Here we are – the last day of the year, and the last post of the year!
The second half of 2015 saw Jackie open a new shop, another edition of Sunday School take place, various part installs, numerous meets, and more. After the intro yesterday I don’t think I really need to say much more, so let’s get right to the photos and review!
Part Two: July to December 2015
Admittedly they had been installed prior to July, but the first post of the month took a look at a few small pieces I had added to the sedan. I enjoy playing with the details and believe they play an important role when modifying a car.
I removed the front bumper for the 3000th time (give or take) to fit a Ford Racing snorkel…
…and I finally had a proper place to rest my left foot! That is, when I wasn’t changing gears – granny shifting, not double clutching like I should.
Kyle Deyoung, whose sedan was seen in the last post, produced some rear strut bars for the Mk3 chassis and I made sure to pick one up for myself. After giving it a coat of white paint I installed it and the effects were immediately noticeable; I drove with it for a little while before posting my review and my recommendation still stands – it’s worth the money! I had wanted to focus more on improving the performance of the car this year and while some plans unfortunately had to be postponed due to the exchange rate, at least I was able to get to some taken care of, like this strut bar!
As I mentioned in Part One, I was attending multiple meets a week so there were plenty of posts being devoted to photos from them. Canada Day happened to fall on a Wednesday this year so flags could be seen flying at Grey Eagle and it was an extra nice way to spend the holiday. Eh.
It was at Canada Day’s meet that Alex brought out his new TL for the first time. I was very happy to see him back in his favourite chassis and over the rest of the summer it started to progress, even stopping by The MacKenCo Garage a few times for work. I intend to provide an update on it in the new year, with the various photos I captured over the following months as it changed.
Scott had also picked up an EVO X earlier in the year and a bit later in the summer work began on it too. It received the world’s loudest exhaust which was soon muffled a bit.
At the start of July I attended for the first (and still only) time a meet at Barlow and happened to run into Dominic, so the two of us went off to see what had shown up. I enjoyed it, and as I write this I’m thinking that perhaps I should try to get to a few of these in 2016 as well.
At this time I started attending the local Cars and Coffee meets and had a great time chatting with the owners and admiring the new selection of cars. I enjoy seeing the usual Grey Eagle attendees but this was a great chance to see an almost completely different grouping of cars and I heard some great feedback on the photos I was able to share.
Most of the people I met and became friends with through my Grand Prix and the W-Body community live in the United States, but I have been able to meet many fellow Focus enthusiasts here in Alberta, specifically in Calgary and Edmonton. A few times a year one or some of us will have a reason to travel to the other city and that makes for a perfect excuse to meet up and hang out. In July Paul (Benzondubs) happened to be in Calgary on a Wednesday so he came with to Grey Eagle and got to see the meet first-hand.
Meanwhile the hatch continued to be kept stock and didn’t receive yet more modifications like a Downforce USA front lip… #lies
Also in July, I got to see a LaFerrari in person for the first time. It was definitely a highlight of the year for me, along with when I saw the 918 and P1 later on. Truly amazing cars.
That’s not to say the rest weren’t though, because there were always some very rare, exclusive, and valuable cars showing up each week.
Not only had my Focus earned a feature on 1552’s site in June, but Mario’s ST wound up on Speedhunters as part of their On Air Only theme in July. By this point he had also fitted a new front lip to his car and had Garage Box fabricate a custom splitter/undertray for it as well. Mario decided it was time to venture into more custom work with the car and it continues to evolve and set the bar higher for his competition (*cough* me *cough*).
Meanwhile, with the exterior of my sedan more or less complete in terms of big changes (for now?) I decided to experiment with a basic livery. Perhaps so basic it shouldn’t even be called a livery? Anyway, that’s when the large stripes were stuck on, and following that smaller pieces running to the rear bumper were added. My original plan was to carry the stripes onto the front bumper as well but in the end decided against it.
