Monthly Archives: September 2015

VAGROOTS at Ace Cafe – September 2015

Date: 13 September 2015

Location: Ace Cafe, London


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


If you follow the V.A.G. scene, you’ve probably heard of VAGROOTS, their events tend to take place quite frequently, meaning they’ve already made quite a name for themselves. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to make any of them… until now. I finally managed to get myself up to London for their latest meet, held at the historic Ace Cafe in London.. This time in partnership with RollHard, it was a charity style event to raise money for one of the founders’ daughters (click here to donate!) so there were a few RollHard cars on display, in addition to the expected V.A.G. selection, plus a few surprise BMW’s & Mercedes’. I’ve said it before, but sometimes these little get-together’s can be more enjoyable than full-on car shows. Relaxed, and you can come and go as you please and grab some good grub from the cafe. Check out my highlights:



Marc Jarvis’ Mk7 Golf GTI on AccuAir suspension & VIP Modular Concave VX210’s



James Manners’ Audi RS4 B5 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LVS’s


Steven Doe’s BMW E21 316 on Air Lift suspension & CCW D110’s

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



Adam Coster’s BMW E36 on Air Lift suspension & Brock B1’s


Haps Gill’s Mk5 Golf R32 on Air Lift suspension & CCW Classic 5’s


Leo Fryett’s bagged Audi TT on OZ wheels


Daniel Allard’s Volvo 240 wagon on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s


Ben Walsh’s bagged BMW E36 on BBS RF’s


Bijesh Shah’s bagged Mk7 Golf R on BBS Super RS’s



James Cooper’s bagged Mk3 VR Cabrio on BBS LM’s


Rich Stockley’s bagged Mk4 Golf on BBS RC 300’s



Rob Butler’s Ford 100E on Beetle pan & Bryan Butler’s Mk1 Golf


Alex Perkin’s static BMW F82 435i on ST coilovers and Rotiform CCV’s


Voodoo Motorsport’s Mk1 Golf on BBS RM’s


Bagged Mercedes-Benz SL500 on Weds Cerberus wheels




Benjamin Anson’s BMW E21 on Air Lift suspension & Schmidt TH-Line’s


Billy Hilton’s Audi A6 Allroad on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform IND’s



Mini Cooper on Air Lift suspension & Porsche Teledial splits



Rory Hamilton’s bagged Mercedes-Benz W115 240D on BBS Mahle’s


Daniel Roach’s Mk3 Golf GTI


Matthew Pratt’s Audi S4 Avant on Air Lift suspension


Reece Chapman’s Audi TT on Air Lift suspension & OZ Superturismo GT’s


Mk6 Golf on Air Lift suspension & stepped-up BBS RF’s


Kerri Boncey’s bagged Audi TT on Bentley’s



I was impressed with VAGROOTS’ event, well organised and there was a super friendly vibe to it – a perfect Sunday afternoon out. Plus, bumping in to friends is always an added bonus! Make sure you give VAGROOTS a follow to keep up-to-date on their upcoming events – they’re definitely worth checking out.



More info on VAGROOTS:


VAGROOTS on Facebook

VAGROOTS on Instagram




Edition38 Show & Shine 2015

Date: 4/5/6 September 2015

Location: Overstone Park, Northampton


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


For most people in the Volkswagen world, Edition38’s Show & Shine is the big one… a weekend event catering for all V.A.G. cars that seems to get bigger and bigger, with this year being their 15th year on the scene. Most people spend the weekend camping and partying with friends. This time, however, I made my way up to Overstone Park on Sunday (the final day of the show) to capture some highlights. Edition is a show that attracts a lot of Europeans from across the water, including dozens of mint condition Mk1’s which just makes for an incredible sight – unfortunately not so easy to photograph when they are constantly surrounded by avid enthusiasts trying to get a closer look! You have to be there to fully appreciate it. With lots of new builds to drool over, in addition to the familiar faces, Edition has it all. So, on to my show highlights…



