Hype R?

I don’t know why, but all of the sudden, I’ve had an itch that I’ve needed to scratch. The problem is that I don’t know whether I should scratch it or just leave it alone. It’s kind of like a mosquito bite – you know if you scratch it, both good and bad things will happen – it will feel good, but it’ll also get worse. If you don’t scratch it, it’ll just go away with time.

That itch is the Honda Civic Type R. I’ll be completely honest – I don’t actually know when or how the itch started. I think it was just a seed that was planted long ago when the Type R was announced and in the last few weeks, it’s been sprouting and growing like a weed in my head. You know when you get the idea that you need something, you’ll come up with 1,001 reasons why you need it and literally 0 reasons why you don’t need it. Going back to the seed analogy – it’s just been in the back of my brain for months and it only recently got watered when Josh told me he’d throw me the keys one day and I could take it for a spin. That’s the worst thing that can happen – someone encourages the growth of a seed you didn’t really want or need to grow. This is my problem right now.

The Beyond meet was on Wednesday and truthfully, I wasn’t planning on going but when Josh said that Wednesday was the day – I couldn’t have said no, right?! So I went… And as soon as I saw Josh, his hand reached into his pocket and out came the Type R key, and he said “go for it”. If there’s anything that makes any car guy giddy (no homo), it’s when someone hands you the keys to their car and tells you to just go have fun.

This was it. I was going to see what all the hype was about. You can’t just walk into a dealership and test drive it cause you “wonder what it’s like”. You have to be serious. I’m not at that point yet – I’m toying with the idea – and there’s a very clear line between the two and so Josh’s offer was pretty much THE next best option for me.

There she is, ladies and gentlemen. The Type R right beside my ol’ gal. There’s something to be said about the Type R compared to my FRS (my opinion only because it seems like people get butt hurt about my opinion). My FRS looks better than a stock Type R. I know, I know – super subjective opinion – but from someone who is either

A) going to sell the FRS

B) keep both

It’s just what I think and If I were to go with option A, I would be totally sad about it because of all the cars I’ve gone through, I’m still not tired of looking at the FRS. And BTW, this has nothing to do against Josh – I love the guy – but I’m talking about Type R’s in general.

The interior is nice. It’s refined, it’s clean, and it’s got all the usual things you’d expect from a 2018 model. There were some things that Josh pointed out like – only the front door cards and other misc pieces is wrapped with suede/alcantara, while the rear is all fabric. Not a deal breaker – but kind of weird to have excluded the rear altogether on the Type R.

The seats are a loud, flashy red – I guess somewhat expected with the Type R. They’re comfortable and hold you well. Nice side bolsters – slightly comparable to Recaro SRD’s.

Instrument cluster is nice – all digital and reminiscent of when Honda first brought that design in 2006.

Brembo brakes up front with 20″ wheels. A bit excessive IMO…

Around the car, there is A LOT going on. It’s very aggressive and as many have already stated – is kind of like an STI.

The LED headlights are also one of my favourite things of the car. I’m glad almost all companies now are understanding and catering towards the aesthetics, function, and form of headlights. If you’re still in the halogen game in 2018, you’re out to lunch.The

The rear is one angle of the car that I’m quite fond of. I like the triple tip exhaust, I like the STI-type spoiler, I like the big rear non-functioning vents. The rear as a whole works for me, the lines all flow well and it just screams “kid racer!!!” and I love it.

The top vortex generators are funky and weird and I know if Honda left this empty and then offered it as a Type R add on – everyone with a Type R would have bought it, me included. So I’m not going to complain about ricer add-ons, because I would buy ricer add-ons.

The lip looks home made, to be quite honest. It’s got those funky batman ear things, it’s fake carbon and looks like it’s wrapped – but it’s still cool as hell. It’s just a combination of such weird and quirky things that kids would make in their garage that make the Type R so Hype R. It’s amazing how something that’s OEM can be so acceptable to me versus something that was home made. There are a lot of other factors (actual testing, proper fitment, etc) that change my opinion but Honda… You basically created a Honda ricer dream car!

