Are you even retro though?
Retro cars are my thing. I love them, all shapes and sizes, good and bad.
A while ago I came across OhSoRetro (@ohsoretroevents) on Twitter & Instagram and started following. They spoke my language, were big retro car fans, had great vibe and a big following of like minded people. Perfect. I liked their philosophy so much I even bought some stickers, a key ring, and a t-shirt.
I’ve been following them for a while now and heard they were putting on a show for people like me!
You could be forgiven for thinking OhSoRetro was a pretty big organisation with corporate branding. I’m no one particular so wasn’t sure what response I’d get when I contacted them. I didn’t get the response I expected that’s for sure!
OhSoRetro is a guy, doing what he loves, with the help and support of his family, friends and of course his girlfriend. The clichéd but very appropriate descriptive is ‘run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts’.
The guy is Lee Collier who is just 23 years old and for any doubters out there, Lee’s classic and retro car pedigree is proven and unquestionable. His love of classics was passed down via the well trodden route, father to son. Lee and his dad share a huge passion and between them currently own 18 retro/classic cars including a ’62 Splitscreen Camper, ’86 VW Caddy, ’63 Wolseley 1500, ’30 Rover Light Six Fabric Body, ’72 Triumph Stag, ’75 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and many more.
Everyone involved in OhSoRetro shares the same passion and vision as Lee and they collectively work to make it as good as it can be, whether it’s arranging t-shirts, running to the post office, sorting out flyers or making tea, they work together to make it happen.
So what is the OhSoRetro Show?
“This isn’t just a classic car show and isn’t just about the cars its about a lifestyle its about a community of like minded enthusiasts and most importantly friends doing what we love. We build the cars, we drive the cars and we show the cars, we aren’t just in it to make money out of people, we are in it because we love it. Which I think is why it works” says Lee.
So how did it all start?
“I had to take a chance. I risked all my money putting on my own show. It was always going to be a test and with only a few months to make it happen (We started promoting mid July and the show was the end of September). I found a venue, roped in lots of help from all my friends and family and begged, borrowed and stole to pay for everything. The job I did the day before paid for half the toilet hire, I was borrowing money from my parents to pay the bands, and writing cheques on the day and asking people not to cash them for a few days. It was close. It costs more money than you can imagine to put on a show but it worked.”
Last year saw over 250 cars and 2,000 people turn up. Something Lee is very proud of and rightly so.
Organising an event of this size is no walk in the park. From dealing with the Council (land rental, traffic management, environmental health, risk assessments and more….) to site planning, there are so many little pieces of the puzzle to fit together.
“The biggest problem is financing,” says Lee. “Without big sponsors it’s difficult and costs add up very quickly. Venue hire, Public Liability, Toilet Hire, Bands, Marquees, fencing, trophies, paying the ambulance, rubbish disposal and even printing and sending tickets.”
So, after a challenging and successful first year, some generous offers from venues and offers of support from event promoters, Lee has decided to do it all again……but bigger and better this time.
Why would anyone want to go through this?
Lee has a simple and clear answer for that;
“I want to put on the best show I can. I want it to be something that I would enjoy. There are a lot of guys and girls around my age who are into retro & classic cars and I want to give them something to get excited about, something to feel involved in. 80s and early 90s cars are becoming very hot at the moment and there aren’t many shows that cater for them.”
This years OhSoRetroShow is on Sunday 27th September at Palm Bay Avenue, Margate, Kent, CT9 3PP.
After the success of last years show they expect over 400 cars and a lot of people.
There are 3 bands, a marching band, kids entertainment, trade stalls and some autojumble.
The Sinclair C5-Alive club are attending, retro BMXs (they are still looking for more entries) and some old school chopper bikes will be on display.
There are almost 20 clubs booked including the Medway Monkeys and the Essex RSOC and their own interpretation of a Show & Shine competition with prizes awarded to whatever turns the judges on. There are awards for the top 10 and a few special prizes.
OhSoRetro merchandise will be available with some new unseen t-shirts, hoodies and more being released at the show.
Tickets can be prebooked on the website www.OhSoRetro.co.uk or purchased on the gate.
If you have a pre 1990 car that you would like to show entry is £7.50 inc all occupants. Otherwise entry is only £5 per adult with under 16s going free.