I love taking pictures in car event environments with people. He gives everything in the life of the setting, and always improves the storytelling.
But sometimes an opportunity to focus only on cars arises. The lovely group organizing the last UK modified car show of the year, Ultimate Stance, made it possible for me to do so by granting late Saturday night access before the show officially opened on Sunday morning . Ultimate Stance is known for drawing huge crowds, so this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
Ultimate Stance is the sister show to the UK shows season opener, Ultimate Dubs, the cover of which you may have seen on Speedhunters in the past. Having the same organizers and the same venue, there is an obvious cross-pollination of the two events.
The all original MK1 Caddy parked in the main concourse of the Telford International Center was amazing as was the right hand drive barn door from 1954. The owners of the bus were the last to enter and were still preparing for Sunday when I am come.
Granted, I’ve already written a lot about VWs this year, so seeing as there are no make or model restrictions for Ultimate Stance, we’ll focus on the other stuff this time around.
After the small Ultimate Dubs section, the lobby expanded with a glimpse of what you could expect inside. There’s no sort of brand discrimination here, but as the name suggests, the position is mandatory.
Outside of security, those gentlemen training at RC would be the last people I would really see for the rest of my time at the show on Saturday night. From now on, I had Ultimate Stance all to myself.
The first room greeted me with a line of cars led by this black EG Series Honda Civic. The slicked bay was a sign of things to come, as I would find plenty of builds emphasizing the engine bay as I moved around. Almost everything on display was a complete show car.
Including those little things…
We all know that a child’s early years have a huge influence on the rest of their upbringing. I’m glad to see that the influence of the Speedhunters is there and is setting future automakers on the right track!
I’ve seen all sorts of wheel setups over the years, but the retrofitted McLaren 720S wheels aren’t something I expected to see anytime soon.
If OEM is less your thing, you might appreciate a sporty one-piece Japanese wheel instead. Motorsport heritage overload in this sector, with these RAYS Volk Racing TE37 being the king of the castle for the most part.
I think my highlight of this room had to be the all-carbon-Kevlar three-rotor Mazda Corvette.
Built by Axel Pedro Hildebrand and first shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb earlier this year, the Corvette is a true purpose-built drift car. I managed to catch it on the way in, and I can comfortably say that it’s one of the loudest cars I’ve ever heard. It shook the ground I was standing on.
The ‘Vette is topped with a Garrett turbo on the inside and Blitz 003 wheels on the outside, making it a prime example of crazy vision taken to the extreme, real results.
Parked next to it was Joseph Barber’s BMW E30. It’s a totally different fish kettle to the Corvette but, if anything, showcases the range of things on display in one of Ultimate Stance’s four rooms.
There’s a long hallway on the site that takes you through two halls, and every year this place is home to some real show-quality metal. For 2022, the organizers have dedicated it to a line of Porsches.
In my last Speedhunters article – a visit to the Dub Club – there was a car in the background of my photos that some of you wanted to see more of. Your wishes are orders!
Yes, a Škoda Octavia estate in HKS colours, built by Andy Cowley and inspired by the 90s liveries seen in the JTCC (Japanese Touring Car Championship). Check the fitment on this rear aero disc.
Bonus points to whoever can tell me where the wheels on this buggy came from…
Now back to the hallways. I quickly found myself drawn to the lowrider section, hosted by the Tru Rydaz group. Among the more traditional Cadillacs on display was this EF-series Honda Civic sedan.
It’s a crazy little thing with an unmistakable attitude and one of the craziest paint jobs I’ve seen on a show car. As I stared at this car, for a split second, I was transported from Telford to Southern California.
The general standard of the cars inside the site was superb. One thing that stood out to me, however, were the general colors of the cars on display: bright, shiny hues are present on the more extravagant builds. It seems that if people change the color of their car, whether with paint or a wrap, they will lean towards bright blues, yellows, etc. Where have all the dark metallic cars gone?
Moving to the front of the main stage, the main attraction for me here was a Lamborghini Gallardo. The poster child car for many people my age, these have all but disappeared from the roads in the last couple of years, so seeing a Gallardo today is far more important than modern supercars to me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one bagged before Ultimate Dubs.
Here’s a real throwback to the UK modified car scene of the 90s and early 2000s. I’m still oddly drawn to these time capsule builds. I find that all this Maximum energy-the cars of the era really are very different from each other, standing out in ways that contemporary builds have yet to fully understand.
There were some great cars in those halls, but as far as personal preference goes, there’s a specific spot in the hall where you’re likely to find me.
This place is known as the VIP Lobby, a carpeted area that always delivers in terms of quality and intrigue.
There were two standouts for me in this section this year, the first being Jamie Rogers’ Jaguar XJ6.
I’m a sucker for a large, luxurious houseboat. When you think of this class of car, you naturally jump to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or a Lexus LS. Recently, Netflix released its new season of The crown, focusing on the British Royal Family, and those Jags are all over every episode. It’s easy to forget that Jags were used to ferry some of the world’s most high-profile people to Britain in the 80s and 90s.
In fact, I also briefly pulled out my camera on Sunday, managing to capture some of the moments in between in the VIP lobby. Like I said, this was the place to be all weekend.
The second car I wanted to focus on is Michael Scullin’s hydraulically suspended Ford Sierra. Having driven the car from Northern Ireland, Michael would tell me about the dynamics of the Saab B204 he has under the bonnet. As you can see, it’s attached to a giant turbo, which at the moment is pretty lagging until the boost hits and you’re hit with 500 horsepower all at once through the rear wheels. What a crazy setup.
Luckily, I had managed to finish taking pictures in the VIP lobby when a notice came up on the public announcement system: “Could any remaining media proceed to the nearest exit, venue closes for the night.”
It was quite surreal to walk through many halls with my camera, to have the chance to appreciate the details of all the cars for myself. It made me appreciate the hustle and bustle of it all a bit more, while also giving me some insight into cars that I wouldn’t typically go and look at with a group of friends on a busy show day.
As always with my show coverage, I leave you with an extended album – see you all at the next one!
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