Monthly Archives: July 2015

Uxbridge Auto Show 2015 with ‘The Custom Cars’

Location: Uxbridge, West London

Date: 19 July 2015


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


I don’t know if it’s just me, but seeing the same cars every weekend can get a little tedious. Time to expand the horizons and check out some different shows then… Dips and the guys at The Custom Cars mentioned they were attending this year’s Uxbridge Auto Show with a big stand of theirs and friends BMW’s. I was instantly sold… The show is a well-known West London family charity event put on by The Rotary Club at Uxbridge and open to all cars and clubs, with a large classic following. However, for me the day was a lot more BMW-orientated! Staying up in West London the night before, I was able to meet up with everyone early on the Sunday morning at Custom Cars HQ in Hayes. We then all drove up to the show in Uxbridge together in a convoy of over 20 modified BMW’s, with more meeting us later at the showground. Dips organised one of the biggest stands of the day, so here are my highlights and a few favourites from the rest of the show…



Tej Bajwa’s static Santorini Blue E30 M3 on AC Schnitzer split rims



Nick Sahota’s S54-swapped E30 M3 on Air Lift suspension and Bugatti 3pc centrelock wheels



Performance BMW Magazine’s E39 540i on Air Lift suspension & 19″ OZ Superleggera III’s


Atlantis Blue E46 M3 on Racing Dynamic wheels


Bhups Gill’s M52 E30 320i on BBS Style5’s


Dips Amin’s bagged Ruby Red E46 M3 ‘vert


Richard Ansari’s static E46 M3 on 18″ OZ Mito Type 1’s



Kos Loizou’s E24 635CSi


Rash & Tej Bajwa’s E34 M5


Alpine White E28 Alpina B9 3.5


Sandeep Gill’s E30 325i chromie ‘vert on Schmidt TH-Line’s


Indy Dhillon’s M50 E30 Touring


Sukhi Kang’s static Mercedes W114 on wires


So that sums up The Custom Cars stand, Here are a few more cars that caught my eye throughout the rest of the show…


E12 528i on Style5’s


E34 Alpina B10 BiTurbo (535i)



E34 525i Touring on ACS split rims


E34 M5 finished in Avus Blue with M Parallel’s


E28 M535i on Borbet Type B’s


Ben Lander’s E46 M3 ‘vert on stepped-up 3pc Hartge’s


Steven Taylor’s static E46 M3 running square set up 19″ OEM wheels


George Assi’s E24 635CSi on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’s



Kav Bhamra’s bagged Volkswagen Mk2 Rallye on BBS RS’s



Tom Martin’s Porsche 964 Carrera 4 on 18″ BBS E28’s


1962 Cadillac Coupe









If you are looking for a family oriented car show with a whole mixture of activities, food, bars, trade stands and cars, Uxbridge is definitely one that should be on your list for next year. Although I’ve focused mainly on the BMW’s and lowered cars (as is mandatory over here..) you should be able to tell that there was a wide variation of classic cars. The only sort of show I can compare it to is Wheels Day. If that’s your sort of thing, check it out. A final big thanks to Dips at The Custom Cars for having us on his stand for the day.



More info on Uxbridge Auto Show:

Uxbridge Auto Show website


More info on The Custom Cars:

The Custom Cars website

The Custom Cars on Facebook

The Custom Cars on Instagram



Dorset Volksfest 2015

Location: Wareham, Dorset

Date: 11 July 2015


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


Here at Slam Sanctuary we try and support anything local whenever we can (for those who don’t know, that’s the Bournemouth/Poole general area), especially when it’s in the form of a car show! Dorset Volksfest (DVF) has been running for the past two years now, and we’ve been there to cover both shows. It’s a nice chance for us to discover the local treasures that are surprisingly on our doorstep. Watching a small show like DVF grow has been truly awesome, with the organisers upgrading everything this year with a bigger and better venue located in Wareham. Essentially a three day event, it’s definitely a good one to go to with the family or a bunch of mates and make a camping weekend out of it – with some stunning Volkswagens thrown in of course! This year we only managed to make it down on the Saturday, before the actual Show & Shine, but there was still an awesome selection of cars dotted about the campsite and show area. Here are the highlights…


The guys from First ‘n’ Last Dub Club (FNL) made the trip up from Cornwall with a tasty selection of air-cooled cars and buses.