Josh’s CTR was outfitted with a more aggressive carbon EVS deck and it looks great.

And so ends my quick thoughts on the CTR and before you go look at the rest of the pictures I was able to capture before my camera battery died, I’ll leave you with where I stand right this minute on the CTR because it seems everyone is wondering what I’m going to do. (Who knows, it might change as soon as this post is published…)

There’s really two options:

Option 1: Sell/part out the FRS and getting the type R.
Option 2: Sell the RX and get the type R.

I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’d be too devastated to let go of the FRS. I know what the pain of regret is like and I’ve decided that option 1 is not the way to go.

You are probably saying “well if you only have one option, why don’t you have the type R yet?”. It’s because if I sell the RX, the CTR becomes my new daily… Which also means I drive it in the winter and I’m not sure if I can come to terms with putting the CTR through our winters. I would also miss AWD, but that’s an issue for another day…

Anyway – the conclusion is this: if I can be OK with putting the CTR through winter, then it may happen. If not, then someone has to convince Diana that having 4 cars makes perfect sense. Back to pondering…

Here is extra content:

This Datsun was sick. I kind of liked the look of the white flares… Either way – it’s hard not to appreciate an oldschool Datsun – flares or not.

M3 on TE37’s

Drift Squad came through too… Pretty rad to have all three show up with the same livery. Here’s Noel’s S14.

Work VS-KF’s

Rear quarter shot.

Here’s one of the 240 that went off for a test drive before I was able to get a shot of it…

And the last one – R32 with an LS swap I believe. Rowdy.


And literally the last shot I was able to get before the camera died. I’m happy I got this one – This was super clean and I dig the red!! Good job!

Driven 2018 – The Honest Coverage

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.

Setting up…

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.

Carbon fender

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.

Rear fitment.

Lots of rat rods at the show yesterday – I love them so much!

Bagged STI

A metallic root-beer wrapped S15 on Weds

Race-ready E36

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

Fender detials.

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?

Evo 9

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.

Mitsubishi 3000GT

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.

Tight fitment…

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.

Jonny’s 335i

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.

Wide S14

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

Don’s Mini

Lan’s bagged S4

Supreme/Louis Vuitton tank out back.

Sick beetle.

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.

LS-swapped GS

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.

Arif’s EK

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.

JC’s CT200h

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.

Dirt truck…

Gabriel’s Integra

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

Mint evo

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!

See ya!


How To: Polish Your Car for Dummies

Ever since my posts of getting my car ready for Driven – I’ve gotten a TON of DM’s asking what I use, what I do, what to do, what products are best, and the list goes on and on and on. I’ve tried to answer them the best I can but a simple DM message doesn’t really explain it all as much as it should. I decided to do the same thing I did with my “How To” on rolling shots as that remains my top and most visited post to this day.

There are far too many complicated guides out there and forums with some unhelpful people out there that make things more difficult and confusing for the noob trying to polish their cars. I’ve been detailing for a little over 10 years now and I was one that started from scratch. I knew next to nothing about where to start and I fell for gimmicky products like Scratch-X thinking that it would make my car swirl-free and shiny with no effort. I’ve gone through hundreds of products – many of which worked but few that I loved. As technology gets better in the detailing sector, better products are released and I try to sample them whenever I can. The purpose of this post is really just to help guide anyone that’s new to detailing and wanting to polish their own car. I wanted to learn because I couldn’t fathom the idea of paying someone big money to ‘clean’ my car. Albeit, you can take your car to a Groupon detailer but you’re not going to get top notch results. You can also take your car to a professional detailer and pay hundreds of dollars to get it exactly how you want if you’re money bags. I wasn’t going to trust a Groupon detailer trying to make a quick buck and I didn’t have deep enough pockets to get my car detailed so often.

I’m a very anal person about cleanliness and that of course translate over to my car. BTW – I’m not claiming that I’m a professional detailer by any means – I’m just able to hold my own and keep my car in a condition that’s good enough for me to be happy with it. I’ve invested my own time in doing proper research and trying out new methods and combinations of products. Over time, it just comes naturally and you know what works and what doesn’t.

