Dubshed - the crown jewel in the Irish scene. It’s a title which has been earned by constantly evolving and improving over the past 6 years to become Ireland’s largest indoor car show.
The GTINI team have never been afraid to change a winning formula to further benefit their marquee show, however the 2016 event had much more a sense of revolution rather than evolution.
It should come as no surprise that this was a make or break year for show. Having been uprooted from its traditional home at the Kings Hall and moved 10 miles up the road to the new Eikon Exhibition Centre in Lisburn many questions where raised as how the event would remould. What would the new venue be like? Would the casual visitor still turn up? Would people give this year a miss and see how it pans out before making the journey over from the UK? What would they do with all the extra space?
Despite being the same old marquee from the Kings Hall with a fancy facade built at the front it noway felt like the old days in Belfast… and thats a good thing (expect it was freezing, turn on the heating – Nikki). The location change and the host of new attractions such as the drag strip and live action arenas injected a new lease of life into the event.
Perhaps the biggest change to the show however was the move away from the strictly VAG only policy. For the first time ever Dubshed was freely open to all german marques (which meant I could sneak in my freshly built Mini) while they hooked up with our friends I̶L̶O̶V̶E̶B̶A̶S̶S̶ to provide an entire non-German hall. Wether this was a stroke of genius or a mistake, well the verdict is still out, but one thing is for sure – the non vags stole the show.
Perhaps the whole VW scene has become a victim of its own success, becoming so popular that we are beginning to bore of seeing the same cars built in a different way… maybe it’s just my own desire to look further afield and try something different – who knows. What you’ll see, at least in Part 1 of our Dubshed coverage, is that Simon & I spent a lot more time focusing on the non-vag metal.
Lets start with John Peden and his remarkable piece of work in progress – a BMW E21 with a Saab engine, a Holset turbo and thats about it on the surface. Looking closer and getting behind the dust you’ll see whole host of custom parts with the familiar Peden Conceptz logo etched into them. From arms and suspension components to his very own set of wheel centres its a car that rewards a closer look. Inside you won’t see much other than some sheet metal, a result of the car being body dropped. We can’t wait for him to finish this one, but it already looks crazy as it is.
Another head turner was Paddy Finnegan’s Aristo which you may remember from our feature from last year. I wasn’t able to attend that shoot so this was my first time seeing it in person and, well, fuck – its a lot more impressive in person that it ever was in photos. I literally couldn’t find a single fault, completely flawless!
And how could I write this article without mentioning my favourite Scottish (insert swear word starting with c here), Chris Halliday. Not only did he bring me some Krispy Kremes, but he finally built a car! He’s been talking about this one since 3 girlfriends ago (© Chris Seymour) but now his Volkswagen Tiguan is finally built and, for me, it was the VAG car of the show. Wearing some 20” BBS E88’s, a brown leather retrim by Optimus with hints of alacantara and a immaculate white paint job meant it really stood out from the crowd – or maybe thats because its big enough to fit in all the kids, their school books, pe kit, musical instruments, a change of clothes for when they goto their nans after and the dog (Hi Bailey)…
Hold tight for part 2 when we will discuss some of the other attractions at Dubshed and talk some more about our favourite cars.