Office Addition: Recaro RS-GS

After months of searching for the seat and countless hours of scouring Yahoo Japan auctions, classifieds, distributors, and everything else in-between, I was finally able to score the seat I’ve been looking for.

I’ve been following Genius Street Race Shop on Instagram for a while and they were selling some awesome products but to be honest, I just wasn’t sure if it was legit. Especially when they’re selling exclusively on Instagram. There’s no review sites, there’s no way of telling if they’re real but they did post when a customer received their products. Finally, I decided to message him to just ask if he had a black RS-GS in stock. With the way things were going, I was fully expecting him to tell me “nope, sorry”. But within minutes, he replied back and said he had it in, sent me a bunch of pics whenever I asked for them and even offered alternatives if I wanted them. The one thing that’s hard to tell in pictures is the condition. He assured me that it was 9.5/10 but how often is a seat like this in 9.5/10 condition?

I ended up biting the bullet after asking Alex about his experiences with them and about 3 weeks later, here it is. I’ll tell you all right now that the seat is literally 9.8/10. The 0.2 is just so minimal that this seat could probably pass as new. The fact that they’re selling at such an incredible price with free shipping (no duties, brokerage, taxes either), it’s hard to say no.

Anyway, as soon as I placed the order, I also spoke with Jimmy over at VEX for a Bride rail to get the seat in as soon as it landed. Within a day, Jimmy had the rail in and it was ready and waiting.

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Sorry for the shitty pics. I was too excited to get this seat in as soon as I got home from work. I don’t think I’ve ever checked a tracking number that many times in a day before.

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Some of you will think that it looks worn by looking at the pics. It truly isn’t. It’s the way that the Kamui fabric looks when you rub it a certain way. You know how when you rub suede one way it looks darker and when you swipe it the other way, it gets light again? Same thing.

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After a small hiccup with the dumb bolt that holds the stock rail in place and the help of Jackie at Balance Auto Garage, I was able to get the bolt out and get the new seat in. The Kamui fabric is pretty much a hardier version of Alcantara. It feels nice and not like cheap cloth like I had in my Bride Zeta in my STI. The foam is nice and firm and is comfy enough to sit in for extended periods of time.

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This will keep me happy for a little while longer with the interior. I would still like to eventually get a cage in and some harness and maybe a different seat for the passenger side. But for now, this is perfect. The RS-GS sits perfectly in the car and super low thanks to the Bride rail. Honestly, of all the seats I’ve sat in, this one probably feels the best. It’s solid and there’s a great amount of lumbar support as well as good cushioning under the leg and around your shoulders/lats.

I mean, I think a big part of why it fits me so well is because I’m not a huge guy and the seat was made specifically for the Japanese market according to Recaro – in other words – for small Asian people. LOL

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Anyway… Another awesome addition to make me want to get up in the morning and get to work for another few weeks… It’s almost parking time! I need to get out one more time and cruise or do photos!

Down N’ Out: Benji’s Bagged & Boosted TSX

The time has come!!

Finally getting around to having Benji’s TSX up and I’m pretty stoked on this mainly because I’ve been itching to shoot it since he came to Calgary for Driven a few weeks back. When JC had originally told me that a few guys from Winnipeg were coming and sent me a pic of Benji’s car, I scoffed at the idea in my head mainly because I didn’t believe anyone from Winnipeg would drive 12ish hours to come to Calgary for a car show. Lo and behold – they did, and they were crowd-pleasers at the show, without a doubt.

Benji’s car has an extensive amount of work done to it – inside and out and it’s show car quality, but it doesn’t come without it’s consequences, unfortunately. In Alberta, there are little things that we take for granted that doesn’t go over so well with the police out in Manitoba. To quickly run it down, anything modified from stock is not allowed – plain and simple. Things like HID’s, suspension and clearance, interior pieces missing, etc – all the things that all us racers love to change and remove will net you a ticket (or many of them) and another inspection to make sure you’ve complied.