Anyway, let’s get on with it. The pics I took are of the car after I finished most of the detailing for the show. I tried to capture the paint and the condition – so the pictures aren’t trying to look entirely pretty…

I’ve done no editing on the condition of the paint – the most I’ve done is adjust exposure or shadows/highlights to show the surface of the paint more clearly.

Here’s a shot of the door – swirl free and freshly waxed. I do want to point out that I can’t easily explain when to stop polishing or when to do what. That all comes with experience and the condition of your paint.

A shot of the trunk and rear bumper. The plate is off for easier polishing of the trunk – it’s nice to be able to get in behind the plate and get the grime and swirls that develop back there. One thing to keep in mind is I generally don’t polish over emblems. The polish can cake up and get jammed in to places that make it more difficult to clean afterwards.

I like to take a q-tip or a detailing brush in and around the emblem to get the dirt and dust that gets stuck there that washing can’t get rid of.

One of the things that I’ve mentioned in a few of my posts is attention to detail. Even if your car is stock, attention to detail matters. If you truly want the feeling of a brand new and perfectly clean car, you need to spend time cleaning places that nobody ever sees. Honestly, I religiously clean jams and crevices that never see the light of day. This practice as a whole is what brings together a “clean” car.  One example is when the trunk is open – I clean the tail light crevices, bolt crevices, any connecting parts/joints and inside the trunk lining. I also polish in these areas as best I can – which we’ll talk about later in the post.

It sounds crazy, but imagine doing it the first time and then keeping it up every time you wash the car. It stays clean and manageable each time.

A shot of the tail light. I also polish the tail light as this can accumulate swirls and micro scratches as well. I like to ensure lights match the paint.

A shot inside the trunk gaps. I dry and vacuum out any dirt that accumulates here every time I wash.

A shot of the edge of the trunk. Taking a detail brush in between the trunk garnish and the trunk itself helps keep everything nice and tidy. Edges on cars are swirls favourites places to gather.

Here’s a shot of the trunk and rear bumper all polished up. The OEM paint has quite a bit of orange peel to it – something that can be fixed by wet sanding and polishing – a task I’ve not had the motivation to do any time soon. So I’ll stick with my swirl-free finish for now. The orange peel isn’t TERRIBLE, but it’s definitely noticeable if you know what you’re looking for.

For those of you that don’t know what orange peel is – it’s a texture that’s in the clear coat that causes an ‘orange peel’ look – exactly what it’s called. You can see what it looks like in some pictures. Typically, when your paint is polished – when you look at your reflection in it, it should be smooth and the clarity should match that of a mirror. If you see waves or your reflection looks like you’re looking into a reflective orange – then you have orange peel. The process of removing it requires wetsanding with a very fine grit sand paper to smooth everything out. Once done, you would polish with a polish that matches the grit to remove the scuffs to bring back a highly polished finish. It’s tedious and it’s a lot of work – if you’ve followed me all this time – you can see that we did this on Derrick’s old Integra after he repainted it.

Shot of the rear quarter from up above to see the reflections.

Now let’s get to the details…

My go-to tool is my trusty Porter Cable 7424. Believe it or not, this particular polisher is 11 years old. I’ve never had to repair it or replace it – it’s built like a tank and has polished hundreds of times over the last decade and continues to power through. The first question you’re probably asking is “what type of polisher should I get?” and that is a very open ended question because you’re going to have so many different recommendations that it’ll make your head spin. I’ll make it simple for someone new like you…

There are two major types of polishers:

  1. Orbital or DA (dual action)
  2. Rotary

The first is what I have. It’s a simple machine that has 6-speed settings. An orbital polisher rotates/jiggles around the center via a counter weight. When you turn it on, it looks as though it’s spinning at a high speed, but it’s orbiting slowly around the center while jiggling fast if that makes any sense. An orbital in the simplest terms is a polisher meant for beginners – it is almost impossible to burn through the clear coat using an orbital because when it “orbits”, it doesn’t generate enough heat to do so. I started with this and I continue to use it because it works. I also haven’t had paint or work that requires the power of the rotary. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Number 2 is a rotary. It does exactly what it’s name implies – it rotates in a circular motion at high speeds to create heat and friction to break down polishes fast and remove swirls. To be honest, I’ve been meaning to get into a Rotary but I just never had the need – my paint has always been in good condition so I just haven’t jumped ship yet. If you’re new, I still recommend starting off with an Orbital.

