GTINI & ILOVEBASS PRESENTS DUBSHED 2016
WHY CAN’T WE BE FRIENDSText and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. “ - George Bernard Shaw
Ireland’s largest car show “Dubshed” returned to strike us again at the start of the 2016 car season with a bang. The boys and girls at the GTINI club decided it was time for a change...
The annual Volkswagen/Audi Group (VAG) show "Dubshed" received a complete 180 degree overhaul. Firstly, the show moved from its home at the Kings Hall in Belfast to new premises in the Eikon Exhibition Centre complex in Lisburn. The move opened up many doors to the show organisers as the bigger premises meant more cars to display; whereas an outdoor tarmac area provided space for some motorsport hooliganism in the form of autotesting, drifting and drag racing.
Secondly, for the first time ever “Dubshed” were welcoming the remaining German manufacturers to join the show. And the surprises kept on coming; GTINI teamed up with the local car society “ILOVEBASS” and gifted them a “green card” , a.k.a. free for all hall, allowing them to invite non german vehicles to join the party. Could that be the end of the VAG only Dubshed? And was that the right move to do?
A world cannot consist of monotonous elements, we, humans, get bored of repetition. One can only look at certain amount of air’ed VW vehicles on shiny wheels before getting bored. It is by no means an offence to the well executed vehicles that were found in the main Dubshed hall; however, for me the ILOVEBASS hall stole the show. I am sorry, but a GT86 powered by the V8, a rocket bunny MX-5, an Aristo worthy of being driven by the mob along the best S15 on these shores to me was worth the entry fee alone. Thank you GTINI.The winning formula has been changed and improved! You just went and did it again!
The "Dubshed" took place on April second and third retaining the usual two day format. Without a doubt this is the largest and most anticipated motor show on these shores. People have quit their jobs and worked silly hours beforehand just to get their prides and joys ready for the show. So one thing that anybody who is into cars at least should do is to support the event by attending it, and so we did, armed with coffee and camera we were there on both days!
With the strongest competition around one thing was for sure, the boys and girls were aware that arriving and parking up like some of the shows just ain't gonna cut it. Everything had to be perfect. I don't even want to know how many hours of polishing and detailing some of the vehicles received as the attention to detail on every car was beyond belief.
Whereas sometimes Japanese cars can be appealing with a bit of "war bruises" that are fixed by some cable ties, for VAG lovers that certainly doesn't seem like an option. Each car was immaculate and perfectly executed.
If the cars alone were not enough to keep one entertained, there was plenty of other things to do and see on both days. With the hoonigan king Ken Block visiting Belfast a rumour spread, speculating about a potential guest appearance at one of the upcoming automotive events in Northern Ireland; however, surprisingly Mr. Block didn’t attend the show (Boo!). Luckily for us, GTINI and ILOVEBASS had a back-up plan in store, ensuring there was somebody else to keep the crowds entertained. A round of Northern Ireland Autotest Championship ran alongside the show on both days of the show. Whilst Saturday was all serious business, Sunday was more a show where the talented drivers doing tandem rans demonstrated one doesn’t require a 600bhp monster to do donuts and other tricks. You don’t know what you missed Mr. Block! The Round 3 of the championship was won by Ashley Lamont in the black and orange Stryker.
To find more info on NI Autotesting please follow this link:http://www.autotestdriversclub.co.uk/
Furthermore an open 1/8 mile drag racing strip was open to see what one’s car was made off. Andrew from Momentum Motorsport unsurprisingly brought along some of his toys to the “strip”; his K20 supercharged Lotus Elise set the fastest drag racing times of both days closely followed by his Nissan GTR.
There were three indoor halls and outdoor car park packed to the roof, and each of them were buzzing. Dubshed is certainly known for the great and chilled atmosphere and it was certainly there again!
As usual the show was opened to the traders and there were plenty of them - 50cal, Kleen Freaks, Block51 and all the way from UK - Auto Finesse with their amazing stand. And they offered free doughnuts - win in my books!
