Midnight Rev Up 2021 Coverage

So I finally got around to doing the photos and write up for Midnight Rev Up from last Saturday – I’m usually done photos and the whole shebang in a day but you know… #dadlife LOL. Anyway, this is gonna be a big one – 200+ photos all in one. I typically break these out into parts but let’s just get it all over with.

This would be my first Midnight Rev Up show that I’ve attended as it is up in Edmonton and to be quite honest, I don’t think I recall ever doing a show in Edmonton… So technically this is my first one ever. Don’t quote me on that though – I’m getting old. Last month Carlo messaged me and asked if I would be interested in guest judging at the show and they were kind enough to pay for accommodation if I accepted. I’m not one to refuse free things (most of the time) and I thought it would be a good opportunity to finally see what Edmonton had to offer. I mean, lots of the Edmonton guys come down to Calgary for our shows and I get the chance to see them here, but for the ones that stay local, it was a fresh sight to see. I asked JC to come along as we were going to be in the Tuner Decals booth to help represent them!

The guys that organize Midnight Rev Up kind of have a similar mindset to illmotion in terms of putting a show together – minimal fees to cover costs here and there, a screening process for participants, space organization and most importantly – just a place to gather all the best cars under one (in this case, two) roofs and have visitors come and spectate. It’s lowkey but it’s tight knit and I truly enjoyed the atmosphere. They try to use different and unique venues each year and this one was pretty awesome to attend as it was in the executive hangers by the Edmonton International Airport. Honestly, not something I would’ve thought of doing because I would’ve assumed it was just off limits for anyone but they did it!

As this was my first time attending the event, I didn’t know what to expect but in the days leading up to it, I was kind of developing somewhat high expectations and I was eager to see what it was all about. I would say that I was pleasantly surprised at the level of quality and workmanship in the cars that came to the show. I can finally say it – hallelujah – I think we’re finally out of that phase of wild chassis mount wings on stock cars and fake stuff flooding the show floor. Of course, we’ll never be rid of it but it’s so rare to see (did I just say that?) lately that it just brings a tear to my eye sometimes. It becomes even harder to judge now because you’re not just judging on the level and quality of parts, but you can now bring it to the next level of execution and detail. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again – anyone can buy expensive and real JDM parts for the clout but if you slapped it on there with not a care in the world, then you’ve done no justice to the parts you just spent a fortune on…

Last note before we move onto the pictures – I just want to say that I think it’s both hilarious and amazing at how many clean wheels AND barrels were at the show on Saturday. It’s been this inside joke for most of the summer that everyone is doing barrel checks and tagging on me on Instagram and it’s slowly made it’s way basically across the internet and some of you that I’ve never even met in person because you’re 1000’s of miles away are cleaning your barrels and it’s fucking amazing LOL. Many of you have been asking why this has become a thing and honestly it wasn’t really meant to even become a “thing”. Long story short – a few years ago at a show, I just happened to notice a car with wheels that had not been cleaned and pointed it out on my blog – no names were mentioned and I still won’t because that doesn’t matter – the point that I was trying to make was that if you’re entering a show, please make it “show ready”. I was asked to take it down eventually but by then, the whole internet had read it and well, you know how the cookie crumbles… Now everyone just jokes that if I’m coming to a show/meet, everyone better clean their barrels or else you’ll be called out and well… Everyone now cleans their barrels LOL! You guys kill me but it’s so honestly refreshing and awesome to see people starting to care about details like that…

I’ll keep the chatter to a minimum for now and talk as we move through the post to keep it from getting dry. The journey begins…

*Usual disclaimer – these are ALL the photos I took. Please don’t ask if I got a shot of your car. If you were sitting in it, standing by it, repping too hard, or your crew was too excited to sit back and relax – that’s probably why I didn’t get a shot. Maybe next time πŸ™‚

9AM in the morning, JC came over to my place and we rolled out.

Just a little over 2 hours to get there. Not terrible compared to my 10.5 hour drive back from Vancouver just a few weeks prior. Don’t mind the dirty interior… I cleaned it when I got there πŸ™‚

It was raining in Calgary unfortunately so our cars were still messy. No point in really cleaning it anyway even if it weren’t raining…

We arrived pretty quickly and hit up Poor Boys wash in Leduc. Gave the cars a quick spray and then saved the rest of the cleaning for when we got to the show.

Also – ceramic coated cars FTW. Update on the CarPro SiC coating as well – this is my first wash since I’ve coated it and it was amazing. Water beads like crazy – I would say it rivals UK 3.0 + Gliss in hydrophobic qualities… Unfortunately, I can’t comment on longevity yet.