The night before the shoot, we were talking about getting ready for the shoot – time, place, etc. Late that night, around 10 or 11PM, JC got a text from Benji saying he got pulled over and was getting a bunch of tickets for his modified vehicle. Once this happens, you technically shouldn’t be driving it until you’ve gotten your inspection because you’re risking being pulled over again. Benji decided to take the risk and let me shoot it – which I’m thankful for because I doubt I’d have the same opportunity again. As I was shooting, I asked Benji about the tickets and he mentioned that the funny thing about the tickets and the law is that it says you can’t modify anything from stock, but the cops don’t know what “stock” is to begin with. One of Benji’s tickets ended up being “HID’s”… Well, we all know HID’s come stock on a TSX… How that battle will pan out is unknown to me…

Anyway, we did the shoot with no issues and then rushed off to the wedding to all get drunk together!

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We were having lunch at Moxie’s while Benji and Dan came a little later and waited for us. We rolled out shortly after…

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On the way to the Forks I tried my best to get as many rolling shots as I could but the streets were busy and there wasn’t much room. There are a few more below.

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Benji and JC lined up with us in the Van. We were ready to punch it and smoke him…

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A cool shot of one of the buildings at the Forks.

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The first location reminded me of Eau Claire back in Calgary. It was super bright out that day and not to mention, busy as hell.

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The first thing you’ll probably notice is the awesome colour – Porsche GT3RS grey. Looking real good on his TSX

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Up front is a massive Kraftwerks intercooler which hints at something pretty obvious under the hood as well.

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My favourite part (if you know me) is the Voltex wing fitted out back. It really carries the aggressiveness through to the back.

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Tucked all around are a set of matte black Advan RS-D’s.

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One more shot as we were leaving…

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One shot that we had to get quickly was on the suspension bridge.

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One more with the Forks building in the back.

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The next location was at the Investors Group Field – the new football stadium that opened in 2013. A nice spot to hide away from all that sun. But it’s a good shot of all that tuck he’s got going on.

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A closer shot of the ProjectMu BBK behind the RS-D’s. The ProjectMu teal really makes the car pop in combination with the GT3RS grey and subtle black tones. You may have noticed that Benji carries that teal colour combo all throughout the car as well.

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A few other details that I loved were the little titanium pieces Benji has added. I loved these titanium bolts that hold the endplates to the wing… I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same…

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Also replaced the bolts holding the wing stands down to the trunk with titanium.

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If you can’t read that – it says “Dannie Riel”. During Driven, Dannie was with the beyond.ca booth and she came over to our end and Benji got her to sign his trunk. Nice little momento – given that they are both from Winnipeg.

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Mugen visors – you can never go wrong.

IMG_0972 copyThere is no lack of attention to detail on the inside either – a pair of leather Recaro Sportster CS’s and Takata harnesses dominate the cockpit.

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Inside is his IG handle. Also a good look at how the interior carries the ProjectMu teal colour like I mentioned earlier – the two tone is money.

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Looks like Benji also got Dannie to bend over and sign the inside floor of his car too… (clean thoughts).

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A side profile shot – very aggressive.

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As you might have guessed, Benji is also on air – he’s got his tank and dual compressor set up mounted to the underside of the rear seat decks.

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A custom LED third brake light.

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Benji cleaning up the engine bay for some shots – he hadn’t cleaned it since he made the long drive back from Calgary and there were lots of dead bugs lol.

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Another titanium bolt.

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Inside, Benji brought some Spoon into the mix…

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A shot at the Kraftwerks set up… The colours used all throughout the car work surprisingly well when put together.

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Another shot of the Recaros and the gutted interior.

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One thing that you might have noticed is that he’s rocking a Spoon bumper up front – which is my favourite bumper for the TSX with the J’s Racing bumper following closely behind that. It fits nicely with his build and you don’t see too many Spoon-fitted TSX’s around…

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A closer shot out back with the Voltex Type 5 wing… And Dannie’s signature of course.

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And to end it off – a nice shot of the Winnipeg duo together.

The week has been crazy busy so I haven’t had time to shoot much more lately, but hopefully I’ll have something up soon! PS – if you’re looking for a shoot, let me know and we can book something! My camera is at your disposal πŸ™‚

Arif’s Honda Civic EK 2.0 – AKA Hollie

Hump day post!!

Last weekend we finally got out to shoot Arif’s car, and it was in the plan for a while but by Arif’s request, he wanted more of a “Fall-y” shoot so we waited a little longer until the leaves got a little more yellow and the weather was less “Summer-y” I guess you could say. Also wanted to give Arif a shoot because he hooked me up with the sweet JDM mirror for my FRS – so that just goes to show you if you buy me a mirror, you’ll get a photoshoot.

