In Retrospect: Driven to Perform 2008/2009

I was inspired by Stickydiljoe when I saw his post on looking back at Tokyo Auto Salon a decade ago to see the changes that have happened all this time. Then I suddenly remembered that I, too, have a hard drive of old pictures and photoshoots that have been laying dormant all this time. There were many times when I would turn on my hard drive and look at some of the folders and said to myself “I’ll never open this again”. Look at me now… Opening them again.

Some of my earliest photos were when I started getting into the car scene and Driven to Perform was my first show with my Civic at the time in its embarrassingly modest state. Nevertheless, the show itself was also fairly modest compared to what you see today. Things change, cars change, shows change. Back then, I knew next to no one in the car scene – I was merely another fish in the sea trying to gain some recognition. Arif was the one that encouraged me to enter the show with the booth and things kind of just unfolded from there. To this day, every show that I’m in – Arif is still there and it’s like nothing has changed except for my attitude towards car shows.

10 years ago at Driven to Perform – I was a starry-eyed kid with dreams and hopes and dangerous levels of excitement to be in a show like this. This was the show that I was taking transit to just several years prior to fulfill my childhood dreams and walk around cars that I would drool over in Import Tuner magazines. Even back then, I was taking pictures with my point and shoot – who knew I’d still be doing that today. Unfortunately, those pictures are long gone… I wish I kept those. But I digress… It was at this very show that Arif told me “these days are long man, and you kind of just want the show to be over – after a few of them – you’ll feel the same. But I understand how excited you are – I used to be just like you”. Ever since then, every show that has since passed that I’ve attended – Arif’s words have resounded with me so clearly – he was right. I do just want to go home and sleep now.

Anyway, this post is a rather personal one to me in the sense that these photos are TERRIBLE. I can’t even imagine taking pictures like this and I even have some with neck breaking angles or super wide, non-flattering shots. I cringe. I cringe really hard. Besides that though, some of these photos might make you be like “whoa! that was so-and-so’s car?!” and some might make you say “this car looks like it time traveled to present day!”. This was back when I didn’t do “coverage” pictures, I just took random pictures. The main reason for combining 2008 and 2009 is because 2008 had a whopping total of 28 RAW files compared to the 500+ that I shoot today. This post is not meant to be a data-eater – it’s fairly small and it’s meant to just go back in time a bit to what the early days used to look like for those of you that missed out on shows like this decades ago. It’s filled with friends’ cars and good memories and that’s what life was about back then…

I think if there’s one car that stands the test of time for me – it’s Ryan’s EP3. In fact, not much has changed for this car if you look at this picture alone. Ryan still rocks that Walker Japan bumper and decal today – you’ll notice that his decal now is not as perfect as it was, but it’s pretty damn close. Through the years, he’s gone through a ton of wheels and colour variations, but it has largely remained “frozen in time” to be a timeless EP3 build around here. He hasn’t molested it with fender flares or stancy wheels… It’s just simplicity.

I want to say this is Steve Poyntz’s AE86? I didn’t know him at the time, but this was a very recognizable build at the time because everyone was just getting into the initial D trend and this car was iconic. He even drifted this thing if I recall correctly…

Sitting on Work Equips.

Jackie Law’s S2000 with a very mild wheel/tire/height set up compared to what you see today. He no longer rocks the T1R BBK – it’s now been replaced with an Alcon BBK. Mag blue CE’s have been replaced with an almost battleship grey TE37 set up and you can no longer fit fingers between the fender and tire. He’s also replaced that ASM bumper with a Voltex front bumper… Another iconic car that I looked up to at the time when building my own.

Jamie Fry’s J’s Racing S2000 – he tracked this thing hard and he always went balls out whenever we were at Race City. I’m not sure where this thing is now or if it still even looks the same.

