Tag Archives: Mercedes

Like Father, Like Son – Connor Hollamby’s 1991 Mercedes-Benz W201 190E

Words & Photos by Henry Phull


There’s something about 90’s Mercedes-Benz models that remains appealing to this day… whether it’s the sharp, classic lines or those bold square headlights, I’m not entirely sure, but there’s certainly something I love about them, I just can’t put my finger on exactly what it is. Therefore, it should come to no surprise that this is the third W201 that we’ve featured on Slam Sanctuary, and possibly the best yet, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. Connor Hollamby’s 190E has been around for a while, but he’s recently changed things up for the 2017 show season and I completely fell in love with the car again a couple of months ago when he fired over a few sneak-peek photos (whilst he was test-fitting his new wheels). This is one of those cars that will no doubt see a lot of attention throughout the rest of the year, so I made my way up to Connor as soon as possible for my chance to photograph it in the lush Surrey hills.



Aged just 21, it’s a breath of fresh air to see such a young guy interested in classic cars, especially when we’re in an age where it’s much easier to finance a newer car and bolt on air ride. This obsession with classics comes from his father, who has been modifying cars since before Connor was even born, notably American hot rods and such. However, he’s also owned several Mercedes-Benz W124 coupes over the years which stuck with Connor… “They were always my favourite, the comfort of the older Mercs is crazy – big, wide, sofa- like seats – and they go on forever!” he recalls. Daily driving his first ever car, an ’03 Ford Fiesta, along with his work delivery van, he wanted a project car he could start playing about with.



One day Connor was browsing the internet for photographs of modified W124’s and reminiscing with his dad, when they came across a W201 190E in the States, brown in colour and sitting on BBS RS’. They both thought it looked awesome, and Connor’s dad suggested he buy one, lower it, and just enjoy it. So, with a car in mind, they started searching for a suitable candidate. One finally came up, just down the road in Staines, and was listed for £1,200. Unfortunately, Connor only had £700 to spend on a car at the time, but he rang the seller and asked if he’d take the low-ball offer. To his surprise, his offer was accepted! To make sure he didn’t miss out on this one-time deal, all plans were dropped and he found himself en route to pick it up. Only 18-years old at the time, he didn’t even know how we was going to get the car insured in the long run – he just knew that he had to have it.



The Merc in question was a ’91 190E 1.8 petrol model in Arctic White. The car was in fairly good condition and was clearly well looked after, with the previous owner doing little miles in it at a time. Connor paid the bargain price and was on his way home in his new 190E. Almost immediately, he was on eBay searching for lowering springs. A few days later, 40mm springs arrived… “I’ll never forgot the day I put them on and stepped back and looked at my cousin Ashley. The result was hardly any different, and absolutely gutting – we both knew it had to go much lower! The disappointment on my face said it all – so it was back to the drawing board”.



It wasn’t much later, that Connor took his chances and opted for the old-school method of chopping springs, for a quick budget drop. All this was happening whilst the car was sat up and before he’d even insured it, too. He swiftly purchased a set of W211 wheels (now his Winter wheels) and drove the car around for a year or so. It wasn’t until he attended Players Show 9.0 that he realised that the only way forward was air ride, with its unrivalled practicality.



Connor went on and purchased himself an Air Lift Performance V2 digital management package and four universal air bags, with plans to to build his own brackets and “just make it work”. A month later, after lots of hard work on the driveway, the 190E was bagged. Driving it for a while, he was not entirely happy with the way it sat and still wanted to achieve a bigger drop. Connor modified the top mounts, which helped massively, as well as removing all the bump stops and then shaved down his custom bag brackets which gave him those all-important extra few millimetres of travel.



Connor was finally happy with the drop, and treated the car to a set of 16″ Mercedes-Benz Centra wheels which he ran for another season. It wasn’t until early this year that he completely changed his plans, yet again, and decided to go for a ‘fitment’ look, rather than tucking rim which he had done previously. Clearly, the wheel setup was going to be a deciding factor on how well he was going to pull off this look. Connor also went about rolling his arches all round in preparation.



It just so happens that his good friend Joe had a set of BBS RF’s laying around – they were in a bad way, but after securing them for a good price, Connor set out making them fresh. The barrels were sand blasted and powder coated. New lips, hex nuts, and bolts were sourced all round. All built up, the RF’s are 17×8.5 ET-8 up front (185/35 tyres) and 17×9.5 ET-9 (195/40 tyres) on the rear. Being 5×120 (BMW PCD), Connor also purchased a set of adapters to allow for Mercedes-Benz fitment. I think you’ll agree that the outcome is breathtaking – the car sits perfectly.



With the exterior finally looking as he had dreamt, Connor turned his attention to the interior. Originally black cloth, he amazingly found someone to swap the seats and door cards for a rare multi-colour Rosso ‘Arcade’ interior (with some extra cash their way), which really looks the part and is a well suited contrast to the white paintwork. He also has plans to install a wooden Nardi steering wheel very soon, too. The air ride components (air tank and compressor) are secured in an old-school suitcase in the boot, also with storage for cleaning products which is a nice touch.



Apart from adding a Bolts Bolts USDM lighting kit, used to illuminate his amber indicators at the same time as the headlights, Connor has done the right thing by not going over the top with this build. It’s so easy to ruin a classic car by doing too much, but he’s got the balance just right… a 190E doesn’t really need anything more than this to shine. Naturally, with the car being his main hobby, Connor has a few ideas up his sleeve for the future, such as tidying-up the engine bay and possibly adding a more powerful motor, but time will tell. For now, I’m sure he just wants to get out and enjoy the car with its new look.




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More info on Connor Hollamby:

@connorhollamby_ on Instagram



Retro Rides Gathering 2016

Date: 28 August 2016

Location: Shelsley Walsh, Worcester


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


It’s that time of year where we take a break from the usual shenanigans of static ‘stance-orientated’ car shows, and head deep into the British countryside… more specifically, the idyllic Shelsley Walsh in Worcester, to the historic hill climb. It’s here that every year, members of the Retro Rides forums get together for one big event, the ‘Gathering’. Now, this isn’t like any typical car show. Here you’ll find cars that you won’t see anywhere else, in fact, a lot of them only attend this one event on the calendar, and I’m pretty sure a lot of them aren’t even that active on social media. I know right, that sort of messes up our usual style of event coverage, but let’s go with it. Anyway, I’ve been attending the Retro Rides Gathering since 2013, and it just keeps getting better, year on year (regardless of the weather). Over this time I’ve noticed that more and more classic car enthusiasts are finding out about this motorsport-orientated event, bringing a higher calibre of cars each time I visit.




It’s as simple as that. There’s a huge sense of appreciation for all marques at this event – and no whining about what and what isn’t acceptable like in the VAG scene. You’ll see everything from rat-look to fully prepped race cars. And it’s not just the high-performance cars that get a go up the hill climb either, the variety of cars can be hilarious at times – even a hearse went up this year (which you’ll find below)! I’ve done my best to select the images that show off what the Gathering is all about… A broad range of cars, but still focusing on what you guys and gals come to Slam Sanctuary for. But first, let’s take a look at some of the cars that ventured up the hill.


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




Retropower’s Audi Sport Quattro SWB rep




Joshua Tamwar O’Sullivan’s Mazda MX5




James Ibbotson’s static Hillman Imp on Alleycat & Revolution wheels



Pipey McGraw’s W8-powered Volkswagen K70





Jonathan Briggs’ Renault Extra Van w/GT Turbo conversion



Andy Bower’s Mk1 Ford Capri


Luke Herbert’s Mk2 Volkswagen Polo



Adam Hazlewood’s M52-swapped BMW E30




Tom Barry’s BMW E30 325i



David Whitefield’s Cadillac Brougham Hearse


Richard Woolmer’s Austin A35


Alex Penberthy’s Mk2 Volkswagen Polo



Daniel Lark’s C33 Nissan Laurel



Luke Drinan’s Mk2 Ford Escort



Rob Phillips’ M50-swapped BMW E30



Murray Eversham’s Ford Escort RS Turbo



James Cass’ C32 Nissan Laurel



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






If the burnouts, tyre smoke and the sound of cars going up the hill climb get a bit too much, there’s always a chance to take a stroll through the club field. Now, unlike most static car shows, the display part of the Gathering is made up of club stands – these are pre-booked prior to the event. This works really well, guaranteeing groups of friends the ability to park up together for the day. There’s also a “Retro Parking” area, too, which allows cars that turn up on the day to still be involved.


Benny Rees’ 1976 Toyota Celica GT on WORK Equip Spirit 11’s (front) & SSR Riverside R109’s (rear)




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



Lily Carton’s Nissan Silvia S14




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



Chris’ bagged Ginetta G15




Joe Scott’s BMW E21 on Compomotive TS501’s



Luke Polyblank’s Toyota AE86



Anthony Steel’s Volvo 240 on Advan SA3R’s



Carl Raine’s Fiat 126



Audi RS2 Avant


BMW E34 Touring


C10 Nissan Skyline



Mark Bullock’s Vauxhall Cavalier Turbo


Conor Elliott’s Volkswagen Mk2 Golf



Si McNally’s VR6-swapped Volkswagen Mk2 Golf on Fifteen52 Formula TR’s



Eden Cayless’ VW Type2 on Gotti’s



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





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





BMW E12 Alpina B7 S Turbo



William Harris’ Austin Mini Clubman





Adam Burton’s Mercedes-Benz W123 on hydraulic suspension



James Ibbotson’s static Hillman Imp on Alleycat & Revolution wheels




Robin Whitfield’s ‘Bosozoku-style’ Nissan Sunny



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






There’s not much more I can say really, other than if you haven’t been to Retro Rides Gathering before, don’t let yourself miss it again – book it in the diary for next year. You’ll be amazed by the unmatchable vibe that it possesses. With wacky, rare and intriguing cars, it’s completely different to any other automotive event on the calendar, something I constantly tell people when they ask about it. We will be back again next year, without a doubt.


More info on Retro Rides Gathering:

Retro Rides Gathering website

Retro Rides Gathering on Facebook 

Retro Rides Gathering 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 2016

Date: 11 June 2016

Location: Goodwood Motor Circuit, Chichester


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


Players Classic 2016 is a big one for me, it marks the 3 year anniversary of Slam Sanctuary, as this was the show that kickstarted my love of photographing cars. Since then the car scene has come a huge way in terms of quality and builds, just as this show has. Every year the team somehow seem to take over more and more of the Goodwood Motor Circuit grounds to the point where you’ll fail to find a patch of land that isn’t taken up by a show car. Players Classic is the biggest show of the year since Ultimate Dubs back at the start of the season. It’s become so popular that a lot of the show is now largely filled with cars that have made the journey over from Europe. Also, Players is so well-known in the car world that people even fly over from the USA to check out the show and network. It’s become one of the coolest events on the calendar, much down to the venue itself and of course the incredible diversity of cars that are selected and shown throughout Goodwood’s historic paddock. In addition to numerous companies trading in the exclusive ‘Trade Village’ (including us this year!), ‘Classic’ combines a static show with plenty of track action including the pre-booked track day experience and various drifting displays throughout the day – plenty to keep you entertained. Well, on to our photo coverage, it’s another long one, so you might want to grab a cuppa!



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



Tom Heap’s bagged Mercedes-Benz C124 on OZ MAE’s




S6 Wraps’ BMW E92 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform TMB’s





Ben Hughes’ Mini Cooper on BC Racing coilovers & OZ Futura’s



Jamie Hitchcock’s static BMW Z4 on WORK Meister’s



James Barr’s bagged VW Polo 6N2 GTI on BBS RM’s




James Munro’s bagged Porsche 356 Speedster




Robert Cumberbatch’s Hillman Imp on Air Lift suspension & J A Pearce Magna’s



Tom Lilico’s bagged BMW Z3 on Lamborghini Diablo splits



James Ibbotson’s static Hillman Imp on Alleycat & Revolution wheels



Dan Malley’s VW Mk2 Golf on D2 Air suspension & BBS RM’s



Christopher Purr’s Subaru BRAT



Sam Eaton’s bagged VW Polo 9N3



Thom Williams’ Honda S2000 on Air Lift suspension & BBS LM’s





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



Tijl Matthijs’ VW Mk2 Golf G60 on Air Lift suspension & custom splits



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



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



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



Kats Giles’ Audi Q3 on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform CCV’s



FYD Apparel’s bagged ’66 Cadillac Coupe Deville



RIIVA Design’s Austin Healey on Air Lift suspension



Jaik-Meriden Golloghly’s bagged Mini Cooper S on custom Saab 900 Turbo splits



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



Jamie Mctoldridge’s Mercedes-Benz W123 230CE on Air Lift suspension




Ben Fraser’s Nissan 180SX on Rotiform LVS’s



Steve Howson’s Mercedes-Benz 190E Cosworth on OZ Futura’s



Still Static’s Audi B8 A4 on H&R suspension & 21″ Vossen LC105-T’s



Ben Rye’s bagged 1957 Volkswagen Oval Beetle ragtop on Ultra’s



HR Autoworks’ 1957 Volkswagen Oval Beetle



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





Mark Gale’s static Ferrari F355



Jake Ryan’s M52-swapped BMW E30 on Air Lift suspension & OZ Futura’s



Richard Smith’s Toyota Yaris on custom Air Lift suspension by Only Charged Dubs & BBS RF’s




Owen Burnell’s VW Mk4 Golf R32 on Air Lift suspension & OZ Super Leggera III’s



Jordan Hill’s static Volkswagen Mk2 Golf on OZ Fittipaldi’s



Jake Stanford’s VW Tiguan R on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform TMB’s



Sumil Pancholi’s E39 530i on Air Lift suspension & Hartge splits



Matt Clifford’s BMW E31 840ci on Air Lift suspension & BBS Bugatti EB110’s



Chevrolet C10 on AccuAir suspension


Angus Munro’s Porsche 964 on BBS Super-RS’s




Paul Mclean’s BMW E34 on BC Racing suspension & stepped-up BBS RS’s





Matt Glassup’s Porsche 964 on Eta Beta’s



Joe Saunder’s TFSI Volkswagen Mk3 Golf on OZ Turbo’s



George Wilson’s bagged VW Polo 6N2 on Gotti’s




Karl Runeckles’ BMW Z4 on hydraulics & custom-built Style32′s



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



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




Dave Mcdiarmid’s BMW E46 on Air Lift suspension & stepped-up BBS RF’s



Joey Hazell’s BMW E36 ‘vert on hydraulic suspension & stepped-up BBS RS’s



Vladi’s Volkswagen Mk3 Vento on Air Lift suspension & KW Turbo’s



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




Lee Curtis’ Audi C5 Allroad on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform CCV’s / Jack Ellis’ Audi C5 Allroad on BC Racing suspension

@curtisg40 / @staticjack


Ben Walker’s BMW E28 on Broadway Static suspension & OZ Breyton’s





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



Adam Hodge’s Audi S3 on H&R suspension & Audi Rotor’s



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




Matt Woodgate’s Porsche 997 on HP Drivetech/Air Lift suspension & Rotiform LHR’s



Steven Doe & Becky Evans’ BMW E21’s on Air Lift suspension

@doeboyfresh / @queenb_uk


Matty Loveridge’s Audi TT on H&R suspension & BBS GT’s



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



Brian Henderson’s Audi RS2 on Rotiform STR’s




Rob Palmer’s bagged Mk3 Golf VR6 on ceramic polished BBS RS’s



Craig Sims’ BMW E28 on BC Racing suspension & 16″ BBS RS’s



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



Tom Penny’s Mini on Air Lift suspension & Fifteen52 Formula TR’s





Joe Burman’s body-dropped Volkswagen Mk1 Golf



Joe Stubbs’ Mercedes-Benz E350 on HP Drivetech/AccuAir suspension & Rotiform YVR’s




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



Ashley Morell’s BMW Z4 on AirREX suspension & Borbet/MK Motorsport wheels



Kelvin Clifford’s Volkswagen Mk5 Golf on Air Lift suspension & Verein Sport Club One’s



’42 Ford pickup


Paul Harding’s ’84 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera



Josh’s wide-body BMW 2002 on 7Twenty Style44’s



Carl Raine’s Fiat 126



Harvey Howe’s BMW E82 on Air Lift suspension & BBS RF’s



Carl Shakespeare’s supercharged Volkswagen Mk3 Golf VR6 on Momo R3’s




Chris Phillips’ static Lexus IS200 on Enkei NT03+M’s




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





Carl Deakin’s bagged Volkswagen Mk2 Jetta on Schmidt TH-Line’s




Adam Wyatt’s Nissan PS13 & Lee Johns’ Toyota Supra SZ-R on WORK Meister’s

@iamwhisk / @jza80_lj


Meguiar’s Ford Crown Victoria on Air Lift suspension




Reece Chapman’s Audi TT on Air Lift suspension & BBS RS



Yoan Joaquim’s VW Mk5 Golf on Air Lift suspension & BBS E28’s



Jordan Clifton’s VW Beetle on Air Lift suspension & Rotiform CCV’s



That just about sums up our highlights of 2016’s show. Jamie, Carl and the rest of the Players team absolutely smashed it again. They’ve got that ‘chilled’ show vibe perfected, which makes it a pleasure to attend year on year. I must’ve bumped in to 90% of the people I know through cars and the automotive industry which just goes to show that people really do love this event. Catering for all motoring fans (even those who prefer two wheels), there’s something for everyone. If you missed it, then don’t worry… Players is back with their main show later this year at North Weald, Essex on the 18th of September 2016. Keep your eyes peeled on the Players social media and website to make sure you get the chance to enter your car into the Show & Shine. We’ll see you there!


