Ah… April, how good it’s to see you.
Round this neck of the woods, it means longer evenings, a primary actual style of summer time within the air, and the clickety-clack of workshop doorways being prised open after a protracted winter. It’s a pleasure, and proper bang in the course of all of it – in Eire at the very least – sits Dubshed.
Organised and run however GTINI, this occasion has change into a staple of the Speedhunters calendar, and my very own too. It was solely when trying again at earlier Dubshed pictures earlier than heading north final week that I realised that this was going to be my seventh straight 12 months attending.
Having firmly laid down its roots on the Eikon Centre on the outskirts of Lisburn in Northern Eire, this 12 months’s occasion felt busy, which is a superb factor. That mentioned, it was nonetheless stuffed with pleasant acquainted faces from the native scene – one thing make all occasions like this so particular. Strolling across the present flooring, it felt like there was at all times somebody able to cease, chat and have the craic with.
Arriving on Friday night meant I may head alongside for an hour in the course of the setup, and I instantly bought a way of simply how massive Dubshed 2023 was going to be. As a storm raged outdoors, present automotive house owners and their family and friends frantically pored over gleaming paintwork left grime-ridden from a moist trek to the venue.
And it wasn’t only a massive end up of automobiles. Come 12:00pm Saturday, the queue to enter the present stretched so far as the attention may see.
I spent the primary half of the present day strolling across the Eikon’s fundamental corridor, which is the unique residence of VAG equipment throughout Dubshed. That’s what we’ll focus on in the present day, however don’t fear, I’ll comply with up with the equally spectacular Logan corridor, because it too was chock-full of unbelievable machines.
The primary automotive to essentially catch my eye was Danny Healy’s freshly-built Mk1 Golf. Completed in Olive Inexperienced, sporting a lot of carbon – together with its roof – and re-powered by a Seat Cupra derived 20-valve turbo engine, this factor is totally charming. I will need to have spent 20 minutes soaking within the particulars. Relaxation assured, I’ll have a full function on this construct as quickly as potential.
Tucked away in a nook of the primary corridor was one in all Dubshed 2023’s most spectacular builds – Lee Maxwell’s VW Jetta C. Anybody that listens to the very excellent Reload podcast will know the trials and tribulations that Lee and her associate Conor McCann had over the winter. An enormous quantity of labor on the automotive was accomplished in a remarkably quick time, all whereas the pair helped with Dubshed’s organisation.
I’d seen and admired the Jetta earlier than, however attending to know the outstanding story behind a construct makes it all of the extra spectacular.
KeepItClean had a pair of unbelievable Audi B5 RS4s on their stand, and the eye these obtained all day lengthy made you realise that there was an actual lack of present, or recent-shape Audi Avants on present. Timeless traces, easy type and killer wheels will simply at all times stay cool.
How good do Corrados look, particularly completed in Twister Crimson? These are such an extremely timeless design in my eyes.
What I started to note at Dubshed, and particularly so this 12 months, was the return of extra older automobile platforms to the present flooring. It’s both that, or maybe simply what I’m feeling extra interested in lately. Mk1 and Mk2 Golfs have at all times been a scene staple, however there appears to be much more of them popping out of the woodwork now, the overwhelming majority with a retro flavour.
One other platform that actually appears to be on the up in latest instances is the Mk5 Golf GTI. I’ve seen a quantity high-level builds utilizing this mannequin, and I had an important chat with Jack Fanning who confirmed me round his Mk5.
However it was one other Golf – this time Grant Grilliland‘s insane Mk6 – that took residence Dubshed 2023’s ‘Automobile of the Present’ title. Properly deserved it was too.
I couldn’t start to point out each superb automotive within the corridor as there have been just too many, so as a substitute, I’ll depart you with a gallery from the opening half of my Dubshed 2023 protection.