by James Preston
There truly is only one way to kick off the Northern Ireland car show calendar, and that's with Dubshed. Now into it's 8th year, Dubshed has grown from a local show to one that sees visitors attending from all over the UK and even some venturing from mainland Europe. Each year the car standard increases, and so does the amount of spectators.
This is the second year now that Dubshed has been held in the grounds of the infamous Maze Prison site, which you can learn all about in our video from last year. The size of the site has allowed Dubshed to continue to grow and spread further into the massive available space. This year the show saw not only the static show and shine that it is well known for, but also Rally Cross displays and a Drag Strip anyone could have a go on.
Inside though, it was business as usual - with the show and shine being the main focus.
Niall O'Dowd is no stranger to ILB. We've featured pretty much every car he's ever put his mind too. While building all these cars, Niall only ever had one real dream and that was to build his own 911. Last year seen him finally purchase a Porsche 993 and well the building began right away. The Porsche was stripped right back to the bare metal, widened, caged and painted again. The work that John (another regular to our site) and Niall have put in to this has really paid off. The car speaks for itself.
Backing the BMW corner was Richard Smyth's ridiculously clean E30. I mean BBS RS and air bags, it was never really going to go wrong. It's also refreshing to see such a clean example in this colour. You can tell Richard had Gary's head at JKC BMW melted with all the bits that have been ordered for this, every single bit of it is mint.
Batting again for the BMW corner is our very own Adam McPeake's E28. I remember driving around in this at Christmas time with a 9 foot Christmas tree tied to the roof, I don't think we'll be doing that anymore. Resident paint guy at ILB @lighthairedpete absolutely smashed the paint work - even if every sinner under the earth told Adam not to paint it Jet Black. It looks like the paint could just drip off it. Adam bossed the wheel choice and also the stance. Even if you did smash your sump on the way home - 30 miles was longer than I had betted anyway.
We'll finish the BMW gang with Paul Hicklin's M3. It doesn't feel like long ago we where chasing him around the Nurburgring in it. A week before Dubshed, Paul decided he wanted to show his car and completely changed it around to this. You wouldn't have guessed it all happened in a week.
Our stand this year seen the return of the Non-German section, and as you'd have guessed, the guy's at Ricks Car Care had some ridiculous Japanese cars to show us. Our sponsored choice award went straight to one of these creations. Here is Thomas Lacey's fully kitted Subaru. This thing is absolutely nuts in the best kind of way, can you imagine seeing this in your rear view mirror? It's the stuff of nightmares. He's also told me he hasn't finished this build, so keep an eye out - as I'm sure we're bound to feature it at some point.
Also in the Non-German corner we have Jordan's Volvo C30 which was packing some serious Swedish metal. It's not very often you see these modified but when you do, they always look so good.
Being a German show, I guess I'll jump back to the German side of things, and what better way than Steve's S3. After hearing this thing ripping up the streets on Saturday morning, I can safely say it doesn't hang about.
I think I have a soft spot for Liquid Gold...
That painter that we spoke of Peter brought his own car. It's nice and it's also for sale. So give him a shout if you want this amazing machine. He might even let you ride in his SMX if you're lucky enough. Oh, and he won top 10 as well. Everyone likes tittys.
Alys McMillan's Mk6 GTI was rocking that white on white icey finish.
Aaron Finlay's V6 mk2 look as impressive as ever. A V6 mk2 golf is a car that I've always wanted a go in, maybe I'll put that on my Christmas list.
One of our favourite old timers, Marty McConnellogue's Mk4 looks awesome every time we see it. Probably one of the first cars we really looked up too starting out ILB.
Sam's Polo seen some changes over the winter months, digging this combo.
We also seen some very hungover Scottish folk. They brought some nice cars too.
Gareth McCavish dropped a set of Fifteen52's on his TT this year. Seriously cool little TT this.
It was cool to see Ben Rye making the trip all the way over from London, he arrived early Thursday and even got to see a few of the sights while he was over. His bug is seriously low. Like... really low. It also picked up a top 10 prize.
Thanks to all the guys that stopped by the pop up shop to say hello, chill out on the sofas and buy some new merch. It's you guys that are the real MVP's. We can't thank you enough for your continued support.
The guys at GTINI have smashed this show yet again. These guys never fail to impress. We are thankful for all the hard work they do to make the show what it is, it really does pay off. We are super excited to work with them on our very own Districts.
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Words by: James Preston, Adam McPeake
Photos by: Alex Carroll