More info on Players Show/Classic:

Players Show website

Players Show on Facebook

Players Show 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!





Shop Visit: Only Charged Dubs

Words & Photos by Henry Phull


The popularity of air ride has grown considerably over the past couple of years. Not only has it become more accessible, but many people have finally realised how practical it really is. With so many options now available, it doesn’t have to break the bank either. The question is, if you want someone else to do the work for you, then where do you go? Whilst there are plenty of shops dotted around the UK, Only Charged Dubs (OCD) have put out some incredible work as of late and are one of the few that go above and beyond to cater for the customer. The key word that comes to mind with these guys is variation. If you read our show reports, you will have seen plenty of their cars (and customers’ cars) pop up. They were kind enough to invite us up to their headquarters in Doncaster, South Yorkshire where we were welcomed with open arms. Spending a few days with these guys was more like hanging out with mates than visiting your typical garage – the whole experience was a pleasure. Although mostly known for their air installs in the ‘slammed/stance’ scene, the business didn’t actually start off by working with suspension. In fact, OCD is a lot more than just an air ride shop. So let’s take an inside look…





Catching up with the owner Matt Payne is always a refreshing experience. Unlike so many people in the industry, he’s completely open about his business and the community in general. One thing that has always stuck with me is that he’s always looking to solve problems, however big or small, so it’s really no surprise that his company has achieved so much. But how did OCD get to where they are today? “It all came about from my Mk2 Golf project. I was working as an apprentice for my local VW dealership when I bought my Golf, which I spent 3 years fully rebuilding from a 1.6 Driver to a G60 8v conversion. Fully overhauled, the only thing I couldn’t do myself was the paint work as I was building it on my parents drive.” Matt reminices. This led him onto the path of G-Lader rebuilds (superchargers found on the G40 & G60 Volkswagens – hence the name ‘Only Charged Dubs’), after other enthusiasts saw the work on his Mk2. He even started developing his own parts for the Golf that weren’t available, as you do. Slowly but surely Matt began to build a customer base on the main UK G60 online forum at the time.




“As well as doing more work at home on friends’ cars, word of mouth spread, leading to more and more jobs” Matt explains. At the time his daily driver was a Skoda Fabia, and to make this more practical he started to look into air suspension. Because he was starting to lug more and more parts around, Matt wanted to lower the car in a way that would accept the excess weight. “I managed to get a trade account for air suspension which led on to installing air to a friend’s car shortly before the Elsecar Megameet 2013, which made OCD more well known in the ‘stance’ scene.” he says. Anyone starting up on their own cannot wait until they’re in a position to quit their full time job and concentrate on their true ambition, I can tell you this myself from starting Slam Sanctuary. Well, for Matt this opportunity came soon after that Megameet. He said goodbye to his job at Volkswagen and set up shop in a unit next door to Darkside Developments in Barnsley. With help from their team, together they pushed the OCD brand forward by modernising the website, adding more products and providing the much needed extra space for installations and “crazier work!” Matt laughs.





After 12 months in his first ever unit, neighbours Darkside Developments decided to re-locate to a new premises, which meant that Matt could also move the business back to Doncaster, his home. Not only was the new unit on his doorstep, but it was also closer to Carl Atkins, the man behind OCD’s boot installs and custom fabrication, overall making it a worthwhile move. “OCD had reached a point where it could stand on it’s own two feet much better and was needing much more operating space, both for stock and workshop.” Matt reveals. They’ve just finished it off to a state where they are happy with it, with a brand new showroom and waiting room. Having spent a good few days there myself, I can tell you it’s a great place to be and hang out.




With the facilities covered, OCD can offer anything from VAG servicing to full-blown engine swaps and classic car restoration. “Of course, G-Lader services, parts and expertise is something we will always offer. It’s where my VW love came from and I still believe there’s nothing quite like a well tuned 8v G60 engine in a classic dub!” Matt points out. One thing I do love about OCD, is that they give their customers a broad range of options to fit most budgets. Unlike a lot of salespeople, Matt and the team won’t just try and sell you the most expensive product. This has been an aim of theirs from the beginning. “Everyone loves an R8 on air with expensive wheels, but in reality only a lucky 1% can own that. So we aim to offer the same parts, service and options to every customer.” Matt explains. The key to Only Charged Dubs? Offering a wide range of products of course. If you’re looking to bag your car, a look on their website shows that there’s several options. From the popular Air Lift Performance, HP Drivetech, AccuAir and VIAIR options, to brands such as Airdynamiks, Air Zenith and several BagRiders products. Plus, they even offer their own “Bags by OCD” branded items – which we’ll look at shortly. If there’s no kit readily available for your car, Matt and the team will come up with a solution.




OCD keep a large variety of stock on their shelves, from air tanks of all sizes, fittings, compressors, and tons of spares which makes them one of the few companies that can offer their people specialist items next day to your door if needed. This is always handy if any of your components fail and you get stuck. With shipments coming in every week from the USA, OCD are now the sole UK distributors for BagRiders (a large air ride distributor in the USA), meaning that you can order most hard-to-get items from OCD without paying those dreaded import charges if you were to order direct from the States. With their online sales ever increasing, Matt says that 2016/17 will show an even bigger expansion with more and more products being added across their range.




Only Charged Dubs recently introduced their ‘Bags by OCD’ range of air bags. The idea initially came up whilst they were working on their demo Mercedes-Benz W201. Of course, being a classic car everything on the Merc had to be custom made… “We found that there is an ‘ok’ range of bags to work with instead of independent springs. But bags that work over dampers are hugely limited, and the ones available are ok on some platforms but offer poor drop or lift on others depending on how they are set up.” Matt explains, “Plus there’s no options of sleeves over dampers too, meaning some cars with tight suspension space either have to lose out with no air option or undergo expensive custom work to the rest of the suspension.” To combat this, they launched ‘Bags by OCD’, a product that is moderately priced alongside most air suspension kits, which work and perform to the same level, but allowing a bigger range of custom bags. Designed to work with BC Racing’s Extreme Low coilovers, they allow customers to mount the bag on to the threaded body, sealing it to the damper giving the maximum drop and lift that the damper gives. Obviously this still allows for BC’s threaded body adjustment, dampening adjustment all round plus camber front top mounts of most applications. Most kits retail at around £1300-£1500 depending on the rear bag mounting. So far they’ve used these kits on a BMW Z4, VW Mk6 GTI and will soon be testing on a Honda S2000 and Lexus IS220. Plus, having universal bags readily available means they can be used on cars with absolutely no air options available, such as our own Slam Sanctuary demo Audi A6 FWD which we’ll be showing you soon!




Being the main UK distributor of Airdynamiks, this was the first time I had the chance to check out their products in person. I have to say that the build quality and attention to detail is second-to-none. After noticing them testing various car kits around 18 months ago, they got in touch and began working on a kit for their Audi C5 A6 Allroad demo car, a customers Audi A1 (and Polo platform) and their Audi Mk2 TT Quattro demo car. Based in Canada, the turnaround time on these products means a slightly longer wait, but it is definitely worth it. Sister company to Scale Suspension, who primarily build top end racing suspension for track, time attack and drifting, Airdynamiks use the same dampers which they convert into air suspension. “Their twist is using a range of air bag sizes to suit certain models of car. Giving a smaller air bag if space is tight but also giving a much better spring rating. A smaller bag allows for a high bag pressure at ride height, whilst using less air tank volume. So less compressor time!” Matt says. These kits come with threaded body dampers, dampening adjustment and optional camber top plates for most applications. “As well as anodized components, stainless hardware and powdercoated mountings these kits don’t just work well, they look the part too as well as lasting for years!”. I was so impressed with the quality of these products that we decided to make them available through the Slam Sanctuary online store, too.




“Our air suspension work is something we have grown slowly and worked hard to get to the point we’re now at. We feel we aim our work to an ‘OCD’ level of fit and finesse, being able to carry out almost any modification to a customers car. From simple suspension swaps, crazy show installs & wheel/tyre fitting and fitment.” -Matt Payne




I asked Matt the all-important question, what he thinks OCD are best known for?… “I’d like to think our friendliness and social side” he replied, and I completely agree. In fact, I often come across his comments throughout social media which are always trying to assist people, not just selling a product 24/7. That’s absolute gold right there and a rare thing. “OCD has always been something more than just a specialist shop. Friends and customers are always welcome to our shop to just chill out. We feel this is something that has quickly dropped from the scene and made things more of a competition than an enthusiasm.” he continued. The idea of bringing back this enthusiasm for the cars and seeing customers projects go from standard to magazine featured is what it’s all about for Only Charged Dubs. Plus, that VAG group technician training really gives them the upper hand when it comes to find their way around most Volkswagens, Audis, Seats and Skodas. That background has built Matt’s vision of keeping to a certain quality of work which he strives to keep to a factory level. “I’d always like to think should our work be seen at another garage their technicians wouldn’t notice what we’d installed against the factory components of the car.” he adds.



