Tag Archives: Airlift Performance

The Learning Curve – Ethan Sexton’s 1990 BMW E30 318is

Words & Photos by Henry Phull


Looking back on 2017, I think it’s fair to say that the E30 has easily been one of the most fashionable cars in the ‘stance’ scene, which is kind of weird, considering how much prices have soared. That said, buying one now would be a justified investment for the future, as values are only going to continue to rise, so maybe that’s what everyone’s doing? Or could it be down to the fact that the E30 is still one of the most enjoyable, driver-oriented, and beautiful, cars that money can buy? Probably a mixture. Well, with so many examples out in the wild, you do have to filter through them to find the real gems, which brings us to Ethan Sexton’s gorgeous 318is, one E30 that’s been on our radar for a while now. Having owned the car for almost five years, Ethan has put it through several guises during his ownership, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that I felt the car was at its best, so, naturally, I was eager to set up a shoot.



Ethan’s story is like that of most BMW owners, it was a family affair. His dad happened to own a beaten up 325i Sport for a brief period, but long enough for Ethan to fall in love with BMWs… “I’ll never forget drifting around in it and realising how fun cars could be” he exclaims. The E30 was the car that truly sparked his interest in all things automotive, and when he turned 18, Ethan bought an E46 318ci. Although he loved the car itself, he was disappointed with its lack of power for a new, heavy car. That constant want of an E30 was at the back of his mind, and after seeing lots of modified examples online, he knew he had to have one for himself. The search was on!



It’s worth mentioning that before buying the E30, Ethan had no experience with modifying cars. It was the BMW that changed everything and allowed him to learn so many new skills. “I’ve had access to a fairly big workshop for the last few winters and I’d spend pretty much every evening there with friends just messing around with each other’s cars”. So the E30 that Ethan ended up buying, was a 1990 318is, which he selected over the normal 318 due to the “is” model being a fair bit quicker and sportier looking. Unfortunately, a straight-six model was out of the question at the time because of high insurance prices. Amazingly, Ethan found his Alpine White example under an hour away from home, owned by a Volkswagen enthusiast who had only owned it for a short period.



“I literally knew nothing about cars when I bought the car” Ethan explains… “But I had seen a white E30 online, it was slightly lowered and on BBS RS’. At the time, plans to get the car looking anywhere near similar to the one I’d seen online seemed very unrealistic, but things soon spiraled out of control!”. Ethan started out by doing everything cheaply to get the car looking how he had imagined as quickly as possible, but soon came to realise that it was worth investing more money when buying parts, especially considering he never wants to sell the car.



At first, Ethan fitted some cheap JOM coilovers, but quickly became sold on the idea of air suspension. “It gives you the flexibility to use the car practically, as well as being able to have it looking exactly as you want it when aired out” Ethan explains. Plus, his girlfriend was living in Birmingham at the time, so driving up from Southampton regularly was out of the question for a very low static car, and the 318is M42 sump sits incredibly low, too. “I still find it surprising how many people expect a car on air suspension to handle extremely poorly… to me at least, I think it’s perfect for a road car. And not soft/sloppy as many people expect.”



Ethan decided to go for an Air Lift Performance setup with AutoPilot V2 management for his air suspension package. At the time, he wasn’t clued up on air ride, and had heard plenty of great reviews of Air Lift products. He opted to visit his local installer, Shakey at Studio Incar who ended up fitting a completely custom setup, as an E30-specific kit hadn’t been released at the time. Shakey had experience with E30’s, having bagged Nick Sahota’s M3 previously, the first bagged E30 M3 in the UK (Click here to check out that feature!). Shakey also created a bespoke hardline boot setup at the same time, although Ethan eventually wanted his spare wheel and boot space back. As a result, he’s reworked the installation and is now running an air tank mounted on the rear parcel shelf which looks super cool.



Getting a classic car sitting right isn’t usually just as simple as installing the bags. Ethan has fitted a new shallow sump to allow the car to air out even lower. Plus, the rear subframe was dropped to fit a CAtuned camber kit, designed to remove negative camber which the E30 chassis naturally gains once lowered. Ethan mounted the kit in the opposite way to gain more negative camber. At the same time, he fitted Revshift poly bushes on everything, along with Powerflex front lollypop bushes. The car now sits extremely well. Evidently, it was worth the extra effort!



Looking into the cockpit, “It’s always been a bit mix and match, due to me always changing my mind about things and cheap seats coming up for sale” Ethan laughs… The E30 actually started off with the standard “is” interior, then to a set of OMP retro/classic bucket seats, and finally to a pair of Recaros removed from a Rover. These grace the car currently, along with a Nardi Deep Corn wood steering wheel and matching gear knob. Ethan then sourced a new carpet to update the original retired example, and dyed it from grey to black, along with the rear bench. Being a bit of an audiophile too, he wanted to update the retro audio system, opting for Hertz component front speakers and a JL Audio subwoofer.



