Tag Archives: Carline CM6

Spring ’17 – 10 Years of The Wheel Specialist Fareham

Date: 13 May 2017

Location: The Wheel Specialist Fareham, Hampshire

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

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

 

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

@7th.seal

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

 

 

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

@tomhamsyo

 

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

@chrispy_clean

 

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

@sebastiannowogrodzki

 

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

@ben_scenemedia

 

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

@thinkitsabouttimesomeone

 

Nick Sahota’s Lamborghini Diablo

@nicksinghsahota

 

Joseph Cummins’ bagged BMW E38 on Alpina Dynamics

@666joseph

 

 

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

@carlos_g88

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

 

 

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

@doeboyfresh

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

 

 

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

@mark_scenemedia

 

Nick Sahota’s Koenig Ferrari Testarossa

@nicksinghsahota

 

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

@henry_slamsanctuary

 

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

@s_crompton

 

Vernon Kerr’s bagged Grumman LLV postal truck

@thewheelspecialist_fareham

 

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

@super_triple_l

 

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

@nest225

 

 

Carter Harris’ custom Harley Davidson

@tha_carter01

 

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

@ethansexton

 

 

 

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

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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More info on The Wheel Specialist Fareham:

TWS Fareham website

TWS Fareham on Instagram

TWS Fareham on Facebook

 

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

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

AUTOMOBILE SHAMPOO

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Doey rinses the shampoo off of his BMW E21

 

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

 

 

WHEEL CLEANER

 

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

 

Doey rinses down his wheels first before applying the product

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

POLISHING WAX

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The result is a true mirror-like reflection!

 

DETAILING SPRAY

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

LEATHER LOTION

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Cleaning done, everyone stands back to admire their work

 

The two bagged BMWs looking super shiny

 

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

 

 

The static boys, looking “Mirror-bright”!

 

Sean’s Carline CM6s also came up amazingly

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

More info on Meguiar’s UK:

Meguiar’s UK website & online store

Meguiar’s UK on Instagram

Meguiar’s UK on Facebook

 

The cars:

BMW E21 – Steven Doe – @doeboyfresh

BMW E36 coupe – Carlos Gomez – @carlos_g88

BMW E36 ‘vert – Sean Crompton – @s_crompton

Lexus IS200 – Chris Phillips – @chrispy_clean

 

BONUS GALLERY

 

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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

@psychopav

 

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

@profusioncustoms / @rwbuk

 

 

 

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

@jamesyesyesbrown

 

 

Raj Sangha’s Audi RS2 on Rotiform STR’s

@rajsangha964

 

 

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

@p5uml

 

 

Kim Cowden’s Mk1 Golf

@kim57t

 

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

@cptnlow

 

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

@doeboyfresh

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

 

 

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

@players_jaymac

 

 

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

@elmo_rh

 

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

@baeumers

 

 

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

@caraudiosecurity

 

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

@will_dra

 

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

@rajsangha964

 

 

JAG’S Bodyshop’s Audi B5 S4 Avant

@jagsbodyshop

 

Max Marshall’s Austin Healey on Air Lift suspension

@madmaxmarshall

 

 

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

@players_jaylos

 

 

Dan Tuttle’s 1960 Chevrolet Impala on Air Lift suspension

@dantuttle

 

 

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

@players_jaymac

 

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

@7th.seal

 

 

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

@1987soarer

 

Jon Naish’s Nissan President on hydraulic suspension

@johnnynaish

 

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

@players_jaymac

 

 

 

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

 

Jamie Wootton’s 1966 Volkswagen Beetle on Empi wheels

@motojamie7

 

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

@stevenfoxall

 

 

 

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

@stillstatic

 

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

@bm_bean

 

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

@aajware

 

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

@players_vex

 

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

@classic_stance

 

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

@alex_3b

 

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

@hrautoworks / @oldrag57

 

James Ellerker’s static Mk1 Ford Fiesta

@bone__idle

 

Dub-It’s Volkswagen Type2

@dub_it

 

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

@mjbampt_rbauto

 

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

@lamodz_official

 

 

JAG’S Bodyshop’s Liberty Walk BMW E92 M3

@jagsbodyshop

 

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

@s30bmx

 

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

@hxlsey

 

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

@edward_e36

 

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

@joe_t25

 

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

@christopherrw

 

 

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

@nain_r20

 

 

 

 

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

@flatliner32

 

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

@kagggie

 

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

@mikey_plush

 

Chris Phillips’ static Lexus IS200 on WORK Equip’s

@chrispy_clean

 

 

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

@e46_alex

 

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

@bigdollarbilll

 

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

@s_crompton

 

 

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

@beck34ist

 

 

IMG_4120

 

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!

FittedUK 2016 – Part 2

Date: 31 July 2016

Location: EventCity, Manchester

 

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Welcome back to our FittedUK coverage – in this final part I’ll take you through the remaining highlights from the incredible show at EventCity, the new location for 2016. You’ve already seen that the event was full of high quality cars and now it’s about to get even better. It’s time to take a look into the carpeted hall, show a few gems that we missed from the rest of the venue and even more of the cars from the Slam Sanctuary booth. There’s something special about an event of this size. All the excess space glorifies the cars on show, allowing you to fully admire them. When they’re squashed together (like at a lot of smaller shows) you’re much more likely to walk straight past or pay less attention. FittedUK was like an art exhibition for cars… They truly nailed what a static automotive event should be. Anyway, on to the all-important photos…

 

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

(Click here to check out our feature on Rory’s Mercedes)

@rory_fourtyfour

 

 

Alex Buckingham’s bagged wide-arch VW Polo 6R on stepped-up BBS RS’s

@alex6r

 

Ben Rye’s bagged 1957 Volkswagen Oval Beetle ragtop on custom 3pc smoothies

@oldrag57

 

 

 

Grant Owens’ Audi 100 on Rayvern Hydraulic suspension

@granty_gee

 

 

 

 

Jake Parsons’ wide-arch VW Mk5 Golf GTI on Air Lift suspension & stepped-up BBS RS’s

@ekajsnosrap

 

 

 

Richard Colvill’s custom Porsche 911 “Porkchop” on Fuchs’

@corv26

Nick Sahota’s BMW E34 540i on BC Racing coilovers & custom-built 3pc Throwing Stars

(Click here to check out our feature on Nick’s 540i)

@nicksinghsahota

 

 

 

 

 

Day’s Mini Cooper on Air Lift suspension & BBS LM’s

@slammeduk_day

 

Rhys Armstrong’s bagged VW Lupo on Gottis

@rhysy1996

 

 

 

Pete Matthews’ Audi TT on Air Lift suspension & stepped-up BBS RS’s

@lighthairedpete

 

 

 

Dean Meeson’s Lotus Esprit on AccuAir suspension & custom Lotus splits

@dean_esprit

 

 

 

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

@s30bmx

 

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

@kagggie

 

 

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

@smithjack

 

 

Rooth Jenkins’ Mk3 Audi TT on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform BLQ’s

@roooth

 

 

 

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

@will_dra

 

Matt Neilson’s Honda Integra DC5 on Air Lift suspension & SSR Longchamp’s

@mattxneilson

 

 

 

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

@alex_3b

 

Wayne Kelly’s bagged VW Mk5.5 Jetta on EC62 wheels

@jetta_mk5.5

 

 

Kelly Holliday’s Mk4 Golf R32 on AccuAir suspension & HRE 501′s

@hrekel32

 

Dave Mcdiarmid’s BMW E46 on Air Lift suspension & custom-built Style32 splits

@dmcd_46

 

 

Adam Hutchings’ static Volkswagen Mk1 Jetta on Stern splits

@hutch123

 

Andy Rowell’s VW Mk5 Golf on Air Lift suspension & stepped-up BBS RS’s

@x18ndy

 

Tony Cousins’ VW Scirocco R on Air Lift / AccuAir suspension & Rotiform SCN’s

@shinless.90

 

 

 

Daniel Sanders’ Audi S5 on AccuAir suspension & WatercooledIND LP1’s

@r9trd

 

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

@s_crompton

 

 

 

Prakash Thanky’s M52-swapped BMW E21 on Air Lift suspension & CCW D110′s

@prakash_thanky

 

Tom Healey’s Mk2 Golf on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS’s

@texastom_lowcollective

 

 

Adam King’s Mercedes-Benz W220 on AccuAir suspension & Rotiform TMB’s

@addms

 

 

Alan Edward’s bagged Audi A3 on DAMNRAW wheels

@alanedwards

 

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

@p5uml

 

 

 

Apparently next year’s show will have cars hanging from the ceiling! When I first heard that, I thought “really…?” but after seeing what these guys can pull off, I wouldn’t be surprised if they get it done. Not only was this my favourite UK show of the year so far, it was Slam Sanctuary’s best stand yet – thank you to everyone that came and picked something up in our Summer Sale and had a look around the cars on display; Nick Sahota’s E34, Sumil Pancholi’s E39, Sean Crompton’s E36 and Mark Allen’s Mk4 wagon. If you missed out on our sale, fear not, you can still shop online and get 30% OFF until the end of August. I’m super excited to see what the FittedUK team have up their sleeves for 2017 – if you didn’t get the chance to go this year, mark the following date on your calendar: Sunday 30th July 2017. We’ll be there – hopefully you will be too.

 

More info on FittedUK:

FittedUK website

FittedUK on Facebook

FittedUK 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!

 

 

 OUR SUMMER SALE IS NOW ON – 30% OFF ALL CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES

http://store.slamsanctuary.com – No code necessary!

 

 

Air & Audio – A day with Studio Incar

Words & Photos by Henry Phull

 

Deciding on which shop to enlist to work on your pride and joy can be a daunting task for any car enthusiast, especially those wanting to build next-level show cars. Depending on whether you’re willing to spend big bucks, or simply opt for something more affordable, the final outcome has still got to be outstanding if you’re spending that hard earned cash. With the show scene now bigger and more popular than ever, the amount of specialists and workshops popping up is continually growing, making it harder and harder to make an informed decision. Bring on our latest series of features, or “Shop Visits”, where we’ll be taking a look behind closed doors of some of the UK’s best car modifiers and suppliers. First up, Studio Incar. A shop I’ve known about for quite some time, and over the past show season you may well be familiar with their Liberty Walk BMW E92 M3, that has been known to appear at car shows and meets blasting out some of the loudest (and of course crispest) music you’ve ever heard. This would be because essentially, Studio Incar have a passion for car audio, which is where the company originated from.

 

Studio Incar’s head honcho Carl Shakespeare, also known as ‘Shakey’ to most, invited me down for the day and I jumped at the opportunity. I took the short drive along the coast to their secluded countryside location just between Southampton and Portsmouth, for a proper look behind the scenes inside their headquarters.

 

 

Having planned my visit about a week before, I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but Shakey assured me to just come on down as they always have interesting stuff going on. On arrival, I was met by a car that has been hugely popular on the scene during the past season due to being static and stupidly low… It was Josh Stokes’ of ‘FourSeasons’ old BMW E36 328 coupe. It took a few moments to remember that Josh actually put the car up for sale a few weeks back, and everything fell into place once Shakey mentioned that his good friend Mark had just purchased the car. After attempting to drive the car around properly for a few days, Mark decided it was impractical for his usage. He wanted the lows, but also the drivability, so opted to go for an air ride package from the guys at Studio Incar, to be installed in just a day. Luckily this meant I could stick around to watch the whole process involved with bagging a car.

 

 

Shakey has always had a huge passion for car culture and home Hi-Fi, so car audio seemed like a natural mix for him. He spent a year working for another car audio shop, loving the work involved, but knew that ultimately he wanted to be his own boss, so he tried a gas fitting course but this ended prematurely. At the same time he was already working privately from home and found himself running out of space anyway, so he decided that enough was enough. In 2010 Studio Incar was born, with the intention of being the best in the field. A few years later, and they are a multi-award winning company, known for producing some of the best car audio installs in the country. Recently, they’ve made the jump to air ride installation, which is what interests me the most, seeing as we’re into slammed cars here at Slam Sanctuary, I asked Shakey why they decided to enter the market… It is never something they used to be interested in, Shakey told me, back in the day when everything was manually controlled and the bags were made up with spare parts. With outstanding kits now available, including next-level management options, it’s now a true performance upgrade, which grabbed Shakey’s attention and has grown to be a huge part of what Studio Incar do on a day-to-day basis.

