Just before round three of Prodrift this year I got a phone call, now if you are from Ireland you know the deal with the weather, It has been easily the worst summer in History, you can probably count the summer days we have had on one hand, on the other end of the phone was Dean Kearney, he had been asked to do a Demo down in the south of Portagul at one of their biggest car events. This was not the first time the Irish had gone down to do this type of demo, it had been on going year after year but this time around I was asked to document it. A small look out the window and I was already convinced to pack my bags and get in the van.
Just leaving the front Gate of deans house a wheel on the home made trailer decided it wanted out, and we pretty much took it off and tried to get to the boat as quickly as possible, somehow we were the last guys to drive on board only to find out that it was actually the only boat which allowed cattle transportation to mainland Europe!
A quick look around the Celtic Link and we figured out pretty quickly that the only way to enjoy the 18 hour Journey was to make best friends with the one and only… alcohol… Which after popping into an old friend who was en route to Europe lead to some kind of a dodgy night…
Soon enough after a couple of rounds, armed with curtains for capes.. as you do we tried to find out just how much bull shit we could cause. The main reason for this was the fact that if you don’t book a cabin on the Celtic link you are pretty much fucked, you have to sleep on a chair or the floor or the reserve seating which if you have had the pleasure of being on this boat you will know it sounds like a dishwasher through a loud speaker.
Working our way down through France we stopped for a small bit to rest the feet and admire the amazing trailer which had just been built a few days before, little did the owner know that when he chopped up a caravan to make a car transporter that it would be doing a 12000km drive a few days later. We also stripped one of the drum brakes and put back on the fourth wheel just for good measure.
That night we made it as far as a place called Hossegor, which I honestly had never heard of. Its a small surf town just close to the border of Spain and holy shit is it a nice place to be. Certainly somewhere on the cards for a future visit.
After a small rendezvous with Buttsy Butler and Alvin Harris we made our way through the impressive Pyrenne Mountains and on down into Spain.
The road and scenery combo makes for some of the best places I have ever seen. Maybe I’m just easily amused but I couldn’t help but take over snap after snap of the breathtaking scenery.
I was worried we had brought the weather with us! There was quite a lot of rain on the first day followed by some cloudy madness.
Its insane how amazing the infrastructure is in Europe, one would almost forget it because most of us (myself included) would just fly to a destination instead of making the journey by car. If a mountain is in the way, they just go right through it and if there is a 400 foot valley on the other side they just build a ridiculous bridge to make it work.
Literally as you cross the mountains into Spain after one hundred miles or so, things start to change rapidly, it was Tshirt weather and the land was dry and dusty, it actually felt clammy and we started to get excited about not being back in the damp misery that was supposed to be our summer.
This victory was short lived, we were pulled by some corrupt cops who decided they wanted some free money from us. After a small dispute and a language barrier we bribed them with 200 bucks and they were on their way.
We decided to tough it out and drive from France to Portagul in one day, which actually worked but took it out of us in a big way. Little did we know it would all be worth it the next day!
Late that night we made it to our destination and unloaded the cars, crowds of people who were already down for the show quickly came over once they heard the roaring SR20 coming down from the trailer. Cars like this are pretty much unheard of in Portugal so I’m sure it must have been an unusual sight.
Many of our long term followers would have had a field day at this show, we were even contemplating calling it what the fuck Portagul, its no secret that the Max power scene is still huge in mainland Europe. Most of the reason why is because of such strict ruled on modifying cars, or at least that is what we were putting it down to. This show was like nothing I had ever seen before, basically its a three day session, with live DJ’s, parties, bad as fuck cars, and Neon shows. It was like Ireland back in the “good old days”
Things were insane, it was all about who had the loudest system, or how could rev the loudest, at first I was a little taken back, wanting to shoot most of the cars and get a laugh but then realised fuck it, these people love this and well….. nah the free drink that was provided to us for the few days is really what cancelled the full feature, instead you will have to youtube this show or watch the video, I cant even begin to explain how insane it really was.
Naturally I went on an 86 hunt, not everything at the show was as crazy as the alpha above, well 80% of the chaos was, but some people looked like they had their heads in the right places.
There was about six decent AE86′s in attendance, in a swarm of puntos and filler.
