Words & Photos by Henry Phull
The Retro Rides Gathering has to be one of our all time favourite shows, simply because of the diverse range of clubs and cars in attendance. The Gathering was born thanks to the creators and members of the Retro Rides forum and has now grown into something much bigger, being well known throughout the UK and even overseas. This isn’t just any show, this is a hillclimb too, hosted at the famous Prescott Hill Gotherington in Gloucestershire. All you need is £30 and you can take your car up the hill in either the morning or afternoon session. It’s great fun to watch and makes the day truly exciting.
The first car I was drawn to as I entered the venue was a BMW E34 being driven off a trailer. I thought it must have been a 540 as it looked completely drift-ready, but to my surprise the bonnet was removed and I noticed an E39 M5 V8 engine in the bay. What a machine!
Also along with the E34 on the Huxley Motorsport stand was this Volvo 240 estate with a BMW V8 transplant.
I literally stood at this stand for ages drooling over these cars.. anyway, time to explore the rest of the show…
See what I mean by variation…
Possibly one of the loudest cars of the day, Jeffry Sol’s High Octane 1005bhp SWB Audi Quattro. Yes you read correctly.. 1005 bhp! Do yourself a favour and youtube this car going up the hill… words cannot describe it.
Forge Motorsport were out in force with their own stand and noticeably the highly tuned Mk1 Golf, one of the coolest cars in the UK right now.
What makes this show great is that everyone can wonder around the paddock area where the cars are waiting for their turn to go up the hill. This gives the chance to admire the cars closely and chat to the owners.
…and of course there’s all sorts of mad stuff going up.
You can watch the hillclimb from the start line…
…or walk up the hill to get a closer look, a great place was the hair pin where I was able to get a few nice shots, including one of this Corolla AE86.
and Mk2 Golf GTI.
Forge’s Mk1 looked uber cool on one of it’s many guest sessions up the hill.
Even some real boats, in this case a manual E32, thrashed it.
This Mk1 was packing a V8 under the hood!
And another somewhat different Mk1 Golf, that we’ve pictured before on Slam Sanctuary, Pipey’s static Mk1 on a Beetle floor pan. He took home the “Dare To Be Different” award which is not surprising!
Check out the old school swamp cooler on the drivers window.
There was even a lowrider club, with some quite entertaining hydraulics.
It’s nice to see something different that has been properly lowered. This Hillman Imp was stunning.
A cleaner than clean E21…
Or how about a BMW that looks the complete opposite, but still rocking it hard.
James McCafferey’s Mk1 Polo was sporting two sets of wheels and looking immaculate as always.
…continuing the ‘immaculate’ theme, i must not forget Carl Levy’s caddy.
This MX5 was looking pretty sitting on a set of OZ Turbos.
A lovely original Quattro.
One of the few 911’s of the show which also could be seen gunning up the hill.
These old Toyota Celica’s sum up Retro Rides.
A Honda Civic saloon nicely dropped.
I always have time for VW Caddy’s, this one is sitting on a tasty set of banded steels.
Our friends over at Coltech Classics came down in this Citroën Dyane which, like Pipey’s Mk1 Golf, also sits on a Beetle pan.
This E30 caught my attention, it is sitting so nicely, the stance is spot on. Three photos were needed, you can thank me later.
I was pleased to see a couple of 2002’s including this well modified orange example.
Well, there you have it. If you’ve never been to the Gathering before then it is the place to be if you want to see a huge variation of classics. There was so much to see that we’ll be continuing the Retro Rides coverage with a second part – a look into the “Retro Parking” and the general car park areas as there were some real gems there too. Check back to the site soon to see Part 2 of the show.