More Than Volkswagens: </br>Ultimate Dubs 2014
Crazy world

When you really think about it, it’s all a bit mad really. We spend countless hours working, earning enough money so we can spend even more time working on our cars. We slave through the nights, agonise over the smallest of decisions and in the end, what’s it for?

In Europe and the rest of the northern hemisphere, we’re just getting out of another winter. It’s not the weather that’s the depressing point for us, but rather the end of our show and motorsport season. To balance the downturn in excitement however, there’s also the anticipation of a new show and motorsport season just around the corner. This is what we live for.

And now winter is over.

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If you manage to look up Telford on Wikipedia, you’re a better human than I am if you can make it past the first paragraph. The British town outside Birmingham doesn’t really seem to have much going for it. Sure it’s nice, but nice can be boring too. So you would think that this is a strange place to host the first major VAG scene event of the year.

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But not really.

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You see there are two things Telford has in its favour: that it is close to (almost) everywhere in the United Kingdom and it has its own international exhibition centre. The latter of these advantages, once a year, throws its doors open to us so we can park up and celebrate cars.

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We heralded Ultimate Dubs last year as one of the most important shows of the year. This is where the fruits of the combined hundreds of thousands, if not millions of man hours, are finally rolled out of their winter homes and into the sunlight. Needless to say, it’s a massive operation. But like the cars themselves, nothing is left to chance and every detail is accounted for.

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I don’t think any other coverage on Speedhunters divides you quite like the VAG scene. Perhaps it’s because details are taken to such an extent that maybe that extra mile polarises opinion more? But take a look at this picture. If you’ve strayed in to this article thinking it was all VAG, then yes that’s an Audi, but check out the BMW and the hot rod in front of that.

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I guess we all have our own preconceptions surrounding each automotive sub-culture – whether right or wrong – and we’re all perfectly entitled to our opinions.

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It does make me smile when I read comments about how stale the VAG scene is though, because if you take the time to look closely, there’s far more going on than first appears.

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In fact you could miss out on a whole load of cool stuff if you don’t look carefully enough. They say the devil’s in the details and nowhere is this more true than in the VAG scene. It can sometimes be a bit bewildering for people new to it looking in, but take some time to dig around the areas of focus and you can find new inspiration here, no matter what type of cars you’re into.

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It’s all about keeping an open mind. As a BMW owner, I could be appalled by the idea of an E46 M3 on air suspension – but I’m not. It’s incredible! Look at the OEM approach!


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Of course, not everyone likes the same thing. But the idea that people will hate on something – and I mean hate in the literal sense – before they’ve taken the time to get to know it, is quite frightening. This E30 M3 packs a few surprises, some of which have even provoked threats towards the owner. A bit of an over-reaction wouldn’t you say? We’ll tell you more about them soon enough…

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Even if the scene’s not quite your thing, it’s hard to deny the quality of work and the craftmanship. This Scirocco for instance, has appeared on these pages before, but every time we see it, the owner has found another way to improve it. The latest changes include a rather impressive turbo conversion.

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The attention to detail across the board is quite simply astonishing. You can never dismiss a car on first glance, because the more you look, the more you’re going to appreciate. Sometimes things are so subtle that they’re known only to the creator. On other occasions, there are little clues for us to pick up on. Here the number/registration plates are in the style of the original – maybe they are the original!

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So don’t be mistaken into thinking you’ll find a car in here that’s ‘just’ lowered on a set of wheels. Those Audi steels may look factory but there’s a couple of decades between them and the early ’80s Mk1 Golf they’re bolted on.

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Open your mind and this makes room for some of the most immaculate builds I have ever come across. This Beetle for instance, is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s been around for a couple of years now but the owner continues to improve it in ways that will honestly make you re-think everything you thought you knew. We don’t want to say too much, because a full feature is coming soon. Did you spot the exhaust? It’s amazing!