Believe it or not, the first wheels that Ethan purchased for the car were a set of BBS RS’ reps.. yes, REPLICA wheels. Although we’ll forgive him, as he later saw sense and fitted a set of brand new 17″ Schmidt TH-Lines which he ran for quite a while – they looked great. Now, however, things have been switched up again with a set of 16″ Carline/Dyna CM2’s. “I knew I wanted some new wheels but couldn’t decide what to go for, until my decision was finally influenced by Sean Crompton’s E36 on Carline CM6s, so when I saw that Prakash Thanky was selling his CM2s off of his E21, I just had to go for them” Ethan explains.



After roughly measuring the car, Ethan let excitement get the better of him and went to pick up the CM2s regardless of not being sure whether they’d fit. Often with second-hand wheels, they don’t. Amazingly, the rears did fit just as he’d imagined, but the front wheels did have to be rebuilt with 3″ lips, changing them from 8J’s to 9J’s, and still required 15mm spacers to get them to fit exactly as he wanted. “Fitting tyres to them was a nightmare, due to the inside design of the barrels, the usual tyre shops were unable to fit the tyre sizes I was after and I ended up driving back to Luton, where I’d bought the wheels from, to see Faz at Specialist Tyres, who had come up with a method of fitting the tyres and got them on with no issues” he recalls. The wheels are now 16×9 up front with 195/40 tyres, and 16×10 rears with 215/40 tyres. As a result of the wheel building and work to get the front end lower and having the arches rolled, Ethan now has that glorious arch-to-lip fitment he desired.



Bodywise, Ethan has replaced the bonnet and both front wings due to their poor condition. At the same time, he had the “is” bootlid spoiler removed, although he now slightly regrets doing so. Various front lips have been fitted over the years, including a Reiger-style lip, which ended up in two pieces! He’s now settled for a genuine “is” lip and side skirts. Aside from that, you’ll also notice the euro-style yellow lights which compliment the Alpine White bodywork nicely. The M42 engine remains stock (other than the shallow sump, and the addition of a K&N air filter), but he did, however, have a complete custom stainless exhaust fabricated by Powerflow in Totton for a sportier driving experience.



Having recently bought himself a remapped BMW 123d daily driver, Ethan can now keep the E30 on the driveway and tinker with it as and when he pleases, without having to worry about it every day. With no plans to get rid, I get the feeling it will be a forever ongoing project. With a car like this, there’s always something do to, and Ethan absolutely loves a challenge and admits that the car is constantly changing (there are even talks of an M50/M52 swap in the future). Props to him for keeping at it for so long, his hard work has definitely paid off and he should be proud to have built himself one of the most eye-catching E30’s in the UK. Let’s see what next year brings!




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More info on Ethan Sexton:

@ethansexton on Instagram
























The Air Lift Show & Shine BBQ 2017

Date: 27 August 2017

Location: Car Audio & Security, Hayes


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


We only recently visited Car Audio & Security (CAS) back in April this year to attend their annual Open Weekend, so to hear that they were opening their doors again a few months later was great news. We always look forward to the laid-back vibe that comes with any CAS event… this time around, they were set to host Air Lift Performance’s Show & Shine BBQ, which promised to present some of the highest quality bagged cars in the UK. Tied with valuable show & shine prizes from sponsors including Meguiar’s, Rotiform, Kenwood, GoPro, Alpine, Rockford Fosgate, JL Audio, and ourselves… a BBQ with all the trimmings (completely free of charge – nice touch!), plus, plenty of instore deals as is to be expected from Car Audio & Security, they were on to a winner. It just so happened that the weather was absolutely perfect, too, which meant the turnout was even better than expected. CAS’s premises were completely overrun by modified cars, including the surrounding roads and industrial estate. It was quite a sight! Check out some of our favourite cars from the day below…


Raj Sangha’s Porsche 964 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform STR’s





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


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



HTS Motorsport’s M52-swapped BMW E30 Touring on Air Lift suspension & Schmidt TH-Line’s



Amar Flora’s Volkswagen Polo 6n2 on hydraulic suspension & CCW Classic’s



Richie Payne’s Porsche 964 on KW suspension & Rotiform STR’s



Jake Hilling’s Beetle-panned ’78 Volkswagen Brasilia on Air Lift suspension




Meguiar’s Ford Crown Victoria on Air Lift suspension



Raj Sangha’s BMW E30 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform OZT’s



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




Spencer’s Volkswagen Mk1 Golf on H&R suspension & BBS RS’



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



Ryan Stewart’s supercharged Alpina B10 3.3 Touring on Air Lift suspension & RAYS TE37’s


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


James Brown’s Mercedes-Benz 190E on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform MBZ’s



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




Rob Goodwin’s BMW E28 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’