Jack Dunstan’s bagged Beetle sitting on banded steels


Aaron Campion’s LT28 camper on air suspension


Morgan Hall’s 1968 Westy with banded rear steels, narrowed front beam and air ride


Pete’s bay window camper


This year there was an influx of quality trade stands to keep everyone busy throughout the weekend, including The Wheel Specialist-Bournemouth, Canford Classics and VAS Works to name a few…


The Wheel Specialist – Bournemouth’s display cars – Si’s Mk1 Caddy & James’ Mk1 Polo


James McCafferey’s rare DKW F12


One of Canford Classics’ many early Porsche 911’s


Leroy Goddard-Fletcher’s Audi S4 Avant on Bentley wheels, bagged by VAS Works


VAS Works’ Mk2 Golf GTI


Adam Hodge’s Audi TT on Stillstatic/H&R coilovers & 20″ ETA BETA Venti-R’s




Lee Curtis’ 1962 Beetle, nicknamed ‘Purple Haze’, originally built in the early 80’s and currently being recommissioned with a 1300cc engine, new pans, heater channels, brakes and lines, and much more.



Adam Hutching’s static Mk1 Jetta on 16″ Stern 3pc splits


Jamie Carter’s 1988 Nissan Laurel with a Skyline RB25DET-swapped motor now running 402hp thanks to a Holset HX35 turbo


Coltech Classics’ 1930 Ford Model A pickup


Pipey McGraw’s ex-police 1952 split-oval (Zwitter) Beetle, slammed on hydraulic suspension and a 3″ narrowed beam



Loz Brush’s Type3 Fastback


 A stunning Porsche 356 Speedster replica


Although we missed the Show & Shine, DVF3 has no doubt been the biggest show yet, with the camping field completely packed with friends and families making a holiday of it. In addition to the cars, plenty of trade stands, amusements, food and drink areas were there to keep everyone happy. For a weekender it’s not to be missed!


More info on Dorset Volksfest:

DVF Website
DVF on Facebook
DVF on Instagram



A Life Sentence – Ryan Powell’s 1997 Volkswagen Mk3 Golf VR6

Words & Photos by Henry Phull


If you’ve been frequenting Slam Sanctuary and the specific portion of the car community we tend to focus on, then you’ll know that the Volkswagen Golf has long been one of the most popular chassis choices for styling and performance modifications. However, choosing which model to go for can be challenging unless you have your heart set on one or the other. Ryan Powell opted to build himself a Mk3 which we are showcasing today. Despite being a huge fan of the Mk1 and Mk2’s, the later Mk3 had some of the newer technology that the older cars lacked – but still not completely reliant on computers. It’s the model that is classed as ‘old but new’ – the last of the classic Golfs before they became completely modernised and overrun by troublesome electronics. In a momentary lapse of reason, Ryan almost found himself buying a Corrado VR6, so clearly the engine played a strong part in Ryan’s decision to go with the Golf, which was to become a huge part of his life.



Passing his driving test at the age of twenty, Ryan’s driving debut started quite late. Think ‘Max Power’, and you’ll get an idea of how his motoring days began… the first car being a Vauxhall Corsa which was rolled within the first three weeks of ownership. It was then swiftly replaced by another Corsa which was also written off from being driven into a wall! So, two Vauxhall’s down the scrap yard in record time… Ryan soon decided it was time to upgrade to something he actually wanted and would take care of. He has always been in love with Volkswagens before he could even drive, drooling over his older cousin’s issues of Performance VW and even going to car shows and meets with him and mates. A look into insurance quotes showed that Golf’s were finally within his threshold… the search was on.



After searching for a few weeks Ryan came across the car you see today, just down the road from him in Portsmouth, although it was completely standard at the time. Unfortunately the Golf was a non Highline model, but it was finished in ‘LO41 Straight Black’ – a desirable colour, in addition to being a rot-free, low mileage VR6. Being right on his doorstep, there was no way Ryan was going to let this one go… A deal was done and his VR6 base was ready for the upcoming years worth of modifications.



Ryan has owned the Mk3 for over four and a half years now, so it’s naturally been through a few different stages and looks. Unsurprisingly he wanted to get the car on the floor as soon as possible, starting on coilovers with a set of KW V1’s then later upgrading to GAZ Custom Ultra Low’s which drove great, but with the height that Ryan ran the car at, plus the amount of travel left on the coilovers, the Golf’s arches were taking a significant beating. With constant bills for sump repairs, sub frames and arch work, a switch to air ride was on the horizon to save money (and the car) in the long run.



