A Different Kind of Event : Roadkill Show at EBC Brakes, Northampton

It’s funny. I never thought I would ever see myself going to EBC for any reason at all; I never had a reason to. That was until two weeks ago when something would change that. The small announcement make by two blokes called David Freiburger & Steve Dulcich, stating that they would be hosting a small show at EBC in Northampton:

There were a few more crumbs dropped along the way but not much at all.

There was only one thing for me to do. Turn up. Given my crazily busy Saturday it was nice to have more a chilled day. Which is why I got up and ready to be there for 9am, an hour earlier: I had visions of parking miles away! But to be fair all was well and it was well time, especially since I got to meet up with Dean and check out what the fuss was about his Dodge Dart. This car is also for sale for £6500: Not bad for a quirky V8. Who said roadworthy American motoring was extortionate?

Coming along early however was no bad thing. I got to see a few familiar faces.  It’s always good to meet a very familiar face of Retro-Rides.

Since EBC stuck rigorously to only opening their doors at 10am we decided to have a scoot around the area surrounding EBC to see what cars were about. After all, a capped 200 car limit isn’t a lot of space within EBC’s grounds.

There was plenty of interesting stuff about mind you, and variety too! When have you seen a Dart, a clean Volvo 244 and a Nova all in the same place?

This Volvo was interesting: The queue was too that was already building up at the gates!

There was plenty of dedication from this Mini owner. Why? He took his bonnet off in order to get it signed by David Freiburger. More on that later…

The Roadkill theme was strong for sure! Just take this tidy Orion!  If it was any more obvious it could almost be the UK promotional car, with the Roadkill spirit showing.

Despite the eccentric and Roadkill themed cars, a clean looking Amazon made it down:

By the time we had our walk around the queue had grown. This was just before we were let in! Did someone say underestimate?

Before we knew it, we were in. And truth be told it was worth the wait. The hour long Q&A that the duo did certainly wasn’t lacking people. It was a very down-to-earth vibe, even with those who got the brief chance to meet them.

Now for the bit your have been waiting for. The cars. There were familiar Fords about:

German and Scandinavian machinery was there too:

The Volvo 960 looked to be running a Toyota 2JZ engine with the Mercedes W123 being on throttle bodies using a later twin cam engine:

One day I’ve love to build something like this from an old Ford. The Anglia had so many things right about it. Maybe one day I will build something like this.

The MX-5 Rear Wheel Drive Clubman. Or rather the MX-5 with a Clubman body ;):

Amazingly, that crowd was still present around the Engine Masters gang an hour after they started their question and answers session.  The end did not seem to be in sight with the audience absorbing the duo’s responses like a sponge:

As always Pipey McGraw’s triple rotor Wankel engined Jaguar E-Type was met with a mixed reception.  However, the controversy did not stop there.

What was met with an even more mixed emotions was the Dodge Charger.  This was down to the car having been fettled with by Diesel Pump UK.  But what would a diesel tuning outfit want with a Dodge Charger I hear you ask?  That’s simple.  This one was a sporting an increasingly popular engine swap ; a Mercedes OM606 Turbo Diesel engine as found in W210 Mercedes E-Classes.  Except this one was churning out a lot more power ; around 750BHP.

There was variety between marques too.  Take these two Fords.  One is a relatively standard car.  The Capri, not so much:

Unsurprisingly for the US hosts the American theme was certainly strong over here.  It was not however to say that the few Japanese cars couldn’t steal part of the limelight:

If anyone deserves a medal at the show it’s these two. David and Steve spent the entire day chatting briefly to people and signing autographs. This includes the autograph on a Mini Bonnet. Yes, the very same one that was at the start of this post. How many people were waiting?  A lot.

This rat-rod won car of the show. Not just down to its power plant or overall vibe but also for its backstory, as told by someone who knows Rogan, his brother who was the architect behind the project:

The rat rod was built as an after-school STEM project by some lads at a boarding school just outside Stourbridge, for the disabled brother of Rogan, the leader of the project. They started it when they were about 15 and they’re around 18 now I believe. It’s been down the track at Shakespeare County Raceway a few times, and also on display at Coventry Motor Museum. The looks tend to split opinion but you can’t deny it has an impressive backstory.

As a result the access was made much easier but also hand controls added in order to use it. As for the power plant it was a different take on a used ‘rodder’s engine:

Only towards the end of the day did the queue for the signatures before to ebb away:

As a treat I also got to chat to Jeff Lutz. Indeed, the same bloke who has done all sorts of drag racing! For someone well known in the drag scene (no, not that one!) he was a very genuine and levelheaded bloke. It was a real pleasure to chat to him. Fair play for him coming over as well and mingling in with the crowds:

Jeff Lutz

But again, a lot of props to David & Steve for finally coming over but also for signing stuff for the entire day! Elena was a great sport throughout the day dealing with a number of things that occur at such shows and was a great host.

Were there not enough pictures here for you?  Fear not.  There are plenty more over here which should keep you occupied for some time.



The M3 Makes it to Benidorm!


It was fair to say that I was lovely Valencia! Like a lot of Spain you find it hard to leave the great places ; the chilled atmosphere, great food and friendly people certainly do not help here! However, the next leg would leave me with a good reason to leave!

Valencia (16 of 18).jpg
Not a car you much of at all!  We came across this old Sierra just outside Valencia.  It was good to see it being used!

Leaving Valencia was like most other Spainish cities. Plenty of motorways with lots of heat. However, I never remember the speed limits changing quite so frequently as they did as I was experiencing on this trip! I guess its one way the Spanish could break up the monotony of motorway driving! Not that you really need it in an M3!

Benidorm Leg (1 of 8)
I had the car, I had the shades and the weather.  What more do you need?

However I soon saw another reason to keep myself awake. That was to turn off the A7 onto the CV790 heading towards Costa Blanca, or rather, Benidorm. This road soon renewed our vigour from a driver’s perspective. I can’t say that my passenger shared my enthusiasm on some of the bends where I enjoyed myself! It was a little like the Italian job pilot scene, albeit without the snow and the Lamborghini! I was loving many of the tight bends I was contending with but also the changing camber of the corners, even if they did catch me out on a few occasions! It’s times like these that you learn more about driving as well as about your car behaves itself!

Before we knew it we had arrived into the outskirts of Benidorm, ready to have a good night’s sleep, a few beers as what most people do on a holiday, relax! That said I did bring along another passenger for the trip, in the form of a bird that I unintentionally hit!

At this point the M3 would prove it’s worth as a practical car once again! With my friend’s car being strictly a two seater it was the car of choice whenever we left the house. Not a bad way to travel in the Spanish sun you could say! Naturally we spent most of the time just chilling out rather than driving!

Before we knew it we would be well rested and travelling back to the UK.  As always the M3 munched up the miles with ease as we cruised back doing a 2 night stop.  This involved going through the Pyrenees and many single cross country roads as well as towns, which broke up the scenery nicely initially.  It was also strange going through a tunnel where there was a 15 degrees temperature drop in comparison to outside!

It was fair to say that this trip have been epic!  So right on so many levels, yet with a lot of trepidation! It was a shame to be back home, but in another, also quite a relief given the baggage an E46 M3 comes with.  All in, the trip was superb and the car proved itself as a European tourer that can master many trades.  Here is to the next road trip of many!