by Alex Carroll
If I said WKD, flame covered crocs and tight shorts, the chances are you probably know what show I’m talking about. Which is not only kind of weird, but actually quite impressive. How can a show be recognised by a fruity refreshing blue coloured alcoholic beverage and some awful shoes? Well let us explain.
Oh. And the show is FittedUK... Incase you didn’t get it.
Alex Nowakowski is the answer. A man that enjoys an alchopop and a croc. (Pretty sure only my mum calls them an alchopop). When entering the venue this year, we were greeted by life size card board cut outs of Alex; all displaying wonderful informative message like “don’t drive like a knob.” At one point we seen a lady walk past wearing a T-shirt with a photo of Alex on it. The photo was Alex with his belly hanging out. Who was that lady? Alex’s mother.
If there’s one thing he does extremely well that isn’t drinking, it’s promoting this show. Cars come from all over the UK and Europe to attend. Cars that we haven’t even seen before. How many car shows could fill 4 massive halls with top quality cars. In fact, it wasn’t just cars! They had tank too; which Alex rode in on top of like a man going into battle.
I’ve been trying to think of a word to describe FittedUK. The most suited word I can think of is fun. It’s a laugh. It’s a chance to meet up with friends. A chance to hang out. Alex and everyone in the Fitted team make you feel welcome. You really get the sense that they appreciate everyone that turns up to the show. The presenter on the stage includes you. The staff all meet you with smiles.
None of this could exist without one person though. That’s Catherine. She is the one that makes everything happen. It’s no easy task to run a car show on this scale, but each year she does. And each year it goes flawlessly. Shout out to her for making FittedUK possible.
And a massive shoutout to the whole team of guys that work hard to make FittedUK great.
Onto the cars of FittedUK, I don’t envy the judges having to pick out a top 25 from 600+ cars spread over the 4 huge halls. We’ll do our best to pick out our favourite 5 from the event, expect BMW’s cause you know it is us after all.
We’ll start close to home at the Pop-up Shop with Harvey Howe’s and his BMW 435i, having parted ways with his beloved 1 series he decided it was like for a fast, petrol car. The 435 is such a classy build - black paint, AirLift suspension, custom 3 piece BBS RS2’s and carbon fibre in abundance. The classy theme continues inside with Recaro Pole Positions, half cage painted yellow to match the stitch on the alcantara trimmed parts and yellow start button - oh and of course all trims in carbon.
We move into hall number 3 for our second spotlight feature and no its not a BMW. Here we have Kieran Hope’s Subaru BRZ (like a GT86 but better) - the main thing that caught our attention with this build is that it looks like its been plucked straight from the US car scene. Stock body, aftermarket LED front and rear lights and of course those BBS RS - it’s not so much the wheels themselves tho, its how they fit. We think (please don’t shout if we’re wrong) this is the first BRZ/86 chassis in the UK to run lots of camber to achieve front fitment and it looks incredible.
This car took home Best of Show for 2019 and its very easy to see why once you hear the details and story behind the build. As you can see its an Audi S2 and its owned by Matthew Perkins of Flat-Out Alloys - the man who has spent the last 5 years putting this together as we see it today. On closer inspection you’ll notice that the standard engine has been swapped out for that of the more powerful Audi RS2, not only that Matt has swapped the car from Manual to Auto being wheelchair bound, incredible. The wheels are Audi Speedlines that his company Flat-Out Alloys have had converted into one-off custom three-piece wheels, if you see this car at a show spare yourself 15 minutes and have a good snoop around it.
We’ll be honest, we don’t really know much at all about this car apart from he fact its ridiculously cool - from what we see its a Ford Escort XR3i on air with BBS RS on it and we like it, alot.
We’ll end where we started, back at the pop-up shop with Alex Wright’s E36. This ones been in hiding for a couple of years and you may recognise it from when we snook it into UD a few years back. Its all change since then tho, the car is now wrapped yellow sitting on a set of Enkei RPF’s -which just work on everything by the way. It’s still on coilovers also which makes the way it sits even more impressive, there’s been a heart transplant too - it now has the S50 engine from an E36 M3 so it really packs a punch. Inside is all the good things, bucket seats, cool shifter and alcantara everywhere - its pretty much the perfect E36.
This show goes from strength to strength every year and believe it or not they have already outgrown the venue which is something completely out of their wildest dreams. 300,000 sqft outgrown.Congratulations to Koski and the FittedUK family, they have once again pulled off a top drawer event without hiccup, great work.
We can't wait for next year, hopefully we'll see you there.
Words & Photos by Alex Carroll.
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom.