Probably the most successful car show in Ireland returned for its second year running at the Kings Hall in Belfast. Expectations were high and we knew that organisers Pioneer Networks wouldn’t let us down. With the promise of yet more specialist and classic sports cars, the modified stuff <em>and</em> a rally sprint, how could we be dissapointed!
After some last minute reorganising, I spent the Thursday night before the show down at the Kings Hall helping to bring the cars in for the RMS stand. We were situated on the balcony at one end, and had to bring the cars up in the lift. Chris Cole had brought his diablo-doored/Veilside MR2, Davy Hollinger his supercharged AE86 Corolla, Andy Kerr his airbrushed yellow fiesta and Paul, arriving at the last minute minus a bumper in his Fiat coupé turbo. There was a bit of a panic on the friday morning as his new one-off bumper appeared fresh from the bodyshop barely a few hours before the doors opened!
The afternoon was quiet, and it gave me a chance to wander around the other stands and look for something different. Thats what I like about the Sportscar show. Its not just your run-of-the-mill modified stuff we’ve seen ten times over – a real effort is made by the organisers to bring the most impressive cars over that no-one has seen before.
The Nugent hall (at the very back) had the likes of the RS Owners Club (featuring <em>Cosbine<strong> </strong></em>from the RMS forum’s Sapphire Cossie), Super Sunday Series cars including Kevin Daly’s new Fiesta and various trade and kart stands. The Balmoral Hall (behind the main hall) held the likes of the Jaguar concept car (valued at several million) along with several other classic Jags, Toyotas and similar concours examples from decades ago. Also in this hall was maybe the slightly out of place "Cruising for Pussy" trade stand. Needless to say the name raised a few laughs! Subaru had their latest road weapons in a corner, including the new Galant.
In the main hall was the usual plethora of manufacturers and trade stands. The likes of Power Style and Karmania had their wares on display along with the big dealerships like Sammy Mellon Hyundai and Mitsibushi with a stunning FQ-330 Lancer Evo 8 on show. Honda brought along a sleek hard top S2000, which sat opposite its arch rival, the RX-8 on the Mazda stand. There was also a Mitsibushi jeep with some stunning airbrush work, TVRs, and a 265bhp RWD Micra among other things.
The P.S.N.I. had brought along their much talked about Lancer Evo 8 FQ-300, photos of which had cropped up on the forum a few months ago and caused quite an uproar. I spoke to one of the officers on the stand about the PSNI’s current fleet, and how they justify the cost of a fleet of supercars. It seems that the cars themselves cost the police very little – I was told that the manufacturers are almost giving the cars to them simply for good advertising! Most police cars are now also silver because of better resale value!
On the balcony, beside the RMS stand was sponsors JK Autospares, who’s huge display included Rocky and Baron Bedi’s show-stopping Escort, freshly repainted Prelude, 206, wide-arch impreza, corsa and black integra which had Nitrous plumbed in over the course of the weekend. JKs recently acquired a NIS (Nitrous Injection Systems) dealership and I think most people wanted to get their hands on the gas!
Along the rest of the balcony were all the usual websites – Bangorcruise, Cruise-scene, Just-cruizin and the like, some of the most notable cars being the 850Ci on chrome 19s, Rocko’s two-tone focus and Richard’s mint Astra GTE. A Datsun/Nissan enthusiasts stand at the end held two stunning 350Zs and older 300zxs and 260z. Justin and Tristan from Modified Motors had set up on the other side, their tent housing Chris Arthur’s mental widearched Corsa-C. On up were the PCC boys, with Seamy’s concours Escort RS, ‘The Weed’ mini, Clive’s E34 M5, and Mark Luney’s TT Supra on 19" gold split rims.
On the Saturday and Sunday, as per last year was the rally sprint, but the wet weather meant that most people wanted to stay indoors, and driving conditions for the competitors was poor.
Not as busy (I think) as last years show, though it was good to meet the usual faces, have a good laugh and be part of a show which is a bit different from the usual modified type. The <a href=”//www.wrb1.co.uk” target=”_blank”>track day DVDs</a> on the RMS stand projector served as an endless form of entertainment and definitely generated a lot of interest.