(left-right) Carl, Joe & Matt


With four main members of staff; Matt the owner and technician, Carl who carries out the boot install work, Joe who runs front of house – answering customers calls, emails and handling orders including packing day in, day out, as well as Danny who runs the graphic design side of things behind the scenes, Only Charged Dubs are some of the friendliest and approachable bunch of guys in the industry. Not forgetting, professional, full of knowledge and brilliant at what they do – so there’s no stopping them! With plans to completely overhaul their online presence this year by adding an even bigger range of air suspension kits, expanding on their coilover range in addition to a much-needed FAQ section and an overall easier shopping experience, it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled to their social media and website. In the meantime, you’ll find them at most of the UK car shows, so hit them up with those tricky questions for your build! Also, make sure you check back to Slam Sanctuary soon to find out how they got on with bagging our Audi A6 Avant demo car that we let them loose on for a few days.


More info on Only Charged Dubs:

OCD website

OCD on Instagram

OCD on Facebook


Near Doncaster, South Yorkshire?
Check out the OCD Open Day this Sunday 22nd May 2016!


Air by OCD – Matt Payne’s 1992 Mercedes-Benz W201 190E

Words & Photos by Henry Phull


The Mercedes-Benz 190E has been a hit with petrolheads ever since they were used as touring cars and seen throughout legendary motorsport events. However, with the sought-after Cosworth models now out of most people’s price range, the spectacle has turned on to the standard 190E’s, which back in their time would’ve looked like any normal boxy German saloon car, simply blending into the landscape. What owners are doing to them now though, is quite remarkable. Who’d have thought dumping one on the floor and adding some larger wheels could make such a basic car look so appealing? Even though they’ve been a popular vehicle of choice in the modified scene ever since the late 80’s/early 90’s, the demand has massively grown over the last couple of years in the UK show scene… One of our favourites being Matt Payne’s Arctic white 1992 W201 which we’re showcasing today. Although we’ve already featured a W201 this year, Charlie Wheeler’s static 190D (click here to check it out), we’re switching things up and taking an alternative look at how things can be done using air ride, with Matt’s simple yet effective build.



Matt has been interested in cars for a long time, mainly through family influence. Since he was 17 years old he’s been following the car show scene, attended local meets and helped out on cars with his friends. Training as a Volkswagen technician certainly played a huge part in his ever-growing fascination with cars and predominant obsession with VW’s. In fact this led him onto starting his own business, Only Charged Dubs (OCD), who predominantly specialise in VAG cars – G40/G60 forced induction, air ride, servicing and much more.



The car that really got his company noticed was down to Matt’s third car, a Mk2 Golf which started out as a ‘1.6 Driver’, which he fully restored and eventually converted to a G60. After two years of daily driving, something more modern was required – a Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo… This really helped OCD grow as a recognised business.. it was the ultimate car to show off their air-ride services to a ‘general’ audience, not forgetting the development of OCD’s custom Polo platform air ride kit which put them on the map.



So why the Mercedes-Benz you may be asking? “I’ve never been a huge Merc fan, but I’ve always had a soft spot for any modern classic car… late 70’s, 80’s & early 90’s cars just have that square boxy look that I love” he tells us. The Fabia had been around for nearly three years, so Matt decided it was time for a new OCD demo car, whilst he could still drive the Fabia daily (although this has now finally been replaced by a bigger Audi A6 C5 Allroad, on custom air of course). “The 190 seemed to be a new modern classic, and after seeing a couple bagged and thinking we could get a cheap kit for it, I bought this one.” Matt explains.



Matt found the 190E through eBay, it was a completely standard 1.8 8v petrol, but the head gasket had gone due to lack of use and the exhaust had fallen apart inside so it ran way too slowly for his liking. The all-important paint, however, is original and came up incredibly after a good detailing session and machine polish/seal. It was an ideal base for OCD’s demo car and it meant they could create something from a completely blank canvas.



“We needed it to be on the floor, looking OEM+ and really show off what OCD and air suspension can do. Not just the usual brands of air & wheels!” he explains. Only Charged Dubs are well known for their custom air work, not just bolting on the usual ready-made kits which are widely available. This car is a fantastic example of what is possible when you think outside the box.



The air setup on Matt’s car was created completely from scratch, after trying out a cheap kit that was available for the platform and realising it was “crap”. The team at OCD got to work on creating a better solution, including new front arms, bag mounts and a custom BC Racing damper kit with camber top mounts, allowing for adjustment all round. “Our kit is a full comprehensive suspension kit, this replaces the OE front arms with no other modifications required. The only thing that’s needed is 2 holes drilled in the rear upper spring seat to allow the air bags to mount up.” Matt reveals.



This allows the body of the car to drop as low as possible with no rubbing or catching – now that’s what we like to hear! “This allows much better air bag pressure when driving, allowing a much nicer drive – it really feels like factory still and just floats along the roads.” he continues. After fully testing the setup, OCD’s kit is now manufactured and available for the W201 platform – get in touch with them for more information.



Along with the custom front LCA’s and bag mounts, Matt opted for Universal Air ‘AirHouse2’ bags front and rear, 3/8″ air lines all run by dual Speciality Suspension 28″ & 24″ air tanks, two Air Zenith OB2 compressors, an AVS 9 switch box, Zaetech Digigauge and wireless touchbox. “The main piece is the RideTech BigRed manifold that really makes the car bounce!” he chuckles… this really has a different effect to airing up and out in comparison to a lot of other products on the market – making it that extra bit cooler! All this has been built into a beautiful boot installation which is a superb demonstration of hard lines and fabrication which OCD are known for.



With the car on the floor, Matt wanted to get the wheels right. They’d already gone custom with the air ride, so why not go the same way with the wheels? The outcome was a set of Mercedes-Benz ‘Barrock’ wheels, a Mexican hat-styled wheel originally found on W123’s. OCD had their machinist precision cut the wheel faces and matched to a BBS RS 16″ face bolt pattern, allowing them to go for 16″ to 17″ ‘bubble’ step up lips, resulting in 17×8 up front and 17×9 rears. “It’s a slight mod that no one really notices over the custom wheels. Which I like, it adds even more to the OEM+ look of the car and really suits the car well.” Matt explains. These are paired to 195/40 tyres up front and 205/40 at the rear, a tasteful amount of stretch.



Interior-wise, Matt preferred to keep everything original, similar to the outside of the car. “I wanted black as it doesn’t age as much and appears to be quite rare in the old 190’s”… The only elements out of the ordinary that you might notice are; the Zaetech Digigauge air pressure display which is neatly installed into one of the blower fans and the chunky AVS 9 switch box used to control the ride height. Sticking to a manual air set up just seems so right in a classic car like this – a modern looking digital controller wouldn’t look at home in the W201.





We’ve seen the Merc at several car shows this year and it’s unsurprisingly turned a lot of heads. Matt and the team have put just the right amount of modifications on the car. Only air and wheels you may ask… What more could you possibly need on a classic car like this? Matt has put his touch on an already beautiful shape. As well as putting the car on a set of BBS RS for a few shows to change things up, the custom Barrock wheels do suit it perfectly. From now, not much will be happening with the Merc other than a little more colour coding to the boot build over the Winter. Matt mentioned he may even regrettably put it up for sale in the new year to make way for another OCD demo car. Despite the name ‘Only Charged Dubs’, the 190E demonstrates that they really can tackle any sort of air build, whether it’s a ‘dub’ or not. We’ll be finding more about what they get up to with an exclusive shop visit, so check back to Slam Sanctuary soon.