We got inside one of the two hangars… Lots of nice white light and white flooring…

JC right behind…

While waiting for some other displays to set up, I may as well take some more photos…

The boys putting on a Tuner Decals windshield sticker for the show…

I had applied Rain-X a few weeks ago as well as topped it with CarPro Elixir at the show which made it pretty difficult to install the banner since it didn’t want to stick LOL.

JC brought the whole CarPro artillery to the show…

You can’t see it all here but he’s got pretty much the whole line up and is only missing a few products like FlyBy and MFX… Thankful for his collection. I definitely needed some for the show.

Just some random shots of the booths getting set up… Sometimes it’s best to take photos before the doors open because it’s less hectic. I try to wait until the last minute to start taking photos because sometimes booths are not fully set up or placed yet.

A few shots of the Tuner Decals collections as well as some new releases. They have been going HAM this year with attending as many shows as they can to showcase their decals and art and they’ve done really well for themselves in the last year. I kind of had the opportunity to watch them start and grow and they’ve helped me start up JTOONED as I mentioned in previous posts so it’s a mutual growth. It’s rare to see decal companies also hustling with their own art and these guys kill it on both ends. If you have ever gotten a chance to see their anime-inspired art and have an appreciation for it, you’d understand what I mean – just phenomenal original artwork you don’t find anywhere else.

I find that it’s really difficult to find truly original artwork. Lots of other peekers are often just taking a tracing of the actual original art, they add some different colors or effects and call it their own. Not a bad thing, but it doesn’t set you apart from the thousands of others also doing it.

They just released these chibi car keychains, and other decals as well.

As always, honored to have my spread on their table too! Note – I had some questions for people asking to buy these but I don’t have a storefront currently. This inventory is Tuner Decals’ and not mine. You’d have to go to a show to get them πŸ™‚

Our registration package…

Lito’s Datsun and rebuilt engine. Lito joined us later to help with the judging process to give his insight and knowledge on the engine part of the builds. Oldschool Datsun’s are too cool – always awesome to see people restoring them.

The turd. This thing is so fun to drive on the highways – it keeps up decently well LOL

Before the crowds came…

JC’s IS shining bright like a diamond with the whole CarPro catalogue on the car lol

This AE86 from Fake Hero parked next to the Fit. Such a sweet and nostalgic build. This one went on to win the award of “Unicorn” for the night. It was a fitting award since it’s rare to see an AE86 nowadays as most people seem to be obsessed with S-chassis’s and EK/EG/S2000’s. The condition it was in was a treat.

TE37V’s – these are a nice choice for the classic-era cars. A modern touch but still keeping in line with the classic look of wheels such as Watanabe’s.

Bride KING’s…

Fully gutted interior and an interesting choice of interior fabric paneling – it’s tough to see here but I believe it was just a bunch of trees – looked like a forest.

BI Inspection passed.

One of my personal favourites – partially biased because of my past FRS but the reason I really loved this one was because of the RS series Ignition silver colour. The best way to describe it is a pearlescent silver with some hints of blue and purple – kind of like FK8 sonic grey but 1000000x better. LOL

Some deep dish SSR’s sitting under there as well.

Rear of the RB FRS

Varis kitted Evo X. Edmonton peeps love their Varis Evo’s and you’ll see why in a little bit… Lots of these guys belong to Legit Society and nothing but crazy full builds come from them. Pretty insane lol

Another one of the top contenders for awards was this Varis Evo X on Advan R6’s… Fully gutted with a full interior…

Engine bay blinged out with ARC and Carbing titanium.

I always wanted that titanium bar but never got around to it because everytime I was ready to pull the trigger, I always told myself I could get something better that could be seen LOL. But hella jealous…

Enzzo’s Evo 9 wagon on bronze ZE40’s. Super clean

Some Ralli-Art goodies

Flip up with Voltex steering wheel

FK7 on Gram Lights and a J’s grill. I can’t remember if that’s a new addition or not – I just noticed it in the show…

Raf’s bagged Subaru STI on ZE40’s – shouldn’t be a stranger to the blog at this point

Another Varis Evo X on bronze TE37 Sagas

Tristan’s Varis WRX hatch on Kiwami’s

Good job on the barrels sir…

Next up were these two Silvia’s – possibly the two favourites for myself and JC. I would argue that these were two of my top favourites of the show – from execution, to details, to overall build. Just magnifico!

Work Equips on the first Silvia with wheels so clean you could eat off of them.

Perfect fitment.