We carried on with attending both Cars and Coffee…
…and Grey Eagle, but by this point in the year a lot of my attention was focused on ill.motion’s annual Sunday School, which was fast approaching.
Another event on the calendar, the day prior to Sunday School in fact, was the opening of Jackie’s new shop (Balance Auto Garage) which also served as a pre-meet for the next day.
It was great to see everyone out celebrating the opening of the new shop and enjoying the nice weather, with a BBQ to enjoy and cars to check out as bonuses.
Jackie has helped out many times with our cars, be it small repairs, tire mounting/dismounting, or larger jobs, and I continue to recommend him to others whenever they need work.
With everything and everyone ready to go, the next morning we were back at Max Bell setting up for Sunday School! With tents, hats, and sunscreen we even (mostly) won the war against sunburns.
Once again ThreeTwenty supported the show by sponsoring the trophies for the Honour Roll and the judges picked some incredible vehicles to receive them.
Reggie’s Varis Bunny was one of them but I didn’t need an excuse to include a photo because I love all things Rocket Bunny.
In attendance were multiple R34s and S15s since more had become legal for use on Canada’s roads.
Along with Balance Auto’s opening, HIN had taken place the day before but since I wanted to attend the BBQ and also wanted to have extra time to prepare for Sunday School, I opted out of going. Mario went though, and took home an award! I actually just realized I forgot to mention it in Part 1, but Mario also took home Best Focus at Driven in May!
Towards the end of August, exactly one year after his first feature, I posted an update on Josè’s Focus. After being the first with the ST Sedan rear valance earlier in the year, he carried out the rest of the ST swap as well making his sedan the first in the USA with a full ST exterior conversion.
August was also when I first saw a 918 Spyder in person. Like the LaFerrari it drew a massive crowd and I was one of the people who rushed over to check it out. There’s something very surreal about seeing a seven-figure car sitting just a few feet away from you.
This meant that the P1 was the last of the trio that I had to hunt down and fortunately it wasn’t too long before I was able to see that too.
As if August hadn’t been amazing enough by this point, it was at the end of the month when the world first saw the results of a few hard weeks of work by Mike at Rebel Devil, who tore apart his SE sedan and replaced the drivetrain with that of a Focus ST.
As the world’s first ST-swapped Mk3 it unsurprisingly was a massive hit because it was an extremely important milestone in the Focus community and confirmed that yes, the swap was possible. Josè and I had been in touch with Mike the entire time and coordinated to simultaneously reveal his creation to the world, both here and on FiveThirty.
Then of course, came more Cars and Coffee and GE meets.
At times the crowds got a bit insane, but that wasn’t a surprise to anyone.
August also saw the next big update to the sedan with arrival of my new Turbomacs, which were promptly wrapped in rubber and mounted on the car.
The new wheels were necessitated of course by the Rays going to the hatch. I was extremely happy with the Turbomacs, my first-ever set of brand new wheels, and the car felt better too as it was finally on non-winter tires…for the first time in about 10 months (yikes).
Finally, closing out the August portion of this review, is a snapshot from a Focus meet we held at Grey Eagle on the 26th. It was great to have so many Foci together, and at the last official GE meet of the year too.
Now we move into September and the first meet of the month saw both the LaFerrari and 918 back at Cars and Coffee. Seeing them individually was cool enough, but having two of the three parked together was crazier still.
Just check out the little crowd that formed around them…
Finally, at Park and Polish the last of the trio showed up and joined the party. This was the first time many of us had seen a P1 in person and that would have been awesome enough, but the fact that all three were together made it a truly special moment.
Not surprisingly many cameras were pointed at them during the day.
Due to heavy rain the show had to be largely moved into the parkade at the last minute, but we made do with the less-than-ideal conditions and had a great time regardless. It would have been worth going just to get a single photo of the trio.
A couple of days after, we were at Grey Eagle once again for another show – Tree and Shine. It was a smaller show but we enjoyed our time at it…
…even if a brief rain storm did dampen the mood. Ha! Dampen! Okay, moving on…
The next night we were back at Cars and Coffee, and the P1 made an appearance.
I made sure to take advantage of the better lighting to shoot more photos of it and take in more details since it was out in the open.
Even though the official GE meets had ended, that didn’t stop a lot of us from continuing to show up on Wednesday nights for a few hours of admiring cars and hanging out.
In September I attended another event that I hadn’t been to before, which was the Super 8 Show and Shine. A lot of money was raised that day for the Make A Wish foundation and unlike for the last two shows (Park and Polish and Tree and Shine), it was sunny and clear that day!
It was the final big show of the year for the Focus, meaning it was time to start thinking about getting prepared for the coming winter.
Afterwards I attended my last (as far as I remember) Cars and Coffee of the year as well, which coincidentally was on my birthday. That was a perfect way to spend the evening in my opinion, with cars and friends.
For Back to the Future fans like myself, October was rather special as the 21st was Back to the Future Day – the day that Doc, Marty, and Jennifer traveled to in the second movie. I was totally geeking out about the approach of the day and I wanted to do something fun to celebrate it, so I fashioned some fake license plates in preparation for a quick photoshoot of the sedan.
I’m quite pleased with what I came up with and the photo above is one of my favourites from the past 12 months. I didn’t mention it in the original post, but while taking the pictures I actually got to quickly meet the artist who had originally painted that wall, and he was blown away by the Focus. I thought that was really great as I was blown away by the wall when I first saw it and knew I had to find an excuse to park the Focus in front of it for photos some day.
After we happened to spot each other on the road one day, Solomon and I got in touch and set up a time for some photos. A little exploring led us to a rather nice spot on the edge of downtown and I was able to share an update on his E90, after the new modifications it had received over the year.
Solomon’s original feature was one of the most popular posts of 2014 as it turned out and I had mentioned I wanted to shoot it again after the then-future modifications were carried out. I’m glad we could finally meet up and provide an update on it.
By November things were not surprisingly slowing down but some new parts did arrive in the mail for both Foci which was exciting.
Less exciting was the fact it was also time to switch back to winter tires…at least they’re on the Tarmacs!
I kept the Turbomacs on as long as I reasonably could but there was no more putting off the swap at this point. This is one reason I went with high-performance all-seasons as my summer tires; it allows me to run my summer wheels just a little bit longer each season.
November of course means SEMA and while I wasn’t able to attend the show personally, Mike from Rebel Devil was there and sent along some photos of the assorted Foci that were on display.
SEMA is a big item on my to-do list and if/when I ever get down there you know my camera will be at my side. For this year though, I’m grateful I could get a few photos from Mike to share here.
Along with the other parts and photos, thanks goes to Mike again for the new Injen intake which now calls the hatch’s engine bay home.
All year I had been stockpiling photos for this winter, which I could share along with newer content to keep the blog active. During November I started by sharing some photos from the Calgary Auto Show, and wrapped that series of posts up earlier this month.
The Throwback posts will continue in the new year as we wait for Spring to return.
We’re almost at the end of the year now! A couple of weeks ago, after coordinating with Jackie, I headed over to Balance Auto so that I could get some photos of their new project and and begin to share it here on the site.
Starting with a RHD Integra Type R, Jackie and his crew are working to prepare it for time attack in 2016.
This is a project – and series of posts – I’m extremely excited for and I can’t wait to see more progress.
And finally, we are up to the last two posts of the year before the start of this review. Brian had lost his original Mk3 earlier in the year thanks to another driver causing a wreck, but found himself a wonderful Titanium to replace it.
We met up on a moderately chilly day so that I could take some photos for him which he wanted to use to officially unveil the car on the forums.
Of course I took some photos of mine as well, and that brings us to the end of the year. Thank you everyone for following and reading, and stay tuned for the third and final post taking a look back at 2015, which will count down the top posts of the year. That should be up tomorrow (aka next year).
2015 was a great year and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store. Happy new year!