 

 

The company take pride in being much more of a personal business than others in the industry. Customers don’t just turn up, drop the car off, then come back, pay and leave… They strive to sit down with everyone and get to know them, talking and spending time on the phone if necessary for a good couple of hours beforehand to get on the exact same page as the client. At the end of the day, the car has to be right for them as, ultimately, it’s their car – which can be a very personal thing. With a small team of just four people, Shakey along with Paul (on sales and fitting), Steve (installations) and Lottie running the office and accounting, it’s easy to talk to them, and I have to say some of the friendliest people I’ve met within the industry. After spending the day with them, I really felt a close nit family atmosphere within the workshop. With numerous late nights, staying on after hours and  getting customer’s cars finished within deadline is a top priority. They don’t even seem bothered about not getting home as quickly as they can… like so many people I know hating their day jobs. Clearly they all have a passion for what they do, and when choosing a shop – that’s what you want to see, right?

 

 

A walk through to the rear of the workshop, and there is a fully heated and Wi-Fi equipped waiting room, ideal for hanging out, check out some products, or just play PlayStation, whilst the guys work some magic on next door.

 

 

Bagging a car can either be a simple process or an extremely complex one, depending on the car. Studio Incar can do it all, no matter how old the car is, they will find a way. They’ve installed air ride on Vauxhalls through to old school BMW’s, including recently an E24 635CSI which included custom fabrication work to allow the universal kit to work with the car. Not forgetting, Nick Sahota’s E30 M3 which was the first one in the world on air, which all had to be custom work before the E30-specific kits became available only recently. Luckily for Mark’s E36, Airlift Performance already offer a specific bolt-on kit for the car, so the guys could complete the whole job in one day, this obviously dramatically cuts the cost of labour for the customer, and makes everything relatively straight forward. I thought, as we usually admire our fair share of bagged cars, it would be interesting to take our readers through the process of installing one of these kits.

 

 

Using the Airlift Performance BMW E36 kit, the first step in bagging Mark’s E36 was to raise up the car and remove the front coilovers that were previously fitted. The Airlift kit even comes with direct replacement struts, consisting of a monotube, threaded body, partnered with a double-bellow air spring. There are a few different methods to get everything fitted, but Shakey and the guys prefer to have everything laid out on the work bench so that all the fittings can be made to the new bags with appropriate space, rather than crouching underneath the car.

 

 

 

 

Although not our main interest, car audio is Studio Incar’s main passion and focus, they’ve done it all from prize winning installations to subtle OEM upgrades, through to complete custom dashboard “symmetry” based SQ systems and even installs for supercars. So whilst Paul and Shakey were busy fitting the air, Steve was busy working his magic on an install for a customer’s Volkswagen Corrado, compromising of a fully digital hi-definition wireless system, so that everything can be run from the customer’s smart device. This would allow him to listen to music but also run a maps function for navigation usage, all in perfect hi-def quality. The install will include fabricating a complete tailored and trimmed boot install, making for an overall beautiful upgrade package.

 

 

Steve was busy for the majority of the day carefully planning, measuring, sawing and preparing wood and other materials for the audio install, so that everything would fit in seamlessly with the client’s existing air set up, and ready to be trimmed to match the rest of the interior over the following days. Watching him at work, routing cables, applying sound deadening, and generally making sure every little thing was 100% perfect, was super impressive.

 

 

 

Back to the E36, having sorted all the fitments up on the bench, it was time to mount the front bags onto the car, which fitted perfectly thanks to Airlift’s time and effort spent designing the kit specifically for this particular chassis. In the long run, this is what you are paying for.

 

 

The Airlift struts also include brand new adjustable caster/camber plates made from T6061 aluminium, for ultimate adjustability, which fit perfectly onto the original E36 turrets. Plus, the struts themselves have 30 different levels of damping, from a smooth ride to a stiff track day ride just by adjusting the knob. They really are impressive bits of kit, and it’s no surprise that Shakey and the guys believe it is one of the best upgrades you can make to a car.

 

 

 

Next up, Paul and Shakey got started on removing the existing rear setup. Again, the Airlift kit comes with a pair of redesigned threaded body monotube rear shocks, with the 30 levels of damping adjustability just like the front set. The original coil springs are replaced with double-bellow air springs which sit nicely above the struts. Not only are these made incredibly well, the anodised red finish on them makes them look awesome.

