More Is More At Ultimate Dubs

While Ultimate Dubs 2023 may have been light on reveals, two of the cars that were debuted each had the presence of a dozen Mk2 Golfs on BBS RS wheels.

Although I’m a religious student of the ‘less-is-more’ philosophy to car modification, there’s something about balls-to-the wall builds like this pair that will surely appeal to the inner child in all of us.

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With custom arch work that makes a Polo WRC look like a 1.0 Bluemotion, Curtis Hughes’ 6R VW Polo is more akin to a Japanese silhouette racer than it is a German pocket rocket.

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Curtis set out to fit stepped-up 17×10-inch OZ Racing Futura wheels under the car when laid out on its Air Lift Performance air suspension. In the quest for more dish at the rear of the car, Curtis went as far as to ‘invert’ the wheels by using a set of barrels as the outer lips and lips as the inner barrels, to achieve the most inset face possible.

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A nice, classic combination of metallic silver faces with polished lips and chrome-plated hardware prevent the wheels from clashing with the Polo’s vibrant colour scheme.

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Speaking of which, OZ wheels aside the paint is a contender for my favourite aspect of Curtis’s Polo. A deep magenta with hot-pink flake and gold pearl, the bespoke colour was chosen by the painter herself, Lucy Dent.

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The colour manages to highlight the sharper bodykit and swage lines, and it’s equally as effective in bringing out the curves in the Polo’s OEM panels.

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Curtis and some friends fabricated the steel body kit themselves, following on from a 3D model which he had commissioned before the build. The design works around a Polo R WRC front bumper and a facelift 6C Polo rear bumper.

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Golf R-style head and 6C facelift taillights take care of lighting front and rear, while the interior is certainly better lit in the day thanks to the VW ‘Open Air’ panoramic ragtop which has been grafted into the original roof panel. Carbon fibre mirror caps and a roof spoiler complete the outward modifications.

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Unless Curtis has the Polo’s bonnet off, because then I’d say the engine bay is as much a visual highlight of the car as the exterior.

The heart of the Polo is certainly a different beast to what it left the factory with. Its original 1.2L engine is long gone, making way for a 1.8L 20-valve turbo mill in the smoothed engine bay. This is affectionately known as a ‘1.8T’ swap in the VW community.

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Custom pipework – including the boost pipes and turbo-back exhaust – courtesy of Style Dynamics frame the engine in the minimalist bay, with a ProRam cone-filter on the intake manifold sitting next to the smooth ignition coil cover.

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A darker metallic purple windscreen scuttle bookends the engine bay, where you’ll notice an absence of windscreen wipers to further tidy up the Polo’s bonnet-off appearance.

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The interior hasn’t escaped the custom treatment, with a Renown USA Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, widescreen infotainment system and carbon fibre blanking panel now housing additional gauges to monitor the tuned engine up front.

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A pair of black leather/carbon fibre Porsche 997 GT3 RS seats keep Curtis and one passenger firmly in place; anyone else needs to take the bus.

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Just like a good mullet, the party is in the back of the Polo’s interior where a fairly substantial boot build sits in place of the rear bench seat.

Beneath the yellow half roll cage is a false floor, proudly displaying the subwoofer and hard-lined carbon fibre air tank for the Air Lift Performance system. Next to it sits the relocated fuel filler.

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Parked alongside Curtis’s Polo, and sitting rather menacingly, is Matt Clifford’s 981 Porsche Cayman S.

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I can only describe Matt’s Porsche as a Need for Speed end-level boss car in real life, such is its sheer presence and the absurdity of its proportions.

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Just take the size of the wheels, also OZ Futuras, but this time with diameters stepped up from 17 to 19 inches. The front wheels measure 12 inches across, with the rears a frankly ridiculous 13.5 inches wide.

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You’ll find the outer wheel lips have been carbon-skinned and the faces painted black with centre-lock-style caps. There’s little tyre stretch on the Cayman, as the Futuras have been wrapped in chunky Toyo Proxes R888R semi-slicks.

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And yet even with wheel widths that can be measured in feet and inches, the VAD Design ‘RSR’ body kit still swallows them up when the car is at its lowest air suspension setting. That of course is controlled by Air Lift Performance management.

