So, Let’s Talk About The Volkswagen Scene…
Concept Over Execution

This is one that I’ve been putting off writing for a while, for reasons you will soon see.

I should probably state the obvious from the get go, but this is intended to be a conversation starter, rather than an attack on the Volkswagen scene. It’s not a criticism of the show photographed within, or the people who attend. It’s just something which I feel needs to be spoken about.

If you have no love or interest in this automotive sub-culture, I would suggest that you move on. I really think that this is an important conversation that we need to have. If your only contribution is going to be that the Volkswagen scene is only “air and wheels” anyways, again, I would ask you to politely show yourself out.

While the seed for this story was planted quite a long time ago, it was early on Sunday morning when Jordan sent me a message on WhatsApp asking me if I thought it was worth covering Ultimate Dubs in detail, that I knew it was time to talk . “Looking at what’s there on IG [...] I’ve seen approximately 3 cars there that I haven’t shot or spotlighted before. Looks like a waste of time.” he told me.

Normally, I would offer words of encouragement and motivation, but I shared his reservations. “Not to worry” I replied, and went back to my own Sunday morning.


Luckily, our Technical Editor, Ryan Stewart, was in attendance with his E92 M3 on the Slam Sanctuary stand, and was able to capture the show for us. When I caught up with Ryan afterwards, he shared an interesting insight with me, “All the most interesting cars were non-VW.”

My first car was a Volkswagen, and I’ve only ever owned German cars since. I grew up within a rallying household and with friends deeply embedded in the Japanese car scene in Ireland, which remains the predominant car scene here.

In 2010, I distinctly remember attending my first Edition 38, and the profound effect it had on me. I genuinely couldn’t believe what the VW community was doing with cars, and how far ahead they were of any scene I had encountered on this side of the planet before. The ideas, the realisation and the attention to detail were all stunning.


When I look back at my first Edition 38 encounter, and compare it to what’s on show today, not a whole lot has changed. The cars, for the most part are still flawless and often display exceptional examples of craftsmanship. However, the concepts and ideas behind them have almost completely failed to evolve over this time period.

“The VW scene was so far ahead but hasn’t innovated, hasn’t pushed, so isn’t at the cutting edge any more [...] the perfect VW show car is so good, that it’s become boring” Ryan told me. I don’t disagree.

When you look back at what was considered top of the game in the early ’10s (I think Ron Huijzer’s MKI was probably the best of the best at the time), it’s still almost exactly the same formula that’s applied today. Perhaps it has taken a couple of steps further with regards to final finish, but the concept of perfect paint on a smoothed body, dropped on BBS RS with a fully tucked bay, polished components and an immaculate interior hasn’t changed at all.

Some might argue that this might be the perfect recipe, so why change it?


The best analogy that I can currently conjure is this; if you have the world’s greatest chef preparing their signature dish for you everyday, eventually, you’re going to grow tired of it. When exceptional becomes normal, it’s no longer exceptional. A scene like this, which generally holds itself to a higher standard, should never tolerate stagnation.

“Tangents have emerged over the years, like big wings and overfenders, but nothing of any substance. The VW scene feels like it’s waiting for the next breakthrough.” Ryan added to our conversation.


Curiously, when you take the VW Scene’s principles and apply them to anything else, be it a BMW, Honda, Lada or whatever, they will nearly always get more attention nowadays than a Golf with the same approach applied. That in itself is telling, and perhaps it’s time for the VW Scene to start looking outside its own borders for inspiration.

I don’t think there can be much in the way of criticism in the quality of the final product within the scene, but I do think there’s far too much emphasis on the execution, rather than the original concept. We need to question why we’re doing the things we’re doing more often, and figure out if there’s an alternative that might provide a much better solution.


Again, for the sake of emphasis, this isn’t condemnation of any event, car, person, company or other. It’s a burden which all of us within the Volkswagen scene must shoulder and attempt to figure out together. We’re a community, and a good one at that, that can achieve pretty impressive things.

This scene has brought many of us together and so much joy at the same time, that we need to continue to inspire in order to ensure that there is both a generation who will follow us and that they, too, can experience what we’ve been fortunate to be a part of.

What do you say?

