Walking The Halls Of Autosport International
Once More Unto The Breach

Is that light at the end of the tunnel? Is the off-season almost over?

Despite us not really getting much of a winter here in the UK, anything automotive pretty much shuts down after October under well after we’ve all recovered from our Christmas hangovers. Events? The calendar is blank. Fresh builds? We’ll start it after New Year. Bring my car out for a photoshoot? Could we do it in summer instead Speedhunting and squeezing blood from a stone aren’t too dissimilar right now.

However, there’s nothing quite like an injection of internal combustion-related antics to wake you up from your festive holiday slump and, despite its at times repetitive and inward looking nature, the annual Autosport International show delivers this in droves. Housed at the gigantic National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, it’s an automotive and motorsport trade show that, certainly within the confines of this relatively small island I call home, is unparalleled in size and attendance.

As I alluded to in last year’s coverage, Autosport International (ASI) had, in years gone by, become a bit stuck in its ways, favouring traditional motorsport over tuning, modifying and newer forms of automotive-based activities. The problem with this approach is that in doing so, it was severely limiting its audience, especially amongst the younger generations. Thankfully, there’s been a noticeable shift in approach and now an increasingly sized portion of the show (dubbed The Performance Car Show) is dedicated to road cars, modifications, tuning and newer motorsports and activities, such as track days, time attack and drifting. This year even featured a ‘social influencer hangout’, containing an handful of cars you’d probably recognise if you watch YouTube frequently. Whatever your opinion on this Generation Z phenomenon, remember to smash that ‘Like’ button, drop a comment below and subscribe, etc…

I’m British, so it’s incredibly difficult for me to not be sceptical, cynical and sarcastic (I’m perfecting the art of all three at once), but to avoid going down the path of sounding like a negative Nancy, let’s focus on the positives. One of the big plus points from ASI is the sheer variety it brings to the UK automotive industry, and by putting historic BTCC cars, modern F1 technology, futuristic EVs, overfendered tuner cars and home-built motorsport machines together under one (enormous) roof, it exposes these different aspects and niches of car culture to people who might not have bore them much mind before. As someone who works in the industry, observing a group of young students discussing the aesthetics of a Zakspeed Capri, or an elderly couple curiously nosing around Liberty Walk’s latest crazy creations is a pretty pleasing sight, whatever opinions they form.


The best thing about ASI, as a Speedhunter, is that it gives you plenty of fodder for feature material for the coming months. Highlights for me include the Team Formula Racing Evo, which we’ll be featuring as soon as the car’s ready, as well as seeing Project F80‘s latest incarnation and the freshly-finished green Liberty Walk Aventador.


There’s some amazing details in that car and a great story behind it that I’d love to share if you guys are interested?


I found myself taking a lot of photos of Golf TCRs and have spent an amount of time since the show seeing if they can be made road legal.


I can also conclude that DTM cars are very cool, especially up close – the small purely functional aerodynamic touches fascinate me. And, the new Bentley Continental GT3 is both incredibly ugly yet absolutely gorgeous at the same time. How?


Finally, I need to track down the owner of the red Mk2 Ford Escort on the Den Motorsport stand; it looks incredible and is very much worthy of a follow up.

That said, rather than bring you a convoluted story covering every nut and bolt from this year’s show, I thought instead I’d take you on a journey through my lens as I cherry-picked my favourite parts of the show. Without wanting to sound like an over-enthusiastic social influencer, drop a comment below and let me know what your favourite parts are, what you want to see more of and, if you went to the show, what you thought.

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters

ASI Highlights


Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Can someone explain what is going on with the McLaren F1? The front bumper looks different.

Chris Kreschollek

Still an awesome car today. It remained at the top in the back of R&T for many categories, for many years. NA too.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Definitely a replica. The car looks too rounded to be an actual F1.


It's a replica not an original F1


Ah thanks. I'd love to see more pictures of it and see what it is based on then. They even remade the center driving position which is very cool.


f1 gtr perhaps?


I spent 3 days at the show and didn't see half of it so its great to see the pictures Jordan! You could certainly feel the influence of the new owners on the show and it was a big improvement over the last few years. It felt like the displays had more space and a bit more freedom in how the cars where laid out. I was surprised to find the DTM cars just parked in the middle of the hall, no stand, no info just two random DTM cars, almost like someone had forgotten about them!


Really interested to know about that McLaren f1. Is that an initial prototype?




The BTCC Alfa is such an iconic car great to see a snap of that, one of my favourite liveries. Also that MK2 looks so aggressive and that cool adjustable spoiler <3


Pretty sure Paddy spotlighted that red MK2 at a recent Auto Heroes event here in Ireland.

It's quite the machine, check this out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG77QAlaPiE


"the freshly-finished green Liberty Walk Aventador.
There’s some amazing details in that car and a great story behind it that I’d love to share if you guys are interested?"

Depends, if it's more than "man bolts on body kit, air and wheels and a wrap" then yes.

Also, have they changed the lights in the NEC? Everything looks a lot less..... orange.


I have no idea about the actual lights, but it's fairly easy to correct when processing images!


You must have never shot at the NEC before.


It's been a while since I was in there but I just remember everything being orange-tinted, like a washed-out sodium streetlamp. And the red carpet didn't help either - ironically, the reds were the hardest colours to get right. All pink/orange, all the time.


It's a horrid place to shoot.


That may possibly be the cleanest 944 in existence...


DTM cars are always sexy as hell. Love the Formula Racing Evo. More Time Attack content please!


Lol Autosport International looks like a library VS. Tokyo Auto Salon looks like a Giant party


Am I the only one that wants to see more of the Capris? They would make for a good story.


No, you're not!


Nice coverage!
More info on the 2018 DTM cars, Golf TCR, Bentley GT3 and the unkinned R8. And the FXXK and the Milltek. That's a long list I know but do what you can please!


No shots of the GMR Design supercharged Aston Martin vantage GT8??? Only one in the world!


Hasn’t there been like 100 LW Aventadors already? Feels like it. Sorry.


Looks like an awesome show with amazing cars, and yet we continue to get superficial event coverage. For an automotive enthusiast site, it seems like a no brainer to post more technical photos (one ex: under hood photos of how the carbon hood ducting showing mounting and how it’s connected together, mounted to car, etc). Few us ever have such up close access to real race cars.

Instead we get artsy “ready for Instagram” photos that lack the depth of coverage that enthusiasts crave.

This is not a personal attack on Jordan, but over the past 5 years event coverage has become increasingly superficial...with promises of “upcoming build coverage” that more often than not never materializes.


BACKED 100%. I remember when the photographers would get deep in the engine,taking pictures of all sorts of details. With racecars its so easy to get lost in the details,there so much there! But I still very much enjoyed the article,as an American who doesnt have any sort of event like this anywhere near me.


Follow up on the Aventador? Yes please!
Also the F1 replica looks interesting!


Castrol Mk2 Zakspeed Escort! More, more, more please!


"I found myself taking a lot of photos of Golf TCRs and have spent an amount of time since the show seeing if they can be made road legal."

R5 rally car is probably the better option because they are already street legal


Kind of funny that the Zakspeed Capri has china knockoff wastegates on it.


gerard o'connell owns the red hillclimb escort I've seen it going its some machine


Just no more LB Lambos please. Almost everything else is worth a feature IMHO.

praveen polishetty

They even remade the center driving position which is very cool.