VW Days 2018

Once you go to VW Days, you can't help but go back every year for the foreseeable future. Last weekend was our third year at France's premium modified car show, and, although it is a Volkswagen show, it's started to attract fans of other marques. Why? It's simple really, VW Days is one of the best weekend's a car enthusiast can experience. Once you've crossed over from the UK into Calais, it's just a quick drive (under two hours) down one toll road, into Saint-Quentin. You can choose to either camp onsite at the show, or stay in the nearby hotels in the heart of the town. We recommend taking a few friends and turning it into a long weekend / mini break. Every year we are blown away by the quality of cars on display and the chilled atmosphere. Held over two days, there's plenty of time to see everything. So, here are our highlights from the weekend...

Retro Rides Weekender 2018 at Goodwood Motor Circuit

We've been attending Retro Rides Gathering for years, which is known for its hill climb motorsport action at Prescott Hill, which then moved to Shelsley Walsh. Well, this year the guys at Retro Rides had something else in store for us... In addition to the usual Gathering, they've introduced a sister show, the Retro Rides Weekender, held at no other than the legendary Goodwood Motor Circuit. We are huge fans of Goodwood, it'd be hard for any petrolhead not to be! Now, imagine the historical paddocks and grounds taken over by all sorts of weird and wacky classic cars. Retro Rides is where you go to see the biggest mixed bag of old cars, ever. Add the surroundings of Goodwood, and you're onto a winner - this included Pre-selected paddock displays, point-to-point sprint track action, 'guest' vehicles, clubs, retro parking, food, and traders (including ourselves!). Just like the Gathering, Retro Rides Weekender did well to attract that unique blend of anything retro. We attended on the Saturday with our Pop-Up Store and took some photos of our highlights, enjoy...

Air Ride on a Budget – Bagging our BMW E38 with BAGS BY OCD & KNTRL System

At the end of 2017 I picked up a facelift BMW E38 740i Sport for myself... I was fully loving the car (which was already fitted with BC Racing coilovers), but a voice in the back of my head was constantly telling me that something this big and 'VIP' needed bagging. Being Air Lift dealers ourselves, I knew that there was no specific bolt-on kit available for the E38, however, after some discussion with our friends at Only Charged Dubs (OCD), they said they could offer a solution using their newly released 'BAGS by OCD' air bags - these are designed to directly fit specific BC Racing coilovers. The idea is simple... Replace the springs with their BAGS. This new product range means it's super easy to bag any car that has a BC Racing coilover kit available, which is awesome news, because BC cater for a much bigger selection of vehicles than manufacturers of bolt-on air kits. With BAGS sorted, I was left to decide on a suitable digital management system to control the air suspension. In the past, I've used both Air Lift and AccuAir management systems, and I highly rate both of them... However, OCD have just introduced a new budget system to the market, KNTRL. It's a pressure based system (like Air Lift's AutoPilot V2 & 3P), but much more simplified, customizable, and affordable. Wanting to bag the E38 as cheaply as possible, I opted to give KNTRL a go.

Edition38’s Early Edition 2018

After the unveiling of Early Edition's newfound venue last year, excitement was certainly in the air on the days leading up to what Edition38 call their 'warm-up event'. Now held at Sywell Aerodrome (just around the corner from Edition38's main show), the new venue has increased the capacity, making room for loads more show cars, traders, food & drink vendors, and with room to breathe. They even have a hangar featuring a selection of high-quality hand picked cars. With a banging soundtrack and absolutely perfect weather, the overall vibe was spot on and had everything that you'd expect from Edition38 and more. Although we were super busy throughout the day with our Pop-Up Store, we managed to get around the show and photograph a few cars that stood out, check out our highlights...

Car Audio & Security’s Open Weekend 2018

Last time we popped down to Car Audio & Security, it was summertime, the sun was shining, and it was glorious. This time, however, we were met by the typical dull British weather. Fear not though... Being the UK's biggest car audio retailer, the forecast seemed to have no effect on the turnout - the CAS HQ was packed all weekend, as usual! Held over two days (Saturday 28th and Sunday 29thh April), they opened their doors to host their annual SALE event - the perfect opportunity to grab some absolute bargains from Air Lift, Rotiform, Kenwood, Alpine, JL Audio, Hertz, JBL, Rockford Fosgate, Pioneer, GoPro, and more. It's also an ideal chance to check out CAS's updated lineup of demo vehicles along with a whole host of incredible guest cars. For that reason, we never miss it. Enjoy a few of our highlights from the Saturday...