Anyway back to the show.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SHOW
Audi Quattro S1
Where do I start, it is so hard to choose a favourite amongst hundreds of outstanding motors, each unique in some way or another, but for me, there was only one clear winner – the Audi Quattro (the short wheel base model). Growing up as a child in the 80'ies there was only one car that was “the car” and this was it. Just wow. Look at it! No shiny wheels, air suspension or custom interior will ever challenge this beauty! Hellastance, Hellapower and Hellacar!
Nissan Silvia S15
Well, is there anything else to say about David Coleman's 2JZ powered S15 apart from F**k me! When a car like this rolls into a VAG show and steals the first place in the Ilovebass hall it says it all. David had a disastrous trip to the show - damaged tires, splitter and other mishaps yet he stole the show, so I'd say it was all worth it. Mega, mega car!
One of the coolest, yet most bizarre cars on the show for sure was the bonkers BMW E21. The man behind something as wild as this obviously couldn’t anybody else than Peden Conceptz’, a.k.a. John Peden. At first glance the E21, sitting on the floor in front of the Ilovebass stand, just looked like an unfinished dirty project car, but after a closer look one could have noticed the Peden’s magical touch everywhere – from custom suspension, body parts to interior overhaul, engine swap and a ridiculously large turbo. This car is going to be outstanding once finished, I know I can’t wait.
Nissan Silvia PS13
Sarah Markey's immaculate Silvia looked like it has just rolled out the factory, the clean look combined with the nice stance and recently added SSR Longchamps just makes the perfect JDM classic look even better. Word of advice never sell it!
This barn find belongs to Grant Owen and it is surreal. Whilst many would agree or disagree with the styling and hydraulics of this retro beast, all of us will agree it is anyway one freaking awesome car. It was bouncing up and down all day in front of the Ilovebass stand breaking necks of the passersby.
That's right - Andrew's latest toy is a V8 powered CRC Synergy Racing Quaife Engineering Subaru BRZ. A clear winner of raw car if you ask me! The simple looks can't fool anybody once you notice the enormous brakes; you know there is something almighty hiding under the hood! Stay tuned for a full shoot of it soon!
F1 has nothing on Jonathan's downforce. There is no wind turbulence under the car either as there simply is no space for the air there (and yes it is static). In all fairness this is one of my all time favourite MX-5s on these shores and once the wing came off it really did reveal a beauty hidden under there!
VW Jetta CoupeNiall Gerety's Jetta Coupe made debut at the Ultimate Dubs 2016 and instantly broke the internet. As the exceptional paint-job and interior overhaul wasn't enough, Niall decided to make the world's first Jetta Coupe and I must say did a damn impressive job at it. Thumbs up!
Paddy Finnegan’s Aristo would make even the most fearless yakuza guys jealous. It is beyond flawless. Everything about the car scream quality and style.
VW Golf MKII
The VW Golf MKII found at the Auto Finesse stand was truly inspirational. The retro "90ies racing style" suits the MKII perfectly and for me would be the winner of the MKII category on the show.
Graham’s slammed Jaaaaag was certainly a fresh breath of air in the local car scene for me. It reminded me of Shane’s drift Rolls Royce; dare to be different comes to my mind.
This dapper E36 belongs to Ruairi Coleman and he is well known for building some insane BMW's. It looks like it would feel right at home at the Performance BMW cover, I love it!
To me this is one of the coolest cars ever to leave Japan, and when you see one so clean and fresh it certainly makes me cry inside, since I don't own one. Absolutely nailed it!
Nissan Skyline GTT
And the second best car to leave Japan - the Nissan Skyline. The four door skyline owned by Chris Stewart is a true testimony that less is more; however, don't be fooled as the simple and effective look is actually a lot of hard work. All the parts have to be custom made as these cars are not that common you know, and topped with the ultra rare JDM parts this certainly was another gem in the Ilovebass hall.
Rocket Bunny MX-5
I believe this might be the world's first Rocket Bunny MX-5 (correct me if I am wrong) and my God, it is phenomenal. The red bunny deserved a rear bum shot to show off the beautiful RX-7 rear diffuser.
In all fairness I could go on and on, there were so many unique vehicles on display I certainly wouldn't have been liked to be a judge. Some of the other cars that caught my eye: