This article isn’t just a summary of an event – it’s a thank you. A thank you to the countless people who made what was our greatest event ever possible including you. SlowCase 2019 was our most ambitious venture to date, and a month later, we’re feeling more motivated, excited and thankful than we could ever have anticipated. This article is being released a month following the event because we wanted some time for everything to sink in, and to truly reflect on everything on the day, and post-event too. To think that something that began as a dream five years ago progressed to what fell on January 6th this year leaves us feeling motivated to only ever do more, and do it better.
Let’s reminisce together on what we like to adapt from the 2017 Hugh Jackman musical masterpiece (..did we really just say that?) – Our Greatest Show.
The SlowCase journey began in 2017. Well, not exactly 2017, but that’s when the first event was. It was in 2014 (our first year) that we dreamed of hosting our very own show – not a meet, but instead a show with all the quintessential things like trophies, cool locations, traders and that sense of pride that you have with your car that day. It was out of reach in 2014 as we a) didn’t have a f**king clue about what we were doing; b) we didn’t have the budget and; c) we didn’t have a network or following to justify it. Come 2017; we were ready to take it on, and so SlowCase became our annual automotive showcase intended to be a consistent time of year to unveil your car and anticipate and prepare for.
It wasn’t intended to be an annual thing, but the feedback we received following the 2017 event prompted a 2018 event, and it’s sort of carried on from there. Our first two events were hosted at the Adelaide Showground and featured live entertainment, special guest cars (and drivers), live demonstrations and many memorable moments. Over one hundred cars displayed in the 2018 SlowCase, and we were left feeling excited for what the future would bring for our annual event.
As 2019 rolled forever nearer; we sat down and began to ask ourselves what we wanted for our next event, and how we were going to get there. We wanted it to be new, we wanted it to be unique, we wanted it to be special. We don’t like doing the same thing all the time, and we all agreed that we were going to venture somewhere we had never gone before, and we were going to take SlowCase to the next level. It was by far the greatest risk we had ever taken (we barely even break even on most of our events because we like to be affordable but we also like to be extra which rarely goes hand-in-hand) but it was a risk we were prepared to take to create the atmosphere that we were after.
We genuinely wanted to create something for the SA car community which we don’t experience often, and we thought of all the things that we, as enthusiasts, would want to experience ourselves in our idea of ‘the perfect event’. Venues, foods, features and atmosphere were just a few of the things we considered.
The first step was the venue. We thought of all the places we had wished to host events at over the years, and there was one particular venue which would be perfect. Leconfield Wines is a longstanding and prestigious vineyard situated in the iconic SA wine region of McLaren Vale, and its long sweeping driveway, symmetrical cellar door building, red rose gardens and (very) sizeable green field appeared to be our dream come true in a venue for an upmarket automotive event. After inspecting the facilities it was like no other alternative even existed – we were in love. We just had to have it, and have it we did.
With the ultimate venue we then needed to provide the ultimate event. Many don’t actually realise all of the love, passion, time and effort that goes into organizing these events, and most probably never will ever truly understand. We needed to think entertainment, food, beverages, amenities, cars, comfort and reasons to make you want to be there. It’s not easy, because there are so many different people that we have to (and want to) cater for. Of course we like to be extra, so we created excessive work for ourselves. It’s all worth the late nights, budget-inflating and ‘unnecessary necessities’ when we can see that those attending the event notice and appreciate the effort that we went to, and noticed the small things that we valued so much.
Attention to detail was everything with SlowCase. Each and every entrant to the show received a ‘welcome pack’, which included a personal letter from us with the event details, an entrant sticker (only available to entrants), and an invitation card to the event. Who even sends out invitations these days apart from weddings and engagement parties? Us, apparently…
The logic behind all of this for a car show was that we want everybody involved to feel valued and special. If you’re going to part ways with $35, we want you to feel as though it was worth it, and that what you’re paying for is an experience that you can remember fondly for months (or years) to come. The event trophies weren’t just simple, either… Rose gold trimming was applied to the edges of each glass trophy to make them unique, different, and quintessentially SlowCase. The top tier trophies received engraved wine boxes containing a bottle of Leconfield vintage. Even our uniforms changed up for the event, and our volunteers were seen sporting black collared shirts and pants/skirts to emphasize the upmarket theme of the event. We hope that it worked, and we were delighted with the feedback about the small details which we spent excessive time and funding to build and perfect.
We announced the event in the beginning of October 2018. This was fairly late notice for an event of this scale, but we were insistent on having the event fall on the first Sunday of 2019. We poured more resources and detail than ever into the marketing of the event which included print media (posters and fliers), social media, face-to-face engagement (at other events) and even radio (we can now say that we have been a #FreshSponsor!). Promotional pre-films by Adelaide-based film mastermind YV Media helped us build anticipation for the event, and our sponsors made this all possible with their passion and generosity.
Come Sunday January 6th 2019; nervous would have been an understatement of how we were feeling. We were so anxious about how the past several months’ of hard work, persistence and passion would result in just a few hours on a Sunday afternoon… We weren’t disappointed.