Haps Gill’s BMW E46 M3 on Air Lift suspension & CCW LM5T’s



Steve Fraser’s Audi S3 Saloon on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LAS-R’s



Ameet Sagoo’s Volkswagen Mk1 Jetta on BBS RS’



Andy Guyett’s BMW E36 Touring on Air Lift suspension & Racing Dynamics RRS’



Robin Kellam’s Audi A1 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LSR’s



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




Johnny Mercy’s bagged Mercedes-Benz SL500 on WORK VS-KF’s



Patric James’ Volkswagen Corrado on Air Lift suspension & Eta Beta’s



Parm Panesar’s BMW F80 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LAS-R’s / Raj Sangha’s BMW M4 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LSR’s




Air suspension is more popular than ever before, evidently, it’s become an essential element to any build these days. From practicality, performance, and visual transformation, it’s a no-brainer. Air Lift Performance continue to lead the pack here in the UK and it’s great to see them constantly involved with our car community. They even gave away a complete 3P management system to a lucky winner! The Show & Shine BBQ acted as a perfect opportunity to show how stunning any car can look when slammed on air suspension. Hell, it just makes us want to go out and bag everything and anything! It was also rather refreshing to see that they’d allowed a few static and hydro’d cars into the event too. At the end of the day, this is what car culture should be about – acceptance and respect for everyone. After this year’s successful BBQ, we have a feeling that it’ll be making a return, so keep your eyes peeled in 2018 for details. Big thanks to Car Audio & Security for hosting and inviting us down with our Pop-Up Store. Don’t forget to check out even more photos below in the 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
















Gravity 2017

Date: 16 July 2017

Location: NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


When I think of SlammedUK, variation comes to mind. Regardless of their name, the brand is essentially an open book when it comes to their following of modified cars, which is why their show ‘Gravity’ appeals to all sorts of cars in the community. Following the success of last year’s debut event, Gravity returned to Stoneleigh Park for a second year. I was seriously impressed with last year, but I have to say, the latest offering completely blew 2016 away in terms of cars, trade, music, and the sheer amount of public attendees. So, another congratulations is in order for Jordan and his team at SlammedUK! Whether you’re into Volkswagens, BMWs, Lowriders, RWBs, or Jap cars… the list goes on. Gravity had it all within two huge indoor halls, as well a vast outdoor area (apologies – our booth was so busy that I didn’t get a chance to photograph outside this time!). I managed to sneak around the show before it opened to the public to capture a few of our favourite cars. Take a look below…


PROFUSION Customs’ Porsche 964 RWB on Work Meister S1’s



Mark Loony’s Honda Civic EK on hydraulic suspension & BBS RS’



Alex Hurd’s BMW E46 330ci on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & WORK Meister’s



Haps Gill’s BMW E46 M3 on Air Lift suspension & CCW LM5T’s




Josh Mussell’s static Nissan 350Z on WORK Meister L1’s



Lewis Parker’s Volkswagen UP! on Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s



Jean Colaert’s bagged Audi B5 A4 on WORK Equip 3-spoke’s




Leeroy Makewell’s Volkswagen Mk5 Golf on Air Lift suspension & Bentley’s



Matt Hollands’ bagged BMW E38 on Style297’s



Tom Grimshaw’s Audi Q5 on AccuAir suspension & Ferrada FR4’s



Zoe Langley’s Mazda MX5 on Air Lift suspension & WORK Meister CR01’s




Corey Nolan’s BMW F32 435i on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & OZ Futura’s



Lydia El-Hoss’ static Honda S2000 on Schmidt Revolution Tracer Tech 2’s



Reece Parr’s BMW E30 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s




Lala Miah’s BMW 635CSi on Air Lift suspension & custom-built M-system Throwing Star splits



Chris Williams’ Porsche 964 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LHR’s



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




Arfan Talib’s Mercedes-Benz W126 “Trasco” 1000SEL on BBS RF’s



Mikel Roe’s Volkswagen Mk6 Jetta on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & OZ Futura’s



Jordan Saunders’ Mazda RX7 on AirREX / Air Lift suspension & SSR Professor’s



Faz Ahmed’s S50-swapped BMW E30 cabriolet on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’



Immi Hussain’s BMW E46 M3 ‘vert on Air Lift suspension & Carline CM6’s



Jamie Warne’s BMW E31 840ci on Air Lift suspension & custom-built 3pc Alpina’s




Jens Evensen’s Pandem-kitted Porsche Cayman S on Air Lift suspension & WatercooledIND MD1’s



Josh Stokes’ BMW E46 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Carline CM6’s



Elliot Carter’s BMW E92 on Airdynamiks / AccuAir suspension & BBS RF’s




Ross Firth’s Ford Fiesta ST on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’



