Monthly Archives: November 2014

Slam Sanctuary ‘Cursive’ T-shirt launch

We thought it was about time we released some new clothing, so say hello to our latest product… the ‘Cursive’ t-shirt designed by our good friend and talented illustrator/calligrapher Ben Mercer. The 100% cotton mens t-shirt is available in both black and white in sizes S-XXL, and features custom branded Slam Sanctuary tags and packaged in polythene bags for protection. Priced at just £15 + P&P, we’re really proud of these, so grab one while stocks last and look good! Visit our online store at slamsanctuary.bigcartel.com – we ship Worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE SLAM SANCTUARY STORE

Ultimate Stance 2014 – Part 2

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

It’s getting closer and closer to Christmas whilst 2014’s show season is becoming a distant memory. Fear not, we’re back to bring you our next round up of Ultimate Stance, the season’s big finale. Previously in our first part, we took you through the first hall which was filled with some quite outstanding show cars, plus a few gems from of the outside area of the venue. So here’s the long awaited Part 2 of our coverage, where we’ll be finishing off with some more stunning vehicles from outside in addition to the second indoor hall at the Telford International Centre. There was certainly plenty to see, so sit down, grab a cuppa and enjoy…

 

It was tough luck for our friend Pete Dew, who unfortunately destroyed his sump just as he arrived at the venue… such a shame, as his E28 was looking incredible on a set of Rondell 0067 splits. Notice that big puddle around the car? Yeah, that’s definitely not water…

 

 

 

As you’ll be able to work out from the photographs, the weather was typically British and didn’t want to make it’s mind up, but we did receive a fair few rays on sunshine so we could capture Bruce Gowans’ spectacular bagged BMW M135i on WatercooledIND wheels.

 

 

 

It was nice (and different) to see someone modifying a 4-door E30, most prefer the coupe’s but it’s good to see the saloon’s getting some love too, Josh Cope’s example here sitting perfectly on 3-piece ACT rims.

 

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There was an impressive lineup of Mini’s with Richard Davies’ Cooper S R56 being a highlight for us…

 

 

Not forgetting Marcus Creek’s notable example, completely static on a set of KW Turbos.

 

 

Sometimes the modern Volkswagen’s can be a little on the dreary side, but Dan Bentley has built his Polo GTI 6R so right. Sitting on bags, the fitment is spot on – a perfect marriage with those 17″ OZ Futuras.

 

 

 

It’s always a pleasure to catch up with our man Jamie Hitchcock and his silly low BMW Z4. There aren’t too many lowered examples about so this is awesome to see.

 

 

 

 

 

Two very cool silver static E36’s, Dom Cook’s coupe on OZ Fittipaldi with 10j rears, and Sam George’s saloon on a set of Autecs. Looking awe-inspiring parked up together like this.

 

 

 

 

So with the outside taken care of, let’s move back indoors into hall number two.

 

 

 

These two were a nice contrast to the hideous orange carpets, Haps’ incredible bagged Golf R32 on stepped-up BBS RFs, and Amar’s Polo rocking some 15″ polished Speedline Mistrals.

 

 

 

Let’s not forget Faz Ahmed’s super clean BMW E30 vert, complete with a gorgeous set of 17″ 7.5j & 8.5j Image splits.

 

 

Since adding the Hartge split rims, Prakash Thanky’s E21 has become one of our favourite car’s of 2014, a stunning overall example of one of BMW’s best shapes.

 

 

Another thing we love about Ultimate Dubs, and now Ultimate Stance, is the amount of trade stands in attendance. Auto Finesse were there in full force, with their project Caddy looking fantastic as per usual. Additionally, they had a live detailing session going on with a Mk2 Golf, which was awesome to see… and what a result!

 

 

 

They also had a sneaky addition from RollHard, Liam’s beautiful bagged Audi TT RS on Rotiform OZT splits.

 

 

Heading over to our friends at SlammedUK, they had a fantastic lineup of motors including Beau’s wrapped Audi A1 on Ispiri wheels.

 

 

Alongside, Dan Guirey’s Mk1 Golf with Wrigley’s livery, not very slammed – but an incredible car nonetheless!

 

 

One of our highlights back from Players show was Elmar Den Exter’s bagged BMW E28, so it was an absolute delight to see he had made the trip from the Netherlands again to show off his beautiful car, on AccuAir suspension and ACS splits. BMW perfection.

 

 

 

 

With E36’s ever so popular, it’s good to see more E46’s are now being put on air, the results are becoming quite spectacular.

