Having had a week to reflect on Dubshed I found myself thinking... "has the vag scene peaked?"
As a lover of all things Wolfsburg this statement pains me but when a scene grows in such rapid popularity as it has over the past decade the bubble has to eventually burst. While I don’t think it’s at bursting point there are clear signs that it’s not the power house it once was.
Since the introduction of non-vag cars, Dubshed has become a measuring stick in which to judge how the VW scene compares against others. While the Audi brand is still as popular as ever, lovers of German cars are increasingly looking towards BMWs so it was no surprise GTINI made moves to make Dubshed an all German show.
A prime example of the times, Ayman Mukhlis Jafer’s E36 vert follows all the ‘rules’ of a typical VAG build with clean lines, zero arch gap, dished polished wheels and the red leather interior.
On the other side of the spectrum we have Craig Coleman’s Liberty Walk E93 takes styling cues from the Jap world blurring the lines even further.
On the topic of blurred lines – who ever thought we would see an SR20 powered MK2 Escort at Dubshed??
On the Japanese front things were a little more tame this year – perhaps they’re all waiting for JCC to visit the Eikon – but keepitclean’s Greg Robins was representing all things JDM well with his stunning Evo. Greg has a bit of a reputation for building bagged jap cars after his eco-friendly Honda CR-Z graced the magazine covers but his Evo may just be his best car yet.
And then there was Ryan Walsh’s E36 – no prizes for guessing why it stood out so much!
I guess what I’m trying to say here is not that the VW scene is dead, more that other scenes are catching up. There was definitely a lack of new VAG builds this year and while I appreciate seeing the changes and improvements people make, I was disappointed that there were few new stand out builds this year for me to drool over. This is a trend we’ve been seeing a lot in England where a lot of people are picking to goto Ultimate Stance rather than Ultimate Dubs and all marque shows like Players Classic growing in popularity year upon year.
After years of dominance – the VAG scene finally has some serious challengers – and if it wants to keep its crown then it’s got a battle on its hands.