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The body kit isn’t just some plastic bolt-on arches though. The front bumper and splitter, front wheel arch extensions, side skirts, rear quarter panel overfenders, the rear bumper and even the diffuser are all constructed from carbon fibre.

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Matt opted to have the carbon fibre exposed and visible, yet he didn’t want the kit to just appear stuck on. The solution? Have the Cayman’s black body colour faded into the carbon fibre, just enough to tie in the ‘seams’ if you will, yet with enough exposed carbon to easily catch your eye.

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The fade is particularly effective at the front of the car, exposing the symmetrical carbon fibre weave of the bumper and splitter. A carbon fibre ‘RSR’ bonnet completes the kit, while custom black and acid-yellow headlights add more menace to the front end. As if it needed to look any more menacing…

At the rear you’ll find a wing equally as outlandish as the rest of the body kit, as well as what’s probably my favourite angle to view the car.

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This is where the Cayman looks like the wildest in my eyes, with so much bodywork sticking out either side of the taillights and a lower bumper section. This works together with the enormous wing to really ‘square off’ the Porsche’s svelte, curvaceous rear end.

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It’s a caricature of itself in the best way possible.

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As with the front end, the carbon weave has been left exposed, while at the lower corners of the bumper you’ll find bespoke 3D-printed ‘rain lights’ adding another touch of motorsport flavour to Matt’s 981.

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The inside of a Porsche is a lovely place to be straight out of the box, so I’m not surprised Matt has taken a more restrained modifiying route here.

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A pair of Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren seats replace the tombstone-shaped OEM items, and these have been retrimmed in black Alcantara with acid-yellow inners, stitching, and embroidered headrests to match the outside of the car.

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When both of these cars made their first online appearances in the days leading up to Ultimate Dubs 2023, it’s safe to say that reactions were… mixed.

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At the show? I can honestly tell you that people were just as, if not more conflicted over the cars than in the various WhatsApp and Instagram group chats they’d been doing the rounds in. That’s not a bad thing by any means. In fact, I’d argue it’s quite the opposite, using myself as an example.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I’m a fan of a simple, clean approach when it comes to car modification. These are the types of modified cars I’ve grown to love over the years. And yet, I have a soft spot for ridiculous cars with overfenders that just command attention. Why? Three words: Need for Speed. In fact, have a fourth: Speedhunters.

My formative years were spent playing video games, where the final modification to unlock was the wide-body kit. Magazines and web articles were filled with RAUH-Welt Begriff Porsches and Rocket Bunny Toyota 86s; my first-ever computer screensaver was a Chargespeed-kitted MkIV Toyota Supra.

I’m also fairly certain the vast majority of modified car enthusiasts have a black and orange VeilSide Fortune RX-7 burnt into their memories, as well as a certain silver and blue BMW M3 GTR…

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They’re ridiculous, unnecessary, and to many people serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever. Yet to me, it’s cars like these which inspire younger generations and show them there’s more to cars than mum and dad’s Kia Niro EV or BMW i4.

If that’s not serving a purpose in this day and age, I don’t know what is.

Mario Christou
Instagram: mcwpn

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That Porsche is amazing!


These both look horrific, jeez.


Man that Polo is quite something I never seen that kind of widebody before and man it looks so cool
And that Porsche is a Porsche it speaks for itself what else does it need to say?


They're certainly a pair of stand-out cars!


The UK car scene has devolved to a point where it's now just a competition to see who can build the worst car. The people who aren't building show cars are throwing some ebay coilovers, fake wheels and a £200 flash map at a financed car and calling it a full build. No wonder so many people are washing their hands of it and keeping themselves to themselves. Honestly it's embarrassing and you should be ashamed for giving this drivel any attention at all. You had the option to cover anything you wanted within the British Isles, but you chose this.


I'd look at this from quite the opposite point of view, Dave.

For one, these are not 'ebay coilover, £200 map and fake wheels' cars. I'd never bring those to the attention of the SH reader (I thought this much would be apparent by now). In fact I'd argue that in terms of 'build' the UK car scene is stronger than ever before, with more variety and influence apparent every year.

If I didn't cover cars like these, and none of my fellow SHers were to cover the odd 'out-there' build, the website would get rather stale. I for one am all for an interesting mix of cars, for everyone to learn about and experience. In fact I'm as encouraged by the negative comments towards these cars as the positive ones, because at least I've engaged with you enough to leave a response.