Great! We got that out of the way. Now that you have a polisher, we can talk about what to pair with your polisher.

One of the most confusing things is knowing which pad to get and which pad to pair with which polish. There are hundreds if not thousands of pads and products and combinations that will make your head spin. Again, to make it simple – I’ll tell you what I use and you can make your own judgements from there.

A quick run down on pads – I like to use Lake Country foam pads. They’ve been my go to for the last 11 years – they last long, they provide good results and are easy to use and clean. Lake Country offers a variety of pads, but again, to keep it simple – I’ll introduce you to the simple ones:

  • Purple cutting foam pad – This is their most aggressive pad. You would use this if you have a large amount of swirls, your paint is in pretty bad condition and has not been polished before.
  • Yellow cutting foam pad – This pad is the next level down. Again, I would say this is used for a car that has a moderate amount of swirls. These swirls would likely look like you’ve used a terry cloth or cotton towel to wash and dry it for years on end.
  • Orange cutting foam pad – This is what I use as you can see from the pictures. It’s a light cutting foam pad – it removes a big chunk of light swirls and corrects paint quickly and effectively. This is my go-to pad for everything that kind of borders what the yellow foam pad might fix.
  • Black finishing foam pad – This pad is super soft and is used to apply waxes or sealants/glazes. This is optional – you can do it by hand using a foam applicator as well. I like using the black pad because you can ensure a nice even application of wax/sealant on the whole car. Doing it by hand sometimes causes unevenness and caked up parts on some pieces of the car if you’re not careful.
  • Blue final foam pad – You can interchange the black and blue if you wish. I usually stick to just black for my finishes. This is your choice.

Hopefully that helps you decide what kind of pad you need… Remember, it just takes patience, trial and error and practice. I probably wouldn’t start off with the most aggressive pad and I probably wouldn’t start with a very mild pad either. The orange pad is a safe bet to start off.

If there’s one thing that most people know about washing cars – it’s that you don’t go through a car wash with physical contact through a brush or foam arms – no matter how much the place tells you it’s “scratch-free”. There are instances that I go to the coin-op wash so I can rinse it down if it’s not too dirty and I have no time but I’d only spray soap and water – never use the brush if you want to avoid major swirls.

Otherwise, I wash at home almost all the time. I use a two-bucket method – one filled with soap and suds and the other with clean water. I also use a microfiber wash mitt – you’ll notice a theme throughout this post and that is everything that you do involves trying to prevent swirls in the first place. If your methods are already adjusted to prevent swirls, then you don’t have to polish so often. Anyway, the two-bucket method allows you to get the soap in one bucket and wash the car, then rinse off in the water bucket to ensure the dirt you’ve washed off your car doesn’t go back into your soap water.

I’ve used lots of car soaps over the years and one of my go-to and cheap soaps is Meguiars Gold Class. It works well, it suds up nicely and provides a nice lubricated feel to the paint. Lately, I’ve really been enjoying Auto Glym’s line up – and their bodywork wash & wax is excellent. It’s a super concentrated formula and you only need a cap-full to wash the whole car. It’s by far the best I’ve used in a long time.

Alright, you’ve washed your car… Let’s move on.

This Menzerna PF2500 has been my best kept secret over the last 2 years. It provides a super high gloss finish, it gets rid of almost all swirls – provided they aren’t created by mad car wash brushes and neglect, and it doesn’t dust as quickly as other polishes that I’ve used.

The best way to explain how much polish you need for most car panels is enough to make an “X” on your pad. Just two lines crossing each other, you’d dab the pad a few times on different areas on the panel to ensure it’s all over and then start off at the lowest speed first to spread the polish. Your first step is to spread the polish, not to start high speed and go to town just yet. Once the polish is all spread on your panel at a low speed, turn it up halfway and then make one more pass. Once you’re satisfied with how it’s spread on the panel, bump it up to the highest setting.