 

 

Meet the breathtaking bagged Mercedes equivalent to Elmar’s BMW…

 

 

 

Moving across the hall to an incredible lineup on the RollHard stand, starting off with Aron Norris’ mean Mk2 Golf GTI.

 

 

The super high standard of cars continued with Joey’s E36 vert on hydraulics. Again he was rocking one side of the car with BBS RS, and the other with BBS RF as shown below, our personal favourite.

 

 

Jack Smith’s Mazda 3 sports some next-level fitment on a beautiful set of 18″ WatercooledIND CC10 wheels. We love the rear camber, insane!

 

 

Tom Shaw’s bagged MX5 was getting a lot of attention, with that crazy aero wing and RH Toplines with reverse mounted rear faces, oh and to top things off it’s on air.

 

 

Another bagged E46, this time a facelift example owned by Alex Hurd, we were loving the front splitter and amber corners.

 

 

Who doesn’t love a bit of Rotary action? Here in the form of Mike Clarke’s Mazda RX8!

 

 

We can’t forget the face of RollHard, Daniel’s Volvo 240 (aka Bricky), simply transformed with air ride and BBS RF wheels – which seem to work on absolutely anything! We love this wagon.

 

 

Are neons coming back into fashion? Michael Evans’ VIP Lexus LS430 was oozing class on 20″ Club Linea Sport 3piece wheels.

 

 

Andy King’s Honda Integra DC2 is a car we never tire of seeing, bagged on a set of gorgeous Gottis. It’s great to see Jap cars entering the stance scene, it goes to show that they can often work extremely well.

 

 

Continuing on with the Gotti theme is Jordan Fielding’s Audi 100L. This car blew us away, firstly being such a rare vehicle in the first place, on top of a fresh respray, insane fitment and immaculate interior, it has to be one of our favourite cars of Ultimate Stance.

 

 

 

With the other FourSeasons’ guys in between new projects, we found Thom on the RollHard stand holding down the fort with his bagged E46 – remember seeing this first at Ultimate Dubs at the beginning of the year back when it was static?

 

 

And if you thought the RollHard stand couldn’t get any better.. let us introduce you to Ben Anson’s breathtaking BMW E21, on air and Schmidt TH-Lines.

 

 

 

 

 

A majority of the time, simplicity is key. This is definitely the case with Adam King’s Audi A6. Bagged and on a set of 20″ Rotiform TMBs, the result is a seriously cool luxury car. Gotta love the hidden hardware on those TMBs, too. What more could you possibly want in something like this?

 

 

 

I think its safe to say most of us don’t often look twice at Corsa’s, well here’s our exception. Harry Wheatley has managed to make one look beautiful. Those custom 3piece Image Billet 61 splits totally compliment the car, which is bagged of course. Top marks!

 

 

 

Over at the Only Charged Dubs stand we were yet again blown away by Danny Mellor’s air assisted Audi A4 B8, on the new 3SDM 0.08 wheels which suit the car perfectly.

 

 

 

 

We especially liked Ultimate Stance because it was welcoming to all sorts of car enthusiasts and traders (more of which we’ll be seeing in Part 3) ie. people of different tastes, including the air-cooled scene, so it was awesome to see that our friends over at Hayburner magazine were in attendance.

 

 

That brings us to the end of part 2 of our coverage, with only two more halls remaining – which we’ll be looking at in our third and final chapter, online very soon. In the meantime keep your eyes peeled on the blog for more features and shop visits over the winter months, where we’re dedicated to supplying you with your automotive fix. Thanks for reading!

Coffee, Doughnuts & Dubs – The Rothfink x Krispy Kreme Meet

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Firstly, please excuse me for using the word ‘dub’, but I feel it’s acceptable for the title of our latest event coverage. When I heard the guys over at Rothfink were organising a meet, I knew it would be worth checking out. They offer some of the coolest apparel in the automotive industry and I’ve been keeping an eye out on their photoshoots and videos of air-cooled Volkswagens for a while now… we’re big fans of the brand over here at Slam Sanctuary. Although the show season has pretty much come to an end, the rain decided to stay away with the sun thankfully making an appearance a few weeks ago. What else was I going to do on a Sunday evening? So I hopped in the car with a couple of mates and we made the mammoth trip from Bournemouth to Bristol. Is it wrong to say we were equally excited to visit the Krispy Kreme shop and stuff our faces with doughnuts?

 

 

For me, a photographer, the sunlight turned into an absolute dream. I was so happy to be able to shoot Matt’s stunning Beetle in this light – my car of the meet by far.