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



Matt Honeywill’s Subaru Impreza WRX on Air Lift suspension



Dan Taylor’s BMW E46 M3 on Air Lift suspension & BBS E88 centrelock’s

@dte46 / @wheel_unique



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


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


What a selection of cars… (and yes, I’m aware there’s quite a few E46 M3’s in there, but with so many great examples in the scene at the moment, I couldn’t help myself!). I’d just like to say a big thanks to anyone that dropped by the Slam Sanctuary booth and picked up something in our exclusive Summer Sale. We pretty much sold out and we’ve finally said goodbye to our ‘Steering Wheel’, ‘Spark Plug’ and ‘Helmet’ tees – they won’t be printed again, however, we’ll be dropping a brand new capsule collection at FittedUK this weekend in Manchester, so make sure you stop by and check out the new gear. If you liked the previous collection, you’re definitely going to dig what we have coming up.




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More info on Gravity / SlammedUK:

Gravity website

SlammedUK on Instagram

SlammedUK on Facebook











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


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



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



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



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



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



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



Nick Sahota’s Lamborghini Diablo



Joseph Cummins’ bagged BMW E38 on Alpina Dynamics




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


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



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


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



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



Nick Sahota’s Koenig Ferrari Testarossa



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



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



Vernon Kerr’s bagged Grumman LLV postal truck



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



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




Carter Harris’ custom Harley Davidson



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





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!




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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




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


(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



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



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




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


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


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



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



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





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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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




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



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



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



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





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!




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More info on Stance Fever:

Stance Fever website

Stance Fever on Instagram

Stance Fever 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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



Matthew Hartle’s bagged Mercedes-Benz W202



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



Dan Smith’s Porsche 966 on Eta Beta’s



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



Joe Bycroft’s BMW E21 on BBS RS’



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



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



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



James Hellewell’s Audi RS5 on BC Forged wheels



Jack Betts’ 1968 Beetle



Adam Berry’s bagged 1966 Karmann Ghia



Jas Virdee’s Mk4 Golf R32 on Air Lift suspension



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



Craig Hugill’s Porsche 911 Cabriolet on BBS RS’



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



Paul Foster’s Mk1 Golf on BBS RS’




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



Leo Jackson’s Mk1 Jetta on Tramont’s



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



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




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




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



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



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



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



Kirsty Greatrex’s 1969 Beetle



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.




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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


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!




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.





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.




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 on Instagram

AccuAir website



Rotiform on Instagram

Rotiform website


Herts Insurance (HIC):

HIC on Instagram

HIC website



Visit our web store

Players 10.0

Date: 18 September 2016

Location: North Weald Airfield, Essex


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


There’s one show that, undoubtedly, initiated the birth of several modified car shows in the UK… the one and only Players at North Weald Airfield. Founded by Jamie McToldridge and Carl Taylor, their vision came into fruition by hosting a new type of show that catered for all petrolheads within the clustered automotive world, but most importantly, oozing anything cool. Naturally, Players is known to have a strong presence of cars sporting Air Lift suspension and Rotiform wheels, but that’s to be expected when they are the main sponsors of the event. BUT, it’s balanced out with plenty of diversity. For example, walking into the main show, the first thing that would’ve met your eyes was a jacked up Chevy Impala lowrider. Followed by the UK’s first RWB Porsche. Then a classic Mercedes-Benz to a brand new BMW M4 on air. From a selection of Mk1 Golfs, to a Bagged Austin Healey! And people say that there’s no variation left these days? Well, I’m sorry, but that’s just plain B.S. – Jamie and Carl are two guys with quite the opposite taste in cars – put them together and you’ve got a team of incredible curators, showing us what is cool, and what’s going to ‘wow’ you as soon as you step foot into their show. Players 10.0 proved that they’ve still got it, ten years later.


Pav Gill’s Chevrolet Impala SS lowrider on hydraulics



PROFUSION Customs’ Porsche 964 RWB on Work Meister S1’s

@profusioncustoms / @rwbuk




James Brown’s bagged Mercedes-Benz 190E on Rotiform MBZ’s




Raj Sangha’s Audi RS2 on Rotiform STR’s




Sumil Pancholi’s BMW E39 on Air Lift suspension & Hartge splits




Kim Cowden’s Mk1 Golf



Julian Göttschkes’ Audi 100LS on HP Drivetech/AccuAir suspension



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


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



Jamie McToldridge’s Volkswagen Mk1 Golf G60 on H&R suspension & Rotiform YVR’s




Liam Elmore’s Audi TT on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform OZT’s



Marcel Bäumer’s Mercedes-Benz W108 280SE on Air Lift suspension




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



Will Drayson’s BMW E92 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform BLQ’s



Raj Sangha’s BMW M4 on Air Lift Suspension & Rotiform RSE’s




JAG’S Bodyshop’s Audi B5 S4 Avant



Max Marshall’s Austin Healey on Air Lift suspension




Paul’s Audi B5 S4 Avant on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform DIA’s




