illuustrations X lifewithjson: More Behind the Scenes

More behind the scenes shots as well as some extra shots that I take here and there… This is kind of the first time Ricky and myself are doing something a little outside of our comfort zone in terms of video. Just to clarify – Ricky does really great video on the “lifestyle” side of things and cars are new to him, but the “people” aspect and “humanizing” a video is not. He captures emotions and everything that’s alive really well. On the flip side, I’m comfortable with photographing cars and writing passionately about my hobbies (as you can see with my blog) but not so comfortable with humanizing it and bringing the “realness” to it all.

What do I mean by all of this? Well, Ricky had this crazy idea to take some shots of my car to let him practice and I agreed. I’m always down to have someone other than myself take pics/video of my car. Halfway through it all, he throws a bomb on me that literally makes me shake down to the bone… He goes “can you talk for the video? Like answer some questions to make it more personal?”

At first I was totally against it and told him straight up “NOPE”. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy public speaking and I have no issues standing up in front of a room of people and presenting or talking… But to be pretty much interviewed and to answer questions that will forever be encoded into a video – that scares the living daylight out of me. I’m sure some of you understand – hearing your own voice is weird, right? Imagine hearing it while watching a video of your own car LOL.

Anyway – Ricky has been extremely persistent. I would shut the idea down one day and he’d be like “haha OK” and then the next day he’d hit me with questions to answer. I finally caved and agreed and have been putting it off for so long… But I finally sat my ass down and got it done. Just to be clear – it’s no full interview so I know it’s not a big deal but it’s a huge deal for me! I think the video is going to be new and different for the both of us and I’m glad Ricky has invited me to partake in the making of the video. I think I finally see his vision of what he wants it to be and it’s got me super excited and nervous for everyone to see it.

He’s working on the teaser for now and until I get the rest of my parts, we won’t go out and film the rest of it for the final video… Stay tuned for that! Onto the pics!

Ricky doing his thing while I try to stay out of the way…

I’m super glad I decided to go out sooner rather than later to these empty spots because they’re definitely not so empty anymore. I’m noticing tons of people now heading to these locations and even when we were out on this occasion, there was definitely larger traffic count…

When I first got here, I stayed here for almost 20 minutes and literally not a single car came through. On this occasion with Ricky – which was just my second time here after posting the first set – we almost couldn’t catch a break!

We stuck around that night just to wait for the sun to go down and for the street lights to turn on. I’m glad we did because we got some awesome captures. I’m super stoked on how the stills came out – it definitely gave a nice and peaceful ambience.

Again, you’ll notice that I start to play around with edits as we go – sorry to those of you that like consistency LOL. Don’t worry – I like consistency too but the need to experiment outweighs my OCD to be the same…

Probably my favourite shot of the night. This one just had perfect lighting for me…

Started to get really dark at this point but luckily the lights under the statues started lighting up. They change colours so that might explain some of the differences in all the pics.

Lately, I’ve really been digging the addition of cyan/teal into pictures and then trying to pair it with its complimentary colours of red/yellow. Gives a cool night-time vibe.

Just some shots of Stephen Ave while we’re actually shooting. The only cars that really come through here are SkipTheDishes and UberEats drivers to pick up food from the nearby restaurants.

A shot of those statues with the changing lights. It’s a cool scene but a little hard to work with.

On the way home, I played around at an empty FasGas cause there was some good lighting LOL

Gas station shots will never not be cool.


CTR’s First Hibernation

Surprise! lol my only new post is that I’m parking the car for the year… And this was like two weeks ago. I’m really falling behind on car things lately. I still look at car parts, but I find that I put them on the back burner longer than usual because I end up getting a little more excited about adult things. LAME

Also, the older the kids get – the less time I want to think about working on my car or buying car parts. I just find myself wanting to spend more time with the kids than wrenching in the garage lately… They grow up so damn fast, and it seems like for every moment I’m off doing something car-related, I miss something and I hate it… Where as the car will remain in exactly the same state that I left it and I think I’m OK with that.