 

 

There were plenty of Rothfink decals out on display, great to see people repping Jason and the  guys from Rothfink.

 

 

Matthew Veal’s Mk4 was certainly drawing in the crowds, on air ride and BBS RF splits. One of the nicest Mk4’s I’ve come across in a while.

 

 

Having seen a few photos of this online, it was awesome to finally see it for real, the Datsun Sunny estate on Reyvern hydraulics, sitting absolutely perfectly. This should bring back a few memories for some!

 

 

 

I got my sugar fix by in the form of far too many doughnuts, it was totally worth it though – even if I did want to throw up afterwards.

 

 

Spotted: the Fast Car Magazine A6 Avant on Airlift Performance bags and a gorgeous set of matte silver machined Vossen CV1s, an ideal daily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owen Burnell’s bagged Mk3 Golf wagon was looking lovely with its Vento front end/Phase 1 grill, on a set of BBS RS splits.

 

 

Andy Ward’s Mk5 GTI was gorgeous, with its contrasting cream leather interior. Sitting on StillStatic coilover suspension and 20″ Audi rotor wheels, I think you’ll agree it looks fantastic especially in this light.

 

 

Of course a few additional shots of Matt’s Beetle were necessary…

 

 

 

See what I mean about dreamy conditions.. check out this bagged MK5 Golf on some incredible Powertech Disc wheels, I’ve not seen a set of these before but loved the look.

 

 

 

 

Another smart Avant, this time Ryan Flyng-Jones’ static A4 on 3SDM 0.06s.

 

 

You can’t beat Corvette Sawblades, they work so well on Dan Bills’ Vento.

 

 

 

James Wheatley’s murdered out E36 was looking mean, on blacked out Style 32’s and a healthy static drop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always a pleasure to see Adam Wyatt and his VIP Lexus GS430, especially when he decides to rev up that V8 under the bridge… (click here to check out his recent feature)

 

 

Personally I thought this slammed Fiat 500 looked amazing, even on the steels. It’d be nice to see every other car lowered like this.

 

 

Being a Rothfink meet, there were of course a fair share of air-cooled buses in attendance.

 

 

 

I was happy to see Matt Woodgate made it down in his bagged B7, so I could photograph his car in the sunset… he just so happened to pick the best parking spot EVER.

 

 

 

 

Matt Clifford made the journey down from Coventry in his stunning E31 840ci – look out for the feature coming soon to Slam Sanctuary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I loved this diplomatic style Mercedes W108, what a beauty. A ride full of class.

 

 

 

Bruce Holder was certainly causing a stir in his jaw dropping and super low Land Rover 4L V8, crazy!

 

 

So, with a large amount of many people tucking up their cars for Winter already, the turnout was still impressive… with a nice mixture of air-cooled and non-VAG cars in attendance, giving everyone something cool to appreciate whilst they feasted on some of Krispy Kreme’s finest. I was also glad to say I’ve finally visited the venue, now becoming famous for the meets held there. Hopefully Slam Sanctuary will be back sometime in the near future, and I look forward to Rothfink organising another event next year. In the meantime, make sure you check out their latest line of apparel now available on their store. Cheers guys!

 

Discover more:
Rothfink.com
Rothfink on Facebook
Rothfink on Instagram

Ultimate Stance 2014 – Part 1

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

It’s crazy to think we’re midway through November already, and 2014’s show season has already come to an end. So, as not to completely end the year prematurely, we’ve been keeping you waiting for this one. Behold… Ultimate Stance. Having first kicked off the year with Ultimate Dubs at the International Centre in Telford, it turns out the organisers (now fully established throughout the scene), wanted to step things up – to not only host the season starter, but finish off with the grand finale. It’s pretty much as you would expect… Ultimate Dubs, but with lots more non-VAG cars, and a hell of a lot of BMWs. We certainly don’t have a problem with this! With the Telford International Centre being such a huge venue, and the show surprisingly filling up four halls and the surrounding car park, we’re splitting our coverage into three parts. Hopefully this will also give you your show fix over the coming few weeks whilst everything is tucked away for Winter and there’s near to nothing going on.

 

Seeing as we made Ultimate Dubs a weekend affair, we decided to do the same for Ultimate Stance. With our onsite hotel sorted, we headed up and arrived at the venue on the Saturday afternoon, greeted by several cars lining up to get cleaned before parking up inside. It’s always quite interesting and sometimes a right laugh to see some of the bagged cars riding at their driving heights, but we’ll try not to embarrass anyone! Instead, let’s kick off with a shot of two vehicles you rarely see parked up side by side! Sam Beach’s E24 635csi and Matt Clifford’s E31 840ci, both bagged too. The weekend was already set to be good.

