On the face of it, winter has been a fairly quiet time (car wise) for most of us. The odd picture appearing here and there of freshly built wheels, interspersed by the occasional “can’t wait for shows/summer/generic event” social media post. But delve a little deeper, and it becomes obvious how hard some of us have been beavering away, making sure our cars are better than they’ve ever been, that they’re going to “show everyone how to do it properly.” Some people had said at the end of last season that it looked like the scene was taking a nosedive; well, they couldn’t have been more wrong…
With numbers of international visitors growing year on year at UD, we’re used to there being a few European registered cars there over the course of the weekend. But we weren’t expecting there to be quite a as many as there were. The very first thing we noticed when we rolled in on a mildly depressing (British) saturday morning, were two Dutch registered stunners; the Allroad and Mk6 above. The wash bay was probably 50% non-UK plates for a good portion of the day, which is amazing when you think of the humble beginnings of the first show of the season. Or listen to the rubbish peddled by idiots across social media on the lead up to the event. Even our friends from Sourkrauts made the journey over, which we think says a lot for the calibre of the show and reputation of Dean and the team.
This becomes even more evident when you look at the standard of the cars in the car park, that aren’t even part of the show itself. Throughout both Saturday and Sunday, cars you’d have expected to see in the show hall itself just a couple of years ago were in the exhibitors/trade car park at the side, or left in the wash bay area.
Two of these were the WCS project cars. For the first time in a long while, and despite being official media suppliers again, we decided against having a stand in the hall itself. Which was actually pretty refreshing, as it gave us chance to network, organise features on some incredible UK based cars for you lucky lot, and enjoy the show properly. Our own head honcho Matt’s gone all Jap on us, and has spent more than a bit of time on this lairy as you like Evo X. Resplendent in satin grey, with full Varis wide body kit, carbon everything and a face only a mother could love, you can expect big things from this when you see it in our Worthersee coverage.
The other one is yours truly’s humble Mk2, “Project Trackster.” Or, as I prefer to call it, “The Bastard.” Fresh out of hibernation and with some subtle but major surgery performed over the winter, it was a talking point for quite a few people over the weekend. Now wearing that beautiful but devastatingly effective Prototype22 carbon rear wing, courtesy of aero extraordinaire and carbon fibre artisan Lewis Peasnell, it was definitely worth the 4 figure cost. You’ll probably want to keep an eye out for this in our Worthersee footage too; it’ll look a little different by then.
The hallowed “Carpet Room” is one of the major draws for visitors to both Ultimate Dubs and it’s sister show, Ultimate Stance. To have your car in here is a fairly big deal, and it’s often somewhere people flock to when they first arrive at the show. Throughout the whole of Sunday, this was the place to be, and with a record number of visitors through the door, space was at something of a premium for most of it.
As soon as you walked into the room, you were greeted by the sight of Toby’s gorgeous TT. Overhearing conversations whilst we were stood nearby, it seems the general consensus is that it must be on air, sitting as perfectly as it does on those 20×9″ MBdesign LV1 Customs. Nope. Static. And not lowered for shows. Keep an eye out for this one in our Worthersee footage; we anticipate a special section totally dedicated to watching him trying to get the car onto the train. And over speed bumps.. And onto the drive…
Exotics and supercars are becoming a bigger part of the scene year on year,and companies are now embracing this as part of their marketing. Vossen brought along their trouser dampening 488 Speciale Apperta, to show us mere mortals what you can do if money is no object. It certainly drew some attention…
…along with this, at the other end of the spectrum. Jack Royston’s incredible ’71 Notchback took pride of place on our friends at Slam Sanctuary’s stand. Engineless and with the AirLift setup yet to be finished, no one expected it to make it to the show. But it did, and caused a massive stir across the whole weekend. This is one seriously cool car.
Not being one to miss a trick, as always Dean and the team had filled the corridor with incredible eye candy. Our friend and professional mentalist Paul Bird has been at it again, and after the success of his awesome shortened Mk2 last year, he decided to go all out and chop the hell out of a poor defenceless Beetle cabriolet. The doors work, the roof works, and it’s totally road legal. This was park next to Richard Skinner’s stunning ’83 Santana. After a recent respray, Richard decided on Airlift, BBS RFs and other period touches to compliment what is, without a doubt, one of the least common and remembered of VW’s watercooled creations.
Even the bar couldn’t escape the treatment, with 4 beautiful Rallyes taking pride of place and drawing admiring glances throughout the weekend.
With the standard of car so high in the “Carpet Room” and surrounding area, it’d be easy to expect disappointment in the 3 main halls. No danger of that;Dean and the team must’ve had their work cut out to pick what ended up inside from the thousands of applications. Beth’s A1 was looking angrier than ever, and we’re absolutely in love with Max Lumb’s AirLift inspired 944. It’s nice to see these getting the recognition they deserve.
The halls, as always, were filled to the brim with some beautiful metal. Some subtle, like Rich Stockley’s gorgeous black Anni…
…some less so. But all as well executed as each other.
As with every year, the photographer’s favourite pink carpet appeared in abundance, draped in some of the finest examples of European automotive engineering. Glenn Sweeck’s AllRoad on custom double stepped fans had more than a few of us doing a very good impression of a wide mouthed frog.
It’s the law at all UK (and some European) shows that the AutoFinesse boys have to put on a bit of a show, and this was no break from tradition. Alongside main man James’ F80 M3 and Sam’s Mk2, the guys had their usual selection of wares displayed in their trademark rustic crate stand. Having seen them erect it many times, it always look amazing and draws the punters in, but I don’t envy them taking it back down again.
Our friends at FittedUK had some world class metal on their stand in the second hall. We’ve come to expect great things from Alex and the team, but we’re consistently blown away. Rob Kelly’s C7 A6 on Rotiform CZTs was without a doubt one of our cars of the show., and looks menacing even sat still. Like an angry weightlifting bear. In a suit. That’s asleep.
Mr.Players himself, JayMac, had brought along his sublime 240Z. The epitome of Gentleman’s Racer, the custom Rotiform 2pc welded GTBs suit it perfectly, and the whole car has come together in the most beautifully subtle way. Not that we’d expect any less.
It was hard to miss Parm’s Sakhir Orange F80 M3. The CAS boys consistently turn out builds that are up there with the absolute best of the best, and the boss’ M3 is no exception. AirLift 3P makes sure those incredible ceramic polished Rotiform LAS-Rs tuck right, whilst showing off that mind bending carbon ceramic brake setup.
Henry and the Riva Designs crew made sure their area got plenty of attention. Becky Evans’ freshly retrimmed E21 took pride of place, next to Jordan Warren’s silly wide Rocket Bunny FD RX7. Sat on gargantuan Meister-Rs with full AirLift 3P, the attention this deservedly drew over the weekend was immense.
Our friends at Plush definitely made an impression this year. Together with their carbon RS6 (that we featured last year, go read it) and Wayne Simpson’s Vader spec R8, they brought along their brand spanking new T6. This has been given the full carbon treatment, much like their RS6 that blew up the internet last year, and it looks incredible in the flesh. Seriously, if you get chance to have a look, do. The workmanship is 100%, inside and out.
One car that we never get tired of seeing is Sean Robbins’ M52 powered 240Z. Looking as awesome as ever on those Extreme Offset Steels, we seem to notice more and more little touches every time we see this car.
Finally getting the recognition it deserves as not only one of the most beautiful, but the most accomplished cars ever made, is the Porsche 964. We’ve not-so-secretly lusted after friend of WCS Kristof’s stunning example for years, and after seeing Marteen and Angus Monro’s examples, we’re smitten.
Queen of The Scene, Kats Giles, had made a few subtle changes to her Q3 over the winter break. Now looking more aggressive than ever with new RSQ3 bumper and rolling on Rotiform ROCs, the car rightfully drew the attention of many, sat out front of the Meguairs stand.
With the scene being pushed further and further, it’s only natural that certain people become jealous and decide to talk everyone down, and it’s unfortunate that UD seems to bear the brunt of that abuse, being the first show of the year. Relax, and enjoy it for what it is; an excuse to catch up with friends, see some incredible cars, and start the show calendar off with a bang.
Pictures by Rob Schaverien & Matt Clifford
Words by Si McNally