Driven 2022: The Return to the Oval… And Reps…

Just right off the bat, I just want to say that I’m a little disappointed that my “Oval Problem Equation” that I had worked so tirelessly on didn’t come to fruition this year. Maybe next time…

References below:

https://lifewithjson.com/2018/05/27/driven-2018-the-honest-coverage/

But I won’t dwell on the past too much…

It’s been 4 years since this last show was held at the Olympic Oval – considered to be the OG location that really started it all for a lot of us back in the day. The last time we were there personally was in 2018 and that was about enough to go into retirement for car shows. It’s an incredibly long day and while it can be a really enjoyable time, it can really be fatiguing after a number of years. While I don’t enter my car anymore, I do like to show up and show my support to some of the groups that are doing some good things for the community. It hits home particularly for me because again, @jtooned.co wouldn’t be where it is now without them, so it is only fitting that I come and visit since I don’t really get much time to do so otherwise.

If you end up reading the 2018 recap I linked above, not much has changed between 2018 and 2022 and the 4th and 5th paragraphs sum it up well. And if you didn’t read it or don’t like retrospect, that’s fine too. (PS – retrospect is important in evolution to ensure the same mistakes don’t happen again). This year was much of the same thing – a few gems hidden in a sea of coal and rubble. I can’t expect every single car to be amazingly overwhelming, but alongside the “Approved” logos are there “Not Approved” ones too? Asking for a friend.

When you read my blogs, I really don’t want you to think I’m some kind of elitist that’s too good for everyone. I, like most of you, enjoy good things and good people and good everything. I like looking at something and knowing that the person behind this really put a lot of thought and effort into it and that their passion for something really cool is greater than their passion for clout and the dreaded “scene points”. You might be like “Man, these people are out here cause they got money to spend on $4k wheels and a $10k body kit. I’m just out here tryna have a good time and do what I can with the means that I have” and all I gotta say is “Man… So am I”. It’s just so much more than trying to compete with the guys that have more money than me. In the last several years, we were so damn close to seeing a show like this with no reps and we’ve gone full circle and a half to reps with the actual brand stamped in and fake brand decals now. Yo… what?

Anyway, this is probably the first show coverage where I didn’t take pictures of every car. The show was packed as fuck and cars were squeezed together tighter than Kim Kardashian’s butt cheeks, it was impossible to get some shots so I had to be more selective. There are about 200 pictures here – so still a decent collection of what the day consisted of but if you don’t see your car here, I simply did not capture it for one reason or another. I know, I missed a lot of good ones but I just couldn’t stand and wait for crowds to pass every time lol.

Starting off at the Tuner Decals booth – these guys are @jtooned.co’s day ones. I won’t ever stop recommending them or using them. I admire the grind that I’ve seen these guys do. There’s so many decal places around but these guys are top notch. Just the way they explain what makes them different and the extra effort they put into to being a little better than the competition – I vibe with that. Synonymous with how you build a car. Kelvin was explaining how he put together the Hashira stickers and I didn’t understand a single thing but I was like “Shit, that’s cool man and I appreciate that”. I just draw without putting thought into how to make them a sticker. These guys take extra steps to make it look just as good as the original. A+ Service.

All of their decals are drawn by themselves as well – no outsourcing or anything. Kind of a 2 for 1 deal with these guys and it’s always original art. So many shops nowadays just take a picture off google, cut it in half and call it their peeker. No bueno man. That’s like taking a wheel that looks like a TE37, then slapping a TE37SL sticker on the spoke and calling it real. Oh wait….

They were even nice enough to give @jtooned.co a side of their table to sell my stickers. Lots of OG stuff that they’re still selling and it’s crazy cause they’re the only ones – other than myself – that still have stock of the OG stuff. The new Hashira’s were there too – man, they looked so sick. Still a few left – head over to www.jtooned.com

And they made me a table plaque too sniff

Kevin’s Genesis looking cleannnnn. Just slapped on the new Advan TC’s and some carbon goodies as well. I saw they even stocked up on basically the whole line up of Car Pro detailing products to bring it all up to snuff. That’s how you do it.

First time seeing a GR86 in person – this one with some Voltex goodies. Looked so clean.

Saw this at Driven last year and still looking clean.

Nice shot of some of the carbon

Voltex R35 GTR on Advan GT’s.

Voltex Hawkeye STI on Advan GT’s – this was always one of my favourite gen’s of STI’s, especially when outfitted with Voltex aero.

Annoying someone got in the way though lol

Crazy BN Sports FD RX7 painted in a matte green. I was corrected – it’s not wrap!

Oh you wide wide.

LJ’s Lamborghini Huracan with the yellow/purple colorway

And his widebody Challenger Hellcat with the new wrap.

Better shot of the wrap here. So dope. I remember tooning all his cars 2 years ago – nice to see them all in person.

Becca’s Hyundai Veloster N with the Liqui Moly livery. Really clean wrap.

Yolanda’s Ford Focus ST – looking pristine.

Mike McConnell and his business @mikescleanshop detailed this for Yolanda a few days prior and was sending me updates as proof LOL. Good job on the wheels sir – you know I would never fail you on a barrel inspection 🙂

Maggie’s Golf R on RE30’s

Mel’s Ford Fiesta ST – unfortunately the engine had blown but they managed to roll it in for the show. No one would’ve guessed otherwise.

The Redline Sorority booth. Another local group that I’ve admired over the last few years. Total honesty here – and I’ll sound like a geezer when I say it – but when I was heavy in the car scene, there was a very small representation of girls in the scene. I’m not sure if that’s because of how cliquey things were or the fact that girls just weren’t interested in cars back then but it was rare to see. When the girls at Redline came up, I wasn’t sure what would come of them – mainly because of my lack of personal experience with a group of car girls. Over the years, they’ve managed to do some really good things and embrace the car scene as it was and then pave their own way from it.