 

 

We bumped into Shakey and the rest of the guys from Studio Incar (check out our recent shop visit by clicking here) giving the Liberty Walk M3 and the rest of their line up and good ‘ol clean.

 

 

 

I think this was the first time I’ve seen the new M4 in real life, and I have to say, BMW have seriously stepped up their game with this one. Max Wilde’s example here, looking amazing in white.

 

 

Clearly, all was set for a varied show, after seeing this little Nissan Cube which I absolutely loved. Nice to see something different, this one bagged and sitting on Work Meisters.

 

 

Let’s move inside, to four halls of automotive heaven, not to mention additional spaces surrounding them! You certainly didn’t have to go far before you bumped into something cool.

 

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Matt Vanstone’s air’d out Audi S3 was looking glorious in it’s stunning Sprint Blue finish, on a set of 18″ 9j Mercedes Segin alloys.

 

 

Another set of flocked 3SDM’s (which are now up for sale) on Cara McNeill’s black bagged Mk5 Golf, a great look.

 

 

There’s something about Vossen wheels on modern cars, Team SPB’s beastly hydro’d Mercedes CLS is a prime example running on a set of CV7s.

 

 

 

The E36 game has become severely over crowded as of late, but Ruairi Coleman has built a car with all the right elements making for a perfect looking example. A 328i, resprayed in Estoril blue, one of BMW’s nicest colours of all time, plus those amber corners set it off nicely in addition to the boot spoiler. It sits really well on air suspension, and topped off with a set of 8j and 10j (rears) OZ Futuras.

 

 

 

We don’t come across too many stanced Alfa Romeo’s, so it was a surprise to see this 156, sitting low on a set of Rotiform NUE splits.

 

 

Alongside the Alfa was another rare car for the UK scene, a Honda Accord CU2 with a super eye-catching paint job, static too – impressive.

 

 

Over on the VIBE Audio stand was Mark’s bagged Mk5 Golf GTI on Lamborghini wheels…

 

 

Dale Masterman’s bagged Beetle always looks great on its Empi vintage style wheels.

 

 

One of our recent favourites is Aneysha’s 1964 Beetle. There are so many tasteful subtle touches to the car, it’s just right. Check out the recently added Albert Swan Neck mirrors…

 

 

 

You can’t beat an Audi Avant, and Myle’s Collins’ (the man behind FittedUK) bagged B7 looks awesome on BBS GT-004’s.

 

 

 

A beautiful set of Vossen CVT alloys on this bagged Audi TT owned by Kiran Attwal.

 

 

So, more hybrids are entering the show scene, check out this VIP style Lexus GS450h on D2 Air Suspension, awesome.

 

 

Good to see the boys from Somerset made it down, with Lee Johns in his bagged Mk5 Golf, sitting on a set of Mercedes Alphard rims.

 

 

Adam Wyatt’s VIP Lexus GS430 which we recently featured (click here to check out the feature).

 

 

 

Absolutely love what Matt Woodgate has done to his B7 A4, from the Rotiform IND-T’s with painted centres, to the Amaretto leather interior to match.

 

 

 

Another favourite has got to be this Mk6 Golf R with widened front arches made to fit the 20″ Vossen wheels. With the addition of air ride thanks to Airlift and AccuAir, the fitment is 100% spot on, making for an outstanding overall package and thing of full beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

So that’s the first hall done, let’s move through to outside, after stopping for a quick look at Shaun Morris’ static BMW E28 on a super cool set of OZ Breyton’s.

 

 

Luckily as the Telford International Centre is such a big venue, the car park is equally as large, with the majority of it being used for an outside area as part of the show. We think we found some real gems, like Tom Stephenson’s incredible E38 740i running on D2 Air Suspension. The rear is tucking so well, we were seriously impressed – this is how a bagged car should be.

 

 

 

We love Mk1’s of all kinds, Travis Price is the owner of this gorgeous Jetta CL on Schmidt TH-Line’s and recently installed air ride.

 

 

 

It’s always intriguing to come across a modified 1 Series at a show, because you simply don’t see many of them. Alex Smithson’s was a lovely example, on Airlift Performance bags and ACS splits with some great fitment.