Matt Rudd’s ’63 Beetle





Jacob Nelson’s Karmann Ghia


Rob Palmer’s Mk3 Golf VR6 Highline on BBS RS




Patric James’ Corrado on Air Lift suspension & Eta Beta splits


Kiran Mistry’s Mk1 Golf on Air Lift suspension & BBS E50′s




Auto Finesse’s BBS kitted Mk2 Golf on Air Lift suspension


Auto Finesse’s Bay Window Hightop


Joe Stubbs’ bagged Lupo GTI on WORK wheels


Georgie Marlow’s Mk1 Golf on BBS RM’s




Jack Dee’s widearch Audi A1 on Fifteen52 Turbomac’s


Corrado VR6 on Hartge splits




Shane Van der Steen’s Mk6 Golf GTI on Air Lift suspension & Speedline splits


Adrian Hassall’s Mk4 Golf on ceramic polished Kerscher KCS’s





Keith Jarrett’s Mk5 Golf on Air Lift 3H suspension


Joe Yip’s Mk5 Golf on Air Lift suspension & Fifteen52 Tarmac’s


Josh Hall’s bagged Mk6 Golf on Autostrada Modena’s



Tom Meeson’s bagged Audi TT on Rotiform BLQ’s


Oxford Car Audio’s Beetle audio demo car


Oxford Car Audio’s Audi S5 demo car on Air Lift bags & Avant Garde F541 SPEC1 wheels


Leanne Thompson’s Mk5 Golf R32 on AccuAir suspension & Avant Garde F421’s


Kieran Collick’s Audi RS3 on AccuAir/HP Drivetech suspension



Mark Ikeda’s Audi TT on H&R suspension & BBS GT’s




Michael Ralph’s bagged Mk4 Golf R32 on Rotiform IND’s


Route 32’s Mk1 Golf w/R32 lump & custom B-Star wheels



Jack Hall’s bagged Mk6 Golf on Rotiform wheels


Ian Kelly’s Audi SQ5 on StillStatic suspension & Rotiform DUS’s


Ollie Manuello’s Audi R8 on AccuAir/HP Drivetech suspension & BBS E89’s



Sam Johnson’s Mk1 Caddy



Bryan De Bondt’s Audi A3 on OZ Futura’s



Xenonz UK’s widebody kitted Audi RS7 on 21″ Damnraw Honeycombed concave directional wheels




Lupo on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’s


Vick Nagi’s bagged Audi A4 Avant on Rotiform centrelocks


GRMnorthampton’s bagged Mk5 Golf GTI on BBS RSII’s


Dale Buckley’s bagged Audi TT on BBS RS’s


Luke Baker’s bagged Polo GTI on BBS RM’s


Stefan Edge’s static Mk3 Golf wagon on ACT splits


Mk6 Golf R on Air Lift suspension & OZ Ultraleggera centrelock’s


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


James Manners’ Audi RS4 B5 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LVS’s


Tom Harries’ static Polo G40 on SSR Mesh’s


Jack Buckley’s static Mk2 Golf on Schmidt TH-Line’s


Mitch Davis’ bagged BMW E36 323i on Autostrada Modena’s


Adam Ralph’s BMW E30 Touring on Pontiac wheels


Jake Ryan’s bagged BMW E30 318is on OZ Futura’s



Successfully running an automotive event for fifteen years is quite an accomplisment, and awesome to see that the organisers are still keeping everything fresh, but even greater to see that the Volkswagen scene is still thriving. Edition38 has become tradition to a majority of V.A.G. owners in the car community, and it’s not surprising… A weekend filled with some of the best cars in Europe, friends, food, beer and party time, what’s not to love? If you’ve still not been, make sure you add it to your diary for next year. Camp from Friday to Sunday, or make a day of it on the Saturday or Sunday. No other event has the same vibe you get at Overstone Park.


