News : Woollarding spreads across the Internet

William Woollard

It looks like Woollarding is spreading. The craze, started by Mike Humble and Adam Sloman has already made it to Germany and now it looks like it’s been picked up by a quality Sunday. As well as the Times, Autobild in Germany has taken Woollarding to its heart – encouraging its readership to submit their own images, as well as coming up with some great ones of its own.

The Internet and social media phenomenom is spreading rapidly across the Internet and media. The craze, which involves posing with your car in the manner was started by Adam Sloman after Mike Humble posted a picture on this site’s Facebook group page. It’s fair to that our cheeky twosome are very surprised by the popularity of 2013’s alternative to planking.

Adam has been directly in touch with William Woollard, who is genuinely delighted and surprised to be remembered so warmly. Good work, boys – but now we’d like to see some more AROnline readers creating their own bit of Woollarding magic. There’s also a Facebook community named in William Woollard’s honour where people are encouraged to post their own images.

Keith Adams


  1. It is pleasing in these hard times to see individuals coming together in a spirit of fun to put a smile on peoples faces by carrying out something so simple yet amusing in many different styles and with some lovely looking vehicles

  2. When I started Woollarding I never expected it to go this far. I’m so pleased that it has. Mike Humble posted a picture of the legendary William Woollard on the AROnline facebook page and I, for some reason, chose to copy it and post it with instructions for others – it’s snowballed from there and long may it continue!

    Happy Woollarding, everyone!

  3. Sorry to be a killjoy here, but I really can’t see why this has taken off as a craze. I always thought putting your foot on the bumper of your car was rather disrespectful, in the same light as someone taking liberties and sitting with full-on body weight on the front of a car while they chatted to the owner. On a car with a painted bumper you are also likely to inflict minor scratch marks on it.

    And why does the same individual appear in at least three of the images displayed – twice with a Triumph Herald and once with a first generation Range Rover?

    Sorry, but I really don’t get it and have more respect for my own car and those belonging to others to want to do this. What next, a sheepskin coat?

  4. @6 David. I agree about the foot on the bumper thing. I always assumed all that grit on the shoe would only ruin my chrome and would never do it to mine or anyone elses…..(remember in the movies when people would get in to a convertible by stepping on the door top??) same as sitting on wings and bonnets: a) studs in jeans scratch and b) deformed panels are not nice…….

  5. Hmmm, not many have really captured the Woollard spirit as exemplified in that top photo of the man himself. It’s all to do with the expression. A handful of honourable mentions though, especially that young lady’s black leather.

  6. @Sam Frank – I agree. I think Mr Humble has utterly pulled off the expression and the subtle nuances of the pose. I nominate him the winner.

  7. A name from the past. When I was in Industrial Film Production, in the 1970s I worked with William Woollard when he presented a couple of our Films. One was for a Knitting Machine manufacturer and one for ICI Mining Explosives! Good to hear he is still around!

  8. David 3500 @ 6 above,

    Well, I know that Mike and Adam started ‘Woollarding’ before Jeremy Clarkson’s contentious review of the MG6 Diesel was published in the Sunday Times Driving supplement but, given some of the comments above and elsewhere on the Internet, the renewed interest in William Woollard’s presentational style might just put the BBC and the Top Gear team on notice that a possibly increasing number of viewers would prefer the programme to adopt a slightly more serious tone…

    Indeed, given the above, does anyone else find the fact that the Sunday Times Driving supplement has picked up on ‘Woollarding’ to be more than a tad ironic?

  9. @17

    Unfortunately I’m not sure if a serious motoring programme would translate into viewers.

    Old Top Gear was dropped around the turn of the millenium because of falling viewing figures. Fifth Gear was what old Top Gear had become, but it too was shuffled about and recently ChannelDailyStar have sold it on to the Discovery channel, where it is destined to get an even smaller viewing figure.

    Sadly, the modern TV viewer has the attention span of a goldfish, and if something doesn’t blow up in the next 5 seconds they lose interest (cf. the likes of X factor, where every 5 seconds or so there is a camera change or some sort of flashing lights). They wouldn’t sit through a boot size comparison between a Mondeo and Insignia, even if real car buyers would like to know this information.

  10. Will M @ 17 above,

    Yes, I take your point – I did, though, suggest that Top Gear might adopt only “a slightly more serious tone” and would not necessarily envisage that extending to all the programme’s content.