 

 

 

Balls’d came down to the show in something pretty unusual, a Subaru Forester which they’ve only just slammed on Tein coilovers. Fair play for doing something different, Best Forester we’ve ever seen!

 

 

 

There’s nothing better than seeing a stunning home build. Rory Hamilton’s Mercedes W115 is breathtaking, and in white – a rare colour for one of these big Mercs.

 

 

 

It’s always exciting to see the latest menacing car to rock an SS Autowerks banner. This time it’s Christian Chapman’s Golf GTI. Obviously not just any Golf… but one with crazy aero all round and just generally over the top, but we love it.

 

 

Lewis Maher’s BMW E46 is certainly a strange colour, however the overall result is spectacular, bagged and sitting on a set of Rotiform VCE’s.

 

 

 

Nikki Harris has yet again changed the colour of the Brock B1’s on her supercharged Mini Cooper S. Still not sure which colour is best, they all seem to work equally well!

 

 

 

That about rounds up Part 1 of our Ultimate Stance coverage, and already we’ve seen some truly amazing cars. Check back soon for Part 2 in which we’ll take you through the rest of the outside zone, along with the second hall for more of this year’s best show cars.

Air & Audio – A day with Studio Incar

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Deciding on which shop to enlist to work on your pride and joy can be a daunting task for any car enthusiast, especially those wanting to build next-level show cars. Depending on whether you’re willing to spend big bucks, or simply opt for something more affordable, the final outcome has still got to be outstanding if you’re spending that hard earned cash. With the show scene now bigger and more popular than ever, the amount of specialists and workshops popping up is continually growing, making it harder and harder to make an informed decision. Bring on our latest series of features, or “Shop Visits”, where we’ll be taking a look behind closed doors of some of the UK’s best car modifiers and suppliers. First up, Studio Incar. A shop I’ve known about for quite some time, and over the past show season you may well be familiar with their Liberty Walk BMW E92 M3, that has been known to appear at car shows and meets blasting out some of the loudest (and of course crispest) music you’ve ever heard. This would be because essentially, Studio Incar have a passion for car audio, which is where the company originated from.

 

Studio Incar’s head honcho Carl Shakespeare, also known as ‘Shakey’ to most, invited me down for the day and I jumped at the opportunity. I took the short drive along the coast to their secluded countryside location just between Southampton and Portsmouth, for a proper look behind the scenes inside their headquarters.

 

 

Having planned my visit about a week before, I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but Shakey assured me to just come on down as they always have interesting stuff going on. On arrival, I was met by a car that has been hugely popular on the scene during the past season due to being static and stupidly low… It was Josh Stokes’ of ‘FourSeasons’ old BMW E36 328 coupe. It took a few moments to remember that Josh actually put the car up for sale a few weeks back, and everything fell into place once Shakey mentioned that his good friend Mark had just purchased the car. After attempting to drive the car around properly for a few days, Mark decided it was impractical for his usage. He wanted the lows, but also the drivability, so opted to go for an air ride package from the guys at Studio Incar, to be installed in just a day. Luckily this meant I could stick around to watch the whole process involved with bagging a car.

 

 

Shakey has always had a huge passion for car culture and home Hi-Fi, so car audio seemed like a natural mix for him. He spent a year working for another car audio shop, loving the work involved, but knew that ultimately he wanted to be his own boss, so he tried a gas fitting course but this ended prematurely. At the same time he was already working privately from home and found himself running out of space anyway, so he decided that enough was enough. In 2010 Studio Incar was born, with the intention of being the best in the field. A few years later, and they are a multi-award winning company, known for producing some of the best car audio installs in the country. Recently, they’ve made the jump to air ride installation, which is what interests me the most, seeing as we’re into slammed cars here at Slam Sanctuary, I asked Shakey why they decided to enter the market… It is never something they used to be interested in, Shakey told me, back in the day when everything was manually controlled and the bags were made up with spare parts. With outstanding kits now available, including next-level management options, it’s now a true performance upgrade, which grabbed Shakey’s attention and has grown to be a huge part of what Studio Incar do on a day-to-day basis.

 

 

The company take pride in being much more of a personal business than others in the industry. Customers don’t just turn up, drop the car off, then come back, pay and leave… They strive to sit down with everyone and get to know them, talking and spending time on the phone if necessary for a good couple of hours beforehand to get on the exact same page as the client. At the end of the day, the car has to be right for them as, ultimately, it’s their car – which can be a very personal thing. With a small team of just four people, Shakey along with Paul (on sales and fitting), Steve (installations) and Lottie running the office and accounting, it’s easy to talk to them, and I have to say some of the friendliest people I’ve met within the industry. After spending the day with them, I really felt a close nit family atmosphere within the workshop. With numerous late nights, staying on after hours and  getting customer’s cars finished within deadline is a top priority. They don’t even seem bothered about not getting home as quickly as they can… like so many people I know hating their day jobs. Clearly they all have a passion for what they do, and when choosing a shop – that’s what you want to see, right?