It’s enlightening and humbling. There are so many groups that it’s hard to tell whether you made a group to do stupid rowdy shit or if you’re here to do cool things for the community. They’re a bunch of really down to earth girls that just like car shit and they aren’t doing it because they got some scrub in his rust bucket trying to make them look cool.

Thanks for hooking me up with the new merch, ladies. 🙂

I’ve also had the pleasure of designing some things for them – including this new one above. I don’t know if she has a name or if they’ve named her, but I’ll just call her Redline Girl for now. This was a fun one to do and to finally see how they’ve put it together on the hoodie.

And some stickers as well. The newest one being the hentai-esque girl with green eyes asking Senpai for sponsorship. I was really close to debating whether I should give up tooning cars for hentai. Maybe one day…

Jiahao’s Evo IX wagon in yellow on Advan RG’s. Such a great color flow and combo.

Voltex kitted as well

Jason Choi’s R34 GT-R V-Spec II. I’m sorry for the shitty picture – this was literally the best I could get before Kyle and his monster hat came over and started talking about how this thing is actually called Godzilla…

Sick Odyssey – I really love these JDM Vans, man. Hard to get a shot with it so tight thoughhhhhhh

I’m not going to pretend I know about Volvo’s, so check out this sick Volvo.

R35 GTR from Alpha Rally – wrapped by Executive Wraps.

The widebody Supra MKV

Aired out.

Blob eye STI on some wide ass Cosmis Racing wheels. Actually kinda crazy how wide they make these lol.

Jon’s Bagged and wide G37

Super tight fitment on the works

Kinda rare to see fitment this tight nowadays… Looked sick.

Xavier’s S-Class W220 bagged so perfectly on those Junction Produce Scara’s. A perfect mix of Euro and JDM.

The trunk set up. Great work by Paul.

Caught Xavier doing some checks lol

Gabriel’s DC2 – hasn’t changed much over the last few years but hasn’t gotten shitty either. Still timeless!

Jay’s  bagged VW Jetta

Rachel’s Forrester STI on ZE40’s. Great combo

Kat’s Mustang GT on BBS’s

I liked the touch of pink on the Brembos

Brooke’s Infiniti Q60 – now bagged and looking sick AF. Not too many of these around – super cool to see.

Lots of nice touches that flow throughout the car too – like the flower valve stem cap

Matching the same pattern on the door sills

A door holder piece with her Instagram cut out.

And the pattern flows right into the trunk on the air tank as well. Perfect.

Alyssa’s RS5 debuted her new look with a purple wrap and rose pink wheels.

Same thing here – lots of nice transitions of color throughout to maintain the theme.

And the front end. A very different transition from the Grey and Fluorescent orange wheels she previously had.

Rear shot of Becca’s Veloster N.

Justine’s FRS in fluorescent green/yellow and super bright pink Gram Lights. Man, this was probably the hardest car to photograph because of the colors LOL

Check that sparkle.

Yo, good job on the barrels though. Worth the broken nails – could eat sushi off of em.

Jynelle’s Mazda Miata ending off the Redline lineup

Loved this color. Cleanest wheels award to this guy.

Super clean and bagged Mini

Derrick’s 4Runner in the new Speedfactor booth.

Jackie’s Tundra looking mad clean

Supppper clean

RWB Porsche on all bronze Works

Ben’s MKV Supra on Bronze TE37’s. Dis a good look

Red M3’s always get me.

Purple-wrapped S15… I think I have a front shot later on…

Stewie’s Spoon/Voltex/Mugen FK8. First time seeing the MF10’s in person and in the FK8 spec – looks real nice.

Especially with the blue center caps.

Isaac’s completed FC RX7… Or is it? I think Errol said your badges are missing LOL

Roel’s full Varis FK8. As good a shot I could get with every opening open LOL

33 Ten’s Rocket Bunny RX7 – no stranger to local shows, but also always a looker.

This was what my day consisted of mostly LOL

There you go

Another familiar face – Varis STI in hyper blue on bronze ZE40’s

Lowriders. Because Cool.

Slammed oldschool 7 series in a rootbeer brown. Looked great but failed to get a good full shot…

So here’s some interior VIP shit instead. Shit has leveled up since I had my LS460L lol

Lowkey want to get back into another VIP car though…

Gerald’s widebody WRX

Loved this M3 and the livery.

Not sure if these are the owner’s kids but if not, this is mad disrespect… If you’re gonna take your kids and your nieces and nephews and Lola’s and everyone else in your family to the show, please make sure to teach them to respect the cars…

A proper shot…

Man, I really loved the whole theme of this truck. So rad

Crazy Supra with an insanely clean engine build.

Deserved to be somewhere better tbh lol

Check those barrels. lol

Gerard’s full Spoon FK8.

John’s freshly finished Mugen RR FD – probably one of my favourites of the show. Obviously not real Mugen RR parts because it’s practically impossible to get but he did a really great job at fitting everything and ensuring it all flowed. Such nice execution and attention to detail.

Right down to the fog lights and bading.

The FD was always a car I wanted back when I had my FG. Still wouldn’t mind one…

Carbon accents on the hood…

Inside – some really nice details like the Recaro RS-G’s

Mugen Wheel set up

Full Mugen RR rear

Even the cluster was swapped out to Mugen. Great job!

Right beside was this Spoon FD – looking equally as good.

Bride x Cusco seats on the inside and a Type R cluster.

RB FRS – haven’t seen these in a minute even though they used to be all the rage just a few years ago lol

This bad ass Mugen Odyssey slammed on Work  VS-KF’s… Phewwwww

Soooo goood

And that fitment too. MAN, I need a JDM Odyssey. STAT.

Ah here’s the front of that S15 from earlier 🙂

Slammed DC5 RSX – it’s so rare to see these modded nowadays too. Such a great platform.

Birdy’s MKV Supra with the Street Hunter kit.

Lots of things going on with this… Did TE37 Saga’s come 4 lug and a sticker? I thought they were engraved? Wait a second…………………………….

