Welcome to ReinisB Photography,
You will find the latest photo shoots & event reports below. Click on the sections above to view my portfolio!

2 Aug 2018

JDM Car Culture 2018



Text and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis

Northern Ireland - better known as the little Japan of Europe.

It truly is, if one judges it by the sheer amount of the high quality Japanese domestic market (JDM) cars located on the Irish island; it is just mind blowing. Once you see past the diabolically modified twincams, vape-surrounded civics and Donegal rally spec’d IS200s, you’ll find thousands of incredible JDM machines here: tasteful Japanese metal from all generations: standard, modified or fully restored classics - we have them all, and it would be a goddamn shame if we wouldn't showcase them. Well, luckily for us there is just an event for this and it’s called – “JDM Car Culture”.


JDM Car Culture was first held in 2016 and was the first and only indoors JDM car show to be held in Northern Ireland. Whilst the first event proved to be a huge success, the organisers decided to return bigger and better the second time round, and for the third time they managed to up the game even further. The event took place on July 8 and featured two main halls, a large outdoor show  and drift area and attracted thousands of car enthusiasts from both south and north of Ireland, Scotland and England.


Welcome to the new home JCC.

It really didn’t come as surprise that JCC outgrew its original venue very quickly and had to move elsewhere, for the Titanic exhibition centre just wasn’t big enough for the job anymore. Northern Ireland isn’t Vegas sadly where there are venues round every corner that can host an event of such scale, so realistically Eikon centre was the only contender. This exhibition centre had been hosting a lot of events lately; therefore, the risk of a car show looking identical to any other show was always a gamble, yet JCC utilised the venue ideally and made it their own.

After running out of funds (the costs of running a car show is HUGE if you were wondering), JCC made a last minute decision to use half of the smaller hall. Whilst it was the right thing to do, sadly it also made the secondary hall a bit “castaway”. Don’t get me wrong the cars located in the smaller hall were epic, as was the RC car stand there, but the lack of proper DJ and bad lighting made a really awkward atmosphere round there, and many others I spoke to agreed. Therefore, dare I say the smaller half hall wasn’t even needed and outdoors would have been sufficient (weather permitting)? 


I expected nothing less than an epic selection of motors at the show and, oh  boy, I wasn’t disappointed. The JCC crew certainly got this right and both of the halls were filled with superb JDM finest. The standard of vehicles selected for the show was so high that I really wouldn’t have fancied a judge role there. Whilst the JDM car scene was once all about the cable ties, touge battles and battle scars, now had transformed into the scene of perfect paintwork, shiny wheels and custom interiors; a bit of VAG world influence has come a long way. 



At some point in our lives we all reach that stage where we appreciate the finer things; cheap ebay parts or wheels just don’t cut it anymore. Seeing super rare and amazing cars at the show with colossal amount of money spent on modifications just being let down by replica wheels and other "cheap" parts really made me cringe. There were pretty few importers and traders present on the day that could advise that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to obtain some super rare JDM goodies for your cars, including the wheels. Kids, please say “NO” to replica/fake parts, it cheapens the car. Genuine cars, genuine parts FTW.


One of the main debates when hosting a car show is whether the event needs to be held over one or two days? For many reasons – financial and logistics one day really is more than enough; however, if the event is big enough, good enough and entertaining enough to last two days, it must be considered. As I’ve pointed out number of times before in previous articles what really has killed the show scene here in my opinion is the pure amount of them. During the summer you’ll find some local blog or [Insert town/city] scene club hosting an event on every weekend. This of course kills the joy of a car event as it is oversaturating the market. Less is more and quality over quantity. If you ask me I’d vote for two days and twice less shows during the summer. Friends, BBQ’s, chilled vibes - you know all that; people forget that this makes up 90% of a show, rest is the actual show.


The guys and girls at JCC had thought through a lot of things, and entertainment was definitely one of them; there was plenty to see and do to keep one entertained during the day: live drifting, dirt bike stunt riders, food stalls, drink stalls, RC drift cars – it was all top quality, hands down – I loved it.

