Driven 2016 – Part 1

I can’t believe that Driven was already two days ago! After all of the work leading up to the big day it feels like it went by in the blink of an eye.

I had a ton of fun running into and catching up with friends all day long, some of whom I hadn’t seen since last year. Following all of the postings on social media I finally got to see a lot of new and updated projects in person, and see what everyone had been up to leading up to the show. A little later in the day Mario and Brenda stopped by as well so we all got to see him and spend some time together. Everybody was happy to see him out and around and doing okay, all things considered.

As with last year’s coverage, this year I’m beginning with photos from the setup day (Friday May 6th). Driven is a one-day event but roll-in takes place the afternoon and evening prior so that there’s ample time to set up booths, displays, and park all ~450 vehicles in the venue. To try and do all of this in the same day would just be too much to ask, and as an added benefit this gives those of us entered in the show plenty of time to see the cars for ourselves before all of the crowds arrive for the proper show the following day.

After some messages back and forth our group had a game plan in place for meeting and setting up. Brandon lives very close to me so he drove over to my house, and shortly after we cruised over to Market Mall where we met with the rest of the group like we did last year. From there the Olympic Oval is only a few minutes away so it makes for a perfect staging area.

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In the end our group consisted of 6 cars – Kaylee’s S14, Dustin’s S15, my mother’s Thunderbird, Brandon’s ST, my SE, and Shane’s Integra. I had looked for a spot at the mall where we could all park together but the best I could find were these 5 stalls together, so poor Shane was hidden behind the Silverado next to me. Haha

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Dustin reinstalled his front splitter and lowered the S15 a touch for the show.

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Since last Sunday when some of us were hanging out at Brandon’s house, his ST – Le Yeti – had been fully detailed and had been kept in the garage to stay clean. I had finished detailing mine just before he showed up at my house and the Turbomacs were fully white for the first time since the BBK install.

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Proof that Shane was there too – no full shot of the Integra yet though because of the massive shadow the Silverado was casting on it. Haha

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We didn’t hang around at the mall for long before we hopped back in the cars to head over to the Oval. It was already after 5 and we wanted ample time to get set up.

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As it turned out though, we had to wait for a couple of hours before we could park our cars for good anyway. Lots of vehicles that would be parking at the end of the Oval still had to roll in and we had to keep a path clear for them, so we moved our cars aside and spent the time relaxing, hanging out, doing final cleaning, and seeing what else had shown up. I also spent some time admiring the fully-detailed Focus, naturally.

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Some people understandably thought that Brandon’s car was the same ST that showed with us at last year’s Driven. However, that was Vlad’s ST which he has since sold – Brandon now fills the role of Mayo on Team Condiments.

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One car I was looking forward to seeing in person was Jason’s FR-S with its new aero. That swan neck though!

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Dustin’s S15 sitting off to the side. He and Kaylee tossed me their keys at one point so they could run out for food, and I realized that it would be a good opportunity to just leave with the S15 and finally have one for myself. Only joking though, of course…

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How’s that for shine?

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As part of my updates for Driven I had one surprised planned – new headlights! At last the Focus finally received its retrofit and I am extremely happy with not just the appearance but also the performance of the new lights. More on these later.

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We joked that in a way, we still had the trio of Ketchup, Mustard, and Mayo with Brandon’s new red and white scheme. There was a bit of Ketchup present too though, in the form of Mario’s old European tail lights which had been fitted to Mayo.

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After plenty more cars rolled in we could at last move ours to their final spots and finish setting up. We opted to have the domestics in one row and imports in the other, with the Foci parked together as well as the 240s.

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Following their install Shane had his new J’s Racing fenders fully wrapped in paint protection film, which was a good call. No need to worry about them now.

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Dustin and Kaylee’s cars were parked up front because next to us (behind me in these shots) were an S13 and another S15, prompting us to put the S-Chassis cars together.

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Here you can get a glimpse of this year’s commemorative decals, featuring a red and (reflective) white colourway in honour of Mario’s ST. I’ll have a close-up shot later on in the coverage.

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With the cars finally parked and cleaned yet again, and with the garbage bags in place underneath (one of the show rules is that every vehicle needs something under its engine to catch any drips) we called it a night. The next day I returned around 11 am to have a couple more hours before the crowds swarmed in, and that’s where the next post will begin.

I hope you all enjoy what will be my look at Driven 2016! Please stay tuned for the following posts showing off some of the other vehicles that took part. Driven 2016 was an amazing event and I crossed something big off of my wishlist with it too.

Part 2, soon!

-Bill

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