We went back to Telford last weekend for the ‘watercooled season opener’ that was Ultimate Dubs 2016. Previously we reported on the increase in non-VWs in attendance, and how something didn’t quite feel right. Read on to see what 2016 had in store, and what, if anything had changed.
Praise must be given to the organisers of this event. They were ‘bang on it’ from the moment go, hi-viz jackets aplenty, guiding vans in and out the show halls and directing show cars through an alternative entrance to keep the road network outside considerably clearer than in years past. When we lost power on our stand the Electrician was on hand straight away, and had us back in business in no-time.
The quality of vehicles on display was great. The diversity (within the VW stable) was great, with a sprinkling of Aircooled too. But sadly we still found ourselves commenting on the amount of non-VAG vehicles on show. These ranged from BMW’s, Mercedes and Mini’s through a Dodge Charger to a dirty Ford Focus that was available to win, in exchange for £1! You can search the internet if you would like to see more of those..
Whilst this spread of automotive manufacturers offers diversity to the visitors, maybe it also deters the very visitors who should consider this a staple of the show calendar, and by the looks of things now boycott the event. Is it no longer the VW show they want to visit? Am I being grumpy, or should I be embracing these new-comers to the VW scene, and be pleased that they want to infiltrate our world. If you want to play VWs, come along in one and be a part of it properly, is what I say!
Engineering: there was some creative cleverness to be seen if you knew what you were looking at. Whilst the Shorty Mk2 Golf, built by VW Heritage customer RPM Malvern was pretty obvious, the T5 with full Audi RS4 running gear required a little more investigation to take in the magnitude of the mechanics, and the PVW / Balls’d built body dropped Trekker may have looked abandoned, but it has had some serious chassis reshaping to sit like that! Did you see the K70 with full Passat W8 chassis swap? And the grey 911… well!
Builds like these really tick the boxes for me, they’ve taken thought, time and some consideration, or at least enough bloody mindedness to be different.
If you wanted cleaning products, this was the show for you! Detailing is the new audio (for those who used to frequent shows in late 90’s and early 00’s), and along with T-shirt brands probably made up 75% of the stalls at this event. We were proud to be there representing parts sellers though..and without parts none of these vehicles could have been built, let alone polished whilst wearing your new T-shirt!
Let’s end on a big positive though. Old Skool is still cool; in fact it’s still King – with Jay Mac’s Mk1 Golf scooping the ‘Car of the Show’ award (now sporting our own black powdercoated bumpers). The quality of the early Golfs on display was a high as its ever been. Polo Mk1’s are starting to become a more regular sight, retro Audi’s a little rarer, but pleasing on the eye all the same, and Corrado’s and Sciroccos still well represented by the clubs. Congratulations to the Mk1 Golf Owners club who picked up best club stand (they seem to win every year!)
A special mention to all the Rallye owners for their cool display too (and to Richie for the loan of his G6016v version on our stand). Whilst my camera was allergic to nu-skool metal, and it didn’t interest me inside the show (Mk5 Jetta Coupe aside) – I couldn’t deny they looked great driving on the roads on the way home.. Maybe I’ll like them a little more in 30 years time!
So, will we go again? Of course we will! The people we meet make it all worth while, and all the time genuine VW fans are attending, we’ll be there to talk dubs too!
Want to see more, you can check out our photos from the show on Flickr.
The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage