Tag Archives: AirREX

Raceism THE Event 2017

Date: 8/9 July 2017

Location: Stadion Wrocław, Poland

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Last year there was one event, in particular, that had me drooling all over my iPhone screen… the one and only Raceism Event, which boasted purely high-quality cars at a jaw-dropping venue. To top it off there was insane drifting taking place simultaneously, notably featuring a fully stanced, supercharged widebody E46 M3, going at it all weekend! It looked like my idea of heaven, so much so that I knew I had to get over to Poland for their next event. I initially considered driving over from the UK, but damn, Wrocław is a long way! So I looked into flying and amazingly managed to find flights from Stansted-Wrocław for just £50 return. It was decided, then, I was going to Poland! As the flight was so cheap, I just booked it and decided to worry about everything else later. It actually worked out really well. I split the whole trip with a friend, and we found accommodation for four nights for just £60 each and used UBER (which were also stupidly-cheap) to travel around. Raceism were kind enough to sort us out with some Media passes too, so we could get nice and close to the action. The event itself takes place at Wrocław’s municipal stadium, a huge venue with an ‘upper deck’ area utilised for the static show, and a lower car park which is transformed into a drift circuit for the weekend. We arrived nice and early on the Friday, to watch all the show cars arrive and park up. The quality of cars was just as I imagined… next level. I mean, there were four RWB Porsche’s in attendance. Yeah, four! It’s no surprise that Raceism use the slogan “Go Hard” to promote their show… it sums it up perfectly. I could talk about it all day, but I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Sit back and enjoy…

 

 

911GaragePoland’s Porsche 964 RWB “Yoroi” on WORK Meister S1’s

@911garagepoland

 

Hati Kralik’s Porsche 930 RWB on Rotiform 917’s

@hatikralik

 

911GaragePoland’s Porsche 993 RWB “Kabuto” on WORK Meister S1’s

@911garagepoland

 

Christian Ammer’s Porsche 964 RWB on AccuAir suspension & Messer ME15-3’s

@mr.ed_911

 

Jens Mewes’ Volkswagen Mk5 Golf on HP Drivetech / Air Lift suspension & Speedline Mistral’s

@stance_jens

 

Paweł Bednarczyk’s bagged Lexus GS450H widebody on WORK Emotion CR-2P’s

@lewapb / @projekt86official

 

Ju Scha’s BMW E91 335i Touring on H&Air / AccuAir suspension & Vossen CG209T’s

@julezz_lnm

 

Alex Bachmann’s BMW E24 635CSI on Air Lift suspension & LX VT’s

@alex.lxfelgen

 

 

Veit Richter’s BMW Z3 on Air Lift suspension & custom LX wheels

@veit_richter

 

Marco Prochaska’s bagged Audi 80 cabriolet on BBS RS’

@marco__pro

 

 

GR8 Street Performance’s BMW M4 Liberty Walk on AirREX suspension & Rotiform LVS’

@gr8ics

 

Maxi Riepertinger’s Mazda MX5 on BBS RS’

@maxi_topstance

 

Matt Carter’s Audi A5 on AccuAir suspension & WORK Meister’s

@stancefaktor

 

Simon Bauer’s Porsche 964 on H&R Deep suspension & BBS RS’

@simon_964

 

 

Michał Erpel’s Peugeout 205

@averniejadek

 

Eric Nitsch’s bagged Volkswagen Mk1 Jetta on Schmidt TH-Line’s

@eric2303

 

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

@jens_tbgstance

 

Jori Kangasvieri’s Mercedes-Benz W212 on Ksport / Air Lift suspension & BBS LM’s

@jorijuhanii

 

Paweł Gruk’s bagged Opel Omega on custom Steinmetz wheels

@_fitted

 

 

Michael Hawlicek’s Audi TTRS on AccuAir suspension & RAD48 VR’s

@rs_hawi

 

Rudi Johne’s BMW E31 840ci on AccuAir suspension & 17>19″ Gotti’s

@rudi_xs

 

Victor Stefanica’s Porsche 944 on AceofAce suspension & BBS RS’

@shtefaniuk

 

 

Lexy Roxx’s Pandem-kitted BMW E36 on H&R suspension & Rotiform LSR’s

@lexyroxx

 

