Following the success of shows like Ultimate Dubs, Ultimate Stance, and numerous European events ,indoor shows have seen something of a surge in popularity of late. Our friends over at SlammedUK started their hunt for an indoor venue back in the Spring of 2015, and eventually came across The National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. Centrally located, literally a stones throw from the M40, and set in beautiful rolling countryside, they couldn’t have picked anywhere better. The fact that Matt (our main man in Europe) and Si (our Editor) live within a few minutes of it, of course, had nothing to do with us supporting the idea. When Jordan told us about his planned ideas and layout, we were more than excited. So, did it pay off?
In a word, yes. Totally, and completely. Obviously, in any show’s first year, nobody expects things to be perfect, but in our opinion, and those of others we caught up with, it was as close to bob on as it was possible to be. This was in no way hindered by the standard of cars, both in the Show and Shine, and the VIP Hall itself. Considering the thousands of applications the team received, they had their work cut out whittling it down to the 550 or so that made the cut.
Obviously, as with any European show, the VAG boys were out in force. With the standard of car at an all time high, and with Jordan adamant this wasn’t going to turn into another “elitist VW event,” the Wolfsburg family members that made it in were certainly a cut above. With just 80 cars bagging a spot in the coveted VIP hall, 350 in the main show and shine area, and 100 more outside, competition was fierce. The days of deliberation worked well for us though, as only the cremé de la cremé made it into the show ground itself.
But it wasn’t just the big boys from the Fatherland making a splash this year. One car that appeared in abundance (quite rightly as it’s chuffing gorgeous) was the achingly Japanese Toyota GT86. Or Subaru BRZ if your’e that way inclined. There were three incredible examples that made it inside, all wearing different styles, but all equally awesome. Adam Jones’ Rocket Bunny kitted example absolutely blew our minds with it’s detail. We predict big things for these…
It’s a similar story with the Honda S2000. They’ve been a very well-respected car amongst enthusiasts, with even those of a more German persuasion recognising how sorted the engine and chassis combination actually is. So it’s nice to see some proper examples coming onto the scene. Thom Williams surprised us all earlier in the year when he sold his E46 and built what is probably the simplest, yet one of the most effective examples out there. The LMs are an inspired choice, that shouldn’t look as good as they do on it. James Cowley’s static wide body is at the other end of the spectrum, and is just mind bending. With a Spoon hardtop, wearing WORK Meister S1s, and playing host to a bloody massive blower, it’s something that had a crowd around it all day long.
Finishing up the Japanese side of things (we told you the show was eclectic) were these 3 examples of Nissan’s ultimate bruiser, the Skyline. With 2 lairy R32s, including the white monster belonging to Zak Starr, and a rare as you like R34 4dr tucked away, they were definitely well represented, and received the appropriate amount of exhaust diameter based jibes throughout the day.
With the whole retro thing growing ever more in popularity, it was really good to see them well represented within the VIP hall. Our friend Andy Pope brought along his beautiful Fiesta RS Turbo. With a full retrim in the pipeline, this thing is only getting better and better. Keep your eyes out for this at future shows, we promise you won’t see another like it. Lala Miah’s incredible BMW 635CSi was there, and scooped the prestigious Best Wheels award for his ludicrous 3pc Throwing Stars, provided by our friends over at Wheel Unique. Definitely well deserved.
No show would be complete without Dean Meeson’s amazing Lotus Esprit. It was the first time we’d seen it under lights with it’s new wrap, and it looked utterly flawless. Ever the perfectionist, Dean has even more in store for the Roger Moore special. One to watch…
The Show and Shine hall was fantastic. In what was, quite literally, a barn, the standard of car shone through even more than it normally would at an indoor venue. An abundance of natural light and shadow, coupled with the somewhat dirty floor made the cars themselves incredibly hard to photograph, but led to some amazing shots. With promises of even better things to come next year, we can’t wait to see what Jordan has planned for the massive space.
With so many people applying for the much coveted inside spots, it was no surprise that the 100 or so machines that made it outside were of no lesser standard. With some incredible builds under the beautiful blue skies, it was obvious that the SlammedUK guys had some super tough calls to make when going through the thousands of applications. It was good to see Jake Ryan’s freshly rebuilt E30 there, complete with smoothed and detailed bay. This thing is sublime, and we’ll be catching up with him soon for a full feature.
We’ll leave the final words to SlammedUK head honcho and show organiser, Jordan Clarke: “For our first show it was always going to be hard, but I think that we did pretty well with the organisation and venue, and I’m very happy with how the show went as a whole. We can’t thank everyone enough for supporting us and coming along, the feedback we’ve had from everyone has been amazing. Gravity 2017 is already in the planning, and set to be bigger and better. We can’t wait!” We’re with you on that…
Photos by Rob Schaverien
Words by Si McNally