About a year ago, Ryan bit the bullet and forked out his hard-earned cash on a full Mk3 AirREX strut kit with Air Lift Performance V2 management, which he fitted himself on the driveway. Once he got his head around everything, he reckons the fitting part was a pretty simple task. Whilst some people would just bolt on the air and be done with it, Ryan told himself that if he was going to be on air ride he wanted the car to properly lay frame – this meant a bit more work and messing around. A few visits to Coltech Classics in Poole for some chassis notching, as well as an engine raise so that the sump sits level with the subframe, and the car now lays frame whilst fully air’d out. A little additional work can go a long way.



The first set of wheels Ryan ran on the Golf were 16″ 8j Mercedes 8-holes which he absolutely adored, but when the chance to own some genuine splits arose (located just 10 minutes from his house) he jumped at the chance… 17×8 & 17×9 BBS LM’s with ET35 all round. Although with a 5×114.3 centre bore, it meant that Ryan had to find somewhere to get some adapters made up, and opted for Adaptec Speedware in the USA – after running a set on his previous Mercedes wheels he already knew that the quality of their work was excellent. With the wheels and adapters mounted, Ryan went through a few different tyres to get to the optimal fitment, resulting in 185/35/17 up front and 195/40 at the rear which allow the car to sit just right.



Body wise, Ryan has added a few special touches to complete the car’s look. Firstly, you’ll no doubt be wondering about the front end.. Hella Quad headlights really make it unique – Ryan admits that the lights get a varied feedback – but the car was built for him and nobody else, so why should other people’s opinions matter, right? He’s managed to pull them off and distinguish his car from the crowd. Along with the headlight swap, the car rocks a Vento front bumper with a smoothed plate recess and GL splitter. At the rear you’ll notice a shortened plate recess and a tasteful Votex spoiler. To tidy up the rest of the exterior, Ryan fitted brand new wings, replaced all the door handles with colour coded items and even changed the window glass rubbers all round.



After running the car with its original paint for a few years, Ryan wanted the shell to be perfect, resulting in a full respray in the original LO41 colour to keep it OEM. Before it hit the paint booth, the wings were completely flattened to allow for maximum clearance all round. Ryan fully prepped the car himself before handing it over to the paint shop, and even had to put everything back together himself afterwards. His good friend Chris Phillips then gave the car a complete detail to make that new paintwork pop like it should.



The attention to detail Ryan has taken with the outside definitely follows throughout the interior, making this Mk3 a lovely place to be. He first swapped out the original interior for a set of leather Highline seats, but found himself sliding all over the place due to his ‘spirited driving’. These were quickly swapped out and replaced with a pair of Recaro’s. To match these, Ryan sourced a Vento rear bench and had it retrimmed in the same material, along with the gear and handbrake gators. The roof lining was then dyed black, the carpet changed to black, and the A, B and C pillars replaced with Highline items.



You wouldn’t even notice if you weren’t a dedicated Golf fanatic, but Ryan even replaced small things like grab handles with B4 examples and sun visors from a Mk3 Cabriolet. Furthermore, he installed a US spec rear centre console with cup holders and a boot switch which has been fully wired up. The rather ugly original Mk3 steering wheel was binned in favour of a Momo Team 280mm wheel – which Ryan says vastly improves the driving experience, but not the parking!



The audio set up in the car is moderately basic, with an Alpine bluetooth headunit and upgraded Hertz HSK 165XL speakers – but when you have the sound of that VR6 engine note to listen to, who needs an expensive audio set up? Of course, the tank and components for the air ride had to be installed into the boot, and after attempting it himself Ryan realised he was no carpenter. He decided the best place to take it to on the South coast was Shakey at Studio Incar, who created a basic tank install with plenty of room leftover for a usable boot.



Ryan, a massive fan of the VR6 in its stock form, opted not to do anything out of the ordinary under the hood. The engine is all about the noise in his opinion, with a dream of supercharging it in the future just to improve the sound even more – power gains seem to do nothing for him. Unfortunately on the night before Players Show and Deutsch Connection a few years ago, the head gasket gave up and the car barely made it to the shows. The engine was inevitably rebuilt, with a set of 263 cams and the addition of a K&N panel filter with a slightly modified air box. With the work done, Ryan has a worry-free and usable VR6.



