20 Years Later At Edition38…



It’s 6:30am on Sunday morning. I hadn’t deliberate on waking up this early, however somebody within the tent subsequent to me was knocked out so chilly from the earlier night time’s revelry that not even a strong quarter-hour’ price of iPhone alarm might elevate them to show it off. I couldn’t go on listening to it for any longer; I needed to roll out of my tent.

Edition38 is a UK occasion well-known for inviting you to get together in a discipline in Moulton, Northampton with your folks from Friday afternoon, earlier than displaying your high-quality VAG venture on Sunday morning. Not solely is it a take a look at of 1’s capacity to construct an attention-grabbing automotive, but additionally the flexibility to abdomen unearthly quantities of satan’s potion for one or two nights main as much as the precise present.

I rose from my quick night time’s sleep to search out different unlucky victims of the obnoxious alarm ringing additionally up and about.


I sat up in a moist tenting chair overlooking the obliteration that had been our campfire for the earlier two nights. My silly mates determined it might be hilarious to throw every thing and something into the pit over the weekend, it doesn’t matter what disgraceful materials it was constructed from. Wooden, metallic, plastic, glass – it was all in there.


That, blended with a weekend’s price of vehicles frequently driving by way of the dry and dusty discipline meant the air high quality across the venue felt similar to one thing between Chernobyl and Jupiter. Edition38, but once more, profitable shaved a number of months from my life expectancy.

I didn’t keep sitting for lengthy; the iPhone alarm was nonetheless ringing and I’d had sufficient. I stood up and felt my automotive keys in my pocket; this was nice as a result of it meant I didn’t lose them within the rave tent the night time earlier than. Even higher, it meant I might now begin my automotive and flatten the tent the place the alarm was coming from.


Sadly although, my plans of candy vengeance had been put to relaxation as I realised my automotive was blocked in by Nathan Chapple trying to scrub the mud off his automotive. He too was woken up by the alarm, and determined to spend his early morning doing one thing helpful: readying his automotive for the present.

Impressed by Nathan’s capacity to truly do one thing productive at this hour, I made a decision to seize my digital camera and go for a stroll across the campsite.


Regardless of being a VAG occasion, the campsite is open to everybody. Some would argue this space is extra thrilling than the present itself, as throughout Friday and Saturday the sector will get was a gymkhana circuit of donuts and burnouts. That’s after all till one of many safety guards rocks up of their little John Deere buggy and politely tells everybody to cease behaving like Neanderthals.

The connection between the campers and safety is at all times attention-grabbing, however this 12 months they had been fairly humorous to work together with and there was a degree of mutual respect.


Some people had refined tenting gear, whereas others weren’t so lucky.


It was surprisingly enjoyable strolling across the discipline within the morning, taking within the final bits of the dawn and appreciating the amount of individuals in attendance. Additionally, to not use a buzzword right here, however ‘selection’ was at its peak within the makeshift campground. Additionally, consider it or not, that Ford Escort RS Turbo is definitely white.

With my morning facet quest full, I wandered over to the precise present space. At this level it was round 8:30am and loads of show-goers had been rocking up. I envied how contemporary and completely happy all of them appeared, having spent the weekend within the consolation of their very own beds while I’d had the pleasure of a tent in no man’s land.

I freshened up with a tea and breakfast bun and waited for the sector to replenish with VAG motors.


Edition38 is pivotal to the UK’s (and Europe’s) VW scene. Initially, Edition38 was an web discussion board the place Volkswagen followers far and huge gathered to speak about all issues VW. The title Edition38 spawned from VW’s naming conference of calling particular runs of fashions Editions, and the 12 months when the Volkswagen manufacturing facility was based, 1938.

The character of boards is that they host conversations, and Edition38’s boards had been no completely different, crammed with data, information, images, folks’s ideas and feelings. Mainly, a entire host of issues price archiving and passing on to future generations of VW lovers. The discussion board grew shortly and had the status of being a goldmine of Volkswagen information.


The significance of web boards like Edition38’s can’t be underestimated. Through the mid-2000s and early-2010s, boards had been the one place to have refined on-line discussions round particular subjects. At this time limit, Fb was nonetheless only for poking your folks.

My discussion board of selection was StanceWorks, the place I had an account to touch upon folks’s conversations earlier than I even had a drivers licence. After all, nobody knew they had been interacting with a 15-year-old, however that was simply the character of issues. Everybody was engaged although, with sure subjects racking up hundreds of feedback, and sure posters updating their construct threads each day for an keen viewers, which I used to be a part of.


