by Alex Carroll
On the 28th of August 2021, a post on the FittedUK Instagram sent shockwaves through the car community. It was a photo of Andrew Britton, better know as @caffieneiscool, breaking the news that he had lost his ongoing battle with mental health.
Andy was a special soul overcoming so many obstacles in his personal life, but every time you saw him at a show he would have the biggest smile on his face surrounded by his friends and loved ones - I guess this really cements that you never really know whats going on inside someone's head and what demons they're fighting. The loss of Andy was a shock to anyone that had ever met him and our condolences go out to his family, the FittedUK team, and his closest friends.
If he wasn't building Liberty Walk BMWs, Widebody AMG's or Bagged Huracans or working he was posting rant videos on his Instagram venting about those things you come across that are just infuriating. A couple that sticks in my mind was about when you get a Greggs and it's freezing cold and the chaos that comes with trying to sell anything on Facebook Marketplace, if you haven't seen them go have a look.
At this year's show, the Fitted team saved a space for Andy by roping off a strip of Lamborghini Green carpet front and centre by the stage, this became a place for people to go and stand around and pay their respects. Ironically Andy brought people together, while he was here and still now he's gone. His cars got people talking and discussing them within their group chats, his rants get 100s of comments from people feeling the same way, and the news of his passing was shared far and wide by so many people, leaving tributes and messages but sometimes those inner demons are too much to escape. Rest easy Andy, you'll be missed.
This leaves us to say one thing. If you're feeling down, alone or helpless talk. Talking is cool.
So then FittedUK is back, after a year out for obvious reasons and you may notice a venue change from previous years at Event City - we find ourselves in Manchester Central Convention Centre Complex, slap bang in the middle of the City. An exhibition and conference centre converted from the former Manchester Central railway station, the main feature of the building are two huge glass windows at either end and a distinctive arched roof. After 89 years as a railway terminus, it closed to passengers in May 1969. It was renovated as an exhibition centre formerly known as the G-Mex Centre in 1982 and was Manchester's primary music concert venue until the construction of the Manchester Arena. After renovation, the venue reverted to its former name Manchester Central in 2007.
We were running a small team ourselves this year due to holidays and the like, the response we had to the new merch was incredible and thank you on behalf of Jay for your patience in the pop-up shop, he had queues out the door all day.
We should get to the cars inside this magnificent venue, and we'll start at the pop-up shop while we're on the subject. On display, there was Aiman with his BMW E31 8 series, Danny with his US-inspired BRZ, and Ashley with his W126 420SEC also on BBS RS.
Aiman told us this was his final show in the UK with the car as he is moving out to Dubai so it was a pleasure to give his incredible E31 a send-off.
Danny's BRZ looks like its should be cruising down the strip in Ocean City at H20i with its matching front and rear camber and sudani stretch.
Ashley's 420SEC is in one word baller. Black on black, sitting perfecting on the BBS it just screams cool.
Another US inspired build is Tom Stanno's Impreza hatch, running uber rare Carving Head 40's and a Hitman steering wheel and shifter - its all about the details.
The Colemans brought 3 cars over from Ireland, the pick of the bunch is the Pandem 996 - mega wide arches, huge Work wheels and just look at the exhaust.
Phils Murcielago doesn't really need any introduction, it's a road-legal GT1 car - ridiculous.
Rich Starkey from Drfitworks debuting his rebuilt S15 at the show alongside Phil's Lambo. 2022, return of headlight eyebrows?
We'll leave the rest for the gallery up at the top of the page.
This installment of Fitted for me was the best yet, the slightly smaller venue meant the quality of car was second to none and I can see it going from strength to strength every year. 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, something we've all greatly missed over the past 18 months or so. Alex and everyone in the Fitted team makes you feel welcome. You really get the sense that they appreciate everyone that turns up to the show. Stevey Nicks on stage includes you, getting people up on the stage and doing birthday shoutouts, there was even a mullet-off this year. The staff all meet you with smiles. In order for this event to go ahead, the Fitted team had to jump through so many hoops to have the show in line with all the new regulations in place.
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 and the team for making FittedUK 2021 possible amidst the current situation. We'll catch you at Ultimate Stance.
Words & Photos: Alex Carroll
Location: Manchester, England.