The Return of BIGNJPN: Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline – Round 2

It’s been a few weeks now since I shot Giuseppe’s Skyline again with Diana, JC, and Punit – this would now be the second year in a row that I’ve shot Giuseppe’s car – and I’ll tell you right now that this isn’t a bad thing. I’m pretty sure I mentioned it in my last post with his photoshoot, but I would gladly shoot his car at the drop of a dime because it’s just that good.

Oh, and for those of you who haven’t happened to see the last shoot, check it here:

Anyway, the reason I’ve been holding out on the shoot is because the shoot is originally for Farm of Minds (which you can also check out here – I just wanted to give them the chance at posting it first before I posted up my own rendition of the photoshoot. The difference is more that I have a lot of the back end story, behind the scenes, etc rather than a spec list and full fledged feature. It’s not my style anymore… Plus, I enjoy doing the back story edition 🙂

I know Giuseppe has been DYING to see the pictures. I would send him edited teaser pics from my monitor so he wouldn’t have full res shots. I’m the type of guy that goes for a photoshoot and probably has the pictures done the same night with the full post up the following night. Even for me, I was anxious to share the pictures with all of you. Anyway, you all probably know about Giuseppe’s Skyline… And if you didn’t, now you do. Let’s get on with it…

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Diana and I carpooled with JC just so it was easier to get everywhere.

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While waiting for Giuseppe, I just took some randoms.

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JC didn’t want anything to do with it…

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As we were waiting, the train came passing by and at that moment, I was wishing Giuseppe was around to get some snaps. He actually did end up showing up at the right time, parked quickly and let me get some shots. As I’m writing this, I’m wondering why I didn’t edit any… But I’ll save it for the “winter blues” post when all the fluffy, cold white stuff starts taking over…

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We moved on and finally got to work on the actual subject. As always, it’s not hard to make Giuseppe’s car look good. If anything, his car makes my pictures look good…

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Looks like it came right off the showroom…

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The difference in this shoot was that Giuseppe asked for it to be a night time shoot. I was down for a challenge since the last time I shot at night was years ago. We met up a little earlier – as you can see – so that I could capture some sunset shots…

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It’s almost like we were in Japan in this shot. So JDM…

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That bright red Bride bucket…

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Heading over to the next spot… I love shots like these…

As I said above, this would be the first time I’ve done a night shoot in a few years. And since it would be a few hours until sundown, this would’ve been one of the longest photoshoots we’ve had. So I took the opportunity to take some more “journalistic” looking photos and you’ll see some throughout the post. This is one of them…

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You’ll see those wide SSR’s under the flares from last post, but you’ll also spot his biggest and newest addition in this photo as well…

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Ohh la la

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But wait! A wild Punit appears…

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Just some engine bay shots…

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Giuseppe made a point to clean the engine this time 🙂

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And an overhead shot of the power plant.

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We made our way up to one of the parkades to get some shots over-looking the smoggy YYC downtown backdrop. This shoot was around the time that Washington had the crazy fires and everyone up North had a very smoggy few days…

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That doesn’t really stop Giuseppe’s car from shining through though. The downtown office lights start to shine nicely as it gets darker…


One challenge in particular when shooting around this time is that you get two very distinct and nice tones. Either the cool, blue tone or a warm, yellow tone. The few photos above this one is where I picked the cooler tone. The photos you’ll see on Farm of Minds for the next several photos also took that same approach. I decided to sit down and re-edit a few using the warm tone… Both look good, and I couldn’t decide which ones I liked better…


Sorry – enough about photo blabber. Back to Giuseppe’s car… If you hadn’t guessed it, his newest addition was the Rocket Bunny rear diffuser that Giuseppe retrofitted on. Looks great!


A side view of the diffuser. Giuseppe is a great example of bringing in quality parts and putting a ton of thought and even chance into retrofitting them onto his car… And each time, he executes beautifully. There are other parts you’ll notice that you probably don’t usually see on R32’s – that’s why Giuseppe’s car is so great.

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Loved this shot with the Calgary Tower chillin’ in the back and all the office lights…

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A similar shot zoomed out slightly with a cooler tone to it…

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As we moved down the parkade, I took a few more shots with the typical “parkade lights” and they show the lines of Giuseppe’s R32 nicely.

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In between the last shot and this one, we were confronted by the mighty security guard of the parkade and he told us to hurry up and leave. Kind of dumb because we obviously weren’t doing much… Plus, we paid to get in. Ah well… I got the shot!

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Just a few rolling shots as per usual.

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Mother nature

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Down low. Looks like Hong Kong in the back…

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The night falls upon us… The challenge begins.

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Giuseppe mentioned that one of the spots he’s always wanted to park and get a picture of was under the Core’s overpass in front of Holt Renfrew. I proceeded to tell him to get in line, because everyone and their mom wants a shot there… Specifically, they want a shot in front of Louis Vuitton.

Fortunately, I didn’t turn him down and agreed to get the shot for him. It actually requires a bunch of “right timing” and coordination with a bunch of people. First, it needs to be late so that the valet doesn’t come kick you out. Second, the amount of people needs to be minimal or else they’ll get in the way. Third, a spot needs to be available while another driver drops me off on the other side of the street. And finally, you need to take the best damn shot you can because cars are passing continuously.

Anyway, we didn’t get Louis Vuitton, but we got the main entrance, and we got Hermes. Good enough!

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Some shots that didn’t really turn out how I liked, but once I edited them a certain way, they looked real dark and gritty. Totz cool.

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Here’s Giuseppe backing up into the spot you saw above. That truck was the one that got in the way of Louis Vuitton you can see there as well…

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As we were rolling out of there, I popped my head out of the car and snapped a few quick shots of Giuseppe following behind. This was on Stephen Ave – hence the cool lights on the ground and posts all around.

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Heading out for some night rollers…

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A scene from Fast & the Furious.

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Another dark and gritty shot.

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Through downtown, I got a few shots that worked nicely.

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Check that rearview mirror reflection on Giuseppe’s eyes. Means business.

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And one last one through downtown.

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We ended up at a spot JC had been talking about all night and then we found a spot to drive up onto the side walk and take some dope shots. Long exposure, super small aperture, and you get awesome skies, twinkling lights and nothing but shine…

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Loved this shot too. Kind of like the rolling shot above during the day, it looks almost like a Hong Kong city skyline. (or Japan – whatever you please…)

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And one last one over by some cool lights on a wooden walk way…

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And one last shot – which probably ended up being one of my favourite shots – was this one along Memorial Drive. Giuseppe and I were talking and it reminded the both of us of a shot a few years ago of a yellow R32 that was featured on Stance Nation. That shot ended up being one of my backgrounds during my early photographer years. Little did I know, I’d end up recreating it with Giuseppe’s car almost 6 years later.

Anyway – hope you guys enjoyed! Sorry for the lack of content lately… Weather has sucked lately so I haven’t done anything cool. Hopefully I have some updates soon!

Giuseppe’s Nissan Skyline Edit

I wouldn’t normally post up so many before and after pictures but I was pretty excited about this one.

Giuseppe has been wanting a canvas print of a shot I took during out photoshoot this summer for his new house. We’ve been going back and forth between sizes and he’s had some issues with his house that put this on the back burner until last night when he was ready to pull the trigger.

He ended up picking one of many of my favourite shots that day and I really wanted it to look extremely clean for a canvas wrap. I spent a few hours last night cleaning up and making sure it was good to go before sending it his way for final approval. This is a perfect example of where the time it takes to edit is really what you’re paying for. Taking the picture is 20% of the work while editing is where the magic happens and I thought this would be a perfect example of that.

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The before picture. Again, all I’ve added was my watermark.

