It’s Okay To Like Low Cars

We all have our own ways of extracting maximum joy from cars.

These methods are generally shaped over the course of our lifetimes and are influenced by our surroundings, upbringings, friends and family. There is no right or wrong way (within reason I suppose, don’t go sticking chainsaws on the outside of your car) to enjoy cars, just different ways.

Some like to seek out every tenth on a racetrack; others enjoy the process of a nut and bolt restoration. There are those who obsess over wheel fitment and aesthetics, and the few who want to challenge us to think rethink everything we know about cars and what they’re capable of. Some people understand this, some don’t or at least choose not to. But really, it doesn’t matter all that much. You don’t have to choose a side, and it’s okay to like different things, for different reasons.

The only thing that really counts is that your car makes you look back when you walk away from it. That’s how you know you’re doing it right.


It was a few years ago when I first met Andreas Pfeffer. It was hard to miss the carbon covered and static dropped Mk7 GTI on the roads around Lake Wörth. We stayed in touch ever since, and try to meet at Wörthersee each year for a chat and some photographs.

Andreas is dedicated to the static low life, something which I abandoned a long time ago, but still have respect for. It’s something which takes a serious amount of dedication and patience, especially when done correctly.

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Living in Germany, Andreas and his friends have no choice but to do it the right away. The laws and their strict implementation around modified cars in Germany are no joke; even cars passing through the country are subject to them. Although it’s hardly surprising that a country which features roads with no speed limits holds people and their vehicles to the highest of standards.

These rules and regulations have shaped how German and other European car enthusiasts go about building and customising their cars. They must conform to set guidelines in order to keep things above board, and not to sweat every time the polizei roll past.

One of the strongest styles which is prevalent at Wörthersee is tucked and slammed. Even those running air, will set up to drive the cars as low as possible while the rim rotates deep inside the wheel arch. They’re not going to be winning any races, but that’s not why they do this. They do this because low cars look good.

It’s why most concept cars in their earliest stages appear with massive rims, no arch gap, and sat on the floor in sketches and design renders. To have a wheel setup which occupies the whole aperture is visually pleasing.

This is what many strive to replicate.

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When you consider Andreas’ C8 Audi A6 Avant, it’s a great example of this style. The fully polished Vörsteiner wheels, which measure in at 22×9-inches with respectable 235/30R22 tyres on all four corners, are just the right size for the huge body which they carry. It looks absurd rolling along, like it shouldn’t be possible, but somehow is.

Andreas runs his own line of suspension, which has been designed from the get go to allow cars to run extremely low, while still retaining decent ride quality. It’s not just a set of coilovers wound down to the last, running a fraction of its stroke. He does have a subtle four-wheel lift system installed, similar to what Dino has in Project GT-R, for those particularly tricky situations.

I personally feel that this type of car is perfectly suited to this style. It’s a big cruiser, and continues to serve this purpose. I’m sure if Andreas had wanted power, he would have just bought an RS6 instead…

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Similarly, the A1 is a small city car.  It was designed to be upmarket, but utilitarian in its purpose. It’s not a race car, and it was never intended to be one, but just look at how much more interesting it is just lowered and on a set of well suited wheels.

The 19×8.5-inch BBS Speedlines were custom made to three-pieces and mounted with 5×100 to 5×112 PCD adapters giving an effective offset of around +35.

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These aren’t cars which are about huge spec lists which out-value the original purchase price of the car, but rather cars which demonstrate that you can do something simple with sublime results. In a sea of bland, econo-boxes, tell me these wouldn’t stand out a mile in traffic?

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Which is sort of the point of them. They’re cars which tell others that you are a car person, and that cars bring you joy in life. They’re a badge of honour in that you won’t accept ordinary.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a 1,000hp over-fendered autobahn missile, or a sleek, slammed family car on big wheels, if you’re a car person, you’re a car person. You’re one of us, and that’s all that matters.

Well, as long as you still look over your shoulder every time you walk away from your car, that is…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos



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Next week on Instagram - someone with chainsaws stuck on the outside of their car who "doesn't care about the haters"


The problem is you have to share the road with other people, so having at least some grasp of basic engineering is probably a good thing for your safety as well as others.

It might make someone smile to have 15 degrees of camber and stretched wheels, but what about when they hit a pothole and it debeads at 80mph into a family doing 60mph in the slow lane?


I like how there was no reply to this. Lmao.


Far more people are killed by high horsepower cars than cars with excessive camber


You dont do 80mph with a static car. I have a static car and i cant even imagine going +60 on a narrow road. The "dangerous stance" is as dangerous that people who are ignorant enough to not maintain their car and drive a broken car. And believe me. We have more idiots on the road than static stance cars. When you go fast with a car that is in the lowest point possible. mega camber. Your car will be rocking side to side and the noise is so awful you cant drive +60mph. atleast for long periods of time. Hope this cleared things up. And for the camber. If it runs on the sidewall THEN its DANGEROUS.


You say 'chainsaws stuck on the outside of their car' like it's a bad thing.


I'd have to see it before I cast judgment..


tucking rim<<<<pokin out


If I remember correctly, poking out isn't allowed by German law - like Paddy mentioned. Although I'm not 100% sure how far you can go; I remember having seen Rieger tuning catalogues (those were the pre-internet days kids) where German cars were lowered and wide-wheeled in a way that would give Dutch police seizures :D. In any case, Germany's strict laws are a known thing - I got some lowering springs from Germany on my little Nissan, and I carry it with me whenever I cross the German border. I suppose this guy must rock a stack of documents and certificates in the glovebox, so much respect.
@ Paddy: nice write-up as always. Just gave me a little boost of motivation I needed to tweak my Nissan, so much appreciated.


You're correct, excessive tyre stretch and poke are pretty much fully outlawed in Europe now.


The wheel may poke out a bit in Germany. As far as I know, it is about the profile of the tire, which may not be visible when you look from the top onto the wheel. So the fender needs to cover the profile of the tires to a certain degree to the front and back.


Australia too.


That's because the government has good taste, and they don't want visiting foreigners to not come back based on terrible car trends.


And rightly so, because there is good reason for it:

As for stretching: de-beading a tire is the main cullprit. Everybody can understand why you wouldn't want to do it, yet there are still people in the world who do it. You can still stretch them slightly, but not excessively. There is absolutely no technical reason to do it anyway, so why bother?

A for poke: Try driving behind someone in the rain with tires poking out of the wheel arches: You get heaps of water on your windshield.
Now do the same where there is sand around: You get sandblasted
Now do the same with gravel/rocks: You get rock chips, broken windshields, leaking radiators and so on.

It just to minimise risk. Not so much for yourself, but for other road users.

As for how far you can go: A tyre cant stick out more then 2,5cm/1inch/ Thats measured from the top part of the fender on the highest point of the arch above the centre of a wheel. There is some leeway in it though: Running a little negative camber can get you within 2,5cm/inch. As long as there is a good contact patch its allowed. So no, you cant demon camber the shit out of your car. Again: Why would you anyway? There is absolutely no technical benefit to do so anyway?


Agree with you on safety points as a daily driver. But show cars are fine with me. Most stance cars I see are crawling from the trailer to their spot at the show anyway.


I'm with you on that one. But it does depend if you plan on driving it on public roads: if so, the same rules apply as stated earlier. If not then go for it. You can do anythig you want as long as it doesn't hit the streets.


I’ve definitely seen some sketchy stanced cars on the street. But then again there’s plenty of terrible drivers I come across every day living in Los Angeles that worry me much more.


why bother? maybe because you like it?


Thats a bit selfish don't you think? I want it so I don't care about others? If you want a car that can only roll up and down your driveway be my guest. Or on a trailer....


I like low cars when their other peoples cars. Love that someone modified an A1 so tastfully and a more modern RS6, its nice.

Catch you around.



Hello Paddy, Have you some pics about the yellow 964 ? Regards


The question is "How low can you go?"


I like low cars with minimal stance


I like low cars, but is it too much to ask for a couple of shots at more roadworthy ride heights? (if they're on air that is).


If you read the article it states the car is static


Ah thanks, must have missed that. I just saw the part about 4-corner lift system and just assumed.


Glad to see articles like this. Keep it up Paddy.


I like low cars, but really don’t enjoy it when the line of the arch (fender) is at complete odds with the arc of the wheel/tyre.


Astonishing. I've never thought about that in the 25 years I've been racing. Certainly a millennial.


I’m not sure what that aesthetic choice has to do with ‘25 years of racing’, or how in any way that’s an identifier of when I was born. Heard of an opinion?


Shunning the reality that slamming the car on ground can make it a static display those the proponents of this would label me a "hater" as opposed to coming up with an argument to the benefits of the this non-pragmatic "improvement". Rather than being a hater I am more bewildered by the antithesis of seeking the image of a fast car whereas the vanity of the execution hobbles the object in question.


Not particularly a huge fan of stanced cars myself but from my experience most of this scene isn’t about trying to look like “fast cars”. Yes, many of them are sports cars and some are (or were) fast but the goal is purely aesthetics and the challenge of this type of build.


And the vibe. If it was only aesthetics they would never been driven. There have been hotrods since day one and nobody talks about them? The chopped Long nosed hotrods(forgot what they are called pardon me) have 0mm ground clearance and the style has been like that for 40years. They definetely drove them. It feels different than air. It is hard to explain. It just feels so terrible it becomes great. There is the feeling. The same feeling from hotrods to shakotan.


i like the simplicity of static just cut the springs and drive lol (saving for coilovers currently)


I like low cars but my local mountain roads don't like them.


what about taking pictures of my car when leaving it in a public parking. am I still one of you. : ) looking at her when I walk away is not enough : )


I dream this car :-)


It's ok to like Abba too, doesn't mean I'm going to go round admitting it in public.


I really dislike when wheels are completely tucked in without any thoughts on fitment, although these cars aren't really that much of a case and in Germany you couldn't really make it flush anyway and they're static and give it a 90's BTCC feeling. But when they just put bags, big wheels and air it down, which is too often a case in USA, it just doesn't look right even from aesthetic standpoint, as if it was W220 merc with blown air suspension somewhere in the junkyard.


"It's okay to like low cars"

No it's not.


"It's okay to hate"

No it's not.