If you’re a fan of modified cars and hadn’t heard about this show at the weekend, then you can rest assured that something strange was amiss. Brought to you by the organisers of the recent Belfast Sportscar Show, Belfast and Furious promised to be one of the biggest shows of the year on Ireland’s car calendar. Advertising for the event had been massive – local newspapers, magazines, flyers, and even TV. There was a buzz about the show amongst the modifying community, and it seemed everyone was going – including RMS. Here is our report on the weekend ……….
</strong>Saturday morning arrived too early and I headed straight for the Kings Hall, arriving there at midday.
A swift phone call to Andy and I learnt that RMS Cooper Senior had been busy all morning making some rope and stands with which we could cordon off the cars. RMS improvisation at its best!
Although not packed by any means, the show seemed to be getting off to a decent start, with a lively atmosphere indoors complementing the excellent weather outdoors. Interest in the RMS cars was high. At the front of the pack we had Armo’s Focus, parked next to Orla’s silver Peugot 206. The Bedi brothers were parked behind, with Baron’s tasty Mitsubishi FTO and Rocky’s blue 206 next to each other. Last but not least, Chris Cole’s Veilside MR2 Turbo lit up the back of the pack with the glow from his new undercar neons bouncing off the stainless steel exhaust. Each of the cars drew admiring glances and there was no shortage of interest in the site. It was good to see a lot of the site regulars thoughout the show during the day, most of them wandering over to say hello at some point. The hall filled slowly and as the first twinges of boredom started setting in for us, we took another few trips around. The Cruiseirl.com guys were upstairs, with a tasty 500bhp Supra (later to be seen at the Lurgan cruise), Dimma 106 and a kitted out Civic. Most of the attention seemed to be focused on their plasma screen though, behind which Junior was ………….ahem, exchanging copies of a certain new street racing film for cash. Just next to Cruiseirl was one of the most popular cars of the show and one which hadn’t been advertised – a fully kitted grey Civic on hydraulics. Hydraulics are only starting to take off in this part of the world, despite being hugely popular in the States. The Civic was a fantastic example of how they can really improve a show car, letting you drop it to insane levels which just aren’t possible with a typical suspension setup. Upstairs was also the venue for a massive RS owners club stand, with 6 or 7 Escort Cosworths on display, along with a variety of others – XR3i, Escort RS2000 and more.
Moving outdoors, some of the action was kicking off for those who wanted to brave the sunshine. Terry Grant found himself back in Northern Ireland again, with his motorbike engined rocket performing doughnuts, drifts and any other moves that got the crowd cheering. For anyone who hasn’t seen him in action – do so. Its an amazing sight to behold as he locks the steering and the accelerator, then climbs out onto the roof as the car continues diffing in a tight circle. We also had Jason Finn (motorbike stuntman) performing some tricks and showing the crowd that even at a car show, there’s fun to be had on 2 wheels. Moving away from the tarmac arena, a crowd was gathering at the nearby stage as some of the show’s more brazen females entered the wet T-Shirt contest. In true gentlemanly style, we averted our gaze but rumour has it that there’s one or two photos on RMS for the inquisitive among you.
The show gradually wore on slowly and come 7pm, we were quite happy to get out of the hall and home for a shower. The day wasn’t over yet though – fun was later to be had at the Globe bar where myself, Andy, Codemonkey and co met up with Armo, Orla, Bronk, Ka Club, Strathychick, MeganeCoupe and the rest of the pack. At this point, Bronk has specifically requested that we don’t publicise his dancing moves or chatup lines in case they fall into the wrong hands. Suffice to say, it was a late but enjoyable night.
</strong>Sunday morning eventually appeared and we wearily made our way to the Kings Hall again. The last and final day was basically a repeat of Saturday, only attendance seemed to be much better, as expected. Another quick walk through the hall and we got closer looks at some of the tasty motors that we had missed before – the Tyre and Safety Centre Porsche 911, the Redline featured yellow Civic, the Powerstyle Corsa, to name but a few. The Performance Car Club had another impressive stand which seemed to be garnering plenty of attention – not surprising, given that they had some of the cleanest examples of sports cars about; a Lotus Carlton, Integra Type R, RS Turbo Escort and supercharged corolla twincam.
Outdoors action was much the same as Saturday, with weather to match. By this stage though, we had started getting restless – there’s only so many times you can look at the same cars. Desperate measures were taken to combat the boredom – including the purchase of a £5 remote control car for some diffing fun. As of now, these come with an official RMS recommendation! The day eventually came to a close and we started to pack up the stand. As the cars pulled out of the hall, drinkers in the Kings Head bar (opposite the Kings Hall) were treated to some nice drifts as the RWD cars pulled out onto the road., not to mention some impromptu flashing from a couple of the show girls. The RMS crew hit the road shortly after, stopping off for a quick bite before making our way to the Lurgan Cruise later that night.
All in all, opinions on the show seemed very positive. Layout was excellent, there was a good variety of cars, plenty of stands and a great atmosphere. The whole event seemed much more professional than some of the ones which we’ve attended. It was unfortunate that general attendance wasn’t higher though. The weather may have been too good for some people to spend a day inside the hall, and the show also had to contend with some competing events on the same dates, such as the Newtownards Air Show. My only other gripe would have been that the show lacked a star attraction, with the absence of the rumoured 2Fast 2Furious Evo taking away some of the show’s sparkle. Things can only get better though, and if Eddie Milton brings the show back to the Kings Hall next year, we can be guaranteed an event to look forward to. Belfast 2Furious?