Amazing work on the engine

And the part that stood out most was the inner part of the engine tub was painted differently than the rest of the car. It might be hard to see but there’s some red sparkle/flake on the inside while the exterior was a full black with no flake. Also the fact that it was painted was awesome. I can only count a few S-Chassis in this condition that have full paint and not wrap.

Vick’s Silvia right beside it was also another top contender and ended up winning one of the top 10 awards of the night. This was a tough one because there was just so much we could go back and forth on but we chose this unanimously at the end of the day.

Great paintwork and fitment on the body panels

Awesome attention to detail in the engine with titanium goodies and tons of HKS bling…

Chasing J’s titanium pieces

Blue Bride interior – which you don’t see to often – but flow perfectly with the Cusco cage and Takata harnesses.

Rear end looking just as clean.

HKS fuel rail and oil cap

And one last front end shot… Perfection. Well done!

Travis’s Mode Parfume LS430. My first time seeing this in person and it looks great. Super aggressive static fitment and sitting nice and low.

Lots of negative camber as expected for a static VIP build and sitting real close to the fenders.

Of course we need the Junction Produce goodies

That rear fitment tight.

Right beside it was this 2JZ Aristo on SSR’s. Super clean paint and fitment – nice engine work and correct me if I’m wrong – but we thought we noticed the paint was kind of a purple gradation (dark purple fading to a lighter purple) but we only quickly saw it when it was rolling out. Were our eyes deceiving us or is that true? Cool effect if it was!

Another Varis Evo X wrapped in yellow.

Compared to many of the builds we’ve seen up till now – this S2000 was on the rather tame side. Reminicent of the 2008-2010 show days. Super clean.

This 370z has seen better days but all patched up with some zip ties on Advan GT’s…

Berry’s bagged Varis widebody FRS looking clean as always

Engine work to go with the aesthetics

Also good job on the wheels – I didn’t get to check them at Driven YYC but they were up to snuff here πŸ™‚

One of the newer mods I saw Berry do was this fiber optic headliner which turned out pretty rad! I loved it!

Another shot – must look so cool at night.

GTR R35 in the Mercari booth

The 2nd Evo 9 wagon in the Mercari booth…

Mercedes AMG GT wrapped in a chrome green…

Guess which car this is if you haven’t scrolled too far down LOL

Fucking sick right?! hahaha I’ve seen this at shows before but I never saw it with the hood open…

Got the VIP reclining seats and footrests too

John’s Supra looking clean as hell. I dig the Voltex Swan neck on this thing

on Advan GT’s – AKA StillTheBestWheelAndBetterThanTheTE37

Another MK5 Supra on candy red TE37’s but don’t hate me because of the previous comment. I still think it looks good LOL

Both of them together…

STI on Advan’s…

The Invision booth had a set up of Bride seats for people to try out – which I did, of course – then I immediately hopped out and walked away because I know what would’ve happened if I stayed too long.

It was nice meeting the Invision duo in person and chatting for a bit!

The rear of John’s Supra and Voltex wing…

Peter Luu’s track FRS on ZE40’s. Still looks just as good…

Interior with the obvious JDM BOSS Coffee…

Bride Low Max’s

Front shot with TRD parts! You did good on your BI check as well, my man. Could definitely eat sushi off of them. Oh, and sorry about ruining your announcement for your new baby girl last week – don’t lick her toes. Do love her though LOL.

Pic below for reference so that everyone gets it. In my defense, this guy is literally always trolling my posts so I thought this time was no different but I was wrong…

Lexus IS on Work Meister’s

Hawkeye STI on CE28’s. Invision – ya’ll need to check these barrels. I had no tickets to hand out on Saturday but I’m coming for you next time…

370Z on TE37 Sagas begging for a drop. But love the color combo…

STI in the Mercari booth – I want to say this is one of the only (if not THE only) one with this bumper on it. I just can’t recall the name of the bumper. Reminds me a bit of Black Pearl Complete – they make kits for VIP cars…

Pretty crazy sleeper 86…

Woooow

Another Evo X from Legit Society on Work Meisters

ARC Intercooler

Super clean wheels…

Gerard’s Spoon EK. Such a great build overall – Spoon parts galore as expected. Unfortunately I didn’t get a front shot but it had a J Blood bumper and carbon lip.

Inside – I dig the yellow checkered floor mats. Spoon wheel, cluster and seats… Great job.

Gerard’s Full Spoon FK8. I don’t know why I didn’t put two and two together but both the EK and FK were both of his. I didn’t actually realize this until two of the awards were handed out later that night. Which is also a reminder that for judging – we’re not judging the people that own the cars – we’re judging THE CARS.

