Seeing as there’s a lot more to cover today, let’s get right to it shall we? Part 2 of our 2016 review begins now!
July started off with installs, installs, and more installs! The first story of the month provided another update on Sriracha following the arrival and fitting of more new parts; it received another bump in power with more hard parts and a Stage 2 tune, while a new splitter was prepared for installation slightly later on. We had a deadline approaching (Sunday School) and it provided ample motivation to keep on moving!
Next up it was Mustard’s turn for a couple of new parts in the form of Ketchup’s old rear door cards. It was an extremely subtle change but makes a big difference to the feel of the interior if you know what you’re looking for. The entire interior of the car has seen an OEM+ approach taken anyway and these were just one more way to discreetly update it.
With that mini update taken care of it was then Sriracha’s turn for attention again with yet another power bump (it was now Stage 3 at a whopping 6 weeks old) and a couple of cosmetic changes such as the aforementioned splitter. Riding in the little pocket rocket was doing nothing to help my boost cravings at this point!
July marked the return of Levi’s BRZ and I stopped by to see the final pieces of its Rocket Bunny kit go on just prior to its first public appearances. After sitting for a couple of years while parts were being collected and prepared, Levi finally carried out the RB conversion – and in rather good time as well I might add. He opted for a mix of the V2 kit with the V1 wing (which, along with the trunk lid, had been sourced from Reggie’s Varis Bunny) and at that point in time all that remained on the to-do list were to wire up the DRLs and switch out the exhaust.
July also saw the official announcement that both Mustard and Sriracha were the new fifteen52 Project ST cars! This was something that we had been working with fifteen52 on for a little while and it was on the very day that Ketchup was hit in fact, that we had initially come to the agreement that it and Mustard would be featured on the PST site. Following the collision the news was kept a secret until Sriracha had been picked up and we were ready to move ahead, and when the first story went live on PST we could finally announce this to everyone.
Next up was coverage of Cars and Coffee’s Lamborghini night, which saw Aventador SVs, Countachs, a Diablo, and even a Miura come out, along with numerous models from other marques such as Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche, and Rolls Royce.
July was closed out with coverage of the 27th’s Menace Meet. The day that the post went up was the day that Mustard started being pulled apart; I wanted to get something published on the site since we’d all be tied up for a little while and I knew that new posts would therefore have to wait. As it happened, the meet saw a few debuts so there was a lot to check out and talk about – Charles’ wrapped R33 was unveiled, Jesse’s Supra returned with its new single turbo, and Levi brought out the now-completed BRZ. This was also Scott’s last meet before he left on a nearly month-long road trip in his EVO X.
August started off as a slow month on the blog, not surprisingly. We were thrashing to get my car converted in time for Sunday School so while the site stayed somewhat idle, we were all over the place getting parts, working on the car, towing it around, and so on, as well as preparing the rest of the fleet. We were also coordinating with Josè who was preparing his own car down in NorCal for the drive up here for the show. Lots was going on behind the scenes, which we knew would give us plenty to share once we had a chance to catch our breath and recover from the insanity.
I was already up very late the night before Sunday School so naturally I stayed up even later and quickly put a post together to announce that Josè had come up for the show. It was a surprise we had been keeping and we then went a step further and decided his car needed a quick makeover as well. As we joked, “Canada happened” and his car looked completely different with a few select changes. We revamped it to look like Ketchup’s sedan twin and even fooled a few people into thinking it actually was Ketchup.
We had originally wanted Josè up here for Driven back in May but when that had to be canceled and we fell back on our Plan B of Sunday School, we all agreed it was the better scenario anyway. So much happened and came together at the same time that having him here for SS instead of Driven was way better. Instead of just coming up for a show and immediately heading back down, he could see the unveiling of Mustard as an ST4 (and he was actually the first passenger in it!), his car was able to get new wheels, Paul was able to come into town and meet him as well, and there was time for us to show him some sights and more of the local car community too.
With Sunday School now behind us there was a mountain of content to start sharing. Because the stories of the conversion were being reserved for PST, the first post started with the day the Focus hit the road for the first time as an ST4 and carried on through to the morning of Sunday School.
Naturally, next up were the photos from Sunday School itself though the coverage was not as extensive as in years prior. As discussed in those posts, I was quite frankly burnt out after all of the work we carried out for the show. It had been an extremely draining couple of weeks and along with answering the many questions we were receiving about the Focus I took the opportunity to finally relax, catch up with friends, and also to celebrate Keith’s birthday and the fact that we had made it to the show with all of the cars.
Following the photos of Sunday School came our traditional post-show photoshoot, with all of the cars lined up at the far side of the lot with the city’s skyline in the background. Seeing as how a rainstorm came in we would have passed on the photos in favour of staying dry, but since Paul and Josè were in town this was a special occasion and we didn’t want to miss the chance to get all of the cars together for a few more pictures. It was worth it!
Finally, August closed out with a rather special post simply titled “Family”. It was shared on the site that we had won at Sunday School and I recapped some of my thoughts on the show and the entire conversion on Mustard. Everyone had put in a huge amount of work and being able to bring home one of the Honour Roll awards was the perfect way to finish off those crazy two weeks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s not my award, it’s our award. I had a huge amount of support and that trophy belongs to all of us equally.
Also In that post I declared – despite only being two-thirds of the way through the year – that the weekend of Sunday School 2016 would be the best weekend of the year for me. Now that we’re at the end, I can confirm that it indeed was.
September began with a recap of Jose’s last day in Canada, before he had to return to NorCal. We took him to the Calgary Tower, cruised out to Cochrane to get ice cream at MacKay’s, and had a final photoshoot with all of the cars lined up before pulling a Furious 7-style split on the highway (complete with See You Again playing). It was the perfect way to end his time here and this wrapped up the full Sunday School 2016 storyline, if you will.
Naturally, by this point in the year the realization that summer weather possibly wouldn’t be around for too much longer led to some more meets being organized to take advantage of the nice days that we had left. LOWCALS hosted a gathering at Quarry Park which drew out a great selection of vehicles and it gave me the chance to look through some of the cars from Sunday School in more detail, such as Josh’s EG.
Menace meets were carrying on of course, though the shorter and shorter days meant we were soon meeting up in the dark – but hey, as long as it was warm we didn’t care!
September means Park and Polish, and so next up was a three-part series on this year’s edition! After having a rain storm force us into a parkade at 2015’s event it was awesome to be greeted by sunshine and warm temperatures this time around. Once again the lot was filled up with incredible supercars of varying ages showing how the envelope had kept getting pushed further over the decades, and great builds representing the huge range of styles and ideologies that can be found within the automotive community – from restored to factory specs to having nearly nothing factory left; it was all here.
At the very end of September was Menace’s season-ender meet, so that was the first story for October. After a very successful season this was their final organized gathering for the year and the lot got so full that cars were being parked just about wherever there was room to stuff one; it didn’t matter if it was actually a stall or not.
Next up was something new for the site, and for me as well. With invites from one of the organizers, myself, my mother, and one of our friends all attended the Horsepower car show and accompanying collector car auction at Spruce Meadows. We all brought out our respective cars for the show but when Mother Nature decided we needed a bit of rain, we wandered over to the auction instead to see what was going on there. A collector car auction was something that none of us had ever been to before and we figured why not check it out – what harm could come from just looking? It’s not like we were going to be tempted to buy anything, right?
Keeping the stories in chronological order, the next post up on the blog was that of the LOWCALS x Lost Royalty meet that happened the day after Horsepower. We all returned to Quarry Park for what was another massive gathering and I was able to catch up with some friends that I hadn’t seen in far too long. As a side note, looking through all of these photos again is making me really miss the warm summer days and nights, and the clean cars. Summer 2017 can’t come soon enough!
Following the LOWCALS x Lost Royalty meet my mother and I found ourselves back at Spruce Meadows when I drove her down there to pick up her new S13 convertible! What harm could come from looking at the auction, I had asked? To make a long story short I stumbled across the cleanest stock S13 that I had ever seen, and when it became evident that the audience had no real interest in it my mother saw the opportunity and took it. Having always wanted a convertible, she picked up a true gem and didn’t just purchase a car, but invested in a car. The little red soft-top is currently parked for winter but come summer, you can expect to see it out and about at local meets and shows, and getting regular use. She can’t wait to drive it again but there’s no way it’ll be seeing any miles during the winter!
Next up was a super quick (and free!) addition to the sedan in the form of Mario’s old Maxton front lip. Or rather, part of it. Kyle Mcgrew came up with the idea originally when he cut down his old Maxton lip to be a filler for between his Cup Spoilers, and it so happened that I had Mario’s smashed Maxton lip sitting in a pile of parts that was waiting to be tossed. Conveniently, the only section of his lip that survived the collision was the bit that I needed.
The 240SX then returned to the site when it received a full inspection at Balance Auto. We had inspected it as well as we could have at the auction but wanted it up on a hoist for a thorough check-through and to see firsthand how clean the rest of it was. With a perfect undercarriage and Jackie’s seal of approval overall, my mother became even happier with her new toy.
