Tag Archives: Air Lift Performance

Spring ’17 – 10 Years of The Wheel Specialist Fareham

Date: 13 May 2017

Location: The Wheel Specialist Fareham, Hampshire

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Back in the Spring of 2015 I was invited to an Open Day at The Wheel Specialist’s (TWS) Fareham branch. Not knowing what to expect, it turned out to be one of the biggest Southern event’s that I’ve attended with a surprisingly high standard of cars in attendance. Two years later, TWS got in touch to say they were organising another Open Day event to celebrate 10 years in business, and they wanted Slam Sanctuary to be involved. Naturally, I agreed, with the intention of targeting the sort of cars that we love – of the slammed variation of course. Well, TWS smashed it once again. The event was a huge success, with all sorts of cars taking over the surrounding industrial estate. With a DJ, burger van, a bar, and great coffee from The Splitscreen Barista, the vibe was perfectly chilled, giving us southerners a much-needed chance to catch up with one another as well as getting a chance to chat to TWS about their services and get an insight into what they do. With so many cool cars popping in and out throughout the day, I captured a few of my favourites, check them out…

 

Ryan Stewart’s supercharged Alpina B10 3.3 Touring on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s

@7th.seal

(Click here to check out our feature on Ryan’s B10)

 

 

Tom Hams’ Volkswagen Scirocco on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform TMB‘s

@tomhamsyo

 

Chris Phillips’ BMW E36 on BC Racing coilovers & WORK Equip’s

@chrispy_clean

 

Sebastian Nowogrodzki’s BMW E24 653CSI on Air Lift suspension & Style5’s

@sebastiannowogrodzki

 

Ben Chandler’s BMW F80 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform KPS

@ben_scenemedia

 

Nathan Pedersen’s Audi D2 A8 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform CCV‘s

@thinkitsabouttimesomeone

 

Nick Sahota’s Lamborghini Diablo

@nicksinghsahota

 

Joseph Cummins’ bagged BMW E38 on Alpina Dynamics

@666joseph

 

 

Carlos Gomez’ BMW E36 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’

@carlos_g88

(Click here to check out our feature on Carlos’ E36)

 

 

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

@doeboyfresh

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

 

 

Mark Riccioni’s Mazda RX-7 on Rotiform LAS-R’s

@mark_scenemedia

 

Nick Sahota’s Koenig Ferrari Testarossa

@nicksinghsahota

 

The Slam Sanctuary Audi C5 A6 Avant on Air Lift / AccuAir / BAGS by OCD suspension & Rotiform KPS

@henry_slamsanctuary

 

Sean Crompton’s BMW E36 on HSD coilovers & Carline CM6’s

@s_crompton

 

Vernon Kerr’s bagged Grumman LLV postal truck

@thewheelspecialist_fareham

 

Thomas Lenthall’s Mitsubishi Evo 6 on WORK Meister S1’s

@super_triple_l

 

Jake Nest’s Mazda RX-7 on Cosmis Racing XT-206R’s

@nest225

 

 

Carter Harris’ custom Harley Davidson

@tha_carter01

 

Ethan Sexton’s BMW E30 318is on Air Lift suspension & Carline CM2’s

@ethansexton

 

 

 

The Wheel Specialist Fareham are lucky enough to refurbish wheels on all sorts of rare and quirky vehicles, as well as the typical everyday car – this brought a lot of interesting examples to the Open Day. We may love slammed and stanced cars, but it’s always nice to see things that we rarely see – we’re petrolheads after all. Make sure you check out the Bonus Gallery below for more of these gems. As well as TWS giving away an award for ‘Best Wheels’ of the day (won by Sean Crompton and his Carline CM6’s), we also ran our own Instagram-based competition throughout the day – congratulations to David Cooper for winning with his photograph of Ryan’s Alpina B10 (Click here to check out the photo), he took home some Slam Sanctuary merch and a Meguiar’s Mirror Bright detailing kit. Big thanks to everyone that took part. Nicely done, TWS, here’s to another ten years!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on The Wheel Specialist Fareham:

TWS Fareham website

TWS Fareham on Instagram

TWS Fareham on Facebook

 

Stance Fever 2017

Date: 7 May 2017

Location: Rockingham Motor Speedway, Northamptonshire

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

After the success of last year’s show, we decided to head back up to Rockingham Motor Speedway for 2017’s offering of Stance Fever. Starting back in 2014 as a small event at the Ace Cafe in London, Stance Fever is the brainchild of Faz Ahmed (Specialist Tyres) and Nick Rance (Beds-Modified) who wanted to bring two rather different car cultures and styles together. It’s no surprise, then, that a wide variation of cars and taste is commonplace at their show. Both well connected within the car community, Nick and Faz packed-out the Ace Cafe for their first event… Year two called for a bigger venue, and a move to Norton Heath Centre in Essex. With the high quality of cars, more and more people had their eyes on Stance Fever, thanks to their ‘quality over quantity’ vibe, visible from the get-go. In 2016, it was time to open up the show to a wider audience with the introduction of Rockingham Motor Speedway, which provided much more space for cars. Take a look at our highlights from last weekend…

 

Christian Canning’s Porsche Cayman on HP Drivetech / AccuAir suspension & Rotiform RSE‘s

@callmepicasso

 

 

Connor Hollamby’s Mercedes-Benz W201 190E on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s

@connorhollamby_

(Click here to check out our feature on Connor’s 190E)

 

Evolve Automotive’s BMW M2 GTS on Bilstein suspension & 6Sixty Emblem’s

@evolveautomotive / @starlam2

 

 

Conner Manners’ VW Mk6 Golf on Air Lift suspension & VSP Type2’s

@conner_mk6

 

Harvey Howe’s BMW E82 on Air Lift suspension & OZ Breyton’s

@harveyhowe

 

Ethan Sexton’s BMW E30 318is on Air Lift suspension & Carline CM2’s

@ethansexton

 

 

Barry Smith’s BMW E36 328i on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & 3SDM 3.19’s

@santorinie36

(Click here to check out our feature on Barry’s E36)

 

Shannon Kiely’s Vauxhall Corsa D on Air Lift suspension & Fifteen52 Turbomac’s

@shannonmkiely

 

Ben Gill’s Mercedes-Benz W204 on Air Lift / HP Drivetech suspension & Rotiform SCN’s

@ben._.gill

 

Nicola Sidney’s Vauxhall Astra GTC on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform RSE‘s

@nicolasidney

 

 

 

Tony Ward’s VW Mk6 Polo R on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’

@h8rxd

 

Ernesto Colmenar’s VW Touran on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform IDK’s

@ecolmenar

 

Keil Critten’s R32-swapped VW Mk3 Golf on Air Lift Suspension & custom-built VR6 splits

@keil_mk3

 

Natasha Sharpe’s VW CC GT on Air Lift suspension & Radi8 r8b12’s

@tishtash_brokegirl

 

Jimmy Stephens’ BMW E82 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform TMB‘s

@jimmyboistephens

 

Shaun Grazette’s BMW E92 335i on Air Lift suspension & Blitz Technospeed Z1’s

@sasag01

 

Calvin Buyuk’s Audi A5 on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & Radi8 r8t12’s

@bagged_a5

 

Chris Porter’s VW Mk6 Golf GTI on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & Rotiform BLQ‘s

@porter1287

 

Steve Noble’s VW B6 Passat on Air Lift suspension & WatercooledIND MT10’s

@s90_nbl

 

Darren Simon’s static Mercedes-Benz R230 SL55 on Rohana RC10’s

@darren_fitmentjunkies

 

Amar’s Audi A5 on Air Lift suspension & Vossen CV7’s

@amar7128

 

Roval Waithe’s VW Mk7 Golf GTI on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform CCV‘s

