Disclaimer: If you get triggered easily, you might want to leave now. My opinion is subjective.
Second disclaimer: This is ONE post with ALL 236 pictures. RIP your data plan if you don’t have over 6GB and you’re looking on your phone.
I’m doing Driven all in one post this year and I’m starting it with a long story about my personal biases and feelings towards how I felt this year went. I’ve been attending Driven for 10 years now – far from veteran status but pretty far in from my first rodeo. When I entered my Civic for the first time, it was called DTP (Driven to Perform) and the level and quality of cars was far, far different than they are today. My car consisted of H&R Springs, Work XT7’s in a mild 17×7 +40, HFP lip kit, Carbon trunk, Subwoofer, and a Magnaflow muffler. My set up certainly wasn’t crazy but it was absolutely the best I could do at the time and I was proud of it. I was a little intimidated by almost all other cars around but I held my own in a little corner. The first couple of years, the show was about bringing together like-minded individuals to one place and show case them properly.
I’ll start with the evolution of our local variety. Over 10 years, the car scene has evolved so quickly and so abruptly that I think we rushed so far into trends that has given us a gigantic mix of styles and builds being rushed into things that almost look like like sloppy seconds. It’s frustrating to say the least, and I can’t be mad or hate anything or anyone – and I’m not looking for any reason to. Perhaps a big reason for my thoughts on this is because I’m old now – my tastes have slowed down and they’ve remained solidified in their ways. I truly believe that a good build starts small and with the basics and that it can’t be rushed. If it is rushed, it needs to be rushed properly and with care. Most of us don’t have thousands of dollars to spend all at once and if we did, we certainly couldn’t put everything all together in one night – it takes time. I feel over the last 10 years, I’ve developed almost an elitist view on how cars should be built. It’s not something I’m proud to say but it’s not something I’m guilty of either. If you truly can’t afford the part you want – don’t go and seek out the next cheapest thing that will satisfy your “need” of it. If you want to try going against the grain, do it because you’re confident that it will stand the test of time and not to gain extra scene points on social media and the “now”.
The show was underwhelming for me – only because there were SO many cars that had SO much potential and you just know that certain trends are going to die and it’ll be forgotten. If you’re building your car for internet fame and that’s all you’re after, then go hard. The hentai trend is a perfect example – one sticker is cool on the dashboard, 20 stickers is a big “why”? If you know me, you’ll know how much I love paint and making paint look as good as it can and nothing – absolutely nothing – looks better than paint. You know how the trend in my Wekfest Chicago post was Air and Stance? The trend at the show was wrap and stickers. Don’t get me wrong – I respect wrap and I respect that it gives you the ability to not have to commit. There were cars there with wraps that looked great, but a majority of them were just sloppy. The takeaway word of Driven for me was sloppy – I’ll say it a lot. Again, I enjoy the variety that wrap creates but you need to commit to the project and make it so that people ask “is that paint?” instead of “look at that wrap”.
As you scroll through the pictures, I hope you’ll notice quickly the attention to detail that some cars have and the lack of it that others have. The camera doesn’t lie – you’ll see swirls and unpainted lip kits, you’ll see dirty wheels, but in that same breath, you’ll see amazing paint, detailed bays, and thousands of dollars in parts that have just been brought together so perfectly well that it makes you stand there and question how much more perfect can it get. This culmination of two very different worlds is what ultimately makes up our car scene – and I’m not looking to change any of it because everyone does what they want. In the past, I would complain about the huge array of fake parts and we’ve gotten over that hump for the most part – but now we’re in what we call the “meme” trend – a lot of what you’ll see is just for fun and jokes. Can we move away from that as quickly as possible, please?
At the end of the day – here’s my conclusion of thoughts on the quality of the show: The show was a clusterfuck of cars and within that big sea of metal and rubber, there were a few needles in the haystack and if you had the energy or attention to seek these out, they were there for you to stare in awe at. There were builds that I don’t think were quite at the caliber that they needed to be at – recall my first DTP show with my Civic and my feelings about being intimidated by other surrounding enthusiast builds. Regardless of what I think about each individual car, every single one of them shared the sweat and blood to build it – so in that sense, they all deserved to be there. We are a community and we share a common passion and likes.