Magdalena Hajduś’ BMW E91 on Air Lift suspension & 20″ OZ Futura’s

@magda_hajdus

 

R3 Wheels’ Maserati Granturismo on HP Drivetech / AccuAir suspension & R3 H7’s

@r3_wheels

 

 

Sebastian Thoss’ Lexus SC430 on Ksport / AccuAir suspension & RAD48 LR 2.0’s

@the_thoss_garage

 

Denis Muratow’s bagged BMW E32 740i/6 on Rondell’s

 

 

Cezary Piechowicz’s bagged Mazda RX7 FC on BBS RS’

@bagged_mazdarx7fc3s

 

 

Alexey Kurdup’s widebody Toyota GT86

@bansky_ck

 

Emir Taletovic’s Audi A5 on HPDrivetech / AccuAir suspension & RAD48 BR’s

@emir_ggrounded

 

Marco Pereira’s Audi C7 A6 Avant on AccuAir suspension & OZ Futura’s

@mpperformance

 

Bremi Grabowski’s bagged Audi Mk1 TT on BBS RS’

@bremibreakboy

 

 

 

Rick Findeisen’s Mercedes-Benz GTS AMG on AccuAir suspension & RAD48 VR’s

@rick_rad48 / @gruma_exklusiv

 

Cikam’s bagged Mercedes-Benz W111 280SE on OZ Futura’s

@cikamko

 

 

Fabrice Dotzauer’s static BMW E36 on OZ Futura’s

@faybriz

 

Łukasz Pająk’s widebody Nissan R35 GTR on D2 air suspension

@pajak_carbonerre

 

Mateusz Baranski’s static BMW E28 on BBS RS’

 

Gabriel Hardwood’s BMW E36 on Air Lift suspension & BBS E50’s

 

 

Adam Harych’s 2JZ-swapped / Pandem-kitted BMW E46 M3 on BC Forged LE72’s

@dr_leo_turbo

 

 

Jan-Eric Géugis’ BMW E24 635CSI on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s

@jan_elli.cmbr

 

Mario Mattick’s Porsche Cayman S on HP Drivetech / AccuAir suspension & RAD48 ZR’s

@rad48_mario

 

 

Kamil Rybka’s bagged BMW E34 535i on custom Style2 3pc wheels

@rybol100

 

Marcel Klok’s Audi R8 on HPDrivetech / AccuAir suspension & BBS LM’s

@marcel_klok

 

Morten Birkeland’s S50B32-swapped BMW E30 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’

@mbirkk

 

 

Fabian Lara’s Fiat 126p on PLS splits

@kojocinio

 

Tobias Lampinen’s bagged BMW E38 740i on custom-built Throwing Stars

@lampinen_vlnt

 

 

WagnAir’s Audi B5 A4 on HPDrivetech / AccuAir suspension & 3SDM 0.05’s

@wagnair

 

 

Piti Dżi’s BMW E21 on Czeslaw Air Suspension & custom-built 16″ Alpina splits

@piti_dzi

 

Kevin Zimmermann’s bagged BMW E28 on BBS RS’

@kev.twenty8

 

Reinhold Rothkopf’s Audi RS5 on Air Lift suspension & RAD48 MCR5’s

@_rothy_

 

Bonek’s static Lada 2106 on Hayashi Racing Command’s

@bonek2k

 

 

Marcel Prinz’s Volvo 244 on Air Lift suspension & custom-built Ritmo CL splits

@marcelprinz93

 

 

I can’t think of any other event that I’ve attended where the quality of cars has been this high. Raceism have created a truly prestigious car show for the European stance community, with cars from all over the continent in attendance, and judges hailing from the UK to Japan. Plus, the ‘Next Level’ drifting event was worth the trip alone. This wasn’t your typical drift championship – think more ‘homebrew’ and you get the idea. Health and safety was so relaxed that we could get right up and close to the cars on track – check out the Bonus Gallery below to see what I mean! So if you asked me which ONE car show to visit, it’d be Raceism. It’s the perfect opportunity to have a short break away, and if you’re travelling from the UK, you’ll find everything in Poland extremely cheap! Next year’s dates have already been confirmed for 6-8 July 2018 – make sure you get it in your diary. We’ll be back.

