I get asked a lot how and why SlammedUK started, so here's a little story of how it all began way back in 2013...
The original founders of SlammedUK & our EP2 Civics at a meet
I've loved cars since I can remember, always having toy cars growing up and getting my first car as soon as I could. My first car was a Daewoo Lanos (yes I know, amazing) and I put a cone filter on it, my first ever mod. As time went on I had a few other cars and played around with all of them at different levels and broke pretty much all of them in some way. Back in 2013 myself and a friend of mine were both modding our EP2 Civics; yes, I had an EP2 not the better EP3’s as neither of us could afford the insurance on one at the time! We used to meet up 3-4 times a week and work on the cars, fit new parts, paint literally what ever we could paint, find new wheels, go for drives etc.
The car that started everything - my EP2 Civic - April 2013
After a few months of hanging out we decided that it would be cool to host some form of meet up for our other car friends who were doing a similar thing in the Maidstone - Tunbridge Wells area. We chose Tunbridge Wells North Farm industrial estate as our perfect location for one of our first ever meets, a huge car park with food outlets, so we picked a date and ran with it, promoted it over social media and throughout our car groups etc.. We had no idea what the turnout would be...
Haps' MK5 Golf on Rota's - Grant McDonnell
Miles' Polo R on 3SDM's, was our main brand car circa 2014 - Grant McDonnell
Jordan's Civic - Grant McDonnell
Unknown owner - Grant McDonnell
Unknown owner - Grant McDonnell
The night came and over 500 cars ended up turning up! On a random weeknight in Tunbridge Wells, neither of us could believe the response we’d had or how many people turned up! As we had such a good response initially, I decided that we should host another, more organised meet, at a proper venue. ‘Summer of Stance’ was born, our first properly organised event, held at Ace Cafe London, September 2013. As with our first meet, this event went amazingly well and we had so much support again! We quickly decided to put on another event at the venue, so the Halloween event at Ace Cafe London that October was created. Once again the support was unreal and we had a huge turnout, this was when my mind started to tick and I started to realise the potential of SlammedUK having such a cult following and really only just starting out.
Amar's Polo - Grant McDonnell
Unknown owner - Grant McDonnell
First meet Ace Cafe London
Laurens Suzuki Swift - Winner of the event!
Fyse's DC2 Ace Cafe London
Our first logo
Moving forward, going into 2014, I started running SlammedUK on my own and subsequently sold the EP2 Civic i'd started everything with to stop me from spending money unnecessarily. I decided to treat SlammedUK as more of a business after seeing the support and audience we had gained, creating merchandise, clothing, stickers etc. and booked our first event as an exhibitor, In Car Nation, Brighton, April 2014. This was the moment when our well known ‘Lower it. Love it. Live it.’ slogan was born, a random phrase I thought up and decided to print on jumpers and t-shirts, subsequently we sold out! Selling out of some clothing I’d produced with next to no knowledge or expertise in the industry at our first ever event was a huge achievement for me. This coupled with the support of the events we'd hosted in previous months really solidified the support and following the brand had, and if I had to pick a moment in time when I thought SlammedUK could really become something big, that was it.
One of our first ever stand set ups with Aarons Fiesta, Bens Fiesta & Miles' Polo
Our really popular i<3SlammedUK stickers, should we bring them back?!
Pat Azimi from a Studio Shoot circa 2014 with Grant McDonnell
As our own events went so well, and initial clothing sales were so good, I wanted to get the brand out there to as many people as possible. After some thought I decided that the best way to do this was by physically attending and trading at as many events as possible, while simultaneously building the brand’s presence on social media. I started off by doing around 30 events a year all over the UK and Europe, basically any and all events I could attend to get the brand out there.
6TWO1 Event Essex
Heaven On Wheels - Belgium
Players Show Essex
Ultimate Dubs Telford
Come 2015, having traded at pretty much all the automotive events in the UK and some of Europe in 2014 out the back of my company car (Nissan Qashqai), I had the idea to host my own event. After a lot of thought and deliberation, Gravity Show by SlammedUK was born and almost as quickly as I decided I wanted to host my own large scale event, I quit my job to take SlammedUK and Gravity Show full time and bought the Gravity Van as my daily and work vehicle.