I think the last time I shot Arif’s car was wayyy back in 2009 or something like that when I also still had my Civic. He had just got his TE37’s, and I was really just getting into photography. Most will probably recognize his car because it’s been in the game for a long time and he’s changing pieces here and there to change it up every year. He’s one of the few that have stuck with the same platform and has built it up to something that everyone knows today. The only other person that comes to mind right now as I write this is Ryan O’Hara and his EP3 that I posted not too long ago.

But back to the point about Arif wanting a “Fall-y” shoot – I decided to try something a little different this time with the photos. When I shoot and edit, I usually try and stick to a natural look – meaning that I don’t really do much except maybe try and make the wheels pop a little more or clone out a sign if it’s distracting. Other than that, many of my photos are untouched because I am a fan of working as best as I can with the environment and light to get a good picture. That’s not to say that I’m not a fan of highly processed photos (not HDR) because that’s cool too… I just never tried to do it. Anyway, what I’ve done for this post is I’ve edited a few of the pictures twice – the first one you’ll see is straight from the camera in terms of colour, contrast, etc. The second picture I tried to go a little more processed – I “made” it look more like Fall, I enhanced the contrast and shadows while making the whites pop a little more. Keep in mind, I don’t usually do it and I want to try to see if I can go that route to see if it’s something that I like… But I thought I’d explain first before you scroll through the pics and wonder what the hell is going on.

Bonus pictures for Arif and his choosing too…

I’ll start with a shot from the last time his car was seen through my lens.

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White on white – TE37’s with the CTR wing on Paul @ Garage Box’s wing brackets/risers.

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And let’s bring it forward to today with some slight changes…

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The day started off with JC picking my ass up again. (Thanks sir)

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The same cockpit I take a picture of every photoshoot. The only difference is that he actually opened the Junction Produce Hello Kitty air freshener this time and it doesn’t smell as good as you’d expect… Oh well.

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While waiting in the lot for Arif to arrive, we decided to try and get some shots near the birds but they kept moving away as we got closer so that was a bust.

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Random shot. I like the look of the front bumper here.

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And off we go – Arif right behind us.

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So here is where the dual pictures will start. Let me know what you think of the before and after and which ones you like better!

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Arif has always <3’d the haters.

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A shot requested by Arif to send into Red Bull… Some Bokeh action.

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Side profile shot. I’m digging the look of the Seeker wing now even though I love the riser look on the CTR wing.

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More wheel pop. More Pumpkin Spice Latte colours.

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Candid.

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Here’s a good shot of another one of his new additions – newly retrofitted headlights which look quite good.

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More #PSL.

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Head on.

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I ended up liking this picture more and the more I look at them, the more I like the second, more processed pictures… Gives it a good look, especially on white.

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We decided to have a Instagram competition… Didn’t know what we were really competing on but we had one. Here we see a wild Arif furiously adding hashtags to his Instagram post.

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And over to your right, we see a wild JC picking the best filter for his photo.

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Then over here, because we’re in the middle of butt-fuck-nowhere, I’m trying to send my shit to Instagram and it’s not sending because I’m not on Canada’s largest network. Took me a good 5 minutes to send it.

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In the meantime, Arif has already got 5 likes, JC still can’t decide on a filter and I’m pissed because my shit won’t send.

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That’s not a fake sun BTW. I don’t do fake sun flares.

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I do enhance them though. I like this one more.

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JC still can’t pick a damn filter, Arif is reading all his hashtags and I’m wondering why the hell there’s no coverage out here.

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Interior shot.

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A close up look of his CE28’s

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With #PSL filter. (Kidding – I don’t call it that).

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By now, my picture sent and we were good to go. JC still hadn’t picked his filter.

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I like this shot and in both edits, it looks like his hood is Carbon-Kevlar, and it’s not so don’t be confused.

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Shot of his engine…

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Some work that Screamin’ Paintworks did for Arif a while back was get rid of the “D” and the “C” to make it say “OH VTEC”. Not something you would generally notice if you didn’t look carefully…

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Closer shot of the Seeker wing.

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With the edit…

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I was indifferent about this edit – but that doesn’t matter right now, look at Arif’s car.