More info on Edition38:

Edition38 website

Edition38 on Facebook

Edition38 on Instagram




Retro Rides Gathering 2015

Date: 23 August 2015

Location: Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, Worcestershire


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


The end of August means one thing, the return of the Retro Rides Gathering (RRG) to Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in Worcester… A mix of club stands, retro parking and of course some intense cars giving it hell up that famous RWYB hillclimb. A day of adrenaline, petrol fumes and burning rubber – what more could a petrolhead want at a car show? What we love about RRG is the variety of vehicles that turn up every year.. It’s a rather ‘anti-scene’ show – this is the place where a retro classic that is a little rough around the edges will shine over a typical ‘show car’ that’s had a full respray, retrim and air install, although there were still plenty of the latter getting recognition. This is the event where cars that will normally stay hidden away throughout the year, will make an annual appearance at RRG. There’s something special about this show, you just have to be there to fully appreciate it. Take the hillclimb for example, you’ll see everything from a Metro to a full bore race car blasting up there – jaw dropping!


Things were unfortunately a little quieter this year, due to a disastrous weather forecast which no doubt put a lot of people off the idea of coming to a venue which is essentially situated on a grassy, hilly field. With that in mind, the turnout was still pretty good, with plenty to keep you entertained. We had a few hours in the morning to get round the venue before one of the worst rainstorms we’d ever seen came down in full force…


Honda Prelude Thundersaloon






DS Motorsport’s BMW 2800 CS


Mark Fandango’s BMW E30 M3 on KW suspension & BBS Magnesium split rims



Land Rover 101 Forward Control
(see what we mean by varied! Going up the hillclimb, too!)


Liam Stolton’s Mk2 Ford Fiesta


Whitspeed’s Mk1 Ford Escort



Charlie Croker’s bagged 1977 Lotus S1 Elite


Austin Watts’ (Waboo Automotive) 1967 Commer Car-Camper


Tom Earwicker’s Volkswagen Mk1 Golf on G60 banded steels


Lee Curtis’ Volvo 240 estate


Pipey McGraw’s 1952 split-oval (Zwitter) Beetle on hydraulic suspension & narrowed beam


Coltech Classics’ 1930 Ford Model A pickup


Josh Pritchard’s Ford Mk4 Zodiac wagon


Ryan Flyng-Jones’ & Charlie Evans’ BMW E28’s


Ellz Henderson’s Toyota Corolla AE86 on 14″ Impul’s



Scott Andrews’ Datsun 140Y B310


Jamie Carter’s 1988 Nissan Laurel w/Skyline RB25DET swap



Lotus Esprit 3



Robert Cumberbatch & James Ibbotson’s Hillman Imp’s


Mercury Marauder


Phill Hall’s BMW E30 coupe on Image split rims


Dean Flowers’ Mercedes-Benz W140


Simon Finnegan’s Volvo 240 on Ferrari 308 wheels


Jake Ryan’s bagged BMW E30 318is on OZ Futura’s



Matthew Veal’s Toyota Cressida





BMW E21 w/M60B40 V8 conversion



Rich Tapp’s Nissan Skyline R32 on Fifteen52 Tarmac wheels


Greg Fulford’s Volvo 240 GL


Lewis Webb’s Honda EF Civic sedan


Mazda B2000 pickup on air ride


Matt Creed’s bagged BMW E30 on 16″ WORK Meister CR01′s



Kevin Fitzgerald’s bagged BMW E30 325i Touring on Klutch SL1 wheels
(Click here to check out our feature on Kevin’s E30)


Vauxhall Nova saloon



The Motorworks lineup


Tom Harris’ Volkswagen Mk2 Golf on BBS RM’s


Ian Woodridge’s bagged 1969 Mercedes-Benz W114 (w/install by Studio Incar)



Steph Clarke’s BMW E30 ‘loon


Sam Beach’s bagged BMW E24 635CSI (w/install by Studio Incar)


Volkswagen Mk2 Golf GTI on BBS RS


BMW 2002


BMW E36 coupe


Triumph Vitesse


James Mc’s Volkswagen Mk1 Jetta



Ever wanted to see what a Volvo V70 looks like on fire? This unfortunate example randomly went up in flames!


