Words and Photography: Michal Fidowicz
Now, I’m not one to usually one to make a 2 hour pilgrimage to a single-make car show unless it’s BMW orientated (I’m biased.) Being surrounded by the exact same cars throughout a day can get a little dull for me, and there’s only so many MK1 and 2 golfs that can grab my attention before I decide to go home.
Understandably, my opinion about single-make car shows means absolutely nowt as every year VAG shows like Ultimate Stance, VW Days and Edition38 grow in size and attendance. I presume this is also the case with other genres of shows that I’ve probably not even heard of. This is of course a good thing, and if I had to make an educated guess I’d say the reason behind this is the ever growing social media crowds behind anything car related which encourage people to come along and join in.
Today’s social networking allows for instant access to anything, and finding out details about builds is an Instagram DM/comment away. Not too long ago however, your best bet of getting some comprehensive car details was through internet forums. You know, the websites where people would chat and create an ongoing thread about their build. The likes of Stance|Works and Edition38 come to mind here.
This links in with one of the bigger reasons for me wanting to make a weekend of the show. Last year’s Edition38 film from the ILB guys made the weekend seem like a massive party with your pals rather than a field filled with Golfs. The camp site area looked absolutely ace, the amount of cars rolling about seemed ace, the rave tent looked ace and everything in between also seemed rather ace. Ace.
Now, I didn’t take any photos around the campsite purely because of the amount of dust everywhere (and it’s hard to take photos whilst having a beer in your hand.) We were blessed with great weather, which meant the roads for the campsite were dry and kicked up a sandstorm every time someone drove past. I did however venture into the Show on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
So take a look at my photos below, whilst I use my powers of literature to tell you a couple of notable stories from the campsite.
Also, Bill has sorted out some bits for the website behind the scenes, so you can now save genuine HQ versions of the photos below. If you’re on mobile just hold it down, if you’re on PC right click on the photo and open it in another tab.
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Now I always knew that there would be issues with security at the campsite. It’s only obvious that tipsy kids doing burnouts on grass in 1.0 Lupos will without a doubt result in nearby spectators definitely being murdered in cold blood by the uncontrollable mass of German Volkswagen hurling towards them at speed. Or with the owner of the campsite getting pissed off because his neglected campsite grass has been torn out. But even with this in mind, I did not expect the Edition38 crew to hire the most dangerous, most deadly and most bald security team to ever exist in order to prevent such ridiculous behaviour from taking place.
The security was honestly the most bizarre spectacle. It was almost like characters out of a cartoon. A lot of them had the right spirit and rev’d their little security trucks or told people driving through to send it. On the other hand though you had the 5ft4 short-man-syndrome’d nonces that did everything their little brains were capable of to stop people in the campsite from having fun.
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My personal favourite of the bunch was the chap in charge of the Dogs unit. That’s right, there was a bloke in sunglasses and an earpiece driving about in a Nissan Navara with security dogs in the back. At a car show. At one point he parked his truck in the middle of the camp’s strip to prevent people from driving past. Obviously this made him the target of any mockery from nearby tipsy campsite residents. He was (obviously) bald and wearing a t-shirt two sizes too small for him (in case he needed to flex his biceps and rip the t-shirt off for ultimate combat mode.) Vin Petrol, as we called him, was visibly getting very angry with us not moving from the main strip and decided to hop out of his truck.
“Who wants to go first then?” Yup, this poor bloke got so heated he offered about 50 of the people surrounding him to fight him. Incredible. Fortunately for him, no one actually ended up fighting him and instead, he was appropriately greeted by laughter and an echo of “walkies!” as he hopped back into his truck and drove off.
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It’s sort of become a convention for me to crown my own “cars of show” in these articles. This time round is no exception, as this beetle without a shadow of a doubt takes the crown for the Saturday. I know absolutely nothing about beetles, so I’m not even going to try to guess what it is or when it was made but it looked absolutely sublime and it’s a Volkswagen Beetle and usually they’re not sublime.
I honestly know nothing about it, I don’t even know what wheels they are but they’re nice and shiny. I see it has a “FOR SALE” sticker in the window there… I can already tell once it’s gone the owner is going to regret it!