Here’s an example of what I mean by “dabbing” on the paint.

The polish generally needs to be worked into the clearcoat for a few minutes. I like to make a few passes on a panel and ensuring that I overlap as I make each pass. The best results are typically when your movements on the panel are uniform – that is, going left to right and moving your way down the panel until you’re at the bottom, then repeat and go back up. Again – staying as even and uniform as you can. Another key thing to polishing is to ensure you’re going slow and steady enough with enough pressure to create heat and friction. The amount of pressure you’d need is about 15-20 pounds on the polisher to your paint.

It’s important that you don’t polish out in the sun if you can help it. If your paint is hot, the polish will dry and dust super quick and will prevent you from working it in enough to break down to do any actual work on your clear coat.

Here’s an example on my RX from last year of somewhat uniform-ness LOL. You’ll notice the spacing between each circle – like welding spacing – that’s typically how fast you should move. You can see this when you polish and adjust as you go. Experience is the only thing that will teach you how slow or fast to go here.

The time spent on a panel will be determined by the condition of your paint. In the Lexus’s case – I spent about 5 minutes on each panel. That was sufficient enough to get rid of 95% of the swirls that have been on it. If you’re unsure at first, especially if it’s your first time, I would recommend trying it out and once you feel you’ve done “something” to it, stop, wipe off the polish and inspect your results under good lighting. If you still see swirls, then you didn’t work the polish in enough/stay on the panel long enough. Go at it again.

Again, this is where experience plays a big role – knowing when to stop or when to keep going. The one good thing if you choose to go with an orbital is that even if you did stay on “too long”, the chances of damage are extremely low.

Another weapon I have in my arsenal is a light abrasive polish. Poorboys SSR1. Many hardcore detailers recommend doing multiple passes with polish starting with the most abrasive and then working your way down to the least abrasive to get a true, glossy finish. I’ve only had to do this once and that was on paint that was in very bad condition.

With most my cars, one pass is enough to get rid of everything that I need to get rid of. I would recommend sticking with one polish and getting the hang of that before moving onto stepping through polishes.

Here are my finishing pads – black and blue. Like I said, I interchange between the two – I don’t notice a huge difference. If I am doing both a sealant and a wax, then I would use blue for my sealant and black for my wax. The good thing about using a pad and your orbital with wax is that you don’t need a lot and it spreads the product very evenly compared to using your hands and an applicator. Totally up to you here…

I’ll talk about 2 different waxes here. The first is Auto Glym HD wax. For the amount of money this is, it’s not great but it’s not terrible either. It works on all types of paint colours and it’s just meh to me. It lasts almost two months if you wash regularly and if it rains a lot.

My most recent favourite is Soft 99 Fusso Coat wax. It’s a fluorine polymer so it lasts quite long compared to other waxes that I’ve used. It claims up to 12 months, but I think that’s a little overstating it… It’s probably true if the car is kept in the garage most of the time and driven once a month.

Either way, this comes in two varieties – a dark and a light – this is for dark coloured cars, and as you might have guessed, the other is for lighter coloured cars. My results on the Lexus RX330 have been extremely positive – through our harsh winter, it lasted about 4 months. It’s been about 7 months since then and even after a wash now, the paint is still slightly slick and just a tiny bit water-repellent. This will be the first time that I will have used it on the FRS, so we’ll see how it goes.

Most waxes require you to apply and leave it on for anywhere from 5-20 minutes. I usually do 15-20 minutes for all waxes that I use. My one key recommendation is NOT to apply the wax on too thick. This is a common problem for newbies and it was for me when I first started because I always thought “the more, the better”. This is absolutely not true!!

Wax does not require thick layers to work “better”. The application of wax is to apply a THIN layer onto the clearcoat so that it can adhere and do it’s magic. More of the product won’t make more of it adhere – you’re wiping it all off at the end of the day. Which leads me to my next point – If you decide to apply way more than you need, then RIP your arm. You only have to make that mistake a few times to know never to heavily apply wax again.

