Enjoy car culture at the Juicebox BBQ


The night before

The Juicebox BBQ has become a regular fixture on the Speedhunters event coverage schedule.

It’s not quite a motor show, and not quite a meeting either. It’s more of a ‘performance’ and a celebration of Irish car culture. It’s kept mostly private in advance (not out of elitism, but due to capacity constraints at the borrowed site), and while it’s not limited to any particular car type or style, it’s strongly leaning towards Japanese car culture. This is pretty much the high point of my automotive year.

I dread the moment when for some reason I won’t be able to BBQ, but I’ve had a 100% attendance record since the very first in 2016, and plan to keep the streak going for as long as possible .

It’s my direct connection and an annual reminder of why cars and car culture are so special. Hint: It’s not the cars, it’s the people.

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While cars are always changing, evolving and interesting, it’s the encounters with friends that matter most.

Isolated cars are often frustrating and illogical money pits, but add people to the mix and suddenly they make a plot of meaning.

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Any evening spent with friends and in the car is an evening well spent. A camera to capture the different moments is optional, but useful.

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However, I have concerns about the future of car culture, so to prepare you, I’m prefacing them with a photo of Cody.

If you feel overwhelmed, please return to this image. Or you can just skip the words and go to the photo gallery and ignore me completely (which I usually recommend).

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You see, my concern for the future is that no matter how wonderful it all is now, I don’t think it will last forever. I hope I’m wrong.

House of Blaa

The morning of every Juicebox barbecue usually starts off in the same slow but steady fashion. Arriving at Flipsideauto, the cars are moved outside and a rough plan is made for the day.

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The large (and graciously loaned) lumber yard next door is opened and walked through to check for debris and to find a rough layout to accommodate as many cars as possible, while still allowing cars to come and go. their way.

Each year the layout is slightly different, so adjustments have to be made. When things weren’t due to officially start until about 11:00 a.m. this year, cars started arriving much earlier than expected.

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By 11:17 a.m., the yard was nearly full to capacity with just under 200 cars inside. A few stragglers were able to be accommodated after that, but everyone else had to be directed to overflow parking lots around the industrial area.

Luckily, being a Sunday, there was little disruption to non-BBQ fans in the area.

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The only (and entirely selfish) benefit to this was that, with no more room for cars, I was able to spend a decent bit of time walking around and leaning in on some of the people there.

Neil Sheehan, the main human behind Juicebox, has a very special ability to lure the best JDM deals in Ireland to a very remote location. It’s still an impressive feat.

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As is the case with the Juicebox barbecue, the variety of cars on offer was simply gorgeous. I saw the JZX81 Mark II at LZ Festival, but was thrilled to see it properly.

It’s interesting to see a lot more S bodies on air suspension, which makes a lot of sense given the state of the roads in Ireland.

What about this Toyota Sera with Audi hubcaps and an intercooler that roughly cuts through the hood? Phwoar.

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It’s not to ignore the amount of understated-looking Hondas with surprisingly big turbochargers, and the occasional all-wheel-drive swap either.

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The Juicebox BBQ is usually a short occasion, so you have to decide if you want to take a deep look at a few cars or more cars quickly. There is no right or wrong decision here, because either way you always want more.

Around this time of day, I had a realization: everyone there was a certain age or older. Now this observation can be easily dismissed with “Well, that’s just Juicebox’s target audience”, which is not wrong at all. But, I started to think when was the last time I saw real “youngsters” in modified cars? When we were growing up, there was the usual logical progression of sh*tbox first car at 17 and then something much more interesting once you passed your test.

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When you look at the general cost of anything, even slightly Interestingly, it’s not really surprising that 18-year-olds don’t buy into car culture. Figuratively or literally. It wasn’t particularly easy for us either, but it’s a whole different level of difficulty these days. What were once $5,000 cars now cost $20,000 or more.

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I sincerely feel sorry for young car enthusiasts these days, and I have all the more respect for those who are still trying to make a real effort. I’m not exactly an old man either, but if I was 10 or 15 years younger, I don’t see how I could have enjoyed the automotive life I have so far.

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There’s no blame or shame in owning here, it’s just the world we live in and have very little say in.

While I’m 100% able to enjoy moments and days like these, there’s still a part of me that’s aware that they won’t be around forever and I think that’s a really sad. I wish more people could experience the joy that cars bring us. If the world was full of car enthusiasts, this would probably be a better place.

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For those of us who are lucky enough to be able to enjoy cars in every way possible? Appreciate it, be grateful, and do your part to share this machine joy with others.

There is no guarantee what will happen in the future, just what we can enjoy today.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
[email protected]



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