The rear of Jamie’s S2000. At the time, there wasn’t a big explosion of super JDM plate frames or titanium bolts and washers. We weren’t quite at that level of detail yet. Some were – and those guys lead the pack in a very quiet pace – the rest of us were hanging out in lalaland.

Back in the Beyond booth with a neck-breaking angle. With an SRT-4 Neon starting the picture off – a chassis/build I don’t ever see anymore. Giuseppe’s R32 that some of you may recognize from my photoshoots with him over the years… He’s now replaced it with the blue S15. My Civic on Work Emotion XT7’s and HFP lip kit. Punit’s Integra on Rota’s and a carbon hood, and Ryan’s EP3 on T/A CE28’s. Lots has changed over the years…

Another car that some might remember is Dal’s K20 Type R. Back in the day, Speedtech Racing Development reigned supreme in Calgary for the locals to go get their fix of rice. Dal’s car was one of the poster children for the shop with Takata Green CE28’s, the K20 swap and aggressive aero. In this day and age, this would be considered very tame but back then – seeing green wheels, carbon lip and canards and a GT wing out back was highly frowned upon. This thing hauled ass, but not everyone had their tastes accustomed to this level of aggressiveness back then.

Dal’s K20R later went on to be with Reggie Mah who then stripped it down and built it all back up again in his version of “KID ICARUS”. By this time, you would have been more familiar with it after being featured by Super Street and shot by Stickdiljoe with a white/teal colour combo.

Another car that was beside the beyond booth was this baby blue RX7 – fully kitted out in race mode. I didn’t have many other pictures of it – but I vividly remember people walking by it with a very judgmental look about it. Again, if you saw this today – everyone would be screaming “OMG GT WING! OMG CF DIFFUZERZ!”

Ending the 2008 show with Arif’s EK. Yes, that’s the same one with the Backyard Special bumper and yellow CE28’s that are always dirty with Project Mu brakes behind them that I post every so often. Yes, those are Rota’s. Yes, that’s a tow hook. Yes, I’m pointing things out that you wouldn’t believe. Arif has changed a lot on his Civic and I mean A LOT over the last decade as you can see. You’d never believe me if I told you this is what his car used to look like, but it’s a good example of how things progress and how trends change. Rota’s were very largely known back then and I’d be surprised to see them on a car today…

Yes, that’s all I had for the 2008 show. Note the space between cars back then – plenty of walking room…

Starting the 2009 DTP show – we were in a new location because the Olympic Oval had been taken up that year and so this was new to everyone. It was smaller, it was tighter, but it didn’t change the fact that we were all still excited to be at the show. Beyond had Mercedes Terrell as the model for the booth and I got a few shots of her with some of the cars… This one being Giuseppe’s R32 Skyline.

Yet another car that may be familiar to you is Ryan Dandurand’s MR2. This is yet another car that has gone through many changes and has really stuck with me through my journey of building cars. It’s cars like Ryan’s that have always been one step ahead of everyone else that gives people like me inspiration to build something “better”. I’ll remind you again that in 2009 – things like TE37’s and big brake kits weren’t around for everyone so seeing them on cars like Ryan’s were “big things”.

Arif’s car had a nice visual overhaul with his first set of white TE37’s.

Jackie’s S2000, Corey O Hara’s Civic right beside, and Nick Foisey’s Mustang GT…

A closer look at Corey’s Civic on bronze RE30’s and ARC winglets. At the time, the big thing for the 8th gen Civic boys was adding winglets – more specifically – ARC winglets. I remember so many people wanting them but not wanting to pay the price, so people ended up making their own… Over the years, I guess these same people started companies up like Top-1 and other “generic” splitter and diffuser models.

2009 was the year of upgrades for a lot of us. Punit also got rid of his Rota’s and changed them for Work Meister’s. Over the years, we got to know each other better and he later sold the wheels to Diana who then had them painted purple and put on her Fit.

An NSX on Wedsports (I believe?). An NSX at the time was a big deal too – not many were around but this was something my noob eyes loved seeing.

