Thursday, April 15, 2010

GTI Spring Festival, Santa Pod

A busy event featuring some exceptional cars, both in the show’n’shine and out on track!

The GTI Spring Festival at Santa Pod over the weekend was a cracking way to start the outdoor VW show season. The rain stayed away (unlike at the Easter Thunderball a few weeks previously) although a cold wind meant that many show-goers went home with the characteristic red and sore weatherbeaten “pod face” that marks out many a Santa Pod visitor.

The event was very busy right from the start - we spent a good 20 minutes or so queuing to get in at 9am - the show’n’shine area filled out very quickly and the club areas were packed with interesting motors.

The track saw plenty of action, notable retro-cars included Andy Waite’s 4x4 Mk1 Golf which ran a series of 9-second quarter mile times, James Hodson’s Mk2 Golf with new slicks managed a 10.5 and Paul Jordan’s stunning Mk1 Scirocco Storm looked fantastic in the new colour and Berg-Cup style aero bodywork.

Although most of the cars there were non-retro there was still plenty of interest for the lover of the older watercooled VW. Some very nice Mk1 Golfs, a Santana (unusual sight these days) and some very straight Mk1 Sciroccos stood out amongst the more modern machinery. Favourites of the day for me were:

P4111776 (by retromotoring)

P4111958 (by retromotoring)

P4111959 (by retromotoring)

Paul Jordan’s Mk1 Scirocco Storm looking sensational on the track.

P4111784 (by retromotoring)

Inspired choice of wheels on this Mk3 Polo – from a Renault Espace!

P4111823 (by retromotoring)

The driver of this Oak Green Mk2 Golf certainly got value for money out of his RWYB fee, getting plenty of 12 second runs in throughout the day and entertaining the crowd with some huge burnouts.

Of all the different one-marque “scenes” the VW one is definitely the most fashion conscious and style-led and it’s always interesting to compare the trends here in the UK to what’s happening over in Europe. The flourescent wheel paint is still a strong theme this year, as is the fashion for stickering up wings and/or windows with various clothing and style logos. Rusty bonnets are still strong but there didn’t seem to be many stretched tyres about. Lots of stuffed toys or other random items tied to towing eyes but noticeably fewer roof racks for 2010. With the huge Woerthersee event now less than a month away I’ll be there with a keen eye to spot what has transferred across to the continent and what is likely to be brought over here!

The full gallery of my pictures is now online here!

The next main watercooled VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda event at Santa Pod is VAGFest in the summer.

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