Petrolheadonism Live 2022

Petrolheadonism Live is a huge car show held at the beautiful Tudor era stately home, Knebworth House.

The show brought together a wide variety of cars from some of the latest supercars, to classic American cars and even a celebration of the ‘Max Power’ era. All of which we’ll be exploring in this article.

As I came into the show from the car park, the stand I was immediately drawn to was Liberty Walk Europe’s.

The new ‘Super Silhouette’ kit for the S15 caused quite a stir when released. It’s a tribute to the Group 5 silhouette race cars of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

I actually really like it. Of course the S15 was made long after Group 5 was dissolved, but the styling suits the car in my opinion.

The Liberty Walk Works A90 Supra. I think we’re going to be seeing a few of these conversions in the coming years as the A90 becomes more readily available.

There were a handful of customer cars also on display. The Maserati particularly sparked my imagaination. It sports a great colour combo and really suits the LBWK wide arched look!

Just next door to LBWK were Autofinesse, the car care brand, who brought along a beautiful pair of VW Caddies.

I don’t really feature many Volkswagens on this site. There are some super clean cars in the VW scene and I hope I get the opportunity to explore the scene further in the future.

There were a few nice VWs in the show!

I’m much more familiar with VW’s subsidiary Porsche. There were quite a few different Porsches scattered about the show.

There weren’t many Mercedes on show.

This R107 was my favourite of the Mercs. The R107, like the Jaguar E-Type, is quite a hard car to modify without losing the original character of the car. The original AMG Penta wheels and skirting keep the period look of the car, and the gold pinstrip separating the two body colours, and matching the colour of the wheels, was a beautiful touch. The roof also had a very subtle lace effect in the paint. You could only see it if the sunlight hit it just right.

An exquisite car!

A more conservative R107. The red centre caps on the wheels are a nice touch.

Owning a stacked headlight Merc of some description is still on my bucket list.

A W202 estate! I’ve owned my C240 Sport for nearly 6 years now! You can read all about the bits I’ve done to it here: If I see one at a show it’s always going to be featured.

There was a nice little array of Fiats too. Again, Fiat aren’t really a brand that I feature much on here, but they’ve built some stunning cars over the years!

There were a number of classic European Fords scattered about. A fair few Cosworth Escorts and Sierras made an appearance.

This little Mk4 Escort is a cracking little useable classic car.

Ford GTs are a great bridge between European and American Fords as they have heritage from both divisions of the brand. There were a couple of third generation cars at the show, but we’ll get to those later.

The F150 Lightning from the original The Fast and the Furious.

There were literally hundreds of Mustangs. I believe Petrolheadonism was the biggest gathering of Mustangs I’ve seen, from newly supplied U.K cars to U.S imports. Here are a few of my favourites.

The first Mach-E I’ve seen in person. I’m not going to commit to a final judgement until I’ve been in one, but generally speaking crossovers and SUVs aren’t for me, especially from performance brands. However, I get that’s where the money is in the market, and from a business point of view I completely get why manufacturers are making cars like these. I’m sure Ford will do well with them!

Ford’s main rival Chevrolet had quite a representation! From classic cars to a C7 Corvette and even a NASCAR Camping World Seires truck.

My favourite of the American cars though were this gathering of Willys hotrods and dragsters. Old school drag racing is something else I’d love to go and see in the future.

Moving from one automotive super power to another. There were plenty of Japanese cars on display. Lots of Nissans and Datsuns. It’s hard to pick a favourite from these. The standard grey Z32 300ZX is a strong contender being a stock, manual example but all the others are really nice cars too! Which is your favourite?

Toyota executive cars are just wonderful. Crowns and Centuries, especially Centuries, have such a lot of presence.

Mk4 Supras and AE86s keep going up in value.

This GT86 is owned by a brand called Takona. Takona are a clothing brand who raise awareness of mental health. Check them out here:

Speaking of brands and social media. Tim from Shmee150 brought a load of his cars to the show. I believe this is my first time seeing a McLaren Senna and, possibly, a Ferrari SF90 in the flesh.

I’ve seen the STO in Tim’s videos and photos and to be honest I was never a fan of the purple and yellow spec. In person though, it actually looks really nice. The purple has quite a strong metallic flake to it. It’s quite hard to explain, but cameras just don’t do the colours justice.

Zach’s Garage also brought out a selection of cars including the stunning Koenigsegg Regera. This is only the second Koenigsegg I’ve seen in person after the Agera at Salon Prive and the London Concours.

There were plenty of other super cars scattered about the show.

Last but certainly not least we’re going to have a look at the Max Power Reunion.

I was a little bit too young to really be a part of this scene, but I do remember seeing the magazines on the shelf and seeing Mk3 Fiestas and Corsa Bs modified in this style when I was in junior school back in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

It’s had a bit of a resurgence lately, I’d like to think in part due to influencers like Monky London and Mighty Car Mods buying, restoring/rebuilding and enjoying cars of this era. It’s inspiring old owners to dust their old cars off and hopefully people who are about my age to think “oh yeah I remember that car from a magazine I had as a kid”, pulling it out of a garage and restoring it to it’s former glory.

I know these cars aren’t to everyone’s tastes, and I completely get that. It’s certainly not the sort of thing that I’d want to own myself but I have a lot of respect for the guys that do own and build these cars, as it’s a hugely influential part of automotive history that needs to be preserved and celebrated.

A couple of the cars that I really liked in this display were this Dimma kitted Peugeot:

This Astra convertible with period correct modifications.

Mr Pringles. I love the theme and the amount of work that’s gone into this is incredible. Such a creative build!

My favourite car in the Max Power Reunion, and infact of the whole of Petrolheadonism Live, was this Datapost BSCC Group A racing Ford Escort recreation.

The period racing livery, the immaculate engine bay, the wheels, just everything about this is spot on!

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By Richard Francis

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