 

 

A walk through to the rear of the workshop, and there is a fully heated and Wi-Fi equipped waiting room, ideal for hanging out, check out some products, or just play PlayStation, whilst the guys work some magic on next door.

 

 

Bagging a car can either be a simple process or an extremely complex one, depending on the car. Studio Incar can do it all, no matter how old the car is, they will find a way. They’ve installed air ride on Vauxhalls through to old school BMW’s, including recently an E24 635CSI which included custom fabrication work to allow the universal kit to work with the car. Not forgetting, Nick Sahota’s E30 M3 which was the first one in the world on air, which all had to be custom work before the E30-specific kits became available only recently. Luckily for Mark’s E36, Airlift Performance already offer a specific bolt-on kit for the car, so the guys could complete the whole job in one day, this obviously dramatically cuts the cost of labour for the customer, and makes everything relatively straight forward. I thought, as we usually admire our fair share of bagged cars, it would be interesting to take our readers through the process of installing one of these kits.

 

 

Using the Airlift Performance BMW E36 kit, the first step in bagging Mark’s E36 was to raise up the car and remove the front coilovers that were previously fitted. The Airlift kit even comes with direct replacement struts, consisting of a monotube, threaded body, partnered with a double-bellow air spring. There are a few different methods to get everything fitted, but Shakey and the guys prefer to have everything laid out on the work bench so that all the fittings can be made to the new bags with appropriate space, rather than crouching underneath the car.

 

 

 

 

Although not our main interest, car audio is Studio Incar’s main passion and focus, they’ve done it all from prize winning installations to subtle OEM upgrades, through to complete custom dashboard “symmetry” based SQ systems and even installs for supercars. So whilst Paul and Shakey were busy fitting the air, Steve was busy working his magic on an install for a customer’s Volkswagen Corrado, compromising of a fully digital hi-definition wireless system, so that everything can be run from the customer’s smart device. This would allow him to listen to music but also run a maps function for navigation usage, all in perfect hi-def quality. The install will include fabricating a complete tailored and trimmed boot install, making for an overall beautiful upgrade package.

 

 

Steve was busy for the majority of the day carefully planning, measuring, sawing and preparing wood and other materials for the audio install, so that everything would fit in seamlessly with the client’s existing air set up, and ready to be trimmed to match the rest of the interior over the following days. Watching him at work, routing cables, applying sound deadening, and generally making sure every little thing was 100% perfect, was super impressive.

 

 

 

Back to the E36, having sorted all the fitments up on the bench, it was time to mount the front bags onto the car, which fitted perfectly thanks to Airlift’s time and effort spent designing the kit specifically for this particular chassis. In the long run, this is what you are paying for.

 

 

The Airlift struts also include brand new adjustable caster/camber plates made from T6061 aluminium, for ultimate adjustability, which fit perfectly onto the original E36 turrets. Plus, the struts themselves have 30 different levels of damping, from a smooth ride to a stiff track day ride just by adjusting the knob. They really are impressive bits of kit, and it’s no surprise that Shakey and the guys believe it is one of the best upgrades you can make to a car.

 

 

 

Next up, Paul and Shakey got started on removing the existing rear setup. Again, the Airlift kit comes with a pair of redesigned threaded body monotube rear shocks, with the 30 levels of damping adjustability just like the front set. The original coil springs are replaced with double-bellow air springs which sit nicely above the struts. Not only are these made incredibly well, the anodised red finish on them makes them look awesome.

 

 

After running the air lines under the car, making sure to attach them to safe areas such as near the fuel line mounts, etc, they are connected to the new air bags at all four corners. It was time for the essential remaining items to be added to the car, the air has got to come from somewhere… so the guys produced a boot build for the E36 the previous day, ready to drop straight into the car. This is an example of one of Studio Incar’s “Level 1” prefab builds, a great example of one of their basic installations. It consists of two VIAR 444c Stealth Black compressors, simple hard lines made to match and an AccuAir tank, as they already had this in stock and was finished in black to match the rest of the build. Overall, it’s an impressive ‘mudered-out’ style boot build, which should be perfect for the car to match the black paintwork and black leather interior.