Although, it was a sad thing to have to put the CTR away as it is every year. It doesn’t matter what car I’m parking for winter, it’s always depressing because you know winter is coming, snow is coming, cold is coming… and a whole 7 months of it too. It’s pretty miserable. I really wanted to paint correct and apply ceramic coating before I put it away, but it’s probably better that I do it next year. Just took a couple photos of the sad event…

The last time the CTR saw the light of day with Diana’s RAV4…

Swapping the winters on. Originally, I had the all-seasons on it because I thought I was going to be driving it before I sold the FRS. Then when I ended up getting the CTR as quick as I did, I was hitting myself because I knew I basically swapped the winters to the all-seasons for nothing. Now I had to do it all over again lol

Had to swap Diana’s tires over too… Such a dreadful task the older that you get. LOL

Done. Those are Rota’s btw lol – I know some people were sending me heart eye emojis thinking they were RE30’s. I’m not gonna front – they even have last years dirt on them. It’s just to get me through this god-forsaken winter.

Sometimes I think about replacing this because it’s so damn boring but it’s just so damn reliable at the same time. Plus, it just gets beat on and put through so much shit that I don’t know if it’s worth it. Not for me anyway – I wish I was made of money haha

Doing the last few touch ups on the CTR before putting it away…

It’s only been 2 weeks but even looking at this now makes me miss driving it. 😦

Still a booty that I can appreciate.

I still think about what’s left to do on this and there isn’t much on my list to be honest… Aesthetically, I’d like some new aero but don’t know what yet. I’m undecided if I want to Varis this bitch and then have to be paranoid about it all the time. I like having this as a daily driver and not having to worry about dumb things but I also want it to look bad ass LOL.

Power wise, it’s more than enough but I also want to at least get Hondata and maybe an exhaust… Still contemplating…

Either way, I have a long 7 months to think about it… Hopefully I’ll at least have something cool for next year. Until then, my winter posts will probably be of kids and my boring ass life. LOL happy hibernation!

MD Interiors Alcantara Shift Boot – CTR FK8

Just another small and quick update to the CTR… I changed out the OEM leather shift boot to a custom MD Interiors alcantara shift boot recently. I say custom because at the time of ordering, he asks you what colour boot and stitch you want and what type of material and he literally just makes them upon order. I went with the basic black alcantara with red stitch to match the interior alcantara patterns and I think within a few hours – he messaged me back saying it was done and shipped out. Talk about quick service…

Anyway, just a few quick pics. As simple as a shift boot is, this was annoying to install… Or maybe I’m getting old cause I don’t like installing things that aren’t in and out in a few seconds LOL.

A shot of the console out with the OEM shift boot and the J’s Racing collar still on.

A shot of the MD Interiors alcnatara boot up next to it. He uses the stock boot as a template, so it fits perfectly.

The underside of the console. Not sure if you can tell how much of a pain it is but there are 10 tabs – you can see the boot is stapled on each tab and then taped with double sided tape. It’s then clipped in with a bunch of other adjoining pieces. Taking the staples out was the most annoying part lol.

Next, you guide all the slits into the tight hole and pull them through. You can either hot glue gun it down or if there’s enough stickiness to the double sided tape left, you can use that.

All pulled through.

With the J’s Racing collar installed and the rest of the console put back together.

Flows nicely.

A shot of it inside. Now it matches the surrounding alcantara nicely. I still have to play with the collar a bit to get it to sit nicely, but this will do for now for pics.

Not sure why Honda didn’t just make this alcantara too with the rest of it… But alas, the grass is greener on the other side…

Minor change, but it’s the small ones that make the difference!

New Challenger: 2019 FK8 Civic Type R-26054

Over the last month, I’ve been pretty busy trying to acquire this beast. As you know, I had the FRS up for sale for quite some time and there were a few nibbles but no one that was actually serious about buying it as it was. I get it, it’s not easy to sell a car that’s done up like that – there might be some parts a buyer doesn’t want or something that doesn’t jive with them – so I just forgot about it for a little bit. The more I forgot about it, the more I came to develop a distaste for the FRS… Not in a bad way, but just in a way that made me feel like it was becoming more and more “useless” to me in the sense that I couldn’t ever drive it unless I was alone. This is no one’s fault – it’s just not a family-friendly car. Sure, I could fit both seats in the back for the kids but it would just be a pain in the ass to take it everywhere. Not a fun time.

Alas, I made the decision one day to just throw up a part-out list on Instagram (of all places) and see where it got me. Turns out that it happened to be the quickest part out anyone has ever seen – everything was called for in 8 hours – all through one Instagram story post. So, the tedious work began and I dropped it off with Balance Auto Garage for them to start the work on putting it all back to stock. I loaded up all the stock pieces and made multiple trips to the shop to bring parts, or get parts, or sell parts. I’d tell you about how much I hate putting a car back to stock (even though I didn’t have to do any of it) but that’s another story…

While the FRS was undergoing surgery, I made a visit to Calgary Honda to talk to Trung – who recently moved down here and is now the GM of Calgary Honda. He already knew what I wanted, the problem was getting it. He had a black one slated to come in but I had my heart set on Championship White. As much as I love a clean black car, I really hate cleaning a black car so I won’t put myself through that torture again. I left the dealership with Trung’s promise that he would find a CW CTR if it was the last thing he’d do. There was some tough luck trying to convince other dealers to trade a black CTR for a white one and another where a deal to trade fell through. I wasn’t in a rush, but I was still bummed that other Honda dealers were such assholes LOL. Finally, the call from Trung came one day and he said he got one and it was going to be delivered within a week. Bingo. Huge thanks to Trung for the awesome service and helping me get exactly what I wanted plus more so quick.

Friday, May 24th was the day I picked up the CTR and I haven’t looked back since. What FRS? I don’t remember owning such a car. If I were to put it simply – it is one of the best cars I’ve owned and driven and although each car I’ve owned has put a smile on my face while driving, I don’t think I’ve smiled as much as I have in this one. Do I miss the FRS? No, but I do miss the image of it. I felt really good about how I built it up and where I ended with it, but I don’t physically miss the car. I think that says a lot about the Type R and its presence.

The Type R is a fantastic, well-rounded car. It seats 4 comfortably, it has the power to get you where you want to go and it has room in the trunk to fit a remarkable amount of things you wouldn’t think you could fit into a Civic. Oh yeah… It’s a Civic. Despite the easily abused and thrown around name and reputation that the car has – it is quite far from the Civic you and I are so used to. It is a beast in disguise and it’s used the mask of a car we’ve so fondly grown to know as a fuel-efficient, reliable and cheap commuter. I think that’s why this Type R has grown to be such a game-changer and has surprised many – including myself.

“You paid over $40k for a Civic?” is quite often the question that gets asked. Hell yes I did and it often only takes one ride in it to understand why. I often compare the Type R to my previous Subaru STI Sedan and while on paper, the numbers are pretty much the same, they are two very different cars. The STI to me was fast but it was bland and boring. It didn’t have the ‘oomph’ or the ‘wow’ factor to make it a fun car. Simply put, the STI was fast but it was not fun. The Type R on the other hand has all the creature comforts and the extra ‘oomph’ that one might be looking for. The boosted K20C1 combined with VTEC is really something you need to experience once to understand why everyone praises Honda. It’s in a league of it’s own in this class and I’d be hard-pressed to find a competitor that matches it. There are some that come close, but not one that beats it.

Before I even had the car, I had a vision of what I wanted the car to look like in the end. I like to do that with all my builds – if I can’t envision what I want it to look like – then I probably don’t really want to buy it. I think it’s important to know what the endgame looks like so your journey there is easier. I’m not one to build a car willy-nilly by throwing random parts at it and hoping it works. I made that mistake with my first car and I’d never do it again.