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Photos by Ryan Stewart
Instagram: 7.nth

Cutting Room Floor


Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

arent all rotiform made in china? then center cap put on in usa? lol


The cast stuff is designed in LA but produced overseas, but all of the forged stuff is made at their factory in Compton, CA.


pretty sure their cast wheels are man'd in china but all the forged stuff in the us

Jesse Black Beetle

Have you ever heard of the Vorshe? I think we need some of that kind of approach


Is that the 944 swapped MK2?

It sort of reminds me of this MK3 we shot in 2010. which was insane -


bitches always gonna be like "its just air and wheels" but that wheel curation game is absolutely on point


Sixy read my post below.


Yeah, I'm always amazed just how much time you can spend on searching for just the right wheel in just the right offset and diameter.


It reminds me of other meticulously precise pockets of geekdom that exist in other various enthusiast circles.


Who cares if it's not exceptional? One could argue that the exception becoming the norm is a success story. Not only does the tried-and-true work, but every conceivable approach, good or bad, can/has worked when applied to vws lol. Mission Completed. It's vw's turn.


with that said, the exterior on that apocalyptic corrado is an abomination lol


if you dont like the vw scene then just move on. simple as that. you dont need to write some self righteous article complaining about how the scene has become stagnant & how we need to make a change because the speedhunters staff is bored & doesnt have material for articles. if thats how owners want to modify there cars then let them do it & move along. the craftsmanship, stance, attn to detail etc within the community IS the community. no need to be always pushing boundaries. if it aint broke then dont fix it, & if u dont like it then too bad.


I have to concur. It clearly seems the writer prefers “something” else. The scene is THE SCENE; and while not trying to re-iterate the point, the “I’ve seen it all” perspective lends itself to growth in other scenes should reflect “growth” or “movement” in the VW scene. I think evolution takes time and VW tuners are innovative and meticulous. Trends are a fleeting thing to a senior community with some of the oldest roots in modification. Just my opinion though..



You made my point "again!". Like I told Paddy we don't care WHAT other car people think. There are some " nasty" VWs out there and some of us are sick of hearing the noise! And since Paddy thought he was so "witty" calling me a "child" I'll just say any"so-called" man calling another man a child is truly a 3rd-grade, no-comeback punk. I will verbally slice and dice anybody on this planet! I'm from New Jersey and I worked at Langley, VA. And my vocabulary came from reading dictionaries growing up. I don't give credence to babies trying to be witty on the internet. But I TOTALLY agree with you.


This. 100%. Detail. The Euroscene (VAG/Benz/BMW/PORSCHE/etc) will always be about the detail. Our BBS is just your Rotiform but with a metric PCD. Remember when it was rows of identikit Golfs with roofracks full of crap, rusty bonnets and sticker-bombed anything and everything? Thankfully it HAS moved on and for the better. That bagged Jag a good example of how inclusive the scene is now...


But I do like and love the VW Scene. I'm just concerned that this stagnation could result in the community fading away.


Eh, the VW scene if that is what we will call it will not fade away, the owners will still come over from prior platforms like they always have. I started out with a few different makes but about 10-11 years ago I found myself behind the wheel of an Audi A4 and I never looked back. This community is about attention to detail and finding those one off parts and really striving to make your car the perfect car for, wait for it, yourself. That is why I have and always will love the VW community. I do not feel anything becoming stale, just getting better. Your article was a good read, but honestly what or why does anything need to be revolutionized? Just because VW owners did not start throwing bolt on over fenders and huge wings on their cars does not mean something needs to change. I mean if that is the case we could really take a look at the import scene. They drifted into the clean body lines, low stance, and wide wheel area but now bodykits, under body lights, and what not are making their come back. If we talk about changes look at the VW scene in the U.S. and mainly on the West Coast. I see color matched wheels, ABT kits, and the mid-90 era parts starting to pop up again.