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This shot just makes it look so warm… Which it was. This was also one of the last rolling shots down that strip. I got a few more but I decided not to post them just yet (sorry Arif) and I’ll save them for a little later… πŸ™‚

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On the way home, JC got the feels as we saw a kitted Corolla roll up but then we saw that it was clearly confused. Hard to tell in the picture but the tail lights looked like Swarovski’d out (which isn’t cool).

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Then we got in front and saw that he was trying to be like a Mazda 3 up front. Ah… I’ll never understand…

Happy hump day!

The Return: Punit’s Acura Integra

I think the most epic weekend for photoshoots happened this past Sunday for me. Based off of my previous post – I was banned from the house pretty much all day so I had to find something to do. Luckily JC wasn’t working and the rest of the gang were also game to show up. Also interesting because there was a diverse line up – super exciting. If you follow me on Instagram then you would’ve seen the line up… If not, then it’s going to be a good surprise for the upcoming shoots πŸ™‚

I’m juggling a lot of balls right now with the wedding since we’re just about a month away – to be honest though, I should start focusing more of my time and energy on finishing up that stuff rather than do photoshoots…….
Ha what the heck am I talking about? As long as I have my camera and a few free hours on the weekend, I’ll be shooting cars!

Anyway – the first shoot of the day was none other than Punit’s Acura Integra. If you recall my post of Punit’s Lexus GS450h, I mentioned that the last time I shot his Integra was years ago when I had first met him. Between now and then I’ve taken random shots of his Integra parked here and there but never a proper shoot and as I write this, I’m still wondering why I never got around to it.

The day has finally come though! Punit just recently finished up his Integra and brought it out for a long overdue photoshoot.

IMG_2088 copyI took Diana’s Fit because I had just polished and waxed the FRS and I didn’t want to ruin the finish because it was set to rain.

IMG_2090 copyAnd just when I thought I would’ve been the most stock car at this photoshoot, Derrick goes and brings his Corolla. He is currently working on an engine swap on his Integra so it was a legitimate reason to bring this.

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IMG_2093 copyPunit showed up shortly after and he had a level one decal to throw on before we started the shoot…

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Derrick and JC placing it appropriately.

IMG_2100 copyOf course Punit just sits in the damn car while we do all the work. Doesn’t even undo his seatbelt.

IMG_2103 copyFinally got it on… Most of the credit goes to Derrick lol

IMG_2106 copyAnd here we go… It’s been a while since I’ve had this through my lens.

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One of the biggest changes to Punit’s car is his new wheel set up. In particular – he’s now rocking a 5 lug conversion with a rare set of slightly concave white TE37’s. The set up is now more functional than his Regamasters were with the crazy camber and this set up is way better IMO.

IMG_2127 copyThe white on red looks awesome

IMG_2135 copyThe rear end hasn’t changed much. It’s still my favourite gen Mugen wing.

IMG_2146 copyBreaking necks and snapping iPhone pics

IMG_2147 copyPunit himself snapping some pics…

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IMG_2165 copyIf you take a closer look, you’ll see that the 5-lug conversion Punit went with also came with NSX brakes…

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IMG_2189 copyThe interior is also a little treat when you get inside. In the back you can see the S2000 cluster conversion…

IMG_2193 copyAnd if we take another closer look – you’ll see that his full hatch is carbon. A little attention to detail goes a long way if you know how to look for it.

IMG_2201 copyQuick shot filling up before moving onto the next location.

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IMG_2211 copyA closer look at his Te37’s and fitment. I love this look so much.

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IMG_2218 copyA quick shot of the full interior. Still looking mint.

IMG_2221 copyJC and his dirty ass mirrors again. That guy just can’t get his shit together (LOL)

IMG_2222 copyGetting ready to rollout

IMG_2223 copyDerrick creepin…

IMG_2270 copyAnd I will be the first to admit that I was not on my A-game for this shoot. While I do enjoy shooting overcast, I’m now better adjusted to shoot in direct sunlight. Overcast (IMO) just doesn’t make rollers pop like I want them to. Who knows – that’s probably my weakness that I need to work on but this happened to be the only good rolling shot I got of Punit’s car.

In my defense, we didn’t have much space to work with but I did promise him one more shot at more rolling shots the next weekend to get something even better!

Hopefully I’ll get more shots at the same time too – either way… That’s another shoot in the bag!