 

 

After running the air lines under the car, making sure to attach them to safe areas such as near the fuel line mounts, etc, they are connected to the new air bags at all four corners. It was time for the essential remaining items to be added to the car, the air has got to come from somewhere… so the guys produced a boot build for the E36 the previous day, ready to drop straight into the car. This is an example of one of Studio Incar’s “Level 1” prefab builds, a great example of one of their basic installations. It consists of two VIAR 444c Stealth Black compressors, simple hard lines made to match and an AccuAir tank, as they already had this in stock and was finished in black to match the rest of the build. Overall, it’s an impressive ‘mudered-out’ style boot build, which should be perfect for the car to match the black paintwork and black leather interior.

 

 

Following on from this, the Advanced Air Lift manifold was installed, hidden out of sight just alongside the fuel filler cap. The main air lines mounted under the car are directed and connected up to this manifold. Furthermore, a drain-off was also installed to remove any vapour in the tank with ease.

 

 

Finally, it was a case of dropping in the boot install, modifying the loom, and wiring up all cables tidily to the battery, which is located at the rear of most BMW’s – making the job a little less stressful. Cables are also run to the front of the car to assist for the install of the management package, AutoPilot V2 Digital Management also produced by Airlift. This is one of the most advanced pressure-based air suspension control systems on the market today.

 

 

 

With all the lines tested for leaks, the car was ready to drive. The above photograph shows the car at its newly set driving height, ready for those speed bumps! Plus it could now get out of the workshop without the assistance of ramps. So, time to get the car outside for a quick wash and photo session before the winter darkness arrived.

 

 

How good does the car look? Mark definitely made the right choice to go for the air option. Sure, it’s only slightly lower than it was when it was static, but luckily, it IS that little bit lower, and the car can now be driven as BMW intended it to, if not better, and at safe ride height… no more worrying about speed bumps, and destroying more of the underside of the car.

 

 

 

There’s still room for adjustability, the rear can even come down more which is something to experiment with in the future when Mark puts his touch on the car. Of course, the wheels will be changing next and he’s been thinking about de-spoilering the car for a cleaner look.

 

 

With 512 colour combinations, the AutoPilot V2 controller looks awesome inside the E36. It also displays individual corner air pressure and tank pressure, with up to 8 different user presets to tailor the ride heights needed. Incredibly, it will even learn the vehicle setup, so as you are driving, the management will monitor the pressures and adjust them in accordance with your presets. A very clever piece of technology.

 

 

 

A few weeks later, we spent the weekend with the Studio Incar guys at Ultimate Stance, the big finale to 2014’s show season. This was a great opportunity to get a closer look at some of the cars Studio Incar have built recently, which all came down to the show to park up on the stand and represent Shakey and the boy’s handiwork. Before they went inside the venue at Telford, I couldn’t resist snapping a few shots of them cleaning the cars!

 

 

Naturally, they put on by far one of the classiest looking stands of the show, and situated in one of the coolest areas – the exclusive carpeted hall, a nice way to show off the cars. You’ll notice their demo car, the Liberty Walk kitted BMW E92 M3, that recently had a stunning new wrap and black painted Rotiform TMB’s. A truly menacing car, yet in a way, subtle – just as Shakey intended. The insides are fully kitted out with in-car entertainment, it sounds phenomenal.

 

 

In addition, Sam’s E24 635CSI that I mentioned earlier, and Josh’s E92, both bagged recently by Studio Incar.

 

 

And the game changer, Nick’s E30 M3 also mentioned earlier. One of the first of it’s kind to go on air ride and custom built by Studio Incar.

 

 

It was super cool to hang out with the guys and their friends outside of work and having spent time with them in a professional environment also, it’s clear that they’re all down-to-earth people. Ultimately that’s what makes a great company. They may be a small business, but they are easily approachable and their work is right there at the top, and customer’s obviously choose them for these very reasons. Shakey mentioned that they are nearly always allowed to make their own decisions on each car they have in the workshop, which he says is really quite flattering, considering how personal a modified car can be to the owner. To take things even further, Studio Incar are now even offering complete project management, something very special and unique. They’ll deal with every part of a project car, no matter how big or small so that the client doesn’t have to deal with the stress that can be involved with building a car how you envision it. The idea is you can drive in as a stock car, and leave as a show winner, should that be what is required.

 

Show season is over for this year, and the workshop is already becoming rammed with new projects for next year. I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves and will be out to spot some of their installs in numerous show cars across the scene next season. Keep up the good work guys, and thanks for taking the time out and showing us your world, it’s been fun.

 

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