Ultimate Stance isn’t the sort of event I’d normally find myself at. In all honesty, I very rarely attend anything car related that isn’t a drift event or the occasional meet. While I can appreciate why some people might not enjoy indoor shows, I feel it’s a bit short-sighted of us (myself included) to limit our appreciation of our varying native car scenes. When you only surround yourself with people who are into one thing and one thing only, it’s all too easy to get tunnel vision and begin to struggle to appreciate the work of others that really does deserve some acknowledgement.
Take the Audi pictured above, for example. I can’t even name what model it is (an A3 or S3 perhaps? I’m not going to Google it) and I’m all too aware that it probably looks nothing like it does here when it’s aired up and driving along but, in the moment as I snapped this photo during the event load in, I thought it looked great.
Shows like this also get a stigma that they are only filled with cars similar to the aforementioned Audi (relatively new, on air suspension and with a fancy set of wheels). In some cases I can understand why this might be the case (sometimes it’s entirely true, too) but the car I snapped immediately after said Audi was this, which at least gave me some hope that I was going to see a strong variety of creations.
This Evo on WORK Meister S1s also couldn’t have been further from the textbook modern VAG scene. It’s worth noting that Ultimate Stance is pitched at cars from all marques, with a strong emphasis on wheel fitment and stance (as the name would suggest).
This Rocket Bunny-kitted Z33 was pretty awesome too. Again, I’m fairly certain it’ll have been on air (I’ll be very impressed if it’s not!) but both the colour choices and wheel fitment were on point, so it didn’t bother me at all.
The Rocket Bunny arches had been blended into the stock body too and, while I am actually a fan of the exposed bolt/rivet look with these style of kits, I could really appreciate the amount of work it must have taken to reach this standard of fit and finish.
This Porsche Cayman was wearing a Pandem kit, albeit with all of the mounting hardware on display. I’ve never been much of a modern Porsche fan but I really do quite like these Caymans; they especially look like such a laugh on track.
One point I will draw attention to though is how the Rocket Bunny/Pandem bodykit renders often seem to look that little bit better than their real life counterparts. After studying quite a few of them, it seems that Miura-san seems to prefer a smaller wheel/chunky tyre look, whereas most of the real world builds tend to go with larger wheels and stretched tyres. However, I have noticed that most of the Pandem Caymans that I come across online seem to go down the chunky tyre route, which is probably why most of them appeal to me as much as they do.
In stark contrast was this gleaming AE86. When you see a Hot Version number plate, you just have to know that the owner is a bit of a JDM fanatic (I’m sure we’d get along just great).
The next time I returned to the little Corolla its headlights were up, so of course I had to take another photo.
Despite it being parked up next to the ’86, Harley Smith’s Polo GTi might as well have been in another world when it comes to any potential comparisons to the Toyota. They are so far apart from each other in the modified automotive spectrum but here they were, parked up alongside each other on the Wheel Whores stand and highlighting perfectly the variety of cars on display.
I singled out Harley’s car because he purchased a set of 326POWER wheel nuts and spike end caps from STREET TRACK LIFE a while ago, making him one of the first in the VAG scene to embrace a brand for whom familiarity in the UK is usually reserved for die-hard JDM fans.
I’m used to seeing mouldy old Nissan engine bays complete with partially relocated looms, splatters of power steering fluid and a myriad of earthing points, so this immaculate setup was quite an eye opener for me.
E30s have shot up in value as of late, so it was no surprise to see some immaculate examples on display.
This Z34 370Z was certainly a bit of a marmite creation but I definitely liked the paintwork and the contrasting gold wheel centres.
When I saw this PS13 roll in I knew that we were really being treated to a strong variety of cars. This was no ordinary Silvia either…
…for it was sporting an Odyvia front end conversion. I was told that this exact car was the original demo car that Spirit Rei used to display the swap, which leads me to believe that it might be this car that was featured in Drift Tengoku back in 2009. Please correct me if I’ve been incorrectly informed though! I definitely do prefer the swap without the front grille though, it must be said…
There isn’t really much that I need to say about this Hakosuka other than “just look at it”.
You’re probably wondering why the show looks eerily quiet in the above photos…
…that’s because they were taken on the setup day (Saturday) while I should have been finishing setting up my own 326POWER UK stand. As you can probably tell by now, the Ultimate Stance event is a melting pot of different marques and styles and I felt it would be a perfect opportunity to display 326POWER’s range of Yabaking wheels, along with a large array of their other parts.
To help our cause, I had Tooley‘s Rocket Bunny S15 on display with its set of 18″ Yabaking Spoke wheels. I had to laugh when I got told that a couple of younger enthusiasts had been overheard exclaiming that this was car was indeed a “replica of the S15 from the Monky London video, complete with the Garage 21 stickers to complete the look”.
The 326POWER Crocs have been hugely popular with people in the drift scene but I don’t think the show car scene is quite ready for them yet! Just you wait and see guys, 2018 will the year of the Croc, you read it here first…
With the setup done and dusted and security politely asking us to leave the venue, I took a few last minute photos so I didn’t have to jostle through the crowds the next day. I loved the colour of this Seat.
This E30 though…wow. I thought the front was pretty menacing but, then…
…I spotted the rear windscreen louvres. SOLD.
A bosozoku-themed Nissan Sunny, complete with extended bonnet and front wings, chin spoiler and a pretty sweet white and blue retro livery.
Of course, this is a lot tamer than the cars that you would normally associate with the bosozoku scene in Japan but, when it comes to driving one regularly on UK roads, this is probably as extreme as you can get without hating your life.
Old Mercs were another favourite at the show and served as yet another reminder that I really have an itch to scratch when it comes to these things.
I’m assuming that this particular 190E had been brought over from the Netherlands for the show and, while the rear camber was’t really my cup of tea, everything else was excellent.
Everyone’s favourite taxi, a Passat B6.
After checking into my hotel next door to the venue and getting the keys to my room, a quick peek out of the window confirmed my suspicions that this event stretched far beyond the confines of the exhibition halls (unofficially, at least).
I was supposed to be rushing to dinner but I just couldn’t resist taking a few photos of this incredible XJ Jaguar in the hotel car park. If anything, the somewhat tatty and mismatched exterior made me like it even more, although I’d love to see it finished in black or champagne gold.
Just a few metres away was this delightful Mercedes estate too, similarly slammed and also boasting a huge amount of charm.
There were cool cars scattered everywhere (I even spotted a Vauxhall Nova ditched up a grassy incline in between a road and a car park and I’m still not quite sure how it got there), with this E39 being one of them.
Anyway, back to the show and a rushed Sunday morning getting everything ready for the main event. I had to take a photo of this Liberty Walk-kitted M4 though, before it would inevitably get mobbed by the crowds.
This Fast & Furious-inspired Jetta was parked opposite my stand and yes, before you ask, it did have front brake calipers!
This Merc was pretty sweet.
I got a few minutes to wander the hall that my stand was in later in the day but I just ended up taking more photos of Tooley’s car to be honest.
I must say a huge thank you to everyone who stopped by the stand to say hello and ask questions about the 326POWER range, along with picking up some merch. It all got a bit too much for Tooley’s girlfriend Lauren though who couldn’t resist a mid-afternoon nap…
While dashing to and from the toilets I had to grab a quick shot of this LHD Daimler that was sporting Belgian plates.
For those whose cars didn’t get accepted into the main show, jostling for a parking space in the car park right outside the venue is another game altogether. I heard people arriving from as early as 6am to get into what is a mini show in its own right and, for those that couldn’t make it into this car park, the nearby multi-storey was the next place to go (which also become another small show!).
I only got chance to check out the main car park for a couple of minutes while I helped a customer but, of all the incredible cars parked up, I just had to get a snap of this Epic Specialz Nissan Sunny. I’m guessing the exhaust extensions are removable but, even so, this must be absolutely hilarious to drive on the road.
Back indoors I spotted the slammed CR-V that I’d seen at the Japanese Performance show a couple of months back.
And with that, it was time to pack everything up into my dreadful rental van and get on the road. I had to get a quick shot of this 2-series BMW first though. If you’re going to air out a car, you might as well make sure it’s as low and as aggressively fitted as this when doing so.
On my way home I met up with Gaz from Cut Loose who had travelled in his R34 daily driver so that he could pick up a 326POWER wing from me for his S15 project. I’m looking forward to seeing it out of his unit and down the drift track soon.
And there we go, Ultimate Stance done and dusted! I appreciate that most of you probably come to the site for drifting content but I feel it’s important to spice things up every now and then with a wider array of content.
Don’t panic though, I’ll be at Rockingham this weekend for another one of their fantastic Meihan layout events, so you can expect some cool video footage and photos over the course of the next couple of weeks!