It is hard to believe that half a decade has passed since the last Modified Motors car event was held at the Ecclesville Centre in Fintona, an event that for years was home to one of the biggest, busiest and craziest days on the annual car scene calendar.
Modified Motors as a brand formed in 2002 and started out primarily as a magazine to fill a void in the Irish market for a car tuner type magazine. A niche market for sure but one that Modified Motors magazine was at the forefront of in Ireland for all of its time on the shelf.
Based loosely around the world-renowned UK title Max Power Magazine, Modified Motors followed in the footsteps of such greats and provided the Emerald Isle with quality coverage of events, feature cars, models and much more over the years.
I personally am proud to have been a part of the MM crew from very near the beginnings and indeed enjoyed catching up with old colleagues and friends over the weekend at Fintona. Justin Delaney, Founder of Modified Motors commented “we have always tried to bring new things to our shows, stuff that people have never seen before”.
Justin continued “we have had records broken at our Fintona shows from Terry Grant, Russ Swift as well as his son Paul Swift; we have had everyone, including Steer from the Rear display team who were big here for years”.
Indeed some of the biggest names in the Irish car scene got their first taste of fame at this event over the years and as there is a strong ethos for being a family show Justin and the team have always put on a very relaxed show and quite often had jet cars/trikes doing demo’s to mix things up a little.
Modified Motors has a rich heritage in promoting and becoming a media partner to many new initiatives and indeed way back teamed up with D1 IRL as it once was known (come to think of it, it was these drift events that first got me involved with MM as a photographer and then motoring writer) and when the drift championship re-branded to ProDrift it was MM that designed the first logo for them in house.
ProDrift is a brand that is now famous worldwide and many of its founders are still majorly involved in the current Irish Drift Championship which has gone from strength to strength. Likewise MM continued its support of “new motorsport” and was heavily involved in the Irish Time Attack series which is still running under the banner of Irish Touring Car championship.
When asked what it was like to be back at Fintona with a show Justin said “Yeah it’s amazing, I was walking around here yesterday with a tear in my eye putting the show together which is just crazy, its 2011 since I was last here and the response has been phenomenal since we said we were coming back”.
“Most of these guys don’t know me, nor the brand but they have heard from their peers that when we do a show, we do it right, and we are just delighted to be back and look forward to a good turnout” concluded Delaney.
The show was supported by Ireland’s DJ Tess O’Reilly who has played sets all over the world including Ibiza, Miami and LA. Her good looks and musical talents were welcomed by all at Modified Motors Reignited in Fintona. Tess was accompanied by Belfast Glamour Model Laura Lacole at the event, the former topless model having graced the pages of the magazine a few times over the years, alongside some of the most popular national newspapers found on the dashboards of white vans everywhere.
It was great to see both ladies enjoying the day, having been a part of the MM brand for so long. The stage within the main hall which housed the audio set up for the DJ’s as well as provided an elevated perch for the Liberty Walk Mini Cooper S was supplied by Donkey from Grassmen, possibly Europe’s largest agricultural brand when it comes to filming.
A sister publication to MM, Farm & Plant is a media partner to Grassmen and this show proved to be somewhat very different to them as Donkey explained “Personally I haven’t been to any car show like this before, obviously tractors is my thing as well as lorries but we are here because we want to support the car scene as well as Justin and the team and we do understand that the tractor, lorry and car scene have a big crossover and everyone within each are passionate”.
Donkey finished up in fits of laughter as he recalled how they got the Mini onto the back of the truck stating that the airlift suspension earned its keep in making sure no damage was caused going up the ramps. An interesting twist came when he suggested that, after seeing the live demo outside, that he should build a drift car and start a series “Teach Donkey Drifting”.
Donkey if your reading this, this is an idea I would fully support and I think I can speak for the team at MM in that they would have the same sentiments.
We said before about the MM motors shows bringing something new to the people and indeed this year was no different as we caught up with David Rowland from Raceway Drift, who along with the rest of the crew set up a remote control car street drift circuit for spectators to have a bash at.
“We are the only model RC drift car club in Northern Ireland; we run out of a place in Portadown teamed with Rennicks Modetune, we just started as a bit of fun and after attending a few shows people started liking it so we made a mobile track. Around twelve members of the club meet every Tuesday night and we are just trying to get it out there now, the cars are quite fast and the orientation of the drifting is very difficult as the cars and coming towards you and then going away from you but it’s great to let the people have a go”.
Outside the main hall of the show was a live action display arena with a few local lads teaming up in Toyota AE86’s and Lexus IS200’s to provide noise and smoke for the crowds whilst professional drift driver Danielle Murphy provided a high-octane show in a borrowed Nissan S14 equipped with RB25 engine from a Nissan Skyline. All of the aforementioned were supported in the arena by Lakeland Tyre Service.
In keeping with bringing new things to the show, the live action arena got a flavour of something new in the guise of the Monster Energy | Goon Squad | JDM Garage Supercharged V8 Nissan S15 with Waterford’s Buttsy Butler at the helm.
This show marked an Irish debut for the car at an event that started Buttsy’s career as a professional driver as he would in years gone by have been picked from the crowd to jump the barrier and take control of a Ferarri 360 in which he would have performed a drift show to the crowd’s shock.
On chatting with Buttsy he smiled saying “It’s good to be here again but I am missing Buff Luney, Mark would have always been here in a Vauxhall Carlton or something, blowing the back tyres off it. It’s really good to be back here though and it’s great to see a really strong scene up here still”.
The S15 provided crowds with everything as it pumped over 700bhp to the ground via the smoking rear tyres whilst there was a harmonious sound at each end with the whine of the charger up front getting drowned out with the roar of the exhaust at the rear.
A fantastic day and hopefully it won’t be another five years until we return in such a fashion.
Words & Photos: Graham Curry
For a full image gallery please visit : Modified Motors Reignited Official Gallery