The white balance is off because we were in the tunnel, the reflection of Aldrich’s car is across his whole car and there are a few other little things that can be a small distraction. The last thing I’m sure Giuseppe wants is a reflection of someone else’s car, an orange/yellow hue, and switches and pipes all over the place.

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So let’s fix that up for him. The white balance has been adjusted to help make Giuseppe’s car pop like it really does, I took Aldrich’s car out of the mix, I removed the pipes and switches on the walls, brought his brakes out a little more, and lit that tunnel up a tad to – I quote Giuseppe – make it look like a million bucks.

The part that took the longest was actually getting Rich’s car out of the reflection. It’s particularly more difficult to do on a metallic car (so most cars) because you need to get the grain, the texture, and the lighting all right. Those that do rig shots understand the pain… You have to clone the whole door but you only have a little piece of reference on the car to work with. Dodging and burning help bring out the details as well.

The rest of the credit goes to Giuseppe for building an amazing looking car to begin with. I can’t wait to see the finished product and hanging in your house, Giuseppe!


Raj’s Nissan Skyline: Better in Black

Last Sunday was probably the nicest day we’ve had all year so far… Beautiful skies and awesome sun make for a good day.

Shortly after posting Giuseppe’s Skyline, Raj had contacted me to shoot his Skyline as well, and this coming weekend there may be one more Skyline in the books. So this may very well be the only time I would be shooting three in a row… So if you like them Skylines, you’re in the right place. Raj’s car is on the other end of the spectrum of Giuseppe’s though – both nice cars – but two different styles. Raj’s Skyline is more on the subtle and simple side of things. It keeps things interesting around here.

Raj actually wanted a shoot because he is wanting to sell the car soon. Side note: lots of the cars that I shoot end up going up for sale shortly after or are being parted out… Not sure why, perhaps it’s cause they always want one last shoot like Raj or my camera is the camera of death for cars LOL! Either way, at least I am able to get the last few shots of the cars before they move on.

Onto the pictures!

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I think this will be a new tradition of mine – starting each post off with a rolling shot. I posted this on Instagram last Sunday and like my caption read – we had epic skies and clouds that day. Love it.

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Met up with JC of course… His car is always clean somehow…

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And my always dirty car… I apologize I can never get a clean pic of it because: 1) my driveway got poured almost two weeks ago so it has to sit outside in all the rain we’ve had. 2) I’m too lazy. LOL

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We met at the old St. Louis Hotel near East Village. It’s closed now but check how tiny that place is… Curious to go in there and take a look.

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Raj and Leslie showed up shortly after and we got to it. My first couple shots are always warm up shots. Takes a while until I really get into it but I was pretty happy with where we were headed.

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This shot was actually supposed to be straight on but as soon as Raj parked the car, a bus full of (very nice) hipsters parked right in front my shooting area. Literally a mini bangbus with hipsters jammed inside and they asked if I wanted to shoot the van. I declined but in retrospect – I should’ve at least taken one shot cause it was pretty awesome.

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Headed underground to try out some shots since we haven’t shot in a parkade for a while.

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And back outside – I’m not a fan of artificial light unless I can control it. Although I have no control over natural light either, it just looks better to me. Raj’s Skyline – especially in black – looks better with reflections.

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My favourite view of most cars – especially with meaty rear tires.

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Super clean and simple.

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Body is still clean and in good condition.

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One of my favourite wings on an R32.

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One last static shot before moving onto the rollers!

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JC finally cleaned his damn mirrors… Looks like he read my last post…

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Diana pretending to be unimpressed with how the rollers turned out. Mediocre acting skills, Diana…

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Warm up shot on the bridge.

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A sloppy one but if this had turned out a little sharper, it would’ve been nice. Check JC’s rear tuck. Da-opeee

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Now more serious shots. Like I said – the sky was awesome that day and it made for great reflections on black.

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Another one through the trees.

