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The third edition of the Custom Show Emirates saw ADNEC filled with some of the best custom cars from across the UAE and Middle East. Last year blew us away, and this year we were once again left asking where do all these custom cars hide!?

There was a huge increase in footfall on the Friday compared to last year, highlighting the growth of the show which in turn saw a huge increase in the quality of cars on display. With it being the show to build a car for, it was something which we tried our hand at this year.

JDM dominated the show, just as with previous years. With the Skylines and Supras lining up head to head, they took over the main section of the show. We met a guy who had flown all the way from Poland for the show after seeing our article last year. He is a keen traveler and was blown away by the amount of Skylines. Has said that he had seen more in ADNEC’s halls, than he had during a trip to Japan. That’s really saying something considering how hard it is to register a Skyline in the UAE.

On that note Khul Racing had an impressive display of Skylines sat on their stand. Not quite to my taste (I don’t personally get the artwork on the bonnet or the details on the side skirts) however, I can however relate to the amount of skill that goes into it, and they also do know how to nail the stance game.

The most interesting part though, is that they are offering very reasonable prices on fully converted Skylines with all the correct paper work. All of which come direct from Japan. They will source you a base model car, converted it to LHD (conversion is super clean, hand brake is round the correct way) after which its shipped to you with. Prices start at AED 97,000 for a R32!

The American classics had a much larger presence at this year’s show, and there were more than a few hidden gems.
Tariq had all three of his 66 Devilles at the show, with his chopped and bag 66 taking first for Best Cadillac.
Another Tariq who's truck we had shot a few weeks back, also picked up an award, along with his friend Mahmoud who had travelled all the way over from Qatar in his GMC truck. Mahmoud took best classic truck with Tariq taking second. Both nailed the bagged look as they laid frame in front of the main entrance.
Our Car of the Show was this 280z from Saudi Arabia. Owned by Yasin and his brother, both had spent their early years in Oklahoma, USA which is where their build originally started. It all began with a LS motor swap and ZG fender flares. Since moving back to Saudi they have raised the game, adding a Rocket Bunny Pandem kit along with a sick set of custom-made Enkei wheels. These originally started their lives as 14 inch wheels and has been built up to 16 inch in the US. They have a huge amount of dish and the full specs are 16x12 on the rear and 16x11 on the front. As much as I’d like to say they are my favorite part of this car it’s hard to ignore the quality of the paint. Being painted in its original factory colour it really does pop. It’s hard to find anything wrong with this car. Sadly though it only picked up second place in its category. Massive shout out to Yasin, such a passionate and friendly guy and such a shame that he lives so far away in Saudi, but we hope to see more of him in the future.
Yasin’s 280 was beaten by Mohammed’s performance built 240z, which was also over from Saudi. Both Rob and I had our heads under this beast for around 15 minutes. It had every single suspension part available from Techno Toy Tuning, bolted onto a stupidly clean underside. It was running an original L28 which had been stroked and featured a set of chrome plated ITBs. We were informed that it makes a conservative 500hp and Mohammed’s Instagram shows several videos in which he can be seen taking on and beating, a number of well spec’d modern day sports cars.
This quad turbo’d V12 86 literally broke the internet during the show. Funnily enough it arrived as Rob and I were looking at Yasin’s 280Z. We didn’t pay too much attention at first, probably due to its exterior. The bay is however, a work of art and the boys at KK Performance have done a great job with the install. Space in the bay is minimal, and the V12 just about fits. But, there is zero space between the rear of the engine and the firewall. We would love to see this on the road…maybe we should hit KK Performance up?
As in previous years there was a serious lack of European cars. We still had a massive soft spot for this bagged E24 M6. Sat on a set of BBS RS with custom-made step up lips it looked spanking under ADNEC’s lighting. We would love to see for a euro push in the region, will this car start the revolution?
There was a very neat Audi Quattro S1 that was hidden over the other side of the hall as a part of the Abu Dhabi Classic Car club. We failed to get many details on this but it looked bone stock and extremely clean. With not many of these left around we were shocked to see one locally.
The Elite boys were at the show in full force with the NSX and S14 being a strong contender for our Car of the Show. We have been eagerly awaiting the outcome of the widebody NSX since we first heard of its plans back in 2015. And it didn't fail to deliver.
Their stand also featured a few very well-known cars that don’t need any introduction. They also had a Racetek simulator which was busy throughout the three days.
The boys and girls from Vossen were back this time round. We had seen a fair bit of the Silverado which features these huge LC103 on social media before the event. And the LC103 does look the part in the flesh. We are looking forward to seeing more of the LC Series next season. One of the cleanest looking wheels out there currently.
Ahmed, who we like to call Mr Vossen, just about got his Sirroco completed before the show. It was a little touch and go and I had more than a few phone calls from Ahmed seeking advice. He just about managed to nail his stance though, pulling off 20 inch wheels on a widebodied Sirrocco is not easy believe me. I’m sure we will see more of this soon. He was again, sporting another set of LC Series wheels.
Outside the 4x4 drifting guys were back, but this year they were joined by the professional Monster athlete Dimitri Illyuk, who was putting on a display along with local drivers Ahmed Tareq and Yasser Nabil.
Inside there was scale drifting to match with some guys who came all the way from Saudi.
As much as we try to ignore our two wheeled cousins there were more than a few nice examples on display. Our knowledge is few and far between when it comes to bikes but quite a number appealed to us visually.
There were more than a few off road cars around, including the ever present modified Patrols and Land Cruisers which make up such a large part of this scene.
I spent more than a few late nights at Kanzen Motorsports trying to get our Moonbeam 280z ready. We just about made it after a lot of hard work from both Kanzen Motorsports and Carbon Signal. We were sat next to the guys from Work Wheels for the three days who had brought along the Vleen 86 which was built by Elite Autosports.

When looking back at last year’s show there was a clear increase in traffic over the three days and we can understand why. With the Custom Show Emirates being THE show to be at, it attracts attention from not just the UAE but all across the Middle East. And for the last two years the level of cars has been second to none. Something which we have been lacking over the past five years in the UAE. With competitors looking at being the best we can only see the standards getting higher. We are certain people have already started planning their builds for next year after a very expiring show.

We would like to thank everyone that spent the time to come and say hello to us. I was personally shocked how many people were following the Moonbeem build. Many of you came and said hi which reminded us why we do this. We are already looking forward to next year’s show which will undoubtedly be bigger and better. In the meantime we are off to find another project, that’s after we have got some sleep!