Such simple questions are rare. The annual event, nay - the Premiere event, for Trophy owners was as popular as ever. Interest in the Weekender had continued to rise prior to the event and this resulted in a fantastic turnout whence it came to be. Yet again, the organisers had put together something that all would enjoy and the appearance of new faces, alongside those seen in previous years, was refreshing and very much welcomed.
Personally speaking I do still find it a little sad that these superb cars are becoming an increasingly rarer sight on our roads. With this humble car still enjoying a period of mild appreciation the Trophy faithful have seen a few cherished examples end up in private collections, where they are stored and garaged as potential investments. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I feel that these people really are missing out on something special. It's hard to explain what it is exactly but, at the right time and in the right place, the results can be spectacular. Thank goodness there are still more than a few Trophy owners out there who love nothing more than getting out in their cars and spanking them along some of the finest tarmac that Wales has to offer.
2017 was the third year that The Weekender had been held and the late-September weather wasn't great as owners began to gather under threatening skies for the start. Thankfully, this was only short-lived as better conditions would soon be forthcoming. With all expected attendees accounted for, the Weekender was a goer!
With the sporty Clio generally seen as a younger person's car it was surprising to see many owners who were, shall we say, 'a few more years advanced' than the demographic might suggest. Even so, they had deep-rooted pride and enthusiasm for their cars and this was obvious to anyone who was there. As petrol heads, the group collectively owned various impressive vehicles back home in their garages. Porsche GT3's, Cayman GT4's and other exotica all shared precious garage space with the humble 182 Trophy. The fact that owners were as happy to pick up the keys to their Trophys as they were to take the keys of their pricier stablemates, well... need I say more? Even in the modern motoring world you would be hard-pushed to find a car that excels like the 182 Trophy on the types of roads that the Weekender covers. It may be far-removed from the world of the current super hot-hatch, but the Trophy still punches well above its weight and it - in many eyes - is a 'super' hot-hatch.
The Weekender naturally involves a significant amount of driving and time in the car, but to focus on that alone would mean missing out on a key part of the event - the social interaction and friendliness of those involved. It makes the weekend all the more special. Owners turned up with partners, their young families and with friends; many came from far afield. The Trophy Welsh Weekender really highlights how strong and positive a car community can be. Ultimately it's as much about the people as it is about the cars. The 2018 event is already in the planning stages... and I can't wait.
Oh, I nearly forgot... Yes. It was a great success!
If you would like more information about the 2018 Weekender, or about the Clio 182 Trophy in general, then there are a couple of places I would recommend you take a look (I'm not in anyway endorsed by, or have any affiliation with, the sites I mention but they have been extremely helpful over the years). There is the Clio Trophy Forum (which holds the Owners' Register - where you can often read more about the history of each unique car) and there's a Facebook page as well.