@rovalll

 

 

Ben Ancliff’s Porsche Boxster on hydraulic suspension & Eta Beta’s

@ben_smartcleandetailing

 

Calum Lester’s VW Mk5 Golf GTI on Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s

@calumlester

 

The Slam Sanctuary Audi C5 A6 Avant on Air Lift / AccuAir / BAGS by OCD suspension & Rotiform KPS

@henry_slamsanctuary

 

Karl Runeckles’ BMW Z4 on hydraulic suspension & BBS RF’s

@ronn_x_

 

 

 

Clearly, the quality of cars in attendance at Stance Fever gets higher and higher each year, and, although not a huge event, this year did see over 600 people through the gates. With two ‘Top 100’ pre-selected areas of show cars along with plenty of club-stands and even space for people to simply turn up and show their car on the day, the event caters for everyone. Plus, with live drifting taking place simultaneously, as well as the usual Rockingham track action, there’s plenty to see if you do happen to get bored of looking at cars. Naturally, Faz and Nick have decided to continue at Rockingham for 2018, with even more updates planned. So, keep an eye on the Stance Fever social media pages for an announcement of the date – you’re going to want to add it to your diary!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Stance Fever:

Stance Fever website

Stance Fever on Instagram

Stance Fever on Facebook

 

Air Lift, Audio and Rotiform – Car Audio & Security’s Open Weekend 2017

Date: 29/30 April 2017

Location: Car Audio & Security, Hayes, West London

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for all things Air Lift Performance, Rotiform wheels, and in-car entertainment, then Car Audio & Security (CAS) is the place to visit. Being the largest distributors in the UK and Europe, they’ve been on our radar ever since we started Slam Sanctuary. They’re well known for having some of the most notable demo cars in the car industry and car community – you will have no doubt seen a few of them at the big car shows such as Ultimate Dubs and Players. Every year, CAS open their premises to the public to show off their latest cars and what they have to offer. To top things off, they also offer a massive sale on most products for one weekend only, which certainly attracts people from all over the country. This year, the team have expanded their HQ with the addition of yet another warehouse – a great opportunity to pack it full of more show cars. We made the trip down on Sunday, the final day of the Open Weekend, to take a look at their 2017 demo vehicles and everything else that turned up. Check out our highlights below.

 

Car Audio & Security’s BMW M4 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LSR’s

@rajsangha964@caraudiosecurity

 

 

 

Car Audio & Security’s Ford Mustang on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform SPF’s

@f2jbl

 

Car Audio & Security’s BMW E30 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform OZT’s

@rajsangha964@caraudiosecurity

 

 

Parm Panesar’s BMW F80 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LAS-R’s

@parm_m3

 

 

Jake Stanford’s Volkswagen Tiguan on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform IND-T’s

@jake_stanford91

 

 

Car Audio & Security’s Honda S2000 on Air Lift suspension & CCW D110’s

@s2000ky

 

Sam Frazer’s Volkswagen Mk4 Golf on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’

@samfrazerr

 

Ashley Booth’s Volkswagen Scirocco on Air Lift suspension & Radi8 r8cm9’s

@ash_gzuk

 

Steve Fraser’s Audi S3 Saloon on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform ZRH’s

@s30bmx

 

Dips Amin’s BMW E46 M3 ‘vert on Air Lift suspension

@dips346

 

Meguiar’s Ford Crown Victoria on Air Lift suspension

@meguiarsuk

 

 

Car Audio & Security’s Volkswagen Caddy on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform BLQ-2’s

@caraudiosecurity

 

Mark Fisher’s Volkswagen Mk5 Golf GTI Edition30 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS-GT’s

@mark_five_golf

 

 

 

Jay McToldridge’s Datsun 260Z on Rotiform GTB’s

@players_jaymac

 

 

Ryan Stewart’s Porsche Cayman on Bilstein suspension & Rotiform LSR’s

@7th.seal

 

Micheal Evans’ Lexus LS on Air Lift suspension & WORK Durandal DD5.2’s

@v8fag

 

Ahmed Mohamed’s BMW E87 on Air Lift suspension & custom Compomotive splits

@sonic1506

 

Alex Wright’s static BMW E36 328i Sport on ACS Type 1’s

@a4lexx

(Click here to check out our feature on Alex’s E36)

 

Pav Gill’s Chevrolet Impala SS lowrider on hydraulics

@psychopav

 

So, yet another incredible turnout for Car Audio & Security throughout their two-day event, with customers turning up from all over the UK to pick up a bargain. The quality of the CAS demo cars gets better and better each year, which just shows how far Rotiform wheels and Air Lift suspension have come in the last few years, now catering for some of the most high performance new vehicles (in addition to everything else) on the market. It’s never been easier to turn your run-of-the-mill car into something unique and above the rest. Car Audio & Security can make it happen for you. If you missed the event, head over to their website (caraudiosecurity.com), and see what they have to offer. Check out our Bonus Gallery below for even more cars from the day, too. We’ll be back next year!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Car Audio & Security:

Car Audio & Security website

Car Audio & Security on Instagram

Car Audio & Security on Facebook

 

Elsecar at the Races 2017

Date: 9 April 2017

Location: Doncaster Racecourse, South Yorkshire

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Elsecar at the Races is a new one for us at Slam Sanctuary, so let’s begin with a little history… What started out as a car meet known as ‘Elsecar Mega Meet’ / ‘Club GTI Mega Meet’ a whole 19 years ago, this historical gathering of cars has grown into something much, much bigger. With previous meets taking place at the Elsecar Heritage Centre in Elsecar, Barnsley, they were seeing over 200 show cars and 200 club cars in attendance! With popularity continually growing, 2016 saw the organisers move the event to Doncaster Racecourse, which has the the capacity for 700+ vehicles. This went hand-in-hand with re-naming the show to ‘Elsecar at the Races’. Our friends at Only Charged Dubs (and Elsecar show sponsors) had been raving about last year’s show, which meant we had to come up this year to see what all the fuss was about. We were met with one of most chilled-out events we’d ever been to. The whole vibe was perfect and everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly to each other. Along with an excellent mix of stanced, classic, air-cooled, and a whole host of club stands on display, Elsecar is a show that any petrolhead can enjoy – catering for all tastes. With so much to see, we captured some of our favourites, check them out below.

 

Bradley Mckee’s bagged ’78 Volkswagen B1 Passat on BBS LM’s

@brad_mckee

 

Jack Smith’s bagged Mk1 Golf on Fifteen52 Tarmac 348′s

@smithjack

 

Dan Birkinshaw’s Audi B8 A4 Avant on Air Lift suspension & OZ Superleggera’s

@birk999

 

Carl Atkins’ Mk2 Golf on Air Lift suspension & BBS RM’s

@carl_onlychargeddubs

 

Jack Butlin’s Ford Mk6 Fiesta on BAGS by OCD suspension & OZ Futura’s

@jackbutlin_

 

Only Charged Dubs’ Audi C5 Allroad on Airdynamiks / AccuAir suspension & OZ Futura’s

@onlychargeddubs

 

Hoho Chan’s BMW E92 330d on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS2’s

@hoho15_nmls

 

Sole Flavours’ Mk4 Golf on AccuAir suspension & WORK VS-XX wheels

@sole_flavours

 

Matthew Hartle’s bagged Mercedes-Benz W202

@hartle93

 

Vick Nagi’s Mercedes-Benz W126 560SEL on Air Lift suspension & BBS E28’s

@vick_nagi

 

Dan Smith’s Porsche 966 on Eta Beta’s

@dsmithmobile

 

Jemima Cox’s Volkswagen Polo 9n3 on Air Lift suspension & Autostrada Modena’s

@jemimacox

 

Joe Bycroft’s BMW E21 on BBS RS’