ILB as usual were present on the day and came with an epic chill lounge featuring a live broadcast of F1 race.
You can spot the real petrolheads in a car show when you catch them enjoying the close battle at the final laps of the race.

DJ Drop the beat…or wait a minute - please don’t.
But then there was the music. A subject you can agree to disagree! We can accept that everybody will have their own taste in life, and that is what makes us individuals; therefore, we will never agree on the music taste; however…it would be nice to actually be given the choice to hear all sorts of styles on an event like this. Not everybody is 30+ old and wants to relive the young rave days for 8h non stop. Please, I beg you, mr. DJ, next year change the CD for us. 

It wouldn’t be a car show if I didn’t ask Mr. Kash to smoke out the place for a photo, I wouldn’t go on the Blackwater graphics rally simulator to challenge Peter or eat a dirt take-away so I made sure I did them all. Shows are really what you make of them and I had an epic day, so a massive, massive thanks to the JCC crew for hosting this event.


Judging an event like this is really tricky; there are far too many incredible cars there from various generations and various styles to compare them even fairly, so in my typical fashion - I avoided the prize giving completely! You can find the official list of winners on JCC site; however, here’s some of the “thumbs up” from me: 

First of all the traders – Brookland Fabrication, AE86 World, BWG, Richard Bradley Motorsports and the rest - just "wow!"; every single one of you put up a great stall, showcasing your products, answering any questions we had about your products and brining along some epic cars.

RX-7 with turbocharged F20C

One of the maddest cars on the day was the Honda S2000 VTEC engine powered widebody Mazda RX-7. To upset the purists even further the F20C engine had been turbopowered for some extra madness. Absolutely amazing looking machine; big high five to whoever built this.

Toyota Corolla

Now when you bring a car of such standard to a show you clearly know you're stealing the show and coming home with a trophy. Is there anything I can even say to describe this beautiful retro rally spec Toyota Corolla - no. It was just mind blowing.

Celica GT

The Japanese Mustang in my opinion. The beautiful and classic 1960ies USA ponie era bodylines can be seen throughout the GT and it looks majestic. This example in particular has been restored to perfection and deserved one of the top spots at the show for sure.

Mitsubishi Lancer

I've seen this car a few times now and it never ceases to amaze me or give me a large smile. There is just something very special about it - maybe the styling, the retro colour or the fact I've never seen another one. I love it.

Honda Integra DC2

One of the best front wheel driven cars on the planet, one of the most beautiful sports cars on the planet and one of the best sounding NA engines on the planet - the Honda Integra DC2 in JDM spec. Whacould possibly be better - A DC2 in yellow.

Honda S2000

Quentin's Honda S2000 is just bonkers, it may not be to everybody's taste but we can all agree that the part list on it is impressive. The cost of the Spoon front bumper alone would impress anybody.

Nissan S15

This savage looking Nissan S15's heart has been swapped with the Toyota's 1JZ turbo engine so the madness is guaranteed once you touch the throttle pedal. The styling of the car is very subtle yet effective to get a huge thumbs up from me.

Civic EG Coupe

Now to me this is perfection - restoring a car to such extent the Honda engineers and factory line workers would be proud of your work is a WIN. This beautiful Civic won my heart on the day.

Nissan Silvia S13

The same can be said about Sarah's Silvia. Each time I see it I just smile and am happy that it hasn't been slammed to the ground, equipped with a cheap tow hook at the back and stripped for a drift spec. Sometimes (actually most of the time) less is more. Just beautiful.

So there you have it, JCC was a great show and I can't thank the crew behind the scenes for all the hard work they put it to make this happen again. I also wanted to thank "Anachem Autocare" for the amazing products that kept my S2000 clean throughout the show even though the show organisers tried their best to stop people from touching the cars :)

Talking of which, if you were lucky enough to arrive with a girlfriend that young Mr. Anachem himself fancied you came home with fancygifts.

If I look back at the show it was all fun and smiles and great atmopshere with great cars. Roll on 2019, I can't wait.

Bonus Images

No comments:

Post a Comment