If you’ve applied a nice thin layer, you’ll notice that it’s easier to wipe away and your cloth should glide across the paint like butter. Another key thing to ensure you’re doing is flipping your cloth regularly while wiping away wax (and polish) to ensure that the fibers are clean and ready to grab the product off the paint. If you continue using the same side, you’ll notice that you’ll have difficulty wiping the product as you go and it’ll start to dust on you and that’s not what you want. When I’m done wiping the product off the whole car, I like to take a brand new microfiber cloth to wipe the car down one more time. You often get grease-like marks leftover after your first pass of removing the wax and using a new cloth removes all of that and leaves and perfectly glossy surface.

Another shot of the freshly polished and waxed tail light. See? Doesn’t a clean car just look so much better? You don’t need to see any of the aftermarket parts in this picture and it’s immediately more attractive to look at because of paint that’s in good condition. This brings me back to my point about properly caring for your paint for car shows – far too often, there are cars that could look incredible but have a serious lack of attention to their paint. I’ve said it a million times, but I’ll say it again – if your car is clean and your paint is flawless, it’ll be 100x more attractive to the public and it will always look better than the car that has neglected bodywork.

Please, please, please clean your door jams, clean your trunk jam, clean the gaps in between each panel, clean your windshield wipers… Every little detail counts. Even if you’re not looking at it, someone out there is! It may even all be in the mind, but a clean and flawless looking car even feels better to drive. Trust me – you won’t regret it.

My last few words are just some other recommendations that I’ve picked up over the years…

After you’ve spent the last few hours tirelessly working away and tackling those swirls and then protecting your paint – you’re probably left with results you never imagined you could have done. Sometimes after a hardcore session of polishing, you’re left with polish dust all over your windows, in your jams, and in places that can get annoying. Once you’ve finished everything – feel free to do one last wash.

I know, the last thing you want to do is wet or touch the paint you worked so hard to fix. But if you’re careful in your ways – the only thing that will come of it is that you get to see your work in action – the water beading, the polish dust all gone, and the feeling of drying a freshly waxed car. If you’ve done it all right, then most of the water you just used to rinse the car will have run off because of the awesome wax job you just did.

Lastly, I like to take the car out into the sun where I can inspect every inch of paint one last time to see if there’s any spot that I missed. I mean, it’s up to you to decide to bring it back in to go and catch the spots that were overlooked or you can leave it 🙂

I’m hoping that gives a general guideline on how I detail my car. If I’ve missed anything, feel free to comment or send me an email and I’d be happy to help you through it. Most of what I’ve learned is through trial and error and sometimes, frustratingly enough, poor results. The least you can do is ask so you don’t experience the same negative outcome.

Wekfest Chicago 2018: Part 2

Part 2 is the final part. After going through the first post again, I’ve been thinking about how it compares to our scene here and while there are notable differences, the overall consensus is about the same – everyone is pretty much on the same page. The only difference is to what extent is quality and attention to detail is kept. I’m sure there are plenty of cars that exist in Calgary that have a very high quality build but choose not to join car shows or show much of themselves at meets or social media. At the same time, my assumption is that Wekfest has a much stricter level of expectations to be in the show – so we’re seeing the best of the best that Chicago has to offer.

Most of the cars at Wekfest Chicago are very well kept – paint is all in immaculate condition, bumpers are free of scuffs and driveway damage. These are all things that are a reflection of the car scene – regardless of what kind of weather or road conditions they have to deal with. As I mentioned in my previous post – Chicago roads are TERRIBLE compared to ours – yet all these cars are all here with no sign of such conditions. There are some cars in Wekfest that come in with minimal mods but have a selection of very high quality parts. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I wish we’d see a bit more of that locally – even if you only have a lip and wheels – make it worth it. Make your car stand out by correcting the paint, by cleaning the interior, pay attention to small details that count when put together as a whole. You don’t have to spend thousands on expensive aero to look good, but don’t cheap out on the one mod that matters either.

Let’s get through part 2, shall we?

Red STI on CE28’s and a built engine.

A slammed red Evo

Ramblers race prepped EF

A K20 swapped EF and hood cut out on RPF1’s with a panda theme going on.

Close up of the hood cut out and the K20

370Z with flares aired down on Works

Johnny’s Spoon S2000. We’ve been following each other for a while now on Instagram and he messaged me a few weeks before my trip to Chicago and asked if I was coming to Wekfest. Honestly, unless Johnny messaged me to tell me Wekfest was happening while I was there, I probably wouldn’t even have known. I got the chance to meet him as well and he’s coming down this week in return to check out our car scene.

Johnny’s engine bay

Rear shot with Voltex goodies and a spoon hard top

ZE40’s with Spoon brakes peeking out from behind.

LB M3. I like these a lot – I wish there were more of these…

RB BRZ from the rear quarter on Meisters

Slammed Impreza on VS-KF’s. Super clean – I love WRB.

Carbon panda themed FRS on RPF1’s. He also drifts this thing often – you could barely tell by looking at it here.

I took this for Diana only cause she loves Sasuke. LOL

Kai’s 86 on Gram Lights 57CR

RB BRZ with a Nur Spec wing out back. It looks like this was wrapped with all that gold glitter in the black.

Aired down M3 on Meisters.

A custom mini R8

This was an amazing S15. No corners missed on this build – everything with high quality parts on this thing.

Fully built RB26 with carbon and titanium bits all around.


Interior held yellow Recaro’s with Cusco and Takata.

Evo X on TE37’s and varis aero

A simple 350Z

A murdered out LS400. I love this look.

Aggressive 240SX on Work’s in a beautiful blue.

This Silvia was interesting. I was taking the pic, a passer by asked if I knew if it was paint or a wrap – I didn’t know and assumed it was a wrap. Upon closer inspection, it definitely looked like paint – someone correct me if I’m wrong though. I couldn’t find any wrapped edges and there were pieces where you could see the paint chipped in a few spots.

This Midori Green EK was great. I absolutely love this colour – I wish there were more around like this.

Super clean K20 swap with a shaved bay and Jackson Racing Supercharger to boot.

Another look.

Slammed S4 wagon on Rotiforms

Tjin Edition Focus RS. I haven’t seen this colour in person yet – I love it.

RB BRZ in a matte grey/silver.

Lotus on Advan Super Racing wheels! So cool – I remember when I wanted these for my Civic way back…

Another angle of that RB BRZ.

Track-prepped IS300 on SSR’s and battle aero.

Yellow 350Z on TE37’s. This was not wrapped either – so good.

Stillen Supercharger mounted on top.

Another IS/Altezza with fender flares.

IS350 in a teal blue

One of my favourites from the show was this NSX slammed down on TE37’s. Red and white is a combo that just never looks bad. I dig the pop up lights too.

Super tight fitment on the TE37’s

S14 super low on very aggressive TR7’s

Rear quarter shot of the red NSX. Ah man… I wish!

This green VIP GS is no stranger – it’s been featured online many times but it’s certainly a sight to see in person. The body work and quality is exceptional and everything has just been done so well.

A close up of the molded fender flares in the rear quarter and door

A closer look under the hood

A pink Evo X on mag blue TE37’s and Voltex aero. The paint on the side has been airbrushed in and is not vinyl – dedication.

Yo. I was so surprised when I realized you could drink at this LOL. I mean, its the States but damnnnnn lol. I mean, I shouldn’t be THAT surprised but still… I can imagine some dude getting so hammered and angry about not winning or something and throwing a major fit.

Slammed 8th gen

Another red NSX slammed down on Weds

Old school cool.

Nismo 370Z. Wao

Green M3

Voltex S2000 on bronze ZE40’s

Blue R32 – reminds me of Giuseppe’s old Skyline…

One last shot of that S2000 from the rear with that crazy fitment. That’s all folks! It was a great show to attend – I’m glad I made the time to come out and see. Now I hope that Driven this year is going to bring the same kind of heat… See you guys on Saturday!