The last thing I wanted to cover is the absolute mess of a show it was – quality of cars aside. Every year, participants are allowed to roll in, and organize themselves on their ‘plot of land’, if you will. This is a designated area marked out for you to park however you please. For the most part – this has worked fine every year – as long as the total number of cars didn’t exceed the actual capacity of the venue to properly “show case”. Let’s just say for examples sake that the venue could hold a maximum of 100 cars. You would likely put – let’s say 80 – just so cars could park with ample amount of room for proper walking space and spacing between cars. This year, if the maximum amount of cars for the venue was 100, there were 150. What did this cause? It caused almost every single booth to be so tight that cars were formed in clusterfucks.
I usually try to take pictures of every car at the show. This time – not a fucking chance. The way some of the booths were set up was just so mind-boggling to me that I didn’t even look at the cars. I’m not blaming any of the participants either – you’re given a spot and space and you’re forced to work within that space with your cars. If the layout you decided on was the only way you could fit them, I’m sorry you got duped. If you didn’t get pictures of your car, it’s because of that, because I had no good reason to wedge myself between cars and people’s asses just to get a shot of cars in the worst spot ever. Believe me when I say this – this was the first complaint that came up every time I talked to people about how the show was going.
Example 1. Look at this booth – all facing the tent with barely any door opening space beside each other, fanned out in a circle. I count 14 cars that look like they belong to that booth and I see absolutely no other way to fit 14 cars in the most photogenic and displayable way in this space.
Example 2. What the fuck is going on here. If no one was going to show up – why didn’t we let everyone outside of that yellow circle I drew move in and make space?
See the yellow circle at the top of the pic? We nicknamed this the JDM parking lot because they literally parked like a parking lot. You’ll see other pics of the set up further down, but again – there is no ass-licking way to properly walk, take pics, or look at cars with this.
Last example. The first circle on the left – yes, that’s the stage. Is there standing room? No, there is just enough room for break dancers to dance. Oh I know, we got rid of the stage to fit more cars into the JDM parking lot.
The middle circle – that’s our spot. Perhaps we got lucky, but bare with me here – just notice the layout compared to the rest of the show. This is the solution for future shows and it’s also the method used in all other methodical car shows to properly display cars. Why isn’t there traffic? Oh because there’s enough room between cars.
The last circle on the right – that’s Vex. Vex brings out great cars – but they had the space of a virgin butthole to showcase their whips. How? Oh – we need to be overcapacity – that’s how.
The solution is to not let participants park and display their cars. It’s very simple. You know how much I like drawing? A lot – you know how much I dislike math? Also a lot. My love of art and my hatred to math still led me to this easy answer:
You have an oval. You make cars park horizontally, all angled beside each other. You see those lines? Those are cars – pretend the long ones are VIP long wheelbase cars, and pretend the small ones are mini coopers and beetles and shit. What do you have? You have 3 things:
1) A natural and systematic flow of traffic – people are going left or right and they are zig zagging up and down the rows. They’ll know where they started and where they need to end. Want a booth? Replace a line with a square. Still not blocking traffic.
2) Opportunity to get pictures of every single car and look at every single car at the same angle for the whole show.
3) A sick show that isn’t clustered up to the max and doesn’t give people anxiety about where the hell to go next.
You’re probably saying – “Jason, since you’re so smart, why don’t you do this then?”. Well fellow reader, I have – it’s called the illmotion Sunday School show and shine. Come to that every year and you’ll see the proper way to park cars. Let’s get onto the mother fucking pictures.
Note: The pictures will be largely out of order – I was all over the place yesterday…
The evening of roll in… Just some quick pics to look at some things before all the craziness.
Derek cleaning his Integra
I think they were testing out the fogs and lights for later that night. Thank god we skipped the Ignition roll in – I heard it was lined up so far back.
Our booth done and ready to go. You’ll notice the booth has decreased in numbers significantly – several years ago we used to be about 30+ deep. This year we had 9. I think this just goes back to my earlier point about the scene changing – new blood is coming in and we’re just phasing out. This will likely be the last show for a lot of us – it’s just not the type of thing that we familiarize ourselves with, I think.
This Mazda R100 right by us was easily one of the sickest cars I’ve ever seen. Everything was painted by the owner and built from the ground up.
Interior is just so damn fresh.
No corner left un-turned.
Boosted 3-rotor under the hood.
Mannnnnnn so good.
Not many people saw this but there were duellies in the rear. So crazy.
Closer shot of the rear.
Things I hate. #1 – big ass signs and spec sheets in front of cars. I think I just hate it for pictures.
Behind that sign was Giuseppe’s S15 looking fresh and clean. Nothing shines brighter than paint…
PS – VEX ended up moving the sign later, so it’s all good LOL
Things I hate. #2 – You literally had to turn sideways if you had to walk between these cars. I wasn’t even trying to take a photo of the car, I just wanted to take a pic of how close this was.
Jack’s Silvia on his new Nismo LMGT4’s and my god was this perfect. Well done Jack. He was on Work VS-KF’s before if you recall my photoshoot from a few years ago. This is amazing.
Pretty mint Celica GT4
R33 on Works
I liked this Mark 2 and I haven’t come across one that I didn’t like. They’re so bad ass.
This was probably my next favourite car of the show – Zane’s Varis Kamikaze GT-R. Literally done over two weeks, so I hear… Everything from Bulletproof.
All that Carbon…
Frozen blue Advan GT’s and the Carbon spoke
Details right down to the Amuse titanium lug nuts
Closer look at the carbon spoke. Real clean.
Varis swan neck
Amuse exhaust bigger than my head.
Super aggressive rear
I liked that you could see the titanium peeking through the rear grills
More carbon details
Rear quarter shot
Right beside it was this Top Secret GTR. Significantly more subtle but still cool.
One last shot of this. Great work.
Kanji’s BRZ with the new 86 front bumper and new wrap/livery.
Also now on air and bronze Rotiforms.
RB FRS on bronze TE37v
Pretty clean Varis Evo X on Bronze TE37’s
This RZR LB GTR was dope. I felt like the graphics took away from the beauty of the LB kit but not bad.
Trung’s freshly finished Voltex S2000 on bronze TE37’s
Varis widebody on Work T7R 2pc from First Gear
Noel’s S14 from Drift Squad.
Clean B-swapped CRX
David’s super clean Rocket Bunny S15 with a 2JZ swap. I really liked the execution on this.
Titanium bolts holding all the pieces together.
Static STI hatch on Work VS-KF’s. Reminds me of the static S2000 from Wekfest Chicago.
Lots of rat rods at the show yesterday – I love them so much!
A metallic root-beer wrapped S15 on Weds
Trucks look better low… Just sayin’. hahahaha
This is what the show is all about these days… Social media and likes. Amirite?
Another super clean RB 15 wrapped in a satin army green. Carbon lipped wheels and battle aero out back. I dig.
Sorcery front S2000
Jason’s new wrap colour was unveiled at the show yesterday. This is definitely one of my favourite wrap colours – it looks like it has a subtle shade of jade to it. I’d like to see a paint in this colour too.
A look at it all together. Varis and Aimgain paired together here.
A fully Voltex’d Evo 9 on the new T/A ZE40 colourway. Rad.
Carbon details on the hood.
Rear. Just needs that Voltex diffuser now.
Rear quarter shot of Trung’s S2000
Finished up engine bay on Trung’s car
Back at the Vex booth – this STI was beside Giuseppe’s car with green accents all around.
Status seats on the inside.
Dustin’s S15 on Meisters
Jimmy’s new 328i wagon freshly lowered on KW’s and Weds. I am really diggin’ the wagons lately.
Logan’s bagged STI with a new colour wrap in red. This was silver previously.
Kanji’s air setup in his BRZ with hardlines.
This clean RX7 on LE37’s I think?
Kaiser’s 86 with front and side TRD lip kit on ZE40’s. I really love the new fronts…
Rear of that Varis Evo X from earlier
Aria liked this truck – she went up to it and went ‘Wowwwwwwwwwww” hahaha
Fiat on Ferrari wheels
Dude, this Ruckus was cool as fuckkkk
This exhaust is crazy.
Beaumont in purple. So rad.
William’s RB V2 FRS on Meisters
Garret’s Miata – later went on to win Best in show Mazda. Super clean.
Clean midnight purple S14 on Meisters
I don’t know his name but I follow him on Insta (isn’t that funny that we refer to people as their IG handles nowadays? haha) EDIT: I know his name now! Mike and his Skyline is absolutely perfect in person. The work equips look great – JC and I debated that Watanabe’s would be better suited but you can’t go wrong here.
Rear fitment. So good.
Interior super mint.
Rear quarter shot. Ughhhhhh
Iridescent 350Z on Work VS-KF’s
Flashback to the 90’s with this Supra. Crazy.
Look at how tight that is. That’s worse than parking lot parking…
Things I hate. # I lost count. Just to illustrate the space between cars here…
Paul’s 6th Gen Accord wagon looking clean as hell. He lives out in Airdrie too. Never seen him around but I dig this. LOL
I really like his pot light additions under the side skirt. It’s not tacky like underglow and it’s just subtle enough to add a bit of a finishing touch.
His rear tank set up.