I'm not sure it's "stagnation" as much as "normalising". It seems like the VW scene does have its trends and fads, and whenever they happen to get too extreme, some dude rolls up with a MK I on BBS RS, paint a mile deep and barrels so chrome you can see your pores, and everyone is just like "ahhh, there it is"


I think that the perceived stagnation that you keep mentioning is more of a you thing than the scene thing, but that's just my opinion. Remember that sticker bombing and roof racks were a thing at one point and they have kind of faded away. In any subcategory of "car guy" there will always be major trends that continue to be predominant and influence the scene, with the VAG people that has predominantly been OEM+ and the thing about OEM+ is that it is all about the details. Sure the cars might look similar but its more of a story about how those parts were gathered or the trials and tribulations of fitting those parts in that combination. I guess what im trying to say is that all of those builds are more than just a parts list and its more about the story of its creation or the people involved in creating it and you aren't going to get those stories unless you go to the shows and start talking to people instead of making calls based on Instagram pictures :p. Car shows have always been more about the people than the cars that attend

sometimes you cant see the forest from the trees.

Possible solutions:

encourage people to start making build binders again, it would give you a deeper understanding of not only what you are looking at but the story behind it.

The other option is to just call it out. If you truly believe that the scene is stagnant then go to one of these shows, pick a few cars that you fell are incredibly similar and then ask the owners for their opinion on how their car is different. It might make a good article as it would shed more light on the thought processes of the people in the scene as well as making people take notice that they might want to differentiate their car a bit more (or find a better way to highlight their inherent differences)


I agree, bring back proper build threads. Should be mandatory for every owner.


This is exactly what happened to me. I was into the VW scene around 2011/2012 but quickly got bored and moved onto BMW's where I have been ever since.


well said! I dig most of the cars in this article, especially the Passat and Audi coupe! I'm not even a VW enthusiast, more of a Nissan/Datsun dude. Not interested in "scene" updates either. More cars, VW or not please! "showing myself out the door" now:)


I thought that apocalyptic Corrado looked awesome! But to each their own.


keyboard bangin. if i saw it I'd probably want the full story lol


never owned a VW but believed its the perfect formula for every car build......


BBS/Mesh wheels looks good on ANY car. (Especially old German cars)


Ok. So many sweet cars. The VW scene "hasn't evolved" the same way a bicycle hasn't, or a pizza hasn't, or a pair of jeans hasn't. In all of these, the materials have changed or improved, the cut/fit-and-finish has changed or improved, but the same basic recipe is the same. Because it's so good. Yes, I may be slightly biased, having owned 5 VW's, but my current daily is a HD diesel pickup with more power than probably 80% of these VW's will ever have. However when I just wanna have a good time and get out and make people smile and wave, I drive my VW's. That is why the VW scene is still relevant.


Well put sir!!!
Word for word I am the same. But living in the US my opinion is probably different from the UK?


Good point sir. I am in the US also.


That's pretty well put, TBH.


Part of the problem with the author's argument imo is that there isn't really any inherent tangible goal with a stance build or a show car so what do you measure improvement by? It certainly isn't lap time or drift angle. You're basically talking about a fashion trend here.

Tangents like big wings and over fenders are nothing but these guys copying what they see in motorsport "because race car" or whatever. This scene seems highly show oriented so I guess I'm confused about how you progress in a scene where nothing is objective. It's a bit of a confusing conversation I guess.


There are tangible goals, but they're completely personal and subjective. It's a good point, though.


Maybe just start to visiting smaller "more local" meets those shiny show car will probably stay the same year after year because someone spend so much money into it and nobody was to sell it and just enjoying the shows... try visit smaller meetings few times and than you will se the progress :)) you wise just regular guys who are trying they bests etc like myself with my car.. :D

Christian Schmidt

The big trouble with all these cars is, that in the last couple of years you can get in trouble on public roads :-(

You pay a lot of money to get your show camber fashion stanced car "legal" or you think you are legal but there is the stupid "Regulation No 48 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE) — Uniform provisions concerning the approval of vehicles with regard to the installation of lighting and light-signalling devices" here in Europe. And if your headlights some millimetres lower as in the regulation through your stanced level no stuipd insurance is paying a penny in an accident or you loosing the permission for driving on public roads. WTF


When most people get their “inspiration” from social media, everybody’s stuff ends up being similar. There are plenty of people building cool vdubs but you won’t find them at shows like this.