Old & New – Reflex Auto Design’s Slantnose Porsche 997

There are some incredible demo vehicles within the UK modified car industry, but today's feature car has got to be one of the most eye-catching builds that we've seen in a very long time. Sadly, we're rarely rewarded with such high-calibre cars over here, so on first glance, you'd expect this sort of machine to hail from the USA, Japan, or Europe where folks tend to put a lot more money into their show builds. Reflex Auto Design's Porsche 997 has been at the forefront of social media since it was unveiled a couple of weeks ago, mainly because this is no normal 997, but one which has been fitted with an 'Old&New' slantnose body kit, a sort of homage to the early flatnose/slantnose "Flachbau" Porsche 930S. Thanks to Reflex's expertise and bodywork experience, the final results are absolutely phenomenal. Naturally, we had to make a trip to Northamptonshire to take a closer look, nabbing the 997's first ever feature shoot.

Ultimate Dubs 2018

Show season truly kicks off for us in early March, when we make the trip up to the Telford International Centre, this time playing host to Ultimate Dubs (UD). There's always a ton of anticipation regarding what has become the season opener. Although it's predominately a Volkswagen/Audi-group based show, you'll find all sorts of custom car fans at the event, there to check out what's current in the car world, and catching up with old friends. Now our fifth year attending UD, it's clearly become more of trade event than a typical car show, but, that's no bad thing... We see it as the perfect opportunity to check out what's new in the car industry, including new demo/project cars that the host of traders are showing off. It could be described as a mini-SEMA Show for the modified scene in the UK, in fact. With plenty of non-VAG cars on trade booths, a large selection of pre-approved show-cars dotted about throughout the halls, as well as outdoor space with car clubs and more pre-selected cars (don't forget to check out our Bonus Gallery), we've done our best to capture our top-rated slices of metal, enjoy...

Ultimate Stance 2017

The Telford International Centre has become something of a second home for us. Starting the show season off with Ultimate Dubs in March, and finishing it in November with Ultimate Stance, both shows are certainly a must if you're interested in custom cars - the perfect opportunity to see what's new in the car scene. If you're not an avid Volkswagen/VAG fan, Ultimate Stance might be the preferred show for you, however. Being open to all marques, there's plenty of interesting stanced cars on display to take your fancy, whereas the display cars at Ultimate Dubs are strictly 'VAG'. Being the final event of the year, we've typically seen most of these cars throughout the year, nonetheless, there were still a handful of gems that seemed to have appeared from nowhere, as well as a few European cars that made the long journey over. Overall, there was plenty to look at, including a UK Lowrider display keeping everyone entertained outdoors (check out the Bonus Gallery), and the carpeted hall which we were based in also hosted a retro car display and retro arcade and pinball zone.

DTA End of Season Meet 2017

The last time I was at the Old James Cond Printer Works in Birmingham city centre was back in 2014 when DTA held the previous End of Season meet. If you were there, I'm sure that day will be imprinted in your memory just like it is mine. It was quite possibly the best car 'meet', or 'gathering', that I've ever attended, and that's saying something, considering I am an avid BMW fanatic, not air-cooled! But if you're a regular Slam Sanctuary reader, you'll know we're into all sorts here - oh, and the air-cooled scene do 'slammed' rather well! The DTA End of Season Meet brings together the best of the UK's air-cooled scene, as well as a few heroes that made the trip over from Europe. It's got to be the chilled vibe and incredible choice of venue that makes DTA different to everything else, with the run-down look of the ex-printer works suiting the sheer amount of patina'd cars, whilst equally complimenting those glossy restored ones, too! This also made it one of the most fun events to photograph, so I'll let the images do the rest of the talking, enjoy...

Shop Visit: Ergen Motorsport

Seeing as our diary is usually rather quiet come January, we were stoked to hear that our friends at Ergen Motorsport were holding an open house event at their newly finished headquarters in Fareham, Hampshire. If you're interested in BMW's and M-Power engines, you've most likely heard of Ergen. They're masters of the trade, specializing in M-cars, rebuilding them, converting them, and extracting more power from them. We first became aware of them thanks to their S54 engine conversion in Nick Sahota's iconic orange E30 M3, which we featured previously. If that build is anything to go by, these guys certainly know what they're doing. Adem, the head honcho at Ergen, has been wanting to upgrade their unit for the past two years, and finally, towards the end of 2017, the deal was sealed on their awesome new premises. Working flat-out over the Christmas period on refurbishments, they managed to get the majority of it ready in time for a soft opening on the 6th of January.