At long last! The first of my two photo shoots from my visit to Victoria, and the first one up is Chris’s boosted J-swapped Civic… It’s quite different from the everyday K-swaps that are ever-so-popular in the Honda community. How could I have passed up the opportunity to shoot one of the island’s cleanest and most unique builds? I couldn’t – and the best thing about Chris’s car is that it’s a car that you’ve probably never even heard of unless you’re close to him or his friends.
I’ve seen Chris’s cars through pictures that Jackie has sent in some of our chats and could really only admire through those pictures. It’s one thing to appreciate a well-built car through iPhone pictures, but it’s a totally different feeling to see it up close and admire the work that has been put into it. My trip to Victoria was well worth it and the two cars alone show that the island literally at the end of Western Canada does have something to show, and they aren’t any half-assed builds either.
Chris hasn’t really had a true photoshoot that has been shared on social media or anywhere for that matter, and it’s surprising because a build like this deserves recognition. Chris is a super low-key guy and I get the sense that he really just does what he does because he enjoys it and nothing more. Him and his wife, Tiffany, were super friendly and accommodating while I was there – I’m looking forward to coming back during the summer!
Enough of my chatter… I’m sure you guys are dying to see this as much as I am dying to show you!
We’ll start off with a roller to get this going like always.
The best thing I found out about this build was that it was Chris’s first car that he purchased back in 1997. Great builds take time and patience and this is another great example of exactly that…
The biggest head turner of Chris’s Civic is the massive J-series engine from a TL Type-S bulging from the center of the hood and a Vortech charger connected right beside it…
Part of the LEVEL one family.
Password JDM canards on the front bumper to help make the front end aggressive.
Chargespeed wide fenders
Even from the side, Chris’s EG is mean as hell. You can see the piping from the hood, the canards and First Molding lip flow to the Chargespeed fenders and the lines flow all the way to the rear Spoon wing.
With the hood opened, Chris replaced all of the stock plastic bolts for some better hardware…
And the custom Vortech power plant in all it’s glory.
The J-series straight from the 2003 6-speed Acura TL Type-S.
Another cool tidbit about Chris’s car is that this obviously hasn’t always been the only engine Chris has ran… This is actually his fourth engine. His first engine was a D-series, the second one was an turbo LS, his third was a built B16 turbo, and now a boosted J-series. Quite the progression, if you ask me!
The back has been gutted for room for his Auto Power drag cage.
For you diehard Civic fans out there, you might have noticed by looking at his front bumper that it’s not a typical EG front bumper… Any guesses? Look carefully – if you scroll down, you can confirm your guess or find out if you’re stumped…
The answer is – the vents are from a 99-00 EK bumper. Chris actually does body work and molded those in himself and they look seamless as you can see from the above two pictures. You’ll also probably notice the Vision type DC mirrors swapped in too.
Another look at how aggressive and beastly this car looks from afar…
Jackie and Chris swapped cars to get to the next spot so he could give me a ride in it. The car is currently pushing about 400whp and in a light and small chassis like the EG, that’s no joke. Jackie mentioned that it was difficult to get traction in the lower gears but once it gets going, it goes…
Side note – you can see the JDM EG6 cluster as well.
The Spoon SW388 wheels suit any classic Honda perfectly and this is no exception.
Here you can see a perfect shot of how massive this engine is in the EG chassis.
We ended up finding a nice spot near the entrance to the area after the Ferry that made for good spot lighting.
Some behind the scenes shots… The group is trying to find the best dual lane road to take rolling shots on. Turns out Victoria doesn’t have many dual lanes but we ended up finding some good stretches of road! Sneak peak at my next subject… :)
The chariot for the day was Jackie’s lowered TL on some spacers that even rubbed! LOL… Jackie is notorious for just dumping everything.
A pit stop and another preview shot of the second photo shoot to come…
These rolling shots were next to a nice and peaceful lake. Suited these shoots perfectly.
One last shot to end it for Chris’s car. I will admit that I do have a few more, but I will have to revisit those later and repost them up when I get the chance. I know Chris and Ben have been itching to see the shots… The other shots will serve as a good refresher later!
Next stop on the list was to get some sick shots of Cherry Blossoms. Admittedly, this was the first time I’ve ever really seen them in person and in full bloom like this. I was adamant that we find the BEST spot for these so we searched Google and surprise surprise – one of the links was something like “25 best spots to see Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver” LOL. I ended up settling on Burrard Station where they were everywhere! Tons of good ops for pics too… First of all, I apologize because this post lacks car content but contains lots of awesome pink flowers.
Here we go!
The entrance to Burrard station. You can already see how awesome this is.
The best view.
Diana and Shereen taking selfies
Cherry blossom petals everywhere
Some random shoes hanging up on one of the branches
A cool shot I got of Diana with a petal falling.
Some jumping shots
Rare shot of Diana and I lol
Thought this was a cool shot… Matched her scarf perfectly.