I thought it was worth mentioning this because there may be individuals that thought it might not have been fair or  it was rigged because this guy is friends with that guy and this guy knew the other guy and that’s why they won. Gerard just happened to own two of top 10 cars that we found and if he happened to own all 10 of the top 10 cars, we would’ve given it to those cars. I just want to be clear that I don’t care who you are – whether you’re my bestfriend or if you have 75k followers on Instagram because of some clout that you thought might win you an award – not here, bud. Not with me judging, anyway. I don’t mean this in a rude way at all but if you’re in this for fame, I think you’re doing it for the wrong reason because you’ll always be disappointed when you don’t win. You should be doing it because you love it and as corny as it sounds – that attention and effort you put into your car will show just as your hunger for clout will show. With that said, I would never take an award away from a car that deserves it because the owner is wanting fame… I’m just saying that there’s always going to be someone that has done it slightly better than you and that’s just the way of the cards.

But I digress…

Gerard’s Spoon FK8 and Roel’s Varis FK8. Nice combo

And Roel’s full Varis FK8 with livery and all. He switched over to CE28’s now – nice white on white.

BI pass!

WRX  on Work  Emotions…

Civic Si with the Carbon Kevlar lip and gram lights from the Village Honda show a few weeks ago…

Pandem FRS on TE37V’s. This aero is still so wild…

Some rear shots too – Spoon…

Varis…

First time seeing the Varis FK8 diffuser as well – looks super clean.

STI on Sakura Pink Gram Lights.

FK8 on TE37’s and a Voltex wing out back

Was this possibly the only VW that was at the show? Now that I’m thinking about it, it might have been hahaha

Yellow Varis STI on British Racing Green TE37’s. Not much has changed on this since it’s been done for a few years but it’s still great to see kicking around. I still dig the color combo.

Looks sweet!

I like the combo of colors used here – very risky but it turned out all good.

Kris’s Varis Evo X on Te37’s

ARC and Carbing goodies

Trung’s Voltex S2000 straight from the track…

Should I now implement a Rock Check or perhaps an Exhaust Shine check? LOL

Brought some souvenirs from the track with him lol

Mugen seats $$$

EVS tuning mirrors. Also some bug souvenirs from the track here as well…

BUT at least he got his barrels all cleaned LOL. I remember he tagged me in a few posts where his wheels were pretty much black after a trackday. Glad to see them back to white for the short time…

And I wouldn’t have even known unless I went to the other side, but he was rocking his bronze ones on the other side of the car. Looked cool!

This one was a pretty nostalgic one for me because growing up, I really loved the full Voltex hawkeye STI from Cusco/Tomei and this just reminded me of it.

Jonathon Rho’s new S2000 which was restored with some pretty rare parts. Looking super clean.

Alcon brakes!

This bagged Supra in the Mercari booth was insane…

Carbon barrels…

Forged carbon side mirrors

Sitting on the ground…

This was a cool shot – tires resting right on that liner.

Most of the music that day I think was coming from this BRZ? LOL or at least it sounded like it when we walked by…

Fake Hero NSX on kind of a baby/sky blue set of TE37’s

Taking a small break before we move onto more car pics…

At around 6:30, the team had us booked for a helicopter ride as well which was totally unexpected but so grateful for the opportunity. Not something I would’ve booked myself because I’m terrified of heights but this was an awesome experience.

The whip

The cockpit was surprisingly small…

As we took off – I got a shot of the hangars surrounding where the event was being held…

And I’m not gonna bore you all with all the aerial photos but thought these next few were worth showing – the Edmonton downtown skyline…

The stadium with a game going on – you can kind of see the crowd there…

The Stantec tower – one of the tallest buildings in Canada apparently?

Cholo shooting his shot lol

The next set of pics are for the teams/clubs and they were held in a second hangar just a few steps away from the first hangar where the vendors were. Originally, all cars were supposed to be in one hangar but the venue made a last minute change and so they were split. It still ended up working out well though.

STI on bronze Gram lights and aggressive canards

This Sienna won one of the top 10 as well – execution here was pretty dope and there were a lot of small little details that you had to really spend time looking for…

Weds Kranze Acuerdo… Dont’ see these everyday but they’re so good.

On the inside – plenty of JDM VIP to go around… DAD headrests and curtains…

Fiber optic starlight roofliner…

Awesome executive reclining seats with massagers

VIP table trays and a TV front and center…

The trunk air tank set up enclosed in a wooden and glass case

View from the trunk. So rad – great job.

Civic Si looking clean.

