As I scraped my way into the metallic underbelly of the Belfast to Liverpool boat on the Friday evening I got a flutter in my stomach. Here I was, off to a show across the water and while I’ve done this on more than a few occasions before this was the first time doing so with my own car to show in over seven years.
Although it was only a 40 minute drive from the boat to FittedUK’s first indoor event I was on such a high that I could have driven across the country and back. Unfortunately my mk3 wasn’t feeling as up to that idea so he dropped off a cylinder to put a stop to my silly thoughts.
Once at the show and after a quick wash we headed inside to set up our stall in one of the biggest show venues I’ve ever been in. Throughout the day the space in the hall gradually shrunk, taken over by cars, bikes, trade stands and plinths for stand-out cars.
The mixture of cars at this show is unlike anything I’ve seen before. German rubbed shoulders with Jap, nothing unusual there you’ll say but how many shows mix in American muscle, Morgan 3 wheelers, bagged Hillman Imps and Ginetta G15s with these?
One thing that was in abundance was extreme camber and something I’m personally not a fan of. I’m not one to shy away from impractical stance but I don’t even think it looks well nevermind how it drives. Maybe I’m just old or maybe the next big thing in stance will be extreme wheel alignment. Either way I’m sure tyre fitters will be making a small forture.
Of the hundreds on show, 3 of the top cars for me strangely were all built by 3 friends. The Low Collective guys had a carbed mk2 more door, a mk4 on carbon wheels and a Bora with a SRI’d 24v swap on show. These 3 cars were finished to an incredible standard and are an example of what top cars should be like.
The non VAG favourite for me had to be the bagged Imp. Top marks for having the vision to build something so different to the norm.
A big thanks has to go to the FittedUK team for having us over and congrats on hosting a show with a feeling like it has just kicked its way right into the middle of the “must do” show season calendar.
Click below to see our show pictures
As much as I am into Volkswagens, it’s a well kept secret of mine that I keep a watchful eye on the JDM scene. A lot of it fascinates me and allows me to draw on ideas for my own cars, a lot of it I just struggle to understand.
While Jap car popularity has never left this country it certainly took a nose dive around the mid to late noughties. The raging fires set by The Fast and the Furious were dying off, low, slow and clean were taking over.
But once again the tides are turning carrying with them the enthusiasts who want to be driving what’s current. Current being Jap cars. I’m not saying this is a bad thing but it certainly changes things within different scenes and is a major boost for the “current”. Look at the demand for the “non vag” section at Dubshed, populated mostly by Japanese cars, a lot of which are owned by ex-VW drivers.
The show itself is in its first year and is clearly finding it’s feet. It certainly may not have been the most polished of shows this year but it certainly put on an eclectic mix. Greeting you at the entrance were an early model Celica and Lancer, the latter of which I’d never seen before. Carrying on through the hall a creamy Pao and bright white Nissan Sunny Coupe added to the cars I never knew existed and despite the Sunny being fwd it had a certain charm to it.
Adam Osborne’s dropped Forester never fails to make me smile and Barry Toland’s Supercharged Type R with it’s new red coat or the white over black Toyota Levin probably stole the show for me.
It’ll be interesting to see JCC return next year, learning and growing from what came before and raising the bar in standard of cars.
Castlewellan. GTINI’s original show. Dubshed might be the big one and Titanic Dubs the season closer but Castlewellan is the original. Running 13 years now it has a reputation for being a relaxed family day out.
It’s hard to say really why it is so universally popular but it attracts young and old; that’s both people and cars. This year seen everything from the latest Golf Rs down to aircooled buses and Beetles. Some of the standout VAG cars for me had to be John Moag’s VR6 mk2, Gavin Black’s A8 and anything from the line of Quattros.
On the upper side of the hill sat some impressive metal. Dotted around the club stands were two well known Resto-mod Ford Cosworths and a mk1 SR Nova. A big part of the appeal for Castlewellan for me is the invited club stands as it gives me a chance to see cars like these I wouldn’t normally.
GTINI always try to change it up when it comes to their trophies and working with our own Brian produced these incredible examples below. I don’t think I’ve ever seen trophies cooler or more fitting than these.
This year is the first I’ve taken part in the Limbo and I have to say it’s highly addictive. After getting 13 people on and in the car I was as low as I could get and had to call it quits.
Check out all the photos from the show here
Situated in the lush green hills of Co. Wicklow, the surroundings for the Ostküste show are almost as remote as they are beautiful.
Billed as an “Oldschool VW Show”, Ostküste allowed entry for models in production up to 1995. For anyone that knows me that’ll be right up my street with my love of 80s and 90s cars.