SlowCase 2019 saw in excess of 250 cars display, and foot traffic exceed two thousand heads throughout the day. To see members of the general public attending and enjoying an event is so satisfying, because we could see so many faces smiling and commenting on some of the cars in attendance to the event, which varied in make, era and style.
SlowCase featured several ‘exhibitions’ showcasing numerous entrant classes. The CarSwap Exotic exhibition was a limited-time display of rare and exotic vehicles and included vehicles such as the Porsche GT4, Mercedes G-Wagon, Maserati GranTurismo and Lamborghini Huracan. It provided an opportunity for spectators to see and experience these cars up close, and hear the motors come to life as they paraded the sweeping driveway in procession.
The Motorsport exhibition featured numerous SA motorsport icons including Cliff Clayson’s FD RX7 drift build, road rally and track motorsport examples and the nearby Stance Exhibition provided some of SA’s premier stance builds representing iconic worldwide stance brands including Violent Clique and Rarest Rose. This display was located near the cellar door as we had preempted that the motorsport and stance vehicles with limited ride height may have had difficulty clearing the uneven surfacing on the SlowCase field!
The SlowCase itself was featured on the nearby field and included exhibitions for Japanese, European, Muscle, Domestic and Classic vehicles. It was undoubtedly Japanese cars which conquered the SlowCase; primarily due to our more prominent Japanese car owner following! To see so many cars in one space displaying together was simply awe-inspiring, and we barely had time throughout the afternoon to actually soak it all in. The post-event film and photographs revealed many cars of which we had missed throughout the day, which we’re very grateful for.
The venue was absolutely perfect for the event. The exhibit separation and the general layout of the event worked with Leconfield Wines’ layout, and the driveway gave photographers an opportunity to capture some truly spectacular event coverage. We can’t thank Karly and the team at Leconfield enough for their generosity, support and shared passion for SlowCase. The feedback we received about the venue was nothing short of sensational, and we were beyond impressed with the atmosphere that the rolling vineyards of McLaren Vale brought SlowCase this year.
We would be kicking ourselves if we visited a winery and didn’t treat ourselves to a wine tasting at the iconic cellar door… So we gave each and every SlowCase entrant the opportunity to participate in a complimentary wine tasting masterclass with Leconfield’s resident wine expert. It provided an insight into the winemaking process and identifying the many flavours found in Leconfield’s wine range, and it was another one of those ‘fancy touches’ we wanted to add to the event.
The food at SlowCase worked, too! We took on Tim and Kyle from the 2017 season of My Kitchen Rules and their Caro Club brand to prepare some delicious chicken burgers alongside some gourmet loaded fries by Chipalicious. The Old School Bus provided an array of gourmet Jaffles (basically a really good toasted sandwich) and beverages, and the true foodies could indulge in a range of delicious platters of locally-sourced cheeses and ingredients provided by Leconfield Wines.
As the day drew to the close and the sun began to sink between the vines of McLaren Vale; the awards presentations saw in excess of forty different awards distributed to an array of winners. SlowCase is all about diversity, and the day’s top prizes went to some very deserving builds.
The major award (Best in Show) for the day was cleverly titled ‘Cellar Door’. This tied in with the venue, but also draws from the philosophy of The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien which insinuates that the term ‘Cellar Door’ is one of the most beautiful word combinations (arguably) in the English language. It signifies beauty and perfection, and it signifies the day’s theme in our usual punny and clever way. The top three builds were difficult to decide, but we believe that they were very well deserved based on the passion, love and devotion to bring such cars to life (and maintain them to ensure their longevity).
The three Cellar Door awards went to:
1st: Leon Blackman – Porsche 356 (Classic)
2nd: Marcus Rigney – ’32 HiBoy (Hot Rod)
3rd: Cliff Clayson – FD RX7 (Motorsport)
We would like to thank our sponsors for the event. Without you; it wouldn’t have been possible. It’s reassuring to know that SA features such a diverse and supportive business community, and Slowlife will continue to support you for years to come. Thank you!
ULX110 Custom Blend Oils
Black Canvas Photographers
JL Design & Fabrication
As we reflect on the month following SlowCase 2019; we can’t thank you enough for your attendance, feedback, support and mutual passion for the event. SlowCase 2019 has certainly set the benchmark for our future shows, and you can bet that we’ll be aiming to top it in 2020. We’re set for an upmarket and exciting direction this year, and you’re the reason it’s happening.
We would also like to give all of our incredible volunteers a pat on the back (and one hell of a drink) for their consistent hard work, late nights, brainstorming, planning and persistence to make SlowCase happen. Slowlife relies entirely on its volunteers, and we once again banded together for our event of the year. It’s what we do it all for at the end of the day – we’re left feeling thankful for each other because as we’ve said many times before; even if the car community ceased to exist overnight and we were left with nothing left; we’d still be happy because we’re a family.
Until 2020, SlowCase. It’s definitely been The Greatest Show.
SlowCase Media Team: