Photography by Jeroen Willemsen
A decade ago, if you asked any of us in the States to think about an indoor car show, we’d picture the typical Hot Import Nights scene. We’d see outlandish cars with each of their exterior bits shaved smooth, propped up on clouds of cotton and mirrors. However, in the present-day, that simply is not the case. Modern car show variants in the USA and overseas are working tirelessly to create a new experience for everyone involved, and in The Netherlands, 100% Auto Live (formerly 100% Tuning) is creating a destination experience for automotive enthusiasts.
100% Auto Live is carving a new kind of multifaceted car show complete with interactive exhibits meant to take the experience of automotive events to a new level. The brand’s slogan—See/Hear/Shop/Play—summarizes it perfectly. There are countless activities on the grounds for guests to enjoy, and given the size of the show’s venue, it makes sense.
The show spreads its roots across the grounds of the Rotterdam Ahoy events center in The Netherlands. This multipurpose hall is used for everything from high-level concerts and professional sporting events to conventions and much more. While traversing Ahoy, 100% guests could glean at any number of show cars situated within the halls. They could also take a seat and watch unique vehicles drive past them on the Car Catwalk, or press through the doors to the outside and watch a drifting demo. Not to mention the live product and trade demonstrations, the racing simulator alley, or the merchandise shops positioned amidst it all. This event combined so many vital aspects of the tuning culture into one gigantic expo, and we had Jeroen Willemsen on location to record the whole thing.
With so many vehicles, attractions, and over 50,000 spectators to sort through on location, we narrowed down our five favorite highlights of the event, presented in no particular order. We hope you enjoy them!
@g_e30’s Calypso Red E30
While looking through Jeroen’s coverage, this E30 stopped me in my tracks. The dark metallic Calypso Red paint is the perfect shade for the boxy fenders of the classic BMW. The combination of the M Tech II exterior additions and the Alpina lip bring the body of the car closer to the ground. Air Lift Performance air suspension precisely lowers it down the rest of the way. The Taifun headlight conversion is a unique modification to the front end, which fits twin square Hella lights in place of the OEM round examples. I’d usually have some reservations about a bright white interior color. However, the reupholstered inside with Recaro Sportster CS seats contrast the blood-like paint of the exterior so well, it creates an almost hygienic feel. I like that the owner equipped it with BMW Style 20 Turbine wheels, as I feel they complement the Alpina elements nicely. All in all, this was a refreshing take on the E30 chassis.
@vishsainttouring’s E36 Touring
If this car doesn’t make you want a wagon, I’m not sure what will. It’s an absolutely brilliant execution of an E36 Touring. The factory BMW Individual Atlantis Metallic paint is the perfect shade for the black moldings and elongated panels of the Touring model. The BBS RC wheels are refinished in bright chrome and look right at home with their color-matched Atlantis Metallic center caps. The interior sets this car apart even further, as an unusual orange-tan shade of leather covers every inch of the BMW cockpit, including the Recaro Sportster CS seats with paint-matched seatbacks. Mostly, everywhere I looked at this car, something has been improved over its factory edition. I was a big fan of it and immediately looked up how much E36 wagons cost overseas (since we never received them here). Ahh, one can dream, I suppose.
@marijnpijnen’s VW Corrado
Okay, it’s another really clean Euro build, right? It’s got the usual accouterments—the vibrant chromed BBS RS wheels, and the silky smooth paint and bodywork. It’s pretty standard, right? Wrong! For as naturally subtle and tame as the exterior may appear, the engine and drivetrain are ludicrous in the best way possible. The Corrado’s engine has been replaced with the performance power plant from the Volkswagen R32. The single turbocharger affixed to the swapped engine takes the car’s performance to a new level. If that wasn’t enough, the drivetrain has even been converted to 4MOTION all-wheel-drive. What’s more, judging by his Instagram page, he built the entire car in his garage with the help of his family. It’s an incredible piece of machinery from the ground up, and I didn’t even discuss the reupholstered interior with—you guessed it—Recaro Sportster CS seats. Marijn, if you’re out there reading this, I’d love to learn more about the car!
While this car is a little wilder than the others on this list, I felt the amount of work and the quality of the overall build needed to be showcased. Let’s start with the obvious, there’s a monstrous LS engine stuffed into the confines of the engine bay; this one is filled with forged internals and Brodix heads. From there, a pair of Holset turbochargers dramatically increase the amount of atmosphere the motor is capable of pilfering. In turn, this raises the performance figures to around the 800 horsepower mark. The effort needed to squeeze this engine setup into the tiny car was no small feat, but the fabrication didn’t stop there. There’s a little glimpse into the rear suspension work via the window in the trunk, which showcases a tricky inboard pushrod setup. Back up front, I enjoy how the all-black engine pieces seamlessly transition to the carbon fiber front end. I also like how the Hartge three-piece wheels sit within the fenders, despite the increased track width. This is one crazy E30, but I love how well it came together in the end.
@jegan7000’s Overtake R35
I wanted to finish off this list with an example that completely differs from anything up above. This is a one-of-one dry carbon fiber R35 GT-R, built using the full gamut of products from Overtake in Japan. This car adorns the Overtake catalog from carbon fiber bodywork and titanium chassis bracing to a complete titanium exhaust system for a grand total of over 300 pounds of weight savings. The Volk Racing TE37 Ultra wheels satiate the saturated content lacking in the otherwise muted grey carbon exterior. It’s a stellar car and one that shows how deep this show’s roots go in all tuning platforms.
While it takes place in Europe, there is domestic American influence in engine choice. There is a Japanese influence on platform choice. However, most of all, there is a European influence oozing from this event. By combining so many aspects of the tuning culture into one inviting atmosphere, 100% Auto Live is recreating the car show of the future, and I love every bit of it! Check out the links and gallery below for more: