Grounded Event 2018
by James Preston
Privet! Kak dela?
With this trip being our third year attending the Grounded Event, we are starting to feel pretty at home in Russia. What began as a trip to see a car show, is now a trip to catch up with good friends (and look at some cars of course.) The hospitality and support these guys show us is truly amazing. Everyone greets you with a huge smile and a good old handshake. You really do get the sense that these guys are proud of their projects and the scene that they have created in Russia.
As far as locations for a car show go, this is definitely one of the most epic. Sitting on the coast of the Black Sea, close to the border between Georgia/Abkhazia and Russia lies Sochi. Home of the Caucasus Mountains, the same mountains that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympic Games as well as being the home of Europe’s highest peak at 5,642m. It’s a jaw dropping sight as you climb up the snaking roads, full of hare pins and stunning views. The sides are dotted with reminders of those olympic games. Once you finally reach the top, you find yourself in the ski resort of Esto-Sadok where the Grounded Event takes place. The cars are packed throughout the resort, lining the streets with some of the best cars Russia has to offer.
This year seen the introduction of the Black Monster guys to the Grounded Event. Which is an epic new addition to the event, and we aren’t just say that because Artem picked us up from the airport in the Monster truck. They brought along their drifters Arkady & Maxim, along with their cars for the weekend. We’ll have much much more of these two in our after movie. Thanks for everything guys.
With more and more people asking us about Grounded, the more people are attending. This year we were joined by the FLGNTLT Team and Adrian from the Raceism Event. It's awesome to see even more people supporting this show.
The Russian car community is one of the tightest, friendliest and positive that we’ve seen. These guys are seriously passionate about each and every project. With the developing car scene it’s a real struggle to both source and import parts, as the scene grows and parts become more available, the Russian car scene will be a serious force to be reckoned with. I genuinely believe that these guys will be producing some of the best cars in the worldwide scene. We’ve got our eyes on you Russia.
So without further ado, let's see some cars:
Welcome to the Lada Niva, pretty much Russia’s take on a Renault 5 but with the chassis of a Land Rover. This particular Lada was bought brand new by Kostya Lyakhov’s grandmother in 1982. 36 years later, the car still remains in the family. Given the car at 16 years old, I don’t think Kostya’s grandmother would ever believe how it looks now. When you think of a modified 4x4, you think snorkels, light bars and winches. Kostya didn’t, he took his in the complete other direction.
First up is the suspension setup, it’s a fully custom air ride setup with a bunch of cutting and welding to get the huge drop he needed. The old Lada engine has been chucked out and replaced with a 4s-fe out of a Toyota MKII JZX90. As well as a completely shaved bay painted brown, after all “Niva” does translate to “field.” The bay also holds some awesome little details like the exposed arches, polished rocker cover and some other shiny bits.
He’s even gone to the trouble of adding in a open air roof. Kostya only finished the build a few hours before the event and says that it’s still rough and isn’t finished. We had to pick this Niva to win our car of the show, it’s an awesome example of how cool the builds coming out of Russia are.
We aren’t leaving the 80’s yet, next up is the Grounded Event Top 16 winner. Known as the Paskuda Project (translated to motherf**ker), this Toyota Corolla KE70 ’82 is truly a credit to Vlad. Showcasing that building awesome projects isn’t about who can spend the most money. It’s building the vision you have in your head. Vlad started with the patina style body before adding a diffuser, splitter, bolt on arches, shotgun exhausts, and I’m sure I’m missing a ton more.
Personally I’ve always been a fan of the 350z, and this one is up there with the best. The work carried out on the wide body is flawless. Made with complete metal arches, the lines of the car still manage to flow perfectly and complete tuck the wide ass polished wheels. This thing looks badass in person. For a car only built in 3 months, they’ve smashed it. отлично.
Another car running some ridiculous camber in this Mercedes W140 S-Class. This was actually one of the first cars that we seen when we arrived at the event. It really set the standard for the cars to follow.
Although we seen this car last year, it’s barely recognisable. Sergey has come back with a completely new look. Not only does the wide body kit make it look seriously mean but it has the wheel fitment to back up that aggressive stance. We very much approve.
We could fill this article with Lada’s, but this is the last one. A Lada Estate with a full cage, fuel cell, bonnet pins, bolt on arches and no dash. It’s fucking awesome.
This has to be one of the hardest beetles we've seen. Although it's clean and simple, it still manages to pull off a real aggressive look.
Vlad was killing it with these custom made turbo fans.
We want to say a special thank you to Ruslin Rozhnov for bringing us out here again and making this trip possible, we are so grateful that we get to hit up Grounded year after year. Thank you to Mark Temnikov and Rustem Tagirov for all your help in making our after movie, and for the laughs of course.
Thank you to the Black Monster guys for getting behind our after movie and making some crazy ass scenes!
Thanks to the guys at Low Cars Meet for hanging out and getting us the best damn ribs we've ever tasted in Saint Petersburg.
Also we just want to say thank you to everyone that came out to shoot, and everyone that just said hello. You guys are what make this event so good. You should be proud of creating such a strong car community in a place where it is all so new. We can't wait to see you guys again next year.
Location: Sochi, Russia
Words by: James Preston
Photos by: James Preston, Mark Temnikov