Ah yes, another photoshoot in the bag – and a rather special one at that. This one is of Arif’s Civic and it’s been quite a long time since we’ve gotten together to shoot. Lots has changed since the last time we shot it and there always seems to be a period of several years between our shoots and while it feels like it’s only been a year or two – this time it’s been 4, and prior to that, it was 5 years. Here’s the link to the Fall shoot we did some time ago if you’re interested:
This time was special – no, not because we had a candlelit dinner with Jina-spec entrees or anything like that. Don’t get any wrong ideas. It was because this time when Arif asked me for a shoot – he was able to get access to CH Toyota all to himself on a Sunday and one other person. Luckily, that other person was me. You don’t really think about shooting inside a dealership until you’re asked to shoot inside a dealership. I’m not going to say it’s a rare opportunity because I’m sure many others have the same ability to do so, but it doesn’t come around all too often.
It’s an eerie place when it’s empty and there aren’t salesmen walking around, or phones ringing, or machines running and tools banging. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. There’s no pressure to say “no thanks, I’m just looking” or “umm, I’ve got an appointment at 3?”. You could stand and stare at that 4Runner TRD Pro all day if you wanted without the pressure of someone asking you questions. Speaking of 4Runner’s… Before we get on with this pic-heavy post, there was one gem sitting in the showroom that I was able to snap pics of with nobody around to bother me…
This 1,000,000 km 4Runner. Yup, one million…
The interior – despite the mileage – was in fantastic shape. The seats looked better than most used cars you’d find that have 100k on the odometer. Although the steering wheel has taken quite a beating, it hasn’t stopped the car from running.
A shot of the back seats and carpet – still quite immaculate.
And just look at the condition of the body and paint. This could pass as an old, low km car if you judged a book by its cover.
Some of the suspension components have been replaced as expected, but the rest of the car still looks great.
The original wheels – although scathed and starting to age beyond repair still holding strong.
And finally – a shot of that odometer just to prove it. Man… Glad I got to see this.
And so now as we move on and Arif gets the car ready, I took a couple shots of the inside of CH Toyota – when the lights are off and everything is at peace.
The M3 kind of out of place… But adds to the picture as decoration…
So we begin… Arif’s car in the flesh. Very different than 4 years ago when we shot it and very much evolved into something better.
A lot of the shots I took were with the lights off. I felt it gave a very unique feel with a slight blue colorgrade added to it. Almost like it was in the pits getting ready to do some hot laps…
One of the most notable changes are his yellow CE28’s which demand a lot of attention to the car.
Arif said that he had the car all cleaned and ready to go on Friday when he was confirming if we were still good to shoot on Friday. My mistake was believing him. I took this pic and for a split second, I second-guessed what I saw through the viewfinder only to have my doubts confirmed when I reviewed the picture again after taking it.
“Arif – I think you need to clean your wheels again” I said. Arif gave a hesitant “what?” trying to sound like he didn’t know what I was talking about even though he knew damn well. “Your wheels are still dirty here…” I replied again. “You know what, I’m just going to leave it so that you can take a picture and call me out cause I know you will” he says. Deep down – I know that he thought his wheels were as clean as could be. Why else would he have left his car in the dealership overnight and not drive it there on the day of the photoshoot? Because he didn’t want it to get dirty. This is the problem with multi spoke wheels, man. You clean the top half of the spokes because you’re looking down on them but you always miss the underside. As Arif reads this, I know going forward he’s going to start cleaning the underside of the spokes. Mistakes happen.
One of my favourite additions to Arif’s car is the newly retrofitted headlights done by Aldrich. Rich has done many retrofits for our friends cars and they’ve always come out impeccable. It’s a much appreciated update for older cars with halogen reflector headlights and if done nicely, it can look very OEM. No unnecessary LED bars or strobing/changing colours all over the place – just a nicely placed projector and housing.
Another notable change is the BYS bumper. Another welcome addition to bring the package together nicely.
Interior wise – not much has changed. Good ol’ Tigger still hanging from the cage as you can see by his tail…
Lots of big changes as I go through these pictures – another is the Project Mu big brake kit you see behind the yellow CE’s. Surprisingly a very fitting colour combo.
This photo in the washbay had a sort of neckbreaking angle but I liked it. Also, Arif was holding the hose that you see over to the right of the picture there. Just thought I’d give credit where credit is due…
Getting set up to move around
In my opinion, Arif’s car has really “grown up” in the sense that it’s evolved from a “boy-racer” look to a more sophisticated and rounded out look. The much tamer Seeker wing, the BYS bumper, the clean retrofitted headlights and the J’s hood.
Another addition are the Tracklife Composites fenders. A much more aggressive look up front.
The TiBurnt valve stem caps with Project Mu and Volk.
The panda theme that Arif had going on for a long time is more or less gone. Everything is paint matched now – the hood, the roof. The only “black” you see now is the naked carbon accents on the lip and the side mirrors.
Close up of the BYS badge on the front lip…
Another shot of the retrofitted headlights
The bolts holding the hood latch are a gold titanium. A nice touch to match the wheels IMO…
Under the hood now sits a K20 that replaced the F20B which was the heart of Arif’s Civic since I’ve known him.
One of my favourite pieces under the hood was this titanium hood rod.
The rear of Arif’s civic also sports new LED tail lights with a slight smoked finish as well.
Inside, the iconic STACK cluster
Quick intermission – the owner of CH Toyota’s Ferrari sitting in the corner collecting dust… I mean, my house is free to let it “collect dust” too, ‘namsayin…
Getting ready to move to the final area…
I think a lot of my favourite shots were done here in the tire storage area. We’re lucky that he was able to squeeze in nicely. That’s what she said.
I dubbed this “Speedhunter” style… It was unintended but I guess I achieved it nicely lol.
Getting some higher angle shots shows the awesome lines of the J’s Racing hood…
Another shot. Menacing.
OK last one I promise… Once again, good job Rich!
A shot of the cut off – the most important part. Check that blue/purple.
The teaser shot I posted earlier this week… My favourite shot of the bunch still.
And just a few random shots before we ended it for the morning…
Time to hit the track…
Hope you enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed shooting it! It’s nice not having the pressures of people and other cars around – although not huge pressure – it’s still distraction and things you need to work with. An empty dealership and all the time you need provides ample opportunity to get a multitude of shots. Adios!