Events and Meets

Stars of the Haynes International Motor Museum

With over 400 cars and motorbikes, the Haynes International Motor Museum in Somerset is packed with variety. These were some of our highlights on a recent visit.

Haynes International Motor Museum

First opened in 1985, the Haynes museum features 15 themed exhibitions, covering early motoring to modern supercars. We’ve broken down our photo highlights broadly in line with the layout of the museum so, without further delay:

The main halls include a range of French and German machinery, with certain exhibits guaranteed to excite motoring journalists. A brown Saab next to a Citroen 2CV, for instance…

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Photo Gallery – 2016 Newcastle NE1 Motor Show

Following the success of the first event in 2015, the NE1 Motor Show was back in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the weekend. ESM went along to see what was new.2016 NE1 Motor Show Ford Mustang GT 001

New for this year was typical North East weather of grey skies and rain. Not perfect, but it did bring back memories of Goodwood from a fortnight previous at least. Seeing a Porsche 911 GT3 Rs and 718 Boxster S, both painted in Lava Orange, at the foot of Grey’s Monument did help brighten things up somewhat. Noticeable was the lack of representation from some marques seen at the 2015 event such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Nissan. As an event backed primarily by dealerships, recent restructuring in the North’s big dealer chains might be the reason why. But, regardless, there was still a decent selection of new metal on show:

Further down Grey Street was an array of modern and classic cars which, if we were being lazy, we could probably have just substituted our photos from last year for. Suffice to say lots seemed familiar, even down to the place and order in which they were parked. What did stand out this year was the love for the Ford Mustang. Both new and old, almost every shape of Blue Oval-wearing pony car appeared to be represented.

It’s worth remembering that the NE1 Motor Show is free, and designed to get people into the centre of Newcastle. Given the crowds present, despite the inclement weather on Saturday, it seems to have certainly succeeded again this year. We’ll look forward to 2017 – just surprise us by mixing the order up a little!

Hot Rods @ The MetroCentre 08/08/2012

The MetroCentre is known for lots of things; being the biggest shopping centre in the UK, having a huge 3D IMAX screen in its Odeon cinema and for not actually being connected to the Tyne & Wear Metro. But as a meeting place for some of the North East’s finest American and classic cars? This was news to my ears.

Hot Rods, as it is known, has been running for a number of years despite various attempts to stop it happening. The second Wednesday of every month during the summer sees a range of American muscle, classic British and anything and everything in between descend on the retail park. Following a tip-off from a petrolhead colleague, I decided to head down and take a look what all the commotion was about.

Naturally, I left the Polo a fair distance away and walked over. Wandering through the car park leading towards Toys-R-Us and McDonald’s (those two American icons) it was obvious something car-related was going down. The revving of engine, the smell of exhaust fumes and the random performance and modified cars dotted around signalled we had hit the right place. With such an array of motoring delights on offer, it’s perhaps easiest to let the pictures do the talking.

What I liked most about the meet was that various types, genres and ages of car mixed in together without prejudice or discrimination. As a casual observer, it was inspiring to see muscle car, Mini Cooper, Mazda MX-5 and others lined up together. It seemed more a celebration of enthusiasts, rather than a clique built around one marque or model. If you happen to be in the area next time it’s on, I would wholeheartedly recommend stopping by.

Editorial – Who Is The GFoS Really Aimed At?

A week on from the Festival of Speed and I have had the time to reflect on my experience at Goodwood. By now the magazines and websites have published their glowing reports of how it was the greatest event on the planet, offered unrivalled access and gave (journalists at least) the chance to drive iconic cars. Press accredited access is one thing, but what was it like for the regular punter.

This was the first time I’d attended the FoS since 2002, the first time I’d camped there and the first time I’d been free from parental influence. As such, it was the first FoS where I’d truly been conscious of the costs and efforts needed to attend. When you live in North-East England, travelling to West Sussex is not the work of a couple of hours. This was why ESM travelled down on the Wednesday night, stayed in a cheap hotel and got to Goodwood on Thursday lunchtime. Luckily ESM’s mate Dave has a Seat Leon FR TDi which meant the trip and fuel costs weren’t too horrendous. Plus I very much doubt we would have fitted all the assorted detritus into the boot of the Polo!

