GTINI CASTLEWELLAN 2018
SUN, BBQ AND GERMANSText and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis
"Sun, BBQ and loads of Germans" (cars that is) - this may be the simplest and easiest way to describe what the GTINI's "Castlewellan Show and Shine" event really represents. One of the longest running motoring events in Northern Ireland returned to the forests of Castlewellan on June 30, attracting German vehicle enthusiasts from far and wide, and I was there to cover the event as usual.
From the organisers of "Dubshed" and "Titanic Dubs": GTINI, the Castlewellan show and shine event has been historically held in the Castlewellan National Forest Park. It is hard to believe this show has been running for 15 years and hasn't really changed one bit. Why change something that works, right?
It is the most chilled out show over here and it hardly feels like a car show at all. All families and friends are out there simply to enjoy some sunshine, have a bbq and cold drinks. Everybody is very friendly, gladly talks about cars all day long, and it is an event that you will most certainly return home from "burnt", with lots of smiles and good memories and new friends.
The turnout at the event was great; however, strangely not as big as previous years. Reason for it - no idea. The weather was perfect and I had no idea what else one would be at on a sunny weekend like this.
Don't get me wrong, the turnout was still impressive and there was no shortage of outstanding cars and bikes there, just not as per usual standard. For no second I regret going to the event, and I am not a VW man in any way.
VAG boys really love to focus on the smaller details, that is quite opposite to the JDM scene. I always enjoy seeing the "air" builds, epic wheels and small details that can be missed easily. For one, this is main reason why I love the Castlewellan event, one can get close to any vehicle and enjoy it in a sunshine and not being surrounded by millions of other people in a dark venue.
As always the stricly VAG only event allowed a few other clubs and special entries into the event. BMW NI club was present on the day and boy, they didn't dissapoint - from historic to modern Bavarian vehicles, I loved it.
There were other stands present, including the Renault owners club and various others, including some JDM clubs. No point denying that this was a treat to my eyes.
There was also no shortage of trade stands either, amongst them: GTechniq, Mynt, Anachem and other car detailing product companies.
Anachem's youngest staff member was keen on giving out free goodies to all the pretty ladies.
As I have admitted a number of times before I no longer follow the announcement for the winners of events, as in my opinion all this attributes to events is a an unneccessary disagreement between folks; everybody's car is special in one way or another; therefore, all I am goint to list is just a few cars that stood out to me.
Matt's VW Karman Ghia is epic on so many levels and it never gets old seeing it. With every show there are also some new improvements to it and it is still attracts as many people around it as it did the first time it made appearance in NI shows a few years ago.
Gavin's VW Van
If you you like travelling and you like cars there is no better way to cruise around in style than in a proper VW Van, and Gavin from "BlackLine" certainly has got it right.
This green Mondeo may look like a grandad's car but it certainly will show a supercar what it's made of. Running a Cossie 4 wheel drive system, engine and a sequential box this Hulk is one of my favourite cars on roads in this country.
Here is another car that once may have been driven by a lawyer with a blutooth kit and fancy sunglasses, but now has been converted into a show winner that I really love.
Lawlors Customs Beetle
Lawlors Customs know a thing or two about building epic cars and this Beetle is a prime example - it may look super tidy inside and out, and underneath but actually is built for proper racing and competition. No details were left unnoticed and it was built to perfection.
Thanks to the GTINI boys and girls for yet another great day out for us! I will be looking forward to the next year's event and hope we will get another beautiful and sunny event.