This year was the sixth year of GTINI Dubshed. Just writing that sentence makes me feel a bit old. Back in 2010 Cee Lo Green was trying to “forget you”, no one had heard of One Direction and there were only four Fast & Furious films. Although petrol was about the same price as it is now! I didn’t even own a VW back then; I didn’t manage to get my car to Dubshed until 2012.
Before 2010 we had never heard the word ‘Dubshed’ – I remember thinking it sounded weird, now it rolls off the tongue and anyone who has even a slight interest in cars on the island of Ireland has heard of it. The show has gotten bigger and better every year, from somewhat humble beginnings in a few sheds at the back of the Kings Hall, to a massive two day event taking over the Pavilion Hall and the rest of the complex. It is now the biggest car show in Ireland and attracts show cars, enthusiasts and spectators from all over the island, as well as an increasing number from mainland UK as well.
I have said all this before, so excuse me for repeating myself, but there are only so many ways to say ‘bigger and better every year’ and ‘the quality and standard of cars was even better this year’ Both statements are true! I think the bar has been set so high that it will be hard to improve upon, but we shall see.
The main hall was filled to bursting with magazine worthy cars. There really was something for everyone – from super clean retro Mk1s to gorgeous new metal in the form of Mk7s and a couple of brand new Audis from Belfast Audi which were part of a special display celebrating 35 years of the Quattro.
In the smaller halls there were some real gems, like a white Vento which was super clean, and though some bits and pieces weren’t to my taste it worked well as a package. The Aircooled Hall had loads of old-school cool Beetles and Hot-Rods, as well as a BMX display which was really interesting and was something different to look at.
Another personal favourite of mine was from the Alexander Hall – a red Mk2 Polo Coupe with near mint original interior and G40 engine and dash swap. It was the sort of thing you mightn’t look twice at, but if you took the time you could see the huge amount of work that had gone in to make the conversion look factory. The couple who owned it had driven up from the South and seemed to be on their own but had obviously come to the show out of a love of cars. When that little car was announced as Runner Up in the Polo class, the guy looked so delighted when he came up on stage – it was so nice to see. It made a welcome change from some people who threw the toys out of the pram and mouthed off on Facebook when they didn’t win. But that’s a different story for a different time…
Outside, the weather meant a slightly smaller display than last year. However, there was still plenty to see and do, including the ever-popular Scrap-a-Jap (sadly not featuring Toner’s yellow 350Z try as we might!) and the atmosphere everywhere was great.
Since we had no cars to show again this year, Connor and I gave the guys and girls as much help as we could by helping park cars and set up the show. This and people covering their car overnight is why there aren’t as many photos as we’d have liked to have taken. ShedSixty2 was represented by Richie, Niall, Nelly and Gerry. Richie managed to break tradition and instead of being runner up (picked up by Niall), scooped best Skoda with his red Octavia vRS. The bridesmaid no longer!
One of the things that really stood out for me as an improvement for me this year was the long awaited ‘photo-on-screen-to-show-who-has-won-the-prize-thing’ (I’m sure there’s a catchier name!) It helped to hold peoples interest, especially for casual spectators who don’t necessarily know all the car owners names, and was just generally helpful as a reminder – as there were so many excellent cars on the day!
As ever, a brilliant season opener, looking forward to Castlewellan!