Is it time for ‘the scene’ to get reappraised?

Cars Culture

Deep within the modified vehicle scene, there's frustration brewing...

If you’ve ever been to a modified car show, you’ll have heard the term ‘scene’.

Don’t know what I mean? Well, allow me to explain. The term ‘scene’ is used to describe the community that makes up those in attendance. I’m unsure as to when the term was first introduced. All I do know is, I’d like to go back and kill it with fire!


The term ‘scene’ is often used in a derogatory way toward (I would say) the majority of people that make it up. It represents a community that is now often at loggerheads, or in constant competition with one another. I’m 30 (turned this year) and I don’t remember it always being the way it is now. Now, I’m not naive enough to think there wasn’t any competition or bitchiness, but it seems like it used to be so much more relaxed and more about the cars; not who can have the most expensive financed whip, with financed wheels and financed air ride. Nowadays, a show car is just that; car, wheels and air. Yes, some look good – very good, indeed – but what about those cars that have been built from the ground up, with blood, sweat and tears, not to get any recognition, because what’s been done isn’t necessarily in fashion right now, or they aren’t far enough up the event organiser’s a*se.


I love modified cars. The imagination of normal people often surpasses those of the manufacturer’s design departments. It’s incredible what can be done to new cars, as well as the classic models that’re being restored and preserved. However, I feel that the ‘scene’ needs a wake-up call. The newbies need a shake, the purists need a slap and the chavs need a swift elbow to the ribs. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but they do need to be reminded that this scene was once made up of car lovers; not just people competing for prizes or Instagram fame. A little competition is healthy, we know, but when building a car becomes about someone else or what’s popular, that’s where it all falls apart. The newbies have come into a time where it’s easier than ever to finance a whip – and why not?! I have no qualms with finance. Finance is simply a way of allowing people to get things quicker. They still pay their bills, like anyone else (or at least you hope). However, they’ve not experienced what it feels like to have a complete sh*tter as a first car, but be totally in love with it because it’s just that; your first car.


Back in my day – wow, I’m now old enough to pull that phrase off – the car scene or culture was a bunch of mates gathering in a car park (usually McDonalds) chatting about their cars. No, that doesn’t make me a chav. It just shows I shared the same interest as the other people there. I know there are some people that ruin the car community – and this will always be the case, good and bad in every race and all that – they’ll rev up their cars when there’s simply no need, they’ll do donuts on the car park of a show event, often ruining it for the rest of us because the show organisers then get in trouble and end up being banned from holding another event – but that’s the nature of the beast. Much like when you go to a rock gig to enjoy the music and there are moshers at the front determined to break a bone or two (either their own or someone else’s). However, there are a lot of good people in this so-called ‘scene’, too. I’ve truly met some incredible people along the way, and I’ve done my very best to hold onto those friendships. Friends who lend you spacers before a show because your wheels look rubbish otherwise. I’m talking like two days before you’re due to travel and they post them out for you via special delivery – huge shout out to Indy Virk! As well as those friends that will help to sort you out when you’ve broken down, no matter how far away you are. The power of social media is also an incredible thing – something that has grown and grown in recent years. Let me give you just one example; one example of the car community really working together. A good friend of mine had her modified Volkswagen Up! stolen a few months ago and her Facebook post went viral! People she didn’t even know were sharing her post to help find her car. That is where this community is something very special, but why does a bad thing have to happen for people to pull together?


All we are, are a bunch of people that share the same passion. Get off your high horses and treat one another as equals – you’re all passionate about cars – some may have more money than others, but does that really matter?! It’s just nice to talk about the same thing with people you don’t know, right?

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I wish things were a little more like they used to be. Normal people talking about their cars. Whether that be a statically lowered 1.2 Renault Clio or an R32 Nissan Skyline… yes, we’d probably prefer to see the R32 Skyline, but it’s about chatting to the people behind the cars and enjoying the hobby we all share.


Thanks to RollHard for the pictures