You ever wondered how the car culture goes down in other countries? I mean sure, we all see foreign builds on social media, and we can gauge an idea, but have you ever thought what it would be like to experience it, be there, talk to people, see how other countries do it? I’ll walk you through our recent European car scene experience.
On our recent parts run to the Netherlands, we made some new friends at a garage called Polo 86c Service Brabant. They specialise in looking after old VW Polo’s, which made it a very attracting place to visit for us. While talking and getting to know them all, we started talking about a show that they were attending the following day, and being a Sunday, most other things were closed so we decided to pop along.
When we arrived, we parked in a nearby general carpark, and walked across to the main indoor Cora Anderlecht shopping centre carpark. We were unsure what to expect from a “carpark meet” so to speak but it was a charitable event, so we paid our £5pp entry fee and walked in. I didn’t initially intend on taking photos, as I had no camera with me, only my phone, but boy when I got in there, I could not help myself.
The sound of incredibly built sound systems boomed across the carpark, which initially was intense, but this will be explained later. Straight at the door, we peeled off onto the first row of the carpark and spotted a very cool Honda Civic Shuttle. We quickly noticed the set of matching white Spoon Sports wheels, nicely tucked under each corner giving it the racey look, on an otherwise fairly tame car. It just all worked very well together, and we all agreed that it would make a fantastic daily driver.
The next interesting little number for us was this Opel Corsa saloon, better known in the UK as the Nova. I have never seen one of these in saloon form before. While walking up to the front of the car, none of us could tell what it was. We all wondered if it was some sort of a Nova derivative but was all surprised when we saw the badge at the back. On writing this piece, Lee was kind enough to enlighten us on what we were looking at! I’m sure back in the mid/late 80s this was a mega first car, 4 doors, room for all your mates, and a punchy little 1.2l engine. Sporting adequate ride height alterations, aftermarket wheels, clear taillights and by the looks of it some sort of rear silencer upgrade all combined making this a proper boxy little car full of character!
Next up, a Bay Window Ex Dutch Postal Service panel van. This thing had cool patina, aided by some brown paint in places, but I think the overall look was represented quite well. The BBS mesh wheels make a cool, but oddly paired addition to this bus. For sure it’s a very cool wheel choice, but not one very common among the buses we tend to see here in the UK, and I’m here for that.
How many of you have heard of the Honda Civic EK’s smaller scrunched up little brother the Honda Logo? This little parcel of fun is powered by the D-Series VTEC engine, egged on by a cheeky snail pushing this little 1.5l engine to 200bhp and 224nm of torque. Chunky, grippy tyres keep it stuck to the tarmac. A very fitting colour coded roll cage, and FN2 Type R bucket seats give this car a very racey feel to match its adequate power plant and overall style. Another very cool iteration of a car we don’t see much of here.
We stop here for our brief late morning brunch intermission. You ever had Bolognese at a car show from a food van? No, us neither. Till now, and it was incredible. Why don’t we do this in the UK. BRING MORE FOOD OPTIONS TO CAR SHOWS!
Next, we have this very odd creation. A jacked up MK2 Golf estate. Powered by a diesel lump, this homemade goodie sits jacked up, with knobbly tyres, a roof rack, a colourful paint job and even a tow bar. This car has lots of rally stickers in the windscreen showcasing the many vehicle rallies that it’s taken part in. I think its a very cool little creation to be honest, I’m glad someone’s done it, it just goes to show that it is doable, and I’m sure its great fun on its rallies and attracts lots of attention.
You’ve heard of the Polo G40 right? Well in this country, they were a quirky little hot hatchback with heaps of power for how little they weighed. One of the lesser-known models here is the Polo Genesis, a collaboration between Volkswagen, and the band Genesis. In the UK, it was powered by a much more mild, and quaint 1.3l engine with single point injection (I actually own one). However, in Europe, the Polo Genesis was destined for much more. The European Polo Genesis was powered by the supercharged 1.3l G40 engine, a very cool instrument inspired interior with bolstered up front seats, wheel arch and sill trims, BBS RA wheels, and in some crazy colours. Here we see the purple variant Genesis G40. Sure, this example off the bat seemed well used, lacquer peeling in places, lots of stone chips and the roof painted black, but that all added to the character of the car, and at least showed that its been used throughout its life. This is example is mostly standard, besides the twin exit tailpipe and the rear windows had a slight purple ring which I think is a cool touch and complimented the paintwork nicely. I’d love to own one of these, there can’t be many left.
How about this little Fiesta? Quirky looking little MK3 Fez, lots of cool about this car. Let’s start at the wheels, 5 spoke polished Brock (I think a variant of the B2) wheels suit this car very well. Clear taillights, a winner for me at the minute I think, some things pull them off really well, which I think this does. Homemade side skirts and front lip, give this a typical 90s hatch racer look, but again I think this car pulls it off well enough. This colour hits well too, I think all in all this makes for a properly cool little car.
Ah yes, the Polo’s of 86c Service Brabant, I guess this part is very bias considering both Patrice and I own Polo’s, but these cars are both incredible in their own ways. On one hand you have a really cool and well put together MK2F Coupe, which just looks the part, crisp, clean, good fitment. It’s just very appealing to look at, I mean everything that’s been done to this car just works really well, the BBS style mesh alloy wheels, the smoked taillights, coilovers giving a great ride height and colour coded bumpers really just set this thing off. This has a cool factory interior that I’ve never seen before, again different to UK spec cars, odd but cool to see, and a factory spec radio, that’s been modified to give Bluetooth capability. Nadja has done a fantastic job putting this together.
On the other hand, you have Mathieu’s incredible MK1F Polo GT. This thing is properly cool, 1.3 mech head lump, Weber twin 40s, a nice free-flowing Powersprint exhaust system, air suspension, retro wheels, half cage, wooden Momo steering wheel, AutoPlas rear window louvre and a Zender lower boot spoiler. There’s so much in this car, like it’s full of fare parts and it all just works really well together. The colour is beautiful, and it really pops in person. Again, fantastically built car.
And rounding out our list, is this wild Toyota Supra. I mean just look at this thing, it’s insane. The build quality on the cars here on a build like this is second to none. Really tight-fitting roll cages, that tuck into interiors really well giving a really clean look. It’s got underglow, a super cool little wooden rimmed steering wheel, custom split wheels, arch flares, upper and lower boot spoilers, a sweet looking front lip, this car just hits the spot for me. It looks sick, sounded incredible, and I mean, just look at how comfy those seats look. What more could you possibly ask for.
I mean, I could go on all day about all of the other cool build we came across, there was allsorts, but honestly, I’ll be here forever.
On our way out of the show, we decided to approach the source of the music, filling the atmosphere we’d spent our day in, and to be fair, while our eardrums didn’t thank us, looking at the setup was crazy. They had maybe 10 cars, fully decked out on all the sound system goodies you can imagine, I’m talking, VW Caddy with the bed filled with speakers’ level of tricked out, all connected to one another, and then all controlled by a DJ on centre stage mixing the music himself. I’ve never seen such a setup as this at a show, but it was cool to see.
In summary, I’m very glad we were invited. It was super cool to see how it’s done over there, and everyone we spoke to were incredibly kind. It was just so nice to be at a really chilled event, full of nice people and sick cars, and the best part is, there wasn’t really any yobs, that ruined it for everyone else. It was the biggest carpark meet I’ve ever been too, but definitely the best. If you ever get the opportunity to go and see a foreign car show, do it, you won’t regret it!
Words and Photos by Slammed Snaps