    Top Gear’s format was, as you correctly point out, changed to the current one over ten years’ ago – I reckon that format has recently become a little tired. That said, the viewer numbers count for much more than my personal opinion…

  11. Opportunity for the guys at Longbridge to be the first car manufacturer to do it on a production line?

  12. @23

    Always thought Longbridge missed a trick by not posting an MG assembly line Harlem Shake video 🙂

  13. @David3500: I don’t know about other people’s, but I made sure my shoes were clean and I’m putting no weight on my car bumper. It gets more abuse when I wash, clay and chamois it. Given that I used to climb into the Cadillac’s engine bay, and get into my Fiat Panda 4×4 by running up, jumping on the bonnet, grabbing the windscreen top and dropping in through the front sunroof – neither car suffering for this treatment in any notable way – I think that an enthusiast’s well-placed foot is the last thing these cars need worry about.

    And besides, Justine Frischmann once sang “Every shining bonnet
    Makes me think of my back on it”. And would YOU be the one to deny her that for fear of a small depression in the metal?

  14. @ Richard Kilpatrick:

    Perhaps I am old fashioned or too caring in my views on how to respect a car as something I have immense pride in. Indeed, whenever I have been photographed with a car – which is often – it is usually the arm resting lightly on the roof, mirror or bonnet. Definitely no other limbs or body parts on other areas.

    Admittedly whenever I have seen photos of Jaguars and TVRs etc. from the 1970s where a comely young lady has sat on the shapely bonnet, the first thought is always: “don’t dig the heals in or have too much baby oil on to make you slither off!”

  15. I do get the point and appreciate the fun but if my little snap dragon caught me with my booted foot on the front of the Spyder she would refer to me in all subsequent conversations as the ‘late’ husband.

  16. Oh, hahahaa!! Has someone sent this link to the BBC News website for their odd stuff reports.. I’m sure this can go even more viral!

  17. Mike, you live up to your moniker! I applaud your generosity of spirit, but the fact remains that there is Woollarding and there is Woollarding. You have beautifully captured the essence of the man in a way that none of the others have quite managed to pull off. I agree that there are no losers, but there is one clear winner. Take a bow, most humble Mister Humble!

  18. I don’t know about the “Woollarding” thing but I do know Top Gear stopped being worth watching when he left it. Now it is a travesty of a show with that curly-headed idiot fronting it. Just more of the dumbing-down of the media in general.

    It is all very well catering for the “new generation” and all that but aren’t we older folks (I’m only 55) entitled to our share of the media’s attention?

    I’m in Canada these days and our CBC, which is broadly speaking our equivalent of the BBC, is on the same slippery slope of becoming unwatchable for anyone with any intelligence as it tries to become “hip” or whatever so that young people will watch it.

    Why don’t they just keep on being what they ARE and let the young people find them as the mature. Heck I was happily listening to Radio 4 all day as I was out on the motorways when I was in my twenties.

    Well, sorry for the off-topic rant but the current Top Gear is one of my major pet peeves. I just hate all the buffoonery and wanton destruction of vehicles. A complete waste of airspace in my view.

  19. Mike and Adam should get royalties for this.

    Just wondering if Delia Smith ever Woolarded her oven. You don’t see pictures of women doing that do you?

  20. Hehe, trust the Germans to do it properly 🙂

    Very good.

    Is that a Volvo 780 in the back, and is it a Chrysler behind the Adam?

  21. If you follow the link in the comment above the photo and open the gallery at the top, you’ll see the Bertone Volvo being used example in a very elaborate “How to” – yes this is done properly! 🙂

  22. Woolarding eh? “Well that just about wraps it up for this week!” to quote the man himself ^_^

  23. Well done. I can imagine it’s very gratifying to start something harmless and fun like this and see it catch on and great to see that WW himself has enthusiastically acknowledged the trend. I would however be surprised if the present TG presenters see the joke and follow suit as they are so self-obsessed and their programme has become incredibly unfunny nowadays.

    I have actually started longing for the more sensible consumer-led style programme of the 1980’s when Frank Page would comment on the generous size of the Daihatsu Charmant’s boot.

  24. Similar pictures from Manningtree 2013 on a dedicated thread on the 75 and ZT owners club!

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