small oval circuit with various motorsport demonstrations. I found this all the more interesting this year as it opens up your eyes to the different types of motorsport that you could take part in, or spectate, over and above the standard Rally and F1 affairs.

Pictures below, unfortunately there aren’t many as I only intended to take ‘snaps’ and unfortunately ran out of space on my phone.

Short video of the arena demo coming soon…

Event: October Drive

As we headed towards the back end of the driving season, it was time for a final meet up with good friends in good cars. After an enjoyable drive on the outskirts of Manchester, we all arrived at Stadt Techniq for breakfast and chat. Stadt had opened their doors to showcase their new premises.

A fun morning out – here are the pics. Having sold the Porsche, I accompanied Mike in his lovely blue 360 Spider. At one point, an enthusiastic drag race almost ended the clutch of the 360. You can watch the video here:

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And here it is, making some noise…

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Great fun. 🙂

Event: KnightCon 2014

KnightCon 2014

KnightCon 2014

Another year, another KnightCon – and another enjoyable day out. After a few years at Xscape in Castleford, the organisers moved the event to a pay-on-entry full sale convension at Doncaster Racecourse.

The event was bigger than ever and has now expanded far beyond the original Knight Rider car park meet five years prior. Still having Knight Rider at its core, the event now expands to “Star Cars and Heroes”, featuring cars from all kinds of TV shows, like the A-Team and Transformers, to constumed characters like Iron Man, Batman and countless others walking the floor that day.

There was also a stage, where the celebrities of-the-day were present to recount their time on the sets of these fondly remembered shows – including a few of the characters and behind-the-scenes staff from good ol’ Knight Rider. 🙂

Event: Jaguar Factory Tour

Red Jaguar F Type

Red Jaguar F Type

What a fantastic day this was. The ol’ man and I took the 911 down to Castle Bromwich for an indepth tour of this prestigious car manufacturer. Organised by Supercar Driver owners club, the tour focussed on the new F-Type.

upon arrival, we parked up next to a line of other sports and supercars and went inside to the showroom for the meet and greet. Inside, they had a line of the latest models from Jaguar and, after being primed with complimentary tea and coffee, we were escorted to the briefing room where a large cinematic display told us all about the history of Jaguar. This was the start of what was to be a facinating and throoguhtly intersting day out.

Folllowing the briefing, we were taken outside to an awaiting bus that drove us across the road and into the factory. As we went down, we spotted a new car being test driven, complete with discuised livery. “err… just ignore that car, nothing to see here” said our host jokingly. On reflection, I believe this was the new Jaguar XE model, that has now been launched. Cool, huh!

We arrived at the factory momentarily and what followed was an hour or so of being led around the factory, seeing in full detail how the new F-Type car was built – from components to full car. What I found the most facinating was the robots – how they all move about with such pricision, even selecting different tools for different jobs as the cars are being built. Truely facinating stuff.

Both my Dad and I thoroughtly enjoyed this day out – a joyous day showing how modern cars are built, how focussed and dedicated the workers are and the geuine passion and enthusiasm of all the staff. If you get the opportunity, this is surely one not to miss for any car enthusiast.

Unfortunately, photos couldn’t be taken inside the room, so here is a publicity shot:

Jaguar Factory Pic

Jaguar Factory Pic

Jaguar factory tour link.

 

My Pictures:

Event: Supercars and Pizza Night, July 2014

31st July was the date set for the monthly Pizza night at the Cadeby Inn near Doncaster. And what a turnout! I arrived just as the UKs first customer Lamborghini Huracan was leaving, and in funky orange looked fantastic!

On arrival to the car park, the amount of people there was really surprising – the place was packed and really bustling. A number of other non-“Supercar Driver” (aka SCD club) cars were also there, including a fabulous Escort RS Cosworth, a classic Rolls Royce and a funky Porsche Boxster in a blue/red combo!