Gravity/SlammedUK Van Delivery Day 2015
I quickly got the van fully wrapped and branded as I thought that might be the best way to get the Gravity brand more well known being permanently on the van everywhere I went, and the same wrap is still on the van today! (Apart from the back doors which we change)
Finished van wrap by Identity Wraps - 2016
March 2016 saw me get another modified car, the almighty MX5, still dearly missed to this day and I will 100% be getting another at some point. As I didn't really have any budget for a modified car, this £500 MX5 was the go-to, XXR wheels, eBay carbon wing, eBay coilovers, hard-top and splitter, straight pipe exhaust, I couldn't have been happier. Genuinely loved this car to death, the engine blew after about 2 months but I got another one supplied and fitted for about £200. Probably the most fun I've had in a car. Judge if you will...
SlammedUK MK2 MX5 2016
Gravity Show / SlammedUK van & set up VW Days France
Gravity Show 2018 MK1 Escort & Platform
After around 18 months of careful planning, venue hunting, research and organising, Gravity Show’s 1st event was held in July 2016. It was a huge success with nearly 2,000 people attending our first year, it was an incredible turn out and way more than I had ever imagined. Having hosted a successful large scale event and loving every second of it, I decided that this was more the direction I wanted to go as a business so I began quickly planning Gravity Show 2017 and into the future.
Free Gravity T-Shirt giveaway at Modified Nationals
Having managed to get SlammedUK pretty widely known across Europe by going to EVERY event I physically could over the first 2-3 years, I was in a position to be able to pick and choose the biggest and the best events to attend, where Gravity Show would be best promoted. Being able to choose meant we did a few less events, usually 10/15 events a year, but these were events I knew we would do well at.
Rolling to Belgium in the new Gravity Van
Moving forwards through the years with Gravity Shows #2, #3 and #4, SlammedUK and the Gravity Show brands quickly became known as one core entity, which was always the aim. SlammedUK being the lifestyle brand and Gravity being the event, but both working hand in hand and run by myself. I continued to exhibit at events all around Europe but now more with the aim of promoting Gravity Show, still selling SlammedUK clothing & merchandise but now with an added Gravity twist.
Trading at GR8 Show in Belgium
Having sold the MX5 3 years back and driving the van for 3 years to shows and events without a promotional modified vehicle, or any fun vehicle at all, I was finally in a position to get a promotional vehicle for Gravity Show and SlammedUK, so the V8 Manual R8 was purchased August 2018.
SlammedUK R8 - Ultimate Dubs 2019
Autosport Show UK
To be completely honest, over the last 4 years the SlammedUK side of the businesses took a bit of a back seat as Gravity Show quickly grew from strength to strength and started demanding more and more of my time and efforts day to day. Due to the constant support, work and commitment in every aspect of the event, Gravity Show grew quickly and is now widely known as one of the best modified events in the UK car show calendar. For me this is a huge achievement in the short 4 year period the event has been around and something I am supremely proud of. I want to take this opportunity to thank anyone and everyone who supports the event and anyone who’s ever been, nothing would be possible without the support of my Gravity team, my friends, the amazing attendees and incredible show car owners who come every year in their 1000’s from all over Europe, Thank you.
During this weird and unprecedented lockdown period however, where we’re not sure what’s happening with events in general, Gravity included, it’s given me some much needed time to work more on the SlammedUK brand and get back to my roots. I’ve loved getting back into the SlammedUK side of the businesses and will be continuing to do so moving forwards. I hope that you're enjoying our re-brand, the new website and all of our new products and designs. We have HUGE plans moving forwards with SlammedUK and some really exciting new product releases coming very soon...
Gravity Show may be my biggest achievement personally, but SlammedUK is where it all began and will always be the core of both the brands. The support SlammedUK has had since the very beginning and to this day is amazing and will never be overlooked. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who's helped me along the way in any way shape or form, customers, friends, family, photographers & videographers, other show organisers, suppliers, anyone and everyone, thank you.
P.s. Our Gravity Show 2021 Date will be announced soon, please keep an eye out on our socials and on emails!
Thank you all for reading, stay safe.
Jordan Clarke - Founder & CEO
Huge thanks to photographers:
Grant McDonnell - WeAreCerti
Grant Crossland Photography
Mark Loony Photography
Jamie Rolls Media
Tristan Young - Tristan Young Media