FittedUK 2018


Posted on: August 2, 2018

Words and Photography: Michal Fidowicz

I know for a fact that I wasn’t the only person excited for this show. With a lot of my friends being scattered up and down the country, the monthly car show is an opportunity for everyone to gather in one place, spend some time together, get drunk and have a generally great time. FittedUK is no exception, and on top of giving everyone a chance to get together, it also brings together the finest selection of cars in (and out of) the country for the UK’s biggest indoor car show.

 

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I packed my bag for the weekend ahead, drove up to Olly Goodwin’s place up in North London, and made the 200 odd mile journey up to Manchester in his 4 series. We drove up with a small convoy which gave me a chance to get some rollers on the way up. Rolling shots will forever remain my favourite type of shots to take.

The excitement got real as soon as we arrived at Event City in Manchester. We got Olly’s car ready to be inside, parked it up, then cracked open a few beers and lingered about watching all the cars roll in.

It’s at this point where FittedUK all made sense. It started to rain. Not even like a little drizzle either, we’re talking a full on stage 5 typhoon of destruction which started to slowly absorb Manchester and anything else that stood in its path. Nothing to worry about though as the Event City venue has a roof, is well ventilated and perfectly lit. The FittedUK crew looked a little smug in their high-vis jackets as crowds of people were rushing inside the venue from the car washing area to save themselves from the downpour. It really does pay off to have a roof over your head.

 

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Despite hundreds of cars being on display under one roof, the atmosphere on Saturday when everyone was getting their cars inside and cleaning them up ready for Sunday was very calm. I was able to freely walk about, the staff at the venue was friendly and everyone from FittedUK was actively engaged to getting the cars perfectly lined up.

The cars were not crammed and there was loads of room for me to play about with my camera.

 

 

 

 

I also saw a handful of cars with Candy sticker scattered about all over the venue. Thank you, it’s genuinely heartwarming to see people enjoying my work. If you see your car in my articles, feel free to repost the photo – and for all those photograhpy geeks reading this, I’ve attached a link to my Flickr album below where you can download the full full HQ photos.

 

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On the subject of geeking out, I spent way too long having a look around this F11 from Belguim. I first saw this car when I went to Players 9.0 all the way back in 2015 and fell in love with it. This is the first time I’ve seen it since, and it really gets me excited to get my own BMW Touring after this year’s show season. If all goes to plan, we’ll be having a few trade stands at car shows next year, so a practical touring which can fit all necessary boxes and a roof rack is right up my street. While I won’t be able to get a new model like the F11, a similarly specced E39 (SE, loads of leather and all the chrome) is on the cards!

 

 

 

 

As Saturday wasn’t technically open to the general public, it was just empty enough for me to get clear shots of the cars without anyone getting in the way.

 

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Look at Gresswell being all adorable and excited about getting his Accord in front of the main stage! If he asks me nicely I might give him access to the Candy Showroom Instagram story for the Edition38 weekend… For the FittedUK weekend, I gave Olly Goodwin access to the Candy story, and it seems like you all enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes(ish) stuff. Don’t worry, I’m sure Olly will be back again at some point too after such a swimmingly good performance in Manchester.

 

 

 

 

Now I don’t know about you, but I have very vivid memories of absolutely ragging one of these Pennzoil R33 GTR race cars around Trail Mountain in Gran Turismo 3. All sorts of significant automotive childhood memories came flooding back right here. Thanks for organising that, FittedUK.

On the topic of race cars, check our Ricky’s EG. The attention to detail in this thing is absolutely incredible.

 

 

 

 

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Yes, I mention this in every article – Yes, it’s the key to a good show – Yes, FittedUK had perfect variety. In this one photo alone, I can see a muscle car, something JDM, a VAG motor, a fast ford, a kei car, more bagged VAG cars and the roof of a velvet bay 6n2. Oh, and a Ford KA.

 

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I also finally had a chance to take some more photos of West’s E30. West mate, get in touch with me, I want to shoot this at a proper location! Also, check out the rare small gold candy sticker on his back window. These were only available for one weekend when we his 1,000 followers (I think) and we’ve not offered these since. Rare Candy loot indeed.

 

 

 

 

And that’s the photos from Saturday. After this, Olly and I hit our hotel to drop out stuff off and decided to spend the rest of the night spending our last £50 on as much alcohol in the Trafford Centre as we could possibly get our hands on. Plenty of memories were made that night.

Onto Sunday – as you can imagine, the place was packed with visitors attending the show. It wasn’t overwhelming though, and while I had to put up with the classic crowds of individuals getting in the way of my photos, I had all day to lounge about.

 

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This little Nova belonging to Tom Seaman got my attention. It was pretty amusing seeing him mess about with individuals checking the car out as he juiced up the hydros from a key fob from across the hall.

 

 

 

 

The VIP hall was full of high quality builds as to expect. My peasant camera set up struggled with the low light and black carpet in here though, meaning I didn’t really get the chance to snap up majority of dark cars in hall. Another thing that needs updating for 2019! (This list is getting more and more expensive by the day it seems.)

 

 

 

 

Now this is a real special motor. Jorge Lupton put it together in secrecy in time for FittedUK, and then revealed it to his fiance Ashleigh as a gift before proposing to her. Many tears were shed, and even more memories were made. Congratulations to you and Ashleigh and props to you for the ace idea.

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile this is probably my favourite shot from the whole weekend. The turbo fans on that 1 series really do work well. Shame I didn’t snap a shot of the savage MK4 wagon next door to it!

One of my favourite cars of the show has to be Kiran Halsey’s new look on his 2JZ swapped GT86. The new colour has totally transformed it from its old look, and really compliments the lines of the Rocket Bunny kit. Makes it somewhat more subtle in my opinion which is a nice change of pace from the sea of repetitive GT86s out there which just look like something out of Forza Horizon. Oh, and did I mention it has a 2JZ?

 

 

 

 

And that neatly wraps up what I saw at the show. Annoyingly, it doesn’t wrap up everything that was at the show however. Usually at a show I leave comfortably knowing I’ve seen everything there is to see, however I know for a fact I missed out on a lot of stuff at Fitted. The venue is simply so massive I must have missed parts whilst I was on my travels snapping stuff up with my camera. Oh well, it means I get to do some catching up when I come back in 2019!

Absolutely ace show, and one for the bucket list. If you’ve never made the pilgrimage to Manchester for FittedUK, I highly recommend finding time for it next year.

Thank you very much for reading – we’ve got plenty more show coverage coming up this year, and plenty of shoots lined up for you all to see.

I shall leave you with the rollers from the convoy home. Some absolute bangers in there if I can say so myself.

 

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Click here to read our Gravity 2018 coverage.

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Click here to open the Flick album of our FittedUK coverage (alternative download.)