In Retrospect: Driven to Perform 2008/2009

I was inspired by Stickydiljoe when I saw his post on looking back at Tokyo Auto Salon a decade ago to see the changes that have happened all this time. Then I suddenly remembered that I, too, have a hard drive of old pictures and photoshoots that have been laying dormant all this time. There were many times when I would turn on my hard drive and look at some of the folders and said to myself “I’ll never open this again”. Look at me now… Opening them again.

Some of my earliest photos were when I started getting into the car scene and Driven to Perform was my first show with my Civic at the time in its embarrassingly modest state. Nevertheless, the show itself was also fairly modest compared to what you see today. Things change, cars change, shows change. Back then, I knew next to no one in the car scene – I was merely another fish in the sea trying to gain some recognition. Arif was the one that encouraged me to enter the show with the booth and things kind of just unfolded from there. To this day, every show that I’m in – Arif is still there and it’s like nothing has changed except for my attitude towards car shows.

10 years ago at Driven to Perform – I was a starry-eyed kid with dreams and hopes and dangerous levels of excitement to be in a show like this. This was the show that I was taking transit to just several years prior to fulfill my childhood dreams and walk around cars that I would drool over in Import Tuner magazines. Even back then, I was taking pictures with my point and shoot – who knew I’d still be doing that today. Unfortunately, those pictures are long gone… I wish I kept those. But I digress… It was at this very show that Arif told me “these days are long man, and you kind of just want the show to be over – after a few of them – you’ll feel the same. But I understand how excited you are – I used to be just like you”. Ever since then, every show that has since passed that I’ve attended – Arif’s words have resounded with me so clearly – he was right. I do just want to go home and sleep now.

Anyway, this post is a rather personal one to me in the sense that these photos are TERRIBLE. I can’t even imagine taking pictures like this and I even have some with neck breaking angles or super wide, non-flattering shots. I cringe. I cringe really hard. Besides that though, some of these photos might make you be like “whoa! that was so-and-so’s car?!” and some might make you say “this car looks like it time traveled to present day!”. This was back when I didn’t do “coverage” pictures, I just took random pictures. The main reason for combining 2008 and 2009 is because 2008 had a whopping total of 28 RAW files compared to the 500+ that I shoot today. This post is not meant to be a data-eater – it’s fairly small and it’s meant to just go back in time a bit to what the early days used to look like for those of you that missed out on shows like this decades ago. It’s filled with friends’ cars and good memories and that’s what life was about back then…

I think if there’s one car that stands the test of time for me – it’s Ryan’s EP3. In fact, not much has changed for this car if you look at this picture alone. Ryan still rocks that Walker Japan bumper and decal today – you’ll notice that his decal now is not as perfect as it was, but it’s pretty damn close. Through the years, he’s gone through a ton of wheels and colour variations, but it has largely remained “frozen in time” to be a timeless EP3 build around here. He hasn’t molested it with fender flares or stancy wheels… It’s just simplicity.

I want to say this is Steve Poyntz’s AE86? I didn’t know him at the time, but this was a very recognizable build at the time because everyone was just getting into the initial D trend and this car was iconic. He even drifted this thing if I recall correctly…

Sitting on Work Equips.

Jackie Law’s S2000 with a very mild wheel/tire/height set up compared to what you see today. He no longer rocks the T1R BBK – it’s now been replaced with an Alcon BBK. Mag blue CE’s have been replaced with an almost battleship grey TE37 set up and you can no longer fit fingers between the fender and tire. He’s also replaced that ASM bumper with a Voltex front bumper… Another iconic car that I looked up to at the time when building my own.

Jamie Fry’s J’s Racing S2000 – he tracked this thing hard and he always went balls out whenever we were at Race City. I’m not sure where this thing is now or if it still even looks the same.

The rear of Jamie’s S2000. At the time, there wasn’t a big explosion of super JDM plate frames or titanium bolts and washers. We weren’t quite at that level of detail yet. Some were – and those guys lead the pack in a very quiet pace – the rest of us were hanging out in lalaland.

Back in the Beyond booth with a neck-breaking angle. With an SRT-4 Neon starting the picture off – a chassis/build I don’t ever see anymore. Giuseppe’s R32 that some of you may recognize from my photoshoots with him over the years… He’s now replaced it with the blue S15. My Civic on Work Emotion XT7’s and HFP lip kit. Punit’s Integra on Rota’s and a carbon hood, and Ryan’s EP3 on T/A CE28’s. Lots has changed over the years…

Another car that some might remember is Dal’s K20 Type R. Back in the day, Speedtech Racing Development reigned supreme in Calgary for the locals to go get their fix of rice. Dal’s car was one of the poster children for the shop with Takata Green CE28’s, the K20 swap and aggressive aero. In this day and age, this would be considered very tame but back then – seeing green wheels, carbon lip and canards and a GT wing out back was highly frowned upon. This thing hauled ass, but not everyone had their tastes accustomed to this level of aggressiveness back then.

Dal’s K20R later went on to be with Reggie Mah who then stripped it down and built it all back up again in his version of “KID ICARUS”. By this time, you would have been more familiar with it after being featured by Super Street and shot by Stickdiljoe with a white/teal colour combo.

Another car that was beside the beyond booth was this baby blue RX7 – fully kitted out in race mode. I didn’t have many other pictures of it – but I vividly remember people walking by it with a very judgmental look about it. Again, if you saw this today – everyone would be screaming “OMG GT WING! OMG CF DIFFUZERZ!”

Ending the 2008 show with Arif’s EK. Yes, that’s the same one with the Backyard Special bumper and yellow CE28’s that are always dirty with Project Mu brakes behind them that I post every so often. Yes, those are Rota’s. Yes, that’s a tow hook. Yes, I’m pointing things out that you wouldn’t believe. Arif has changed a lot on his Civic and I mean A LOT over the last decade as you can see. You’d never believe me if I told you this is what his car used to look like, but it’s a good example of how things progress and how trends change. Rota’s were very largely known back then and I’d be surprised to see them on a car today…

Yes, that’s all I had for the 2008 show. Note the space between cars back then – plenty of walking room…

Starting the 2009 DTP show – we were in a new location because the Olympic Oval had been taken up that year and so this was new to everyone. It was smaller, it was tighter, but it didn’t change the fact that we were all still excited to be at the show. Beyond had Mercedes Terrell as the model for the booth and I got a few shots of her with some of the cars… This one being Giuseppe’s R32 Skyline.

Yet another car that may be familiar to you is Ryan Dandurand’s MR2. This is yet another car that has gone through many changes and has really stuck with me through my journey of building cars. It’s cars like Ryan’s that have always been one step ahead of everyone else that gives people like me inspiration to build something “better”. I’ll remind you again that in 2009 – things like TE37’s and big brake kits weren’t around for everyone so seeing them on cars like Ryan’s were “big things”.

Arif’s car had a nice visual overhaul with his first set of white TE37’s.

Jackie’s S2000, Corey O Hara’s Civic right beside, and Nick Foisey’s Mustang GT…

A closer look at Corey’s Civic on bronze RE30’s and ARC winglets. At the time, the big thing for the 8th gen Civic boys was adding winglets – more specifically – ARC winglets. I remember so many people wanting them but not wanting to pay the price, so people ended up making their own… Over the years, I guess these same people started companies up like Top-1 and other “generic” splitter and diffuser models.

2009 was the year of upgrades for a lot of us. Punit also got rid of his Rota’s and changed them for Work Meister’s. Over the years, we got to know each other better and he later sold the wheels to Diana who then had them painted purple and put on her Fit.

An NSX on Wedsports (I believe?). An NSX at the time was a big deal too – not many were around but this was something my noob eyes loved seeing.

Dal’s Integra with a more subtle look for 2009 – on Mugen MF10’s. Imagine seeing this today and it still fits in perfectly well. Trends come and go, but you always recognize a really clean and well-thought out build when you see one.

I got rid of the Work XT7’s and also got a set of white TE37’s. A very mild set at the time, and a FWD stagger, but still a set I miss…

Ending it here with Mercedes Terrell signing my Recaro. I still have the Recaro’s but I’ve since washed off the signature since that fire died in me long ago. TBH, I didn’t even really like Mercedes Terrell – it was just a hype thing for me to do at the time. The Recaro’s are both now my office chairs at home…

Anyway – I might find some time to go digging again through my archives that I’ve never posted here before over the winter for some good content. It’s refreshing to look back at a few of these! Happy snow day!

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