The Best Of Essen: Part 2

A few days ago, I brought you my first look at the 2022 Essen Motor Show in Germany – an event I’ve been attending since way back in 2008.

After a couple of years of disruption, it felt like the 2022 show was a complete return to form, and there was a lot to see at the Messe Essen exhibition center. I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to share with you in my inaugural post, so here we are with the follow up, and plenty more interesting cars from the biggest tuning show on Germany’s calendar.


First up, it’s the Auto Finesse Nissan Silvia S15, which has an interesting backstory. It was originally built up by Endless Racing in Japan as a dedicated drag car, before being imported to the UK by Harlow Jap Autos and subsequently purchased by James from Auto Finesse. While the exterior has been transformed with a wide-body Super Silhouette kit from Liberty Walk, the Silvia’s underpinnings remain the same as they did when it left Japan. That means there’s a 2.2L stroker SR20DET with a Trust/GReddy T88-34D turbocharger good for 900ps, backed up by an HKS sequential transmission under all the fiberglass. Can it still run 9-second quarter-mile ETs though?


We’ve seen plenty of Pandem wide-body conversions on Speedhunters, but seeing one in real life on European shores is still a bit of a novelty. This particular BMW E36  is another one of Jean Pierre Kraemer’s (of JP Performance) creations. One of the most interesting aspects for me, is that it’s running a static suspension setup, not air ride like you might expect. Gepfeffert is a German company that modifies KW Suspensions coilovers – with KW’s assistance – for ultra-low ride heights that still maintain functionality, and that’s reflected here. There’s also a side-exit exhaust, which is currently connected to a M50B28 that – for now – is still stock. I’m looking forward to seeing where JP takes this build…

Travel to Japan, buy an R34 GT-R, drive it on the Wangan and then ship it home. It sounds like a dream, but it’s exactly what JP also did with this Bayside Blue Skyline. He wants to keep the car as clean as possible with just some minor enhancements.


What started as a simple project for Tom Klein Gunnewiek quickly turned into a full-blown Mk2 VW Golf build. A Volkswagen Phaeton donated its 3.2L VR6 engine for this project, and that’s mated to Mk3 Golf gearbox. You have to love the ultra-clean Euro look with a set of AZEV Type A wheels to pull it all together.

Called the ‘SyberiaRS’, what began life as a 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 (964) for the road now looks more than ready to venture well off the beaten track. The Burkhard Industries build features bodywork handcrafted from metal and carbon fiber, a custom H&R suspension setup and 16-inch Fuchs wheels wrapped up in special Hankook off-road tires.


I’m a sucker for four-door BMW E30s, especially when they’re thoroughly modified like this E46 M3-powered build all the way from CAtuned in Sacramento, California. I was shocked to see this car at Essen given it normally resides in the US, but apparently CAtuned has a German office to cater for the local market. It’s great to see a small passion-led company like this doing big things.

It might look like a concept, but the VW ID. Buzz is very real and now available from Volkswagen dealerships. I love the idea of full-electric vans, but with a hefty price tag like the ID. Buzz has, I think it will take a while before we see more of these been modified by private owners.


I’ll be honest, I’ve included this Volkswagen Polo here because my dad used to own one, and therefore the model is close to my heart. I know the owner will be very happy to see his car on Speedhunters.

Just 53 of these VW Beetle wide-body conversion kits have been made by Prior Design in Germany, and this one looks particular stunning in its ‘Coral Peach’ wrap by Teckwrap. The low stance is courtesy of a G.A.S. air ride system with Air Lift Performance 3P management.


To me, this is the ultimate in car customization. The amount of detail that Brabus puts into these G-Wagons is astounding, and often overlooked.

Is the Ferrari F355 the next big thing for modifiers? They’re definitely becoming more popular, and with that asking prices are already on the up.


What’s the best way to promote your VIP wheels? Fitting a set to a Bentley Flying Spur W12, of course.

In Germany, it’s pretty difficult to go really crazy with your road car as everything needs to be cleared by TÜV, the German roadworthiness agency which has super-strict rules. Every modification needs to be approved, so it’s pretty rare to see something as nuts as this twin-turbo Audi R8 on the road with all the TÜV boxes ticked.


Before I saw this car for the first time, I never associated the C3 Corvette with tuner style. But this thing is bonkers – I love it! And the fact that the custom wide-body was designed and built by the Corvette’s owner just makes it even cooler in my book.

As I mentioned in my first story from Essen 2022, BBBs (Big Body Benzes) were all over the show this year. I see the appeal too, because slammed out with a good set wheels, they look absolutely killer. I call it the European equivalent of Japanese bippu style, and this 420 SE (W126), low-slung on air suspension over 19-inch Artec 3-piece wheels from VIP Modular, looks every bit the part.


