RollHard 2016: The Show, held in Essex, was a bit of a wild card for me this year. I hadn’t been to a show quite like it before so when it was suggested by a friend I jumped at the chance. It isn’t the type of show I grew up going to – that was reserved for beautiful classics, nippy British touring cars and the like – but it is the kind of show I should have gone to as soon as I learnt to drive. There is so much inspiration there, in the cars, the owners, even just the general vibe.
Or perhaps the fact that I didn’t have this inspiration is for the best, as I would have ended up with a very ‘experimentally’ modified 1992 Peugeot 106; a sight that the road (and my dad) could probably have done without.
RollHard 2016 The Everyman’s Show
Classics, while beautiful, revered and full of history and character, are usually expensive, require a lot of upkeep and special attention by default. They’re not as accessible, affordable or practical to own as say a a VW Golf, a Ford Fiesta or a Renault Clio are to most of the population, which admittedly is frustrating for any members of the younger generations who would love a classic to pamper, like me.
This is where RollHard 2016 comes in. While walking around I could see that you don’t have to have bags of cash sitting pretty on your hand-stitched leather interior to be in the spotlight. Nor do you have to have a Lamborghini or Ferrari to be noticed. There are of course extremes in every case – there were some darn pricey and expensively modded models there – but it wasn’t part and parcel of the deal. To me, it felt like everyone and anyone could get involved.
It was the older generation of cars that really caught my eye. The 90s hatchbacks, 60s campers, old pick ups, all proudly owned and doted on in their own unique way. Nowadays’ throwaway attitude does frustrate me, and this extends to cars too. The number of newer cars you see in scrapyards, carrying only minimal problems is saddening. So when I see a car on the road over 10 years old that’s managed to escape these crushing clutches I always give it a silent cheer.
At RollHard they take it leaps and bounds further, restoring, improving, modifying, and just enjoying their car. Some of the cars were especially crazy, definitely an acquired taste. But after seeing how much the owners loved them, I was completely on-board.
As shows go this was on the more social end of the scale which I will make more of next year. We even got the chance for some much needed Honda Civic appreciation chatter involving my beloved Type R.
Setting the RollHard scene was Cressing Temple Barns in Essex, a collection of classically kept old farm buildings that really showed off the shining chrome and paintwork of the cars just by complete polar opposite contrast. I anticipate RollHard being a permanent fixture in the motoring calendar for me and I look forward to visiting next year. But enough words; take a look at the rest of the gallery below.