370Z on Meisters

Another familiar entry for the KMR booth is the widebody IS – I think this was nicknamed Killmonger from Black Panther – not sure if he still calls it that though lol.

Pearl white IS

Midori Green Integra. Man, this was kind of like a blast from the past – you literally don’t see DC2’s anymore. Midori Green is probably one of my favourite colors ever. This was pretty clean!

Slammed Celsior on Weds

Widebody IS.

This one F’d up my white balance and I wasn’t about to try to fix it LOL – greens and yellows and blues all over the place. I think the fake Brembo caps might have been the issue though.

Pretty wild

I have to applaud the amount of work that went into this FK7 – a bunch of honeycomb weaved carbon pieces and the interior is just done to the 9’s. Not my thing but fairly good execution.

Classic. Another platform you don’t see all that often anymore…

Lots of stuff going on here …

Lowrider. Because Cool.

Seeing a lot of Miata’s pop up lately too. Smiley face roadster is all the rage.

Two-tone G35 and widebody flares on some super wide Weds Kranze Vishunu’s. Owner was cool to even ask if I wanted him to put the hood down for a pic. Thanks man – that’s the attitude. You been here before?

Of course, I politely declined because this was worth showing lol.

Teejay’s G35

A pretty crazy FD RX7.

Toyota Chaser in Orange

Supra on TE37SL…..

… Or not? I was thoroughly confused for a little bit because the stickers caught my eye real quick so I had to take a quick look. To be honest, I’d much rather see dirty wheels than this.

Bill’s S15 looking clean as always on the Advan Super Racing 3 split spokes.

It has come a long way for sure from when he first got it

I had to give him a hard time on the wheels though and he was fully expecting it lol. Not easy to restore the chrome on these wheels after some lack lustre care from the previous owner. The faces were still minty though!

Miracle bar installed just before the show – a great addition to the interior.

Sue and her extremely rare, all original and unmolested 240SX going on to win the OG award and also as the first female winner of the award. Well-deserved!

The beauty of this is not that it has been restored perfectly or anything like that. The beauty is that this is how she found it and how it will stay. The paint has stood the test of time well and she went ahead and made sure that it continues to do so – the car is fully polished and paint corrected and then wrapped completely in PPF to prevent further oxidation. The trim and the wheels show aging but, as Sue says, that’s kind of how she wants it and how it should be rather than ripping it apart trying to make it brand new again.

It may not tickle everyone’s fancy because it isn’t slammed or has a body kit but it truly is something to look at and really embrace the fact that this is how these cars were really meant to be driven and enjoyed. We’ve just changed that definition ourselves by defining “better” as “upgrading”.

Pretty clean 86 – pretty rare to see those TRD carbon fender trims nowadays too. One of my favourite pieces on my old FRS.

Slammed CLA

Clean tank set up as well

A slammed Fiesta with a wrap and embossed vinyl underneath

Upclose of the designs

Another slammed Focus hatch right behind it on Enkeis

This was really cool – love the simplicity and the wheel/colour choice. Every muscle car needs to be slammed lol

Impreza STI on Meisters and a rather controversial intercooler spray on… That’s Driven for ya lol

Another Miata with aggressive aero

S14 on Works… Carbon Nardi wheel? I dunno mangggg

Mint/Tiffany blue Genesis slammed on Weds LXZ

And right beside it was a slammed 350Z with even more camber. Maybe its just me but 350Z look hella dope when they go this wide and low. Not really functional, but still looks cool lol.

Tucked and driving on the sidewall

Another one of my favourites was this Toyota Crown in a dark/emerald green on Weds Kranze Magiss (I believe?)

Super clean and I’m loving seeing all the Crowns pop up.

Great work on the execution of this. The finishing touch would be to just slam it right down to the ground.

Nismo 350Z in a root beer/gold wrap. Love these.

Rear shot

Rear of that crazy flared out 350z

Lotus in matte purple with the Shadow Rizen group from Manitoba

Ethan and his FD RX7 in matte red and TE37SL. Looked great!

Evo X on gold Advan GTs

S14 in green and a super clean engine bay to go with it. Not wrapped either.

Clean wheels to boot 🙂

NSX on matte candy blue TE37s sporting a Funky Garage livery up front.

Liberty Walk Maserati on air

RWB Porsche in matte blue. I still like these no matter what anyone says lol

S15, Ganadors, Weds and dumped.

Loved the display going on here. So dope.

A very light matte pink-wrapped R32

Blackhouse Cinema showing their rig fitted onto the 5-series wagon. Pretty gangster stuff.

I want to say this is Pat Tan’s old IS300 but not sure. Looks like it though.

I think this might be Michaels (@Mingan.nef) Pandem MX5 from Toronto? I tooned this a while back – I just never thought I’d see it in person unless he moved or had it brought all the way over here for the show! Too cool. This was the start of the Infamous Aero booth with Jesse.

Daniel Kowall and his M3 sans the Advan livery he was sporting for a while. It’s now all matte black which is pretty clean but I do kind of miss the Advan look.

Hard to get a shot with it being so tight. The rear is even more aggressive…

Daniel told me not to look at his wheels but luckily for him this is as close as I could get LOL. Looks dece from this angle, sir!

Carbon fender vents. So good.

Daniel Nguyen’s rally EVO – I first saw this last year at the MNRU meet in Edmonton. Lots of titanium goodies on this and he actually drives this thing the way it should be too. Also tooned this for him – loved the details on this.

On the other side of the Infamous Booth was this GTI slammed down sporting some of the Infamous aero bits as well. Jesse has come a long way with his shop and clever ways of working with carbon and creating custom pieces for cars. Happy to see it going well!

Another super clean IS300

With clean wheels… lol

That area by the Infamous booth had mad traffic pretty much all day – took forever to get these shots lol. But this bugeye STI on chrome Kiwamis was great. So clean.