Prior to Essen, I had seen numerous photos of this Alfa Romeo Giulia online, but it looked so much more impressive in person. The wheels – 2-piece Alpha Concepts made by BTS Creawheels in Italy in a 20×11-inch +15 fitment all round – take centerstage, but there’s so much more to this car than first meets the eye. Because while the body looks factory, it’s actually 35mm wider on each side at the front, and 40mm wider on each side at the rear.  The car’s original front bumper was modified to suit the increased width (and fitted with 3D-printed grilles) while the rear bumper is a modified Giulia Q piece. Because there is no off-the-shelf air suspension system currently available for this model, the owner pieced together a custom setup with Air Lift Performance 3P management at its heart.


German tuner LCE Performance are famous for their Audi Sport Quattro replica builds, and for good reason – they’re stunning. LCE ‘Sportquattro’ builds are available in a number of different forms – for rally use or the road – the latter with 100% TÜV approval, and freely configurable from 300ps up. This particular build is a customer-owned street version.


I featured a bright blue Opel in my first Essen story, and purely by chance there was another in almost the exact same hue. While the first car was an Opel Ascona B, this is an Opel Kadett C GT/E from 1978 that has also received a full nut and bolt restoration. Under the hood is a fully-built race engine good for 253ps – plenty for such a lightweight platform that was then put on a diet with fiberglass doors, hood and trunk lid.

We’ll wrap things up with another BBB – this time a Mercedes-Benz 420 SEC (C126) in Impala Beige with chrome accents and a Lorinser front spoiler. The Lorinser theme continues along the sides with 17-inch RSK2 3-piece wheels, although these beauties have been rebuilt to deep-dish spec using Radinox barrels.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage from the 2022 Essen Motor Show. I know I’ll be back in Essen next year; you should try and make it too. In the meantime though, check out some cutting room floor images below.

Jeroen Willemsen
Instagram: jaccojeroen

More stories from Germany on Speedhunters



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

A carbon fiber big´s nose is still a pig´s nose


Bonkers to see a R8 done up that way and still have it TÜV roadworthy. So much so I'm having a hard time believing that.


Just to clarify, the bumper delete is not legal. Also the engine and upholstery work is not done by JP Performance, he just installed the ebay front lip and the wheels.


Although it is in German, here is a video of the car explaining it has TÜV.


Wow as if I thought this couldn't get any better!
My favorites here are definitely the Sport Quattro, Auto Finesse Silvia S15, JP's E36 and R34 GTR, the 964 SyberiaRS, ID Buzz, R8, and that M4
And the Kadett is also a really cool car too love the builds here at this exhibit!


The Twin Turbo R8 is also JP's, as is the 355 and the Brabus G-Wagon


Oh wow good to know! JP has an awesome collection of cars would love to visit his place in Germany someday


Oh, and the MK V Supra in Picture 43 is too, that one's also BMW V10 swapped with a manual transmission


It's not the 355's (bested by the NSX) that are about to go nuclear, it's the 308's, especially the injection "QV's" since those were Gandini's first true distillations (from the Dino GT4/308) that is the exact same platform that baseline the 288GTO and F40. The Stratos and Countach are one thing, but the Wedge was made most popular in the 308, also no "melting stickies" in a 308 - 100% genuine analog and cable mechanical design that just needs restomodding to become the sister to the drop dead Dino restomods. The Dino, 308, and anything 1960-1980 Ferrari *is* Eternal Style.

Amd then when you realize you can get a robust, lego-simple daily for under €75k while NSX and 355 cost sometimes even DOUBLE... No brainer.


The truth is, even that is no longer of interest. You can have everything legally and detailed entered in your vehicle documents by the TÜV. Everything is tested, everything is TÜV compliant. Even then, the police can shut down your car if there is even the slightest suspicion.
It's because of politics and the media.
It just sounds better when the news papers can title: "50 cars were shut down after a tuning meeting" than just 3 that really did illegal stuff.
i dont know how it is in other countries but here it gets crazy.


yeah i remember somthing like this was mentioned on this site (can't remember the article nor the year it was published) even though they did take a "permit?" from the police for the cars registered outside of Germany so they can travel through the country.


The want for a cheap Mercedes S Class is strong! W220 and some 19s!


Polo on portuguese plates!!!


As for the Pandem E36: there were no M50B28 engines in stock form. It's either an M50B25 or an M52B28. Unless someone did a stroker bumping the M50B25 to 2,8 liters in which case it's not stock.

Anyway really enjoyed both parts even if I'm not exactly a fan of slammed cars!



You couldn't give us a close up shot of the engine in the orange Golf MKII with the huge turbo?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Argh!!!!!! And the red 930 Turbo in pic 4? You're fired!!!!!! Seriously, wish you had got those 2 shots!!!! Damn!


THe blue E46 reminds me of Mat Armstrong which led me to the next question: was he or any of his cars ever featrured here on SH?
Nice coverage btw, I've enjoyed both parts; thank you.


Many, many wallpapers were saved, thanks!


Cheap 355's? That boat sailed about 10yrs ago....


What are the wheels on the SCE Audi Sportquattro?