MADE DXB 2020
by James Preston
Dubai, a city grown literally out of the desert. A place home to many of the world's largest attractions, from the Burj Khalifa dominating the skyline at a breathtaking 828 metres, to the world's largest mall; a building that houses a huge aquarium, an Olympic-sized ice rink and 5 star hotel. Dubai is the home of luxury, diversity and all things cash money.
So if we where to talk about the car scene in Dubai, you'd be thinking gold Lamborghinis and Bugattis; and you wouldn't be wrong. Even the Police have an Aventador, an Aston Martin, a Mustang and some Bentley Continental's. I mean if you're going to be chasing super cars, you are going to need them! If you take 5 minutes standing at the valet parking you'll see all makes and models of latest supercars.
But what if we told you, there was a small group of enthusiasts challenging those misperceptions. A team dedicated to the truly unique builds, the cars built by owners for the owners. This team is the reason that we find ourselves flying out to the UAE. This group is CarCulture.ae. Imagine you're standing on Jumeriah Beach and see a gold wrapped Ferrari drive past, it's almost kinda normal. But what if an S13 or an Air-cooled Beetle drove past. That'd get your attention, and that's exactly what these guys are all about.
Dan Price, the founder of Car Culture got in contact with us last year to shoot the 2019 Made event. An event to celebrate the modified car scene in UAE. A place to bring like minded people together to build the ever growing community. Somewhere they can discuss builds and really push each other to make awesome things. The guys at Made don't even charge into the event. This is purely to make the UAE car scene a better place.
So with the success of last year, the guys came back even harder with 2020. The guys invited two guest judges. The first was Adrian from Poland, the owner and founder of Raceism which is one of the greatest shows in Europe. This mean't it was a chance for the guys to get insight of his thoughts on the UAE car scene as well as judge the cars. He said after the show that it was a "Great show and a huge inspiration. It was amazing to meet all of you guys. I truly believe that this community will grow faster than anyone can expect." We couldn't agree more with Adrian. The jumps we have seen in the short space of a year, truly represent the path this scene has ahead of it! The second judge was Khyzyl Saleem, @the-kyza is a self taught concept artist and co owner of @lto_livetooffend. While working for EA games on Need for Speed, Kyza began to create renders of all kinds of ridiculous builds. Creating whatever came into his head and it's made him hugely recognised in the car scene. Kyza said "The UAE modified car scene is growing at an alarming rate and I couldn't be happier!" It's amazing to see everyone coming together to make something better. It's what makes the car scene great.
The show itself takes place on the Dubai Autodrome. Not only does this allow for some track action in between looking at the static cars but it also makes for some awesome photography. As the light hits the stands, the cars are immersed in all kinds of shadows and interesting light trials. It's also multi level which adds another dynamic to the show. It's little touches like this that really set some venues apart from another.
We'll start off with Sultan's Porsche 997. Sultan is no stranger to the car scene, with an extensive list of projects and cars. He has competed in a number of drift series across Europe and even in Ireland! In 2019 he built himself a forged carbon, twin turbo LS powered Aston Marin Vantage, it's as insane as it sounds. But Sultan wanted to branch out of the drift scene, this year he wanted to build a stanced car for Made 2020. I say one car, but I mean two, he built two stanced cars for Made.
There is one thing that Sultan loves more than anything and that's an LS motor. He stripped the engine out of the Porsche and stuck a stroked LS3 in it. I'm not sure I've heard a car with a more aggressive back fire than this. Who engine swaps their first show car build right off the bat?! Next we have the body work, Sultan opted for the old&new kit. A kit that holds tribute to what was possibly the greatest racing car that Porsche ever produced, the slant nose 911. The kit with the engine swap and wheels made for one hell of a first stance build.
If you haven't seen this build yet, you probably don't have instagram or maybe you haven't been introduced to the wonderful works of Khyzyl Saleem. John, the owner of a static Dodge Viper, a bagged widebody Charger, a liffted Ram and a bagged S14 wanted to push his builds one step further this year. Teaming up with Khyzyl, John wanted an old Boss Race inspired livery. Kyza did just that but also slapped on his own style for good measure and it came out awesome! With a huge static drop and some Vossens, this thing looks amazing.
A personal favourite of ours was @khalid_r34's from Kuwait. We just absolutely love the lines and curves of an NSX. A car so far ahead of it's time. These things will forever be a classic. Khaled has a perfect example here and just topped it all off with some subtle mods including bags and a set of Work Meister S1R BBF's.
The winner of Car of the Show went to @7ooda1977's 280z. There wasn't a piece of this car left untouched. Mohammed bought the car totally stock of a long time family friend. He had kept it in storage for the 10 years before Mohammed bought it, making sure that it got everything it needed. This car has gone through some changes. It's first engine swap was to an sr20 that boasted almost 600hp (if my memory serves me correctly)
He told me that as fun as it was, the car became too dangerous to enjoy and after a close encounter, Mohammed decided it was time to strip it out and go back to something close to the original with added ITB's. Mohammed's absolutely smashed all aspects of this from the paint, the carbon to the interior. It's easy to see why this walked away with best in show. It's also probably worth mentioning that modifying your car in Saudi Arabia is actually illegal.
Thanks to all the guys at Made DXB for making this trip possible! You guys are awesome.
Words & Photos: James Preston