Trying to work out who the FoS is aimed at isn’t particularly easy. On one hand you have the Veuve Clicquot champagne bar, exclusive restaurants and cafes, the Cartier Style et Luxe exhibit and a drivers paddock sponsored by an investment firm. Along with this you have big stands from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Bentley and corporate hospitality seemingly packed despite costing around £500 a head for the cheapest seats. Blink, and at times it was hard to believe we’re in one of the worst economic situations the modern world has ever faced. Goodwood is about big money; the kind of money that gets richer during a recession. Where else would you see stands selling helicopters, private jets and bespoke carbon-fibre furniture. (more…)

ESM – Goodwood FoS Video Blog #1

As promised, here at the video highlights from EngageSportMode’s weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. I’m no Ron Howard, and was only using either an iPhone or fairly basic digital camera to record these. As such, the quality is not HD, but I feel it does still capture the noise and fury of the GFoS. Due to the unique way WordPress works, the videos are hosted via YouTube. Enjoy; ear defenders advised.

I shot quite a lot of video during Friday’s Michelin Supercar Run. We were down by the start line, which gave a great opportunity to film the cars coming off the line and powering towards the first corner. Here are some of the highlights:

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport (more…)

ESM – Goodwood FoS Photo Blog #3 Saturday

Following a wet night, and resulting wet tent, ESM set off for a third day at Goodwood. Naturally, being the weekend, Saturday was far busier than the preceding two days. Whereas earlier access to cars was pretty much unfettered, Saturday meant queuing up to try to get photos or see things. ESM took a tactical decision late on Saturday that, rather than risk several hours attempting to leave on Sunday afternoon, we wouldn’t bother with the fourth day of the Festival.

This meant Saturday was the last on track action we saw; neatly topped off with the fireworks display to celebrate the Festival of Speed Ball. Enjoy:

That’s all photo-wise from ESM at the Festival of Speed. However, expect some noisy video action and a more serious editorial piece soon.

ESM – Goodwood FoS Photo Blog #2 Friday

Friday is the first main day of the actual Festival of Speed. ESM spent the vast majority of it taking the long walk from the bottom of the paddock all the way to the rally-stage at the top of the hill. This is what we encountered along the way.

So that is Friday’s action covered. Come back for Saturday and video highlights soon.

ESM – 2012 Goodwood FoS Photo Blog #1 Thursday

Whilst the Festival of Speed “proper” doesn’t begin until Friday, Thursday plays host to the Moving Motor Show event. Designed to let the public get up close and personal with a range of new cars from Skoda and SEAT to Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari. Of note were the BMW M5’s which seemed to rev and crackle for fun, and sheer awesomeness of five Audi R8 V10 Spyders tearing up the hill one after another. Thursday is also the quietest day of the Festival of Speed, with not all garages and paddocks full with cars. The number of spectators is also lower, giving the early bird the chance to get close up with the vehicles on site without wading through a wall of elbows. ESM arrived on Thursday in sweltering humid conditions at around lunchtime. Once the tent was up and somelight refreshment taken onboard, we set off to explore. Below is a pictorial summary of what we found:

Stay tuned for further photo and video highlights from the other days of the Festival of Speed.

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012 – The ESM Review

Now that my hearing has started to recover, the sunburn has begun to fade and the numerous pictures and videos have been uploaded, I can now begin to make sense of the previous four days.

For the uninitiated, the Goodwood Festival of Speed (FoS) is an annual event which first began back in 1993. The idea is simple; legendary and iconic cars and bikes from the world of motorsport are invited to be hammered up the Earl of March’s drive, at his house in West Sussex, by the greatest riders and drivers from history. In addition, between runs up the hill the cars/bikes are displayed in simple awning-style paddocks with spectators able to get right up alongside them. The additional Moving Motor Show event has in recent years fundamentally replaced the traditional British motor show, with stands from leading manufacturers and new cars being unveiled. Have a look at this if you still happen to be in any doubt as to what the long weekend entails.

The event felt bigger than ever this year, with a sprawling exhibitor’s area, numerous special paddocks, off-road displays and the more recent rally-stage taking up huge acres of the Goodwood estate. Trying to fit all this into even four days is a challenge, given the vast array of distractions both on and off the track. As a result, and for this week’s first FoS themed post, I’ve picked out my top five moments from the weekend.

ESM’s FoS Top Five

5. Ayrton Senna’s Lotus 98T

The 2012 Gerry Judah designed Lotus monument.

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