Recently we were reminiscing about the early days of Dubshed and the difference between then and now. Bale trailers replaced with a proper built stage, old sheds replaced with a purpose built exhibition hall and a change of venue to name just a few.
For those who have attended consistently the changes have been noticeable year on year. Most recently has been cars of the non-VAG persuasion creeping in. Last year tested a few other German cars inside but this year left it totally open to all Germans, taking in BMW, Mercs and Porsches. The strongest presence from this crowd was from NI BMW with a well varied stand including three generations of M3 and even an E30 M3 rally car.
Different again for this year was a rallycross display on the Saturday which was fantastic to watch. The cars competing ranged from V6 Boras and Alfa 156s to single seaters and Type R Civics. The highlight for me though was watching a Mk3 Fiesta XR2i chasing down and passing the Alfa in a cloud of dust.
Of course the main attraction is the Volkswagens. New and old gathered in the Eikon Centre to put on their best display possible, many of which absolutely killed it. Most notably for myself was Niall O’Dowd’s Polar Silver 993 on hydros and step up RSs, Robin Ashfield’s 944 looking purposeful in race spec and the green 4motion Bora with all the US spec goodies (my personal car of the show). A strange top 3 for someone who doesn’t like Porsches or modern cars…
Speaking of car of the show, top prize went to Stephen Hall’s stunning Type 2 Notchback, a fairly unknown car in the watercooled world which had chins wagging all weekend. Prizes this year changed from car model categories to Top 25, a sensible move with the addition of more models to choose from.
All these changes have added up to a formula that works well but continuing to make changes keeps things fresh year on year.