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I think this past year I’ve been better able to appreciate just how vast the and varied the cars are. Everything from Beetle Funny Cars to BTCC machines, to pristine restorations of classic Volkswagen motors and everything in between.

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They even let a Datsun in. Jay from the Players crew brought along a completely fresh build with a distinct SoCal flavour; this is a VW show after all, right? This is another that we’ll be bringing you a closer look at in the near future.

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An E63 AMG on Rotiform OZT wheels and air ride with a blinding yellow wrap: maximum impact. I was talking to the guys from KW Suspension and we discussed just how far people are pushing things. Every year, things are continuing to evolve and always in different ways.

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This was part of what inspired my opening paragraph. Because it genuinely blows my mind. Builds keep getting better and better, with new inventive strands of modification being developed and shown.

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There’s so much detail going on here with the Bora front end swap, Porsche fitment turbo fans and did you spot the Bride seats? So just how far will people go? What’s the motivation for all this then?

Don’t deny a man his happiness
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Simply, it’s the happiness our cars bring us.

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It’s the camaraderie, the friendships, the banter, the fun and the enjoyment. This is a scene that celebrates all aspects of car culture; one which echoes Speedhunters’ own mantra.

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You shouldn’t mistake this happiness and enjoyment as simple-minded weakness either by the way.

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Because more often than not, something will pop up to remind you that these are cars more than capable of causing an upset or two. If they want to that is. How about a Jetta aiming for eight second passes down the strip? Again, more on that to come.

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What people often forget when staring at a screen is that whilst they might not like something about another person’s automobile, it doesn’t really matter. Because they love their car no matter what you say. It’s this love and mutual acknowledgement that makes you a true car person.

We’ve altered our Ultimate Dubs coverage this year. We’re not going to go overboard and show you every car present. Instead, we’ve identified the cars that we think will leave a last impression and are following them up for in-depth features in the near future. Don’t worry though, because there’s still another story to come…

Paddy McGrath
Twitter: @PaddyMcGrathSH
Instagram: speedhunters_paddy



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As long as that E30 is packing anything other than a Chevy or Ford bent motor I won't cry too much, as much as I would love it to be a screaming atmo' inline six


Is that a Liberty Walk in the silhouette styled picture?


Swonz  yup.


InnerToxicity thumbs up for the JL8 avatar!


First time seeing a gatling gun exhaust on a car; it's quite popular on bikes. 
Lots of interesting builds out there...keep the coverage coming


Aha! How good is it?! Dude has talent to burn, very creative =P


"It’s not the weather that’s the depressing point for us, but rather the end of our show and motorsport season"
As much as I'd like to live in a colder climate, I really can't imagine having to pack my cars away for a few months and have everything car related come to and sucky!?!?!?
Now, to the event here.....I usually don't like to hate on events like this but since when did a fairly standard car, lowered(static or bags) on some expensive multi-piece wheels become a show car, or a build, or a project? That silver M3 is about as far from an inside worthy show car as some dudes Suzuki Sierra in the car park. Also, while is a wrapped, airbagged, fancy wheeled AMG "pushing things"????

/end rant :D


In fact you could miss out on a whole load of cool stuff if you don’t look carefully enough. They say the devil’s in the details and nowhere is this more true than in the VAG scene. It can sometimes be a bit bewildering for people new to it looking in, but take some time to dig around the areas of focus and you can find new inspiration here, no matter what type of cars you’re into.
This was directed towards people with thoughts and comments similar to yours. While you may be correct, maybe you aren't. Paddy is simply challenging you to look a little closer or ask a few more questions regarding other changes that maybe have been done. Often in the VAG scene a car may look rather cookie cutter at first glance, but once you look closer or under the metal things you find can suprise the hell out of you.


Paddy, cant wait to see the features. I expect an eclectic selection of cars, you have always done a good job of showing both sides of the VAG scene here on speedhunters (form and function). The beetle was just announced as PVW COTY, im sure you already knew that though!
looking foward to Worthersee this year. It will be my first show outside of the Untied States. I hope too see a few speedhunters contributers around.




