We all have our own ways of extracting maximum joy from cars.
These methods are generally shaped over the course of our lifetimes and are influenced by our surroundings, upbringings, friends and family. There is no right or wrong way (within reason I suppose, don’t go sticking chainsaws on the outside of your car) to enjoy cars, just different ways.
Some like to seek out every tenth on a racetrack; others enjoy the process of a nut and bolt restoration. There are those who obsess over wheel fitment and aesthetics, and the few who want to challenge us to think rethink everything we know about cars and what they’re capable of. Some people understand this, some don’t or at least choose not to. But really, it doesn’t matter all that much. You don’t have to choose a side, and it’s okay to like different things, for different reasons.
The only thing that really counts is that your car makes you look back when you walk away from it. That’s how you know you’re doing it right.
It was a few years ago when I first met Andreas Pfeffer. It was hard to miss the carbon covered and static dropped Mk7 GTI on the roads around Lake Wörth. We stayed in touch ever since, and try to meet at Wörthersee each year for a chat and some photographs.
Andreas is dedicated to the static low life, something which I abandoned a long time ago, but still have respect for. It’s something which takes a serious amount of dedication and patience, especially when done correctly.
Living in Germany, Andreas and his friends have no choice but to do it the right away. The laws and their strict implementation around modified cars in Germany are no joke; even cars passing through the country are subject to them. Although it’s hardly surprising that a country which features roads with no speed limits holds people and their vehicles to the highest of standards.
These rules and regulations have shaped how German and other European car enthusiasts go about building and customising their cars. They must conform to set guidelines in order to keep things above board, and not to sweat every time the polizei roll past.
One of the strongest styles which is prevalent at Wörthersee is tucked and slammed. Even those running air, will set up to drive the cars as low as possible while the rim rotates deep inside the wheel arch. They’re not going to be winning any races, but that’s not why they do this. They do this because low cars look good.
It’s why most concept cars in their earliest stages appear with massive rims, no arch gap, and sat on the floor in sketches and design renders. To have a wheel setup which occupies the whole aperture is visually pleasing.
This is what many strive to replicate.
When you consider Andreas’ C8 Audi A6 Avant, it’s a great example of this style. The fully polished Vörsteiner wheels, which measure in at 22×9-inches with respectable 235/30R22 tyres on all four corners, are just the right size for the huge body which they carry. It looks absurd rolling along, like it shouldn’t be possible, but somehow is.
Andreas runs his own line of Gepfeffert.com suspension, which has been designed from the get go to allow cars to run extremely low, while still retaining decent ride quality. It’s not just a set of coilovers wound down to the last, running a fraction of its stroke. He does have a subtle four-wheel lift system installed, similar to what Dino has in Project GT-R, for those particularly tricky situations.
I personally feel that this type of car is perfectly suited to this style. It’s a big cruiser, and continues to serve this purpose. I’m sure if Andreas had wanted power, he would have just bought an RS6 instead…
Similarly, the A1 is a small city car. It was designed to be upmarket, but utilitarian in its purpose. It’s not a race car, and it was never intended to be one, but just look at how much more interesting it is just lowered and on a set of well suited wheels.
The 19×8.5-inch BBS Speedlines were custom made to three-pieces and mounted with 5×100 to 5×112 PCD adapters giving an effective offset of around +35.
These aren’t cars which are about huge spec lists which out-value the original purchase price of the car, but rather cars which demonstrate that you can do something simple with sublime results. In a sea of bland, econo-boxes, tell me these wouldn’t stand out a mile in traffic?
Which is sort of the point of them. They’re cars which tell others that you are a car person, and that cars bring you joy in life. They’re a badge of honour in that you won’t accept ordinary.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a 1,000hp over-fendered autobahn missile, or a sleek, slammed family car on big wheels, if you’re a car person, you’re a car person. You’re one of us, and that’s all that matters.
Well, as long as you still look over your shoulder every time you walk away from your car, that is…
The problem is you have to share the road with other people, so having at least some grasp of basic engineering is probably a good thing for your safety as well as others.
It might make someone smile to have 15 degrees of camber and stretched wheels, but what about when they hit a pothole and it debeads at 80mph into a family doing 60mph in the slow lane?
I like how there was no reply to this. Lmao.
Far more people are killed by high horsepower cars than cars with excessive camber
You dont do 80mph with a static car. I have a static car and i cant even imagine going +60 on a narrow road. The "dangerous stance" is as dangerous that people who are ignorant enough to not maintain their car and drive a broken car. And believe me. We have more idiots on the road than static stance cars. When you go fast with a car that is in the lowest point possible. mega camber. Your car will be rocking side to side and the noise is so awful you cant drive +60mph. atleast for long periods of time. Hope this cleared things up. And for the camber. If it runs on the sidewall THEN its DANGEROUS.
tucking rim<<<<pokin out
If I remember correctly, poking out isn't allowed by German law - like Paddy mentioned. Although I'm not 100% sure how far you can go; I remember having seen Rieger tuning catalogues (those were the pre-internet days kids) where German cars were lowered and wide-wheeled in a way that would give Dutch police seizures :D. In any case, Germany's strict laws are a known thing - I got some lowering springs from Germany on my little Nissan, and I carry it with me whenever I cross the German border. I suppose this guy must rock a stack of documents and certificates in the glovebox, so much respect.
@ Paddy: nice write-up as always. Just gave me a little boost of motivation I needed to tweak my Nissan, so much appreciated.
I like low cars when their other peoples cars. Love that someone modified an A1 so tastfully and a more modern RS6, its nice.
Catch you around.
Hello Paddy, Have you some pics about the yellow 964 ? Regards
The question is "How low can you go?"
I like low cars with minimal stance
I like low cars, but is it too much to ask for a couple of shots at more roadworthy ride heights? (if they're on air that is).
If you read the article it states the car is static
Glad to see articles like this. Keep it up Paddy.
Shunning the reality that slamming the car on ground can make it a static display those the proponents of this would label me a "hater" as opposed to coming up with an argument to the benefits of the this non-pragmatic "improvement". Rather than being a hater I am more bewildered by the antithesis of seeking the image of a fast car whereas the vanity of the execution hobbles the object in question.
Not particularly a huge fan of stanced cars myself but from my experience most of this scene isn’t about trying to look like “fast cars”. Yes, many of them are sports cars and some are (or were) fast but the goal is purely aesthetics and the challenge of this type of build.
And the vibe. If it was only aesthetics they would never been driven. There have been hotrods since day one and nobody talks about them? The chopped Long nosed hotrods(forgot what they are called pardon me) have 0mm ground clearance and the style has been like that for 40years. They definetely drove them. It feels different than air. It is hard to explain. It just feels so terrible it becomes great. There is the feeling. The same feeling from hotrods to shakotan.
i like the simplicity of static just cut the springs and drive lol (saving for coilovers currently)
I like low cars but my local mountain roads don't like them.
I dream this car
It's ok to like Abba too, doesn't mean I'm going to go round admitting it in public.
"It's okay to like low cars"
No it's not.
"It's okay to hate"
No it's not.
Next week on Instagram - someone with chainsaws stuck on the outside of their car who "doesn't care about the haters"