Essen Motorshow - 27 Nov – 6 Dec 2015.
So we find ourselves at the Essen Motorshow, sit back, relax and let us show you around...
The City: Essen, Germany.
The city itself, Essen, whilst not the most charming in the world, but does have a certain ergonomic about it. As Germany’s 9th largest city, you have all you need but nothing more. Essen is a 4 hour drive from Calais which is more than do-able as a long weekend trip should you wish to road trip from the UK. Getting around is very easy via the U-bahn (the underground trains to you and I) and the Christmas market provides more than enough cheer to warm even the coldest of winter hearts. If you’re looking for traditional German beer and currywurst, I can promise you won’t leave disappointed. To say the weather can be pretty awful this time of year in Germany is an understatement. Layer up.
The Venue; Essen Messe.
Billed as “Germany’s answer to Sema”, the Essen Motorshow is thankfully an indoor event, keeping the inclement winter weather nicely at bay. The 18 hall exhibition space is huge and you certainly won’t run out of cool stuff to see. Expect the unexpected, you’ll find it here in spades. Under the bright lights of Messe Essen, there’s an eclectic mix of everything from 1930’s racing cars to 2015 Lamborghini’s wearing Liberty Walk kits. Essen has always been the ‘go-to’ event for motorsports, performance products and tuning houses from all across mainland Europe and 2015 follows that satisfying precedent. Every year, Europe’s largest tuning companies take this opportunity to showcase, allowing the public to get up close and personal with demo cars and new products. From tyres to audio, you’ll find it at Essen.
The Germans do 'scene' very well.
I must take a moment to apologise, you see, the Germans have always pushed boundaries when it comes to ‘tuning’. Although, in my opinion, the early 2000’s wasn’t exactly kind to the modified world, not least in Germany where a lot of less-than-subtle trends originated and for many years that stigma has hung around. We had smoothed fibreglass, airbrushed paintjobs and tacky re-trims to name but a few; oh isn't hindsight is a wonderful thing? I was wrong. Germany no longer gets high on resin and two-tone leather interiors; fashions have well and truly changed and in my opinion. We can happily lay those bad memories to rest. Year-on-year the Essen Motor show puts both established brands and brand new talent under the spotlight. In my eyes, mainland European tuners lead the world when it comes to build quality, sheer level of detail and finished aesthetic when it comes to the automotive tuning scene. I just don’t think anywhere else on the planet does it better right now. Whilst these cars look great in photos they look even better in the metal. Whether your preference is function or form, historic or present day, performance or stance, you’ll find all here under one roof.
The Cars; A little bit of everything.
Over 18 halls you’re greeted by tuning company after tuning company. Whilst not quite as glitzy as the mainstream motor shows of Frankfurt or Geneva, the carpeted halls and bright lights still provide a perfect setting. The standards here are extremely high.
You’d have been living under a rock not to know at least something about Liberty Walk, Rauh Welt (RWB), Rotiform and Airlift, such has been their success in recent years. It was all rather trendy at Essen this year with all the aforementioned brands in all their glory alongside some ridiculously cool classics and hot rod customs.. Those much revered Instagram cars you were tagged in by your mates, well, Essen brings them together under one roof.
Mike Burroughs: Rusty Slammington.
Rusty Slammington; burnt to a crisp, back from the dead, safely consigned to modern day modified folklore, is here in all his salt-water marinated goodness. From the staggered wheels to the complex spaceframe, I really respect this car and the story that goes behind. It’s fair to say not much of the original Rusty remains. Sat proudly on the H&R stand, he’s been sliced and diced, pulled and pumped to widebody status. Even the most hardened purist couldn’t fail to be impressed by the craftsmanship behind this build. I can spot HT leads, so we can safely assume Rusty will be doing burnouts in the car park later…
The Details: Keep Looking, Keep Seeing.
Lexy Roxx’s C63 AMG was another beauty on show, big brakes, OEM arches modified to accommodate oversized wheels, this car is very 2015. With so much quality, it’s impossible to pick an overall firm favourite. For me, wheels of the show had to go to the 18” Epsilon’s worn so well on the E23 7 series BMW pictured below. There was no shortage of choice, with every model of BBS, Ronal, WCI, Messer and Rotiform across all 18 halls.
Essen always throws up some serious metal and this year was no different. Take minute on each photo to really appreciate the work involved with these builds. Some are company built, most are enthusiast built, like Tom Klein Gunnewiek’s Mk1 Scirocco or Thomas Muller’s Mk4 Golf and there were so many fascinating builds nestled across the show...
In short, if you need a winter fix of high quality European cars then add Essen Motorshow to your plans for 2016. We’ll see you there…
Words: Aron Norris
Photography: Pedro De Cleen & Nils De Becker