Published October 1st, 2021
Words and Photography: Michal Fidowicz
WestsideVW has been running a mighty long time now, with the first show happening in 2007. The group of people who host this event however have been involved in the car community for far longer than that though. I’m talking real OG level here, with a time span of over 30 years at this point, organising car events throughout the 90s such as Park Royal and Chelsea Cruise. Whilst today, my friends and I cut around London in our static BMs and Japanese cars, the people behind Westside were doing so in the 90s with VWs before my friends and I were born. These individuals helped to inspire and drive forward the now common sub-group of European automotive culture that Stance is known as today.
As number plates go, this is up there…
More than you can afford pal… Ferrari.
These days it’s pretty easy to get amongst it with cars, and I love that. WestsideVW however came about before the rise of social media, relying on friendship and word of mouth to grow into what it is today. I love that more, I think – knowing that a show I’m attending is the result of years of community and passion reflects in the atmosphere on the day. When the organisers and attendees are a tight-knit group of friends you can tell straight away. It gives you a cosy feeling. It’s like going to a family run restaurant that has been open for generations.
A lovely collection of Porsches from the Lemass Automotive team. Would love to get my lens on these outside of a show environment.
Strong plate game on show at Westside!
It’s no secret that I hold a very personal affiliation with London too, and knowing that Westside is a result of West London families and friends helps me put the event into a greater context that I don’t always feel on a personal level. The dominance of 80s and 90s German cars in attendance would normally make me bored however the quality of the theme was consistent here, showcasing the more special models that we all drool over. Whilst I’m not a VW guy, I did also catch myself spending time appreciating some of the immaculate early Golfs on show.
Red roof Targa! I repeat, a red roof Targa!
You can’t compare this event to other shows on the show calendar because it’s not trying to be anything but WestsideVW. The event is the reward for the graft that went into the early 90s, building up a community with a shared interest in German cars. It celebrates community, immaculate cars and their interesting specifications. And good street food too, as I found out a lunch time when I went to grab a kebab from the food stand. Also, massive props to the DJ on the day, every single song played on the day was a banger.
Absolutely gorgeous Cabrio, which gave me a pleasant surprise as I found it was running a US CandyShowroom frame. Seeing my parts go on high quality builds is one of the most rewarding feelings. James’ red one also had one on, but I didn’t get a chance to pap it as I was restricted with space.
Immaculate golfs were in full presence, with this one really catching my eye.
The first time I attended Westside VW was in 2017 in my first E46. I was 19 then, and took my little brother and his friend along before they were old enough to drive. I remember getting a photo of my car taken on the way in by one of the Westside photographers which was an ace feeling as it was only my second show or so. To this day it still remains one of my favourite photos of any of my cars since, and makes me feel part of the bigger picture.
What an awesome interior!
If you get the chance to, come along to WestsideVW next year. The venue is on the smaller side but is classy and immaculate throughout, and deserving respect. As do the cars on show, and the community who pull the show together every year. Thanks for the relaxed day guys, and I look forward to attending next year with another E46, most probably. The history behind WestsideVW and the car scene in the 90s fascinates me. I’ll see if I can maybe get in touch with some of the guys who were involved in these early days, and pull together a special piece on here for you guys. Let me know if it’s something you’d like to see.
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