We've had vaccinations, visitor number restrictions and variety of hi-vis vest-clad protestors blocking traffic on the M25 but, you know what? The 2021 UK show season has been an absolute banger!
It's safe to say that, after a reasonably dismal 2020, the car community has banded together this year to produce plenty of awesome builds and, ultimately, some amazing events over the course of the season. But unfortunately, we all know that the shows can't simply carry on into the harsh UK winter… and it's safe to say that the dark afternoons are already drawing in. There is however one last UK end-of-season blowout on the cards, and that's the legendary Ultimate Stance.
This super-premium event is, as you'll already know, all about showcasing the best that the British stance scene has to offer. Proof you might say that we're right up there with the finest builds on the world stage. In fact, it's actually so more much than this, to get inside the venue the builds have to be the best of the best. Every vehicle is vetted way in advance to the doors opening. Once again, too, we're the headline sponsor for Ultimate Stance, so we'd be there right in the middle, bring the best of the best of the detailing world!
But first of course, there was the small matter of logistics - just how do you get 5 big-money project cars, a custom motorbike, an Airstream pop up shop and a whole load of stock (including a few brand-new product lines) form leafy Hertfordshire up to Telford Exhibition Centre? Don't worry, we're well versed in the operation…
With a fair chunk of the Auto Finesse fleet to show off, not to mention a fully-stocked trailer, our stand this year was bigger than ever before - as you can imagine it all this takes quite the team effort to set up. Taking place on Halloween weekend too - placing the show right in the middle of our 2021 Spooktacular promotion - we also ended up with something of a zombie apocalypse on our hands!
All the staff and promo girls were more than happy to dress up for the day, donning tattered, bloody clothing and biting any customers that dare get near enough (yeah okay, maybe not the last bit). As well as our special edition glow-in-the-dark Lather Toffee Apple Shampoo and Zombie Pin-up Air fresheners, along with the other AF staples used to prepare and finish many a show car, there was a very special sneak preview of our all-new winter collection products. This included the Pro Bucket Combo, ObliTARate Gel, our Pressure Sprayer and plenty more. If you missed the show, well don't worry, you're still in luck - these products have just dropped for November, and you can find out about them right here in our blog - Six Brand-new Product Lines To Take Any Detail To The Next Level.
So, there you have it, plenty of brand-new and special edition products, a fully-stocked pop-up store and some of our most revered, home-grown projects - including the 1954 Chevy Stepside, OG VW Caddy and R32 Skyline GT-R - all prepped, polished and buffed and to perfection. But, what's important here is that, even this spectacular display wasn't all we had on offer.
Nope, Ultimate Stance also saw the debut of our custom Triumph Bobber, resplendent with a brand-new, and thoroughly old skool gold leaf and pinstriped paint job. Along with our extremely recently completed Caddy V2 project (see more of this one here). One thing that came a huge surprise though, including to many of the team, was that this particular VW truck has a matching little brother - a custom-built Honda Metruck put together especially for us. And why not, eh? Why unveil one project to a standing ovation at Ultimate Stance, when you can roll up with three?
Delivered on the day by the guys at Ruck Style UK this low and stretched mash up of a Honda Ruckus and a Metropolitan Scooter was a real crowd-pleaser… if we're completely honest, we just couldn't wait to get it back to the Detailing Academy on Monday to take it out for a spin!
The rest of the event was vehicle after vehicle of modifying excellence - only broken up by the crazy skate and BMX demos on a custom-built indoor ramp. When it comes to the actual cars though, even though spaces are strictly limited (chiefly because only the best ever get through the door) there was quite the variety of styles and ideas. We can't possibly fit every single one in this article - but here's an extra special gallery of our favourites…
Of course, you can't go talking about the best of the best turning up for the event without finishing up with the coveted Show and Shine competition. At Ultimate Stance they give away a fair few trophies… but of course, the most important are always the Best In Show and Auto Finesse Sponsor's Choice Awards.
As it turns out, the same car picked up both gongs for 2021, but to say it was well-deserved is something of an understatement. The Outlaw Racers Porsche 356 has been storming just about every show this year and, looking at the pictures, it's easy to see why! We think that the owner, James, may need to build a bigger trophy cabinet for next season.
Thanks to everyone who made the trip to sunny Telford and came along to our stand to check out the new cars, and the new products. And an even bigger thanks to everyone who's visited us throughout the course of the season.
Here's to 2021 then… we're looking forward to seeing what 2022 has in store for the UK!