That sums up our highlights of the show before the bad weather hit and made it somewhat impossible to shoot. Amazingly people still stuck around during the torrential rain, and those waiting to go up the hillclimb didn’t even seem put off, continuing to send the cars up until the end of the day. Impressive, yet mad! After spending the whole weekend in the campsite, we however decided to call it a day at about 2pm and made our way home. Despite the rain, Retro Rides Gathering continues to surprise us every year, it will always be at the top of the list for hunting out unseen cars and including the ones you only see once a year. Finally, thanks to the organisers for having us!


More info on Retro Rides Gathering:

Retro Rides website

Retro Rides on Facebook

Retro Rides on Instagram



Pushing the Boundaries – Alex Wright’s 1996 BMW E36 328i Sport

Words & Photos by Henry Phull


Astonishingly, BMW’s E36 model has finally started to rise in value over the past year or so. Even though so many of these cars are being broken for spares and drifted, parts are still relatively affordable and easily acquirable, but because of this, the number of clean roadworthy cars has started to drop. The way I see it is that there’s two ways to take on an E36 build right now.. go for the mint OEM/+ look, or go completely wild with it like the car featured here, Alex Wright’s 328i Sport. Although far from ‘show car’ standard, this is one of the (if not the) lowest static E36’s in the country – and that’s what we’re interested in here at Slam Sanctuary of course. I’ve known Alex for a while now and been patiently waiting for a chance to shoot his car – but he’s forever been chasing the perfect fitment and ride-ability, but it looks like he’s finally nailed it, pushing the boundaries to get his car as low as he possibly can. Just seeing it on the roll, is something else.



Predominantly a Volkswagen man, Alex’s interest in cars previously involved a Mk2 Golf (on Wellers with AFH on R1 carbs), a Mk3 Golf (ABF on Corvette wheels) which he ran on flipped coils and four notches which actually got him sent to court, so eventually it ended up on AccuAir suspension to keep him out of trouble. That was followed by a B3 Passat on the same suspension & wheel set up, and then a B5 A4 on RH’s. Further down the line, Alex thought he’d have a go at drifting and purchased his first E36 328i, which quickly ended up in a tree at the bottom of his road – luckily he was okay, but the drift idea became a distant memory as he started to focus on lowering cars again as he had done before.



A friend’s 318is came up for sale cheap as it had also been crashed, leaving one side of the car with bent arms, so Alex picked it up and swapped over all the parts which were unharmed from his 328i. A healthy drop, Brock wheels, an LTW wing and more.. clearly he was enjoying playing about with E36’s, but it soon became apparent that the 318is lump had nothing on his previous 328i straight six and Alex missed the power.



Jamie Hitchcock’s 328i then appeared for sale, which Alex decided to buy as a donor car with the intention of dropping the engine into his 318, as the car had no interior whatsoever, stock suspension, no wheels or rub strips and what seemed like endless air lines (as the car was bagged during Jamie’s ownership) and sub cables which he is still finding to this day.



However, the car was a genuine 328i Sport, which are now becoming somewhat rarer and swayed him into keeping the shell and getting rid of the 318is completely. The car was ideal for Alex… “I’ve never been into show cars, clean paint or immaculate interiors. I’m drawn to cars that may be a bit battered but sit just right, especially static cars that can easily be mistaken for being on air.” he explains.



Finished in Montreal blue, the paintwork on the 328i was far from perfect, but it’d do for Alex’s needs. The plan was to get the car as low as possible and still be driveable. “Nothing looks better than a car on the floor with fitment, even better when it’s static. When I park next to people on air and I’m as low or lower you can’t help but grin.” he chuckles.



One of the first steps into drivability was to fit a set of SS AUTOWERKS engine spacers which raised the engine by 20mm to ensure the sump sits above the stock subframe, massively helping with clearance and piece of mind. The fuel filter was also relocated into the engine bay to prevent it from being destroyed underneath the car. Whilst I’m talking about it, the engine remains stock, apart from an ACS delete and silicone intake with a K&N filter, plus a Super Sprint cat back exhaust for some added noise.



