What an incredible turnout! Over 3,000 of you packed yourselves into Brands Hatch last night for our first Kleers Summer Wednesdays meet of the year.
There was a huge variety of machinery on display too. From a lifted Land Rover discovery to an air-bagged MkIV Golf, from a Mini to a Ferrari - it was all there. Which made judging the Show and Shine competition extremely difficult.
After much discussion, the following cars were awarded Kleers Summer Wednesdays trophies. Well done to everyone who took part and "Thanks!" to everyone who came and made it an enjoyable night.
CAR OF THE MEET
Joe Glass - V8 Mini
Yes, that really is a V8 engine in a tiny little Austin Mini!
To be precise, it's a small block 302 from a Mustang. Bonkers and wonderful in equal measure. It's owner and creator is Joe Glass, and he deserves a slap on the back (and some strong medication) for building this noisy little beast.
The interior is fabricated entirely from sheets of aluminium. Even the seats! Joe assures us they're surprisingly comfortable. This helps the Mini get down to an estimated 640kg in weight! With "the high-end of 300 horsepower" thanks to goodies including MSD ignition and a Holley Carb, to push it along through a C6 3-speed auto 'box (modified to allow fast manual gear-changes), this is one mighty Mini.
Best of all it's completely road-legal!
It had to be our Car of the Meet.
BEST STREET CAR
Shah Fard - Nissan S15 Silvia
Fatter than a cake addict, wider than Danny Dyer - Shah's stunning Silvia dropped jaws all night.
One of only two Kazama Auto demo cars built in Japan, this was shipped around the world to the UK only for Shah to decide it wasn't extreme enough. Under the bonnet is a built SR20 engine with lots of tuning parts, an LSD in the rear and all the associated suspension bits to make it handle.
Shah wanted it wider though. So the arches have been hand-built to extend them over uber-rare and expensive Weds Kranze LX2 wheels, measuring a solid 9.5x18in up front and a frankly ridiculous 11x19in on the rear. It's the low offset that really causes the wow factor, creating those polished dishes and filling out those chunky arches.
Andy Tidy - E21 BMW V8
Built from a bare shell found on a farm, this mutant 3-series BMW fought off some stiff competition to claim Best Racecar.
The E21 BMWs are a rare sight these days, making this one even more special. It took 4 years to build into Andy's vision of the perfect street-legal drag car, and he's looking forward to shaking it down at North Weald soon before heading to Santa Pod to set some standing quarter-mile times.
Under the bonnet is a 355 (5.8-litre) Chevy small block with AFR race heads. The result is 500bhp and a sountrack to burst your eardrums. While the massive rear tyres and Ford Monza blue paint (a Mk1 Ford Escort Mexico colour), ensured a crowd around this BMW all night.
This was the first outing for the car since a full engine rebuild, and Andy was there with other members of the Dutch House Street & Strip club. Good luck when you hit the track, Andy!
Darren Butterworth - VW Beetle
Our photos don't really do this interior justice.
When we were looking for our Best Interior winner, there were a few candidates and we nearly missed Darren Butterworth's VW Beetle. Firstly, because it was hidden away in the corner but mainly because it's so subtle.
The Nardi steering wheel is obviously aftermarket, but the rest looks relatively standard, right? It's only when you look closer that you see the pieces of genuine carbonfibre trim, Infinity speakers mounted into Audi TT vent surrounds and gauges in the centre console for the air suspension system!
Our photos don't really highlight the effectiveness of the flocking inside, either; bronze at the front of the dash to match the S6 Wraps copper vinyl on the outside, with grey on the doorcards, roof-lining and lower dash. This is the work of Absoflockinglutely in Chelmsford. They managed to emboss the car's name "Wolfy" on the glovebox lid too and even got their hands on the engine cover, turning it purple in the process.
By the time we realised the gear lever and pedals were from a Mk6 Golf, and the black leather seats were the super-rare heated Recaros found in only a handful of Mk4 Golfs, we were sold. It's an interior where a lot is going on but by carefully selecting his bits, Darren has pulled it all together into a unified look.
Dee Barwick - E82 BMW 123d
Picking Best Paint is always a subjective thing. Do you go for the colour you like the most or the best quality? Well in Dee Barwick's BMW 123d, we found both.
The bright floodlights at Brands Hatch mean there's nowhere for swirl marks to hide. Any paint imperfections are instantly visible, from 'orange peel' ('blocky' reflections) to 'spider webs' (scratches on the paint, often caused by accidentally dragging dirt over paint with a sponge) - it's all on display to people who care about paint, like we do.
True to form, the paint on Dee's BMW appeared to be absolutely flawless! Not only was it immaculate, the colour was one we hadn't seen on a 1-Series before. There was good reason for that; the car has been resprayed by Mercury Auto Refinishers in Westcliff-On-Sea in a BMW M4 shade called "Austin Yellow", complimented by "Jara Black" roof and mirrors.
Congratulations to all our April Winners!
Fancy getting involved? Entry to the Kleers Show and Shine competition is FREE and provided on a first-come, first-served basis at every Kleers Summer Wednesday.
Our next meet at Brands Hatch is on WEDNESDAY 6TH MAY
See you there!