MK Cruise (continued from page one)
jeans, tight tops, and a B&H'
Being a true girl I
bought my Puma bag to the event, as Chris drives a Puma 1.7 Zetec. I just
love accesorising, and so, it seems, did everyone there. The girls walked
around on the arms of their boy racer boyfriends, streaked blonde hair,
strategically ripped jeans, tight tops, gold jewellery and a B&H the
standard look. If they didn’t have a boyfriend then they paraded
in big groups looking for the one with the loudest bass, or biggest exhaust.
Chris’ friend Kev
was counting down the minutes until he could
pick his car up from the bodyshop. 'As soon as I pick it up I’m
going round to see my old cruise buddy. I haven’t seen him for three
months and he doesn’t know any of the stuff that I’ve had
done. I’m just going to turn up and he’s going to go mental!'
'Flames were coming out of the exhaust pipes'
His girlfriend looked slightly disappointed
that she wasn’t going to be the first one to see it, but such is
the life of a boy racer’s girlfriend. Always second place to his
first love - the car.
We spoke to a man who is sweet-talking
someone in Japan so he will send carbon fibre wing panels directly to
him. Another guy has spent a fortune in time and money doing up his Smart
car with a stereo system which is in my professional opinion louder than
Chris’ (and Chris’ is, in his own words, 'louder than your
Putting neons under the car, twin exhausts, something about turbo, or
was it dump valves made the noise because… um…? At some point
my brain inverted and couldn’t take any more of the technical stuff.
spoilers = ass envy?'
A Ferrari and an MR2 in an Italian suit (so it looked like a Ferrari)
were parked side by side. They were having some kind of revving competition
and flames were coming out of the exhaust pipes (something to do with
overburn, Kev told me).
That was cool, and the smell of exhaust reminded me of being a 5 year
old sitting in my Dad’s garage, way up high in the sky on the electronic
ramp, giggling with AMP at John the garage boy’s crap jokes and
wondering why no one else at school knew what swarfega was.
Cars that looked like BMWs were, I was reliably informed, Alpinas. Oversized
spoilers were put on cars that weren’t done up in any other way
and looked totally incongruous - ass envy? Some modifications looked great,
some plain wrong. Like how you can have plastic surgery and look like
a new enhanced version of yourself, or Pete Burns.
'An extension of your...personality'
So why do up the cars? Why spend all that time and
money? Why bother?
'It's all about showing off really, isn't it?', says Chris. 'That and
the sense of belonging to a specialised little community. I suppose it's
no different to getting a specific haircut, or wearing a certain style
of clothes. The only difference is it's a bit more expensive, and you're
not likely to cut your knuckles buying a T-shirt from Top Man.
'Behind all that, when you really get to the core of it, there's the simple
desire to take things apart, find out how they work, and improve them.
'People express themselves through the modifications on their car, whether
it be a fully bodykitted Nova, or a 'sleeper' Supra. The work carried
out has been done to their own specifications. This isn't something you
will ever get from a car manufacturer.
'No matter what customisation car manufacturers
offer in the showroom, nobody's going to want to leave it showroom-standard
knowing that so many thousands of other people will have exactly the same
'That's what really matters - having something
unique, something you can be proud of. Something that is an extension
of your personality and individuality.'
'Pretty lights, banging bass'
For me it was the pretty lights and banging bass that
did it every time. Chris's next step is to organise a sound-off: 'I've
spent a lot of money on some damn fine components. Other people have done
the same. What people like us enjoy doing above all is showing off. Put
simply, a sound-off is where a group of people get together to have a
competition to see whose sound system is the loudest / best looking /
best installed / best quality.' I intend to be there for my aural pleasures.
And Chris intends to win.
For more skinny on the MK Cruise visit www.mkcruise.co.uk,
or just turn up on a Sunday night. Clown pendants optional.
Image © Ytje 2004
Words © Lisa Payne 2004