I gathered myself up early last Saturday morning, took a two-hour ferry ride to Finland, and then drove on to the lakeside city of Lahti, just over 60 miles from Helsinki. Here, a bunch of enthusiasts known as the CDLC Community hosted what I believe to be the best stance show ever seen in Northern Europe.
Being the last weekend of summer, I wanted to spend it with great people and cars, and FittedFest 2022 delivered on both counts.
FittedFest is CDLC’s biggest event, traditionally held this time of the year at the superb Lahti Harbour location.
After a two-year hiatus due to Covid, I had a felling that this year’s FittedFest was going to be bigger than ever. CDLC’s social media machine was working overtime, sharing profiles of all the cars being prepped for the event. The hype was real.
I’ve been following this event for many years, and over that time it’s grown hugely. New for 2022, the CDLC combined the official show area with an extra meet in the parking lot.
But even though FittedFest’s physical size was doubled, I still noticed so many worthy cars parked outside of the event confines. It just goes to show how car culture is growing in this region, and especially with regard to high-quality builds.
For the most part this is a local event with the vast majority of cars coming from Finland. But it was also good to see a small number of guests making the journey from Sweden, Estonia and Latvia.
Something great to see was the evolution of a number of cars. Take this Opel Kadett I’ve featured in the past as an example. Because a project is never truly finished, right?
While many cars at FittedFest followed tried and true recipes, others surprised me. These two Mercedes-Benzes definitely fell into the latter category. Both looked ‘normal’ from the front, but as I changed angle one became a bonkers 9-second street car and the other a stanced limo.
Even the lowriders were equipped with proper hydraulics, a rare sight in Europe.
Europe really is spoilt for choice when it comes to stance-centric events these days. Ultrace in Poland is surely at the top of the list, together with Wörthersee in Austria and Players in the UK. Like those events, FittedFest prides itself on clean execution plus a general feel-good attitude.
CDLC Community really is like a big family, with everyone knowing each other and hanging together.
The ‘People’s Choice’ and the ‘Overall Winner’ of this year’s event was a sparkling drift-spec Hachiroku. Janne Mattila, the AE86 Levin’s owner, painted the car in candy red less than a week before the event. The lowrider-inspired roof is Janne’s handiwork too, but this was done a bit earlier. The Toyota sits on Work Equip 01 wheels, while the Precision-turbo-equipped 4A-GE engine puts out close to 600hp.
Just as this AE86 combines a number of styles in one car, FittedFest itself is a melting pot of car culture. Niko Aaltonen and Antti Eskeli, the co-founders of CDLC, are totally in touch with the latest trends, but they clearly have not forgotten their roots, playing old school hip-hop and inviting lowriders and customs to a stance meet. Long may FittedFest continue.