Alex first fitted a set of FK coilovers which he had to cut up to get low, but unsurprisingly the ride was simply awful. Luckily an affordable set of HSD MonoPro coilovers later came up for sale which he snapped up immediately. These drove well when lowered normally, but the ride was still unbearable with the significant drop that he wanted…



This led to experimentation with various custom springs, finally opting for 6″ 16K springs on the front and 4″ 16K on the rear, which improved the ride comfort considerably, and which is now spot on. Again, after lots of tweaking, Alex’s optimum setting for the camber top mounts are set to -5 on the front, along with rear D2 Racing adjustable arms set up to -3.5.



Driving low wasn’t doing any favours for the rear arches on the E36 which were rotting badly anyway. To help with the overall plan of getting the car get even lower, and of course being able to keep the car without having to constantly spend on fixing the arches, Alex knew it was time to cut out the rot, and fit overfender’s which were sourced by SS AUTOWERKS.



These were fitted over the rear sections of the car and allowed an extra 50mm each side for wider wheels… it’s worth noting that the rear bumper mounts had to be spaced 25mm to accommodate them. The overfenders were painted to match the car along with the front bumper as it had been ruined previously.



Alex ran the car on the Brocks he had kept from the 318is for a while, but when an opportunity to trade them with a bit of cash for a set of AC Schnitzer (ACS) Type 1’s, it was a no-brainer. Besides, the Brocks had to be spaced out far too much with the newly installed overfenders. Being splits, it meant that the ACS’ could be rebuilt a lot wider to fill the wider arches.



Originally they were 17×8.5 up front and 17×9.5 rears, so Alex swapped the 3″ 9.5’s to the front and ordered some 4″ dishes to rebuild the rear wheels. Once built, the specs work out as 17×9.5 ET13 with 3″ dishes up front, and 17×11 ET-5 with 4″ dishes at the rear, which tuck perfectly under the rear overfenders, whilst the front arches have about 25mm pull in them.



Alex is still not done with the wheels and wants to try the faces in a darker colour, but they still do look a treat on the car. Getting tyres right also took some time, and making sure the car sat right and not too ‘nose down’ which is a personal hate of his on most E36’s. After being unhappy with 225/40’s on the rear, he upped them to 245/35’s along with 205/40’s on the front. It’s still crazy to think that the car is indeed static! Not many people would dream of running bagged fitment on a static car, but my hat’s off to Alex.



You only have to take a peek inside the cockpit to understand that everything about this car is, quite simply, raw. Immediately noticeable is the Safety Devices 4 point cage, which Alex had to modify to fit, as it was originally for a non-sunroof model car. The feet were cut off, a harness bar was welded to it, and then the whole thing was welded into the car on new base feet by Craig Sims.



The race car theme continues with a set of bucket seats out of a Mitsubishi EVO 5 which were made to fit, finished with TRS and Takata harnesses. Along with the prominent Kode dildo shifter, the interior is completed with a new Renown ‘100 Motorsport’ dished steering wheel with M-style stitching (350mm wide and 100mm deep) which was supplied by RollHard.



“This car was built without spending loads of money and still makes an impact” Alex tells me. Sure, it’s taken about a year to get to this point, but with a build like his it’s all about making those small upgrades as you can and when money allows. Alex now gets constant questions from E36 owners and others wanting to replicate his build and fitment, because let’s face it, he’s nailed the fitment. Some people don’t even believe that it’s static, which is always funny to witness at shows and meets. This isn’t just lowering a car as far as a set of coilovers will allow, and hopefully after reading you’ll get it… Endless fine tuning goes a long way. But, it’s not done yet. Alex has decided to take the car off the road towards the end of the year to work on a turbo build, flat boot with fuel cell, plus a true rear coilover conversion. It sounds like a serious-looking car will soon have a very serious engine, I can’t wait.