Well we never thought we’d be saying this, but we just hosted our first ever interstate event! It’s been something that we’ve procrastinated about, and then procrastinated some more, but this year we finally did it. One (very early) road trip, a squad of navigationally challenged Adelaide residents and some tilty wheels made for a weekend we’ll never forget.
It’s Friday the 8th of February. It’s 2am. We’ve slept for a couple of hours, and we badly need some coffee. Our cars are chock-a-block with camera gear, merchandise, tool kits, rattle guns, superglue and zip ties. It’s weird flex to depart Adelaide at 3AM, but we’re hosting a meet in another state in 16 hours so we weren’t messing around! The squad assembled at the bottom of the South-Eastern Freeway for fuel, energy drinks, coffee and nuggets at 3am, and then as a group we departed on a journey which we had wanted to make for years.
The drive to Melbourne was… Unexpectedly smooth. Well not smooth (coilovers are never smooth, we need physio now) but nothing went dramatically wrong. The cars traveling in our little pack included Seb and Wang’s Focus XR5s, Josh’s GC8 WRX, Chris’ VF SV6, Viv’s Corolla and Jack’s Rocket Bunny 86 (which donned some amusingly under-sized wheels during the drive over). One thing we’ll comment on – there is SO much road resurfacing going on in central Victoria and the 86 was in struggle town.
We made it to our Melbourne accommodation by early afternoon, and immediately set to work preparing our cars. While some were lowering their suspension; others were questioning why their relatively new coilovers which hadn’t traveled more than 50km since their last adjustment had sagged 15mm on the way over… It’s alright though, in Jack’s words:
“If the wheels scrub on anything, I may as well keep driving because the wheels will scrub it all down soon enough”…
…Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work that way, but some power tools and sandpaper did do the trick (only a whole day of cringe-worthy scrub noises later).
Well that’s most of the day gone… It was time for “realise the event we’re hosting is in 90 minutes and our cars are on jack stands and covered in bugs so frantically wash cars and scrub across the city” time.
When we were scouting locations for an ‘iconic’ Melbourne meet; we wanted something central, unique, and different to what we do here in Adelaide. We had heard of these meets which had been hosted at a multi-storey car park in the Docklands area, so we consulted our Melbourne friends and got the lowdown. A few emails, some insurance documentation, some convincing and reassurance that we’re a well-behaved bunch saw us taking on the wonderfully-located District Docklands parking facilities as our venue of choice… Rooftop style.
Featuring the backdrop of Melbourne’s towering glass city skyline and the iconic Melbourne Wheel; The District Docklands were very generous in allowing our community to assemble on the rooftop for what would be a unique and special gathering to meet our Victorian car community.
We arrived in time to see Jack’s side skirts barely making it up the ramps (by barely we mean literally wedging themselves on the crest at the top of every ramp), but we all eventually made it to the rooftop unscathed and were greeted by a towering skyline reflecting a blight blue sky. We were also met by some of our other SA friends who made the trip over – Spyro and Kimberly from Dizzi Decalz made the journey, and were joined by David’s wrapped WRX STI (TUNED), and it was an interesting feeling to see familiar faces in such an unfamiliar place! We had some other friends joining us, but that was a surprise we were keeping until later…
We reached out to Melbourne to bring us some of their rides, and oh BOY did they deliver. The community began to shuffle onto the rooftop, and we were greeted by some very impressive rides. Instagram user drhotdogphd brought his creatively-wrapped and slammed Mazda3 MPS along, and it was like meeting a celebrity to see a car which we’d been following online for years in the flesh! The domestic scene is clean in Victoria, and we saw some seriously slammed and tastefully-stanced Ford and Holden builds which had even our most ‘JDM’ admins turning their neck.
Euro was a plenty – VW, Audi and BMW builds emerged (we particularly loved the aquamarine MK3) and the VIP game was strong. Clean R32 GTRs on club registration, unrestored classic Datsuns, seriously JDM-Inspired graphics kept our media team (Rapture Media, Sebastian Axyl and YV Media) occupied, but it was when this widebodied masterpiece entered the rooftop that we just stopped and commenced the drool pooling.
We had only ever seen Rocket Bunny S15 builds on the internet, but to see one in person is an entirely different experience. It was surreal, and the attention to detail inside and out left us feeling truly privileged to be a part of this community.
The eastern states have some glorious builds, and this was a shining example of just one of many we were going to be seeing over the weekend.
Another widebody graced the event shortly after, and we think that Jack was a little excited about the whole thing considering he literally jogged to his car to relocate his park next to it… It was Instagram user stancebabe’s bagged Rocket Bunny 86 (another car which we have been observing from afar) which had recently undergone a transformation to be unveiled at the 2018 Hot Import Nights. It was the first time that our SA Rocket Bunny had traveled interstate (probably the furthest it’s ever been driven in its life tbh) so to have it cross paths with another was a bit of an experience!
We wanted to not only see Melbourne’s car community; we wanted to showcase what SA had to offer. We wanted to turn it up, so why not with race cars? We unveiled Damo’s (yet to be published) WRX time attack build, and we had a bit of a chuckle when the entire venue vibrated at the sound of a machine we’re all too familiar with in SA… Cliff Clayson joined our parade of SA motoring fun, and he brought the iconic ‘Drift Samurai’ FD RX7 along with him. We think Melbourne enjoyed it… We couldn’t hear them over the sound of the exhaust outlet coming out of his bonnet.
The evening concluded with ABs (they call them HSPs but we’re Adelaide yo) and some much needed sleep. Gazing back at our experience with Melbourne’s car community left us feeling inspired to encourage creativity and self-expression in the SA car community with more diverse modifications and taking your build to the next level. Their scene is diverse, quality and strong. We met a lot of wonderful people that evening, and we were humbled by all of the feedback about Slowlife, our brand, our events and our culture. We’ve extended an invitation to the Melbourne car community to make the trip our way soon (hello SlowCase 2020) and finally build the bridge between the SA and VIC car communities.
Thanks for having us, Melbourne. We’ll be back soon, and we mean that literally… See you again in 2019!