Dal’s Integra with a more subtle look for 2009 – on Mugen MF10’s. Imagine seeing this today and it still fits in perfectly well. Trends come and go, but you always recognize a really clean and well-thought out build when you see one.

I got rid of the Work XT7’s and also got a set of white TE37’s. A very mild set at the time, and a FWD stagger, but still a set I miss…

Ending it here with Mercedes Terrell signing my Recaro. I still have the Recaro’s but I’ve since washed off the signature since that fire died in me long ago. TBH, I didn’t even really like Mercedes Terrell – it was just a hype thing for me to do at the time. The Recaro’s are both now my office chairs at home…

Anyway – I might find some time to go digging again through my archives that I’ve never posted here before over the winter for some good content. It’s refreshing to look back at a few of these! Happy snow day!

Throwback: Jackie Law’s Honda S2000 – *BONUS*

One last bonus part on Jackie’s car because I somehow scrolled passed these while going through his pics. I think this counts as a great bonus post – this was one of the first times I shot Jackie’s car ever. These pics were taken way back in August of 2009. I was still pretty new at shooting and I loved taking advantage of my wide angle lens – you’ll see what I mean in the pictures. I had only been shooting for about a year before and I knew nothing about rolling shots or how to adjust aperture, how to position a car and what angles looked good… Looking at these pics are kind of embarrassing to me only cause I hate looking at sucky pictures LOL.

Anyways – this was the day we went out to shoot near Bridgeland and Eau Claire Market then back to Speedtech. Like I said in the earlier post – I miss Speedtech because a lot of my random shots were taken there. There’s no other place to do that anymore so now we loiter in random places haha.

At this time, Jackie’s fitment was just crazy. I remember it was something that people were not accustomed to and he was really pushing the limits of wheel fitment along with a select few in the States. A few of these pictures were posted on facebook and various website and a majority of comments were negative to his fitment and his wing.  Almost exactly 4 years later this is what everybody wants, with a dash of -10 degrees of camber and a side of Rota. This is still the look that Jackie holds steady today – not a stranger to negativity from the world wide web, he does his thing the way he wants to. If you have a vision of quality, the patience to get it done and be able to ignore people that tell you it looks bad – you too can create something that everybody will eventually come to love.

Here’s the last part of Jackie’s throwback…

Stretched tires and pulled fenders? RIDICULOUS!  Who even does that in 2009?

This was one of the photos that made it’s rounds around the internet. Comments like “wing is way too big”, “car is too low to drive”, “what’s the point of the cage if he can’t drive that low?” were common. Post it up today and I’ll guarantee all those guys that hated on it 4 years ago have already jumped on this bandwagon looking for the widest set of Rota’s and springs to get them looking like this.

One of the shots I never edited. Most of the pics I’m posting are straight off the camera with little editing to exposure only. I should spend more time on them later down the road… This shows a good shot of his prototype Spoon hood.

Look how mint everything was 4 years ago. Cars take a beating over just a few years…

Breaking necks at Eau Claire. Love the angle of Jackie’s S2000 here.

Another shot that was reposted quite a few times. Shows how low his car is.

I hate this picture only cause the composition is all off but I decided to post it anyway haha

Breaking necks of the couple sitting on the bench too.

And finally – this was probably the most popular shot of that shoot and it’s still floating around today. Any time you see a car around trailers, you’ll see them with their hood under the trailer like they’re low. To be honest, I could fit my LS under a trailer at full high, so I personally think those pics are lame.

We got Jackie’s car fully under the trailer and it wasn’t a “high” trailer by any means. I got Jackie to get under the trailer and squat down with the car to give a comparison. Jackie’s wing is only a few inches higher than the top of his head. Frankly – not many cars could even go passed their windshield. At the time, Arif was with us and when we were in the process of getting it under, we turned the car off while Jackie sat inside for the brakes. Arif and I slowly pushed the car in while watching for clearance and eventually we got it under in the first attempt.