Dan Tuttle’s 1960 Chevrolet Impala on Air Lift suspension




Jamie McToldridge’s Mercedes-Benz W123 230CE on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LHR’s



Ryan Stewart’s track-spec Porsche Cayman on Rotiform LSR’s




Ash Squires’ 1987 Mk2 Toyota Soarer on Tein coilovers & SSR Mk1′s



Jon Naish’s Nissan President on hydraulic suspension



Jamie McToldridge’s RX8 Rotary-swapped 1966 Datsun 520 on Air Lift suspension





Andy Maguire’s Audi B5 RS4 Avant on Air Lift suspension


Jamie Wootton’s 1966 Volkswagen Beetle on Empi wheels



Steven Foxall’s static BMW M50-turbo’d E30 on Schmidt TH-Line’s





Still Static’s Audi B8 on H&R suspension & Vossen LC105-T’s



Ben Anson’s BMW E21 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’s



Andy Ware’s Mk6 Golf on Air Lift suspension & stepped-up BBS RS’s



Patric James’ Volkswagen Corrado on Air Lift suspension & Eta Beta’s



Sukhi Kang’s Porsche 964 on stepped-up BBS RS’s



Alex Begley’s BMW E92 M3 on Air Lift suspension & Fifteen52 Tarmacs



HR Autoworks’ 1957 Oval & Ben Rye’s 1957 Oval Ragtop

@hrautoworks / @oldrag57


James Ellerker’s static Mk1 Ford Fiesta



Dub-It’s Volkswagen Type2



Matt Bampton’s Mk3 Golf GTI ABT 16v on Air Lift suspension



Lala Miah’s BMW 635CSi on Air Lift suspension & custom-built M-system Throwing Star splits




JAG’S Bodyshop’s Liberty Walk BMW E92 M3



Steve Fraser’s Audi S3 saloon on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform KPS’s



Beth Halsey’s Audi A1 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform BLQ-2’s



Edward Johnston’s wide-body BMW E36 Touring w/S50 M3 conversion, Air Lift suspension & custom BMW splits



Joe P’e’s Volkswagen T25 pickup on hydraulic suspension



Chris Wallis’ Mk5 Golf GTI on Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s




Hunain K’s Mk6 Golf R on Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s






Rich Tapp’s Nissan Skyline R32 on OZ Futura’s



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



Mikel Roe’s Mk6 Jetta on AccuAir suspension & OZ Futura’s



Chris Phillips’ static Lexus IS200 on WORK Equip’s




Alex Hurd’s BMW E46 330ci on Air Lift suspension & WORK Meister S1’s



Billy Hilton’s Audi S8 on KW suspension & Rotiform CCV’s



Sean Crompton’s static BMW E36 ‘vert on Carline CM6′s




Bekir Iskender’s BMW E39 540i on Air Lift suspension & custom 19″ 3pc Alpina Softline’s






So, Players remains on top with variation and unbeatable quality of cars – but, and it’s a big but, is it enough in this fast-moving automotive community? With so many new shows on the horizon, it’s clearly becoming more and more of a chore to keep up with the youngsters and new breed of car enthusiasts. With content from shows popping up on Instagram before you even have a chance to look around in person, there’s an unfortunate sense of impatience in the car scene these days. I get the feeling that the North Weald show is gradually becoming second to its younger sister, Players Classic, which is the event that seems to get bigger and better each year – plus there’s the history and motorsport heritage that comes with the location of Goodwood Motor Circuit. North Weald will always remain a special place to ourselves and others that have been part of the scene for years – but could it be time for a change of format? We’ll be supporting it nonetheless.


More info on Players:

Players website

Players on Facebook

Players on Instagram



Seen your car above? If we haven’t named you, drop us message a through our Facebook page or email info@slamsanctuary.com and let us know if you’d like your name added to the article! Also be sure to let us know if we made any errors regarding your cars modifications. Sometimes we make mistakes, albeit rarely, but we like to make things right!

Players Classic 2015

Location: Goodwood Motor Circuit, Chichester

Date: 13 June 2015


Words & Photos by Henry Phull



It’s that time of year again, Summer has finally arrived along with Players Classic – the immense car show that us petrol heads swarm upon to embrace the season. With people travelling from all over the World, Goodwood once again opened its doors to the Players crew, who are famous for hosting the UK’s biggest and most successful modified car shows. From classics to cars fresh out of the factory, from custom bikes to track cars, Players Classic has it all – there’s no doubt that it’s the best place to check out vehicle customisation on all levels and be able to appreciate our nation’s prime offerings. Boasting a huge Show and Shine area (which was expanded for this year), Air Lift Performance display, Trade village and BTCC track testing with Nicolas Hamilton throughout the day, there was something for everyone. Plus to keep with the traditional Goodwood motorsport theme, track time was available to those that pre-booked – so there were plenty of impressive track cars hooning around the historic circuit. So sit back, brace yourself for Slam Sanctuary’s longest write up yet, and enjoy my show highlights…