Porsche Sheffield were also there sporting a bright blue Carrera 4S, the latest 991 Turbo S, and a Martini stickered Cayman.

BMW were also showcasing the latest M3 and the futuristic i8 hybrid supercar.

A great evening – albeit expensive drinks (£3.60 for a pint of non-descript cola, made me wince a bit), but the atmosphere, the pub and the cars made it a very worthwhile trip

Here are a few pictures, taken later as a number of cars had left, but shows the quality of the turnout!

The 911 Years: Porsche Festival

A spur of the moment decision for us, it was a lovely day and we decided to head over the the annual Porsche Festival, held this year at Lotherton Hall on 20th July 2014.

It was surprising the number of cars that were on display – rows and rows of Stuttgart’s finest. The event also allowed discuounted entry to the hall, gardens and its bird zoo – a great family day out then! 🙂

There was a 911 (997.1, same model as mine) there in particular which had the modified DRL front side lights. I have to say they do look great on the photos but in ‘real life’ I think they are a little too bling for my tastes. I was considering purchasing a set, but I think I might leave it.

In summary, a really enjoyable day, albeit a relatively short one for us, but I was impressed at the turnout – this being my first attendance at a Porsche Club GB event.

 

The 911 Years: Gumball 3000 Manchester 2014

SCD Lineup at Gumball 3000 2014

SCD Lineup at Gumball 3000 2014

I’m still out on the car runs with Supercar Driver when time allows, and the latest venture was to support the Gumball 3000 rally in Manchester. That was a very surreal day. We travelled in convoy with a whole heap of sports and supercars towards the Manchester stadium. Waiting there were crowds and crowds of people, surrounding the cars and taking photos. The humble 911 was a shrinking violet amongst some ultra-rare and very impressive cars – including a Ferrari F40, Jaguar XJ220 and Alpha 8C, but it didn’t look too out of place either. A plus point was the priority parking and the backstage-pass allowing you into the area where the Gumball contestants arrived.

When directed to park on the entrance bridge, it certainly made me feel a bit like a fish-in-a-bowl and felt quite bizarre being so surrounded by people. I guess this is what being a celebrity or owner of a Ferrari or Lamborghini must feel like and in that regards, I’m more than happy with the anonymous Porsche!

Unfortunately, Gumball was massively late leaving Edinburgh on the day and many of their cars didn’t show as the Rally changed the Manchester stop from being ‘compulsory’ to ‘optional’. The ones that did arrtive were so far behind schedule a lot of people left much earlier than they arrived.

I think it was a bit of a let-down as despite the big stage and lots of presence, there was no music, no DJ or other crowd entertainment. As a consequence, there was quite a lot of praise for the SCD club for putting on a great display which would have otherwise been pretty much a washout of a day. But that said, the sun was shining and the SCD display was fab. There were plenty of people to talk to and I rather enjoyed it.

 

Event: Prestige Car Driver – Morning Meet

“Prestige Car Driver” is an invite only Facebook group, run by Autoshine Specialist detailer Tony Spears. It’s a small group of his customers and friends who get together occasionally to go for a drive. I attended the first event of 2014, but unfortunately it clashed with the Supercar Driver Gumball 3000 event, so I was only able to attend the first meet point to say hello and meet some fellow car enthusiasts.

It was certainly a good turnout with an interesting mix of cars. I’m told the run out was great fun and the weather held out too. Here are a few pictures of the morning meet point below. The multi-coloured TVR was particularly interesting. It was purchased as something of a “barn find” from a friend of the new owner. It had been stood for 10 years in the garden and needed a lot of work. It is a long term restoration project, but still attracted the crowds despite not being in pristine condition.

Event: Hassop Station Meet

Supercars parked up!

Supercars parked up!

It was a cold and wet day, but it didn’t stop a number of sports and supercars coming out to play for the early morning run through the Peak District, ending at Hassop station Cafe.

