If there’s one event that truly encompasses the modified and custom car scene in the Netherlands, it’s 100% Auto Live.
The 18th annual event returned to Rotterham Ahoy convention center in the country’s second-largest city last weekend, and I joined thousands of other enthusiasts from all over the Netherlands and beyond to check it out.
This two-day event showcases all aspects of Dutch car culture. With an indoor display filled with everything from modified street and race cars to supercars and lowriders, and an outdoor action arena for burnouts, drift demos and drift taxi rides, there was something for everyone.
100% Auto Live has always been a popular day trip event for families, but this time around I noticed a huge number of young car-spotters shooting all their favorites within the four huge hall areas, which was great to see.
Supras and Skylines on one side; Lamborghinis and even a Koenigsegg Regera on the other.
Once upon a time, this show was called 100% Tuning, and for 2023 it lived up to that moniker again. There was a real influx of what we call ‘tuning cars’ in the Netherlands, but you might know as builds from the Max Power era or ‘sex spec’. In the early 2000s, when the Fast and Furious franchise had just begun, big bumper kits, 17- and 18-inch chrome wheels and trunks full of speakers and screens defined a modern show car. A late-model stance car is today’s equivalent.
Not only does 100% Auto Live attract a lot of different cars, it also attracts owners who bring them from abroad. This year, enthusiasts from Belgium, Germany, Italy and the UK represented in Rotterdam alongside local enthusiasts.
Because of exhaust noise and emission regulations in the Netherlands, almost all drifting has sadly died out, including the Dutch championship we had many moons ago. All that’s left is a small oval track that only allows drifting when it’s wet. So it was great to see that there are still motivated individuals around who want to put on a show for the people and share their love of drifting with the next generation.
This black Nissan 350Z was bring piloted by the legend Remmo Niezen, who is best known for his Falken-liveried BMW E30.
I can’t forget the burnouts.
I mentioned the Fast and Furious franchise a moment ago, and even though the original – and best movie of the bunch – came out 22 years ago, the cars and the early ’00s culture they represent seem to be as popular now as they were back then. Both the ‘old heads’ of the tuning scene and those that are guiding the way now can appreciate them.
All of the Fast and Furious cars on show at 100% Auto Live were genuine screen-used examples, which makes them extra cool.
As the Netherlands has Germany as a neighbour, German cars – and Volkswagens especially – are very popular here.
The VW scene has perhaps been the biggest scene of all for decades, but things have been slowly changing in the last couple of years, and Japanese car culture is getting really big amongst younger Dutch enthusiasts.
Fun fact: this little VW Polo 6N has been shown at 100% Auto Live on numerous occasions, its owner of 20 years, Corly, taking it through four different iterations in that time.
I need to make special mention of the small but super-impressive group of lowrider owners who put on a great show. There’s never really been a lowrider scene here, but these guys and girls are representing with some stunning builds.
In a former life, this blue convertible Impala was featured in a Snoop Dogg music video. You can’t get much more authentic than that.
Modified and late-model sports car ownership in the Netherlands is not easy, and on top of the exhaust regulations I mentioned earlier, there’s also crippling road tax for high CO2 emitters – substantial when the car is brand new. But the upshot of all this is a car scene built on total passion, and that makes it pretty special.
That’s it for 100% Auto Live 2023. I’ll be back next year, but until then there are a lot more images for you to check out below.
More IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER posts
How To join the IATS program: We have always welcomed readers to contact us with examples of their work and believe that the best Speedhunter is always the person closest to the culture itself, right there on the street or local parking lot. If you think you have what it takes and would like to share your work with us then you should apply to become part of the IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER program. Read how to get involved here.