There's no doubt about it Dubshed has always been a great show for the VAG faithful. From their humble beginnings in King's Hall, Belfast back in 2010 to the biggest indoor event in Northern Ireland, for a whole weekend it brims the huge Eikon Exhibition Centre, and most of the outside space, too. It certainly got our attention a few years back, even if we haven't actually attended for a couple of seasons… but then again, neither has anyone else. Yep, the dreaded pandemic restrictions put a stop to the event for 2020 and 2021 so, after this 2-year hiatus, expectations were high. But, you know what? They certainly didn't disappoint.
Of course, we were fully expecting to see the cleanest cars that the Emerald Isle has to offer but, as only one hall was 100-percent reserved for VWs this time around, there was also the promise of a huge influx of other cool builds, too. Ireland, whether that's Northern or Southern, is well known for its love of extreme imports - it is the gateway to the UK after all, and through their various ports they get all the best stuff first!
But, all that aside, what could possibly be a more fitting first outing for our recently-built VW T6.1 than Dubshed? Here's what went on at this epic 2-day event…
Logistically of course, our journey to Belfast starts before the day the doors open, chiefly because there's a distinctly wet bit in the way… it's not quite like popping up to Silverstone in the morning, is it? But, it has to be said that were well versed in getting out and about as far afield as Austria and the US nowadays, so we wasn't going to let the Irish Sea get in the way. Instead, we loaded up our new Transporter, along with a couple of Swamper Sprinters, at the factory and headed from Hertfordshire to Birkenhead to catch the overnight ferry. To be honest, we must say that it's quite nice to get a little sleep before a big show, even if that does mean comically-small cabins with bunk beds, along with docking in Belfast at 6:30 on the Saturday morning and heading straight to the exhibition centre. Yes, despite appearances, it's not all glamour.
Luckily, it's not just the logistics we're extremely used to, setting up a major display is almost second-nature to the crew nowadays. And, that's a good thing because, as one of the main sponsors supporting Dubshed, we just had to bring along our mobile store to set up with a huge selection of our range. Naturally, we managed to get it all put up, bolted together and stocked, well before the gates opened on the Saturday morning.
Of course, the "getting ready' bit is one of the main attractions to the most hardened showgoers anyway, it's also where plenty of detailing takes place. So, we're always happy to have an early morning scoot around, helping show car owners with the best finishing products, and even do a little buffing ourselves… all that comes pretty naturally, too.
With a stand chocked full of special invited guests, all gleaming to perfection, and a great selection of our range on offer, our product specialists could be on hand over the whole weekend to help and advise everyone on the technical side of detailing. We also laid on a whole load of professional polishing demos from the team… including the boss who likes nothing better than to break out the DPX and get his hands dirty.
One of the great things about Dubshed is that, while it goes without saying that you'll find some pretty damn special builds on the inside, there was certainly plenty on offer outside, too. It's not just the display cars, either - a healthy selection of street and show projects from just about any modifying stabls you can imagine. No, there was even a whole load of Gymkhana action in the arena, too. Of course, these sort of sideways antics have been in the Irish DNA for decades now, so they certainly know how to put on a spectacle.
The cars that get to display at the show, as you can imagine, are the cream of what's out there in both Northern and Southern Ireland. So much so that the guys don't actually call it a car show - they call it an exhibition. That said, all this is pretty fitting because they've packed in quite the selection of show-stopping stunners. But, perhaps what you may not expect is that, far from being exclusively VW's finest, the event has grown not just in size, but to accommodate all marques and models… they don't even have to be German nowadays, either. Now obviously, with a 2-day show of this magnitude, there's plenty of cars to see, and to ponder them all in detail you really have to be there. But, even so, here's a special gallery with just one or two of our favourites…
They give a vast array of trophies at this show, over 30 in fact, but the two that everyone is talking about all weekend is the Best In Show and the Auto Finesse Sponsor's Choice Award.
This year our James and his right-hand man, Simon, both picked their favourite cars, and then decided to get you guys involved and with a vote-off on our Instagram Page for most the worthy winner. The voting was super close, that's for sure, but in the end Simon's pick - QZ Tints' stunning old-skool Merc 250SE - came out on top for the Sponser's Choice gong.
But that's not to say that James' choice - Christian Gale jaw-dropping MK5 Golf GTI - went away empty handed - this one ended up taking the Best In Show crown anyway. Nice work!
All in all, it's pretty obvious that Dubshed went down a storm for 2022, and we have to say that we just can't wait to get back to Belfast for the next one. Hopefully we'll see you all there in 2023. Keep on eye on Dubshed.com for their announcement on upcoming dates.