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on Raceism:

Raceism website

Raceism on Instagram

Raceism on Facebook

 

Eurosunday 2016

Date: 29 May 2016

Location: Lommel, Belgium

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Last year was my first outing to Europe to experience a car show, it was a last minute decision to head over to Lommel in Belgium with my friend Mark in just one day. The show completely blew me away, and I knew that it would be on my list for this year. After speaking with the organiser, Kristof, I decided it would be worthwhile to trade at the event, a perfect opportunity to offer our European fans a chance to pick up some clothing without having to pay the overseas shipping charges. Naturally, in addition to setting up our pop-up store, I wanted to make the event coverage just as special as last year’s. Therefore, this is one our longest articles yet – so a WIFI connection is recommended before you continue, unless you’ve got unlimited data! You’ll notice the best thing about Euro shows is the pure variation. The Europeans don’t seem to limit themselves at all, so you’ll see plenty of newer Mercedes-Benz’s, Jaguars and even new Fords on air ride – it’s pretty incredible to see, really, as well as the classic cars that have received pristine makeovers. Plus everything in between. With so much to capture, this article highlights the cars that made the event so special for us…

 

 

 

Costa Xouras’ 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 on stepped-up BBS RS

 

Ivo Kusters’ Volkswagen Mk1 Jetta on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS

@ivokusters

 

Kenneth de Bock’s BMW E92 335i on AccuAir suspension & OZ Futura’s

@kaydibee4

 

 

 

 

 

Only Charged Dubs’ Audi C5 Allroad on Airdynamiks / AccuAir suspension

& our C5 A6 on Air Lift / Bags by OCD / AccuAir suspension & Rotiform IND-T DDT’s

@onlychargeddubs / @henry_slamsanctuary

 

Only Charged Dubs’ Mercedes-Benz W201 190E on Air by OCD suspension & custom Barrock splits

@onlychargeddubs

 

Karel Spijker’s bagged Mercedes-Benz W201 190E on Air by OCD suspension & custom Barrock splits

@karel190e

 

Lucy Barlow’s bagged BMW E21 on BBS RM’s

@lucybarlow1994

 

 

Davy en Ine Huygen-Cox’s bagged Ford Focus estate on Bentley’s

@davyhuygenphotography

 

Nick de Prins’ bagged Volkswagen Jetta

 

 

 

 

Timmy Hermans’ bagged Volkswagen Mk1 Golf on BBS RM

@den_timmy

 

Danny Swartz’s bagged Beetle

 

 

 

Sam Wookey’s Volkswagen Mk1 Polo

@s_wookey

 

Stephan Calles’ bagged Volkswagen B8 Passat estate on BBS RS2

@stephan_calles

 

 

Fill Thws’ Volkswagen Mk2 Jetta on Gotti’s

 

Nick de Rond’s Volkswagen Mk3 Golf on face-mounted BBS RF

@nickderond

 

Danny Busker’s BMW E60 on Air Lift suspension

@beemer_danny

 

Diego Coppens’ Volkswagen Passat CC on Air Lift suspension

 

Sven Deridder’s Volkswagen Mk7 Golf GTI on Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s

@dub_gti

 

Tijs Van Breda’s Volkswagen Derby on BBS E50’s

@tijsvanbreda

 

 

Georgie Marlow’s Volkswagen Mk1 Golf on Air Lift suspension & BBS RM’s

@georgie22

 

Gary Morgan’s Mk1 Ford Escort

@gmbodycraft

 

Alan King’s Volkswagen Mk3 Scirocco on Air Lift suspension & Ispiri wheels

@a20kgy_rollingroyaltyoffical

 

Rene Sauer’s Volkswagen Mk2 Golf GTI on Zero-RS Racing centerlock wheels

 

Langer Patrick’s bagged Volkswagen Passat CC on 19″ Rotiform BLQ’s

 

Pietjo Pruymboom’s Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG on AirREX suspension & Rohana RC7’s

@prestige_auto_couture

 

 

Prestige Auto Couture’s widebody Mercedes-Benz E-class W212 on AccuAir suspension & Ferrada FR3’s

@prestige_auto_couture

 

Jordy Mullens’ bagged Audi A4 on Rotiform BLQ’s

@jordymullens

 

Achten Nicky’s Volkswagen Beetle on Fuch’s

 

Kiran Mistry’s Audi 80 on Air Lift suspension & BBS E50’s

@blackman_k

 

 