More info on Only Charged Dubs:

Only Charged Dubs website

Only Charged Dubs on Facebook

Only Charged Dubs on Instagram



The Elegant Touch – Rory Hamilton’s 1974 Mercedes-Benz W115 240D

Words by Henry Phull / Photos by Steph Clarke


As of late the classic W114 and W115 Mercedes’ have been making a well-deserved comeback. One of the cars that started up this new found popularity in the UK is Rory Hamilton’s gorgeous W115 240D. I first came in contact with his car at the Ultimate Stance show back in 2014 when it was ‘mid-build’ and in a much more fragile condition. Since then, Rory has completely overhauled the Benz, resulting in a thing of pure beauty that oozes class wherever it goes. Unsurprisingly, Rory gets plenty of requests to use it as a wedding car – it’s certainly much cooler than any of the newer Mercs. An engineer for Rolls-Royce, Rory has always been interested in luxury cars, with Mercedes-Benz always on his radar, particularly the larger diesel cars with stacked headlights. “I have a great love of older engines and respect their simplicity and the quirky features that were applied to older diesel motors” Rory says, and mentions that his has a pull handle to start paired with a glow cherry, and an idle adjuster knob used for starting… “fantastically simple but effective”. Let’s take a look at how the build came about…



You may think the W115 is a strange choice of car, given Rory’s young age of 22, but I assure you, he has been through plenty of smaller and quicker cars over the years. “I’ve had more throw-away daily drivers than show cars, as I’m a lover of bangernomics” he explains. Starting off with Mk3 Golfs (five to be precise), to a modified Nogaro Blue Audi S3 which was eventually swapped for a street ported Mazda RX8. As fun as it was, the engine rebuild costs started to bankrupt him, leading to a sale and massive loss, but in hindsight it meant he was finally able to pick up the Mercedes-Benz we are showcasing today.



“I’ve always wanted a classic Mercedes-Benz” Rory exclaims. When he was growing up, there was a similar model just down the road from where he lived, which was literally part of the landscape. “The Benz had a bush growing out of it, smashed windows, and was covered in mould”, even so, he always wanted to own it. “I finally plucked up the courage to go and knock on the door of the house that I thought owned it” and it turned out that the chap had owned it from new when he was a politician, using it from 1975 to 1999 to commute to London from Portishead near Bristol. He simply parked it up because he wanted a newer car but couldn’t let the old one go. “Funnily enough the guy was also the president of the Mercedes-Benz Club of the UK for a few years and the very car in its terrible mimosa yellow colour is on the front page of the club magazines and cards.” he explains. However, he still wouldn’t sell it.



A year later Rory received a call out of the blue… The owner of the Benz had unfortunately passed away due to ill health and his family were offering the car at a price that he couldn’t refuse. Sadly, the car was in a bad state, and not worth saving, so Rory made the purchase as donor car. The engine, diff/driveshafts, full interior and a few other pieces were saved with parts ending up in Rory’s car, and the rest are kept as spares. If it wasn’t for this tired old example, Rory would have never had the final push to go out and build his own W115. Now he had a donor car, the hunt was on for a usable example and base for the project.



It was a 1974 W115 240D that caught Rory’s eye, the car was already in a respectable condition as it had been garaged and kept off the road for about six months prior. The paintwork was micro blistered, along with a few rough edges, but most importantly it was a solid car – most unlike his donor vehicle! After a deal was done, the top rad hose blew on the road home, disaster! Rory and an eager bystander ended up pushing the Benz up a motorway slip road, up a hill of course, until they were out of harm’s way. A temporary fix was issued with a piece of metal tube, jubilee clips and gaffer tape, which amazingly saw him the last 100+ miles home (with a constant cloud of white smoke left behind). So, not the greatest buying experience, but Rory cracked on regardless…



He spent a few months sorting out the motor, but even after changing the head gasket it was still not right and the problems were never-ending. Luckily, he had the donor car and engine. His Christmas was spent switching engines, along with a manual to auto swap which took some work. The engine itself is a stock OM616 4-cylinder 2.4 litre diesel lump, and the only modification made was to replace the old ‘loop’ glow plugs with a set of newer ‘pencil’ plugs. “This is probably the single best modification I’ve done to her as the old plugs (according to the manual) took between 30 seconds to a minute to glow, whereas the pencils take 10-15 and are much more reliable.” Rory explains. As he runs the car on 100% vegetable oil, good glow plugs are essential to get the car started with ease.



Eventually Rory pulled the head on the second motor and changed the valve stem seals and head gasket, along with all the manifold gaskets. Plus, every radiator hose with genuine Mercedes-Benz parts, a new oil cooler from Germany with swaged lines, uprated trans cooler also with swaged lines, a new water pump, reset the pump timing, fitted new vacuum hoses, and much more! In simpler terms, the engine was completely restored and made reliable for the many miles Rory now does in the car to various events all over the country. To finish things off, a full stainless twin exit exhaust system was created by Infinity Exhausts near Bath. The last six feet of each exit have been chromed for aesthetic purposes, and for an extra kick Rory added an electronic exhaust bypass valve just after the downpipe which means he can switch the exhaust to be extremely loud when he wants it to be.



With the engine and reliability issues sorted, it was time to think about the modifications we are really interested in, suspension! The idea from the beginning was to put the W115 on air ride. “I always wanted a bagged car” Rory explains, “I’d seen pictures of bagged Benz’s in the States particularly the ‘Colour of Money’ Benz and the ‘Steampunk’ Benz for those in the know”. Rory and a good friend of his took a few months to bag the car themselves, designing custom brackets and machining them to fit his chosen Slam Specialities RE-5 bags. They experimented with three different designs until they were completely satisfied with the drop and the way they sat on the car. The system was designed to use 1/2″ lines, so Rory ended up purchasing all the SMC 1/2″ valves from the States, along with a 8.5 gallon air tank, twin VIAIR 480c compressors and an Odyssey Red-Top battery.



“When I first started to drive her the air was so fast that it was uncontrollable, the valve would open electronically but when it went to shut the spring wasn’t powerful enough to to do so properly, so it would ‘latch’ open so to speak and either jump the car in the air or dump it on the ground.” To solve this, Rory fitted large flow controls to all four corners, making the speed a lot more controllable. Furthermore, with the diesel engine being much deeper than a petrol motor, it sits much closer to the ground. Instead of ‘raising’ the motor like most people would opt for, Rory fitted a large plate with a set of ‘skis’ on the bottom of the engine. Now when it airs out, the front of the car sits on the sump and amazingly the front wheels don’t actually touch the floor… “It’s a feature that I’m very happy with!” he chuckles.



With the suspension all set up, Rory was eager for some new wheels to set it off, ending up with a set of 16×7 BBS Mahle’s restored by a guy in Budapest. He chose these as they were similar to other sets at the time, but was worried about how he’d make them fit properly. The Mahle’s were already Mercedes-Benz fitment, 66.6CB and 5x112PCD. The offset was almost identical to his standard wheels so they’d be perfect for the car. It’s rare to find a set with the correct fitment, so Rory decided it was a no-brainer. Along with stretched 165/40/16 tyres all round, the wheels certainly look the part on the W115. For that extra wow-factor, the Mahle’s are fitted with BBS high centre caps and Titanium Lug Nuts supplied by Fourty Four Wheel Company. They were “a match made in heaven” he explains, as they sit the same height as the centre caps, plus the ends of the nuts look incredibly similar to the BBS caps, resulting in a gorgeous combination.



To compliment the rest of the car, Rory has made some changes to the interior. The first modification was to swap out the front seats for some with armrests, sourced from a W109 S-Class. Although they look very similar to the original examples, they are in fact wider. Rory had to modify the seat rails to fit, resulting in a lower driving position which he much prefers. “I love the look of diamond stitch in custom interiors, but I am also a great lover of the OEM+ look” he explains, and decided to commission John Brant at Bespoke Leathering Ltd. to carry out  a full re-trim.



This included a complete new carpet in beige with underlay and mats, including sound deadening to the bulk head. Plus a custom headlining in cream, reworked and recoloured seats, door cards and A/B pillars in a stunning caramel (similar to the original colour). The dash and centre console were also coated in leather in the same caramel colour. To counteract the caramel, the top of the dash and some of the lower dash, and parcel shelf have been covered in a single stitch pleated diamond arrangement. The result is absolutely stunning, and works so perfectly against the white body colour.



As I mentioned earlier, I first saw Rory’s W115 a couple of years ago, before it had any fresh paint. It was seriously tired so the whole body was taken back to the metal and stripped by himself and a few friends between October 2014 and March 2015. The sunroof was filled in and then the car was fully resprayed in Sikkens Two-Pack DB737 (Classic White). Rory had all the brightwork re-polished, re-chromed and re-finished by Doug Taylor Metal Finishings in Banwell. Unfortunately some of these parts were well past repair so Rory ended up purchasing some new parts from Mercedes-Benz, along with new rubbers and window seals. These are small touches that a lot of people wouldn’t bother with, but it’s safe to say they bring the whole look together brilliantly.




Building one of these Mercedes-Benz’s is much easier said than done, they’ve always been one of the classiest vehicles around and sticking to that ideal is key. Getting the right balance is extremely important.. stay elegant but making sure you don’t go too crazy. Rory has certainly outdone himself with his W115, not only restoring it to a like-new condition, but adding simple yet effective touches to make it extra special. Although not a daily driver, he’s driven this thing all over the country over the past year with minimal issues, which you just wouldn’t expect from such a classic car, but it’s humbling to see that Rory is putting it to use. At the end of the day, it is a car – it’s meant to be driven! Unsurprisingly he doesn’t have much more planned for the car at the moment, as it’s been done so well to this point. The only things on his mind are a boot build to show off the air and there’s a possibility of another engine swap in favour of a rarer diesel motor “for the real OEM+ look” he explains.