RIIVA Design’s demo cars taking on prime position on the Air Lift stand


Tom Gilbert’s BMW E36 with full Rocket Bunny wide arch kit, Air Lift suspension and Rotiform ROC wheels


Henry Gilbert’s Audi A6 C7 running Air Lift suspension and huge 21″ Rotiform CCV’s


Becky Evan’s bagged BMW E21 on a new set of Rotiform BM1’s


Robert Cumberbatch’s Hillman Imp on Air Lift and Ronal Racing 3pc splits + James Williams’ static Imp on Compomotive’s



Dean Meeson’s Lotus Esprit boasting a 24v Alfa Romeo V6 engine, air ride and Compomotive CXN wheels


Bruce Gowans’ BMW M135i with a full BTCC body kit, wrapped with a BMW Art Car inspired design by JD Wraps, plus a stunning air and audio install by Studio Incar. The car is finished off with a set of black Brada BR1’s



Lawrence Warner-Green’s BMW E60 bagged on Air Lift suspension by Studio Incar, sitting on a set of 20″ 3SDM 0.08’s


Also on the Studio Incar stand, Am Singh’s slammed E70 X5M on Brada BR1’s


Static BMW E28 on the SlammedUK stand rocking a set of Rondell 0067 split rims


Guy Higgs’ stripped BMW E30 track car, with an S50B32 engine swap and OZ Racing wheels


A JAGS Bodyshop Mercedes 190E Cosworth


Jack Ellis’ static Volkswagen B2 Passat on Votex wheels


Nathaniel Shannon Warth’s bagged BMW E28 featuring a BBS body kit and stepped-up BBS RS’s



Alex Wright’s static BMW E36 328i with SS Autowerks supplied over-fenders, engine raise kit and widened AC Schnitzer splits


Mark Allen’s Mk4 Golf estate with rear US bootlid


Ryan Powell’s Mk3 Golf VR6 bagged on gold-centred BBS LM’s


Kevve Raekelboom’s Belgian BMW E30 on AccuAir suspension and VIP Modular VXS210 wheels



Car Audio & Security’s Audi RS4 on Air Lift suspension and Rotiform INDT’s owned by Parm Panesar


Ryan Botton’s Phoenix yellow BMW Z3M Coupe on OZ Futura’s


Jaik-Meriden Golloghly’s Mini Cooper S on air ride and custom built Saab 900 Turbo splits



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


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


Jamie Hithcock’s static BMW Z4 on WORK Meister’s
(Click here to check out out our recent feature on Jamie’s Z4)


Tom Lilico’s bagged BMW Z3 rocking face mounted Lamborghini Diablo splits with 10j fronts and huge 11.5J (4.5″ lips) rears



Ricky Sadasivan’s static Technoviolet BMW E36 ‘vert on Gotti’s



Bruce Holder’s 1948 Series 1 Land Rover V8, dropped on a Rover P4 chassis


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


Nicholas Pritchard’s Ford RS Cosworth on Compomotive TH Motorsport wheels


Craig Levens’ bagged Mk5 Golf on 19″ RSV Forged 3pc splits, complimenting a Forge big brake kit


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


Kay Singh’s BMW E30 M3 rocking a classic set of gold-centered BBS RS’s



Adam Hamill’s blue VW UP! on hydraulic suspension and BBS E55 centrelock wheels



Charlie Sixbe’s Gulf-inspired Mk5 Golf on 18″ Rotiform VCE’s


Patric James’ VW Corrado running Air Lift suspension and Schmidt TH-Line’s



A BMW E38 Alpina B12 / 740i V8 dropped on coilovers


Darren’s bagged Mk4 Golf on Carline split rims


Ben Walker’s BMW E28 on OZ Breyton’s, dropped with Broadway Static coilovers and running an SS Autowerks’ engine raise kit



Rich Tapp’s static Nissan Skyline R32 on OZ Futura’s


Tom Heap’s Mercedes 300CE with Zender bodykit, BMW E36 Vader seats, custom air suspension and  OZ Futura’s



Prakash Thanky’s M50B25-swapped BMW E21 with Air Lift custom suspension and Carline CM2 split rims


A static Honda EK Civic on 15×9 WORK Meister wheels


Steve Fraser’s Mk6 Golf GTI on Air Lift suspension and ceramic polished Rotiform CCV’s