And that’s a wrap! Perhaps if Raj sells his car, you’ll still see it around somewhere… Anddddd if we’re lucky, I’ll have one more Skyline post this weekend for you and then some. My plan is to bang out 2-3 shoots this weekend so I’ll have lots of stuff next week I hope!

2012 Wrap Up – Part IX

This will probably be the last wrap up post. There’s no point in wrapping up what just happened in the last few weeks.
This was pretty much the end of summer. chilly nights and mornings, breezy days, cars were getting put away again. We managed to get some shoots in here and there when we were up for braving the cold weather.

After this, we’ll be going back to our normal broadcasting schedule. It’ll be slow around here for the next few weeks with me being gone in Vegas next week and then Christmas right when I get back. I’ll try my best to post what I can, but when the new year comes I’ll be back in full force!…. Hopefully. lol

Anyways time to wrap this up.
The illmotion Sunday School video was finally finished.

iM Film: illmotion Show & Shine 2012 from illmotion on Vimeo.

This was the coldest shoot I did all year. Finally got around to shooting Eric’s 240 before he put it away for winter. Running around in the freezing cold shooting pics is not easy, and rolling shots are even harder lol. But we got ‘er done and it turned out great.

Inside the shop getting ready to go. Rich is being a creep.

Getting ready to go.

On the way to deerfoot. Getting some rollers.

Off ramp to Deerfoot. You can see Rich’s new Advan RG’s too.

At the location it was perfectly smooth pavement. When we were finishing up, we all sat in Rich’s car and knew he couldn’t resist…

This is how low he actually is. His kit drags on the ground everywhere. Pretty gangster.

And finally – my favourite shot of the night. You get so used to shooting perfectly clean cars that all the drift damage and zipties adds enough character to make it look bad ass.

Did another round in Richard’s FRS after he had broken it in. The first time I took it out, we took it easy. Also shot it with JC’s corolla 🙂

At Richard’s house.

We went to go for a quick car wash before we took some shots.

Into the carwash…

Waiting around. It was cold as F

A quick roller. Always.

A random shot of JC’s fifty shades of grey stick haha

Looks kind of like a Forza shot. I hate the wheels that come on these so much. It’s like they put all their effort into the design of the car and then said “let’s put the ugliest wheels on this. And to top it off, let’s make it a 5×100 bolt pattern”. *FACEPALM*

Last shot. FR-S and Corolla together. It’s like the Corolla’s step brother.

We were lucky that we had a few nice days here and there so we took the opportunity to shoot Ricky and Adam’s car all in one day. Both sick cars that I’ve been wanting to shoot but never get around to. The thing with us is that we hang out all the time, but we never shoot each others cars. Either because we always see each other and never think about it, or because we’re looking for something fresh and new to shoot. But when we do finally get around to it, it’s always sick.

Once again – we meet at our chill spot. I showed up and Ricky was already waiting. I am driving my Civic now cause the STI is parked and it’s so brutal driving around with everyone in it. I don’t actually miss driving the STI (yet), but I do hate driving around in the winter car while everyone else is still driving around in summer mode. I’m like the ugly duckling in the pack when we drive around… It’s so sad.

Look at that spectrum silver.

Adam finally showed up. He was actually there but he was lost and ended up driving by us so many times never bothering to look the other direction. Ricky and I were standing there laughing at him because he was driving so slow and still missed us. hahahaha

A nice shot of his car.

We ended up at Oceana and Q. Haute. Getting in he scraped a bit, and it’s usually more difficult to get out than it is to get in. JC, Ricky and I all made bets that something would break off coming out. Unfortunately, nothing scraped and we all ended up being disappointed. LOL

We went for some rolling shots and ended up turning off somewhere and made our way into a parking lot. This bad ass M3 was parked all by its lonesome. We saw it from the road and when I saw that it had one of my favourite wheels on – BBS FI’s, I wanted to take a few shots. This has to be one of the nicest and cleanest M3’s in the city.