 

Connor Hollamby’s bagged Mercedes-Benz W201 190E

@connorhollamby_

 

bagged Audi A5 on 3SDM 0.08’s

 

Quentin Allegretti’s Mazda RX7 on AccuAir suspension

@quentinrx7

 

 

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

@_samcurtis

 

Prakash Thanky’s BMW E21 on Air Lift suspension & Gotti’s

@prakash_thanky

 

Quentin Ghysens’ Audi S3 on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & Awlest QG.001’s

@ragequitsch

 

Haps Gill’s Mk5 R32 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform NUE’s

@hapsss

 

Arnout van Brummelen’s Volkswagen Mk2 Scirocco on BBS E50’s

 

Rachid Ait Moumad’s Audi B5 A4 Avant on Air Lift suspension & OZ Ultraleggera’s

@rachidlkk

 

 

Jeremy Onyn’s bagged BMW E28 on Style5’s

@jeremy_onyn

 

Daniel Knight’s Audi S5 on D2 / AccuAir suspension & Rotiform CCV’s

@s5_daniel

 

Mitch’s static Volkswagen Mk3 Golf 20vt on BBS RS

@mitch_mk3

 

 

 

Ollie Roberts’ Audi B5 RS4 Avant on Air Lift suspension & RAD48 PR’s

@ollieberto

 

RM Concept’s bagged Audi 100 on BBS RS

@rubenmellaerts

 

 

Steve Fraser’s Audi S3 saloon on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform BLQ-2’s

@s30bmx

 

Jordy Vandergeeten’s widebody Audi A4 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform BWE’s

@jordyvandergeeten

 

 

Guido Schreur’s Volkswagen Mk2 Golf GTI G60 on BBS RS

@g_u_i_d_o__

 

Guy Manilla’s bagged Volkswagen Mk1 Golf on custom built 4×100 17″ Smoothies by 2Polished

@plexuz82

 

 

bagged Jaguar XF

 

Thomas Putman’s Audi B5 A4 on Air Lift suspension & Fifteen52 Turbomac’s

@b5_thomas

 

Roy Reimerink’s Volkswagen Mk3 Vento on Air Lift suspension & BBS RC042’s

@roy_jetta_mk3

 

Matthias Weertz’s Audi B5 RS4 Avant on H&R suspension & Vossen VFS1’s

 

 

 

 

Alessandro Costantino’s static Audi A8

 

Sven Raymaekers’ Audi B8 A4 Avant on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform BLQ’s

@raymaekerssven

 

Gary Lux’s Porsche Panamera 4S on HP Drivetech suspension & OZ wheels

@gary_ggrounded

 

 

Kenaii Vanransbeeck’s Volkswagen R36 Passat on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform OZT’s

@kenaiipsst

 

Mazda 6 on Vossen CVT’s

 

Vanoppen Steve’s Volkswagen Type3 Notchback

@nopke_lupke

 

Volkswagen Scirocco on BBS GT-2’s

 

 

Prestige Auto Couture’s Mercedes-Benz E-class estate

@prestige_auto_couture

 

David Petit’s BMW E30 M3 on PLS splits

@petit_david_

 

 

bagged Audi A4 Avant on Rotiform IND’s

 

Porsche 356 on BRM wheels

 

 

Gregory Granado’s BMW E28

 

BMW E34 540i on OZ Futura’s

 

 

 

 

What a turn out, don’t you think? Especially when the afternoon turned into rain showers, which was rather disappointing, although this didn’t seem to stop the attendees. Considering the poor forecast and dim day, the quality and quantity of cars was still incredible and bigger than a lot of UK shows. We all love Euro shows so much, it wasn’t surprising to see handfuls of British cars making it over for the weekend, too. So, if you’re thinking about heading over to Europe, Eurosunday in Lommel is definitely worth it. There’s plenty of accommodation locally for a nice weekend away which works out super cheap if you’re in a group, alternatively stay in Antwerp the night before like we did. It’s really not that far from the Eurotunnel/ferry. Anyway, thanks to Kristof and the whole Eurosunday team for having us. We’ll be back for the next chapter!

 

 

More info on Eurosunday:

Eurosunday website

Eurosunday on Facebook

Eurosunday 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!

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

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

South West VIP – Adam Wyatt’s 2003 Lexus GS430

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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