 

 

Following on from this, the Advanced Air Lift manifold was installed, hidden out of sight just alongside the fuel filler cap. The main air lines mounted under the car are directed and connected up to this manifold. Furthermore, a drain-off was also installed to remove any vapour in the tank with ease.

 

 

Finally, it was a case of dropping in the boot install, modifying the loom, and wiring up all cables tidily to the battery, which is located at the rear of most BMW’s – making the job a little less stressful. Cables are also run to the front of the car to assist for the install of the management package, AutoPilot V2 Digital Management also produced by Airlift. This is one of the most advanced pressure-based air suspension control systems on the market today.

 

 

 

With all the lines tested for leaks, the car was ready to drive. The above photograph shows the car at its newly set driving height, ready for those speed bumps! Plus it could now get out of the workshop without the assistance of ramps. So, time to get the car outside for a quick wash and photo session before the winter darkness arrived.

 

 

How good does the car look? Mark definitely made the right choice to go for the air option. Sure, it’s only slightly lower than it was when it was static, but luckily, it IS that little bit lower, and the car can now be driven as BMW intended it to, if not better, and at safe ride height… no more worrying about speed bumps, and destroying more of the underside of the car.

 

 

 

There’s still room for adjustability, the rear can even come down more which is something to experiment with in the future when Mark puts his touch on the car. Of course, the wheels will be changing next and he’s been thinking about de-spoilering the car for a cleaner look.

 

 

With 512 colour combinations, the AutoPilot V2 controller looks awesome inside the E36. It also displays individual corner air pressure and tank pressure, with up to 8 different user presets to tailor the ride heights needed. Incredibly, it will even learn the vehicle setup, so as you are driving, the management will monitor the pressures and adjust them in accordance with your presets. A very clever piece of technology.

 

 

 

A few weeks later, we spent the weekend with the Studio Incar guys at Ultimate Stance, the big finale to 2014’s show season. This was a great opportunity to get a closer look at some of the cars Studio Incar have built recently, which all came down to the show to park up on the stand and represent Shakey and the boy’s handiwork. Before they went inside the venue at Telford, I couldn’t resist snapping a few shots of them cleaning the cars!

 

 

Naturally, they put on by far one of the classiest looking stands of the show, and situated in one of the coolest areas – the exclusive carpeted hall, a nice way to show off the cars. You’ll notice their demo car, the Liberty Walk kitted BMW E92 M3, that recently had a stunning new wrap and black painted Rotiform TMB’s. A truly menacing car, yet in a way, subtle – just as Shakey intended. The insides are fully kitted out with in-car entertainment, it sounds phenomenal.

 

 

In addition, Sam’s E24 635CSI that I mentioned earlier, and Josh’s E92, both bagged recently by Studio Incar.

 

 

And the game changer, Nick’s E30 M3 also mentioned earlier. One of the first of it’s kind to go on air ride and custom built by Studio Incar.

 

 

It was super cool to hang out with the guys and their friends outside of work and having spent time with them in a professional environment also, it’s clear that they’re all down-to-earth people. Ultimately that’s what makes a great company. They may be a small business, but they are easily approachable and their work is right there at the top, and customer’s obviously choose them for these very reasons. Shakey mentioned that they are nearly always allowed to make their own decisions on each car they have in the workshop, which he says is really quite flattering, considering how personal a modified car can be to the owner. To take things even further, Studio Incar are now even offering complete project management, something very special and unique. They’ll deal with every part of a project car, no matter how big or small so that the client doesn’t have to deal with the stress that can be involved with building a car how you envision it. The idea is you can drive in as a stock car, and leave as a show winner, should that be what is required.

 

Show season is over for this year, and the workshop is already becoming rammed with new projects for next year. I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves and will be out to spot some of their installs in numerous show cars across the scene next season. Keep up the good work guys, and thanks for taking the time out and showing us your world, it’s been fun.

 

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South West VIP – Adam Wyatt’s 2003 Lexus GS430

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

For a style that is hugely popular in Japan and the US, the UK scene seems to have overlooked a fascinating part of car culture, which is why it was a breath of fresh air to be able to take a closer look at the latest feature car. Now don’t mistake VIP for the usual “Very important person”, I’m referring to the modification of Japanese luxury cars, ie. slamming them onto the floor and modifying the car to sit as wide as possible, using the most outrageously deep wheels you can source. It’s about being elegant and crazy, all in one. Having previously been a Volkswagen fanatic and owning cars such as a Mk4 wagon which was static and stupidly low, and a 300bhp VR6 supercharged Mk3, Adam Wyatt was getting bored of the VW scene. He decided it was time to step up the game , and build a VIP car, especially with the affordability of Lexus’ and other Jap luxury cars these days. He wanted to do something out of the box of normality, and hopefully raise interest in the VIP scene in the UK.

