It’s unlikely that Gary Hall, chairman of the Damn Yankees American Car Club, will be allowed to retire from his post – something he’s threatened to do for a number of years – if the 2018 running of the ever popular Summer Slam is anything by which to judge.
Attendance at the Epping Forest District Council-owned North Weald Airfield venue close by the M11 was of the bumper turnout variety, obliging the Yankees’ crew to hastily arrange two entrance lines in order to allow show participants and spectators alike to get in without undue queuing along Merlin Way.
It was encouraging that there were quite a number of vehicles outside before the gates were opened at 9am…and visitors kept on coming in pleasing numbers from then onwards. Once inside the sprawling acreage of grass and Tarmac, those who came along to support their particular car club were parked up on the parched greensward and entries for the show ’n’ shine were lined up along the site’s asphalt perimeter. With a bumper turnout of hundreds of cars, trucks and rods,it was none too easy for the small team of judges to decide who won what when the time came to hand out trophies at the end of the afternoon.
Be that as it may, while the serried ranks of shimmering sheet metal were being subjected to close scrutiny by arbitrators and spectators alike, there was an eclectic variety of trade stands to wander around, no shortage of food stalls, face painting and entertainers for the kids, plus a most welcome beer stand for adults to slake their thirst. And with the thermometer nudging 30 degrees Celsius it would be fair to say that supping a bevvy or two during the course of the day’s activities was a popular choice for attendees, more so when kicking back and enjoying nostalgic notes that were being pumped out by The Reflections, who played sets of golden oldies from noon onwards.
Arena events included a lunchtime influx of assorted vehicles about which commentator John Price quizzed respective drivers – in the process enlightening both himself and onlookers leaning on the surrounding safety barriers –followed a little later by a fire-up from a gathering of street and strip machines brought along to liven up proceedings.
The event was brought to its customary conclusion before 4pm through distribution of Mustang Maniac-sponsored trophies – 11 in total – just leaving Damn Yankees members to clear up, thankful that the 32nd annual affair was seemingly well received by nigh on one and all.