The last event of the year, for anything, has to be something special. By it’s very nature, people expect something to blow them away, a final hoorah before the long winter months. For 3 years now, Ultimate Stance has fitted the bill perfectly, and the hard work shown by Dean and the Dub Shows team has always shone brightly. But with the newest kid on the block, Gravity , going down a storm, alongside Fitted and Players raising the bar through 2016, the guys had a pretty tall order ahead of them. As expected, they didn’t disappoint…
With the format of the show evolving year on year, partnered with the ability to draw on it’s sister show, Ultimate Dubs, the winning formula has been well and truly achieved. This consistently draws in, as we all know from the controversy from earlier this year, thousands of applications for a coveted space inside the halls. This has led to the world-class standard of car we’re now becoming used to over the two weekends, and this year was no exception, with the level of build surpassing even what we’ve become used to.
One car that stood out above most others was this achingly beautiful, and very real, Porsche 356. The details were exquisite, and it captured our attention for longer than any other car there. Utter perfection.
Life on Air – We caught up with our good friends from AirLift over the weekend. Being the innovators of the original air suspension, back in 1949, it’s only natural that they’re going to be at the forefront of both design and build right now. With their reliable V2 setup gracing most cars out there, and their boundary pushing 3P & 3H systems finding their way onto more and more builds, it speaks for itself.
The guys also made sure Kizza’s A5 was there. You’ll remember him from our official coverage of his incredible social media adventure a few weeks ago.
As always, the Wheel Whores guys put on a very special display. With the hallowed pink carpet taking pride of place in hall 3, alongside Tess’ bottom and an awesome Beetle based boat contraption, courtesy of Bobby and the Hayburner guys, there was a constant hubbub around their stand from the moment the doors opened Sunday morning.
As we’ve come to expect from the team, they had some very interesting stuff on display, including this show stopping W126 SEL, which was without a doubt one of our cars of the show…
…our friend Nic Pritchard’s incredible E91 M3 Touring. Now supercharged and rolling on Breytons, this is still one of our favourite cars out there…
…and more than a few other “interesting” automobiles, including Dean’s gorgeous little RS1800 powered XR2 on split Pepperpots, and this fantastic little Pao.
One trend that no one could have missed is the growing love for BMWs at stuff like this. With E30s now having reached legendary status, and M3s fetching into 6 figures, the humble E36 has stepped up and become the new benchmark. There were some incredible examples there over the weekend, both inside and out.
As always, the hallowed “Carpetted Room” played host to not only the most interesting, but some of the most imaginative and beautiful builds we’ve come across. Thanks to the assistance of David, Andy and Dan from Retro Rides & The LowSet, the room had a definite retro theme in the air.
The resurgence in 80s and 90s hot hatches amongst the car community is refreshing , and the presence of a couple of icons you wouldn’t expect to see at an event like this, not to mention in the inner sanctum itself, went down an absolute storm. It’s nice to see the cars that played such a huge part in making the modified scene what it is today being appreciated again.
When talking about hot hatches, it seems almost inexcusable to omit the daddy of them all; the original, the one that started the whole culture and brought focussed driving to the masses: The Mk1 Golf GTI. Whilst there are many examples on the show circuit, and always will be, Lee Scott’s incredible example is one of the best. Bought by his mum in 1987, Lee took the car on a few years ago, and has constantly evolved it into the sublime, one-off colour, twin 45 wearing KR powered beast it is today. Keep your eyes on this one.
Always thinking outside the box, Dean and his guys decided the show needed something extra this year. Tying in with the retro theme, the addition of more than a few arcade games was an inspired idea. With a crowd around them all day, they were certainly popular.
As per, the main halls were a cacophony of the finest examples of some of the most mundane cars money can buy, mixed with performance legends and supercars, all tastefully tweaked to perfection. It’s fascinating to see some of the new ideas and innovations people are constantly coming up with, pushing the scene further and further forward.
The standard of trade stand this year was better than ever, with the likes of Auto Finesse, 3SDM, Kode and Kleen Freeks having their finery on display. Every year, the show just seems to keep getting better and better, with more prestigious traders pushing their products.
We had a prime spot this year, right at the entrance to the second hall. Loads of you came over to check out our videos, that we had playing on the big screen all day, as well as having a proper shufty over the cars on our stand; Wheel Unique genius Dan Taylor’s gorgeous Breyton wearing, carbon winged E46 M3, and Tom Lilico’s world-class Estoril Blue Z3 on Diablo hoops. Both on AirLift, and both very, very special automobiles.
Many of you noticed that our cars were outside, languishing in the car park. People have been asking for a while what’s replaced the world-known 8-Series, and this was our first chance to show them. We’d like to introduce you to the newest addition to the WCS fleet; Matt’s M4.
This was overshadowed (ahem) by the 3.1 powered, rubber spattered, track day scarred, MBL76 and Fifteen52 wearing Project Trackster. We have some big plans over winter for this humble Mk2, so watch this space…
One of the most unloved cars of recent years is the Mk3 Golf. Which is surprising, when you see how incredible they can look with the right attention.
Doug Flockhart’s incredible Liquid Yellow example is possibly the world’s best Mk3. With a 3.0 12v up front, hooked up to a GT3582 turbo and 630cc injectors, genuine LMs and 6 pots all round, this is an incredible build. Just wait until you see what he’s building next.
Controversy has always been something surrounding both Ultimate Stance and it’s sister event, Ultimate Dubs. With them being possibly the highest profile events of the British show calendar, it’s hardly surprising. But in the history of Dub Shows, nothing has caused as much of a split, as much hate, as this. The Car That Broke the Internet. THAT Lupo. Zac Hobbs caused something of a storm when he turned up at Fitted with…
As big as the crowds were around the Lupo, they were just as big around Arfan’s truly awesome W126 1000SEL. Back in the late 80s, a few of these behemoths were customised by a number of German styling houses, and now they’re an exceptionally rare and ridiculously cool. We want.
With the scene constantly progressing, and the boundaries being pushed further and further, the air and audio installs are becoming ever more adventurous. Some of them are truly beautiful.
With the standard of car inside higher than ever, it means the bar for those in the outside Show and Shine is way up in the sky. Just a couple of years ago, the stuff out here would’ve been well and truly in the dry.
Some of the wheels we’ve seen this year are incredible. From Dean Meeson’s completely bespoke CNC wonders, to all manner of custom split mono block wheels, people are seriously pushing the envelope on what we though possible a few years ago. What innovation will next year bring?
With 2016 now finished, many of us are already planning, and putting into action, our builds for next year. With some of the ideas we heard over the weekend, it looks like Ultimate Dubs 2017 is going to be an absolute record breaker. We can’t wait…
Check out our video coverage here.
Photography by Mathew Bedworth
Words by Si McNally