The Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) of cars has had a fan base all over the world for years now, with enthusiasts loving them in all shapes, sizes and ages. Here in Northern Ireland, I have been covering events for local VAG club, GTi NI, for longer than i care to recall and they never stop raising the bar and pushing standards higher.
Starting off by running ‘run what ya brung’ track days at Kirkistown when ‘go’ was better than ‘show’ – while at the same time running a Castlewellan car show, allowing those with ‘no go’ to ‘show’ – GTi NI have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charities throughout the province along the way.
2018 has been a pretty frantic year for both established and fresh car shows and whilst many have surpassed expectations some have fallen foul of the mark. However, the local car show season isn’t over till the big lady sings.
I am yet to find a big lady singing, but the echoes of exhausts around the Titanic Dry Dock & Pump House will suffice for now, as it was once home to a titanic-sized big lady!
The dedicated team from GTi NI once again rolled out one of the most chilled and enjoyable shows for the seventh year running, with this end-of-season send-off being the perfect place to display cars for one last time, before they begin their voyage to varying garages all over the country, ahead of winter, and light restoration in anticipation of next year’s events calendar.
The show thrives on the relaxed and quaint atmosphere provided by the historic surroundings, with many cars and vans travelling over the invisible line that brexit hopefully doesn’t impact upon, as well as the odd participant traversing the Irish Sea to absorb what Titanic Dubs is all about.
For nothing more than an end of season show, this is incredible dedication, however it was visible on arrival that attendance was severely down this year in comparison to years gone by, perhaps there was other things on over the weekend, or maybe folk are just burnt-out after one of the busiest show seasons to date, who knows.
Nonetheless, the lack of quantity was certainly made up for with an abundance of quality, young or old it didn’t really matter as anything goes at this show as long as it is VAG – oh, or a BMW, yes the NI-BMW crew had an impressive club-stand to show off their cars alongside GTi NI, who they have a close affiliation with.
After scones and copious amounts of tea had been consumed amidst chat that will echo around the dock for days to come, the show was finished mid-afternoon with a few words from Gethin and Nigel of GTi NI during the prize giving, i mean lets face it, no show is complete without a few trophies, just like no season is complete without a big lady singing!
Words & Photos: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY
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