The construct thread on my first BMW racked up over 90,000 views and 25 pages’ price of feedback from strangers. That was an enormous deal to 19-year-old me, and actually put into perspective the facility of story and phrases. I personally revamped 1,000 posts and met some good mates by way of it, comparable to Lewis who I spoke to over the discussion board earlier than we ever met.

That’s Lewis wanting into the pink Lupo GTI within the photograph above.


Our very personal Ryan Stewart used the Edition38 boards as his most important on-line stomping floor again within the day. He places my pathetic statistics to disgrace, with over 25,000 posts about VWs on there. His Mk4 Golf construct had 300,000 views and 100 pages of feedback.

Bear in mind, that is pre-internet-in-your-pocket days; it is a time the place to be able to devour any on-line automotive content material you would wish to truly sit down at a PC and use a mouse and keyboard. Communication was a bit extra demanding than an app pushing your 15-second video right into a steroid-fuelled algorithm.


In parallel to operating the busiest automotive modifying discussion board in Europe, the crew at Edition38 ran annual, self-titled automotive exhibits. Edition38 wasn’t only a digital house for dialog about VWs, it was a real-world VW gathering too.

The primary present happened in 2000. The primary time Speedhunters attended Edition38 was in 2008 (sadly the put up was misplaced throughout a web site improve). I attended my first Edition38 in 2016.

Converse to any true modified automotive fanatic within the UK from the final 20 years and they’ll inform you tales about their time on the Edition38 weekender. And irrespective of the place they fall on the timeline, their tales are more likely to be the identical, as a result of the principle recipe of the occasion has gone unchanged because the very starting.

The occasion was such an enormous deal that individuals would usually construct vehicles particularly to take alongside to this occasion. For a lot of, Edition38 was the deadline to fulfill. You knew you would construct your automotive after which have the chance to take it up on stage in entrance of the viewers on Sunday and inform all of them about it.

Attributable to apparent causes, in 2020 and 2021 the present wasn’t in a position to go forward, which made this 12 months’s occasion the twentieth. So, 20 years later, the place are we at?


The VAG themes which have been round because the begin are nonetheless at massive. European wheels, immaculate engine bays and paint takes centre stage within the present discipline. The builds that stored this in thoughts loved essentially the most curiosity all through the day.


Uncommon colors, specs and restricted editions had been current as ever. I notably just like the supercharged G60 Corrado and this Version One G60 Mk2 import. I attempted discovering the proprietor of the Golf to shed some mild on what makes the Version One G60s particular, however I had no luck. Maybe somebody might help me out within the feedback?


It’s not simply all traditional VWs although; trendy stuff additionally will get consideration at Edition38. My favorite of the bunch needed to be this laid-out Jetta. Fitment and nicely specced wheels won’t ever get outdated.


Regardless of this present being over 20 years outdated now, and the organisers gracefully ageing with their model, there have been a variety of younger folks in attendance. Curiosity in vehicles has no age bracket, and for a few of my mates that I used to be tenting with, this 12 months was their first Edition38.


There have been many VWs at Edition38 this 12 months pushing correct energy items. 4WD MK1 Golfs, VR6 and R32 lumps all over the place, with even humble vans getting concerned. I’m 100% sure a variety of the information switch that allowed these creations to come back to mild got here from web boards like Edition38.

Or did it?


In 2019, the Edition38 discussion board disappeared. With out warning, the web site was shut down and each put up, dialog and bit of data vanished. Whereas naturally the tempo of the boards had slowed right down to a standstill (this is identical with most boards now), the standard of debate has didn’t replicate in Fb or Instagram remark sections.

Once you lose dialog you lose group.

It was laborious to keep away from the truth that regardless of a super-fun weekend of tenting, the Sunday present didn’t appear as busy because it has been within the earlier years I’ve attended Edition38. Whether or not this may be linked to the shutting of the discussion board or the occasion’s two-year hiatus is all guess work.

Fortuitously, group has at all times been on the forefront of Edition38, so I’m positive the crew is just not shedding monitor of that. The problem they face now is determining methods to proceed rising the present it in a post-forum period. Due to TikTok, most youthful children appear to solely actually care about Japanese import vehicles and issues that go sideways. We have to keep in mind that these are the long run show-goers, ticket-buyers and voices of the group.


Whereas VWs aren’t well-known for going sideways, to me they’re well-known for the category and nostalgia that comes with fashions just like the MK1 and MK2 Golf. The GTI badge particularly is in a category of its personal, and it’s as much as occasions like Edition38 to work out methods to play that to their strengths and proceed rising the present and the VW group within the UK for the subsequent 20 years. And the 20 years after that…

Michał Fidowicz
Instagram: candyshowroom


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