@joeey_brokeboys

 

Adam Sheldon’s Mk5 Golf R32 on Air Lift suspension & OZ Superleggera’s

@sheldonr32_nmls

 

Jak Johnston’s Mk1 Golf G40 on StillStatic / H&R suspension

@jak_lowsocial

 

Ryan Hall’s Mk1 Caddy on Air Lift suspension & PLS Daytona’s

@_ryan_hall_

 

James Hellewell’s Audi RS5 on BC Forged wheels

@_jam45_

 

Jack Betts’ 1968 Beetle

@jackbetts1994

 

Adam Berry’s bagged 1966 Karmann Ghia

@vw_ratbug90

 

Jas Virdee’s Mk4 Golf R32 on Air Lift suspension

@jasr32

 

Cameron Stead’s Lexus IS220 on BAGS by OCD suspension & Rotiform IND-T’s

@clstead_2is

 

Craig Hugill’s Porsche 911 Cabriolet on BBS RS’

@craggle_man

 

Jay Polson’s MK5 Golf GTI on Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s

@jaybogti

 

Paul Foster’s Mk1 Golf on BBS RS’

@paulfosterdj01

 

 

Max Edwards’ ’78 Beetle on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’

@maxisadogsname

 

Leo Jackson’s Mk1 Jetta on Tramont’s

@leomk1jetta

 

Dale Grainger’s BMW E38 740i on AirREX / Air Lift suspension

@its___dale

 

Jason Buckley’s Mk1 Golf on H&R suspension & BBS E52’s

@j12buk

 

 

Aksan Cy’s Mk5 Jetta on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s

@akki_cy

 

 

Chris Robson’s Audi A1 on Air Lift suspension & OZ Superleggera’s

@chiffyrobson

 

Jamie Fagan’s Mk1 Jetta G60 on Ronal Turbo’s

@jamiefagan

 

Ben Gill’s Mercedes-Benz W204 on Air Lift / HP Drivetech suspension & Rotiform SCN’s

@ben._.gill

 

Vinylimage’s Passat R36 on Air Lift suspension & Vossen VLE-1’s

@vinylimage

 

Kirsty Greatrex’s 1969 Beetle

@kirsty9169

 

So, was it worth the 8-hour round trip? Based down on the South Coast, we don’t often get up to Yorkshire, but 2017 is all about expanding our horizons and we’re so glad to have made the journey. It was totally refreshing to visit to a car show with so many different sorts of vehicles to lust over, and, although it’s predominantly a VAG show, there were still plenty of other marques being shown off – with no hatred (often the case at similar events). Of course, The glorious weather made the day even better, and it was nice to have the indoor part of the show to catch some much needed shade from the sun. No doubt, Elsecar at the Races will be added to our annual diary for the foreseeable future. Thanks to the guys at Only Charged Dubs for letting us tag along for the weekend, too.

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Elsecar at the Races:

Elsecar at the Races website

Elsecar at the Races on Instagram

Elsecar at the Races on Facebook

 

Ultimate Dubs 2017

Date: 11/12 March 2017

Location: Telford International Centre, Shropshire

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

It’s been a long, drawn out, winter for us at Slam Sanctuary. So, we were fully stoked to finally arrive at Ultimate Dubs in Telford last weekend for the ‘show season’ opener. Hosted over a Saturday evening and all day Sunday, it’s a great chance for friends to catch-up after being busy with their normal lives… With the majority of people staying overnight, there’s plenty of time for social gatherings, whether it’s over cars, food, or beers – unless you’re too busy setting up and running a stand, like us, unfortunately! That’s because we’ve been sitting on the brand new Spring ’17 clothing collection for a couple of months waiting to drop it on you all at Ultimate Dubs. Well, it went down an absolute treat – we can’t thank everyone enough for almost clearing out the whole store. In fact, we’ve already had to restock a lot of items, which should be available through our online store in a few weeks time. We also supported our good friends at Distinct Detail Co. with debuting their new brand of boutique car care products on our booth – they’re definitely a company to watch!

 

This year we displayed Ben Rye’s ’57 Beetle (which we recently featured), Jack Royston’s incredible Type 3 Notchback, and of course, (with us being us) we had to have a BMW on the booth… in the form of Jack Williams’ E28, which was finished just a couple of days prior! I’ll let the photographs do the rest, sit back and enjoy…

 

Our Pop-up Store all set up and ready for the day

 

Jack Williams’ M52-swapped BMW E28 on Air Lift suspension & OZ Breyton’s

@j2xck

 

Ben Rye’s ’57 Volkswagen Oval Beetle on Air Lift suspension & custom 3pc smoothies
@oldrag57
(Click here to check out our feature on Ben’s Beetle)

 

Jack Royston’s ’71 Volkswagen Type 3 Notchback on Air Lift suspension & BBS E30’s

@notchjack

 

 

Richard Skinner’s ’83 Volkswagen Santana on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s

@g60golf1980

 

Parm Panesar’s BMW F80 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LAS-R’s

@parm_m3

 

 

Dwane Thompson’s Vauxhall Adam on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform RSE’s

@dwxne__

 

Vick Nagi’s Mercedes-Benz W126 560SEL on Air Lift suspension & BBS E28’s

@vick_nagi

 

Mark Riccioni’s Mazda RX-7 on Rotiform LAS-R’s

@mark_scenemedia

 

Steve Fraser’s Audi S3 Saloon on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform ZRH’s

@s30bmx

 

 

Dan Taylor’s BMW E46 M3 on Air Lift suspension & WORK Meister R’s

@dte46

 

Jay McToldridge’s Datsun 260Z on Rotiform GTB’s

@players_jaymac

 

 

Ryan Stewart’s Alpina B10 3.3 Touring on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform RSE’s

@7th.seal

(Click here to check out our feature on Ryan’s B10)

 

Becky Evans’ BMW E21 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’

@queenb_uk

 

Jason Zeigler’s VW Mk7 Golf R on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LSR’s

@f3jbl

 

Nicholas Pritchard’s Ford RS500 Cosworth on Compomotive TH1882’s

@63np

 

Kat Giles’ Audi Q3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform ROC’s

@kagggie

 

 

Max Lumb’s Porsche 944 S2 on Airdynamiks / Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s

@h1mvx

 

Julian Loose’s Audi B7 RS4 Avant on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & Ispiri FFR7/FFR8’s

@julesloose

 

Ben Chandler’s Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG on Rotiform SLC’s

@ben_scenemedia

 

Faye Collins’ Audi RS3 on HP Drivetech / AccuAir suspension & Rotiform YVR’s

@xofsc

 

Jack Hogg’s Audi A7 on HP Drivetech / AccuAir suspension & AG AGL24 SPEC3’s

@hoggy_x

 

Alex Begley’s BMW F80 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Fifteen52 Formula GT’s

@alex_3b

 

Rachid Ait Moumad’s Audi B5 S4 Avant on Air Lift suspension & RAD48 VR’s

@rachidlkk

 

Jordan Warren’s Rocket Bunny Mazda RX-7 on AirREX / Air Lift suspension & WORK Meister R’s

@jay_l_w

 

Only Charged Dubs’ Audi C5 Allroad on Airdynamiks / AccuAir suspension & stepped-up OZ Futura’s

@onlychargeddubs

 

 

Alex Challinor’s Mk2 Audi TT on Air Lift suspension & BBS CH-R’s

@alexchallinor

 

Kristof Mombaerts’ Porsche 964 on KW suspension & Rotiform STR’s

@kleenfreaks_kris

 

David Paiva’s Audi B5 A4 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’

@davidzzz6

 

Black Sheep Belgium’s Porsche 964 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LHR’s

@blacksheepautomotive

 

Rob Kelly’s Audi C7 A6 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform OZT’s