Yo, I couldn’t leave the show without taking pics of Yoko stuff. AD08Rs peeking through behind the A052. Perrrrrf

And of course the Racing Titanium Blue Advan GT

As I made my way to the end again, my last shot was of Jonathans S2000. Lots of rare and custom bits on here but man, I think this might have been the only S2000 at the show… Or at least the only one I recall seeing. Maybe it’s those crazy S2000 prices that have made everyone want to hoard it and keep it hidden to protect that resale value lol.

Good job on the wheels too LOL – you guys are way too hilarious about stressing and cleaning your wheels but honestly its so awesome at the same time. Believe it or not, it really makes a difference when looking at cars. A dirty barrel is such an eyesore especially when you’ve just spent hours cleaning literally every other inch of your car. Take the time, clean your barrels… You’ll thank yourself later. Even with all the bruised and cut up knuckles. LOL

On my way out I happened to see this shirt – I don’t know the guy personally and his face is out of the picture, so no copyright (I hope LOL). I’m not going to make this post about Custom Decals or what this means and I’m not going to pretend like I know what it means… I’m too far removed from the drama in the local car scene and I don’t much care about it either, but this is some next level shit lol.

All I have to say is if a group/business/clique/gangbang is doing some shady shit, I am on the side of making sure everyone knows that their gangbanging isn’t pleasurable. On the flip side, if someone is saying “Fuck JTOONED”, I’d be trying to figure out what the hell I did wrong so I could at least try to salvage my reputation before anyone else wanted to hate on me and ruin what I’ve worked so hard to build up. Did I forget to add carbon to the lip spoiler that you can barely see anyway? Man, shoot me a DM and I will make that shit bigger and carbon-ier. Did I not properly depict your custom one off root beer coloured wrap? Shitttt son, lemme at it again. I never say “Thank you come again!” Until the customer says “Fuck, that’s cool”.

Anyway, just my two cents as a guy who is hustlin just like everyone else out there trying to make a dime. Maybe my two cents is worth nothing, but that damn shirt is worth everything when its about how your paper rolls in.

Driven 2022 TLDR – reps return, steelies are the new forged, winter tires perform just as good if not better than summer tires, and groups hate other groups because of shady inner workings. You didn’t miss anything if you used my post as a review.

Driven 2021: It’s Been a Minute

Wow time flies around here. It’s been 3 years since I’ve last been to a Driven show and lots has changed while many things have also stayed the same. With COVID restrictions recently lifted, the show caught a lucky break and was able to go on this year. Thanks to Tristan (the blue Varis STI hatch in the Esoteric booth) – for providing me with a ticket to enter! It was actually nice to come out to something car related after all this quarantine business. I haven’t had my car out to anything all year yet either – I’ve just been busy with a whole bunch of other things and I haven’t been paying much attention to the car. But I digress…

There’s been quite the “level up” in the scene in terms of quality – it’s refreshing to see after not really seeing anything after several years. So many cars with great quality parts and while not always executed thoroughly, at least the intention was there and that’s always a good start! There was quite the handful of impressive cars and hidden gems lost in the sea of rattle can jobs, rather stock cars, and generally kind of distracting builds. I’m not even sure how to explain what I mean – but maybe you’ll see what I mean as you scroll through. Lots of car crews – some old and some new – and lots with their own merch and ways of repping. It’s different than it was even 5 years ago where only shops would have a tent and even just some small goodies here and there. Now, almost every tent/club has their own clothing, stickers, and miscellaneous products. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s cool – almost inspiring – to see innovation and ideas coming out of some of these clubs.

Driven and Sunday School are really the two main shows that happen in Calgary and I think they’re a good indicator or gauge to tell us what kind of trends are happening locally. Thankfully, the days of gaudy chassis-mounted wings and universal wide fender arches are almost in the past. There is a place and a time for those kinds of things, but probably not on our beloved-Corollas and Civics. God forbid, your mom probably doesn’t need that type of downforce to go to the grocery store when she has to use the car. If I take a look back at my coverage over the last decade (fuck, I’m old), I think it’s fair to say we may be on a path to a brighter future…

In 2008-2010, we were dabbling in the world of real wheels and pretty modest fitment. Yes, we were lowered but there was barely any mention of hard boi stance or mad camber and stretched tires. The days of import models and having one around the show was a big thing. GT wings were rare and frowned upon and nobody would dare put canards on their car unless it was proven to be track worthy. Forums were a big thing back then and if you dared show your car with a GT wing, you better have bought a flame suit to go along with it…

In 2011-2013 – wider and more aggressive wheel fitments starting coming. More companies were developing cheaper, knock off wheels to try and compete with the more expensive and hard-to-get wheels. Sticker bombing parts was a thing and it wasn’t odd to see it on a whole bumper or car. Knock off parts continued to be abundant and the idea of “spending that much money on wheels doesn’t make sense” was a real thing.

In 2014-2016 – vinyl wrap started to become the new replacement for being able to change the colour of your car without the commitment. GT wings and aggressive aero started to become more acceptable and more and more people were wetting their feet with “track” aero. The bigger the better seemed to be come the norm and people forgot about the “it’s not how big it is, it’s how you use it” mentality and thus, the idea of chassis-mounted wings was born.

In 2017-2019 – We were at the peak of what I’d call “overstimulation”. There’s just so many things and ideas saturating the market that people tend to get overwhelmed and lose focus of what they want their build to be. Over the last decade, ideas like sticker bombing, big wings, aggressive aero, a million and one colors of wrap availability and genuine vs knock off just gives way to new ideas of thinking. This is not a bad thing but can lead to a really confused car scene – not just here locally – but everywhere. I think it’s fair for me to say that it takes some time for meme trends to die out and go away again but during the time that they’re here, it can be a really confusing era. People want to put all trends together on their ride and sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn’t…

And that brings us to the present. Meme trends are on the decline and people are finally starting to focus on the basics again. Real parts – check (thank god). The decision between wanting to go with a stance look or a track look. And most important of all – people are now paying attention to how their car looks as a whole. Man, the thing that irked me the most about the past was that nobody ever cared to polish their paint. This year’s show – I was elated at the amount of cars that showed up with some good ass looking paint/wrap.  If there’s ONE time that your car should be clean – it should be at a show – no excuse. If it’s at a meet and your wheels are dirty, I’ll still make fun of you but I won’t hold you to it. If there’s one thing that needs to stay in future years, it needs to be that everyone needs to learn how to clean their cars lol. I beg of you from the bottom of my heart. People pay to come into a car show – whether it’s $5 or $50 – let them see what they paid for – not parking lot quality, not garage-clean quality – show quality. 

There’s been a running joke among us for having clean wheels all the time since the last Driven I was at and it’s just kind of caught on as something people pay more attention to now and I think it’s awesome LOL! I just want to make this a friendly reminder (as I do in every car show post I make) that my posts are simply my opinion and my thoughts on the show. I’m not out to attack people or make fun – I don’t even personally know 90% of the cars owners in my posts. If you happen to be offended by the post or what I write, just move on. I’m not apologetic for my posts and I’m not here to make people happy. At the very least, you got a picture of your car. If you don’t see your car here, it’s simply because I missed it, you/people were standing in front of it repping too hard and I couldn’t take a picture, or I just simply didn’t capture it for one reason or another. Please don’t email me asking if I got shots of your car – I didn’t. Every car I shot is in this post. Yes, there are certain cars that I would’ve liked to take photos of but just didn’t have the opportunity because it got way too crowded at some points.

As a result of the last show, Bill (Official ThreeTwenty) has given me the Officer of BI inspections title (Barrel Inspections) LOL! So, that’s what I was there for (joking). I primarily went to go check out the Tuner Decals booth – they have been instrumental in part of the success of Jtooned.Co and they were happy to display and sell some of my past designs in their booth alongside their own. If you’re reading this, it’s obviously too late now but that was your chance to pick up some of the sold out F1 designs and the newly designed ASIMO holographic peeker as well! More on that down below…

Let’s just get on with the pics – there’s a lot to go through and I’m doing it all in one post just to get it over with.

I started at one corner of the show at the bottom and made my way around and up. No particular order – just zig zagged my way around. Speaking of zig-zagging around – I really enjoyed the layout of the show this year compared to 2018. I hope it was intentional and that something was learned from past years. It was easy to navigate, made sense and you really couldn’t get lost provided that each booth displayed themselves properly as well. Some tried some fancy things which made it kind of awkward but overall it was great.

The above BRZ on black/gold Meisters was super clean. Slammed with great fitment.

Tristan’s Varis STI hatch on Work Kiwami’s starting off the Esoteric booth. This was my first time seeing this in person – finely executed and clean. When that Varis bumper first debuted, I was not a fan but it’s since grown on me and Tristan pulled it off great. PS – thanks again for the ticket!

Type R LE all stock. This was pretty fresh – I believe the owner (sorry I don’t know your name/username!) just picked it up like 2 weeks ago.

Jek’s Varis STI sedan on TE37’s and a Voltex wing out back also in WRB like Tristan’s . So clean and I really like the look of the TE37 Sagas in bronze with some sweet sweet concave.

Angelo’s Varis Evo X. Lots of Varis in the Esoteric booth and I’m not complaining. I think the last time I saw this was last year and it didn’t have the Voltex wing yet but it’s always a nice finishing touch.

Got some shots of the wheels. I like the addition of the Dogfight sticker on the opposing spoke…

Limited Voltex steering wheel on display with Ti bolts…

And a really clean cage set up in the back. Lots of attention to detail here. I love it.

Cholo’s Varis Type R. He’s been putting a lot of work into his Type R and it’s coming together nicely. He’s the mastermind behind Esoteric and a lot of really cool and innovative designs – I just picked up his Sushi TE37 hoodie and I love it. They’re worth checking out!

In the booth – they had a ton of really cool shit for sale. Awesome designs and super clean. Cool to see some art I did for Cholo also printed as a sticker!

Had to get that shot. Thanks man!

Also really dope to see he displayed my coloring book on their table as well! I had met up with him the day after to give this last copy to him too!

Rafael’s bagged STI sedan on ZE40’s. Always good to see.

Evo wagon on ZE40’s. So good! I still need a wagon one day…

Civic Si on Gram Lights. Don’t see these too often. Pretty clean.

On the opposite side of Esoteric was the “Flawed” group, I believe. This wild widebody IS in purple was front and center. I feel like I saw this at Sunday School one of the years and it was red? Maybe I’m mistaken…

VIP LS430 – these will always have a special place in my heart and I always hope they’re built well. This one was pretty good!

A sick VIP Sienna – I’m not sure of the kit – bagged on Weds Kranze. This is more on the sport-VIP styling side which really hasn’t made it’s way over to North America yet but it’s big in Japan. But what isn’t big in Japan…

Officer of BI checking in… lol 🙂

Absolutely slammed RX7 in a marine/turquoise green.

Because rotary.

Slammed 3-series coupe on Advan TC’s.

Yolanda’s Ford Focus ST in the Redline Sorority group.

Wasn’t sure on the owner for this – but also in the Redline Sorority group. Orange Chaser – lots of these popping up lately too!

On the other side, a super clean Evo on SSR’s. Too good.

Maggie’s Golf R on RE30’s in the RS booth.

Blair’s Ford Fiesta ST wrapped in purple in the RS booth.

Also came by to check out some of the designs that I had made for the RS girls as well. These two peekers were really cool and I was excited to see them.

Jynelle’s Mazda Miata on MST wheels. Good job on getting those barrel’s clean 🙂

Justine’s FRS wrapped in a fluorescent green. This is the first time seeing in person myself and it turned out great. Also checked out the barrels on these and they check out. No BI ticket for you.

Alyssa’s bagged RS5 fluorescent orange PUR wheels. I tooned this a while back as well – a very beautiful build.

Brooke’s Infiniti Q60. I really love what Infiniti is doing with their designs lately. Lots of really clean lines.

Ruzz’s Focus RS. Sorry, I couldn’t get a better picture than this with the massive sign in front lol. Sometimes signs can be a good thing for judging but that’s about it.

Sue’s Ford Focus looking real clean. This was supposed to be her daily driver but now she says she needs a new daily driver. Story of our lives.

Bill’s S15. It sure has come a long way from the day he first got it. I recall saying to myself “it looks like he’s got a lot of work cut out for him” and would you look at that – he got a lot of work cut out. LOL

Really enjoy seeing this – lots of period-correct mods including the Super Advans. I’ve always loved these wheels but never had a car that would suit them.

Naturally, since Bill gave me the BI title, I had to honor him with a BI. They’re clean – just some unavoidable age marks on the inside. You did well, sir.

Really cool to see this widebody Evo X on some super deep dish Work Meister L1’s. Kinda sad it was tucked away in the corner, but also cool cause he got a nice corner all to himself. Super clean build – such perfection.

Daniel’s M3. If you’ve ever seen this in person, you’ll know how wild this build is. A long way back, it was much tamer than this but was still considered wild back then. Great execution on every front and the Advan livery is the icing on the cake.

Some really cool JDM vans came out to play yesterday as well. I really love these and I think there were at least 3 at the show that I counted. I need one.

Another M3 bagged with RGB underglow. Who woulda guessed RGB would go from PC’s to cars? I guess it makes sense LOL

Berry’s Varis widebody FRS all the way down from Edmonton. One of the first Varis widebodies I recall seeing years ago. Still in great condition and timeless!

An interesting build for sure. I didn’t have much time to take a look at it after taking this photo though…

I’m usually not a fan of funky lights and everything going on but this Civic was executed pretty flawlessly, in my opinion. The fitment, the wheels, the condition of the paint, the retrofit and LED’s – all done so well. I’m not sure if the wheels were brand new but well done on keeping those bad boys clean.

I’m a really big fan of these retrofits.

Perfectly clean wheels and perfect rim to fender fitment. I’m not a stancy boy but I can respect when it’s done well. It’s not an easy thing to do without wrecking shit along the way lol. Been there, done that…

There were also a lot of pretty cool trucks there. I still don’t know shit about trucks but can respect one with lots of effort put into it. I just found it was tough to get pictures of them cause the owners were literally always around them or standing by them the whole time! I get that you love your car/truck/whatever but stay back during the show! lol

Pretty clean G35 on some deep ass Work T5R 2P’s.

Simple yet effective STI on candy red Advan RG6’s. Some nice contrast with the new fluorescent yellow Brembo’s

Another Evo X on TE37 Saga’s in bronze.  Can’t go wrong…

A 370Z on some deep dish Work CR 2P. Still boggles my mind how wide of a set up the G’s and Z’s can fit under those stock bodies. I still want one…

A wild setup in this Supra… I was surprised by the amount of impeccable engine work being done on a lot of the rides this year. It’s not just about slapping in a 2JZ and impressing everyone anymore. It’s dope to see people spending money on the details that matter – shaving the bay, respraying, changing out the bolts to Ti or matching hardware. It’s just so reminiscent of my time in Chicago a few years back for Wek Fest. We’re catching up!

A shot of the Supra – tough with the mini Escalade in front but I get the purpose.

The lineup into Driven last the whole time I was there – granted, I was only there for about 2 hours… Waiting in that heat would be draining.

Don’t know what it is – I just took a picture of this because I’m a Red Bull fanboy lol.

Nate’s infamous Suzuki Carry. It’s been in a few shows the past few years and it never stops to amaze me. I also tooned this a while back for Nate, along with the rest of his fleet. Thanks for the support my dude!

Another VIP Sienna. Still one of the best van designs we’ve had to grace us in NA… Now all we need is the Vellfire… That’s a truck I’d spend a pretty penny on.

An absolutely dumped Audi A7 in the SPWC booth. So clean.

Continuing the SPWC booth… VW R32 MK4 on BBS’s. Love that blue.

Paul’s Accord Wagon also accompanying SPWC. Always a pleasure to see this thing around.

Jay’s bagged VW Jetta 1.8T on some really unique Revolve 3 spoke wheels.

Don’t know what this is but it was bad ass. All these classic cars coming out is awesome to see. Adds some diversity to the mainly-import/euro driven scene.

This was my favourite part of the car. I love seeing a mix of modern enhancements on some oldschools.

Too good. The one thing the classic guys never get wrong is perfect paint and perfectly clean wheels. Every time.

Widebody bimmers – it’s either a love it or hate it kinda thing. Depends on if you’re a purist or not lol. I still dig it. I wish the molding was white as well to blend the seams in more but still nice.

Danny’s RS3 bagged on BBS’s. That red is perfect – still one of my favourite colors to photograph.

Xavier’s Mercedes W220 on custom monoblock OZ’s. SO good. I previously thought it couldn’t get much better than the Junction Produce Scara’s that it was previously on but this look is also a pretty tough competitor. Bravo!

Insert comment about clean truck that I don’t know anything about.

Continuing the trend of wide ass wheels on the G-body. This time on a G37. LOOK at that fitment. Phewwww

Tracy’s VW R32 still sporting the tiffany green colorway but I think now without the classic Adidas livery she had on in previous years.

Perfect paint – check.

Clean ass wheels – check. If you look closely, I’m sure you can probably even see what kind of shoes I’m wearing. LOL

Sick interior – check.

It’s one thing to see a Porsche in pictures but the presence of one in person is actually heavy. I mean, it’s just something you have to stand and look at for a while because it’s just so perfect.