Rocket Bunny kitted BRZ

A pretty wild Camaro with LED’s all over…

Matte green wrapped STI

A pretty interesting wrap/livery for this BRZ. Looked cool in the light with some parts matte and some glossy it seemed…

An interesting lip I’ve never seen before on this STI with the large openings and then another lip/deck bolted underneath.

A bagged STI on Works…

This 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood on bags. There weren’t many domestics in the show but this one stood out nicely. Super clean wheels and interesting set up on air over hydraulics but still pretty dope.

This was interesting to see – I believe I saw this a few years ago unless that was a different build, but the oldschool Hyundai VIP builds had me feeling some type of way back when I had my LS. These could really pull off a cool look if done properly. This was pretty cool on Weds Kranze Cerberus.

An interesting wrap on this STI hatch – kind of like the ignition silver/sonic grey with some pearlescent look to it and on the fender, if you look closely you’ll see the Louis Vuitton pattern underneath.

Pretty clean Prelude on RPF1’s – you don’t see these much anymore unfortunately…

A clean Miata – it was tough to get good shots of this group because of how tightly parked they were but it’s as good as it gets…

I liked this Miata – sorry for the light halo lol. I should’ve taken off my filter.

FA5 Sedan on RPF1’s

GK Fit – I’ve always had a soft spot for Fits – the GK is a little odd looking (to me) but I still dig it.

This EK was cool to see. I think if it was completed and running, it would’ve come close for an award but there was just so much missing still that we couldn’t give it to an incomplete car. I do like the project and progress though!

Another FA5 on gram lights with a J’s Racing wing out back and Spoon mirrors. The FA/FG chassis was a tough one to build because of the lack of JDM parts for them unless this was converted to the JDM/CSX front. I remember I was pretty frustrated with the lack of parts for the FG so you had to find other parts to make it work.

Bride interior!

Clean FG in red

Joseph David’s FK8 on Advan TC’s and a full mugen kit including the grill garnishes and Varis rear fender trim. Looking slick!

Another Datsun with restoration in progress I assume…

Gerald James’ widebody WRX. This was super clean and we ended up driving back to YYC together for a little bit. This thing is static too. Pretty sweet.

The paint and body work was absolutely perfect. Everything fit great with no blemishes and gaps. Awesome work.

The S1R’s also in such mint condition.

Front shot of that Datsun…

Boost Blue Mugen FK8 and a Voltex wing out back and LED underglow…

Dunn’s bagged Civic Si – you might recall this from my set from Driven YYC as well. Dunn ended up taking one of the top 10 – not that I need to give reasoning but there are some cars that are built purely as show cars and this was the perfect example of that. Everything down to the smallest detail was in mint condition. No blemishes on the headlights or paint or in the lip of the rim – LED’s were configured properly and placed in spots that were hidden but effective. This is a good example of how to build a show car and understanding it and embracing it – there’s no confusion on whether he’s trying to be stance or race or whatever. Good job.

Dumped Civic Si – white on white.

Yellow BRZ on gram lights…

Civic Sedan wrapped in hulk green? LOL I don’t know the color but that’s just what it reminds me of… A pretty good build as well. BBK and all…

Classic blue and bronze. Can’t go wrong.

A pretty damn wide Hyundai Veloster. I liked the colour scheme and flow of everything. Looked rad.

Pretty cool TRD inspired livery on this FRS.

Bossman Carlo’s M3 parked in the corner of the venue…

Making my way back into the 1st hangar to get some extra shots I might have missed with Lito’s Datsun…

More shots of the Fake Hero NSX

Just thought I’d post a BI check for myself lol. I can’t pass or fail myself, so if anyone else BI checked me then you be the judge LOL. The TE37CR’s are more of a matte look originally but I felt that they were looking a little dull so JC threw out the suggestion to try out CarPro Perl on them – this is typically used as an interior protectant when mixed with distilled water or as a tire shine when used straight. I put some on the wheels (with water) and look at that fucking SHEEN. That’s a protip to make your matte wheels pop AND protect them a little bit if they’re not ceramic coated – which these are not yet.

I really enjoyed this widebody Varis Evo X Final Edition. This was probably one of my favourites of the show because of the execution and perfection of the bodywork. Everything was so mint – the only thing I wanted to see if there was any engine work but I don’t believe so…

Varis carbon goodness…

Love these Meister L1’s especially when they’re this aggressive. The matte black with gold hardware is perfect.

More carbon goodness…

Voltex wing out back signed by mr. Voltex himself…

A rear shot of it all.

