This time of the working year is busy for me, so I purposely don’t book any car-related events in my calendar. But when I found out about what Bodentief was organizing for late July, I knew I had to make an exception and head along to check it out.
The Bodentief Château Edition has more or less the same recipe as many shows I’ve attended in Germany: a pre-selected group of modified cars, good food, a super-chill and friendly atmosphere, and a scenic location to top it off. The latter was what drew me to this particular event.
The show took place at Ehreshoven Castle in Engelskirchen, not too far from Cologne, and about an hour’s drive from my place. I’ve been to many events where I appreciate the location for photography, but never had I been to one held at a castle. Bodentief did a great job of selecting this venue.
Shortly after arriving, I was met by two Porsche 911s that had also just turned up for the event.
The location really set the atmosphere. To enter the castle, you first go through a gate surrounded by a high wall, and from there attendees were greeted by blasting hip-hop music and a group of modified cars. Being at a castle meant that the grass and trees were nicely manicured and everything was well organized.
The venue was split between the castle itself and the garden, the latter hosting most of the cars. These two areas are distinctly split by a huge pond that surrounds them, and the pebble walkway and trees around the garden made a really nice backdrop for my shots.
I didn’t know how I wanted to cover the event, so I started doing rounds and shot simply everything that captured my attention. Unsurprisingly, German car brands dominated the event, but even so, there was a good selection of cars to admire.
Some of the first cars to grab my attention was this BMW pairing of an E28 525e and an E24 635CSi. Both are perfect with just simple mods, and they really looked great together.
Next to the 635 was an equally-clean Porsche 964 Carrera finished in Amethyst Metallic with matching interior.
I really appreciate that someone has put Ferrari 458 Italia wheels on a Golf. Who else thinks they suit the car well?
I don’t know why this Mk1 Jetta coupe was hiding in the corner where no one could easily see it. It looks awesome!
Circling back from my first round of shooting, I came across this Nissan 200SX that had just arrived at the event. I thought it would be a good idea to follow it, and show what it looks like to enter the castle.
This Mercedes-Benz 190 E was one of the wildest cars at the event. It’s clearly inspired by the wide-body 190 E Evo II DTM machine, but the additional aero vents and louvers take it to another level.
Those of you who have sharp eyes for Volkswagens might notice what’s unusual about this car. For everyone else, this Mk5, US-spec Jetta has been given a Mk6 Golf front end facelift. The process is actually fairly simple because the Mk5 and Mk6 Golfs used the same body shell.
The Mk5 Jetta was the last generation Jetta to be largely identical to the Golf, as from Mk6 onwards the Jetta came with much different styling, and therefore parts are no longer interchangeable.
The weather couldn’t decide what it wanted to do, so it was hard for me to stay consistent with my photos. But I tried to take advantage of every little bit of sunshine I could, because it wouldn’t last the whole evening.
Due to the difficulty of getting through the German TÜV roadworthiness inspection, aftermarket wide body-equipped cars in Germany are few and far between. So to find a Pandem BMW E36 that was legally driven to the event is something special.
Much like the recently-featured Tief Im Wald, Bodentief’s event isn’t build around a competition element. The organizers simply gathered a lot of cool cars at one venue with a really sharp setup, and just let everyone enjoy each other’s builds. There were small prizes and goodie bags handed out, but these were simply a bonus.
The Bodentief Château Edition was very easy-going, and I had a lot of time to let the entire experience sink in. With such a great atmosphere and stunning location, I really couldn’t ask for more.
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