Due to unforeseen circumstances, summer 2020 has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
How hopeful we all were, eh? ‘Maybe it’ll just be a few weeks, then we’ll be back to normal?’ Everything screeched to a sudden halt and even now, nearly eight months later, we’ve only returned to a sort of ‘new normal’. Holidays, school, work – everything had to be scrapped and plans were ruined for millions of people. For a fair few of them, those plans revolved around the car shows that have become a yearly ritual, dictating schedules and summer routines.
I’ve not been an avid show-goer in the past. Yet, seeing as I’d actually made some plans to attend a select few this summer, I felt the impact more strongly than I would have in previous years. You can imagine my intrigue then, when I saw a few posts pop up on Instagram of what appeared to be a recently held car show. It didn’t seem possible. I was right; it wasn’t.
What I thought was a car show actually turned out to be the ‘Tucked Meet & Eat’, a small, invite-only event for the owners and their passengers. Very much a cars and coffee type event, but with limited numbers. And pizza.
Aside from some invite-only events in the past, like the secret Meguiar’s BBQs, car meets in the UK tend to operate on a first-come first-serve basis. Fill up a car park, any spectator welcome. The crowds are usually huge, and many antics happen, often ending with police involvement.
Make it an invite-only event though, host it somewhere nice and pray for good weather. The results could be tremendous.
I wasn’t sure exactly how the second Tucked event would pan out, but deep down, I had high expectations.
The event was held at the Sharnbrook Hotel in Bedford, which is owned by fellow petrol-head Ciro. He regularly hosts a wide range of car events at his hotel – usually for supercars – and it was evident that the staff were comfortable with the sudden influx of four-wheeled machinery.
Lee, the Tucked brand owner, and Ciro were very active with organising the attendees’ cars and ensuring that social distancing guidelines were being followed. Aside from the odd person trying to sneak their car in without a ticket, everyone appeared to be adhering to the distancing rules with no qualms or complaints.
Saj and I arrived after a couple of dozen cars had already parked, and after a quick initial look around it was apparent that the standard was already fairly high. A healthy selection of Euro, Japanese and American cars had been selected, with a wide range of modifications and styles as well.
This pair of AE86s grabbed my attention right in the middle of the upper green. A grey Levin coupé and a blue Sprinter Trueno hatchback parked this close is a rare sight this side of a manga, so you can imagine my excitement at being able to compare the body style differences in person. I think the ultimate combo for me will always be a Levin hatch. Probably with a TRD N2 kit. What about you?
Not a fan of either a hatchback or a normal boot? No problem. How about a decked Ford Escort Mk5 van with barn doors?
Another British icon at the show was a Vauxhall Astra GSi. Peak ’90s boy racer status had been achieved thanks to a Reiger front lip and a set of Compomotive MO5s. Phwoarrrrrr, go on my son.
At the other end of the modifying spectrum there was a bright green Toyota 86 running obscene amounts of camber and Kawashima-style stretched tyres on Work VS-XX wheels.
Some of you may know it as ‘Sudani-style’ fitment, but hold that thought for a second. If you were to have watched Noriyaro videos back in 2012, you’ll probably have seen a ridiculous Toyota Celica running wheels I cannot even describe without obscenities. Look it up, I urge you. Kawashima-san was a madman but he was also a pioneer.
VAG cars will always be well represented in the UK, and it’s a movement that I feel will never die.
A very minty pair of VWs perfectly illustrated how VAG culture has evolved over the years, starting with this Mk1 Caddy. The super rare BBS front valance and the Ronal R50 Aero wheels are the first things I noticed as the car pulled into the venue. Yes, I noticed the BBS lip over the colour. Don’t underestimate my nerdiness when it comes to old Euro parts.
The new school was represented by a Mk3 VW Scirocco, this time on Air Lift Performance suspension and with black accents all over the car, contrasting the bright colour.
Near the aforementioned AE86s was a stunning Hellrot Red BMW 840Ci. Call me biased, but ’90s BMW design is just so timeless. That era of BMW will always look good.
Sat on the floor courtesy of Air Lift Performance suspension and fitted with a set of three-piece converted AC Schnitzer Type 3 Rennsport wheels, the E31 was a real head turner. A touch that I liked was the location of the Air Lift controller, having been hidden in the armrest beneath where the OEM carphone docks.
Or how about a lilac K20-swapped EG Civic? Buddy Club wheels just belong on a Civic, and give the little car such a purposeful look.
They were made to look puny though compared to the 20-inch Work VS-KFs on a blacked-out E60 BMW 5 Series.
Everything, however, was dwarfed by what I believe was a 1965 Chrysler Newport sedan. It may not have been flawless with patina showing through, or the most modified, but there’s something just so cool about a big old ‘Yank tank’
I mention the Chrysler last though, because it ties in nicely with the general vibe of the day. Six people were inside it at once thanks to the bench seats, just hanging out and having a laugh.
Whilst limiting numbers were mandatory as a result of COVID, it did anything but ruin the event. Being limited to drivers and passengers meant that there were no droves of strangers walking through the event, staring at the cars. Everybody was relaxed, whether socialising in their own little bubbles or having socially-distanced conversation with other groups of people. Perfect.
Photos by Saj Selva