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Event

SEMA 2017 – Does America Do It Better?

23rd November 2017 — by Mike Newland

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SEMA 2017 – Las Vegas, Nevada

For anyone who hasn’t heard of SEMA, it’s an automotive mecca to which thousands travel every year. Featuring some of the most highly tuned and modified cars, unreleased prototypes and a lot of lifted trucks.

SEMA Show 2017

SEMA Show 2017

For the UK car show fans, think Autosport International at the Birmingham NEC. However you could fit that entire show in one hall at SEMA and still have room for more. It also contains a huge trade section, selling almost anything you could want for a car.

SEMA Show 2017

Just in case you were after a truck to carry your dirt buggy you can find that here also. Along with a selection of other amazingly prepared off road vehicles. Ranging from competition trucks to crazy builds just for the sake of it.

SEMA Show 2017

SEMA Show 2017

SEMA Show 2017

The car of the show for me was the new 301 MPH Hennessey Venom F5. Featuring a super light weight carbon fibre body, weighing in at just 2,965 lbs. With its twin turbo V8 engine it develops 1600 horsepower.

SEMA Show 2017

SEMA Show 2017

SEMA Show 2017

If the Venom doesnt do it for you, then you can take a look at a massive range of super cars. From Bugatti, Ferrari, the stunning Mclaren P1 and everything else in between.

SEMA Show 2017

SEMA Show 2017

SEMA Show 2017

Lets suppose drifting and gymkhana are more your sort of thing. On display this year was Ken Blocks stunning Hoonicorn V2, along with Baggsy’s new Nissan GTR, which those of you at this years Goodwood Festival of Speed would have already seen tearing up the fabled hill climb. Ken Blocks new Escort Cosworth was also proudly on display.

SEMA Show 2017

SEMA Show 2017

SEMA Show 2017

Literally having something for every car fan amongst us, after walking around the static displays you can check out some live action. From drifting in the centre area to off road buggy’s.

SEMA Show 2017

SEMA Show 2017

There is something for everyone at SEMA and I cant wait to go back again!

Words & Pictures – Mike Newland

Event

Players 11.0

27th September 2017 — by Dave Cox

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Welcome to the players 11.0

This is the second Players Show of the year and this time it takes place at North Weald Airfield in Essex.

An early morning wake up call and quiet drive through London’s South and East boroughs, I was on the way to Players. I still get a little excited about car shows like this. Especially due to the massive success of Players Classic. I never really know what to expect.

Pulling into the airfield I could see a busy car park and hear low rumblings from people displaying their ICE tech. I wasn’t sure that in car entertainment was still a thing but apparently it is.

The organisers always seem to choose a venue that allows them to express themselves effectively. As a result, you are guided effortlessly around the venue, rather than being overwhelmed by a mass of vehicles, at least that’s the plan.

Event

Players Classic

4th July 2017 — by Dave Cox

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If you had to visit one car show a year, without question, it would have to be Players Classic.

I would say it is probably one of the most coveted on our British calendar. You don’t have to go far online or Instagram to get a good idea as to why. Even still when I visited Goodwood Motor Circuit in June this year, my expectations were met and subsequently surpassed. This was without doubt, my favourite car show.

Event

Autosport International 2017

23rd January 2017 — by Dave Cox

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Seeing as I have never attended the Autosport International show before, I had no idea what to expect.

I mean, I had a good idea, the vast halls of Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre were to be filled with a cross section of motor-sports finest offerings. So there was going to be cars. And seeing as this was a public event, there was bound to be people too.

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We started the day, or at least I did at 4:30 in the morning. I set off to rendezvous with other Fueltopia members, Phil ‘Paps’ McCusker and Kim Pham as well as a few other friends at the Ace Cafe at 6am before setting off in search of food and coffee. As the NEC loomed closer, the sun came up and caffeine started to finally take hold, we started to speculate as to what we might find in these great halls.

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First port of call was our own Fueltopia stand displaying offerings from Fueltopia Barrel Sprint, European Burnout Championship and Formula G. It was so good to see us with such a large presence, all three are our own sports  that we are proud of and it is nice to see them growing so well. Our staff were on hand to offer advice and encourage people to get involved with variety of grass roots motor-sports. Literally all you need to get involved is a valid European driving licence.

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You may also recognise this BMW that we featured a few weeks back. It was great to see it receive so much attention on the stand.

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Back to the show itself. Like many of you, my winter in the UK involved more booze and food than it did cars. Autosport provides a nice platform to spark enthusiasm and make plans for the coming year. It serves the public with big, bold and brash displays whilst giving plenty of opportunities to industry folk to discuss future plans and forge new alliances. My right hand spent as much time taking photos as it did shaking the hands of new acquaintances.

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Plodding through the vast hall in a zig-zag manor I found myself feeling overwhelmed with excitement and fear or missing something, much like a kid in a toy store. There was literally something for everyone here, from precision race cars to purpose built show cars. I felt a sense of guilt as well, as one stand tries to outdo the other you feel you might bypass something really special. A sense of regret at not spending more than one day there.

 

For instance you could spend a whole day pouring over the intricate details of both modern and historic Formula 1 cars. I may be biased towards the older generation of cars with their raw lines but their modern counterparts are dripping with details dreamt up by the world’s best engineers.

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Keeping an eye open on social media, I have already spotted a few cars that I completely missed. Most regrettably is the new Honda NSX – a car that I know pretty well as I did the online configurator for it, I am still yet to see one in person.

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However one car did stop me in my tracks, it isn’t the most flashiest of cars there but I was overcome with the urge to sit in it and go tearing down some back roads. It was the Abarth 124 Rally. It is undeniably cute, I really, really want one. We will show you a bit more about this car over the next week or so.

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The squadron of Group A Ford Sierra RS500’s left me a little shell shocked. Cars from the ’80s have a special place in my heart. Judging by the constant buzz around them, I am sure I was not alone in thinking so.

 

Mmm whale tail heaven!

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Speaking of ’80s, this E30 M3 Rally car really caught my attention, I knew the shot I wanted, I even waited for about 5 minutes to get it. I was so enamoured that I completely missed the bagged E30 M3 right in front of me. That was equally as flawless. And this was much the same story as you walked around, you would look at one thing, and like a siren, you would be drawn to it, blinkered to stunning machinery around it.

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Eventually Phil & I dragged ourselves away from the automotive candy store and headed to the live show arena.

The hour long show was a true automotive mix bag ranging from Stock Cars to legendary Rally Cars to new concept GT cars.

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And whilst the show was entertaining, no one was showing off more than Liam Doran who was in full attack mode! With anti-lag on, he was putting on his own firework display.

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Coming in hot…

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…before disappearing in a cloud of smoke.

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (ShootingDave)
Additional Pictures: Phil ‘Paps’ McCusker