Here’s a pic at how close he really is to the trailer. His wing less than an inch away from the hitting.

Another shot so you can see that his whole car is under the trailer and not half way out on one side or anything.

That’s it for Jackie’s throwback! It’s probably going to be the only 4 part throwback I ever do unless I shoot someone else’s car this much again haha. I was talking to Jackie the night I edited these pics and we discussed another shoot. I want to try to make a small trip to Victoria and shoot his car when it’s completed again along with some of the other Vic cars. His car has gone through a colour change and I have yet to capture that… Fingers crossed!

Throwback: Jackie Law’s Honda S2000 – Part 3 of 3

Part III! (And also my 400th post! Wow time flies) This brings us to August 2011. At this point in time, Jackie was on an aggressive set of Advan RG’s in gold, and it was a different look and colour altogether from what he used to run. His point still hadn’t changed much from when he had the candy blue TE37’s, and he had yet to undergo the colour change to Moonrock.

However, at the same time – he had also recently picked up another S2000 as a daily when he didn’t want to drive his main S2000. It was fairly stock – lowered, lip, stock wheels but good enough since it was an S2000 for a daily – far better than most of the dailies we use. He wanted a shoot of both of them together and like usual – I agreed and we went on our way.

You may or may not know that I’m not a fan of shooting multiple cars, especially anything more than 2 – simply because it’s difficult (for me, anyway) to position and get it the way I want. His shoot – like I mentioned in the previous post – turned out great like always. The subject is a big part of the picture and for me, if it’s not something that I really love then it’s difficult for me to be inspired enough to shoot it. I’m picky.

Lets get to it

Both of them side by side.

Who could hate that face?

Keep in mind, I left most of these pics unedited. In this shot, you can see Aldrich’s WRX, Ryan’s 1M and Jeevs’ A4.

I loved this shot because the daily looks almost lower than his main.

Of course – rolling shots!!! And dual too! Barb drove his daily with these rollers.

JLAW in the flesh

Barb top down cruising in the daily

And the both of them. Both of them look so good together.

Last one to end this series! Hope you enjoyed!

Throwback: Jackie Law’s Honda S2000 – Part 2 of 3

Second part to this trilogy lol.

This was the same “phase”, if you will, as the Meisters. These were his original wheels – I just never got around to doing a shoot for it until a few months after. If I remember correctly, it may have even been a full year later but I don’t remember Jackie keeping wheels for that long… Whatever the case, this was a shoot that I did for him because he wanted one last one while he was back in Calgary and he hadn’t gotten shots of it on his custom candy blue TE37’s. Don’t be mistaken – a lot of people think it’s the limited F-Zero blue that Volk offered for a little while, but it isn’t.

If you remember just late last year, Jackie was on a set of yellow TE37’s – that set (which is now sold) along with this custom candy blue were picked out by Jackie and painted by his friend. The crazy thing about it all is that they weren’t even the same set. He had bought two different sets (at different times, of course) just to try a different color.

Anyways, this was a great look for Jackie’s S2000 because it matched his Cusco cage nicely. Unfortunately, his fenders – as you’ll notice – are still cracked and quite beat up in this whole series of posts since he hadn’t gotten around to taking the car back home and repairing them yet. Today – they are back in good shape, though.

Side profile. This is a good shot to see how low he actually drives and it still boggles my mind how none of his shit is messed up. I couldn’t handle it when I had the STI – my Varis bumper sat almost as low and I scraped it on everything. He actually got up onto that pavement using the narrow ramp you see on the bottom left of the picture.

Shot of his wing. Tall and wide.

Ass shot. It looks awesome from the rear because you can see just how wide the wing is. Right out to the side mirrors.

A shot of his rear fitment. Tight.

And of course – rolling shots. I loved the rolling shots of Jackie’s car because it literally looks like the car is just hovering across the road.

One last one before I post the final part!