Simple 86 on CE28’s

Near the end of the night, the guys were kind enough (again) to treat us to some Jollibee. Honestly it was one hell of a night with everything going on and all the stuff that they did behind the scenes – it often and almost always goes overlooked because nobody really sees that stuff. It takes a village to put something like this together and it’s long days and nights for days, weeks and even months to put a show like this together.

Award time!

Not everyone would’ve obviously seen the awards but these were all handmade – epoxy resin with pigment mixed in and wood on the inside. Pretty cool!

Carlo getting the awards ready…

Participants and visitors on-looking…

Congrats to everyone that took home an award! I just want to say that there was such a good turnout of quality cars and obviously not everyone can take home an award. If you came wanting an award and didn’t get one – you might know why you didn’t get one already and if you do, maybe it’s something to fix next time. If you don’t know, I wouldn’t lose sleep over it – you were likely on the list and someone just did it slightly better.

I just want to say that I know what it’s like to come to a show with the hope that you win an award. I’m no veteran but I’ve been in shows since 2008 and I can say that the “need” or “want” to get an award fades over time because you learn to just build your car the way you want it and sometimes you get to that point where you finally hit that sweet spot and people will notice. Building cars shouldn’t be a competition despite the fact that we hand out awards at car shows. It should really just be done to share the experience and the fun that comes with hanging out with friends and trying to come up with what to do next. Sometimes we miss and we go down the road of crazy bolt on flares that don’t fit or wings too large for any car to use functionally, but sometimes we get it and we ride that wave until the next trend comes.

At the end of the day – no hard feelings for anyone, please. Just enjoy the experience πŸ™‚

Didn’t notice the midnight rev up shirts until this shot. Pretty cool LOL

That’s a wrap for my coverage. There’s so much coverage that I’m getting tagged in as we speak and so many different and cool perspectives for the show. I wish I had time to be creative but my purpose is to showcase the car in a shot that’s good enough for the blog. Other photographers have really taken car show photography to the next level though and I love it!

We ended up staying up till about 3AM that night drinking with the Esoteric boys but we were up and out by 9AM. LOL I’m not sure if JC is truly an early riser despite what he tells me but I’m up at 530-6AM most days but ended up sleeping in a tiny bit to 730AM on the Sunday… Either way, thankful that JC still dragged his ass out of bed to leave early lol

Filling up before leaving so we need the gas station shots…

That’s it, that’s all! Thanks folks! Enjoy!

The Rolling Shot Photoshoot: Colin’s Subaru STI

The title literally says it all… A first for me was a request from Colin to take some rolling shots of his STI. He wanted to have a nice photo to put onto a large canvas to maybe hang above his bed. I’m personally not sure how he got his wife to agree to that… Or he just hasn’t told her yet.

JC and Diana tagged along to meet Colin and Eric for lunch. Colin ended up taking us to Smash Burger because Diana and I haven’t been there yet and it ended up being terrifyingly filling and probably supremely unhealthy LOL. After that awesome lunch, we pretty much did the easiest photoshoot ever… Only because Colin really only wanted rollers. That meant JC, Diana and I never had to get out of the car and we just drove everywhere until I got the shots I needed. It was a nice day, not a cloud to be seen, and bonus for me: a World Rally Blue STI to pop with the perfect weather today.

No need for words – just some cool rollers!

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The cleanest shot from today. That blue is perf.

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We really tried to capture the Rocky Mountain in the back but it’s tough when there aren’t too many roads that overlook them nicely… You can see them if you squint!

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COP in the back!

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We ended up stopping on one dead road for some bonus shots I guess. Let everyone stretch their legs lol

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And one last shot of JC’s fitment and wheels. The rears are dumped as hell – pretty close to bagged height. Also check the colour of his VS-XX faces. Remember in my earlier post, I mentioned that the gold faded and now it looks like rose gold? This is a good shot of them.

Mike McConnell’s Subaru-Powered 1968 Karmann Ghia

This was a long overdue photoshoot – Mike and I have been talking about getting together to shoot his Karmann Ghia for probably a year now since he started building it, and ever since then there has always been something that comes up – he needed to tune it, I had an appointment, something needed a slight fixing, I got caught up in other things… The list goes on. I can’t even count how many times we’ve gone back and forth about postponing our shoots. Anyway – we finally met up and with the daylight fading fast, we had to move quick.

Mike’s car is definitely something to see in person – it breaks necks left, right, and center. This is the first Karmann Ghia I’ve ever seen and before I met Mike, I never would’ve known what it was… It is older than me by almost 2 decades! The work that has been put into this thing and seeing the progress over Instagram is amazing and I’m glad I got a chance to capture this through my lens. As my Instagram caption stated – it is probably the craziest car to ever come through my lens to date. It’s hard not to respect and admire this car after watching it evolve through pictures from day 1.