Refining a Classic – Charlie Wheeler’s 1993 Mercedes-Benz W201 190D

Words & Photos by Steph Clarke


We’re continuing the static, daily driven theme this week with Charlie Wheeler’s Mercedes-Benz W201 190D, and unlike Chris Phillips’ Lexus IS (click here to check out the feature), this isn’t one of those cars that I can say I’ve always seen about at shows and meets, as Charlie has owned the Benz for a just over a week! The car was predominantly built by the previous owner, Nic Stubbs with the current styling majorly being down to him, but we couldn’t resist capturing the car as it is. Myself and Charlie actually work next door to each other, and I noticed he’d just picked up the new motor on Instagram so It was only a matter of time before I was going to get a proper look at it. But due to some resurfacing work that has been taking place over the last few days, we’ve been having to park randomly elsewhere, so it wasn’t until the day of the shoot that I really had a chance to see the 190D in all its glory.



Charlie’s car history has been heavily dominated by Volkswagens throughout the past 5 years of being seriously interested in cars. Having owned a Mk4 Golf and Mk1 Caddy where clean paintwork was the focus, and more recently a Mk1 Jetta 1.6GTD which went down the low and poke route. I don’t think Charlie will mind me saying, ended up being more of a ‘beater’ than a show car as “it would fall apart wherever and whenever” he admits.



Even with a relatively small car history, having his own workshop/barn meant engine swaps and interesting mechanical jobs were constantly being carried out on other vehicles, so there was always something exciting to be working on. With his Jetta project almost coming to a tearful end after a recent accident which led to the front end being cut off and a new one welded back on, Charlie decided that was the last straw and it spurred on the want for something a little different.



Charlie remembered a story told to him by his dad from back in the day involving his granddad cruising about in a Mercedes-Benz 190 over in Portugal, which got him thinking about the idea of a 190E or something similar. The hunt began for a Merc which led him to be let down by several cars that were either too expensive for what they were, or destined for the scrap yard.



After a brief involvement in the car market world, Charlie finally come across Nic’s 1993 W201 190D 2.5 Diesel automatic in Dunkelblau – which is a very deep, almost black blue with nearly all original paint. Just the bonnet and boot lid have been resprayed previously.



This is where some people will agree to disagree with the whole ‘bought not built’ argument. Charlie purchased the car as you see it, with the only real mods being wheels and suspension already in place. With wheels that work so well on the car, Charlie had to get his hands on it, a platform for him to build and expand on. For now though, I had to shoot the car as the combination works so well on this classic.



So, the wheels are OZ Futura’s in 17×8 up front and 9’s at the rear finished in silver with polished lips teamed with 195/40 and 205/40 tyres, not a crazy amount of stretch, but justified enough to suit the fitment. Futura’s really do look at home on almost anything and here used to keep that classic ‘gangster Mercedes’ vibe.



I’m just going to say again that this is daily driven and static and we don’t live in a very forgiving part of the country for smooth roads, so I tip my hat to Charlie for sticking with it straight off the bat.



To get the Merc sat how it is, BMW E36 front struts were installed, which are shorter than the original items although luckily still a direct fit. The original rear shocks have stayed, with the springs chopped allowing for the appropriate drop. I don’t know what people’s thoughts are on cutting springs these days, as I feel a lot of people do it but then won’t admit to it. With a huge increase in people running air or those who prefer to run coilovers, both options aren’t always affordable to everyone. Being a plumbing and heating engineer on minimum wage means keeping things on a budget…



I’ve run cut springs myself on a previous car for a couple of years and I haven’t killed myself or any puppies! I suppose it’s all dependant on how low you go. Charlie said that the Mercedes actually drives really smooth considering, a lot better than his previous Jetta which was on coilovers. Whilst driving to one of the locations for the shoot it involved multiple speed bumps which were tackled with ease, although I’m not sure the story would’ve been the same if he had any passengers!



Charlie has always gone down the static route and like those who go to the extreme, breaks into a smile when getting asked about whether the car is on air ride, even getting the odd appreciative comments from the older generation that we bumped into during the shoot.



Elsewhere, the car has been left as it was from the factory. Wood grain on the dash and centre console, cream (and questionably stained) seats, the bare minimum amount of switches, all straight from the 90’s with a different colour front arm rest that must’ve been fitted by a previous owner somewhere down the line.



Future plans for the Mercedes include overhauling the interior with a wooden Nardi steering wheel and grey or cream leather to bring it a bit more up-to-date, binning the slightly mismatched and tatty fabric interior it has now. Charlie is also debating about switching to an air setup, as right now he is unable to get up his driveway!



If air ride doesn’t go to plan, he’ll be tearing up his existing driveway to make it more low-friendly, now that’s dedication! After all that and it’s still a keeper, Charlie is also thinking about an engine swap with a 3 litre, straight-six M103 engine from the W124 for a bit more grunt.




Before I bought my BMW E30, I was tempted by a 190 myself, so I immediately had a soft spot for Charlie’s car when I first laid eyes on it. Being this low on a set of lovely wheels just makes it all the more appealing. Part of me hopes that Charlie will continue with the static life, but if it looks how it does now and is more suitable on air for his day to day travels and disaster driveway, then so be it. There’s no grudges from us here! Having owned the car for such a short period of time means there’s plenty of scope for progress and future mods, all of which I look forward to seeing.



HOMEGROWN – June 2015

Location: Beaconsfield Services, M40

Date: 26 June 2015


Words & Photos by Henry Phull


Living on the South coast has its advantages if you’re interested in the seaside and all that, but for car events it’s another story… I rarely have the opportunity to frequent decent car meets without having to travel long distances, which means a super late drive home. However, recently a lot of people have been urging me to make the trip to Homegrown, a german-only meet held every last Friday of the month at Beaconsfield Services on the M40. Coincidently, Beaconsfield is actually my home town, but I now live 1hr45mins away – damn! Anyway, my friend Nick was planning to make the drive up so luckily I managed to jump in with him. We arrived in Beaconsfield at about 8pm to discover one side of the services completely taken over by German cars, including lots of recognisable faces. An evening with friends, food, and some of the South’s best cars, a good Friday night was on the cards. Here’s some of my highlights…



Dev Sappal’s BMW E39 530i on Air Lift bags and 19″ RH’s


Bhups Gill’s BMW E30 with M52 lump and Style5 alloys


VW Mk2 Golf Type 19 on BBS RS


Raj Channa’s bagged Mercedes W124 E220 Coupe on OZ Aero AMG’s


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


James Froome’s Rocket Bunny kitted BMW E36 on Air Lift suspension and Rotiform MHG’s


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



George Assi’s BMW E24 635CSI Motorsport Edition on Air Lift suspension and BBS RS’s



Mathew Pratt’s Audi B5 S4 Avant “Miss Piggy” on Air Lift suspension and Rotiform DUS’s


Jas Bains’ static BMW E38 on OZ Futura’s



Kos Loizou’s BMW E24 635CSI on ACT splits


Faz Ahmed’s BMW E30 convertible on Air Lift suspension and 16″ BBS RS’s


Haps Gill’s bagged Mk5 Golf R32 on CCW LM5T’s


Prakash Thanky’s bagged M52-swapped BMW E21 on Carline CM2 splits


Abbs’ Mercedes SL320 on MAE split rims, 10.5j fronts/12j rears


Richard Ansari’s BMW E46 M3 on OZ Mito Type 1’s


BMW E46 M3 on Air Lift suspension



Jamie Hitchcock’s static BMW Z4 on WORK Meister’s

(Click here to see our recent feature on Jamie’s Z4)



Sach Dhol’s BMW E46 ‘vert on M Parallel’s


Randell Mario Forte’s VW Golf Cabriolet on hydraulics and Cromodora CW10’s



Billy Hilton’s bagged Audi B6 S4 Avant on 19″ Rotiform NUE DDT’s



Steve Fraser’s VW Mk6 Golf GTI on Air Lift suspension



Well, I’m glad I finally had the chance to head up to Homegrown… I thought it was pretty busy, even though I was told that it was actually quieter than usual, so it looks like I’ll definitely have to try and get back up there next month and catch up with everyone. It’s no doubt the biggest German meet down south for quality cars, so if you’ve never been and live relatively near, make sure you check it out, every last Friday of the month.