@rob_fitteduk

 

Sean Robbins’ bagged Datsun 240Z with BMW M52 2.8l engine swap on Extreme Offset Wheels

@seannaayyy

 

 

Ben Braeckman’s Volkswagen Passat CC on Air Lift suspension & RAD48 LR 2.0’s

@benbraeckman_

 

 

Corey Nolan’s BMW F32 435i on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & Rotiform RSE’s

@corey.nolan

 

Jack Smith’s bagged Mk1 Golf on Fifteen52 Tarmac 348′s

@smithjack

 

Maarten’s Porsche 964 on KW V3 HLS suspension & Cargraphic Racing wheels

@dimmaman

 

André Neudert’s Volkswagen Beetle on Air Lift suspension

@andrew030bln

 

Sam Curtis’ Mk2 Golf GTI on Air Lift suspension & custom-built BBS RA’s

@_samcurtis

 

Glenn Sweeck’s Audi Allroad on Air Lift / Accuair suspension & BBS RS2’s

@sweecky

 

Bradley Mckee’s bagged ’78 Volkswagen B1 Passat on BBS LM’s

@brad_mckee

 

Auto Finesse’s BMW F80 M3 on HP Drivetech / AccuAir suspension & ADV.1 wheels

@autofinesse

 

 

Niall Fearon’s Volkswagen Mk3 Scirocco on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform OZT’s

@niall_4n

 

Alistair Cox’s Porsche 996 GT3 on Airdynamiks / AccuAir suspension & BBS LM’s

@coxy914 / @ceautomotive

 

Angus Munro’s Porsche 964 on Air Lift suspension & BBS Super-RS’

@dubfordstyling

 

 

Liam Handley’s Volkswagen Mk2 Polo Coupe GT on BBS RS’

@liamhandley1

 

 

Toby Wilkinson’s Mk2 Audi TTS on StillStatic / H&R suspension & MB LV1’s

@milkytts

 

Alex Wright’s static BMW E36 328i Sport on ACS Type 1’s

@a4lexx

(Click here to check out our feature on Alex’s E36)

 

Marc’s Volkswagen Mk4 Golf on Air Lift suspension & BBS RC300’s

@maaarcmk4

 

Ian Kelly’s Audi SQ5 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform wheels

@onenightinthemuseum

 

James Munro’s Porsche 356 Speedster on Air Lift suspension

@tosh_carrera

 

Yeah, yeah, I know… It didn’t seem like much of a ‘Dubs’ show, but let’s face it, that argument is getting old now. Times are changing, and there just aren’t as many people building Volkswagens anymore, or at least there aren’t many stand-out builds. Ultimate Dubs is much more of a trade exhibition these days, and if companies are building BMWs, Mercs, and Jap cars, then that’s what you’re going to see. We still did our best to showcase some of our favourite VAG examples, though – but we’re always going to photograph what captures our attention and what we feel is ‘cool’. We hope you all had a fantastic weekend if you attended, and you’ll be glad to hear that our next event will be entirely Volkswagen based, as we’re heading to The Volksworld Show on the 25/26th March!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Ultimate Dubs:

Ultimate Dubs website

Ultimate Dubs on Facebook

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Tradition. Recrafted. – A day with Meguiar’s Mirror Bright range

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

If you’re a car enthusiast, it’s highly likely that you endeavor to keep your pride and joy squeaky clean. However, with so many different cleaning products on the market, it’s hard to decide which products to start with. Luckily, Meguiar’s have released a new kit with all the essentials for keeping your car clean. Founded all the way back in 1901, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard of the brand… And with so many years experience in the car care industry, you know you can feel safe using their products. In fact, we already use their gear on our cars, so when we heard that they’d had just released a new range, we were eager to try it! The Mirror Bright collection sees the company revisit their roots, mimicking their old school glass bottles and metal screw tops with a modern-day plastic interpretation, for a vintage feel. With classic branding in black and white, the kit is designed to fit right in with classic cars. The Mirror Bright products are made up of completely new formulas too, for a premium performance and user experience – Meguiar’s tell us that these are truly high-quality items. Of course, with such a cool looking product range, we had to get our hands on it to try out on some classic cars. Our friends at Meguiar’s UK kindly sent over some gear, so we called up a few friends and decided to make a day of it and use the products on the cars.

 

The classic style Mirror Bright kit bag looks right at home in Doey’s classic interior

 

The Mirror Bright range consists of all the cleaning essentials: Polishing Wax, Detailing Spray, Automobile Shampoo, Wheel Cleaner and Leather Lotion

 

Naturally, we needed some Meguiar’s essentials to fully test the new range; microfibre wash mitts and towels, Water Magnet drying towels and a few Applicator pads (not pictured)

 

AUTOMOBILE SHAMPOO

 

First up, we got to grips with the Mirror Bright Automobile Shampoo. With a hefty 1.4 litre bottle, you’re getting a lot for your money (RRP £18.00). It’s formulated for all automobile finishes, and Meguiar’s states that it’s been refined by over 110 years of experience and R&D. The texture of the shampoo itself is equally awesome – a carnuaba milk formula that cleans AND waxes while washing. It’s also designed specifically to work hand-in-hand with the Mirror Bright Polishing Wax, which we’ll look at later.

 

 

The Meguiar’s Microfibre wash mitt makes it easy to apply the shampoo

 

 

Chris showing that the Shampoo works just as well on his vinyl-wrapped Lexus IS200

 

Doey rinses the shampoo off of his BMW E21

 

The Meguiar’s Water Magnet drying towel worked wonders, soaking up any remaining water

 

 

WHEEL CLEANER

 

Next up, we tried out the Mirror Bright Wheel Cleaner (650ml bottle priced at RRP £13.00). All of our friends run polished wheels and they often have trouble finding a wheel cleaner that is actually safe to use on their valuable wheels. Luckily the Mirror Bright Wheel Cleaner is gentle enough that it’s safe on all types including painted, aluminium, chromed and polished wheels.

 

Doey rinses down his wheels first before applying the product

 

The pH balanced soaps and special ingredients easily dissolve brake dust remnants, with the liquid turning purple after a few minutes

 

Another essential rinse was required to wash away the remaining product once it had done its job

 

The results were brilliant, with no harm done to Doey’s polished CCWs

 

POLISHING WAX

 

For the best clean, polishing is absolutely essential for a proper shine and overall paint protection. The Mirror Bright Polishing Wax is sold in a 414ml bottle, with an RRP of £22.50. Meguiar’s use unique natural and synthetic ingredients to gently polish all painted finishes, revealing a maximum gloss, depth of colour and “Mirror Bright” reflections. Once again, this product is safe for all glossy paint types including lacquers, enamels and clear coats.

 

The screw-top bottle makes it ideal to pour onto the Meguiar’s Applicator pad

 

Sean applies the product to his BMW E36 using the Applicator pad, and buffs with a Microfibre towel

 

The result is a true mirror-like reflection!

 

DETAILING SPRAY

 

Detailing spray, or “quick detailer” as it’s known to most people, is probably the most essential item for any car-show goer. It’s the perfect finishing touch to get that show-shine finish super quickly on arrival to an event, or simply in between washes. The Mirror Bright Detailing Spray (650ml bottle for RRP £13.00) cleans both exterior AND interior surfaces. It’s made up of a non-scratch formula and safe for all paint types. Seeing as we already cleaned the cars properly, we decided to try the Detailing Spray on an interior.

 

Carlos sprays the product directly onto a Microfibre towel before applying to the interior of his BMW E36

 

It worked a treat and left a great shine on the whole interior, including the doorcards, dashboard, centre console, instruments and even the front and rear screens

 

LEATHER LOTION

 

Finally, we ended with the Mirror Bright Leather Lotion (available in a 414ml bottle for RRP £12.00). This is an impressive product to clean, condition and protect your leather interior with. It’s made up of gentle cleaners that help to remove dirt and grime that has attached itself to your leather over time. It’s even packed with UV Sunscreens that help prevent sun rays from fading your seats.

