So we all have that “friend” the one who is taller, younger, and fitter and to top it off has a cleaner car. Now a lot of this is down to my own doing, okay I can’t help being born in the 70’s but my ever growing waste line is in direct competition with my brain screaming at it to eat chocolate.
So naturally when it came to meeting up for a convoy to run up the M3 to Straight out of Kempton, Tom (that friend) had cleaned his car, hoovered it and was at the M3 services before me…
So after a quick chit chat it was off on the M3 to go catch up with the rest of the R32 gang. Tom has a newly installed set of sports cats on his R32 so it sounds bloody awesome under load. It’s always a pleasure to sit behind him and listen when he opens the old girl up for a little excitement.
We catch up at the local supermarket for some coffee with the rest of the crowd, I think there were close to 15 R32’s in all. A quick inspection of each other’s cars and then we set off for what has become a staple event in most people’s diaries.
#St8outakepton is in its 2nd year now and Aaron (organiser) likes to change this up each year to keep the show fresh and current. Over the last few years the show has seen good weather and on this weekend it wasn’t going to be any different.
So we had a short queue to get in and just before entering we had to show our tickets to Aarons Mrs, I think she wears the trousers as she was on ticket and security detail LOL. Also we were presented with a flyer as we entered by Aaron’s daughter, who I think is the cutest and most polite little girl ever. After receiving my flyer I said thank you, and was told “you’re very welcome”. As a dad myself your heart just melts.
So enough of the heart tugging nonsense, on to “man stuff”!! Well sort of, that nagging voice of Tom and "aint you going to clean your car" became all too familiar.
Now I have never been a show and shine pony, cars are for driving and driving hard when the opportunity arises and of course if safe to do so. “BUT” as I am on the R32 stand with the rest of the gang a little bit of effort is a must.
So after the begrudgingly cleaning the car, and having messy hands, I try my best to clean them off before touching the camera and the lenses. Settings on the camera done, filter on, battery fully and memory card formatted and in camera. Right let’s get to work.
So the layout of the show has changed a little this year. The main stage and PA system was towards the top of the showground, with the show and shine located in front of the stage and the surrounding area. Internally you had some traders and a lot of stunning show cars, from Mustangs, vintage Peugeot GTi’s, MK3 Golfs, 5 series BMW’s and plenty more to fill your eyes.
External to this was another section full of stunning metal and plenty of space to show them off. That’s one thing I do love about this show, is that cars can “scene park” to show them off to their full advantage. Far too many shows have cars parked in row after row, yes I do realise there has to be some order but from a blogging and photography side of things, its far more interesting for the pictures to have cars in the background and a decent back drop compared to a lovely looking car squeezed in to a gap between two other cars. This for me is just a nightmare to shoot because it limits my creative nature.
There was a good selection of cars from other manufacturers this year. A strong Jap attendance, it was really good to get an insight into their world. A very large contingent of BMW’s, some stunning Old school Mercedes, some very annoying new Mercedes owners and some American muscle and Chrysler 300 large things. Not my cup of tea but then someone has to own them I suppose LOL.
The elephant in the room unfortunately was that Players Classic had moved its dates to the same weekend as this show. That said though there was a huge amount of support for the show. Yes there were a few open spaces that could have been filled, but the show drew in its key audience and most definitely succeeded. Speaking to Aaron after the show had finished via FB messenger he was happy with the turnout and how the show has progressed.
I am of the same opinion, a show of this size and popularity, can sometimes have a hump in the road on the way to sweet success. I for one will be supporting the show long into the near future and there are many who share my enthusiasm not only for the show but also for the effort Aaron and the team go to, to get such an event this popular is such a short time.
If you have yet to dip your toe into the calm waters of Straight out of Kempton, book some time in your diary for next year.