This bagged Audi had an interesting tank set up.
That’s dedication man. I like the time put into this.
Again. What. The. F. There was no way I was getting pics of any of these cars with people behind me and walking all over the place.
Moe’s bagged Mustang GT
This Fit had a lot of things going on. From the chassis mounted wing to anime stickers all over the place. It was bagged on Meisters with a pretty clean trunk setup.
A view from behind.
Another view of David’s S15 from the front
Pretty clean Supra. That rear gap though is crazy – does anyone know if he’s on stock suspension? I forgot to check…
The RWB porsches that came through… This one in matte white.
Another in silver. Nakai was working on this one on the other side…
And another in red that I couldn’t get a shot of properly.
Danny’s bagged Audi TT – glad he managed to get it out to the show. He was having problem after problem with getting this thing ready on the new wheels.
Here’s a shot of Nakai doing something. I dunno. LOL
Jesse’s Supra from Lowcals
Bagged 7-series. This was probably my favourite VIP build in the show. So clean.
R33 in Lowcals
It’s not how you stand by your car… jk. I probably waited a good 3 minutes for a shot. Sorry David lol.
R32 on Bronze Nismo LMGT4’s
R34 sedan in matte white
Haven’t seen these around in a while – they’re a dime a dozen it seems.
Pretty crazy colour on this M4.
Neon green M2 also in a funky highlighter colour.
RX7 on Advan RG-D’s
Aaron’s R32 on bronze/bronze Work Meisters
Flared out GTI on VS-XX’s
Sue’s S13 Vert
Mario’s Fiesta ST and a new splitter
Clean blue IS-F on Work Emotions
Bill’s Focus looking good
I really liked this Varis STI -I just wish the doors were closed lol. Update: in talking to the owner I’ve been informed that this was a full wrap. Door jams included – this is why the doors were open. I thought it was repainted the whole time!
A better view from behind. Some aggressive CE28’s. You can see the jams here. Now this is a wrap worth doing. Perfection.
2JZ swapped IS/Altezza
Flared out Impreza
Another clean Evo 9 on TE37’s
Kenji’s Suzuki Cappuccino. This thing is so small in person it’s crazy haha
Sunnie’s supercharged BRZ
Bagged Nissan Juke.
And yet another clean example of an Evo 9 on bronze TE37’s
I liked this GTI – had a some JDM flare to it with the Works
Lan’s bagged S4
Supreme/Louis Vuitton tank out back.
This 1987 Merkur XR4Ti was pretty interesting to see. First time for me – super clean.
ITB Golf on BBS’s. I think this won an award later that night as well.
Closer look at the ITB’s.
Better look at Lan’s S4
Another sick Golf on VW’s that took another award home for Euro drivers.
Clean RS3 on Meisters in their new finish.
I love this colour so much. If I ever drove a bimmer, it’d be in this colour.
Marino’s JDM TRD Widebody Supra. You don’t see these everyday.
A frontal of that GS
And a frontal of Marino’s Supra
At the front of the Haute AG booth were two Porsches – both LS-swapped.
And the other…
LB G37 on VS-XX’s.
Simon’s FRS with some new wheels and aero since I’ve last seen it.
Audi TT RS
Randy’s Rally Backer/Rocket Bunny FRS on AG wheels.
Aldo’s S2000 with fresh fenders and bumper.
Ryan and his EP3 on aggressive FWD stagger ZE40’s.
Derek’s Integra – so bad ass how clean this thing is!
Closer look at the shaved engine bay and set up.
Arif finally got his titanium valve stem covers on…
Adrian also came and showcased his freshly painted Civic coupe.
A view of that VIP life on the inside…
Corey’s S2000 on Volk CE28’s
Handprints on my car… I’ll forgive this because they’re kids hands and they probably just wanted to see inside. I know the feel – Aria does it all the time.
Alex’s freshly restored and completely stock yellow ITR. It’s a shame that I saw a lot of people walk pass this thinking it’s just stock.
My FRS in its cleanest state it’ll ever be in.
Another Evo. There were tons at the show yesterday.
Frontal of Gabriel’s Integra
Another shot of that bagged 7-series from the rear
Bagged S5 on Meisters
Always a crowd favourite – R34.
I’ll end it here withe the rear of my car.
If you made it this far, congrats. I have no other pictures other than these ones – I truly hope that for any future years that Driven continues to happen, it ends up being better than this year. It’s unfortunate that we’re crammed into a space that can’t showcase our cars better than this. Congrats to all those that won awards last night as well!