October wrapped up with coverage of the 780 Tuners Closer. While I was a regular attendee of the Opener, I had never been to the Closer before and it provided an opportunity to take the sedan on its first real road trip with its new heart. Unfortunately the weather was far from perfect but that didn’t stop us from having fun. It was literally snowing sideways at times but we were all bundled up and happily seeing what had been brought out to the gathering.
This year the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) turned 100 and as part of their celebrations hosted a car show which I made sure to visit. A carefully-selected series of cars and trucks (and a few other machines as well) were on display to represent the different decades of SAIT’s past and showed the progression that had been seen in regards to the style and technology employed in automobiles. It was also a good opportunity to learn a bit more about SAIT as I hadn’t personally attended the school.
For car enthusiasts November is exciting because it means SEMA, and while I wasn’t present this year a couple of friends were and graciously provided me with photographs to share on the site with you all. They captured the various Foci and Mustangs, as well as some of the other Fords on display, and even tossed in one of the Mighty Car Mods Subarute for good measure. Thank you again to Colin and Tyler for helping out with this – one year I will get there to see it for myself!
With the SEMA post live, one person who found the site because of it was Warren Shim-Quee of Cinemotive Media. The Cinemotive Media Focus ST had happened to be one of my favourite vehicles of this year’s show but I unfortunately only had one photo of it to share. He helped out with a full selection of pictures and I was very happy to be able to provide a better look at the car.
As we looked at in Part 1 of this review, I had been able to see both a Nitrous Blue and Shadow Black RS up close and personal at a couple of local dealerships. At the 780 Closer I was then able to see a Stealth Grey example, leaving Frozen White as the only colour I had yet to see in person. One happened to arrive at Advantage Ford for a client so I made my way over with my camera, and was able to complete the set at last!
At this point Sriracha had recently had its proper introduction on Project ST so it was time to start sharing the actual updates on the cars. The first story to go live was that of Mustard’s teardown, and with it up the accompanying post went live over here as well as the next video over on the YouTube channel.
More new cars from Advantage were then seen on the site, this time the focus being on a pair of Shelby GT350Rs. Way back in January the GT350 had been spotlighted and now I had the chance to show the more extreme version. As well, Brian tagged along for one of the dealer visits and we happily spent a fair bit of time perusing the lot and throwing ideas around, as we usually do.
Following the very expensive summer that I had I was purposely taking the rest of the year easy in regards to new modifications for the sedan, but one exception to that was a new COBB Accessport from Rebel Devil Customs. After running a stock ST tune for a few months the Stage 1 tune was a welcome addition, as was the ability to monitor additional parameters with the AP’s digital display.
Last but not least, we now have December. This was a bit of a slower month on the site given the lack of car activities and of course all the holiday/end-of-year preparations to look after, but a few different stories did go up. It started off with a feature of Richard Ciraulo’s widebody Mk3 Focus hatch, definitely one of the most distinctive Mk3s currently out there. It’s a perfect example of not cutting corners and showcases some seriously impressive craftsmanship.
One small change that Mustard had seen earlier in the year – but that I hadn’t really highlighted – was a keyhole delete. I put together a quick how-to for those who were interested in knowing more, and provided the information both in a post and a video. It’s a very easy and straight-forward ‘modification’ and in case it wasn’t evident yet, I enjoy making subtle changes because they all add up!
I then visited Balance Auto to say hi to the guys and check in on their ITR track car. Jackie let me in on his plans for the coming season and I was able to capture it in its current form as it sat hibernating in the shop, before the guys had a chance to start pulling it apart. Scheduling conflicts unfortunately prevented me from being there for its final assembly back in August, so this time around I’m hoping to be able to document it in greater detail for you all as version 2.0 comes to fruition.
And finally, our year concluded with a couple of videos on the prep and shoot for Brent’s 403 Media Christmas video featuring a trio of giftwrapped cars. This little project was a ton of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to not only help out with it, but also share the behind-the-scenes with all of you. I had never done something like this before but I already know I want to do it again! We saw a ton of people smiling and laughing as we cruised around in the cars and the video that Brent put together was incredible.
And so, there it is – another 12 months of great memories! Those outside of this world often wonder why I surround myself with cars to the extremes that I do but the truth is that there’s so much more to it than just the cars. It’s the people I meet, adventures I go on, memories I make, and experiences I get to look back on that people don’t always understand when they think of this lifestyle. Cars are merely the vehicles (see what I did there?) that enable all of this to happen and that’s why they’re so great.
Thank you all for following along with everything we did this year and continuing to support officialTHREETWENTY; now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get back out there and start again. Bring on 2017!