Spaghetti  I'm not sure I entirely agree with the "It's not the weather that's the depressing point for us" sentiment, but it does at least give two distinct phases - a building/fixing phase during winter and then an enjoying phase as soon as we remember what the sun looks like. If anything, it makes us appreciate the nice weather more, rather than taking it all for granted. :) I don't pack my car away (it's AWD anyway - perfect for the winter!) but you wouldn't want to go to shows in the rain and cold anyway! Not if you value your fingers and toes... 
I wasn't at the show and I'm sure Paddy will be along to elaborate on the cars but often with the VAG scene, there's a ton of detail going on with most cars, from fully bespoke interiors, to trick suspension set-ups, to wire tucked, smoothed engine bays, engine transplants etc. I find the best thing is not to assume that anything is as simple as it first appears from the outside!


A feature on the electric orange E30 M3 would be swell!
Great coverage and sweeet rides!


Lachys114  Already shot and coming soon :)


AdamkS  Thanks Adam, I seen that Adrian won COTY with PVW and I'm under no illusions as to why. Honestly, it hurts my brain just thinking about the level of detail and execution. 

Wörthersee, you're going to love it. It's unlike anything else you will have experienced.


azmedaj  What's even more impressive is that there's a turbine in the exhaust so when the car is running, the gatling gun spins.


InnerToxicity  You're going to love it then ;)


Spaghetti  There's so much to that E46 M3 that is not immediately apparent. First off, air on an M3 is always going to raise an eyebrow but something I think we're going to see more of in the future. Then you have a squared wheel setup utilising four rear wheels and the accompanying work that goes with making these fit and work whilst at this ride height. It also had a pretty comprehensive audio upgrade too, seeing as it's Car Audio Security's demonstration car. It's not OTT for sure, but it definitely deserves some attention.


InnerToxicity  true dat! love that comic


PaddyMcGrath I assumed it does! Otherwise it just wouldn't be right ;)


Interested to see how you're going to change the coverage a bit, as my social media feeds are becoming flooded with images, some good, some not so good, of UD. Was good to meet you too Paddy. I'm glad you included a shot of your car with the part about loving your car, because that was inherently obvious when talking to you, and makes me wish I loved mine more, I need to clean her up and fix things.


I owned 2 Scirocco MKII , funny how it seems to be rare in events or expo's. Loved those cars :)


"There’s so much detail going on here with the Bora front end swap, Porsche fitment turbo fans and did you spot the Bride seats? So just how far will people go?"

Where's the detail? People did this on Civic's in the 90's.  It's a Golf with a front end conversion, wheels that don't match the car what so ever, and Bride seats, doesn't really seem like detail to me.  

Arg, why are some articles so great and well written, like the shop hunting one in Japan posted yesterday, then articles like this one?  Explain the detail, explain the history behind the decision to put those beautiful racing wheels on a Golf...


This was in Telford! Ahh man should have drove up :(


Whats wrong with Golf's? I have a mk4 turbo and its a beast, never been a
problem after driving it almost everyday for 4 years! Next car, i want a
V8 S4, but will i sell the Golf...... no way, that baby stays! Why so
many VAG haters?


Wow really like that datsun pickup could anyone tell me what kind of datsun it is would be much appriciated ;)


That orange E30 M3 and the Datsun are both cool cars but they don't belong in a VAG only show. There are already so few VAG only shows. So keep non-VAG cars out or change the event's name.


JustinOdijk  datsun 521


With regards to "where's the detail" you have to go to know/notice, many of these cars look like they haven't been modded because they've been finished so well. That's part of the ethos behind the VW culture at the moment. You are correct that the wheels don't quite suit it with it not really being a motorsport based car but its nice to see them on a car.