Rob’s M3 also looking super clean. Rob and I occasionally reach out to each other about detailing tips and ideas to keep our rides looking as good as they can. It may be white, but it’s in immaculate condition as expected.

BI check – pass.

That moment when you taking photos and people come walk in front of you with their phone to take a better photo. Jealous.

Here’s my shitty version of this super clean Cayman.

Bags = awesome.

Another wagon making me want a wagon. Ugh. Clean RS6’s are hella hard to find…

More bags on euros. Can’t get enough.

And another. Not too many modded TT’s around… I remember a loooong time ago when these first came out, I thought these were the tits. This one definitely still is.

An interesting build for this FRS. Lots of canard support rods…

I lowkey dig that metallic/reflective chrome tint. Don’t think I’d do it on my own car but man, if you style it right, it can look pretty dope. Sitting low on Meister 3P’s too… Bugeyes have long been my least favourite of all the Subaru front ends, but these last few years, some of you have been going hard with them and it’s finally growing on me. Nice black paint too 🙂

@DuggyB’s Nissan Kenmeri Skyline. Seriously one of the best of the show – these classic Nissan’s are of a rare breed and when you’re able to restore it back to a condition like this – man oh man…

Just so timeless…

Great wheel choice as well on the Equips…

Absolutely sick headlights. FUuuuuu

Is this a Chevrolet Caprice? Fuck, I don’t know. I just know it’s a Chevrolet Fucking Awesome.

OK I think this guy might win the BI award for the cleanest wheels at the show… Not to mention probably the hardest wheels to clean at the show too… BRAVO

Shawn’s bagged WRX in a Pistachio-colored wrap in the Custom Decals booth. Probably the first and only car I’ve seen in this color and nicely executed as well. Also sporting a similar color reflective tint.

This one was wild. I’m assuming it’s just an SI because I don’t believe it’s a Type R but I could be wrong. Definitely not something for everyone but I appreciate the work that was put into it. Interior also had a bunch of work done.

And on the opposite end – a black on black M3. So good.

Birdy’s StreetHunter Toyota Supra.

And his gold-wrapped Aimgain FRS. This thing has gone through a bunch of phases…

ARK Solus widebody IS – I think this was formerly (or still) dubbed the Killmonger? Still looks like it’s got  that theme going on.

Another G37 but even wider than the previous ones. That dish though.

This was a really cool RX7 coming from the Filthy booth. I overheard the guys saying it just needs to be lower but it would be undrivable. We all feel that.

And another widebody MK5 Supra from the Filthy group. These new Supras are really catching up to the MK4’s in terms of looks and styling. I have a feeling these are going to go down as another really iconic gen in another decade or two.

One of my favourites of the show was this almost half carbon widebody NSX. Those lines are just perfect. I’m not sure on the kit because I don’t have the money to venture onto google looking to know more about it. LOL

This Merc was absolutely CRAZY. I don’t think it was completed yet – given that the engine was sitting right beside it. But the matte black styling and red interior/accents is just perfect. It’s really hard lately to impress with matte black since it’s been done for so long but occasionally something like this comes along and you’re just like “shit”.

SO clean.

Sans engine

Would love to see this car completed…

No explanation needed for McLaren.

LB Works Maserati Gran Turismo in a matte blue.

Super clean Civic in the Garage 111 booth.

Dumped purple RSX . I think this one was bagged?

And a Civic SI on Work VS-KF’s right next to it in teal.

Not 100% sure on the color but I want to say this is Midori Green? I love this color – I think I’ve only ever seen it one other time on an EK. Super clean build.

Roel’s full Varis Civic Type R on TE37’s. I think that makes 2 Varis Type R’s locally?

Don’t see this Sorcery bumper too often. Nice to see it in red with Regas. Sometimes it’s a nice change from the more typical Voltex/J’s bumper.

Love this EK and everything about it – from the color to the TE37’s and fitment.

Spoon Civic Type R – cool to see in person. It never really grew on me because I felt like it was much too similar to the stock bumper and all they changed was the center piece with the paint scheme but up close, it’s pretty cool.

Another Varis STI Sedan.

This thing was crazy. I understand the reason for the roping but man, I wish that wasn’t there for a proper pic. When I had my FRS, I sometimes toyed with the idea of an engine swap but the headache and not to mention the deep pockets you need for something like this made me “nope” right out of there. I respect those that went all the way like this – too cool.

And that super clean engine bay too. Even moldings/caps to hide the strut bar tops.

Yellow Evo X on TE37’s. Simple and clean.

Line up of AWD with this WRX

And another Evo X to end the lineup…

Lots going on with this one – as you can see, the show really had it’s fair share of extremes and I get some rally-inspired looks here, but they really wanted some stancy pants and aero to boot…

Lincoln? That’s all I know. LOL

BI – Pass.

Over in the VIAIR booth – some dope ass bagged cars. I mean, there were plenty around in the show but these were top notch…

This LS was too dope. Love that cream color too – a little different from the usual VIP black or white.

The other thing about taking pics of trucks is that they’re so damn big that I have to stand further back so someone is bound to get in the way LOL

Seeing less and less 240’s in the shows lately but it’s nice when a mint one comes along. That paint was WET.

Seeing Miata’s like this makes me kind of want one. I don’t know if it’s just me but the Miata clique or group is kind of a quirky bunch – not in a bad way at all – but the way they mod their cars is just kind of off the beaten path and they’ve kind of developed this unique way of just slamming the shit out of them with cool wheels and crazy camber and then just adding these interesting little touches that make them stand out a bit more. That, and the fact that Miata’s kind of always look like goofy little characters with the pop up headlights and mouth-like bumper… They’re so fucking cool lol.

They can even pull of literally any color. LOL

Guess I’m looking for a Miata now…

Clean Taco.

A really cool vert with some really good fitment.

Tight. Literally.

Xenia’s RX7 in the 33ten booth. Another chassis that’s tough to find and done up nicely…

A pretty unmolested (on the outside) MR2 on BBS’s… On the inside, it has an Audi 4.2 V8 swapped in. Sleeper status…

Another JDM Odyssey!!! Man, these are so freaking dope!!

