I would save any smart role and just say this: I have never seen a car show like the XS CarNight before.
Take a quick browse of their Instagram and you might think that XS is a subtle thing, with minimal post layout and some fairly excellent photos. You might guess that being held at Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, what you will see is a range of VW golf. I didn’t really know what to expect, but within seconds of meeting XS chief Honcho Andy Fulborn, it became clear that the night was going to be like a party, like a car show.
In fact, the XS CarNight Wörthersee was the first sensory battery. It was a busy show. Crowds of people around each car as soon as it opened. Speaking of which, Saaj and I were practically drowning in a sea of metal, all of which are valuable.
We decided very quickly that we had to be different to cover the whole incident, and even then it was a struggle. Starting outside the five show halls, the quality was already clear.
The wheel I was addicted to, there was a trio of cars outside that caught me going. A Volvo 480ES is a rare sight at best, but a custom-adapted Centra Space is housed in a set of rims? Absolutely unique. Style points have been added to be the only Volvo produced with the pop-up headlamps.
The theme of the custom OEM split rims continues with this VW Corrado in a set similar to the factory G60 wheels, although the rear has more concave than a moon hole.
The most sophisticated set of split rims I’ve ever seen consumes this Audi S6 Avant. I may have been an old school guy when it came to changing cars – especially the wheels – but these were just great.
The outfit was spotted on a pair of neat Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI’s timeless BBS wheels – the RS model for the silver car and the LM for the red car.
Hidden on the side, meanwhile, was a stunning green BMW E28 520i. Green color, green interior, wooden steering wheel and copper accents on BBS RS wheels – what an excellent machine.
It was very similar inside the house. Each hall seems to be filled with some neat examples of the car models we have entered.
I never dreamed I would see a stalled Mercedes 280 SL ‘pagoda’, so I didn’t get enough of this thing. Above the list of the most beautiful cars I have designed, see how narrow the 280’s belt line is; So smooth and slender. Incredible
It can rarely be connected by the kill-out Subaru Impreza WRX STI across its entrance. I’m an Evo man, but it looked so bullish in bright black that I had to give it a second look.
Speaking of Evos, Subaru had a bitter rival in Hall 1: a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII, rather aptly all white. I’ll be honest, between the two, Subaru was probably the edge of my book. Which would you choose?
Or what about some rear-wheel drive, rotating driven JDM flavor? This black FD3S Mazda RX-7 looked gorgeous on a three-spoke work equip vagguard.
Title sponsor Opel has come up with a selection of amazing racing machines of different eras. The DTM Astra was very cool with its bubble-shaped roof, crazy arches and ATS race wheels, but it couldn’t hold a candle to its ancestors; Opel Omega 3000 DTM.
Known here in the UK as Lotus Carlton, this model has a reputation for being the most difficult police chase escape car in legend. Apparently, this means they were legends because they were stolen as gateway cars in the first place. The whole race trim was crazy to see one.
The hall was a self-viewing scene, with a giant installation in the middle of the room, with huge digital screens hanging in the air for everyone to see. The screens not only repeated the car theme, but with techno music blasting throughout the event, the mood was definitely like a car party. The DJ may be relieved to hear that his efforts have paid off.
There was an E38 in the corner of Hall 1 which I have been following on Instagram for a long time. Being an E38 owner myself, I rarely get excited by them, but it was great to miss.
With the classic S15 Nissan Sylvia Spec-R in the Work Meister Wheels Combo, the outfit was able to bring its S-chassis dreams to life.
Retro VW styling was surprisingly common in the halls, with some notable examples representing the best trends of the last three decades. The Mk2 best represents the changes in the way golf switches from wild to guard, the color of the 90’s and the smoothing of everything from the mid-2000s to the end.
Hiding the fuel filler behind the taillights was ridiculously good, but there was something about the Rallye headlight car’s sheer color scheme that was a real attraction.
There is only one car that can take the crown of the show for me and that was the absolute creature of the Mercedes-Benz – W126 Koenig Specials SEC. Sentence ‘Don’t meet your heroes’ That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. Offensively large, suspiciously tasteful yet sitting on the road-roller-esque BBS RS wheels, oh so stylish. I expected it to be personal and much more.
And if we’re talking about style, I don’t know what they’re drinking, but some people seem to be starting to fit the wheels of BBS Motorsport into a completely unsuitable luxury car.
Madam, is it SEC in BBS E50s or Audi A8 in 20-inch BBS E19s? Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. This pairing was absolutely ridiculous and so was I. Love Them
And that’s where the beauty of the XS CarNight lies – at least in my opinion. Yes, the atmosphere was great, the music was loud and the beer was flowing. That’s all well and good, but without an open mind it would mean nothing.
The XS CarNight Wörthersee is a complete mix of class and style. In what world do you see a stalled Mercedes pagoda next to a track-ready WRX STI from a Porsche 911 GT3 RS 991.5? Andy has been able to cultivate a world that attracts visitors from all over the world.
It also attracts exhibitors from all over Europe and beyond. It was an incredible sight to see cars rushing to leave in the dark. One of the only things I can even compare it to Need for speed Online lobby; How varied the cars were. Swiss, German, British, Austrian, Polish – the list of license plates just keeps going.
It can be tiring, but it is an experience I will never forget. XS CarNight is a hell of a show, and if you ever get a chance to go to one, grab it.
We have more on the way from this event, but there is one in it Huge Gallery for you to check out below.
Additional photos by Saj Selva