To be quite honest, I didn’t really know what to expect from MADE.
I knew beforehand that this was only its second running, and although I had heard and read good things about last year’s show, I didn’t think it was enough to justify a 12,000km round-trip just to check it out. Make no mistake, even on a Boeing, that’s a long way to travel.
If you’ve read the previous story about this trip, you will know that I liaised with a good friend of mine, Sultan Al Qassimi, about trying to uncover as much real car culture in the country. He reckoned that if I was travelling all the way from Ireland to the UAE, I might as well time it to coincide with MADE. If it was good, then happy days. If not, then there were a lot of shops and other people to visit around Dubai.
The main reason for my apprehension was that I had previously visited Dubai in 2010, and at that time the cars I saw there were very much the kind you would expect to see: supercars, hypercars, sportscars and the odd Nissan Patrol. There’s nothing wrong with any of those in the slightest, but I’ve always been a bit cold towards cars that anyone can buy, provided they have enough money.
I wanted to see the cars that people were building. I wanted to see the emerging styles and trends in the region, and I wanted to see cars built on ideas that cannot be bought.
I got everything I wanted, and some more.
MADE is not a huge show, and it’s not a show which should be judged by numbers alone. The event is hosted within a relatively small area, but one which encourages you to explore. The contrast between the main open area where you arrive into first, and the shaded areas underneath and inside the main grandstand (which overlooks the start/finish straight of the Dubai Autodrome) are a photographer’s dream.
Even as the day goes on, the venue continues to transform as the shadows and light move around. It’s a really unique event to document, and that’s before I even get to talking about the cars.
I had originally planned on sharing just a single overview event post with you, but even after some heavy-handed image culling, I was left with far too many images for one post. As I’m already most certainly not on the Speedhunters server overlord’s Christmas card list, we decided to split it up into three more digestible pieces.
This is the first, focusing on the Japanese side of things. The next will be a look outside the gates of the event, and the final will be a look at the Euro and US cars in attendance. That’s not forgetting some further features on some of my personal favourites from the event.
Anyway, here’s the gallery you should want to see…
What I enjoyed the most about this particular aspect of the event was that despite not having 10,000 cars representing Japan, there was still a lot of variety on show. It never felt like there was too much of one thing, while most JDM sub-cultures were still well represented.
From an over-fendered R35 GT-R to a completely stock and genuine KPGC10 GT-R. From out-and-out show cars, to subtly modified street cars, both new and old. Essentially, just the right amount of everything. I now also know that it’s most certainly worth the journey, too.
I’ll be back shortly with more from MADE.