I kind of have to agree with the sentiment of the article if I'm honest. My background has always been german cars having owned several aircooled vehicles and more recently a couple of show-worthy water-cooled (also still own a fully restored 72 beetle) but I got rid of my "show car" because in all honesty most of the shows had become very stale.
There are the odd exception like Players Classic but most are the same formula and same cars year in, year out and while the cars on show are no doubt exceptional it does become a little bit boring when someone has to explain that the particular wheels on a certain car are this rare in an attempt to make it interesting. To the outside they're just another set of wheels, to the geek they're orgasmic but to the layman not so much.
And that is the VW scene in a nutshell now, it's a geekfest of detail this and rare that where the fun appears to have disappeared.


From our perspective, perhaps we should indulge in the 'Geekfest' more and help to educate people as to – why – these cars / parts are cool?


To a point here i agree with you but to the layman walking into a car show all they see is gold alloy wheels whether that's E88 BBS or a set of Rotiform on cars that look like they have broken suspension. There are very few cars out there now that make the average guy go wow because they look fairly ordinary with fancy wheels.
And to me that's the crux of the "problem" here. As i've said the cars are exceptional quality and lovely machines and fair play to the owners but they've lost that certain wow factor since the likes of Big Ron and Mario's Mk1s were around, mainly because the formula has been copied so much.


@c37 comment below is exactly my view on the subject. Any car, of any 'scene' or discipline, should be built for the owners enjoyment. Nothing more, nothing less. This thing of building something for others, for the 'scene cred', even for the articles and features is just sad. I think it's worth pointing out how the different tangents like widebodys and big wings have come and gone. None have stuck and it's because the original recipe is SO good. We can talk til the cows come home about how it could be going stagnant but the truth is, nothing will change. We're at the pinnacle so why should it?


You'll never finish your E30 arguing with me on the internet XD


Hahaha this is true!


I think another issue with the VW scene falls into the 'who you know' category. If you're not in with a 'clique' i think it can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, as you can probably guarantee the people hating on the scene will have had a dabble in their earlier years. I can man-up and admit that definitely had an effect on my outlook of it all, however, i'm just a car enthusiast so I take on whatever project i'm feeling at the time regardless of brand or scene.
On the flip side it can get a bit boring as you pointed out in this article, after a while its just the same cars in the same style so I agree with your point.


I think it can definitely appear that way, but I've found everyone within the scene to be hugely welcoming and friendly for the most part. It's just human nature to form close groups, but that might appear to be a 'clique' to someone outside the group.


That's probably because you're a speedhunter's contributor hahaha


Show cars/ nice paint/ expensive wheels weren’t cool fifteen twenty years ago according to most subcultures in the modified car world. We carried on doing what we enjoyed regardless.

The trend caught on and more brands/enthusiasts got on board and for a moment it was cool.

Now it seems as though it’s all a bit samey? I’ll keep doing what I enjoy, as will everyone else who enjoys building cars like this.

Car culture is amazing, we’re so lucky to have so many different variations in so many different parts of the world. A mint VW polo parked next to a track prepared R35 should have a mutual understanding, regardless of taste and preference. We’re all in it for the same reasons.


Every time you guys cover the VW Scene I’m reminded of the camera car you all set out to build some years back. It had everything needed to stand out in this type of show; an interesting drivetrain (Honda if I remember correctly) and interesting body kit, and so much potential to stand out. But I don’t think we ever saw it completed. Maybe it’s exactly what this scene need to change up and be new. Whatever happened to that car?


People still mention it (it was a MKI Cabriolet body dropped onto an EP3 Type R platform) but it was just one of those projects that slowly and quietly died.


Where did it go? Or is it still sitting in someone's garage??? Please pull it out and give it a rattle can black paint job, and drive it if it will move u see it's own power.


I’ve always loved the body kit it had. I saw it was a speedhunters exclusive and I’ve never seen what one of those kits looks like done. Do you know if many of them sold?