 

 

Carlos pours the Leather Lotion onto a Meguiar’s Applicator pad, before applying to his BMW Vader leather seats. As you can see, the pad picked up plenty of dirt.

 

After application, a Microfibre towel was used to buff off the excess product, instantly leaving a revitalised, natural looking interior – no slipperiness or fake-looking shine here!

 

Cleaning done, everyone stands back to admire their work

 

The two bagged BMWs looking super shiny

 

Carlos’ ceramic polished OZ Futuras looking like new after a dose of Mirror Bright Wheel Cleaner

 

 

The static boys, looking “Mirror-bright”!

 

Sean’s Carline CM6s also came up amazingly

 

You don’t often see a wrapped car looking this shiny

 

 

 

After spending a whole day with the Mirror Bright range, we can safely say that these kits will be in our boots for the rest of the show season. Everyone loved the products, from an application point of view (perfect sized triggers on spray bottles, and quick release screw top lids on the others making for easy pouring), and of course from the actual results. The cars were actually left with a true “Mirror Bright” shine. Plus, the products themselves look damn cool, too – The vintage branding goes hand-in-hand with our favourite sorts of cars, classics! All the products tested are available now individually, or as a complete package. Check out the Meguiar’s UK website below and join the revolution of car care products.

 

More info on Meguiar’s UK:

Meguiar’s UK website & online store

Meguiar’s UK on Instagram

Meguiar’s UK on Facebook

 

The cars:

BMW E21 – Steven Doe – @doeboyfresh

BMW E36 coupe – Carlos Gomez – @carlos_g88

BMW E36 ‘vert – Sean Crompton – @s_crompton

Lexus IS200 – Chris Phillips – @chrispy_clean

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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Santorini Blues – Barry Smith’s 1998 BMW E36 328i

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Having featured a selection of stunning examples already, the BMW E36 is undoubtedly one of our favourite cars here at Slam Sanctuary. However, you could argue that they’ve somewhat over-populated the modified car scene as of late, but we’re continuing to sift through them and still finding notable builds that we feel are worth highlighting – if they’re done right, they are still one of the best looking BMWs, ever. Today, the spotlight is on Barry Smith’s E36, which has been re-built from the ground up. Thinking about it, it’d be hard to find a cleaner example in the UK that looks like it’s just been delivered from the factory – well, at least one that features a few improvements over OEM. Notably, a healthy drop on Air Lift Performance bags and a set of 18″ 3SDM forged wheels. But don’t worry, this isn’t just another “air and wheels” build… Barry’s car has undergone some extensive refreshing, including a full respray in the gorgeous BMW ‘Santorini Blue’.

 

 

Aged 45, Barry has had his fair share of projects over the years. “I’ve always had a massive interest in cars, mainly subtly modified cars, and I particularly enjoyed attending GTI international – especially when it was based at Crowthorne” he explains. As we’ve seen with a lot of newcomers to the BMW marque, Barry has only recently made the switch from Volkswagen, having owned 2 Mk2 Jetta GTI’s, 2 Mk3 Golf GTI’s, a Mk4 Golf V5, a Mk1 Golf with G40 swap, and a Mk2 Golf with an Audi S3 engine swap! He’s even owned a Porsche 964 which he now regrets letting go, big time, as their values have shot up in recent years.

 

 

With a BMW E90 as his daily driver, Barry became more interested in BMWs and the way they drove. In March 2016 he fancied a new project car… “I was originally looking for an older model… an E28 or E21, but I got frustrated waiting to source a good one” he explains. Around the same time that he was on the hunt for a car, an E36 popped up for sale which had been kept by the same previous owner for the past 18 years – a solid car which hadn’t been messed around with. For a project car, this is exactly the right sort of base to start with.

 

 

The car in question was a 1998 328i auto, finished in Montreal Blue and generally in great shape. Plus, it had Sport bumpers and sideskirts spec’d from the factory, which made it an even more attractive purchase. Naturally a deal was done on the E36 and Barry took delivery. His first port of call was to spruce up the mechanical side of things, which meant a trip to his friend Colin at Kustom Kolors, where the team added an M50 inlet manifold (the easiest way to get more power from a 328i lump). Plus, an uprated throttle body, Active Autowerke Cold Air induction system and an Eisenmann race-diameter 70mm exhaust & de-cat were installed for a fruitier sound. The dated OEM brakes were also upgraded to Stoptech units for extra stopping power.

 

 

Barry knew that he wanted the car to sit as low as possible from the get-go, but still needed the car to maintain drivability. After years of running static cars, he opted to go for air suspension, allowing him the best of both worlds. Luckily Kustom Kolors were willing to take control of the air installation, too. With so much happening to the car already, Colin persuaded Barry to go even further with it and get the whole car resprayed in the eye-catching Santorini Blue, a rare BMW Individual colour – whilst replacing every single window rubber and body moulding at the same time. During the car’s time at Kustom Kolors, they also had a chance to roll the front and rear arches to fit a set of 18″ wheels that Barry had planned for it.

 

 

Kustom Kolors also had the rear quarter seams welded to the rear panel and got on with smoothing a lot of the bodywork – including welding up the boot and bonnet badges, removing the boot lock and original M-tech spoiler. They even remade the rear number plate plinth, so it has no visible lock and removed the side repeaters too. They then installed a carbon fibre splitter to make the front end a bit meaner, along with black kidney grills and a US number plate plinth/delete. You’ll also notice the distinctive pair of AC Schnitzer aftermarket wing mirrors.

 

 

With the bodywork sorted and new paint applied, it was time to decide on wheels. Barry opted for a set of brand new 3SDM Forged 3.19 FR Series, 18×8.5 up front and 18×9 rears, which he thought were unusual and different to what is out there on other E36’s – they really do set the car off from other examples. The wheels were paired with 215/35 front and 225/35 rear tyres, for some subtle stretch.

 

 

Next, and most importantly, it was time to get the E36 closer to the ground. Air Lift Performance bags/struts were used all round, along with AccuAir SwitchSpeed management to control everything. A large colour-coded 5 litre air tank is situated in the boot, along with two VIAIR 444c Black Edition compressors. The rest of the management system is hidden away out of view. Colin also fabricated some custom air lines which run through the sills and front chassis legs, with custom braided leader hoses to the bags. Barry decided it would be a good chance to upgrade the factory audio whilst the air install took place, so it was replaced with an Alpine head unit, MB Quart components and a Pioneer hidden sub.

 

 

With the outside of the car now looking incredible, Barry wanted to go that extra mile and finish off the car with a full interior re-trim, as well as installing a set of M3 Vader front seats – probably the best OEM+ option for the E36. The contrasting nappa grey leather works wonderfully with the Santorini Blue paint. Finally, Barry added a Momo Jet steering wheel for an improved driving feel.

 

In September 2016, after around four months build time, the car was finally “finished”. That being the tail-end of show season, Barry has only been able to take it to a couple of events (Westside Treffen and Ultimate Stance – where it won in the Top 20), so he can’t wait for this year’s show circuit to kick off. But as we all know, a car is never fully “complete” – there are still plans to upgrade the AccuAir SwitchSpeed to the auto-levelling E-Level management, and smooth the engine bay. This is definitely an E36 to keep your eye on – not that it’s hard to miss!