The JDM clear sidemarkers was one of the first things on the list – although small – makes a big difference on Championship White. It removes the offsetting amber and cleans up the profile of the car. One of the things I was really excited about was that Honda basically had LED’s all around the car (except for the sidemarkers). The headlights, the foglights, even the license plate lights – all LED. Changing out the sidemarkers is just an obvious change to me.

Another thing I was torn on was the red pinstriping along the bottom perimeter of the car. It looks good, but I was 50/50 on it and I really wanted a clean look so I pulled all that off too. It can easily be replaced if I change my mind down the road, but for now – the black/white tone of the car is something that I dig. Less distracting and cleaner lines.

I mean… if your wife cuts decals, you get her to cut you a decal of your blog. Why not. I need to support myself too. 🙂

Another subtle addition to the car – Spoon blue wide-angle side mirrors. A very understated and underestimated mod but one of my favourite pieces. A few of us that have them all agree that we really love these. They look great on CW too.

While there seems to be a great divide on the looks of the rear, I love it. It’s a little boy-racerish but I’m still a ricer at heart so I can dig. The absence of the red stripe on the rear also makes it a lot cleaner.

When Trung called me that day to tell me he was able to acquire a CW CTR, he told me that there was an illumination kit on it. Admittedly, the first thing my mind thought about was underglow and I told him “I don’t want underglow LOL”. Trung replies “No no, the OEM interior illumination kit”. hahahaha

I’m not one to add extra bits and pieces like that but I’m glad it came with the car. It’s a very slick looking piece (don’t mind the plastic that’s still on it – I have a hard time letting go as you already know). The above picture is of the door sills that say “Type R” with the “R” lighting up in red when you open the door.

On the inside, the illumination kit is also under the center console and in the footwells. It’s very mild and I haven’t driven in the dark yet but it looks super slick. The interior cabin is super comfortable and has everything you need at your finger tips. There’s enough in here that makes me OK with not needing to change a thing. At first, I wanted to change the shift knob but after using it for a bit – I quite like it. It’s not gaudy or shaped oddly – it feels nice although it could be a bit heavier.

The steering wheel is thick and wrapped in leather. Controls are comfortable and easy to use. The dash is user-friendly and has a wide-array of information for you to go through as you’re driving. From pedal/brake pressure, to G-force measurements to nav/fuel economy. All this technology after coming from the FRS makes me happy.

To match the Spoon side mirrors, I also decided to do the Spoon rearview mirror as well. A nice combination of the three.

One thing that kind of sucks though is that I got the car tinted all the way around with Xpel XR Ceramic tint to keep the girls cool when we’re driving. In the rears, I got 5%, in the front I got 50% and on the windshield I got 70%. Because the rears are so dark, I can’t really tell the Spoon rearview mirror is blue but it does have a nice and wide field of view that lets me see the girls in the back as well as outside the rear window.

The Ceramic tint so far has been a blessing and worth every penny. When the sun is shining mid day, you don’t get that burning feeling on your arms and it keeps the car cool longer – sometimes I even have to turn the AC off for a bit despite the temperature outside being 20+C. No regrets.

Another small change was to the shift boot collar – Zokusha Tuning had a J’s Racing collar in stock so I just picked it up. It’s really just a useless piece but it allows the boot to be adjusted height-wise so it can accommodate other shift knobs. The good thing about this is that I was able to remove the stock locking collar and have the knob sit a few CM’s lower. Looks a bit better and the red matches the interior nicely.

Lastly, the R badge. It really means nothing to me – but the Type R has been nothing but great so far. I know I’ve been telling all of you that the CTR was really just to replace the FRS because it was more family friendly and that I was keeping this stock. I may have mislead you guys (and maybe myself and Diana too…) but I’d be kidding myself if this car was going to stay stock forever (let alone 2 weeks).

My plans aren’t to go all out with this (I hope) because I need it to remain a daily driver for the summer when we go out as a family… There’s something in me that can’t drive a stock car. I need to change something to cure the itch… LED’s are usually the first thing that helps LOL

I’ll get some more shots when it looks cooler – until then, it’s just a regular CW CTR like everyone else…. Thanks for reading!