White Brembos.

And the obligatory rolling shot.

On our way to do rolling shots, of course!

Check out the symmetry. lol

Another shot of the spectrum silver. It’s rare to get a glimpse of how it actually looks. Most of the time it’s just gunmetal, but if you’re lucky and catch him driving by in the sun, you get to see this.

The most depressing time of the year for me is when I have to put the car away. Regardless of whether or not I’m bored of it – it just sucks knowing you have to go back to driving your winter beater and that the cold is coming. At this point though, I had the intention of finding a new car.

Still dirty. When I took this pic, I was really just so lazy that I almost walked back inside and left it till next week.

Most of it cleaned. Wheels and barrels all washed up. Interior all done. Exterior all done. All that was next was to remove the bumper.

After a few pain in the ass clips, I got it off. The reason I took it off was because I had cracked the lip a few months back when it was still dumped. I was careless and the lip smacked the driveway and needless to say, it’s been needing some TLC.

Looks gangster without a bumper lol

Bumper off. Next up was to remove the lip from the bumper. T_T

After a few bolts, the lip came off easily.

If you look, you can see two cracks. The first one is right where the lip begins to go straight. Upon further inspection, the lip was actually split all the way down and under. The biggest one was right in front of that second hold in the picture. It literally came apart. I ended up sanding it down and epoxy-ing it together until winter. It ended up holding quite nicely, but it could be better.

Parked away in the corner it shall stay for the next 5+ months and battery removed.

Now that I look at it, I guess it gives me a chance to install some hella horns…

The plate hangs once again.

Bags of bolts. I know it’s kind of lame, but I labeled and even drew the bumper out so I knew where the bolts would go. Right now I know it’s simple enough to remember, but 6 months down the road, I’ll probably be like “uh…” hahaha JUST INCASE

There they are…

Another sick shoot we got to do was of TJ’s R32. I’ve never really seen many R32’s around and if I have, they were stock. TJ’s was just so mint and nice to shoot for two reasons. It was brand new to me – I had never met TJ until that day and shooting colored cars is awesome. Most cars I shoot are black or white lol.

This location had to be one of the best locations I’ve ever used. It was in some rich people area lol. When TJ had got his car positioned, a guy came out and we were asking if it was OK to shoot quickly. He just kept walking towards us and we all thought we were going to die – I’m not even joking lol. Anyways, he went on to say something about it being some other person’s house but then he told us it was his… anyways, we got our shots and got out of there pretty quick lol. Well worth it.


JC’s feature was finally up on illmotion. A trend that we’ve noticed is that whenever someone gets an illmotion feature – they get rid of the car and move on. illmotion curse? haha

I’ll just post it all with the write up and everything.
Here’s the link to the illmotion feature
iM Feature: JC’s Toyota Corolla XRS

Here’s the link to when I first posted a pic after the shoot:
Sneak-a-peak – JC’s Corolla

The one thing about JC’s Corolla is that it’s different, whether you hate it or love it – you can’t really deny that he’s gone the road less traveled. For most of us, the first cars that we might think of modifying are Civics, RSX’s, Impreza’s, Lancers, S2000’s – but I’ll be honest, The Corolla, aside from the late AE86 is not a platform that comes to mind right off the bat. But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s cars like this and people like JC that bring a little flavour to the scene.

An S2000 will always be sick but it seems like it has been done in every possible combination that it’s difficult to make it unique. Civic’s are in the same boat. The thing with those cars is that you really have to go above and beyond what everybody else is doing and do it better. But that’s the good thing about it all – once in a while, you see something totally different that nobody ever thought of and wonder why it didn’t happen sooner. People are always thinking outside of the box but not following through. But that might be the problem – outside-of-the-box thinking will always get you criticism and dare I say, hate. Everybody is so scared of the internet and its gang of keyboard warriors that what “could be” a great idea never actually happens.

