Words and Photography: Michal Fidowicz
I’ll be honest, if I could choose anywhere in the UK to celebrate Candy’s 5th birthday, then Telford would be right at the bottom of my list. However as the brand’s birthday clashed with Ultimate Dubs, this year I ended up (regrettably) celebrating the occasion in the local club called… Pussycats.
But the real celebration wasn’t on the dance floor of Telford’s hottest venue. The real celebration for me started the moment I arrived at the International Centre on Saturday, where I met myself with the satisfaction of the winter break coming to an end. For those that have never been, Ultimate Dubs (UD) opens its doors to the inside venue on Saturday evening. This is great for individuals like myself, who get to utilise the quieter evening to get photos without the crowds.
I’ll spare you any of my complaints or comments about the venue, as I feel I’ve covered them before. If anything at this point I’ve learned to ignore them or work around them. Apart from crammed space. I missed out the chance to shoot so many cool cars because there was simply not enough space to take any interesting photos. If the owner of dark blue A6 on Rolls Royce wheels is reading this, can you please get in touch with me? I need to shoot your car.
I digress. As I was saying, at this point I’ve learned to ignore the bulk of trade stands and general cookie cutter bullshit that is scattered all around the inside. Satin supercars or half camo wrapped 10 year old VAGs are honestly the furthest things from what I love about cars. But that is okay, everyone has their tastes and interests. After all, it would be unfair to bless everyone with good taste and style. Right?
So, with the crap aside let me dive into what stood out to me this weekend. Straight off the bat, as you entered the venue you were greeted by this static M3. It’s nice to see the organisers of the VAG show push their other show (Ultimate Stance.) Personally I am very anti one-make car shows, however every enthusiast should have their place to gather with like minded people. I will get to that at the bottom of the article though.
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Further down the hall, you’re greeted by one of the first VAG cars from the show. Aaron’s 9n3 in its new colour for this year’s season. I find pink cars can go super wrong super easily, however Aaron has done a good job of choosing a very soft shade for the outside, with a dark yet muted engine bay colour. A great example of how to colour match pink, whilst avoiding those early 00s Barbie/Paris Hilton Vibes. Nice work!
Now the build below really got my attention, and I found myself spending an awfully long time geeking out over a white van. Mikey decided to take on the classic static euro look on his new van and executed it perfectly. I have no clue what is going on as I have no knowledge of vans. Can someone help me out? It’s like a T8 thing with a golf looking plastic front end? I don’t know. BUT, it looks great! Highlights have to be the rear clears and the funky gear knob.
I’ll let the photos from the show roll below, take a flick through them and let me know what stands out for you.
I absolutely love BMWs, and this is the first F10 I’ve seen in the UK that sits how I would have mine! Check out the hoops on it too, no clue what they are but they look crazy. Like something out of avatar! Tell you what though, I definitely see some chrome trim potential here. I have very, very strong opinions on blacked out trim… I’ll save that for another article.
Cream interior with wood trim? CEO spec right here. 10k/day. Or as others have told me, “old man spec.” Either way, it’s right up my street.
Right here we go. Check out THIS e28. My friend Lewis loves e28s however spends all his time and money on VW Lupos. It’s a very sad story to be honest. He has been telling me that he is going to get an e28 now for about 3 years, and I am still waiting. Lewis have you seen this? Lewis why am I still waiting. Lewis…
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s! Yes I can read the tyre wall. I’ve also read that these are super good tyres. I also know that the M535i offers an unparalleled classic sports saloon experience, so combining the two should be great. I feel someone who test this out – I can volunteer. Who looks after the keys to this?
I absolutely love the retro period correct graphics on the side – whoever decided this would be a good idea and designed them at Auto Finesse deserves a bonus. Nice work!
All of a sudden I can hear these pictures… Interesting.
Hey look Lewis! Another e28! Think about it Lewis, you too could be polishing your one up before a big car show. Just a thought. I actually think Lewis’ car was somewhere at this show too, but it was probably stashed in a corner somewhere, where I couldn’t take photos of it. Maybe next year he could have an e28 with a good spot to show it off. Perhaps…
I finally took some time to shoot this 6n2. I had a 6n2 as my first car, so these hold a weird sentimental value to me. Also, the warm lighting really made the pearl silver paint shine. Thank you for running a Candy banner too! Seeing a full on show car on display with one of my banners is probably one of the most satisfying parts of any car show for me.
White car in a white setting? One way to do a build justice. I had a lot of fun photographing this one, which isn’t common for me as shows are one of the worst settings to take good photos of cars. To make the most of your kit, you need a serious location to match the car, and this came pretty close!
Rare Candy sticker from our Worthersee trip! Super cool to see it about. Thanks Nathan!
Moving onto the outside now. On Sunday, the outside area gets littered with more show cars. It was super good to see the show organisers listening to people’s opinions, as they extended the lower section of the car park to accommodate more show cars. Big improvement on last year’s US, where the space went totally unused.
The highlight of the show though came from the hotel car park which hinges off the bottom of the show car park. Josh’s 6n returned from its winter hibernation with a full wheel overhaul, running a 1 of 1 custom set of 6n2 GTI splits colour coded with our gold Candy banner and other cream parts of his build. This is what a 6n looks like when you’ve completed it. Full of rare goods combined together with a unique execution. Brilliant work Josh, and thank you for running the Candy banner, even if you didn’t have one on this would still be my highlight from the show as a whole.
And now moving onto the comedian of the show, Seaman, who dumped his static 9n3 off at the front entrance of the show. Now I took these photos in the morning, but as the day went on and more people arrived, the area where he left his car become incredibly congested. This, mixed with some police confrontation landed him a fine and yet another escape story. I wonder what he’ll do at the next show. One day he’ll manage to sneak a car onto the roof of the building… or something like that… you get the gist.
So as I mentioned earlier, Candy spent the show celebrating its 5th birthday! I don’t know about you, but to me that is a massive milestone. It was super good to see loads of Candy banners scattered around the show. I regret not organising something to celebrate this, but you guys do a great job of supporting my work and the brand. In turn seeing all the cars running my banners, and people wearing my clothes brings levels to the brand I didn’t think I’d ever see. I suppose I better start planning the 10 year celebrations before that milestone sneaks up on me! Honestly though, I couldn’t be more thankful.
And on that note, I’ll wrap up the article here. I made a point earlier about every enthusiast deserving their own place to celebrate what they love about cars. It seems a little weird to me though that the show opener is VAG only event. People want to build something over winter, and they want to show it off. As humans, we enjoy the hype and getting to show off what we like. Eventually I can see some type of event coming along and filling this gap. An occasion to celebrate all types of builds, and not limiting it down to a certain category. Hopefully by then, the virus situation that is taking over the world will have passed, so all my favourite events stop being postponed or cancelled.
A man can only wish!
Thank you for reading, and see you soon.
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