More info on HOMEGROWN:


HOMEGROWN on Facebook


Eurosunday 2015

Location: Lommel, Belgium

Date: 7 June 2015


Words & Photos by Henry Phull



Eurosunday is one of those European shows I’ve been wanting to go to ever since I started Slam Sanctuary. It’s the show that everyone always raves to me about. I thought I’d be missing it yet again this year – mainly due to low funds having recently spent too much on my project car. Sounds familiar, right? However, flashback to 8pm on the Saturday night before the show, and I received a message from my friend Mark saying “Eurosunday….?”. After a few minutes of laughing at each other, we checked the Euro Tunnel prices, £60 return. Doable! Belgium and back in one day… it seemed like madness, considering we are all the way in Bournemouth – 170 miles from Folkestone. But thinking about it, what else were we going to do on a Sunday? Alarms set for 3.30am, we set off at 4am and thrashed the Mk4 to the Euro Tunnel, with a McDonald’s breakfast and coffee stop tied in of course. To our dismay and after our stupidly early start, we arrived at the Euro Tunnel terminal only to be told there were delays of up to two hours… we weren’t impressed!



Once we finally boarded the train, a brief 40 minutes later we were in Calais, and set off straight away to the show venue. As we were now running late, we gunned it through the short stretch of France and over the border, making our way past Antwerp and then through the delightful countryside into Lommel. We only stopped once for a toilet break by the side of the road! The venue itself was situated in the nearby industrial estate, completely abandoned from the public, making it an ideal venue to host a car show.


We arrived just after Midday, and I was shocked at the sheer amount of cars in the show, it was definitely bigger than anything I’m used to in the UK. Plus to make things even better, it was super hot. After a quick glance at the cars whilst queuing to get in, we both knew we’d made the right decision to do this crazy last minute trip. Anyway, sit back, and let me take you through my show highlights…


Roberto Polo’s Vento front-ended Mk3 Golf on Air Lift bags and colour coded OZ Futura’s


Misha Strik’s Mk2 Golf on Eta Beta Turbo’s

I learnt that Misha, a good friend of the show organisers, unfortunately passed away recently… His friends and family are still taking his Mk2 to shows and keeping the dream alive, awesome!



Jan-pieter Luca’s Volkswagen K70 bagged on a custom KEAN Suspensions setup






Nato Stark Luis’ Mk4 R32 Golf


Matthias Niestroj’s Mk1 Golf


Danny Swartz’s bagged Beetle on the Streetcustoms.nl stand


Matt Clifford’s bagged BMW 840ci on 19″ Rotiform LHR’s on the Watercooled Society stand


Will Smith’s bagged VW Polo 6n2 on Rotiform TMB’s


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


Matt Payne’s Mk2 Skoda Fabia running Air Lift suspension and 17″ SSR 3pc wheels on the Only Charged Dubs stand


KEAN Suspensions’ bagged Audi A6 Allroad on 22″ Vossen CVT’s


Ost Wesley’s Audi S3 sedan dumped on AccuAir suspension and Rotiform DAB’s


Anton Harnie’s BMW E82 123d, with custom KEAN Suspensions air ride and VIP Modular VRS15 Concave wheels



Keviin Do’s Mk6 Golf on OZ Futura’s from Luxembourg


James Harper’s Audi S3 on air and 19″ OZ Racing centrelocks


Jeffrey Paulusse’s Mk4 R32 Golf on Air Lift suspension and BBS E88 split rims



Davy Binst’s VW Beetle


John Vinx’s VW Passat on ACT split rims


Bart Liekens’ Mk2 Golf on BBS RF’s


Patrick Kreuz’s bagged Mercedes-Benz 190E W201


Julian Loose’s widebody B5 Audi RS4 on RAD48 LR 2.0 wheels and R8 ceramic front brakes



Georgie Marlow’s Mk1 Golf on ceramic polished BBS RM’s


Indy Virk’s static VW Passat “Stilltaxi” on Audi S8 wheels


Steve Fraser and Kats Giles’ Mk6 and Mk5 Golfs running Felgen Werkes’ ceramic polished Rotiforms


Kats Giles’ wide-arch Mk5 Golf on Air Lift suspension


Pro-Art’s BMW E90 with M3 body kit conversion and KEAN Suspensions air install


Andreas Langen’s bagged Audi Avant


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


Jamie McToldridge’s static G60-powered Mk1 Golf


Coenen Joery’s Mini GP running Robert Racing Airride (on AP coilovers) and Rotiform VCE’s


Wulteput Dietrich’s TA22 Toyota Celica GT on air ride



Kristof Mombaerts’ Porsche 964 sitting on gold-centred Rotiform LVS’s


Mark Allen’s Mk4 Golf estate “Wilma” with custom air ride, Bora front-end conversion and Eta Beta split rims


Faz Ahmed’s Calypso BMW E30 ‘vert on Air Lift bags and 16″ 7.5j & 8.5j BBS RS’s


Prakash Thanky’s BMW E21 with M50B25 engine conversion, Air Lift custom suspension and Carline CM2 splits with 3″ and 4″ dishes




Wim Ronal’s Mk2 Golf 4-door on OZ Turbo split rims


Mark Van de Watering’s bagged Audi Avant on polished Rotiform BWE’s


Dennis Werweissdasschon’s Mk3 Golf on 3-spokes



Maarten’s Porsche 964 sitting on BBS E88’s and KW V3 HLS suspension


 RM Concept‘s custom bagged Audi 100 on BBS RS’s



Patrick Prüß’s Volkswagen Beetle


Mk1 Golf on BMW BBS Style19’s


Volkswagen Brasilia




Stefaan’s BMW E30 M3 on BBS RS


Kevin Pourtois’s 1976 BMW E3 2.8L on custom air ride and BBS Style5’s



Steven Vleugels’ bagged VW Scirocco on 20″ Jaguar BBS Sepang wheels




Steve Vanoppen’s 1957 Oval on air ride and 17″ Fuchs


Bram Depraitere’s bagged Mk6 GTD wagon sitting on Eta Beta Porsche wheels


Laetitia Empain’s bagged Audi TT on RH splits


Dimii Jacobs’ Luxor beige BMW E30 on a custom Robert Racing Airride setup, custom sport interior and BBS RS wheels



Andy Hatton’s bagged Mk4 Golf estate


Sebastien Quintin’s Mk7 Golf on Air Lift suspension and 20″ Vossen CVT’s


Andy Willems’ 1973 Mercedes-Benz S280 W108 on custom air ride and 18″ Intro Wheels



Jack Frost’s Mk2 Jetta with colour-coded RH split rims


Glenn Op de Beeck’s Porsche 964 on KW Suspension and Eta Beta splits



Raf Jans’ BMW E46 coupe on ACS Type 1’s



Frederik Ceulemans’ Mk1 Scirocco with 16VT, BBS RS, air ride and custom retrimmed Porsche interior


Crabbe Jasper’s static Mk4 Golf on Eta Beta splits




Robert Schor’s Mk2 Golf with 16v G60 motor, US front and bumpers, sitting on BBS Le Mans wheels




Costa Xouras’ 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 on 16″ BBS RS’s, stepped up to 17″



Kevve Raekelboom’s old BMW E21 on custom AccuAir suspension by KEAN and BBS Super RS



Nick Oude Nijhuis’ static and caged Mk3 Golf on PLS 3pc splits



Faah Bio’s static B7 Audi A4 on Vossen CV7’s


Nick Sas’ BMW E24 with ACS wheels and bodykit


That sums up my Eurosunday highlights, hopefully you enjoyed my selection! We stuck around for a short while after the show but then remembered that we had another train to catch, so we hit the road again. Just before we got to Antwerp we bumped into Jamie, Kiran and the rest of the Players crew in their two Mk1’s. As they were also heading for the Euro Tunnel, we decided to join their convoy. Let me tell you, following these two beauties at neck breaking speeds through Belgium and France was quite a sight! Naturally I had to grab a few rolling shots…





I’m so pleased that I finally managed to get over to Belgium for the day. Not only was it my first Eurosunday, but my first ever European car show. You know those mates that constantly go on about how much better Euro shows are? We’ve all got them… Well I’m sorry to say, but I think it’s probably true! This has just made me want to do a lot more Euro shows as soon as possible! Don’t get me wrong, I love the UK shows, but it was certainly nice to mix things up a bit and see some cars I’m not used to seeing. On that note, I’d recommend it to anyone. Hopefully Slam Sanctuary will be back next year!