The next stop was Stanley Park to check out the view
This dude chilled with us for a bit
Then we stopped at the hollow tree…
If you’re interested in the history…
A full on shot. It doesn’t look like it here, but people used to back their cars up into the trunk for pics and stuff but there is a big rock in place of that entryway to prevent that now…
More big trees with cool looking moss all over…
The next day, I hopped on the ferry to Victoria bright and early to meet Jackie and crew for some photoshoots!
A cool little 1.5 hour ride. It was cool for my first time in about 20 years…
As I was walking around the ferry, I went into one of the shops and had to get a shot of this lol
The next posts you can look forward to include Ben’s NSX… Which is SUPER mint btw. Looks like it came right off the showroom floor.
And finally, Chris’s J-Swap Civic… Stay tuned!
We are finally back from our BC trip! So I have some updates and some good photoshoots coming your way too! It was nice being away for the last 5 days and getting a nice break from work for a little bit… But unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and it’s back to reality for me tomorrow.
We landed in BC on Thursday night and just settled in that night. The next morning, we were up early and started our adventures…
I’ll start it off with the first stop on our trip! AJ-Racing! Ben at AJR is the one that I purchased the Voltex wing for my STI for and also my TE37’s for the FRS, so I really wanted to check out the shop and snap some pics.
Sara – Diana’s cousin – picked us up from the airport and we were on our way back to their house…
Diana’s Uncle and Aunt were gracious enough to let us stay in their house for the few days that we were there for.
It rained pretty much every day that we were there… Lives up to it’s “Rain City” name…
Our first stop was AJ-R. Eric was awesome about chauffeuring us around on Friday to all the places we wanted to go. AJ-R was quite the drive from Surrey, so without him we wouldn’t have been able to drop in.
Inside, I met Ben and he invited us into the shop to take some pics. Unfortunately, Ben did not have his BRZ nor his GTR because they were getting some work done… However, there were two cars in particular worth taking some quick snaps of. The first one is this C-WEST x Rocket Bunny FRS on Advan GT’s
It’s also boosted. Super clean!
A shot of the Advan GT’s under the RB fenders and the TRD fender fins…
Above it was a Fiat getting some work done.
Their work tables… Ben said the shop was way messier than usual, so take my pics with a grain of salt if you’re judging the shop by them…
Off to the side was Jackie’s S2000 getting tons of new upgrades. I will not post the shots until it’s officially completed… But here’s a few teaser shots.
His new set up on custom candy blue Volk TE37’s with AP Racing brakes peeping from behind. Jackie also ditched some of the low for some functionality on meatier tires.
In the other corner was a pretty clean ITR. That was pretty much it for the shop cars that day. Unfortunately, Ben got his BRZ back the next day and I didn’t get a chance to go back…
Up in the store front was more goodies – a racing simulator set up.
On the wall was a bunch of familiar cars from Calgary – Nick’s S2000 here…
In the center was suspension on suspension on suspension. Cusco, ALEX… I wanted to pick up the Cusco front brace so bad! But no place to put it…
Here – a wall of goodies behind the glass cabinets. Some items for sale, some not…
Carbon goodies and Asimo dolls.
Here is a collection of Spoon/Ralli Art pieces…
Here is some T1R stuff. Peep the Titanium T1R lugs…
Up top was some scale models of awesome cars. Not for sale unfortunately… I know, because I wanted to buy it.
JDM goodies here. NSX-R horn button was a goody here.
The trophies that they’ve collected over the years
Some wheels on display
On the other side of the braces were coilovers – Ohlins, T1R, Cusco…
And right beside that was the wall of exhausts, pipes, intakes..
Here is the T1R sparrow exhaust for an STI
A T1R Titanium exhaust
A rack of some awesome magazines.
The one that caught my eye was this one… I also wanted to buy this but no-go on this one too…
A collection of racing suits on the other wall.
That was pretty much all the stuff that was going on at AJ-R. I regret not being able to come back, but it was still nice to check it out. It was reminiscent of Speedtech back in the day and it makes me miss a place to chill and just do all things cars… Thanks to Ben for letting us hang out and take some pics!
Moving onto the next part of our day…
Eric took us down to Gastown for some brunch and to check out some hipster places to eat.
We ended up at Catch 122 for some brunch where all items are $12. That’s a steal!
Simple menu with lots of good eats
Checking out the menu.
I ended up getting the Dirty Breakfast. Duck Confit, Potatoes deep fried in Duck Fat, two sunny side up eggs with homemade maple glazed beans. Pretty dece!
I don’t remember what Eric got but I think it was Eggs Benedict with Duck.
And Diana got a pulled pork grilled cheese sandwich.
After that, we just walked around and checked out some stuff. Tons of cool little shops that Calgary lacks. Despite all the rain, I still want to move here…
One last shot of Diana in a cool alley near where we parked… I’ll have the next set up soon!
It’s that time of year again where we make our annual trip to the auto show to check out new whips and for Diana to get free things – it’s a good compromise.
Lots of cool cars like always – super busy but always a good time to hang with the dudes. Thanks to JC for the free tickets! The car pics will start after our little pre-show caffeine load up.
Diana and I decided to head to Cafe Blanca before the show to check out the new ways of making hipster coffee. I had to take some pics cause it was hella cool. It’s called Siphon Coffee and it’s an elaborate way of making coffee and it’s currently the only cafe in Calgary that does it this way. Didn’t look like too many people in the cafe knew about it but it’s definitely worth trying once… Check it out:
Siphon coffee starts off with a flask and a heated element underneath – the red base in the pic. It’s quite the chemistry-looking set up.
Next, a glass goes on top. The bottom flask is filled with water and there is a siphon in the center that connects to the top.
As the bottom flask heats up, the water rises and transfers into the top glass.
From there, coffee grinds of your choice are measured perfectly to match with the amount of water and then added to the heated water in the top glass.
Here she is using a wooden stick to remove the gasses that form at the top of the coffee.
Once the gasses are gone, the mixture falls back down into the bottom flask since there is no more heat to hold it in the top glass.
Once it’s separated, you have your coffee grounds in the top of the glass and fresh siphoned coffee in another flask! The difference between this way is that you get a really natural tasting coffee where it’s not sour or bitter. Once the process is complete, the smell of the grounds is significantly different from the siphoned coffee. It’s pretty cool!
And here we enjoy the siphoned coffee. Awesome little place to try out. /end foodie post.
Now onto car pics!
We start the show with the new Dodge Viper. I love that Dodge has kept the general look of the Viper that we are all so used to. The fender lines, even the center stripes.
A pricey Dodge Charger SRT at $80,000. Nice bronze wheels and huge Brembo brakes right behind them.
A very awesome B6 Alpina with those classic Alpina wheels.
Front end is amazing.
Rolls Royce… Once again, there’s a house sitting right there.
A matte wrapped Acura TLX lowered on Vossens. It was dece… I’m not a fan of the new Acura models for some reason. They’re more mature-looking.
Had to get a shot of one of the twins – BRZ.
Front end shot of the Nismo 370Z. It was tough to get a shot of the full car because all the fanboys were crowding it along with the GTR over to the left. The abuse these cars go through is crazy…
One of the cooler cars there was this race-built FRS. Scion always has interesting ricer cars in their booth for people like us.
Awesome wheel and brake set up with Volk CE28RT’s and AP Racing brakes behind.
JC and Punit decided it was worth pointing the imperfections out on a car that actually gets tracked lol. Disrespect.
Rear quarter shot. Valenti tails and what looks to be a Tomei type 80?
In the back of the Scion booth was a Rocket Bunny-esque Scion Tc on velvet blue Gram Lights. Pretty cool.
Over in the Honda booth was a pretty cool Fit all snazzed up.
The front end was pretty awesome with the Mugen front. I love how they’re starting to pay more attention to good-quality parts and bringing them to shows like this.
Another shot of the Mugen front.
Race set up inside.
A $30,000 Mazda3 hatch… Not sure I would ever pay for that though.
A classic take on the VW Beetle.
The new Nissan Titan with the new Cummins engine inside. Thing was huge.
The Juke – always a cool looking car.
The Mercedes AMG GT. Reminiscent of the SLS but without the gullwing doors.
The Mercedes S63 – Another bad ass car.
And it continues with the Audi RS7.
My favourite of the whole show was Infiniti’s Q80 Concept. It’s sad that the Calgary show doesn’t get to see many of the concept vehicles like the FT-1, but this was awesome.
Front end was definitely cool.
Awesome LED headlights
And the rear. Super futuristic looking which will probably not carry over…
The Lexus RC-F. Super awesome looking in person. Reminds me of all the hype that came out when the IS-F was released.
Love the spindle grill on all the Lexus vehicles.
The CT200h. JC you need this front end in your life lol
The RC350. Still equally as cool as the F model.
Ass shot. Lexus did good on both the front and rear of the RC-F.
The guys entertained with a touchscreen that did nothing. lol
Super badass Camaro Z28. I would rock the shit out of this thing.
Same with the Corvette. Chevrolet is killing it.
We’ll end the show with Punit and the typical car show picture. This is so he can post it on his social media and look cool.
Hope you enjoyed!
Finally adding a few finishing touches to the car with some simple tire stencils. I’ve always liked the idea of the tire stencil – especially the IDLERS one on RWB Porsches, and as much as I like the look, it just wouldn’t make sense to put on my car. So I decided to just use a typical “tire brand” stencil and be done with it. My co-worker is huge into crafting and she has this machine called a Cricut that cuts out designs and stuff for scrapbooking and other fancy things so I mocked up the Michelin stencil in photoshop and sent her way to cut out on some cardstock for me and it turned out perfect!
So once I came home, I took the wheels off, Diana masked up the wheel and tire and put the stencil on and I just sprayed it as she held down. It’s tricky at first because you want to make sure it lines up but after the first tire, it’s super easy. I think it would’ve been even easier if it was cut out on vinyl like the Speedhunters one but ah well… Hindsight is always 20/20.
Quick pics from yesterday:
Diana putting it on.
Within 20 minutes, we were done and we got the wheels back on. The height of the coils in these pics were still off since I’ve adjusted them multiple times, drove around, and then re-checked and re-adjusted as needed. I’ll get some updated shots of the height once I get an alignment and everything.
Bad shot from the rear quarter but you get the idea…