Unsurprisingly, the best way to increase the VR6’s sound was to upgrade the exhaust system. After becoming fed up of the previously fitted exhaust whistling like a turbo at 4,000 RPM, Ryan had a full custom stainless steel Powerflow system installed, which sounds incredible. The custom system also meant it could be fabricated to sit closer to the floor to allow yet more clearance. Ryan likes to push the Golf to its limits, so stopping power is rather vital. The factory brakes on the VR6 aren’t anything special so Ryan changed them for a set of Skoda Octavia VRS brake callipers and carriers allowing him to run 312mm discs, along with braided Goodrich hoses and dot 5.1 brake fluid.



Ryan’s job sees him working at Southampton docks on car transport ships, so he’s constantly driving all sorts of vehicles including exotics like Aston Martin’s, McLaren’s, Rolls Royce’s, Bentley’s, etc… Yet it is the Golf that puts the biggest smile on his face. Four and a half years is a significantly long time to own a project car in comparison to most of the people we’ve previously featured, but this one has been kept fresh with an ever-evolving appearance. Despite the toned-down approach to building the car (you could say that it’s a sleeper of some sort), it still breaks necks and stops people in their tracks wherever it goes. All those years ago when Ryan was drooling over Volkswagen’s in those magazines – he’s now created something that puts everyone else in awe with his stunning example of a Mk3 that sits just perfectly.

Meguiar’s BBQ Club 2015

Location: Meguiar’s UK, Daventry

Date: 12 July 2015


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the bigger shows and spend the day somewhere more chilled out. With a big selection of car shows to choose from last weekend, I finally opted to attend a little shindig that Meguiar’s UK were organising. For the past few years they’ve held an open day event at their headquarters in Daventry, and this year we were invited to the ‘BBQ Club’, in participation with Scene-Media. A day of stunning invite-only cars, prizes and a complimentary barbecue with beverages – one could describe it as the perfect Sunday. The guys did a fantastic job of inviting a welcoming variation of cars, so we weren’t completely surrounded by the same sort of thing. In convoy with a few friends from the South coast, we arrived around half past ten to an already crowded Meguiar’s HQ and surrounding vicinity. I snapped some photographs in between the rain showers, so here’s my highlights from the event…



Grant Ross’ track spec BMW E46 M3 on Apex ARC-8’s


Dean Meeson’s custom bagged and Alfa Romeo V6 swapped Lotus Esprit on Compomotive CXN’s 


Billy Hilton’s Audi B6 S4 Avant on 19″ Rotiform NUE DDT’s and Air Lift suspension



Nick Sahota’s BMW E34 540i/6 on RH splits


RIIVA Design’s BMW E36 with Rocket Bunny wide arch kit, Air Lift suspension & Rotiform ROC wheels


Our BMW E24 635CSI on BC Racing coilovers and 17″ OZ Futura’s


Car Audio & Security’s Dodge Challenger SRT8 demo car on full Air Lift suspension


Car Audio & Security’s Audi RS4 Avant on Air Lift suspension and 20″ Rotiform 3pc IND-t’s


Becky Evans’ Air Lift BMW E21 running Rotiform BM1′s


Nick Sahota’s S54-swapped BMW E30 M3 on custom Air Lift suspension and Bugatti wheels


RIIVA Design’s Audi A6 C7 on Air Lift suspension & 21″ Rotiform CCV’s


Aaron Capasso’s custom bagged 1961 Volkswagen Beetle



Benny Rees’ RA28 Toyota Celica GT2000 running Racing Service Watanabe A-type’s


Alex Chatzidakis’ (Elite Car Care) Porsche 964 on BBS LM’s


Matt Eastcoast’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo lowrider on hydraulics


Kats Giles’ wide-arch Mk5 Golf on Air Lift suspension and ceramic polished Rotiform LHR’s


Shaun Mint’s 1985 Mk1 Nova saloon on G60 banded steels



VRS Northampton’s VW Mk7 Golf R on H&R coilovers & 20″ Vossen VFS2’s


Thom Williams’ bagged BMW E46 & Steven Foxall’s BMW M50-turbo E30 on Schmidt TH-Line’s


Josh Stokes’ Nissan 350z on Air Lift suspension and SSR Vienna wheels (with 6″ lips)



Jamie McToldridge’s static G60-powered Volkswagen Mk1 Golf


Sam McMahon’s Volkswagen Mk2 Golf G60 Syncro on BBS RS’s


Mark Fisher’s bagged Volkswagen Mk5 Golf GTI Edition30 on face-mounted BBS RS-GT’s