Kristof Mombaerts’ static Porsche 964 on Rotiform LVS’s


Andy Willems’ bagged 1973 Mercedes S280 W108 and 18″ Intro Wheels


Matt Edge’s 1968 Porsche 911T sitting on 16″ BBS RS001’s


Ron Huijzer’s Porsche 964 on stepped-up BBS RS’s



Immi Hussain’s BMW E46 saloon on hydraulic suspension and OZ Futura’s


Kevin Fitzgerald’s E30 325i Touring on Air Lift suspension and Klutch SL1 wheels
(Click here to check out our feature on Kevin’s E30)


Ross Ward’s bagged BMW E36 M3 on custom face-mounted ACS’s


Lucy Barlow’s BMW E21 on air ride and 14″ Compomotive TF 3pc splits


Will Smith’s Polo 6N bagged on Air Lift suspension and 15″ Rotiform ROC’s



Richard Payne’s ‘Milestone 71’ Porsche 964 on KW Suspension and Rotiform STR’s



Oli Bourne’s static BMW E30 coupe on 16″ Gotti splits


FYD Apparel’s 1966 Cadillac Coupe Deville


Laurence Turner’s static BMW E10 1602


Paige Walton’s ‘S6 Wraps’ static BMW E91 320d Touring on 18″ Rota Grid’s


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


Luke Polyblank’s Mk2 Golf on slammed on air ride and BBS E30’s



Beth Halsey’s VW Lupo on Air Lift suspension, widened arches, and wheels ceramic polished by Felgen Werkes


Nicolas Wlostowski’s 1973 Karmann Ghia on custom split steelies/smoothies


James Aveil’s bagged Mercedes-Benz W114 on SSR Visconti split rims


Edward Johnston’s static BMW E36 Touring with an S50B30 engine swap



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



Max Fleckney’s KP Toyota Starlet on Advan A3A wheels


Tej’s BMW E30 M3 finished in Santorini Blue and sitting on ACS splits


James Brown’s Mercedes 190E 2.6 on Air Lift suspension and custom 17″ Rotiform 8-hole’s


Dale Buckley’s Audi TT on Air Lift suspension


Ian Clement’s bagged BMW 1M on Air Lift suspension and Rotiform OZT’s


Nick Singh Sahota’s BMW E30 M3 with S54-swap, Bugatti centrelock wheels and Air Lift suspension & audio install by Studio Incar



Ben Anson’s bagged BMW E21 on Schmidt TH-Line’s


Rob Goodwin’s Audi RS4 Avant on Air Lift and Rotiform SPF’s



Jake Hilling’s bagged 1965 Beetle on widened smoothies



Austin Greatorex’s Mk5 Golf bagged on Air Lift suspension by RIIVA Design and sitting on Rotiform SCN’s finished in Rose gold



James Fisher’s VW Bora widened, bagged and tucking 20″ Bentley wheels


Sam’s bagged Mk6 Golf R on BBS E28’s


Michael Ralph’s Mk4 R32 and James Harper’s Audi S3


Our static BMW E24 635CSi on 17″ OZ Futura’s and SS Autowerks’ engine raise kit


I hope you have enjoyed my highlights from what was yet another incredible Players Classic. Just like last year, the weather started off rough but finally turned good in the end. There’s something about Goodwood’s heritage and stunning surroundings that makes this show so engaging. Furthermore, the organisers were somewhat more relaxed this time around, allowing people to park freely, which actually worked out surprisingly well. Instead of having cars lined up in rows (which can be boring, and cars get missed), they were scattered about throughout the paddocks, making the show evermore appealing with the extra space an added bonus. As far as UK shows go, this is a hard one to top. See you at the next one.

Simplicity Redefined – Steven Doe’s 1983 BMW E21 316

Words & Photos by Henry Phull


There is no doubt about it, the 3 series has always been BMW’s best selling production car, with the popularity and high volume of sales continuing to this very day. But how did it all start? It was way back when the shareholders in Munich decided it was time to replace the ever-successful 2002. Borrowing features from the then-current E12 5 series, the E21 was born resembling the famous shark nose and dominant kidney grills. As you may have gathered, all of these retro BMW’s have recently become hugely popular within the car community that we tend to focus on, with the E21 holding prime position on most people’s wish lists. It shares the beauty of the bigger 5, 6 and 7 series, yet is more sporty and nimble – always more appealing to the younger generation. With a handful of stunning ‘stanced’ examples in the UK alone, one that stuck out to me in particular was Steven Doe’s 1983 Alpine White 316. I first noticed the car through social media, as you do, when it was bog standard. The fact that the car was white, was what attracted me to it in the first place – owning a white E24 6 series myself. I followed the progress of Steven’s car throughout its transformation, to the beautifully executed show car that it is today.



Having owned the odd Jap car and a couple of Mk4 Golfs, including an R32, Steven had always fancied himself an E21 but he never seemed to come across the right one. He ended up searching for over a year and almost gave up. Good examples of these cars really are like hen’s teeth if you’re not looking to pay silly money.