More info on Eurosunday:



The Car Show Collective’s ‘Show of Shows’ 2015

Words & Photos by Henry Phull


Jack Williams first introduced himself to me back in September last year at Players Show, I had heard of his project ‘The Car Show Collective’ and what it was about.. his vision was simple – to provide an online calendar for car shows throughout the UK. It’s the place to go to see what’s happening in the means of automotive events, and I’ve always thought it was a great idea and much needed within the community to keep track of things. In less than a year, Jack and his family have gained a pretty big following, so when he messaged me to let me know he was already planning his own show, I was super stoked! Like myself, Jack is usually at a car show every weekend. He knows what works, and what doesn’t work – so I had full trust in him to organise something awesome and welcoming to everyone. Named the ‘Show of Shows’, the idea was to create a car show that allowed other car shows to exhibit their shows in one place, at the same time, along with a show and shine, trade stands and food & drink stalls. With the support from Gumball 3000, FittedUK, Low Collective, SS Autowerks, Fueltopia, Wheel Whores and many more, it was looking to be a great turnout.



Of course, with a debut show you never know what to expect.. But from a handful of images circulated throughout social media, the venue itself looked incredible. They managed to secure the grounds of Penshurst Place in Tonbridge, nestled in the Kent countryside, so I knew it was going to look idyllic. As soon as I pulled up into the public car park I was instantly blown away by the location, more so than I expected. A quick glance at the cars and it was clear that there was a wide variation of vehicles on display. If you’re into cars, no matter what sort, you would’ve found at least a handful of cars you’d of liked.


Anyway, let’s get into it with my highlights from the day, and start off with cars entered into the Show and Shine. Beginning with Laurence Turner’s BMW 1600-02, it was such a gorgeous example of this rare vintage beauty. It even had a rear Louvre which I don’t think I’ve even seen on one of these before.




A couple of cars down, and I stumbled upon a Plymouth Roadrunner in fantastic condition. See what I mean about variation…



Let’s not forget a bit of Japanese stance, with Fyse’s static Honda Integra DC2 on a set of CCW LM20’s



I’m glad I finally captured a head-on shot of Joey Hazell’s BMW E36 ‘vert on hydraulics.



Two bagged BMW’s is always an awesome sight on low-cut grass.. Check out Matt Clifford’s 840ci along with Joshua Hay’s E92.



Rory Hamilton’s Mercedes-Benz W115 240D has made it into a lot of our write ups recently, but this was the first time I genuinely had a chance to take a proper look around it, and it’s certainly impressive. Those gold centred BBS Mahle’s really pull the car together, and you may notice some newly added twin chrome exhaust pipes.




I still love the Zender Phase 2 Turbos / fans on Abi Clarke’s Polo Coupe, which is is also rocking CBR600 bike carbs.



The WatercooledIND MD1’s suit Connor Smith’s bagged B7 Avant so well, something a bit different to the norm.



What a duo, Michael Ralph’s Mk4 R32 and David Sanders’ Mk5 Edition30 bagged Golfs laid out on the grass.



This is a car that I shot frequently last year, Tallis Godfrey’s bagged E36 M3 Evo ‘vert. Amazingly, this is the first outing I finally caught him at so far in 2015, and it’s now sitting on a rare set of OZ Executive splits.



Harpal Choda rocked up in his Mercedes-Benz 190E Limited Edition, running Air Lift suspension with AccuAir management, and a stunning set of AMG split rims which totally transform the car.



One of my favourite E30 M3’s has to be Tej’s Santorini Blue example on ACS, a classic choice.



Gold CCW’s are a match made in heaven on Ian Linthwaite’s Jetta, bagged by the guys at Plush Automotive.



In addition to the Show & Shine, there was a nice mixture of trade stands positioned around the venue. Our friends at Wheel Whores had lots of U.S. muscle on display, plus a rather murdered out Ford GT owned by Lee Fulford. So much want!



Only Charged Dubs had Joe Yip’s Mk6 Golf on display, showing off one of their stunning boot installs in addition to some beautifully stepped up BBS RS’s.




Opposite, I loved Danny Mellor’s B8 A4 on Vossen VLE1’s. Check out the install on this one, including the air tank fixed to the top of the boot.




Moving on to the FittedUK stand, Jake Hilling’s 1965 Beetle on Air Lift was looking picturesque in this setting.



Matt Clifford moved his E31 840ci a bit closer so we could get a better look.. Now running 19″ Rotiform LHR’s with gold centres to compliment the velvet blue paintwork, he’s also just had a full stainless steel exhaust fitted by Torqueflow to finally make the most of that 4.4L V8, and it sounds awesome.




The yellow wheels on Lee Patterson’s Mercedes CLS55 AMG tie in nicely with the FittedUK branding, don’t you think?



I really have a soft spot for a good Mk2 and Chloe Crew’s example looks the business.. running Air Lift bags it now sits perfectly on gold centred (yes, more gold!) Schmidt TH Line’s.



Right in the middle of the show field there was a bowl full of Lowriders to make the afternoon even more interesting…



It was awesome to catch up with SS Autowerks, who were out in force with their trade stand and Alex Wrights static E36 on super wide ACS’s and overfenders. We’ll be taking a closer look at this car very soon.




Christian Chapman also had his aero kitted Mk5 Golf on display, this is all amounts of crazy – just what I expect from SS Autowerks!




More show stands included Fueltopia and Shining Monkey UK…



Plush Automotive’s 700hp RS6, on AccuAir and HP Drivetech suspension and ADV1 wheels is everything you could want from an Audi Avant.



Matty Loveridge’s Mk1 Swallowtail (that I shot back at Early Edition) looked mezmerising laid out on the Low Collective stand. The new additions of Compomotive Turbo’s and Air Lift suspension put this car at the top of my wishlist.



Jon Lott’s custom built Porsche 911 GTH was getting a lot of attention, which is no surprise.. just look at all the details on this stunning build.. Those widened arches and Fuchs make this car menacing, along with an eye-catching Aero Green paint job and beautiful yet contrasting purple interior re-trim to finish it off.





Sam Wookey’s Polo is certainly one of the nicest Mk1’s out there at the moment. An incredible amount of attention to detail can be seen throughout this build, check out that bay for starters!




Over on the RollHard stand, ‘Bricky’ the Volvo was holding down the fort as per usual!



Samuel Torr’s bagged VW Polo GTI looked tidy on Alfa Romeo wheels, and shows that splits aren’t always needed!




Thom Williams is currently winning at the fitment game with his bagged BMW E46 on widened BBS RF’s. It looks so mean from the front and rear.




Our friends from LikeHell Design were also parked up with RollHard, Jordan O’Sullivan’s Mini Cooper S on Carline CM6’s.



And Josh Mussell’s static Nissan 350Z on WORK Meister wheels.



Chris Phillip’s static Lexus IS still blows me away, I’m still unsure how he drives it anywhere, but it does look incredible on those stepped-up BBS RS’s.



I love that we are finally seeing more and more Japanese cars in UK ‘stance’ culture, like Martin Picker’s Lexus LS400 running custom bags, Air Lift V2 and Cosmis Racing XT-206R wheels.



Continuing the Jap trend, here’s Nath Howell’s bagged Subaru Impreza that I snapped recently at Early Edition. He’s certainly been turning a lot of heads recently with this beast, finished off with a set of wide WORK Meister’s.



Prestige had Simon Wilkinson’s awesome Volksrod on display.



This little Trabant was cruising about all day and breaking necks, such a cool sight!



Kristin Grayson’s bagged Astra GTC on 3SDM’s was sat over on the Formula Clean stand – nice to see people modifying cars we’re not used to seeing.



Towards the end of the day, the Show & Shine winners were driven through the show ground and lined up ready to collect their prizes from the stage.




The Gütenstance guys decided to collect their prize for best Clubstand together!




Whilst most were watching the prize giving, it gave me another chance to photograph some more cars without distractions… Check out Neville D’mello’s clean E30 M3.



Shaun Grazette’s bagged BMW E92 335i on Blitz Technospeeds.



I finally had the chance to look over Alex McKenzie’s little Lupo, I’ll try and capture the boot build next time!



It had been a while since I saw this one, HTS Motorport’s bagged E30 Touring featuring an M52 engine conversion and the recent addition of TH Line splits.




A lot of people I spoke to throughout the day mentioned one of their favourites being West Donovan’s E30 chromie on SSR Formula Mesh’s.



Finally, Matt Woodgate’s Imola Yellow B7 A4, looking classy as always.



Well, hopefully you enjoyed looking through my show highlights… But I’m sure you are wondering, how was the show itself? Was it successful? In my opinion, for a debut show, Jack and the team absolutely smashed it. Somehow they managed to nail that ‘chilled out’ vibe that everyone craves at a car show. In fact, this was the first big show I’ve been to recently in which I’ve managed to actually talk to people for more than five minutes. Plus, the turnout was pretty damn impressive. Of course it wasn’t completely full, and there were a few empty spaces – but this was to be expected. It’s certainly been a learning process for them but now they know what will and won’t work for next year, but I personally think it’s going to be huge! Congratulations again and thanks for having me down, Slam Sanctuary will be back next year for sure.