Attention VW Haters: We don't give a "rats ass" what any of you all think! VW is why Porsche exists. And there just as German as any other car. Wait a minute! Wasn't VW invented in Germany? Yeah, pretty sure the were. Every VW has something different on it so I have NO idea why these other "groups" are hating. Frankly I am sick and tired of seeing mid-90's Hondas with holes drilled in the back bumper and away bars with loud mufflers annoying everyone and everything. There are some cool JDM cars and some cool BMW and VW and Audi and everything else. You all can hate/smirk all you want. I will personally show you some Dubs that will smoke whatever you got.(Non VW). NGP built my 2.0 Jetta and I'll run down whatever you're driving! Except maybe a 2019 M4. Keep hating. We'll just keep ignoring all of you and keep building cool cars.


this is actually an amazing comment because i gave a dramatic reading of it to a friend and made him shoot fanta out of his nose cause he laughed so hard




Paddy, what about my above post did you not understand?!!!! People "obviously" think all VW's are predictable and "played out" as far as modifications and tuning. That's what I got from the opening words to this article which prompted me to say what I said! So AGAIN what about my post did you NOT understand?!!!!! Am I typing too fast for you?! Duh!


Quiet, child. The grown ups are talking.


I've been an avid SpeedHunters reeder for a better part of 6 years now, and I've probably commented a couple of articles ever since, but I could not pass on this one...
This isn't the first time Paddy, that you criticize the VW scene, and I fear that will not be the latest. I fear that you missing the point on this one. As you stated, the VW scene started the truly show oriented car builds more mindset. So as one can expect for all this years we've seen lots of Mk1's, beetles and other popular platforms roll off the line in forms of truly amazing builds, it's quite hard to evolve and pull a Rabbit out of the hat (no pun intended) in OEM+ oriented builds where lot's of stuff has already been done and where sometimes the biggest changes go unnoticed by the untrained eye. So a different platform (read manufacturer) it's quite a refreshing sight to the sore eye of course. But then again I can also state that JDM is all about Pseudo Drift cars, flashy paint jobs and cheap rivet on fenders and that's what makes the car scene interesting. I believe that everything evolves at is own pace, and there is no point in rushing it, eventually the paradigma will change.
And please, don't read this as a criticism! I love VW's and I understand your take on the Scene, Paddy, please understand mine.

Something else! Please feature the amazing 'Rado with a PD TDI, that is NOT a typical VW build!


I've never been "in" the VAG scene, but I have attended shows, have owned several VAG vehicles and have friends who are into it.

The reason I never really got into it is because it feels to me that there is no progression, not in the sense that people don't come up with new ideas, but in a sense that once your car is built it's built for a show season and that's it. After the season is over you either keep showing the car, change some minor details or go for a full overhaul.

I just like cars and have never tied myself down to a particular scene, right now I own 2 German cars, 1 Japanese and 1 Swedish. I sway towards Motorsport orientated cars (not show Motorsport look cars, I mean cars that are actually used hard) because you are never finished. You can always tweak or upgrade something and there's always a better way. It's also constantly getting the trickle down effect from actual Motorsports. Because of this it never feels stale. Look at a Time Attack event from 2010 and 2019 and they'll look completely different, take pictures from a VAG show from 2010 and 2019 and there won't be that much difference (don't get me wrong, there will be some, it's just not very pronounced). It's worth noting that I used to be quite involved in the Classic Ford scene, but got bored and moved on after 3 years when I realized it was all based on recycled ideas and there was very little innovation, so I'm by no means saying the VAG scene is the only one like this.

I'm also very much 100% focused on driving my cars, something the VAG scene isn't necessarily about. My cars were built to be driven, not polished, not hibernating in a garage under a cover and not for taking to shows. This of course is my experience/opinion and in no way a judgement towards anyone. You build the car you want for the purpose you require. The VAG scene has created some genuinely amazing projects that I hugely admire.

I've seen a few people talking about "haters" and "VW haters". The thing is though, most people who say things like " F the haters" very very rarely have any actual haters. Chill out guys, nobody hates you, most people don't care either way. If you can't accept criticism or the application of critical thought, all you are doing is showing a lack of emotional intelligence. I think this article is brilliant because no matter who are or what you do, be that a car scene, a sports team a business or whatever, sometimes you need to take a step back and ask yourself as a whole whether you are stuck in a rut and whether you are heading in the right direction.


Ubiquity can be both a blessing and a curse. It's that ubiquity that makes a big, varied, exciting aftermarket possible for all these VW's, but the other edge of the same sword is that when there are so many examples and only so many different formulas, it can quickly seem like you've seen it all before.


