A look back at 2014 – Part 1

Here we are, just a couple of days away from 2015! That means we’re less than a year away from hoverboards and flying car conversions! Or maybe not. It does mean however that we can start counting down to a new car season full of install days, meets, cruises, and shows.

Looking back at the last year we had a number of each of those and certainly we had a lot of fun along the way; and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? It doesn’t matter if you drive a lifted Chevy or a slammed Ford, a European sedan or a Japanese coupe – we’re all in this for the love of cars and trucks and that is what brought many of us together in the first place.

I thought that as a way to close out 2014 and welcome in 2015, I’d put up a couple of posts which take a look back at the last 12 months and revisit some of the highlights. Part 1 today will cover January through to June, and Part 2 will cover July through to December. Let’s begin!

BRZ 6

We started off the car activities early in the year – back in January – when Kanji picked up a brand new BRZ for himself. I met up with both him and Don at the dealership when he went for a test drive, and not long after he was taking delivery of his very own.

BRZ 11

With the big smile on his face it was obvious he had fun.

BRZ banner 5

From a green, FWD, automatic Acura to a red, RWD, manual Subaru – it was a little bit of a change to say the least. I think he made a great choice though and we were all happy for him when he got the keys.

Kanjis BRZ 3

Shortly after picking it up, Kanji brought the BRZ along for some photos before it got modified.

Kanjis BRZ 7

It was in February that I shot the BRZ, on what is probably still my coldest photoshoot to date. I remember we had to end it earlier than planned because my hands were going numb. Regardless of the cold I was able to get some photos of the BRZ in stock form and they help highlight how it changed over the year.

Feb 8 meet 9

Following that Dave and Derrick came along to a mini meet and another quick photoshoot in a local parkade. It wasn’t long before parts would start arriving and the cars would begin to change for the new season.

Integra Roof 3

As things started to warm up after what seemed like far too long we organized our first real project day of the year. Along with some work on Stan’s Hyundai daily…

Integra Roof 8

…we wrapped the roof of Dave’s old Integra in gloss black.

Integra Roof 1

Later on in the year Dave got himself a silver RSX but at the time the Teggy was still the project.

Coilover install 1

March was an especially exciting time for me as my new coilovers arrived, and we wasted no time in getting around to installing them. Even though our winter wasn’t over yet the Focus found itself much lower to the ground and the Tarmacs took the place of the stock wheels and winter tires. I had to change wheels a few times following this as our weather kept changing but I couldn’t wait any longer to see the new look.

Coilover install 6

Thanks goes again to Rebel Devil Customs for sponsoring the coilovers and to everyone who helped with the install. New parts are a great excuse to hang out with friends and have some fun.

Mario on air

While I was upgrading from springs to coilovers, Mario was upgrading from coilovers to air suspension around the same time. After a very labour-intensive weekend in my garage, with the help of a number of our friends, we made his the first bagged Mk3 ST in Canada. We were tired from working late, soaked from having snow and slush fall on us all weekend (as we were under the car working), and were faced with a few hurdles in making the prototype kit fit, but the end result was worth it without a doubt.

ST air install 2

We’d be game for another air install, but NOT if the underside of the car is full of snow.

ST air install 8

Despite the poor conditions however, when we saw this suddenly all of the frustrations were forgotten and we couldn’t stop smiling. This was the motivation to keep going.

ST nose 1

While all of this was going on, I was being sneaky and working on something that was more or less a total surprise. A few people had to be let in on the plans but only a handful knew that this was coming. Following the new wheels and suspension I swapped the front end of the sedan to that of an ST, making it the first (and still only) known Mk3 sedan with the conversion.

Canmore cruise 1

I remember everyone was quite shocked when they found out that for over a month I had an ST bumper and accessories hidden in my basement and no one (aside from Mario) knew. All of the times that everyone was at my house, it was almost right under their noses (it actually was literally under their noses, if they stood in a certain place in the kitchen – haha) and they had no idea.

Works 3

Mario also had a surprise for the new season, and that was a new set of wheels. People knew they were coming but he didn’t share what exact set he had ordered. At last his new CR Kais arrived and before long the tires were mounted so that they could be installed on the ST.

Cup spoilers 1

Later on in the summer Mario and I got our hands on one of the first sets of fifteen52’s Focus ST Cup Spoilers. At the time we were still unsure of which car they would wind up on but I took the opportunity to put together a review for the site while we made up our minds.

Cup spoilers 11

In the end they were painted and installed on the sedan as Mario opted to keep his Triple R Composites lip.

Fiesta Part 5 1

The same day on which I took the photos for the review, I also met up with Mike to shoot his ‘finished’ (no project car is every truly done, we know this) Fiesta ST. This was a popular series on the blog and at last I was able to show the end result of the work.

Fiesta Part 5 7

I once again would like to thank Mike for allowing me access to photograph his car and share it here for everyone to read. I was very excited to be able to provide some exclusive content for you all to follow along with and Mike was more than accommodating in letting me see the car and document the work. He even took me for a ride in it, and then let me take it for a quick spin myself, to get a feel for how the performance parts changed the car.

Fiesta ST Bonus 4

With this last shot of both the FiST and fake ST together, that’s it for the first part of this flashback. Be sure to check back tomorrow for part 2, in which I’ll cover the second half of the year!

-Bill

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