Out of nowhere, an advert popped up on a classic car website for a white 316. The ad was plainly written and contained no photos whatsoever – the sort of car ad that Steven would normally stay away from, but white was the colour he wanted – so he phoned up the seller who agreed to send over the required photos. The car looked clean… really clean. The next day, he made the trip to view the car, and a deposit was paid. Steven had finally found his E21.



Being a one owner car and still wearing the original paint, not much had to be done to return the shell to its former glory. Typically with cars of this era there were still minor common rust issues though, with the windscreen having to be removed in order to replace the scuttle panel with an OEM repair panel. Other than that, the car has simply had a full detail by Steven’s friend Chris Phillips to bring it back to life and make the paint pop once again.



The 316 is powered by a 1.8 M10 lump, with an upgraded Webber carb. In addition to a full service and replacing the radiator and water pump, Steven wanted to make the baby engine a bit more aggressive, so decided to dispose of the aged exhaust in favour of a full long life stainless system with a centre box delete which completely transformed the car.



The overall plan with the E21 was to make sure it was as low as possible. This meant that Steven had to make the jump to air ride to ensure the 316 was going to lay frame, and of course keep from destroying the underside of the car. With no bolt-on air setup available for the car, Air Lift universal struts were purchased – which luckily included fully adjustable dampening. Laying frame is one thing, but drivability was still high on Steven’s wishlist, so he enlisted the help of Luke Robinson to install and fabricate the air build to the highest possible standard.



After securing a good deal on AccuAir SwitchSpeed management, Steven installed this himself in addition to a VIAIR 444c compressor, Zaetech digital gauge and air tank, before driving the car up to Basingstoke for Luke to work his magic. This wasn’t just a regular bolt-on job… Sleeve style airbags were used for the rear setup, seeing as the rear turrets on E21’s have limited space. The damper bodies were shortened by Luke to achieve the maximum available drop, which were then set up and TIG welded. Custom rear top mounts were fabricated on a CNC plasma cutter to sit perfectly on the dampers and fit directly to the E21’s chassis.



Moving on to the front suspension (which uses a MacPherson setup), Luke had to cut down the original dampers in order to gain a satisfactory drop. More work included fabricating custom adaptor bushes on the lathe, and the Air Lift universal sleeves were then welded to these with the utmost precision. Although all this work did get the car low, it wasn’t low enough for their liking. Steven ended up purchasing a brand new front subframe from BMW which Luke custom notched and installed on the car. It was finally laying frame.



To compliment the drop, a decision had to be made on wheels, probably the most difficult task for all car owners. Steven originally had his mind set on Hartge 3pc splits, but sourcing a set of 16″ examples was near on impossible. He then came across CCW’s D110. This wheel shared the same characteristics of the classic Hartge spokes, but the CCW’s were available to order brand new with custom specs to suit the car. With help from his good friend Jonathan Dehate who worked for CCW at the time, they spec’d up the wheels and opted for 16×8.5’s up front and 16×9’s at the rear, which were then were mated to 205/40 tyres all round. The outcome is visually stunning, and so different to any shark nose BMW that I’ve come across which makes Steven’s so unique.



To complete his vision, Steven sourced a pair of Ford Fiesta RS Turbo front Recaro’s which were mounted to custom frames. These were then given to Joe at Trim Deluxe to be retrimmed with tweed centres, along with a tweed parcel shelf and floor mats, plus boot panels to match. The dated BMW steering wheel was binned and replaced with a classic Nardi wheel (with Momo boss), with a Nardi gear knob to set it off.



The boot build compliments the E21’s overall simplistic nature beautifully, with the retrimmed floor panels used to hide away the VIAIR compressor and excess cabling. All that remains visible is the 3 gallon seamless tank finished in white to match the car, with an appealing 200psi liquid needle gauge and gorgeous custom hardlines.



So what’s next for the E21? Steven wants to strip down and rebuild the engine, keeping it original, and tidying the bay making it presentable. He’s also considering another set of wheels, but has no plans on ever parting with the CCW’s – he’s grown quite attached to them, not surprising considering they were custom built for his very car.




I’ve seen and experienced my fair share of bagged cars, so it’s always an absolute breath of fresh air when I come across builds such as Steven’s. I think it’s such a shame that there are so many poorly set up air builds out there that have been thrown together and built to get them out the door as quickly possible, it’s the sad truth with too many ‘show cars’ these days. Do it once, and a do it right. After the first few minutes of riding shotgun in the E21, it was hard to believe it is actually on air – it drives and handles so well – Luke did an amazing job with this build and also smashed my major gripe I tend to have with a lot of bagged cars… when they’re not low enough. In my opinion there is no point of being on air if you’re not going to make it as low as possible. Evidently Steven agreed, and took his project that extra mile to get it laying frame. My hat’s off to you, sir.