Thanks for reading!


I gotta say the idea to fade the black into carbon fiber on the Cayman is genius! I like the rain lights as well. Show cars to the Nth level. Great pics!


Thanks very much dude!


I will never understand the idea of putting a subwoofer, beneath a rollcage. Hell... I'll never understand the need to put a rollcage in a show car. It's not a race car or a track toy, there's no need. Things like that make me dislike (because I don't want to say "hate") show cars. It's ok to be a show car, but a poser... that's a BIG no-no from me.


Like almost all modifications to cars, the roots can be traced back to motorsport. Neither of these are racecars, but I don't think that any old hatchback that's running a set of semi-slicks and pop and bang map which will never see the track should get a 'free pass' to having a roll cage either, no? In that case though, most people wouldn't bat an eyelid yet the cage is equally as non-functional.


I want to like these... I really do, but as is said, certain choices are entirely Need For Speed. When we grow up, we must leave childish things, right? IDK if growing up to society's conflicting ideas is even a neutral, much less any sort of positive, but maturing really is necessary. Massive wooden subwoofer under a roll cage and swapping cushy seats for other cushy seats just can't make sense when you've paid the coin to paint fade your carbon pieces (ugh, on an aluminum car) and installed a massive wing (which hopefully cuts through the sealed hatch and mounts to the rear subframe).

NFS was fun but things change and letting go is the path to nirvana. These ppl seem stressed and reachy, maybe trying hard to impress kids less than half their age... Relax! Chill with people your own age and enjoy these cars for what they are, not for what they never were.


I think you'd be surprised as to how young the owners of these cars are! Also, since when did 'act your age' mean you had to stop having fun with your car? There is *so much* more to life than an automobile, I don't think it's an adequate measure of maturity here dude!


That fade in the paint to bare carbon is a neat touch.


Right? A little extra way to stand out.


Thank you for posting that white rwb to salvage this article


An RWB in essence is no more or less than this Cayman. Cut the original body, screw on some wide over-fenders and fit big wheels. Everything further is just a matter of taste and styling.


Um, no. RWB got popular by putting replicas of Porsche's own motorsport kits (where originals were unobtainium) on cars that actually saw regular track use. There's still a sister business that offers performance mods. Yeah, the kits later blew up in the west and now there are some RWBs with silly air suspension, unusable wheels etc., sure. I wouldn't turn down that revenue stream either. But that's not where RWB kits come from.


Funny how I got downvoted into oblivion for criticising that silly car with a plastic cage and no suspension a while back, yet now everyone seems to agree mods that make cars worse are dumb (even though unlike that one, these two make no claims to be anything other than show pieces). Seems like the Japanese scene gets a free pass for stuff others don't on this site?


'Downvoted into oblivion' made me chuckle, but you'll always find people who disagree with you online. I've never been in support of 'fake' roll cages myself, but I do agree that more often than not having Japanese license plates gives a lot of cars a free pass where otherwise they'd be chastised anywhere else in the world.


True that. And I have to give these builders credit; as much as this kind of show car is not my bag, the quality of work seems to be really high with these two.


Pure show car, but as you've mentioned, the utter absurdity of these is part of what makes them special. I think the Polo probably needs some meatier tyres to really pull the Group 5-style guards off, and the subwoofer under the rollcage is a cheeky move that tells you exactly what the car was built for, but they're all very well executed and offbeat enough that it's creativity for creativity's sake, and not to clout-chase. The Cayman just makes me smile. It would be so much fun to drive something like that around.

I also think less is more is great, but have leaned back into more is more in some aspects - as long as it's cohesive, it works. And in a scene that by many accounts is obsessed with rare parts, and sticking closely to a narrowly-defined "good taste" set of modifications, it's nice to see that there's still a few off-the-wall builds happening. And you watch - a few touches from these kinds of builds do eventually filter down in to the more mainstream ones, and they're all the better for it.


You've put it very well there Lachlan. A lot of people try too hard to give a car a concrete, physical reason for existing beyond the owner just enjoying it - and this often leads to a dislike for the build. Like I said, I'm a less-is-more man, but sometimes you have to appreciate 'fun' build like these.


Those cars don’t look real, lol. That Porsche especially looks like something out of NFS. Nice builds


It's the only way to describe these cars! Like they've jumped straight out of a screen into the real world.