Rocket Bunny RX7 in the 33Ten booth on Work Meisters. A fan favourite at the shows…

Pandem widebody FRS on deep dish TE37’s. I’m getting used to the bolt on widebodies and I think it’s because people are really putting them together a lot better than they were in years past…

S15 sitting low and tight…

I think this was one of two cars at the show with some anime-inspired livery…

From Riddle Joker? I think…

Varis STI in the VEX booth… Man, there’s a lot of Varis STI/Evo’s out here. It’s crazy!

One of the track FRS’s from VEX. This one hauls some ass, I hear…

Yellow Lotus. Not much needs to be done to this to make it cool…

Guess what?! Anotha wun lol

Ryan’s RX7 from VEX. Freshly painted by the man himself – Nick Prah…

I’ll never not take a picture of Nick’s RX7. If there’s a car people don’t see enough of, it’s Nick’s. His paintwork is absolute perfection and he’s the only one I trust to paint any of my parts. After he finished work on my Arise kit for the FRS a few years back, he had won my loyalty.

Granted, I don’t think he drives this much but it just gives off this aura that you know this car is something else…

I never forget to take pics of that fade on the mirror either… Congrats on one of the wins, sir!

And to end the trio of the RX7 line up…

One of the main reasons I came to the show was just to check out the guys at Tuner Decals and their booth. They had asked if they could sell some of my designs alongside theirs and I was honored at the opportunity.

As I mentioned above, these guys have been instrumental in my success with Jtooned.co. If anything, they were one of the reasons I started dabbling in the decal side of things outside of the toons and digital art that I do. Not only do they make stickers, they’re extremely talented artists that create at an exceptionally high level. I really admire other artists that work from the ground up and create original pieces of art rather than just snipping art from google and gluing it together to create their own meme pieces or try to create another design from one that already exists. That’s kind of where I try to come from when I create my designs – sure, everyone and their mom these days can create peekers, but how do you create a design that’s different from the rest? That’s the hard part.

This – as hilarious as it is – is an example of being innovative and really trying to curve the landscape. This is one of the stickers I had to buy because every time I look at it, I lol inside.

They even printed me a sign cry face

Just wanted to give them a quick shout out again for allowing my designs to be a part of their space. I hope some of you were able to go and check them out – they remade some of the designs that sold out quickly when I launched them such as F1 and ASIMO. I saw some of you tag me that you were able to get them, so I’m glad!

BN Sports Chaser…

A pretty cool S14 with that retrofit I love so much lol. I think those come from Acura’s headlights?

They must be the jewel ones… But correct me if I’m wrong…

Zeeshan’s R34 GTR. Still looking clean everytime I see it.

R32 on Nismo’s….

David’s S15 on Work VS-XX’s. A while ago, he had an accident in his yellow/orange Rocket Bunny S15 and so he’s starting anew. I’m excited to see how this one turns out – he’s already made some pretty good progress here.

Another fucking Miata that makes me want one. SO COOL.

RB 240SX…

Matte grey Chaser…

Another favourite of the show – I’m sure for many. This R34 GTR on black TE37’s. Quite the timeless and legendary look for this era GTR…

I’m not going to say it.

Yes, I am. Another Varis Evo X but this time on Advan GT’s ( > TE37).

Fight me.

Aaron’s R32 Skyline – still looking great as ever. Not much has changed in the last few years aesthetically for his car but at the same time, I don’t think much needs to. Why fix what ain’t broke?

Another sick bug eye.

I don’t know. Just fucking cool.

LS400 on Bazreia’s!!! One of my favourite VIP-style wheels…

Silvia!!

Over in the back corner sat some really mint oldschool Honda’s like this Accord…

Bagged SC300… Not a platform you see modded too often either. Sometimes it’s refreshing to see someone play around with a chassis that people don’t always flock towards.

Tiegan’s Type R with her Nero Claudius livery… She always went on to win an award that day – congrats on that win!

BI check. She mentioned she cleaned her wheels as best as she could. Looks like a pass but if I zoom in, I can see some dust. I’ll let it go. Lucky break LOL.

Also had to go around and take a shot of the Nezuko peeker. Thanks for the support!!

Yes. Just yes.

Clean Civic on Work CR Kai’s. I miss the days when work didn’t mess with their wheel names to confuse everyone LOL.

I was both super surprised and happy to see Andrew’s IS-F here at the show. Aimgain kit, on one of the (I always say it) most underrated wheel brands in the VIP scene and now fucking bagged on T-Demand suspension parts. The LITERAL dream for me for a VIP build and this man has gone and done it, you son of a bitch… GOOD JOB. It looks fucking fantastic.

That tuck though. ughhhhhhh

Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

And if you’re anyone who knows anything about VIP, you’ll know that T-Demand is like the Rolls Royce of it all. Just some baller ass shit that I dreamed of having back in my VIP days. I don’t think I’ll get there again but I’ll live vicariously through Andrew. Well fucking done.

I mean, this was worth taking a shot of. You can see there was obviously effort here and I think that deserves some recognition. Some of it even looking like home-made parts. I vibe with it because it’s not something that’s easy to do…

And of all the things I ended with, I leave you with this bad ass dumped truck.

Overall – a pretty decent show. Yes, there were a lot of cars that I didn’t photograph. Gone are the days of photographing every car just for the sake of having a photo of every car. Again, if you don’t see your car here – I just don’t have it for one reason or another. I think when you sort through the sea of noise that were entered to fill a spot, this ended up being a decent show. People are really stepping up their game in terms of making sure that they get real parts – I think I said this in the past as well but I’d rather see every car on TE37’s than Rotas, no matter how played out they would be. Remember, don’t fake it till you make it.

That’s all folks!

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.

LS-swapped

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

Boosted

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.

Voila.

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