Ben Anson’s BMW E21 with rear louvre


Sam McMahon’s Mango Green Volkswagen Splitscreen bus on Randar RDW’s


Ben Chandler’s Volkswagen Mk1 Jetta Coupe on Air Lift suspension & T5 steels


Steven Doe’s BMW E21 on Air Lift suspension & CCW D110’s
(Click here to check out our recent feature on Steven’s E21)


Dale Buckley’s Audi TT on BBS RS’s & Air Lift suspension


Sam Ratcliffe’s track spec BMW E46 M3 on KW coilovers and Apex ARC-8’s


Alex Hurd’s BMW E46 coupe on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s


Zac Miles’ (Forge Motorsport) Air Lift bagged Volkswagen Mk1 Golf on OZ Turbo’s



Audi A5 on Vossen VLE1’s


Nath Howell’s bagged Subaru Impreza on WORK Meister S1’s


Latham Papworth’s static Audi B5 RS4 on BBS LM’s


Nicholas Pritchard’s custom built BMW E91 M3 Touring on KW V3 coilovers & 20″ Breyton Race GTSR-M wheels


Chaydon Ford’s Toyota AE86 on Watanabe’s




Luckily I managed to snap my photos before the heavens opened majorly later on in the day, which you can see in that last shot! Not fun, and plenty of windows got left open too.. oh dear! Anyway, Meguiar’s put on a terrific day for everyone in attendance, a perfect chilled vibe, friendly people and awesome cars on display. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this next year, it’s not one to miss if you are lucky enough to be invited. Thanks for having us, guys!


More info on Meguiar’s UK:
Meguiar’s website
Meguiar’s on Facebook
Meguiar’s on Instagram


Dub Club – 1st July 2015

Location: Nuneaton, Warwickshire

Date: 1 July 2015


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


After visiting Homegrown last week, the South’s biggest German-only meet, I decided to go a bit further afield this time to check out the Midlands’ alternative, Dub Club, held every Wednesday evening in Nuneaton just outside of Coventry. A 300 mile round trip for a car meet… am I mad? Probably. For me though it’s now become about more than the cars themselves, and I use these meetings to catch up with friends I’ve met through Slam Sanctuary and my photography, it makes it all worthwhile. In an attempt to beat the evening rush hours, I set off and arrived at the venue around 7pm – I was a bit early, but cars finally started to arrive from about half past. A very varied quality of cars appeared throughout the night, with lots of gems of course. Here are some of the cars that caught my eye…


Thom Williams’ BMW E46 saloon on Air Lift suspension and widened BBS RF’s


Steven Foxall’s E30 chromie with M50-turbo swap, BC coilovers and Schmidt TH-Line’s



Skot of Fitted Society’s bagged Mk4 Golf on Fifteen52 Tarmac’s 


Jack Croucher’s bagged BMW E82 1 Series on Style32’s


James Harper’s bagged Audi A3 on OZ Racing Ultraleggera HLT Centrelock’s


Dean Meeson’s Lotus Esprit on air suspension, Compomotive CXN splits, and a 24v Alfa Romeo V6 engine swap


Henry Gilbert of RIIVA Design’s Audi A6 C7 on Air Lift suspension and 21″ Rotiform CCV’s



Matt Clifford’s BMW E31 840ci sitting on 19″ Rotiform LHR’s and Air Lift suspension

(Click here to check out our feature on Matt’s E31)



Tom Inskip’s 1970 Mk1 Ford Escort on Schmidt TH-Line’s, Air Lift bags and AccuAir management


Alex Wright’s G60-swapped Mk1 Golf on BBS E30 magnesium wheels



Steven Doe’s BMW E21 on Air Lift suspension and CCW D110’s

(Click here to check out our recent feature on Steven’s E21)


Becky Evans’ BMW E21 on Air Lift suspension and Rotiform BM1’s



StillStatic’s Audi B8 A4 on H&R coilovers and mbDesign VR1’s


Ollie Vikmanis’ Mk5 Golf on Air Lift suspension and Mercedes Alphard wheels



Unless I get myself a diesel I probably won’t be hitting Dub Club again for a while, but that’s due to me living on the South coast! If I was closer, I’d no doubt be there every week. If you’re local to the Coventry area then I’d definitely suggest heading on down if you’ve never been. It’s already been going on for years, but after talking with a couple of the organisers, the meet is certainly on the way to bigger things with an awesome quality selection of cars and a chilled out vibe – what more could you want on a Summer’s evening?


More info on Dub Club:
Dub Club Syndicate group on Facebook