"Another Xtreme Weekend"
The Xtreme Wheels Show, Alexandra Palace, London, 25th to 26th February 2006
Report and pictures by Richard Stirling
Click here for the FULL PICTURE GALLERY
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The third running of the Xtreme Wheels Show was an extremely successful affair. It is clear to anyone having visited the previous two shows, that the event is getting better each year, as if like an excellent bottle of wine. The crowds on Saturday were noticeably up and the quantity and quality of the exhibits had again improved over the previous years. The efforts of the show promoters, Obsession Motorsports, again show the supreme hard work and organisation behind this major event and the net result was a superb show, crammed full of exhibits and everyone had a great time.
The main exhibition hall was packed with many exhibits, as usual, but in a change towards more 'live action' events, there were multiple vehicles at the far end of the hall which pleased one and all with their wild 'jumping' suspension. The legendary commentator and presenter, John Price, hosted the shows which, on one occasion when I was watching, included one car bouncing so much it dislodged some of its six(!) batteries in the boot which promptly shorted against the bodywork and instantly had some mini flames licking about the boot lid! John, of course, calmly carried on commentating - mentioning that the frenzied activities of the crew was to deal with nothing less than a 'little problem'. Always the under-stator... (and lifetime hero of mine!)
Santa Pod raceway again had it's splendid stand in what has to be considered as the prime spot in the show. The promotional material was being lifted nearly as quickly as Darren Prentice (on Saturday) and Rick Cuthbert (Sunday) could fill the display stands. The Wide screen TV and 2005 FIA Drag Racing series DVD's were proving popular all weekend. The Santa Pod Top Fuel Dragster has recently gone through a most impressive overhaul. The past couple of years outside have been hard on the car and it's original blue paintwork, but this time Santa Pod have really gone to town. The entire chassis appears to be powder-coated from nose to tail (if not, it's the best chassis paint-job I've ever seen) and the wonderful new red paint scheme has been beautifully executed. It really does look track-ready. This will be a magnet for race fans for many moons to come. The Santa Pod Funny car, positioned in the Palm Court entrance lobby looks in equally tip top condition as it's Top Fuel brother. I thought it was a pity that Gordon Smith couldn't make it to the show to have his picture taken by the car that bears his name, but never mind.
Two time FIA Top Fuel Champion, Andy Carter, had his trailer and Top Fuel dragster on show for the whole weekend. In contrast to last year, when Andy was suffering with Flu, he was looking as fit as a fiddle and was looking rather Regal and very business-like in his suit on Saturday. Of course, this year, the Top Fuel operation is expanded to a two-car Top Fuel team for B&Q Power Tools. Andy will be driving Rune Fjeld's Spitzer Dragster which he has driven for the past two years and Rob Turner will be driving Andy's own ex-Pelle Lindlow and ex-Cory MacLenathan dragster which was last seen in anger on the track in 2003. I look forward to being able to get a picture or two of them side by side on the track! When I visited Andy at his trailer, despite his busy schedule, he kindly took the time to make me an excellent cup of tea - which I was most grateful for, as I was gasping for a drink. Top man! Good luck for the coming season, Andy!
I was really impressed by the number and quality of cars and when it comes to making a decision as to the car of the event, I am pulled towards the purebred racers and then pulled back to the street rods.... Difficult decisions! In the end, I have to go with a car that means a lot to me as a close friend had one the exact same year and we had much fun cruising around in it for miles around. The Car: the lime green 1963 Ford Thunderbird: "My Car of the show award".
To take a tour of the Xtreme Wheels 06 show, please take a look at the full photo gallery. I make no apology for certain items appearing more than once, but I hope you enjoy taking a look at what was happening by clicking just here.
See you at the track soon!