I think there are some points to consider for this whole discussion and some things have already been pointed out

-VAG is like Lego for adults, i think Paddy can support this , a mk6 Gti e.g
you can upgrade the turbo, intercooler, intake,wishbone, anti-rollbar,brakes, underpan,lightweight wheels, seats all with oem parts
add an aftermarket exhaust ,coilovers and a diff with good rubber and you have a car that totaly looks stock just with a decent drop and maybe some bigger exhaust tips, you won´t really recognize this thing on a show , as what it really is

- to which scene do you compare it ?
the whole tuning scence of VAG is more or less founded on the GTI, a concept of a fwd hatchback with a bigger engine from over 40years ago, you can make it faster or shinier, most of the fast ones you won´t recognize on first sight as such and the other ones ..well slam it and put some good looking and matching sized rims (BBS ) on it , even if you mix both the performace part won´t be that obviuos

Compare it to let´s say to JDMs, where you can choose from rwd sportcars, awd turbo beasts, fwd hot hatches ,for drift, timeattack,track days and so on with a history in so many different motorsports...
I think some have higher expectations on the scence, as for what it stands for

-maybe some of the more intersting builds are just not getting that much attention ( check out the ´pinderwagen´Mk II, the boba motoring golfs) or been brought to shows


So true,the Pinderwagen stands out from the rest,i prefer a track inspired car myself atm we are building one it will be more for the track then for normal driving on the road.That is the reason why i like the jdm scene more,because of the fact of so many different styles.If you just look at time attack,then how many VW’s do you see???,this is why i prefer to attend a hillclimb event in Germany then go to a static VW show.How cool would it be to see some Golfs or Jetta’s in a way like the Porsche outlaws with big fat rubber on those rims instead of those stretched shit


Yes, the Ransel Classics as example is a good one to spot some older but serious VAG machines


Least interesting cars


An interesting read of which I mostly agree.

I’ve had loads of different cars over the last 15 years but the one that’s always stuck around is a MK2 Golf GTI. Certainly one of the most stereotypical dubs...

I sit firmly on the outer edge of the likes of UD, ED38 etc to the point where I sometimes find it embarrassing to be tarred with the VW ’scene’ brush. To me, they represent cars built for the approval of others; masked as being built for themselves.

That to me is very saddening as they are only doing themselves a miss-justice which creates a false sense of community.

The older Volkswagen communities still exist, it’s just not at the forefront. More likely to be found at breakfast meets, mixing with other sub-cultures at other shows, track days etc. The Volkswagen show calendar (in the UK at least) is abysmal for anything other than show and shine and a sea of air-ride.

The friends for life I’ve met through Volkswagen culture are out working hard in the garage or simply out enjoying driving the cars (track-days, b-road blasts etc).

I’m bored with the scene but certainly not bored of what hooked me on the cars themselves. I don’t think that’ll eve die.


My take from this is that the VW\VAG scene was so far ahead that to gain attention you need to apply it to other makes which works for only so long. Certainly the VW love goes deeper than that.....


To be honest, this beats the trend of the Zociety page promoting 350s on reps with angry eyelids, or FRS/BRZ/86 owners demanding an apology from RedBull because they won't sponsor their widebody car. But hey, everyone has their own two cents!


Growing up in Germany as a military brat...slammed VWs with rumbling exhausts made my day every time I'd see one pass. Same happens to the kids we pass today. Enough so to make me put down the lowrider magazine and jump over to the sport compact side.

The VW community has fed the car enthusiast scene for so long that it's crazy. Th


Using your analogy of the master chief preparing that perfect dish everytime will eventually get stale.

It makes sense when you see a specific brand or vehicle follow a common theme of how to build it that it'll eventually get boring. An example of this to me is how I feel about LS swaps. The engine has been swapped into so many cars that I considered it the "beige of engine swaps". They typically follow a specific formula and made it less interesting seeing them.

What I see as being a better solution, which one of the commenters has explained it, is to explain their reason for using or going with this style or form. Not like the typical "cause everyone else is doing it", but the deep meaning that comes from it. The story of how this style got them into cars in the first place, my family member/friend/etc introduced me into the scene and this caught my attention, etc.