I’ll add in some details as we go – as I’m sure you’re all wondering about it. Admittedly, though – I did not get all the shots I wanted to… It was a chilly night, we were losing sun extremely fast and we had no strobes to back us up if we needed it. All of these were shivering, handheld shots…

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JC and I met up, Mike came shortly after and had just washed his car, he hopped out and quickly dried the windows with his sleeve and off we went.

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On our way there, we had awesome light – not harsh and very calm – made for perfect color in the clouds and it definitely helped in bringing out the “classic” feel in the photos.

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Immediately you’ll notice how damn slammed Mike’s car is – and it isn’t bagged either like you would expect. This is all static and Mike drives with no fucks given – that’s what I loved about this whole shoot – it was very care free and “do what you need to get the shot”.

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One thing you also might not know just by looking at the pictures is that this car has been painted by Jesse – Mike’s partner-in-crime, if you will in building this car. This was actually Jesse’s car originally but Mike ended up taking it over and with the help of Jesse and his family, they built it into what it is today. I suppose you could say that Jesse is still building the dream, but with Mike at the wheel.

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Another interesting thing to note is that Mike is rocking a set of Porsche “phone dial” wheels – 15×6 in the front and 16×8 in the back. Behind those sit some nice disc brakes as well…

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Under that hatch (which I am regretting not getting a chance to show you guys) is a stock 2.2 turbo Subaru Legacy engine… This paired with a Haltech sprint 500 stand alone ECU from VEX gives it the power it needs to get going. There is currently no intercooler so he runs the risk of running hot but that is probably in the works for next year.

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There are some distinct points that stand out on the car but to me, they are more like beauty marks rather than imperfections. And it works well on a car like this – it gives it character. Funny how as things age, imperfections turn into “character”. I’m sure you won’t disagree…

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Another unique part of Mike’s car is the roof – again, painted by Jesse. There are lot of unique touches on the car that really make Mike’s car stand out and that’s huge these days. You really have to take risks in order to stand out, but you have to be willing to take the potential criticism that comes with it – good or bad. I think this is actually one of the highlights and I enjoy it a lot…

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Kind of a rare shot of the master and the project… Especially when you’re a photographer yourself; it’s rare to have a shot of your own work.

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JC’s car over to the side like usual under that nice sky.

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This shot reminded me of a scene from a gangster movie – don’t ask me which one, it just does.

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A shot to see the lines of the car. Truly one of a kind.

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One other thing to note about Mike’s car is that all the paint work that was done was done with a rattle can. Mike then polished the car to blend the new and old paint together. I would say after looking at it that it would be a tough task to point out exactly where that is… By no means is it a paint booth/professional job but I don’t think that was the intention – Mike’s intention was really just to take a car that is unique and do something crazy and different with it with what they had, and finally get it to the point where it was driveable and they could just enjoy their fruits of labor.

Shooting a car with brand new parts and paint is one thing, but shooting a car where sweat and tears are a must in order to get to a stage of being able to say “finally” is different. There’s more appreciation and more of those moments where you’re standing there admiring the work more than the car at times. You get that feeling with Mike’s Karmann Ghia and it’s a rare feeling.

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A shot to see just how low Mike rolls… There were a few times that we saw sparks fly out from the back and the car is just so low that rocks don’t even get a chance to go under it, it’ll just shoot out the side of the car. Just a little note of caution if you’re driving beside Mike πŸ™‚

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Another shot that better shows how low it is. This road was relatively flat and to someone like me, it’s a great road with little issues. But for Mike, he scraped… And he loved it.

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Mad tuck. Even most bagged guys can’t get that much tuck.

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A nice shot of the rear and his exhaust set up. Under that trunk is a beautiful Subaru 2.2L turbo engine – once again, a thing I regret not being able to capture. But not to worry… I’ll get it the next time we go out for sure.

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The roller I posted up on Instagram that same night.

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Low shots compliment Mike’s Ghia well just because it hugs the road so tight and we all know how good cars look when they’re slammed AND rolling.

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One last shot of the many rollers we took that night that I decided to save for the long winter months. I loved a lot of these shots because we could see the moon so clearly and what better way to capture a beautiful car on a beautiful night.

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We ended up stopping back at our rendezvous point and I had to get a few more shots. Even as we sat in the lot, it was breaking necks – and rightfully so…

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That exhaust!!

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One last shot to leave you all with for a nice and happy Halloween.

