Within the midst of all of the prep, awards, trade stands and overpriced food stalls, it’s easy to forget that automobile shows are literally about people.
And while a variety of owners I do know will spend weeks and weeks stressing about various automobile shows on the calendar, Rollhard is just not considered one of them.
Don’t for a second think that’s a nasty thing though. Quite the opposite, in reality. Rollhard is considered one of only a few shows I do know of that no one ever seems to have a nasty thing to say about.
2023 was my second Rollhard, and except for the incontrovertible fact that the 2022 event coincided with the most well liked day of the yr in England, I definitely don’t have any complaints.
Nonetheless, as I’ve said, automobile shows are there for the owners of the vehicles on display and the spectators to enjoy, so for my primary 2023 event story I believed I’d take a special approach and ask some owners what they think makes Rollhard so universally loved.
KJ Saneinia had his 1991 Mk2 VW Golf on display on the Bicester Heritage venue, with some patinated bodywork and a 2.0L ABF engine running a pair of Weber 45DCOE carburettors. To him, “the number of cars perfectly placed, an iconic venue and chilled out music gives a laid back vibe.”
Nic Stubbs, aka ‘Mr. 190E’ or ‘Mr. 187 Automotive’ brought his newly-built every day driver to the show – a C202 Mercedes-Benz kitted out in Brabus parts and wearing a set of stainless steel-lipped BBS RS wheels. “It’s only a relaxed, stress-free show,” he remarked. Nic is true on the cash there.
With speakers dotted around the positioning and mellow tunes playing all day, the atmosphere was definitely chilled out.
The hangar was back for 2023 after taking a brief break, and this yr’s theme was incredibly red.
Greater than just being eye-catching, having an entire assortment of cars in a single hall on display did wonders to focus on just how diverse things are at Rollhard.
That’s some extent that Aiman Bugis, the owner of the gorgeous Air Lift Performance-equipped BMW 840Ci you see above was keen to say to me. He’s been attending the show since its early days and had this to say: “Years ago there was an excessive amount of deal with ‘really old’ cars for me, but nowadays there’s a pleasant number of ages.”
For instance, a Rover SD1, which I actually have an enormous soft spot for…
…across from a G80 BMW M3…
…and a Formosa 120 GR kit automobile, this particular example based on a chassis from 1963.
Joey Hazell is one other long-time Rollhard attendee, who’s been supporting the brand because the starting – at all times in an E36 BMW of some sort. “Chilled out sexy vibes!” was his immediate answer to my query. When prodded for a rather more serious answer, Joey admitted “the Rollhard lot are only right down to earth people.”
A few of my personal highlights? A pair of Porsches owned by Billy Hilton and Ollie Palmer-Smith. Here’s two very different approaches to constructing a really clean air-cooled 911.
Billy’s 993 is a testament to rare, period-correct parts, similar to the one-of-one prototype carbon fibre Gemballa hood/wing combo. Rumour has is it that this was meant to be destroyed back within the ’90s, but a Gemballa worker snuck it out of the factory to put it aside from that fate.
Meanwhile, Ollie’s 964 is about as comprehensive a restomod as you may get whilst staying true to the character of a automobile. With a ground-up engine construct, suspension and chassis improvements, and key components similar to lighting upgrades front and rear in addition to a set of BBS E88 wheels, that is a fantastic example of not going overboard. Just take a look at that interior!
Brayden’s Lexus GS was earning big points from static ride enthusiasts.
Lots of points.
Whilst Benjamin Anson and Stephen ‘Doey’ Doe were showing how effective an easy drop on air suspension and a set of timeless wheels may be with their pair of E21 BMWs.
We will’t forget concerning the hydraulic enthusiasts too, a very area of interest interest within the UK.
So far as metrics for a show’s popularity go, the variety of cars that attend from abroad may be telling. A healthy number of Belgian and German cars had made their way over the English Channel for 2023.
Add to that, not one, not two, but three of the 4 UK-built RWB Porsches on display together – a surefire technique to please a crowd.
How about a pair of over-the-top show cars, each very different but with distinguished owners who’ve experienced a variety of automobile culture up to now few years? To Khyzyl Saleem, or ‘The Kyza’ to most, who had his crazy-wide, LTO-kitted E36 BMW on display, “Rollhard is sort of a holiday for me. A relaxed vibe with my favourite people, featuring a few of my favourite builds from across the UK.”
Mica Dori meanwhile had her previously-featured Mercedes-Benz 190 E on display, now running and driving, and with someway even more custom engraving. “With Rollhard, it looks like everyone has come here for a similar reason. Nobody’s here for a separate ‘clique’, or for a separate stand. Everyone’s here as one, to ask questions and to reply questions on their very own cars and everybody else’s. I also think that aesthetically, it’s a implausible location because there’s such a various alternative of backdrops which is glorious. Oh, and the individuals who run it are lovely!”
To focus on the variety of Rollhard, I’ll log out with my favourite vehicle of the event. This stunning chopper with a metal-flake tank and an air-cooled Yamaha twin in its frame.
Good cars, good music, good food and a stunning vibe. It’s no surprise that folks sing Rollhard’s praises.
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