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Barry Smith:

@santorinie36 on Instagram

 

More info on Kustom Kolors:

@kustom_kolors on Instagram

Kustom Kolors website

 

De-Alpina’ing an Alpina – Ryan Stewart’s 2002 BMW Alpina B10 3.3 Touring

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Recently there’s been one car, in particular, that’s blown up my social media feed. Ryan Stewart’s E39 Touring has had a lot of heads nodding in admiration, and it’s not even his project car (a highly modified track-spec Porsche Cayman), but the daily driver! Plus, this isn’t just any ordinary BMW 5-Series, it’s the incredibly rare Alpina B10 3.3 Touring, which include cams, big valve head, bespoke Alpina inlet manifold, tubular manifold and twin race cats as standard. So, with around nine facelift Tourings left in the UK, bagging it on Air Lift Performance and adding some 20″ Rotiforms was never going to be to the purist’s tastes, but for the rest of us it’s refreshing and damn cool to see someone adding their touch to a rarity like this. Personally, I’ve always felt like Alpina has been targeted at the elderly enthusiast with their choice of styling, but “de-Alpina’ing” it slightly, as Ryan puts it, has brought the car right up to date. I don’t think you could ask for a much cooler daily driver, either.

 

 

So let’s start with a little history… Ryan is somewhat well known throughout the car world, working for SceneMedia, as well as owning Garage Midnight and Performance Powertrain Solutions (a parts distribution company). Working in the automotive field means that he’s had all sorts of project cars over the years, but is the first to admit that he’s not actually a BMW guy. His passion for modified cars comes from Volkswagens. In fact, after owning a ’66 Singer Chamois (his first ever car), he went on to a narrowed ’68 Beetle and numerous Mk2 Golfs.

 

 

From there on, he became thoroughly interested in power. “I’ve had an Astra Mk3 C20LET with a 6-speed box, diff, and loads of Group A bits. An S2000 on aftermarket management, cams, Wilwood brakes, a 580bhp MK5 Golf that I still have, a Nissan S14a… shit loads!” Ryan explains, “My favorite has to be the MK4 golf that I built, crashed, built, blew up then built again. It ended up being matte black and having a 550bhp R32 Turbo engine, we called it the Zombie MK4 because it just would not die!”.

 

 

So along with the Cayman, the Mk5, and his Lexus LS400 VIP projects, Ryan needs a daily driver to keep him on the road for the staggering amount of miles he does annually. Naturally, it had to be something cool, but with his last daily driver being a modified Land Rover Discovery 3, he decided it was time for something a bit more car-like this time around. “I wanted something that was auto, had the load capacity but was a little smaller than the Discovery” he explains. Ryan has also owned an E39 M5 in the past, which primarily led him on to look at 540i Tourings, however with the prices of the V8’s soaring, he couldn’t justify the additional expenditure on a daily workhorse.

 

 

“After obsessively finding out every intricate detail about the Alpina B10 model variations, I came across the car on eBay” Ryan explains. The B10 appeared to be in good condition, although it had a rear SLS fault, very common on E39 Tourings, meaning it would sag when left overnight. This made it the perfect candidate for upgrading to Air Lift Performance suspension. “This was one Alpina that wasn’t going to stay true to the original vision” Ryan laughs.

 

 

In fact, he actually started modifying the car before he even bought it… Buying a set of ACS mirrors on the way to picking the car up! “As soon as I got home with the new car, I whipped off the stock square mirrors and popped on the AC Schnitzer counterparts” Then, almost instantly, he had Regal Autosport swap on an AP Racing 6 pot brake kit for some extra stopping power.

 

 

With the E39’s problematic factory air ride, Ryan knew straight away that it would go on aftermarket air, with Air Lift Performance 3H being his ultimate choice. “I’ve installed a few Air Lift Performance kits over the years and the quality is top notch. Having driven on 3H, both on track and on the road, it had to be 3H for this car. I do so many miles and load it up with all sorts of junk, the self-leveling is a God send” he explains. Along with the 3H management, Ryan also went with the E39-specific Air Lift Performance front setup (threaded body with double bellow bags and camber top mounts), and brand new factory rear bags along with uprated Bilstein B8 rear shock absorbers.

 

 

Using the factory rear setup meant that Ryan had to sleeve-down the original air lines from the OEM metric sizes to meet the imperial Air Lift Performance manifold, so it wasn’t a straight up procedure. After building up the install with his friend Doey, ready to be seated in the rear spare wheel well, they took it straight up to Parm at Car Audio & Security who helped out matching up all the remaining fittings for the build.

 

 

With twin VIAIR 44c black compressors, two 2-gallon tanks and the 3H manifold, it’s a tight install, but it all fits snugly under the factory false floor. “It even allows me to retain the pull-out underfloor storage – it’s as though it’s not there, completely hidden.” Ryan says. He also installed an exhaust port muffler and Air Lift compressor isolator kit, which means the whole system is extremely quiet in operation.

 

 

In the eyes of a purist, the worst thing that Ryan could’ve done was getting rid of the original Alpina wheels (although these will stay as ‘winter wheels’). However, in our eyes this was the best possible thing for it. Whilst visiting Car Audio & Security during the air installation, he noticed they’d just received stock of the latest Rotiform cast wheel, the RSE. He knew they’d be right for the car. “The spin-on centre cap is awesome and gives the whole thing a proper 90s feel” Ryan explains.

 

 

He decided to go for 20×8.5 up front so that the car would drive really low. “Usually I would like a wider front wheel but because of the height of the 20 it will now tuck the rim and still drive without scrubbing.” For the rears he opted for much wider 20×10’s. These are paired with 235/30 tyres up front and 255/30 on the rear wheels. “The 20″ wheels make it look mental, when it rolls tucking the lip and I catch it in shop windows it’s awesome.” Ryan states.

 

 

Apart from the addition of Air Lift and Rotiform wheels, the car remains a stock Alpina. “If it’s one thing Alpina know how to do, it’s their interiors.” Ryan tells me, “The unique wood trim with gilded inlays might not be to everyone’s taste but I love it!” Although the leather was extremely tired when he bought the car, a weekend spent cleaning and feeding it with Meguiar’s gear worked wonders. More than content with its overall comfort, he won’t be changing the interior any time soon, bar the odd extended leather part he can pick up here and there if he’s lucky.

 

Ryan also has plans for a new Kenwood audio system with 10″ sub and integrated dashcam headunit with Apple CarPlay, which will bring it up-to-date – the final piece of the puzzle to make this B10 Ryan’s perfect daily driver. However, I can see him playing with the engine soon… After hitting just over 270bhp on the rolling road, the car may still be healthy (with 275-280bhp when new), but knowing Ryan and his history with all things power, I’m sure this will soon be increased!

 

More info on Ryan Stewart / Garage Midnight:

@7th.seal on Instagram

@garagemidnight on Instagram

 

 

Old Ragtop – Ben Rye’s 1957 Volkswagen Beetle

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

There’s no hiding the fact that the UK car scene has become somewhat stale as of late, and this isn’t just my point of view, there’s plenty of you that agree with me… Let’s not hide it. The idea of buying a newer car, paying it off monthly, and sticking on some air ride and wheels, is extremely tempting. It’s a sure way of becoming involved in the car community that we all know. But, where’s the fun in that? Although I still admire each car that has undergone any sort of modification resulting in a better look than stock, there’s a massive lack of passion by just bagging a modern car and changing the wheels. Obviously, this isn’t the case for every ‘show car’ out there, which brings me on to our latest feature, Ben Rye’s ’57 Beetle. I first came across this neck-breaking project at the VolksWorld Show 2016, where it was wearing a slightly different guise, but still looked absolutely badass… plenty of patina, visible rust and it was laying frame. It was just cool. Throughout the rest of the year, I kept seeing the Beetle at all the big car shows – particularly ones you wouldn’t expect to see a ratty Beetle at. From my experience, most air-cooled fans tend not to get involved with a lot of the events that we attend. What I love about Ben, along with a handful of his friends, is that they don’t care about what others think. They build cars that they truly love, but still like to show them off to the mainstream show scene. I love their whole attitude… a sort of big “fuck off” to what the masses are led to believe what cool is. This is really rare for such young people and an absolute breath of fresh air.