This shoot was honestly one of my more stressful shoots because as I mentioned – Mike is a photographer too, and while I was not really losing sleep over what he thought of shooting the car, I wanted to make sure that he loved the photos OF his car. I say this because in many ways, Mike is more than capable of shooting and capturing his own car so that’s where he asked me to step in and take it from a different perspective. I think for the most part, I captured it well even though I didn’t get all the shots I wanted, but at the same time it wasn’t a failed shoot (I do consider some of my shoots failed sometimes).

Thanks for coming out Mike! And I know Jesse is reading this – sorry we missed you! Next time, we’ll make sure we all come out together and do some epic shooting – DUB Dynasty style. Thanks (again and again) to JC for making the trek all the way out to the boonies to get this shoot in the bag with me.

Have a happy Halloween!

Kraft(werks) Fed: Terence Wah’s Subaru BRZ

This shoot is a little more close to home for me – mainly because it’s pretty much the same platform, just badged differently and in a fancier suit and tie. Terence has actually gone through a decent array of cars since I’ve known him and I was surprised and excited when I found out he had a BRZ, and even more excited when I heard he had already supercharged it!Β  When I first met Terence back in 2009 – he was building an S2000 and at the time (keep in mind this was 5 years ago), this was – and still is – a very good set up for a car that was beaten around the track whenever Terence could get out there. He has always been function-oriented, using mods that worked and looked good. I believe a year later, he had a J’s Racing hood, J’s Racing Wing, he changed the wheel set up to Volk RE30’s in a more aggressive fitment and paired it with Spoon brakes for the track.

Shortly after that, he got his hands on every Honda fanboys dream car – the NSX and while the dream was achieved, he didn’t hold it for too long. It sat in the garage most of the time and as much as he wanted to enjoy the car like it should’ve been, things just never worked out – and so they ended their relationship.

Honda S2000

A shot I took way back in 2009 of his S2000 in its early stages. This was when I was still fairly new to shooting and practicing my skills and one of the rollers I took during this shoot made it into Import Tuner’s back page snapshots which became my first shot to ever be in print (as small as it was).

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Enter Terence’s Subaru BRZ with a Kraftwerks Supercharger right beside the heart of the Boxer. Again, nothing much has changed in terms of Terence’s vision of building cars – functional and simple – and sometimes that’s all you need to have a car that you can just enjoy and not worry about e-fame or status.

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One of the things you’ll notice is that he’s got the STI-style lip kit on to give the stock body a little more aggressiveness.

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The BRZ headlights was one of the first things I fell in love with when I was in the market for a BRZ. This, along with push start button were the only two things that I liked on the BRZ over the FRS. Even though I would have changed it all out for something else anyway…

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Nice little gurney flap on his wing.

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Terence’s BRZ sits on KW V3’s – a perfect choice for the FRS/BRZ platform.

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The shoes are BBS CH-R’s

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The obligatory mirror shot – and JC’s mirrors are clean for once. (Have they ever been clean?)

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Got into a nice alleyway and it worked nicely with the white. Reminded me slightly of my photoshoot with my old STI way back when…

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Random rear shot and I would’ve put more effort into this if JC wasn’t in the way…

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So I decided to take a quick shot of his car even though it was in the way just to be nice before rolling out.

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Oops one more with the lights on πŸ™‚

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This shot makes me excited for some reason. I think it’s because I can’t wait to start modding the FRS and seeing something come together so simply with good quality parts makes me happy. The FRS/BRZ platform is so popular that it’s difficult to differentiate your car from everyone else – I usually compare the FRS/BRZ to the shadow of an S2000 – it is significantly cheaper brand new, it’s RWD, it’s essentially a 2-seater and it has parts for days from some of the best manufacturers out there to the cheapest ones. The combinations are endless and I often find myself shopping for one part for a week straight because there’s just so many.

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Stopped by a gas station to feed the beast.

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Here’s a good shot of the front end with the intercooler sitting behind the grill…

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Reminds me of a Panda theme. I dig it.

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Under that hood sits the main attraction…

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Kraftwerks Supercharger – installed by Compact Tuning Lab, pushes about 270WHP according to Kraftwerks. He has yet to dyno it for true numbers but Terence said he’ll be getting to it soon as there is a race track slated to open up in Drumheller next year (we hope) and I’m sure you’ll see this there.

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Still weird for me to see Toyota and Subaru under the same hood. It’s cool and all but still kind of weird.

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An overhead shot of his engine bay – very clean and simple.

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One more of the Kraftwerks power plant.

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And the last one to close off. This shoot made me order parts…