This guy knows whats up!
Before the event we hit the road for some fuel and a quick wash of the cars, the Place where we stayed literally had the best roads I have ever seen and not one single cop to police them. This resulted in some on the road erm… testing of the drift cars.
Drifting is relatively new in Portugal, again because of restriction its growth is held back in a major way, you cant help but feel bad for all the people who cant access this kind of hobby. The track the guys were given was pretty much a rectangle box with a fence, and donuts and a small bit of tandem was all that could be done.
In fairness to the organiser, he made sure the crowd got what they wanted, decent looking females and lots of smoke action. The crowd loved every second of it especially the home town hero in his R33.
And his hometown wing. This thing was ridiculous.
ET phone home!
Well into every night the exhibitions went down a treat, as every year the organiser gives the performers free reign on whatever they want to do, the event has no real security or strict nonsense and somehow goes down a treat and runs smoothly. I blame it on the weather!
Which was always awesome!
This was one of the only decent Nissans at the event, and during breaks got a chance to go out and give the whole drifting thing a try.
The show is simply hilarious, hundreds of car enthusiasts park up, camp, and float around to each of the acts that are performing every day. It could be motorcross, to bull riding, to drifting or a car wash. With the good weather it was one of the most enjoyable things I had been at in a long time.
Late into each of the nights crowds would pour back to watch the drift exhibitions…
I have to give a big shout out to Justin Conroy, who popped over for a holiday and spent his days changing tires and making sure everything was good to go! The one man pitstop!
Even though the rectangle had no real track, the guys put on a decent show, hunting down the green neon of the hometown 33….
I wish I had taken more pics because there was quite a lot of unusual awesome cars lurking around the show.
Crowds would build up just to get an autograph, hopefully this plants the whole drift seed in a new generation over there, but then again because of the insane laws it just might keep it at bay like it seems to have done already….
At night the show is like a small city, with roads around the entire venue cars line up and drive around, revving and beeping. People party and the acts go well into the night, its crazy.
The things you see at night get a little more hardcore also!
The best use for a 206!
For three days they drove around the event, waving, beeping and playing music nonstop, I dont now if ill ever see a car show like it again.
Or see cars like this ever again, the rest of the world has really caught up to the trends and it almost made me a little sad that you don’t see this kind of chaos anymore….
Or this… actually stop. I dont think it ever got this ridiculous hahaha!
Obviously there is so much we didnt take photos of and I’m going to blame that on the free drink, you just cant say no to that kind of hospitality! Once again this would be our view for the next few days. We decided to go some back roads into Spain to make the trip a little more interesting rather than going back the exact same route.
That resulted in some mental scenery and some long as hell roads!
Its something I would recommend to anyone. The landscape of Spain that you would easily forget about because of its beach culture that we are so fond of.
After seeing some stuff that I had never come across in the Geography book in school, the Spanish desert was something I wasn’t going to forget any time soon. I could put up picture after picture of that incredible scenery but after all this is a car blog, and we drove all the way into a Madrid ghetto with the 14 on a trailer at 3 am in the morning. Smooth move for the Irish guys. After a chat with some nice police men for a change we stayed in a hotel for the night and called it a day and a half.
The night after we stayed in La Rochelle on someone’s yacht which was pretty random!
The trailer which we had bragged about so much decided to be shit and a wheel caught fire in suburban France, which made for a good laugh.
At one stage we stopped at a toilet on the side of the motorway, somewhere along the coast of France which had no toilet…. just a hole in the ground for shitting like something you would see in India, oh and we laughed about how far Renault style has come since the 90′s… no we are not forgetting the Renault 5 Turbo… but yes we did try to forget that Laguna… and behind it the trailer full of actually nice looking Megan Coupe Rs’s equipped with Brembo’s and Recaro seats.
Things were starting to come to a close all over again, as the delicious Celtic Link brought us back into the clouds, and the rain we decided to get very mushy and watch the amazing sunset over France as we said goodbye….
We went inside and bought more pints, and laughed about how we managed to wing it all the way through the south of Europe on a bogie credit card, dodging every single toll from France to Europe and back again….
And how we were already missing the insanity that was Santarem Tuning party 2012…. Maybe next year!
Powered by Facebook Comments