Balance Auto Garage Grand Opening / Sunday School Pre-Meet

With the weekend now behind us I’m left with some great memories, hundreds of photos, and only a mild sunburn. Yesterday – August 9th – was ill.motion’s fifth annual Sunday School show and shine and the day before saw HIN Calgary take place. For some that meant attending two big shows back-to-back, but I opted out of attending HIN.

One of the reasons I did so was because Jackie has spent the last little while settling into a new location and Saturday evening – when HIN was still running – he hosted a BBQ and Sunday School pre-meet. Originally one of the owners of Zero Limit, a place which our cars have been to many times, Jackie recently left in order to establish his own shop, Balance Auto Garage. It’s located not too far from Zero Limit’s original location and looks like an outstanding spot and garage. I am very selective when it comes to trusting vehicles to other people but Jackie has always taken care of our cars and is just a great guy to deal with overall. I’m very happy for him and wish him the best as Balance Auto gets up and running.

I would have liked to attend everything, but wanting to show Jackie my support, and with final preparations for the following day to take care of, spending hours at HIN just wasn’t possible.

Anyway – today’s post will cover the get-together at Balance Auto and will be a good way to lead in to the Sunday School coverage. I have a lot of photos to get through now, which I hope you’ll enjoy!

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Alex came over on Saturday afternoon and we made our way over to the shop shortly after. He had his TL of course and my mother and I brought both Foci. It ended up raining for a bit at HIN but fortunately it was dry where we were.

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As always, I made up some commemorative decals for Sunday School and both Alex’s TL and my Focus had theirs on early. Our friends have always liked receiving these for shows but it seemed like this time around many were looking forward to seeing what I came up with, more so than usual. Because of this I wanted to do something a little different and this was the end result.

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Punit had his Integra out and JC was in the CT. Despite what the sign says, the shop in the background is indeed Balance Auto – the sign hadn’t been replaced yet.

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I hadn’t yet seen the shop in person – only through photos on Jason’s blog. I must say I was very impressed! While the lot may not be paved it’s very friendly to lowered cars so there shouldn’t be any need to worry about scraping.

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When I wandered inside, I saw Aldrich was providing the music from the balcony so I made my way upstairs to say hi to him and also get a couple of shots of the shop itself. There’s lot of room inside not just for the cars, but also for waiting and just hanging out in general.

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Jackie still has some setting up to do but it looks like it’s coming along very well. Once he’s fully operational the hatch will probably be making its way over for a little bit of maintenance.

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At the front of the building is a really nice waiting area complete with a TV and Netflix. Up on the walls, Jackie also has a couple of photos of his cars that Jason had taken.

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Reggie and his friends made it to Calgary safe and sound after leaving Vancouver at midnight and driving non-stop, and swung by the shop not too long after we arrived. Each time I see his FR-S it looks completely different and personally, I think this is the best version yet. The Varis and Rocket Bunny mashup works extremely well.

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Clarence’s STI looked amazing with the livery and super-aggressive aero. The custom wing stands are a nice touch too. And yes, he has a “Not Rocket Bunny” license plate frame. BC may be much more strict than Alberta when it comes to modifying vehicles but it certainly doesn’t seem to discourage enthusiasts out there.

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Aldo’s S2000 looks great with the subtle rear flares and white Regamasters.

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Jackie’s 4 Runner was looking clean as always, despite the fact it spends a lot of time off-roading. We don’t know how he does it.

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Cooper the Pomeranian and Wally and Ollie the Corgis came out to the BBQ too. Here’s Cooper and Wally saying hi.

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Being just 9 months old, Wally still has tons of energy and because of this it was hard to get a clear photo since he wouldn’t sit still. However, I kept trying and ultimately I succeeded. Haha.

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Steve’s RSX, with Aldrich’s new daily (CR-V) in the background.

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Errol was also part of the blue Honda club with his RSX.

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As the night went on more people showed up and the street continued to fill with a variety of modified vehicles. Here’s Gopesh’s GTI parked in front of a new M3.

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Dicken’s EVO X just had a Varis widebody kit fitted and it looked amazing.

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As Ollie was wandering around I was able to grab a couple of shots of him as well. He apparently had gone for a swim that day and was tired from it, so was moving much slower than Wally.

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Another TL, owned by another Alex. Side note – Volk’s ZE40 may be the new TE37 as it seems the wheel looks great on pretty much anything.

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Later in the evening some people traded keys to take each other’s cars for a quick spin around the area. I don’t even know who was driving Aldo’s S2000 here but Errol was the passenger.

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After staying for a couple of hours, we decided it was time to head out as there were still some final preparations to take care of for the next day. I thanked Jackie for hosting the gathering and after picking up some Starbucks, Alex helped me get the last few commemorative decals finished up. I double checked my list to make sure everything was ready for the next day – camera batteries charged, cleaning supplies and decals packed in the car, etc – and then it was time for a good night’s sleep.

In the morning Alex and Brandon met up at my place and then it was time to make our way over to the Max Bell Center. Photos from the event are next!

-Bill

 

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