China’s Thriving Car Culture: A Look into the Outdoor Car Retro Festival
Earlier this month, I had the chance to attend the Outdoor Car Retro (OCR) Festival at Zhejiang International Circuit in Shaoxing, China. I must admit that I didn’t have high expectations for the event, thinking it would be just another commercial gathering. However, I was pleasantly surprised by what I witnessed.
While China may not have the same rich motoring heritage as the United States or Europe, it is evident that automotive passion runs deep here. From classic cars to the newest models on the market, there is no shortage of enthusiasm for automobiles.
At the OCR Festival, the focus primarily lies on older cars, but there was a diverse range of vehicles on display. Highlights included a Jaguar E-Type, an RWB Porsche 993, a DeLorean DMC-12, and a Ferrari 348TS. These cars paraded down the circuit’s front straight, captivating spectators with their beauty and power.
One particular attraction that caught my attention was a race-spec Porsche tractor sporting the iconic ‘Pink Pig’ livery made famous by the 917/20 Le Mans racer. It was a unique sight and a reminder of the diverse range of vehicles that can be found at such events.
Among the many eye-catching vehicles on display, a standout was the Porsche 911 Speedster. This particular model was on loan from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart and featured a unique blend of vintage aesthetics and modern technology. With its widened rear bodywork and fiberglass rear deck, it truly embodied the spirit of retro car culture.
Another car that stole the show was the Subaru Impreza STi 22B. This JDM icon showcased its impressive performance capabilities and served as a testament to the growing popularity of Japanese sports cars in China. With its two sets of license plates (one from Hong Kong and one from mainland China), it was a symbol of the increasing interaction between the two regions in the automotive world.
In addition to the thrilling display of cars, the OCR Festival also featured various sub-events, including an ‘Elegant Racing’ competition. This Le Mans-style race challenged drivers to cross the finish line as close to 50 seconds as possible, adding an element of precision and strategy to the event.
But it wasn’t just about the cars. The OCR Festival was a complete experience, with food and merchandise vendors adding to the festive atmosphere. From mobile coffee and burger shops to vintage shift knobs and custom overalls from Japan, there was something for everyone.
One unexpected highlight of the festival was a stunning Porsche 934 sculpture by artist Benedict Radcliffe. This art installation, brought to China courtesy of Porsche China, showcased the intersection between automotive design and creativity.
The OCR Festival was a tangible example of China’s rapidly growing car culture. It is a positive phenomenon that reflects the increasing interest and appreciation for automotive heritage and innovation in the country. With each passing year, we can expect to see even more exciting developments in China’s automotive scene.
In conclusion, the OCR Festival provided a glimpse into China’s thriving car culture. From classic cars to modern marvels, the event was a celebration of automotive passion and creativity. As the interest in cars continues to grow in China, we can only anticipate even more remarkable displays of automotive excellence in the future.
– Stannum (SN431) Zhang