Words & Photography: Michal Fidowicz
Where do I begin with this one? Without a doubt, the Players shows are one of the most anticipated car shows on the calendar, with Players Classic taking place earlier on in the year and the main Players show usually taking place in September. This year however, was a bit more special than ones in the past. With this show being the Players 10th anniversary, everyone was excited to see what the Players guys had up their sleeves and the queues to get into the North Weald airfield (the show ground) started from as early as 6:00 in the morning. Will and I arrived around 9:00, so by then the show was alive and kicking. Little did we know the car that got us to the show, wouldn’t be the one taking us home… but more on that later.
Before I get on with the pictures, I’d highly recommend watching our film from Players!
The Players show holds personal significance to me as back in 2014 Players 8.0 was the first car show of this nature that I attended. It was also the show I decided to take my mum’s old DSLR camera along to, and it was right there at North Weald airfield where I found out how much fun it was to run around and snap every car which interested me. So coming back for the third year in a row, now with the intentions to document the event for you on top of seeing my car friends, was exciting to say the least.
Now before you get bored with my rambling, let’s kick off the photos with my car of the show. Some of you may know that I’m a massive E36 fan, with Gaz Smith’s blue E36 saloon being our car of the show at Gravity. This time round, a car that really stood out to me was Carlos’ Alpine White E36 Coupe. The car sat so well at the airfield, and every little touch on the car such as the darker headlights and the LTW wing added up to make what every BMW enthusiast would appreciate as well done E36. Not to mention that the car is just so photogenic in every way. Shame Carlos was leaving just as I started filming for the Players Film.
On the subject of photogenic cars, the Rollhard stand had an immaculate display of cars. Alex’s E46 took centre stage, and was backed up by Chris’ static Lexus IS300 sitting on fresh Work wheels and Nath’s new Subaru Impreza WRX Wagon. The pair of TTs finished off the stand perfectly.
The hangars housed cars with golden tickets, which were handpicked by the guys organising the event. It’s no surprise to find that the cars in the hangars and in front of the main stage were some of the best builds in the UK. Last year some people mentioned that the hangar was a little cramped, so this year the number of cars was cut. If anything, this meant I had more space to mess about with my camera…
Gaz’s E36 was getting a lot of attention during the show. We can definitely see why.
The two cars that really stood out to me however were the two bugs from HRAutoworks. We’ve known Jake and Ben since the start of this year’s car season, but I feel as if my photos don’t do these cars the justice they deserve. HRAutoworks just released a short film of their workshop which I highly recommend seeing (you can do just that by clicking here.) We’re actually working closely with the guys on our (Sonny’s) very own project, but we’ll have more details on that later on in the year. Definitely one to watch out for.
The other hanger was home to the Airlift performance stand, as well as other handpicked cars. As you can imagine, the theme from the other hangar continued and the quality of builds on display here was also in a league of its own.
The biggest part of the show however was the outside show and shine area. Here, anyone could turn up on the day and enter their car into the competition. Speaking of which, the organisers this year decided to implement the judging system used in the Polish show Raceism. The concept behind this was simple and effective. The judges chose their top 16, and from then decided the order of the list live on stage by pitting two cars up against each other which eventually narrowed it down to 2 cars, from which a winner was chosen. The crowd watching this process was massive, so it’s clear that people enjoyed watching the award contest.
Anyway, here are some of the cars from the outside area which personally stood out to me.
Now remember earlier I mentioned about arriving to the show, and going home in two different cars. Well, William’s £100 Nissan Micra decided to spit all of its oil out literally outside the show venue. The noble stead served us proudly, and covered a surprising amount of miles under Will’s ownership. However the time had come and the engine simply shat itself. If you saw our Players film, you’d have seen the clip at the end of us stranded by the side of the road. We were literally stranded without breakdown cover at the side of a fast blind corner, so the situation was quite sketchy. A few people drove past and pulled over to offer help, but obviously there was not much that could have been done. However luck was on our side and Connor and Ben pulled over to give us a hand. Ben even pulled over and climbed onto the curb with his show winning beetle on the trailer. In the end, we got a pen from Ben and wrote down a note of what happened, taped it onto the window of the Micra and pushed it up the curb. Legend has it that the Micra is still outside the venue, whilst others say that Will got some blokes to collected it and take the cursed thing off to a scrapyard. All I know is, that I’ll never see a Micra with a comedy “No Fu*king Airlift” sticker on the back window like that ever again. We climbed into Connor’s 190E and got the lift of shame home along with Connor’s cousin Ashley (who made a wicked film for Players too, which you can find here) and Connor’s girlfriend Katie. It wasn’t all bad however, as I managed to get myself some cooking lessons booked with Ashley and Will now has an eyebrow plucking appointment with Katie.
Here’s the 190E in question.
We met some cool people at Players too, such as the guys behind LUHO FILMS, Kemal who owns the Martini Polo and Hayden from the black Lupo. We also saw caught up with some old faces like Luke from the Punto and Tom from the MK3 Golf which we pictured earlier. All in all, Players was amazing, and despite the crappy ending we definitely had a good time. The show may have only taken place 2 days ago, but I’m already looking forward to attending next year’s one. The Players guys really do know how to host a show.
As always, I’ll leave you with the rest of the photos.
Thank you for reading!