Anyways back to JC’s Corolla. While I can honestly say that the Corolla would’ve never been my first choice, JC has really changed the way I see them. While I am an “over the top” kind of guy when modifying my cars – JC’s simple and functional attitude does help me respect the finer things in cars like his. “Less is more” is the only way of describing his car because less is really all you need in this case. An easy way to describe it is “Damn” – the kind of “Damn” that means two things:

1) Damn, that looks crazy.

2) Damn, and he did it to a Corolla.

Props to you, JC for going against the grain and building what you see fit. An example of a combination of quality products, simple taste, and a vision of what the total package should look like. We need more innovation in the scene – not in the products we buy, but in the way we put them together.

Thinking back – the way that JC’s Corolla sits now has been from a bunch of lengthy discussion and debates. I’m even guilty of telling him that I didn’t agree with what he wanted to do and even to remove or add certain things. At the end of the day he goes ahead his own way and takes my opinion with a grain of salt. Even after all that – he still asks for my opinion lol. But that’s how it should be, opinions are just opinions.

VS-XX – classy.

Still blows my mind looking at this picture. A mix of VIP and a car that wants to be a sport coupe.

Cruisin’ downtown Calgary

Boom! Another one in the bag.

The day that I’ve been waiting for finally came! Corey finished the video that he shot a while back and it turned out sick.
Peep it here if you haven’t seen it already.
Thanks again to Corey for doing the great video work. Love it.

iM Film: Jason’s Subaru Impreza WRX STI from illmotion on Vimeo.

I was getting ready to put the STI up for sale – but I had to put it back to stock first. Kind of weird to see it back to stock since I hated how it looked stock.
People still ask me why I sold it and the only reason I can think of is that I was bored of it.
I actually got a call a few nights ago asking if the car sold. He was pretty bummed and was shocked I had it up for sale so quickly.

I explained to him that it was a fun car to drive but at the end of the day, I felt that it was just an overpriced turbo 4-banger. Don’t get me wrong, the STI is an awesome car but I probably wouldn’t pay so much for it if I had to do it again. The interior has pretty much stayed the same for years with nothing really exciting. The suspension gets tweaked a bit, but I end up changing it out anyway. The engine is practically the same every year. So really, the only thing that changes is the exterior.

I get bored of things quick if it’s not exciting enough for long periods of time. You get into the car and it’s nothing spectacular – it’s plastic-y and the only cool things were my seat and shift knob which I had to pay for after the fact lol. Maybe that’s why I settled on the LS…

Anyways… pics of it going back to stock.

The stock wing. Minty. But not gt enough. LOL

The last time you guys will see it like this

Bye bye

Wing off

Stock wing back on. Looks so weird to me.

Weird. But still good

Next up was the seat. Easy

Came out in 5 minutes.

OG stickers coming off.

Then this son of a b**** took a little longer. It’s like 80lbs. Jesus.

Interior back to stock

And this is what I have for sale if anyone is interested. Email me.

Anyways – the rest of the posts for October was for my obsession with the 370z. I mean, I’d still like one but at the moment I’m pretty happy with the LS purchase and I’m stoked to get started on it. Maybe when I have my midlife crisis, I’ll get it. But by then, something new will probably be out again haha

AND that’s a wrap for 2012! Super long posts. It was cool looking back, hopefully everyone can hold out for 4 more months until summer comes again. I get the feeling that this summer is going to be even crazier than this year in terms of everyone’s cars and plans. Stepping it up year after year – what I love to see.
It’s exciting to be surrounded by people that only want the best of the best. There isn’t any cutting corners or doing hype shit like sticker bombing lips.

More notably – a few builds to watch for next year is Ricky’s GTI, JC’s CT200h and quite possibly, Punit’s GS. Ricky is really pushing the VW scene here and the VIP scene is coming slowly.

***End October/Part IX***