Another security story that stands out to me from the weekend was when Josh got the keys to his Nissan confiscated. Now, I wasn’t there to see the damage he did on Friday however on Saturday he essentially got ambushed by a security boffin who literally leant into Josh’s car and tried to grab his keys. Genuine nonce move, and if we weren’t down to earth people and perhaps a more rowdy bunch I can see how that could have resulted with the chap going home with a broken nose following a turf war gang battle. Anyway, we essentially gained an unwanted passenger on our last drive back to our campsite before Josh had to hand his keys in. During the drive back, we were poking fun at the bloke saying that he doesn’t need the keys as he doesn’t have a clue how to drive a Nissan Prairie anyway. He spent the remainder of the journey giving it the biggen about how he drove tanks in the military, and the rest. You know, typical redundant-ex-military kind of geezer who thinks he’s the mutt’s nuts because he was in the army for a stint of his career and now parades around social events in a high-vis jacket and some moist sunglasses. That type of geezer. Anyway, we pull up to the tent and Josh hits him with the “wanna see a magic trick?” as he pulls the key out of the ignition. The car is still running. Guy goes into silence whilst we all laugh at him. I bet his wanky tank didn’t have the ignition wired up to the light switch!
Later on during the day the show organisers decided to close off the camp for whatever reason. An hour later they had a pretty hefty queue of pissed off show goers stuck in a traffic jam who just spend £40 to pitch up and tent and weren’t even allowed past the general car park. I’d be pretty annoyed too. On a side note, in contrast to the majority of the Security at the show, that chap you see by the gate on the left was a top guy – always had a laugh whilst maintaining that all important order. Give that man a pay rise!
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Following a night in the Rave Tent (or just ‘The Tent’ seeing as it suffered with a power cut for majority of the night) Sunday crept up on us and it was time for the actual show. Now, I’m going to be honest – I was really impressed! For someone who is not too much into just VAG shows, I always found myself wondering about and seeing something I’ve not seen before. All of it too, was done to a very high standard, from spot on fitment, to fresh resprays and new interior jobs. Looking back at my photos, I don’t think I did the quality of craftsmanship on show any justice.
The layout of the cars and show ground was simple but well organised, and there wasn’t a random bunch of areas where I could have missed possible cars on show. I went home that weekend genuinely confident I saw and glanced over ever car on show. That’s not too common anymore now I think about it, but definitely something I welcome.
Now initially I thought that the £45 entry cost for two nights just to see some Golfs in a field was absolutely ridiculous, however after doing some research it seems the normal price of camping is about £20odd which makes £45 for two nights seem pretty reasonable! The food available throughout the weekend was actually top notch. Like, genuinely really bloody good – as well as reasonably priced! I think all together I had 5 pizzas from the chaps on the Over Pizza stand and I would happily get another one right now if I could.
My car of show on Sunday has to go to this absolutely gorgeous, static 996. In my opinion an absolutely timeless shape paired with just as timeless Porsche splits. Now, being a static nerd I spent a lot of time eyeballing this car and I’m really, really impressed. I want to shoot it, so if you’re the owner and you’re ever near South London let me know as I’d love to make time for it! I’d go as far as to say that this is one of my favourite cars of this show season, and makes me want to spend some time (a lot of it) saving up a bunch of cash money to get one myself.
All in all, I had a brilliant weekend up in Northampton for Edition38. My first time camping and definitely not the last, even if I did spend both nights sleeping in my car’s passenger seat. The exit out of the show ground was also pure comedy too, which ended up in me losing a (genuine) M3 side skirt. Can’t wait to do it again next year.
Also, I saw so many Candy banners floating about the camp field this weekend, which always makes me bloody happy and thankful for your support. From now on I’ll do my best to grab photos of cars with the banners – I usually do this, so sorry that I didn’t get the chance to grab photos of them all this time round.
I’ll leave you with that – thanks a lot for reading. Next up, we will be posting our London Cartel article, followed by our BMW Vanity one. See you then.
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