 

Rewind to just over a year ago, and after much searching Adam found the base that he would use for the build, a 2003 Lexus GS430 fresh as it came out of the factory finished in Black Cherry Pearl paint with all the luxury mod-cons as you would expect (bar some ugly aftermarket alloys), along with a tasty sounding 4.3 litre V8 lump. It was the perfect platform for Adam to get to work and start his monster of a project.

 

 

The idea was to capture attention, and an essential modification in doing this was widening the car to give it a much meaner looking presence. Working in a body shop as a panel beater by trade, Adam is no stranger to bodywork, and attempts to do everything himself. To widen the car, he rolled all four arches and flared them, so that they would tuck his chosen 11j and 12j wheels – a set of 18″ Weds Kranze, running 235/40 tyres up front and 245/40 at the rear. The fitment is absolutely on point.

 

 

To get the car sitting this flush, Adam took the decision to install air. Having had silly-low static cars in the past, he wanted something he could now drive hassle free, but still allowing the car to sit on the floor as it should with any VIP styled vehicle. Adam took on the build himself with a few friends and installed everything in his garage at home. Suspension wise, the Lexus sits on AirREX fully damper and height adjustable air struts which is managed by an AccuAir SwitchSpeed management package. This is finished off with a 5 gallon 8-port dumpy air tank in the boot along with VIAIR twin needle gauges in the centre console.

 

 

The GS430 is an elegant car, even when standard just out of the factory. Adam wanted to complete the look by making the car as smooth and as flush as possible. This included smoothing the boot lid and removing all number plate holes and badges to fully tidy up the rear end of the car. This is completed with a Jap/US spec number plate and all red lights. Up front Adam opted for a smoothed US style front bumper along with a Greddy replica front lip and US running lights.

 

 

 

Even though the air install provided adequate lows, Adam still wasn’t convinced so he decided to notch the front suspension turrets which allowed the car to sit an extra 1″ lower, it’s this sort of attention to detail that really makes the car what it is.

 

 

 

After all these essential body modifications, the car underwent a full respray by Adam’s good friend Louis Nobbs (who’s Mk2 Jetta we recently featured). Given all the subtle mods, many would fail to notice how much time and effort has actually gone into it but the final result is rather stunning. You might’ve also noticed the super crazy dual tail pipes Adam has installed, which belong to a custom stainless straight pipe fabricated by Oli Dunnett, removing the factory cats and four silencers, to fully amplify the V8, and boy is it loud! It is by far one of the noisiest road cars I’ve ever heard, with a lairy NASCAR style note which no doubt will actually scare pedestrians.

 

 

 

Inside the cabin is the usual luxurious affair found in Japanese saloons of the era, and essential to any VIP car. Leather comfort heated seats all round with piano wood trim, air conditioning, memory adjustable steering column… the list is never-ending. Adam has kept most of the interior as standard, adding a full LED light upgrade and VIP style curtains to all the windows. Not forgetting the gauges and management controller for the air ride setup, positioned cleanly at the bottom of the centre console.

 

 

 

 

Adam has certainly done the VIP style justice. He’s nailed the all-essential balance of elegance and extreme insanity, with his almost OCD attention to detail on body modification and making those 11j and 12j alloys fit perfectly. As a result, the car has had a ridiculous amount of attention over the past year, and Adam has countless funny stories of scaring people with his stupidly loud straight pipes. It really is ridiculous.

 

 

 

Personally what I love to see is at the end of the day Adam along with his mates have done all the work on the car themselves. It’s a truly ‘home built’ car, and it’s not just been about fitting suspension and adding some expensive wheels… so much has been changed. Even if you’re not a fan of Jap or the VIP style itself, you can’t not appreciate the work that has gone into it, it is stunning. Unfortunately all things eventually come to an end, and after a fun year of ownership Adam has decided to move on and put the car up for sale. He has a new project on the horizon, which should be in the form of another Jap car. It looks like he has caught the bug now! I wish him all the best with the next car and I’ll be sad to see this go, as I’m sure he will, it’s always a fun one to see at car shows (or hear from the other side of the show ground).