Cause building a car is like cooking a dish, while you can make it the way everyone else has done it. It's always good to change it up once and while or give a unique twist to revitalize how one taste or precieve it.


The article should never offend anyone, tuners discuss thoughts on the regular. I do think it's a bit amusing the biggest "crutch" of the scene would be the superb quality of their builds haha. The VW community has fed the car enthusiast for so long giving proper example on how to effectively execute a build from proper stance to the hard-lines, shaved bays to you name it. I'll throw this out there, 15 years ago a wide-body Supra with neon lights was cool. Those VWs built 15 years ago are still solid...just like with music genre this car scene has plenty of room for all tastes from mild-to-wild. I think the VW scene is like your favorite musician, they spoiled us with good music for so long, it's natural to want more from them.


Indeed, if there's a thing you can't take away from the VW scene, it's the fact that since the end of the 80s these cars still look cool and good. Now take a look at what some tuners were doing to other european cars (crazy body kits, speakers everywhere, questionable color taste, space interiors...) and hum... ew lol

I'd say it's like a classic pair of Levi's jean, compared to the 80s fashion style :D


My 2 cent is that it for sure looks boring view from the outiside, as a spectator of the water-cooled VW scene, to see the same cars and same recipes over and over again since so many years. I remember when I was 12 or something (in 1998...) stumbling on a german VW magazine that mixed both air-cooled and water cooled VWs (I can't remember the name of that magazine... "VW something" in pink/purple letters if I am not wrong?) and in that magazine I fell lin love with a metallic red Mk1 Jetta, lowered, on gold BBS, chrome accessories all around, shaved bay, clean beige/brown leather covered interior... same as we see today...

...but my point if that now view from the owners/builders of the cars point of vue : these cars are their pride and joys, and it's what they want and what gets them excited. If what they love and want is to have a car that have this specific scene look, then so it is. They don't care about what the scene is or how it is viewed from the outside, and they are right about it :)

I personally am into air-cooled VWs, I've owned a few of them, I have tons of books magazine about them, I am still interested in them and I still drive one... but honestly there's nothing that bores me more than going to an air-cooled VW show, and to see the same recipies applied since the 60s. Though I love it on my car, because it's my very own part of it and I think it's what suits these cars the best. And I take my car and go to multi-brand shows almost exclusively.


(my message was cut) I go to multi-brands shows only, because I like to see something different, see how this or that is made, learn new things about cars in general, also maybe for a change as I would get bored from seeing only about VWs in magazines or shows or online. So yes, seeing other's people Beetles is boring the hell out of me, still, that won't change that the car I personally want to own and drive is a cal-look 60s air-cooled VW. Because it's my car and how I like it.


(cut again...) Anyways I think the thing that's "upseting" (the word is too big) people about this article is that it's aimed at the water-cooled VW scene, and that it feels like a very personal point of view. But honestly, the very same words used in this article could be used about almost every specific car scene. The traditional hot-rod scene is showing us cars that globaly looks always the same since the 1930s : I am still not bored by it :) Same with Barris-style c(k?)ustom cars, muscle-cars...


Agreed, I think this can 100% be written about every category of automobiles. It is funny ironically as a kid as well growing up in Germany as a military brat, no other cars had a bigger impact on me then seeing those slammed VWs with rumbling exhausts & stereos making my day every time I seen one. We don’t give that scene enough credit honestly.


I'm probably going to catch some heat for this but I'm gonna say it anyways. I think "the speedhunters" are just getting kinda lazy.... there are great builds out there I just don't think you guys try to find them anymore. this website was great 5 years ago. it was new, it had more features and more variety. now its Porsche everything or a v8 swap. I love a nice Porsche as much as the next person but come on guys.


