As you get older you begin to notice, time really does fly by. I’m sure we can all agree that 2015 has flown by similar to the speed of a F-22 Raptor at full after burner. I feel as though Euro Tripper and SoWo just happened, yet already both of those events will be here in a matter of months. Hell Simply Clean 7 felt like it was last weekend, meanwhile in reality its happened over a month ago. But even though time seems to be speeding by like a wormhole, we at least get to hold on to the memories the year has brought us. Today we’ll be going over the highs and lows of 2015, the most memorable moments, and some we may not want to remember. We’ll pay respect to those that we have lost, but will never forget, and look onto the future. Lastly, instead of having someone else give you there thoughts on things, we’re gonna give you our thoughts. We hope you all enjoy the multitude of work produced by our photographers, the faces and cars of those we’ve met along the way, and the products we’ve produced throughout the year.
So, where to begin? Well what about the shows we’ve been to? And let me tell you we went to a shit ton. From those we have personally been vendors at, to those where we simply kicked back and enjoyed the scenery. Of course we mainly went to those that centered around our community, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t those that hosted a plethora of other vehicles and people from all walks. There were large events that shut down the areas they were hosted in, and others that had a much more grass roots feel to them. It’s always so hard to say which one is our favorite, just kidding cause its always SoWo. But not because everyone gets hammered and trashes a town the genuinely loves the community. We
loved LOVE Southern Worthersee because it was the embodiment of our community. Advise pouring from the souls of those who have experience, laughs coming up from deep within as we rejoice with our friends, and an overall feeling of belonging somewhere. It’s sad to see shows like SoWo and H2Oi that are slowly on the decline because of those who are focused on becoming part of an elitist group, rather than being an integral part of the community. You don’t have to end up on a show film to become known, or even liked for that matter, within the community. You simply need to be humble, and accepting of everyone. Be a lending hand, be a guide to the best of your extent, be something other than “the scene”.
Well that got off topic didn’t it? But this is a review, not a feature. We aren’t here to hear your thoughts today. Nope. Today we ask you to listen to ours. But before we continue, we would like to greatly thank all of the shows who opened there doors to us. Without you and the events you run, who knows where we’d be? Now with that out the way; I’m sure as most of you can tell, a question we have always asked our guest’s is, “What is your thoughts on the community?”. As you may have already been able to tell, we cannot stand the thought of “the scene”. A group of individuals who are solely based upon blowing up and acting like they know nobody, getting hammered and destroying everything, and ultimately creating a negative connotation of what it is to be within a car community. You see we grew up with the community. A group of people who all share the same passion towards a common object or mindset. People who are always willing to lend a helping hand and dole out knowledge to those whose minds are spongy enough to soak it all in. You were never judged in the community because of what you chose to do to your own car. The reason? Because it’s your car, and no one else should care more about your car than YOURSELF. For an even better understanding here are a few words from our supreme leader Mr. Alexander,
“The community was built by helping others. As an example, for SoWo 9 I shipped my tires to Wes as he was in need. The previous set of tires he had from another set of wheels were damaged while being removed. Without hesitation I took off my tires from my RS’ and shipped them out to him. Not because Wes was our booth car, it was because he put so much hard work and passion into his build. I knew how much it would mean for him to be able to drive his car down the strip in Helen. At the end of the day, I wanted to see him smile for his pride and joy. Or how about on my recent road trip up north. Over 2,000 miles, and wouldn’t you know it, on the trip my coil pack began to go bad. I asked Matt Greene if he had or knew someone with the part and I was more than willing to pay. Luckily Matt had one and told me to stop by. I asked how much, he told me nothing. If you know me (seriously if you know Alex), it took a lot for me to accept his offer. But it also reminded me of the community that I love, a community that is lost, that I miss. I have a ton of parts in my garage that I could sell, but for what purpose? One day myself or my friends may be in need of those same parts.”
That entire response is exactly what the community was. There simply is no other explanation. We’ve lost that bit of ourselves. Too many of us have become sheep, instead of being the individuals that we are. But enough of that rant, all we can do is hope others will change and that we can be a movement to help rekindle the flame.
There have been some pretty memorable cars over the year though. From Kayla Colbert’s MKIII Jetta Coupe, to the Legacy Innovations Corrado, George Daskalakis’ MKI Scirocco, and so many others. We are thankful to have been able to see most of them and showcase them to others over seas who may not be aware. And what an opportunity we had to be able to write about a vast majority of cars and people coming out of Puerto Rico. We could even go further with the amount of coverage we had coming out of Europe. Most of which we wouldn’t have without the help of friend/photographer/writer Samm Smith. The man has traveled like a hobbit, far and wide to see the best that the UK and Europe has to offer. Make sure to stay tuned in 2016 when Samm makes the trip to Worthersee. That article will be insane.
Some words from Samm Smith himself: “I think this would be my shot of the year. I’d say that it is because in myself and photography I have come far this year. I got into college to study what I love, and to celebrate this I took the jump to full frame. I feel to date that this is the best image I’ve taken since then. To keep adding, I feel that this year Dub Empire has really hit strong into the community and made our mark. We’ve gained a lot of awesome readers from all over the world. I like to think that we’re growing together as a community and forming stronger friendships over our common love of cars. I hope that this year Dub Empire can really hit the ground running. Especially with a lot of awesome shoots and new things in the works for this year!”
In conclusion, it was a great year. We traveled, we laughed, we cried, we got drunk far more than we should have, and there isn’t a single regret. We cannot thank you, the readers and the supporters, enough. We have consistently built upon ourselves because of you. We will continue to provide you with quality products, quality photos, quality articles/features, and continue to be a movement within our community. An enormous thank you goes out to our staff. Photographers far and wide, to those that supply our product, Mason in California for doing a vast majority of designs apart from our own, the list forever goes on. But lastly, and more importantly, we want to remember those who have passed away this year. Sadly we have lost to many people within the community. Even one person who passes away is one too many. We will always remember Elijah Stillitano, Cory Burgess, Kyle Mowery and Zach Quiroz. May you all rest in eternal paradise. We hope that next year brings you all much prosperity and is overall better than the years before it. Now onto 2016.
Words by Sean O’Connor @smokeysama
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