My main issue was that there were so many cars outside that deserved pride of place inside due to the amount of sound demo cars inside. I completely agree with the VAG only people as well, imagine buying bread and getting milk... still good, but not what you wanted when you went to the shop.
I'm almost inclined to say put a limit on non-vw cars as its ultimate "dubs" I was so shocked that there was only one Karmann ghia there and even the beetle drag car pushed to the side in favour of "bag and wheels" cars (you know what I mean they obviously have more going on but come on, not as much as a road legal drag car) I'd love to see more aircooled stuff there, it was so noticeable that even a stunning red porsche 356 (the only one there) left early.


I base my argument on the purple A3 with the fake rollcage that didn't go through the bashboard was in the middle of the floor all the while that caddy with s3 engine in the back was sidelined.


PaddyMcGrath Lachys114  Motor and suspension choice will cause people to get real mad.
Can't wait.


JakWhite  Tell me more of this caddy.


JakWhite  "...wheels don't quite suit it with it not really being a motorsport based car but its nice to see them on a car"

That's some fantastic reasoning! and also why people laugh at the VAG scene.

What detail am I missing on the Golf with the BBS wheels?


The question is not "where is the detail" it's "what haven't I seen before" I completely see where your coming from in that I've seen so many VW's in the same style that I often overlook the smaller details. This seems to be happening across the board because the VW "scene" is so big. You'll have to contact the owner with specifics but as far as I can tell its been extensively shaved, arches widened etc you know the formula, yes done before but yes a lot of modification compared to standard. So in turn, a lot of detail.


JakWhite  That's exactly my point, I shouldn't have to contact the owner, it should be said in the copy below the picture! What's the point in stating "the detail" if the author isn't going to explain what the detail is if it isn't obvious?? 

Btw you can respond to a persons comment directly, see the Reply button.


I'm trying to reply directly but it keeps failing to allow me to do it


I'll try reply again - with regards to wheels, much of the "scene" is about rarity, not only aesthetics.


woo it worked


@Beany  I've been trying to reply for most of the afternoon with no luck. Apologies if this came off as ignoring you. There's an issue with registered users being unable to reply which we're looking into.

Basically this article was intended to be a flavour of the event. There is a more detailed spotlight post coming but I think a lot of these cars deserve a full feature as even in a spotlight, it's difficult to convey the whole story behind a build. I agree that their needs to be more detail but this isn't the type of post for it IMO. 

Here's more about the Golf from Dubshed last year:


PaddyMcGrath  No worries, didn't think you were ignoring!  Appreciate the response! It just seemed to be a pretty big theme of this article, detail, yet there was no explanation of the detail involved.  I just used the Golf as an example :)

I think what a lot of people enjoy is reading things that they cannot infer from the picture.  For example, driving impressions, trials and tribulations involved when building a car etc.  Suzy does a great job of this with her EVO features and many of the other project car owners do also.  Understand it is a general show feature, but some detail wouldn't be bad :)


I can't wait! Always love a controversial build! Each to their own style I guess!


SuzyWallace I guess I meant the stock cars that don't have open doors or open bonnets to show any sort of interior/bay work that may have been done. I also guess I meant things like the brand new MK7's or A5's etc that "appear" to only have wheels and suspension done, they may not, but if they have more, why not show it?!?!? All the other older stuff and stuff on full dispaly showing all the work, by all means they are worthy, but I stand by my comment regarding cars like that silver M3!

And speaking of freezing fingers and toes at a car show in the winter when it's raining....I was at the JCCA New Year meeting this year at Fuji Speedway, and it was all of the above and I loved it!!!!


DaveT JakWhite  Yes, do! I love a good Caddy. :)


PaddyMcGrath AdamkS  Maybe not the best forum to ask this question, but who cares! haha. I'm trying to decide when to go. the options are either the 24th-28th or 29th-1st ....I've seen a lot of people come and go before the actual show even starts but im at a loss as tot he pros and cons of each.