Nigel and I arrived fresh from the two hour run in the Cabriogay and parked up for a chat with some old and new faces. Next thing we were handed a sheet with mileage markers, directions and cryptic clues to answer on a 20 mile road run about the local area. As competitive as we both are there were some answers we couldn’t get so these may or may not have been filled in with some rude answers…
Childishness aside it was up there with one of the coolest show experiences I’ve had and very cool to see something different at a show when it feels like all options have been exhausted.
Midway through the show ireland were playing and literally everyone packed into the pub across the road. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that at a show either! After the football everyone headed back to end the day with the raffle and prize giving.
While I’ll admit I was slightly tipsy heading back up the road as Nigel’s passenger I really enjoyed the show.
And no, I can’t pronounce the name of the show drunk or sober!
See the rest of the pictures here
This time last year we were reviewing MLVW’s first show while mid gearbox swap and engine bay make over due to a slight mishap with my mk3 involving a seized gearbox. This year I can happily report my latest mk3 made it there and back all by itself. Is that really something to be proud of???
Anywho, after a convoy down country we pulled into the show and were greeted by the friendly faces of the MLVW folks who had us parked up and ready to meander around the show. Once again the strangely beautiful surroundings of Mullingar Army Barracks add to the relaxed atmosphere that seems to have lingered from last year’s show.
Much to my delight there were more old school cars than new wave. Mk3s are making a serious rise in popularity and the south is in no short supply of them. A certain Florida blue mk1 with an open air roof and original Syncro mk2 also caught my eye but my personal favourite has to be the RM shod mk2 Scirocco. This car makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside which is impressive for a model that usual gives me a feeling more akin to sea sickness or a good boot in the balls.
That isn’t to say new wave cars were not well represented. Fitted State had an impressive fleet of modern cars with them, our own Matt and Brian brought a factory fresh Mk7 GTI and B8 A4 not to mention the crowd was dotted with Octavias, Boras and Mk5s.
Prizes were based on a ten of the best system presented from a “shabby chic” Mk1 shell which caught my attention most of the day. There’s something nice about seeing a car stripped to the bare basics and being able to see its inner workings.
To finish off, a special and unashamedly selfish mention has to go to Genuine who picked up one of the prizes with his Atlas Grey more door mk2. It’s great to see a simple car with a few OEM touches not getting overlooked, especially if it belongs to a friend. Go team!
See the full gallery of pictures here
It’s probably no secret that I’m quite susceptible to peer pressure when it comes to cars. It’s also no secret that the last thing I need is another car. So when a tatty mk3 cab appeared for sale on Facebook and I was promptly tagged by a few of the usual suspects I should have ignored it. I didn’t though and here is the result, one mechanically sound cab let down by its bodywork:
Having it home I convinced myself I’d have been an idiot to miss out on this car. Sure the electric hood was in good condition, it had a glass rear window and the electric windows all worked. What more could you want? Maybe some money in my bank account?
A lofty budget of fuck all was set as the goal and we got to work. Lee scored some 16″ Renault steels on Ebay and her tyres were slung onto them. My plan of using coilovers I already had didn’t go to plan so a new set were ordered up. While waiting on them arriving a quick spruce up was the plan. Two new wings were fitted and after a quick scuff up the car was taped up and shot with the finest of army green (don’t ask where that came from…)
Next up a crowd of us attacked it fitting the coilovers, cleaning the hood, fitting the wheels and rebuilding the car. Below is the result:
So in summary I’ve not only ended up with another car, I’ve ended up with an even more impractical car than Otis my other mk3. Turns out cab sills are seriously deep and don’t mix well with 16s or ramps. Ah well, time for some Summer fun.
When I heard the Raceism United guys were putting on a multi marque show in the National Show Centre in Swords I had a fair idea it should be impressive considering the standard of their own cars they bring to shows.
Arriving on the Sunday we were treated to a selection of cars we don’t usually get to see indoors in this country. It’s not very often you’ll find a show hall with a bagged A8 on 21″ Speedlines, a stanced mk2 Scirocco and a properly built JDM AE86 Corolla all in close proximity.
While I’m certainly a Volkswagen man at heart it’s nice to get a look around something different for a change even if it might not be exactly to my taste all of the time. Two particular non Volkswagen cars that caught my eye were the Astra convertible on bags and Ruairi Coleman’s E36.
The show itself wasn’t overly large but this didn’t take away from the craic we had on the day and being the first year it’s sure to grow.
Check out the rest of our pictures here