I think your comment is pretty lazy, to be honest. It seems to be the 'go-to' insult for those who can't seem to come up with an original argument. In the first two weeks March alone, these are just some of the cars & events we've featured:

A rotary-powered Morris Panel Van in Australia -

A Chrysler Conquest that has evolved into an awesome street legal track car -

A shop in the Bay Area that no one has seen inside of before, featuring a car being built to generate downforce while stationary -

A front engined, Bentley Mulsanne powered Porsche hot rod -

Crazy Russians drifting Ladas on ice -

Lauda's Ferrari 312T -

Street cars drag racing in South Africa -

Bali's first modified car meet -

Retro JDM greatness from Japan -

I think the real issue here is that people are spoiled with instant content all over the web these days. A lot of these stories require the reader to take the time to read & understand what's in front of them, and as such they don't offer the instant gratification that people seem to want (yet complain relentlessly about) so they just completely skip over them.

I've said it countless times, but I've no issues repeating this: We're not perfect, we don't always get it right but we will never stop trying to improve. Sincerely, if you think you can do better or can find things we can't, then I suggest you pick up a pen & camera and submit the results to where we will happily work with you to bring what you've found to the world.

You might find that it's a lot more difficult than it looks.


Wait, What??? The Speed Hunters dudes are whinging that the VW scene is stale, "played out" and "a waste of time"!?!? Get a grip!! Why don't you show us another car with bolt on Overfenders and wheels in a ridiculous negative offset, because we've only seen 429 of those this week.


The second paragraph.


States the VW scene is behind every other scene and stagnated, yet doesn't cite what other scenes are doing differently, or better? The Ford scene is full of standard ST's with remaps, the BMW scene is just as boring. If you want to see something different and interesting, don't go to a car show. Or do - but go to show that you haven't been to before, in a genre you're not normally into. If that's what you truly crave.


I wish I had the time to reply to every comment in here, because there are for sure some great ones that have given me a lot of food for thought.

It's probably worth restating that, again, this isn't an attack on the VW Scene by any means, but rather just a conversation starter to critically think about how we all do, see and perceive things. I love the scene, and I don't see that changing any time soon. I just want more people to share in it.


I'd love to see a few more pics of that Bentley. I'm always fascinated by the ways that people mod them, and that 1st gen Continental GT is really neat.

As someone who isn't really into the VW scene and has limited knowledge, it just seems like there is a bit of a lack of diversity in styles, although there are some exceptions.


Interesting post. Unlike this one.

Show cars I walk past at shows would make me wet myself if I saw it parked on my street. What's that all about? Context or unrealistic expectations?


wow....all the car in this event coverage are rhd


Them euros have some weird taste.. i m glad there is the states and japan to spice them up.


My opinion is that that there is a bit of a trouble with the european law. To modify your car, all new parts should be homologated, or you will have trouble with police. So people either risk, buy expensive (homologated aftermarket) parts or use various OEM parts and come colour combinations. To popularize a new trend for most of the scene here, quality parts must exist, and they won't if there is no demand for them.
A bit of a circle, but the scene will change for sure. Just a matter of time.


In Germany, the scene around VAG-cars (Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen, Seat) has very much gone...stale.
If you go to a car meet, you’ll probably just see tons of what’s become to be known as "FFF-Tuning“ (Felgen, Fahrwerk, fertig/Wheels, suspension, done).
You’ll find endless rows of mostly Golf-Plattform cars with airride or sometimes super-low fixed suspensension.
Most run BBS/-replicas, some older cars are on Porsche wheels, and occasionally you can spot Vossen Wheels on newer models.
And that doesn’t have much to do with German anti-tuning-laws, because most of the "dropped“ cars are legally seen too low or run wheels too big/without paperwork, so they’re legally "in the red“ despite looking relatively stock.

It’s gotten to the point where you meet owners who dislike the look/feel, but they wanted to modify their cars and, to quote one encounter "with this thing (Mark 4 Golf VR6) you have to do that“
(airride, oversized wheels).
So it seems the scene doesn’t just run out of creativity, it also suffers from intense peer pressure.
Don’t believe me?
Just look at the cover/homepage of a VW-Tuning-magazine, and compare over a few months time.

My daily driver is a stock base model Mark 4 Golf, which has never seem the inside of a car mert, but if I park nearby of mention it in conversation I can still count on people being kinda offended because I "dare“ to have fitting wheels and stock ride height.


I don't see an issue with the VW scene i see an issue with shows like ultimate dubs that attract the same styles of cars most being trailer queens and being at such a high standard of build your going to see only a few newer builds and mostly cars that have subtle changes each year.