The run itself was a relaxed drive, as with a lot of standing water everyone was adding additional caution to what would ordinarily be some fantastic roads for picking up the pace.

We arrived at Hassop Station after around an hour’s journey and enjoyed breakfast there in a private area of the cafe. Everyone enjoyed the run and the social gathering, including a new member to the club, Darren, in his lovely red Ferrari 360.

It was great to get the 911 out to stretch its legs again, even it the roof did remain firmly closed the entire time!

Event: Jaguar F-Type Test Drive Event

Blue Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Blue Jaguar F-Type Coupe

During the cold winter months, petrol-heads amongst us still like to get out and about to experience all things automotive.

February was no exception and I was invited as part of the Supercar Driver club to test-drive the newest all-new range in the Jaguar lineup – the F-Type.

Rybrook Chester had lined up an array of different models, from the base V6 to the supercharged V8. Also on display was one of the first F-Type Coupe models in the UK, which had been delivered especially for our visit so we could get up close with this brand new model.

All of us who were present on the day got to experience at least one of the Jaguars. I chose the V6 S model – the middle of the range option.

The car itself is quite large, but retains that compact-roadster feel. Inside you sit nice and snug with dials and switchgear borrowed from the latest range of Jaguars and Range Rovers. No bad thing, its a nice place to be.

As you start the engine, the centre air vents rise up from inside the dash – a nice touch! Out on the open road these cars are still a rare sight and turns heads a-plenty! The engine and exhaust work in tandem to deliver an intoxicating soundtrack making the tempation to floor it and hear more very hard to resist. With the sports exhaust enabled it really sounds fantastic with a deep, purposeful roar and plenty of grunt to get you up to silly speeds in double-quick time.

The car handles well too. It can be made to break its composure quite easily, but it is always controlled and the car gets back in line as soon as you start behaving yourself again.

Rybrook were great hosts, even putting on breakfast for us. Overall, a fantastic experience of a wonderful new supercar.

Event: Local Supercar Run

Supercar Driver - Local Run October 2013

Supercar Driver Local Run – Meet Point

One of the members of Supercar Driver organised a drive out across his local stomping ground, close to Barnsley and over the Peak District. A few nice cars turned up including a Corvette, Ferrari 360, 355 and a 996 Turbo (with 997 front nose).

It was a great run out and even the weather wasn’t too bad, despite the grim pictures on the shots in this article. I didn’t have my camera with me, so these are iPhone 3 images unfortunately! Still, you get the idea!

The roads were pretty quiet and due to the lead drivers knowledge of the area we were able to turn onto further backgrounds if we did get stuck behind queues of cars. We ended up at a Cafe right on the top of the hills and was a splendid was to finish a thoroughly enjoyable run, in the company of like-minded enthusiasts.

Hurrah!

Supercar Driver - Local Run October 2013

The Meet Point – note the white Porsche 996 with 997 front end!

 

Event: Infinity Stockport Visit

Infiniti Showroom

Infiniti Showroom

Supercar Driver members were invited to the Infiniti Stockport showroom in February. We started with a morning drive, before arriving at Infiniti, where the dealership had laid on a breakfast buffet for us. The Infiniti range of cars were also available for test drive on the day including the “G” range of cars and the prominent FX cross-over SUV.

I took a G Convertible out for a spin. The car was an automatic with steering wheel paddle shift. Boasting a 3.7 litre V6 engine, it isn’t short of power and the auto box delivers that power very smoothly, with a nice rasp to the engine note. Inside the cabin is very plush and the seats very comfortable. In terms of options all Infiniti cars want for nothing and are loaded with gadgets and goodies a-plenty.

Infiniti is a little known brand in the UK and the dealership is keen to improve awareness. The showrooms are immaculately presented and all the staff gave a friendly, warm welcome. If you are in the market for something a little different, you could do a lot worse than to check out the Infinity brand.

Photos by Dom Fisher (dfishpix.co.uk) and used with permission.