 

 

Aged 25, Ben has had his fair share of project cars already, including a Mk2 Golf track car with full race cage, floor-mounted pedal box and much more. His real craving, however, has always been for air-cooled Volkswagens. “As long as I can really remember I always wanted a split-screen camper” he recalls, but with the price of these sky-high and steadily rising, he ended up with a modest T25 camper, which consequently planted his passion for old VW’s. With the ease of working on these cars himself along with the sheer amount of parts still available to keep them on the road, he could really get involved in every aspect of building a car.

 

 

On to the Beetle in question, then… Ben came across the car whilst doing what he does on most of his breaks as a full-time builder, searching every Beetle-related page on the internet for something cool to pop up! Eventually, a Beetle caught his eye on a page in Holland. It wasn’t just any Beetle, but an ‘Oval’ factory ragtop, a very special combination. Ben admits that it didn’t even look that great in the photographs, but he knew it was worth saving and bringing back to life.

 

 

Consequently, this meant a roadtrip to Holland with his daily T5 van and trailer. Incredibly, he made the journey over all on his own. “When I got there my heart sort of sank. It was way worse than I thought it was going to be”, that would’ve been enough to put anyone off, however, Ben loaded it up and brought it home anyway! “I was already in Holland and I had euros to spend” he laughs.

 

 

Ben already had a vision and knew that he wanted the Beetle bagged and laying flat on the floor, even before he had bought it. However, the car was in such a bad way, that it needed restoring first. This actually gave him the chance to learn how to get it sitting on the floor in the best possible way, as he got to experience the car as a bare shell throughout the rebuilding process. After six months of cutting and grinding and generally making it roadworthy including recommissioning the single port 1300 motor, he was finally at a point where he could experiment with getting the Beetle to lay frame.

 

 

Starting with the floor pans, these had to be cut, flattened and welded back into place. The front of the car then had to be pie cut, which involved cutting a pie-shape section out of the chassis, and bending the chassis itself upwards to allow for more ground clearance. Doing this also realigned the wheels into the centre of the arch when driving the car low. “Lots of people miss this part on a beetle” Ben hints.

 

 

Finally, Ben had to raise the engine and gearbox to get the car sitting absolutely flat on the floor. He next turned his attention to the custom air ride setup. He opted for Air Lift Performance universal bags, but this still meant that he had to work on custom bag mounts to attach them to the chassis, mocking up everything at first with hardboard and a glue gun. “From there I could take the mock-up to the computer and replicate it into a cutting file” Ben explains. He then had his dad help with the technical CAD drawings before sending them off to be laser cut.

 

 

He received the finished mounts back already cut and folded, ready to be welded straight to the car. This was just one of the custom components that had to be fabricated, with each going through a similar process. “Design something. Make it, test it. There isn’t really a company out there that can make a kit up like I wanted. I found it much easier to make it myself, probably saving a couple of grand throughout the process, too.” he reveals.

 

 

With the airbags secured in place, the suspension was brought together using Air Lift Performance’s Autopilot V2 digital management system, with the controller tastefully mounted in the passenger glove compartment, along with a VIAIR 444c compressor and a 4-gallon tank visible through the rear oval window. This allows Ben to completely lay frame when parked up, and drive at a reasonable height – a lifesaver when he has to get in and out of his home… the local roads are atrocious!

 

 

With the Beetle restored, roadworthy, and slammed, Ben turned his attention to the wheels. “Following the theme of building as much of this car as possible, I decided to have a go myself…” With a few sets of 3-piece custom Beetle steel splits surfacing prior, he wanted to do something similar for his Oval. However, the existing sets were built into 17″ diameter – far too big to lay frame with. Ben knew he had to stick to a 15″ wheel, for the overall look of the car.

 

 

“I just figured it out; made a custom centre, purchased the lips and barrels and had some new hubcaps waiting already… that’s it really” he explains. The splits were paired with 185/45 and 165/45 tyres. The wheels are the icing on the cake with this build. Albeit a ratty, rusty looking shell, it’s made super-cool and approachable with the ‘icy’ wheels. Since these turned out so well, Ben already has plans for more custom 3-piece Beetle wheels this year to change things up slightly.

 

 

It’s not often that a car can bring a lifestyle change and business opportunities, but the process of building the Oval has helped bring Ben’s new business, HR Autoworks, into fruition. Teaming up with Jake Hilling, another Beetle enthusiast that Ben actually met through Instagram, they first got talking about their love for air-cooled cars, which led on to designing parts together and talking about a business. “It’s now becoming something more than just building a car for me. It’s building the next car that excites me more. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, but I just keep seeing people building cool stuff which really makes me want to step it up” he says. The guys are half way between building a spray booth in their unit and already have cars lined up for their custom air installs. “It’s all just escalated very quickly but we really can’t complain as we will both get to do this full-time in the near future” he says gracefully. This is just the beginning of HR Autoworks, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of these boys in the near future. If Ben’s Beetle is anything to go by, I think they have a bright future ahead of them.

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Ben Rye / HR Autoworks:

Ben Rye on Instagram

HR Autoworks on Instagram

HR Autoworks on Facebook

 
 

Bagging Our Wagon – The Slam Sanctuary Audi C5 A6 Avant

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

2016 presented a new chapter for Slam Sanctuary. With the introduction of our Pop-Up Store, I had the task of transporting it around the UK and Europe to multiple automotive events. This meant that I needed a suitable vehicle to haul a lot of gear around, although I still wanted the car to look cool. I knew that whatever I chose, it was by no means going to be a show car, but more of an appealing daily beater that could demonstrate some of the products we sell. A true BMW fan at heart, I first thought about an E46 Touring (having owned one previously, I knew what great cars they are). Unfortunately, they just weren’t big enough, so I then considered E39 530d Touring’s, but the price of these were still ambitious. Then there was the option of buying something newer, like an E60 530d, however then there would’ve been no spare funds to “slam” it.

 

I started looking at Audi’s with the 1.9tdi engine. Although having never owned one myself, I’d heard nothing but good things about the economy of these engines (essential for my needs) and how cheap they are to maintain. With a C5 S6 Avant in my household already, I knew that the C5 platform was capable of fitting all of the Slam Sanctuary gear inside, as I’d used it to transport everything to Ultimate Stance in 2015. Plus, they were extremely comfortable on long journeys – ideal! So, the hunt was on for a C5 A6 Avant. After wasting my time viewing several poor examples, a clean 2004 1.9tdi finally popped up at a local car dealer, overpriced and finished in an obscure colour (hearing-aid beige, which it is jokingly known as amongst friends), it was much tidier than anything I’d seen previously. A deal was done, and it was time to transform it into a wagon worthy of the Slam Sanctuary name.

 

Our Pop-Up Store, all this had to fit in the A6!

 

A TRIP TO ONLY CHARGED DUBS

 

Naturally, the A6 had to be lowered as much as possible… But coilovers or air? That was the question. I’ve had people ask me why I didn’t just fit coilovers if I was on a tight budget. Well, the car was going to be fully loaded and weigh a lot. Coilovers just didn’t seem like the right way to go. In fact, I knew from the start that it was going to have to go on air, as I wanted to be able to load the car up whilst simultaneously having it stay at the exact height I wanted, so that it wouldn’t even look like it was under load. Also, with lots of driving planned to new places, including Europe, I didn’t want the hassle of driving a static low car. I’ve done it in the past and as much as I respect those that have the patience for it, the whole goal for this wagon was for it to be a hassle-free daily driver. The less worrying, the better.

