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Players Classic 2021

Two classic players head to Players Classic. And it was good!

Driftworks Lambo
The official Car of the Show needs no introduction

It’s been a strange old 15 months, so when Players Classic looked like it was still going ahead we had to pay it a visit, even if it was well outside the MAXERS sanctuary of Essex. Obviously, we had to convince Dan to leave his flat first, which was quite a mission considering the amount of crusty lockdown tissues he had to wade through. But he made it out, just.

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. Players Classic happens at Goodwood over two days and is a self-described melting pot of modified metal. It’s been happening every year for quite a while now and is firmly etched in the diaries of the cool kids. Strange that this was our first outing then! But we’d been to the other Players Show plenty of times, so our nose for sweet modified metal was certainly twitching.

We’ll let other people tell you about the vibe of the show and the venue. We’re here for the metal. And boy were there some highlights! These are our top ten:

1. Skyline GT-T

Imported a few years ago, the owner soon found out that some serious work was needed on this former drift car. It’s been off the road for most of his ownership getting the front end replaced and front arches beautifully tubbed (helps beat the rust problem with the original strut tops), plus a full engine rebuild. It’s ‘only’ running around 500bhp but could push more with an uprated gearbox. There was talk about changing the riveted rear wide arches for genuine GTR ones, but we wouldn’t change a thing. More menacing than being an 18-year old girl in a nightclub and seeing Dan strutting his way across the dancefloor to you.

2. Mercedes 190

It looks so simple, but the amount of work is epic. Full ground-up rebuild including tubbed front and rear arches, full weld-in cage, AMG brakes, centre-lock BBS RC alloys and an apparently ‘noisy as f*ck’ supercharger. It even had a single wiper conversion. Built by 187 Automotive this is about as good a Merc 190 as you’ll ever see. Hell, it may be about as good as a build you’ll ever see.

3. EG Civic

Low, clean and turbo-charged, this saucy little Civic bounced its owner all the way from near Land’s End to be at Players Classic. A self-built project that saw a perfectly good low mileage, one owner Honda get absolutely butchered. Brilliant.

4. JP Performance Mk2 Golf

Forget Kardashian’s ass or anything else that claims to have broken the internet. This is the thing that will stop Dan being able to access his favourite midget porn site for the next fortnight. Built by JP Performance, this is essentially Khyzyl Saleem’s Dimma/ R5 Turbo/ T16 render come to life. Some question whether it runs with the VR6 engine mounted in the back… but, screw it, it’s freaking awesome whatever.

5. The Tuning Store LTO BMW E30

When you came out of the tunnel under the track to the infield, this is the first car you saw. Talk about setting the tone. The first BMW E30 in the UK with the full Live to Offend styling, this thing is insane looking. We definitely weren’t offended by it… looks like they need to try harder! Check out The Tuning Store's site for more.

6. The 'Mexorcist’ Mk2 Escort

You could just restore a MK2 Mexico and wait for your big pay day when the soul-less car collectors come along to stick it in a temperature controlled facility. Or, you could be an absolute legend and rip it to pieces then rebuild it with a 550bhp Cosworth YB engine, BBS 3-piece split rims under wide arches, a 6-speed Quaiffe gearbox, carbon fibre everything and then blend in some JDM, NASCAR and drag styling points. Check out The Mexorcist on Instagram to see just how much of a legend the builder is!

7. Carl Taylor’s Mk4 Escort

Dan might enjoy ribbing me about this car being painted in the same Rubystone Red (pink) paint as my M3, but we all know mine was first. Actually, turns out there was an M3 convertible painted in it before mine… so, a big sorry to that guy. Anyway, it’s not a competition, which is a good job ‘cos I’d probably lose when Carrera Bodyworks and Carl Taylor are the opposition. Jez Boner of Carrera has a legendary Escort and builds them for others, and Carl Taylor (one of the Players founders) has built some of my favourite modified cars over the years. But this RS Turbo tops them all. Pretty much exactly how I would have built one (maybe some S1 arches) with so much detail. A definite Car of the Show contender.

8. Liberty Walk Supra

As far as we know this is the first Supra in the UK to wear a Liberty Walk kit and it was a big crowd-puller. Some people might be getting bored of this sort of style and the modifying of expensive out-of-reach cars (ok, it might just be us) but there was no denying the presence this thing had. Cool air tank set-up in the back to make it look almost like a rear-mounted engine too.

9. RB25 VW Beetle

We had to include at least one VW right. Beetles aren’t usual MAXERS fare as they generally driven by hippies and sound like they’re pebbling their pants. But this one, well, this one has so little Beetle left that it’s all good. The modified Beetle shell has been dropped on a drift-ready BMW E36 chassis with a Skyline RB25 engine up front. That’s good for a Jap-inspired 497bhp.

10. Jake Crouch's Pandem R32

Dan picked this 500bhp Pandem-kitted R32 as one of his favourites of the show, and it's not difficult to see why. It's so menacing yet so clean... a serious amount of work! Apologies to the owner for the mess Dan may have left on your paintwork.

Of course, these might be standout cars, but almost every car there was feature-worthy. And there were so many details to hone in on and engine conversions to savour – an LS V8 in an Escort Cosworth or twin turbo V8 in an E30. Take your pick!

They’re not very MAXERS but a few cars still peaked our interest. Tommy from Meguiars brought his Volvo Amazon that is obnoxiously loud, stupidly low and awesome, while the old Silvia and Mk2 Escort Harrier proved once again that simple can be very effective. You can see them if you click on the image below and have a scroll through (Dan's basically dumped every photo from the show there... so you won't miss much!)