Air vs Static. The debate rages on. In the past few years, air has become more and more common, both for full on show cars and daily hacks. I can certainly see the advantages, but I have coilovers in both my cars and I’ve always been quite proud of it. Bags are for groceries and all that…
However, static life is not without its problems. The need for a sports bra everywhere you go, having to keep your eyes peeled for the slightest change in road surface – it can be a little draining. These problems presented themselves quite spectacularly on the way to Titanic Dubs on Saturday morning. I have been driving the Vento everyday for a while, and so I have the coils wound up a bit for speedramps, kerbs and all the other daily obstacles. Some of the hardcore static guys will be horrified at this, but I admit, I can’t live the slammed life 24/7. I just live the ‘driveablely low’ life.
After working on the Vento until late on Friday night and lowering it a bit for the show, I never got round to taking it for a test drive. We were leaving early the next morning, so bed seemed like a much better option at 2.30am. Unfortunately, a few hours later, I discovered that it might be a little too low as every tiny bump caused the subframe to smack on the ground. When we pulled over to try to wind the coils up a bit the widow-maker jack wouldn’t even go under the sill!
Luckily, I had a few bits and pieces to make a ramp out of, and Chris helpfully turned up a few minutes later with his trolley jack – and rocking his new wheels! No one knew about his little purchase until he arrived to meet us that morning and I think you will all agree the car looks awesome on the 19″ Helios wheels.
Low problems solved, the convoy hit the road and made it to Belfast in good time. Following the success of the show last year, GTINI announced that Titanic Dubs 2013 would be taking place, once again at the Titanic Dry Dock and Pump House. It’s probably not necessary to mention what the weather was doing, it was a GTINI show after all! The dry dock is a brilliant location for a show, really different and unusual. It makes for a great atmosphere, with the sounds of phantom trains and ringing hammers drifting up randomly. This year there was Segway racing going on down in the bottom of the dock. I never got round to going in to give it a try, I barely got time to see all the cars with chatting to people, plus I remembered the burning in my thighs after a few climbs up and down last year which put me off a bit too! It was great to have a couple of other things to do throughout the day, especially for spectators who don’t need to spend all day looking at cars, or car owners who are there all day long. There was also the Pump House tour, which many took advantage of, and the delicious scones (and various other snacks I suppose) in the cafe kept us all happy!
The only drawback to the location is the uneven ground. Thankfully this year we got down in plenty of time and we didn’t have to park on the really big kerbs down towards the end. The GTINI crew were very organised though, directing air and static cars to different places where they could park easily. Matt was doing a fine impression of a traffic cone for a couple of hours, warning people to avoid a particularly nasty piece of steel sticking out of the ground, which would have made short work of expensive dishes.
A few Scottish Vag guys had made the trip over with some lovely cars. The Harlequin MK3 turned heads all day, and one of my personal favourite cars was the purple S8. Another Scot, Jamie Peacocke was the lucky winner of the raffle Lupo, I was so jealous!
A few other standout cars were the Oak Green MK2 with MK4 1.8T and MK5 tartan interior, proper OEM Plus, and a little orange MK1 Polo which looked pretty standard which had either been very well looked after or restored.
Being the end of season show, and with only ‘Ten of the Best’ prizes the show had a brilliant, relaxed atmosphere. It gave people a chance to try something a bit different and have a bit of craic with the cars, as well as catch up with friends who we might not see again, except in cyberspace, until next year! As I mentioned earlier, I was so busy chatting to people that time got away from me and I almost missed the prizegiving by the time I finished walking around all the cars! As a result, we didn’t get as many photos as we might have liked, so we stayed behind after the end for a bit to take a few photos of the ShedSixty2 cars down by the water.
This was the last trip out for the Vento in its current form, it will be coming off the road shortly for a major overhaul. Unfortunately, the drive home was as eventful as always – the Vento, never one to go quietly and sensing that this might be her last hurrah, got a flat tyre on the motorway, but all in all it was a very enjoyable day and the show was a credit to GTINI. A great way to end off the year, now we’ll be in the workshop for the winter and resurface in the spring. Watch this space for updates on the Vento, suffice to say I probably won’t be investing in an air ride kit.
I’ve always preferred hydraulics anyway… 😉