Festival of the Unexceptional

Smith and Sniff to Star at FOTU

by Nik Berg
18 March 2024 2 min read
Smith and Sniff to Star at FOTU

Jonny Smith and Richard “Sniff Petrol” Porter will take to the stage at the 2024 Festival of the Unexceptional to bring their unique brand of automotive entertainment to the crowds of mundane motoring fans.

The duo are promising a smorgasbord of silliness including a “Wheeltrim of Misfortune” quiz, a “Chod Swap Shop” and a live recording of their chart-topping podcast.

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“We are having a real Wheeltrim of Misfortune made, which will enable us to select quiz questions for the contestants that we’re going to have from the audience,” says Porter. “It’ll be a familiar format, but done in a car-centric way, taking a bit of inspiration from my Boring Car Trivia book series. So if somebody has memorised that, they’ve got a good chance, but also a good chance of damaging their brain in some way that medical science has yet to discover.”

The Chod Swap Shop takes inspiration from the classic kids’ TV show Swap Shop. “The plan is that we’ll both embrace our inner Noel Edmonds and we’ll invite people to bring along something that they want to swap for something else. Car-related preferably. If people start turning up with microwave ovens and ironing boards, I don’t think it will work, but we’re thinking more if you’ve got an immaculate set of seat covers for an ‘80s Mazda 323 and you really need the model designation badge for a MkII Astra that maybe these are the kind of things that we can make happen.”

“We do hope that we can actually unite some people with things that they genuinely want or need. You know what it’s like when you’re running an older car, you have to be opportunistic, particularly in a less popular model. If you have a vintage Ferrari, chances are there’s some specialist who can run up some new parts for you if they don’t have them in stock. If you have an immaculate Ford Sierra 1.3, the chances are, there aren’t many other ones around, so you’re having to scratch about for the correct parts.”

2019 Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional

Smith and Porter will be back on stage for a third time on the day to record an episode of their Smith and Sniff podcast, discussing what they’ve experienced as first-time FOTU attendees and then inviting questions from the audience. “There’s always this risk that we go let’s chat about what we see at the festival and then five minutes later you find yourself in an depth chat about Eldorado the ill-fated BBC soap opera, or something. But we’ll try and stay on topic because I think it’s a good topic and it plays very much at the heart of what we’re all about.”

Porter says that he’s particularly hoping to see a few cars from the Talbot stable among the thousands of unexceptional vehicles. “My dad had a Talbot Alpine when I was a kid and you really don’t see them at car shows, so I’d love to see some old Talbot stuff. It’s the street furniture of our younger days and it’s mostly disappeared. If I have an absolute craving to see an immaculate Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer this summer, I think I could do that easily. But I’m pretty sure that this will be the only event where I’d see Renault 11.”

You can join Smith and Smith at this year’s Festival of the Unexceptional on 27 July at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire for just £35 per car. Get your tickets here.

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  • Carl says:

    Not for me at those prices, keep charging these extortionate fees and there will be no festival any longer.

  • Mr R J Owen says:

    Totally agree. That is a ridiculous fee to charge when folk have spent money on fuel to reach there and in busy holiday traffic as the schools have just broken up that weekend. Before now, ‘ve suggested the date of the show is moved, but nobody listens. Clearly this show is for the wealthy only when we have a cost of living crisis of household bills as well as fuel going up 10p a litre in the past few weeks.

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