 

 

Prior to picking up the A6, I had been talking to our friends at Only Charged Dubs (OCD) about their own A6 Allroad, which shares the same C5 platform. They’d just bagged it too, so I knew that they would have first-hand experience with the platform and would be able to recommend which method would work best on my car. Matt at OCD was enthusiastic from the get-go and was always keen on discussing ideas to present me with the most affordable custom solution. I was completely sold on taking the car to OCD and letting him work his magic. The toughest choice, however, was deciding what air management to run. I was on a budget, yes, but a manual setup was out of the question. This was going to be a daily driver, so ease of use was essential. I also knew that the more affordable pressure-based digital systems were not as reliable as they claim to be, so it was really Air Lift 3H vs AccuAir e-Level, the two readily available height-sensor based systems. It seemed better to spend more money in the first place and do things right. In the end, seeing as I was going with Air Lift bags, I went with the tried-and-tested AccuAir e-Level management system, so we could demonstrate as many products that we offer as possible.

 

 

Of course, Air Lift Performance was the first choice for bags/struts. However, my A6 is a FWD model and unfortunately Air Lift only offered a complete bolt-on kit for 4WD/Quattro models (standard over in the USA, where Air Lift are based) so we had to go with a front-only Air Lift kit. This meant that a custom setup would need to be fabricated for the rear end… Another reason why I took the car to the very capable OCD.

 

 

Luckily, Only Charged Dubs were just about to release their new line of universal bags (BAGS by OCD) so Matt reassured me that there would be no issues with creating a custom rear air setup specifically for my car using their BAGS. Using custom CNC’d mounting cups, the BAGS would fit perfectly in the rear suspension setup of the FWD A6 with very minimal modification.

 

 

As the A6 was going to be used more like a van than a car, part of my requirements were to keep all the boot space available, in addition to my spare wheel. As I was going to do a lot of long trips in this car, I wanted the piece-of-mind of having a spare wheel should I ever need it. After some test-fitting, Matt and I agreed that the most effective way to go about it was to mount the AccuAir VU4 manifold and ECU underneath the car. Besides, they’re completely weatherproof! With limited spare space in the boot, there was actually one side compartment that was unused. A small Air Lift 2.5-gallon tank and a single VIAIR 400c compressor were selected to mount in this limiting compartment, whilst everything else would be bolted underneath the car.

 

INSTALLATION

 

 

Matt’s first task was to run and connect the AccuAir wiring harness from the rear to the front of the vehicle to ensure we had power for the ECU and VU4 underneath the car.

 

 

Next, he completely stripped the boot, which was actually a lot more time consuming than you would imagine. Audi certainly know how to engineer their interiors! This left the fitting area completely exposed and ready for installation of the air tank and compressor.

 

 

In what limited space we had, the compressor was mounted above the rear wheel arch for a very snug fit. Followed by some minor trimming, the 2.5-gallon tank was secured in the remaining enclosure, preventing it from any unnecessary movement.

 

 

Once the boot was reassembled, the result was a completely hidden air install, easily accessible using the factory compartment cover. This was exactly what I wanted, with my spare wheel area completely untouched.

 

 

The next step was to get the car onto the ramp and into the air to start fitting the suspension components.

 

 

 

The Air Lift Performance struts were a direct fit and designed specifically for the C5 chassis, so installation was straightforward – replacing the existing shocks for the new units, much like fitting coilovers, with the added connection of the air lines.

 

 

The front level sensors were fitted next. The AccuAir e-Level system is based on height, which is determined by specialised sensors on each corner of the suspension. They’re extremely accurate and the system will maintain the vehicle height when loading or unloading passengers or when road conditions change… This is also regardless of load, which is perfect for when I completely load the car up with gear. The location of these is absolutely essential to give an accurate reading. Luckily Matt has installed hundreds of these kits, even on his own C5 Allroad, so he knew exactly where to place them for the best result.

 

 

He then moved on to bolting the AccuAir VU4 4-way manifold and ECU underneath the car. It was mounted to the driest area, close to the rear bumper, keeping it out of the elements as much as possible. Although, being completely weatherproof, it’s really nothing to worry about anyway.

 

 

The 3/8″ air line was then run to all four suspension corners and also into the boot along to the tank and compressor through one of the factory grommets, keeping the install as OEM looking as possible.

 

 

Moving on, it was time for the custom part of the install… the rear setup. The original springs were removed, ready to be replaced with the universal BAGS by OCD.

 

 

These stunning custom bag cups were CNC’d to place in between the bags and the car’s chassis.

 

 

Matt fully pressure-tested the BAGS prior to installation to check for any leaks to ensure no faults during use.

 

 

The only modification needed to install the new bags was to drill a hole into the spring locator so that the bag cup could be bolted in for a tight fit and to avoid the bags coming detached from the vehicle.

 

 

The OEM rear shocks were kept during installation, but I later upgraded these to shorter TA-Technix sport shocks, as the original ones were worn out.

 

 

Finally, the remaining two level sensors were fitted close to the rear beam, to complete the management part of the install.

 

 

Once the auto-calibration was set on the e-Level touchpad, it was finally time to air out the A6!

 

 

 

There you have it. Matt and the team at Only Charged Dubs did an incredible job getting the car on the floor. The first part of the puzzle was complete.

 

THE FINAL TRANSFORMATION

 

Obviously, I couldn’t rock the ‘broken suspension’ look for long, so a few final elements were needed to complete the A6’s transformation. Firstly I just had to put some nicer wheels on the car, so I opted for a set of 19×8.5 Rotiform IND-T’s, which were then powder coated in matte anthracite by our partners at The Wheel Specialist Bournemouth and fitted to a set of Nankang NS20 215/35/19 tyres resulting in some subtle stretch. 15mm spacers were also added up front. To match the finish of the wheels, I called on the services of Jack & Luke at JCT Developments in Ringwood to apply some Slam Sanctuary branding using 3M wrap film across both front doors, resulting in a perfect match with the anthracite wheels.

 

I next visited our friends at Xclusive Customs in Poole to get the rear windows tinted – although I wouldn’t usually go for a complete ‘limo spec’ tint, it was important to hide what I was carrying from view, especially when leaving the car in random places overnight. Lastly, the car was finished off with a Seat Cupra R front splitter which makes the rounded front-end slightly more aggressive. Other than that, the car remains standard. I then got on the phone to our insurers, Herts Insurance Consultants (HIC), to declare the new modifications and agreed on a specialised policy. Don’t forget to do this when bagging your car or your insurance could be invalid… it isn’t always more expensive to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nine months of testing and abuse later, I finally took the A6 to the New Forest one evening to capture these photographs. To conclude, this car has been the perfect daily workhorse and it does exactly what I need it to do without costing the earth to maintain. I’ve driven it thousands of miles all over the UK and Europe and had no issues with the air ride whatsoever. I can jump in it and drive anywhere without worrying. If you want a hassle-free way to lower your car, I can’t recommend bagging your car enough. Do not fear if there isn’t a bolt-on kit readily available for your car, hopefully I’ve shown that there’s usually a way around it by using universal bags and some basic fabrication which doesn’t have to bankrupt you. Only Charged Dubs even offer a bag upgrade for BC Racing coilovers now, so there really are endless options out there. Don’t be put off, make it a life on air.

 

Only Charged Dubs / BAGS by OCD:

Only Charged Dubs on Instagram

BAGS by OCD on Instagram

Only Charged Dubs website

 

Air Lift Performance:

Air Lift on Instagram

Air Lift website

 

AccuAir:

AccuAir on Instagram

AccuAir website

 

Rotiform:

Rotiform on Instagram

Rotiform website

 

Herts Insurance (HIC):

HIC on Instagram

HIC website

 

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