Autosport International is an annual motorshow each January held at the NEC in Birmingham. The show brings together all aspects of motorsport, performance cars and trade companies for four days of petrolhead heaven across numerous halls including a live action arena. The show runs over 4 days with the first two days being reserved for trade where one of the halls is full of manufacturing stands showing off the latest in all manor of wears from big brakes and clutch kits all the way up to huge computer controlled milling machines, and everything in between. The final two days are open to the public and the trade hall is cleared out and filled with even more awesome cars. The trade days are a little less packed but still busy enough where grabbing the shots you want can be difficult so you'll find togs with media access making the most of the hour they get each morning before the show opens.
Even with fuel hovering around a £1 a liter the Dodge might be a little thirsty for many people but it's hard to beat for it's big mean looking presence on the road.
Back over this side of the pond and it's hard not to like a BMW when it looks like this
Knight Racer had a couple of r35's on their stand showing off the styling and performance kit they supply
r35's were in evidence all over the show but not many as extreme as this
Considering the show was the first time most people would have seen Aston Martin's new track car the Vulcan there was very little hype or show around this display, though to be fair the car doesn't need any, it looks epic .
One of my favorite cars from last years show was back. The Bentley GT3 looks like it could stop the planet moving if you accelerated to hard. I really must get to a race day where these are on track.
More American muscle though some of the Mustangs on display are the new Euro models and while they look great I'm sorry but for me a Mustang needs that big growling v8 up front
F1 has a huge presence at Autosport, cars, drivers and Williams even constructed their motorhome, the first time they have ever done that away from the track.
Some of the exhibits like this street legal drag car are works of art
One of the main reasons for us attending Autosports is that the pro drift teams use the show to unveil new cars and paintwork while making deals with current and new sponsors. The Maxxis stand as always had a couple of Japspeed cars on show, Shane Lynches 370 which was revealed to the public at the 2015 show, but unfortunately went on to have a troublesome year, and sitting under the cover this year Paul Smith's new build. Most people involved in the sport had a good idea what the new car was but there was still a large crowd around the stand when it was time for it be be revealed.
With a helping hand from Shane O'Sullivan and the MaxxisBabes Paul pulled the cover back to reveal a GT86 kitting out in a HGK rocket bunny aero kit, all in the traditional Japspeed black and white paint work with Maxxis orange Rota MXR wheels. Under the hood is a 1.5JZ-GTE and I'm really looking forward to seeing this out on track, hopefully alongside the 370z. A full build list is over on the Japspeed website
With Mark Luney retiring at the end of the 2015 season there were no drift cars on the Nankang stand but they more than made up for it
Max Marshall's twin-turbo V8 BMW E30 on the Bilstein stand looked amazing, some epic work has gone into this build
BDC champion Jack Shanahan had brought his car over from Ireland in it's new livery
The car got loads of attention from the crowd over the 4 days of the show and fingers crossed got a few more people interested in drifting
For old school cool the auction takes some beating but you'll need a fat wallet to be in with a shout of winning one of these
£157500 for a Ford Anglia? This isn't exactly the car your parents or grandparents might have driven. Ray Gimbert has spent years rebuilding this to make it a Cosworth YB powered track machine which with a little help from NOS can hit 570hp
My home away from home circuit provided the fun on the carts again and as always they were very popular
Next to the carts you could do passenger rides in the Ginettas
A big draw of the show is the live action arena and wandering around the paddock there was plenty to indicate this year the shows would be as good as ever
Terry Grant is a returning attraction with his trade mark stunts
One of the fans favorites Japspeed were back this year to put on some drift demos
Like any car show there are promo girls everywhere but there is something special about the Monster girls
On the Saturday the hall which had been used purely for trade stands is cleared out and replaced with a collection of competition cars and club stands. A regular in here is the Fueltopia Barrel sprint stand. Of interest to myself drifter Ryan Cooper had his Skyline on their stand in it's new 2016 livery. The car looks awesome in a menacing paint job with a definite nod to his RAF connection
Another stand close to home for myself was the GTROC stand. I've been involved in Skyline owners clubs for many years and seeing such an awesome collection of Nissan's together still takes my breath away. There were some of the nicest GTRs you can find from every era of the iconic brands history.
The Hakosuka is on my list of dream cars I would love to own, the ultimate old school cool
As ever the show had something for everyone and even after 3 days I was still coming across stuff I had missed. For any petrol head it is defiantly worth a visit and the dates are already penned in for 2017 as 12 - 15 January