One definite benefit of being an exhibitor in Driven is that you get to arrive early on the day of the show. While the event officially begins at 1PM, we are allowed access as early as 10AM. This gives us time of course for final preparations but it also provides a great opportunity for us to admire each other’s vehicles and begin grabbing our photos and video without the crowds in the way.
I arrived a little after 11 I believe. Yolanda was first and had already been at the oval for a little while when the rest of us started showing up, and gradually the place got busier as more and more owners returned and made sure everything was set up for the big day. Since the Focus was all clean and ready to go I of course grabbed my camera and began wandering around, capturing what you’ll see today; all of the shots below were captured before the doors opened – I figured that it was as good a way as any to split the pictures up before this post got too long.
I of course can’t pass up some shots overlooking the whole venue, with all of the vehicles and stands set up. It’s always rewarding to see this at the start of the day due to all of the long hours and late nights it represents for so many people.
Brandon took the chance to capture it as well.
While we were up there, we noticed my mother and Yolanda having a quick snack while they had the chance. I shot a message to our group chat for Driven saying “look up” and waited for one of them to check their phone and see it – which Yolanda did. Haha.
Back on the show floor I began with our group, to ensure I got clear shots of everyone’s cars. Up front was Mustard, showing off Ketchup’s heart and wearing some new paint as well. In prep for the show a handful of pieces had been sent off including the Mountune Lower Sport Spoiler. I hadn’t seen one colour-matched before and wanted to try something different – I’m very happy with how it came out! For you fellow Focus owners, it and the other mods that were fitted for the show will all be getting proper posts here on the site.
With his focus shifted to his new ITR project, Alex’s TL-S won’t be seeing as many changes as it perhaps would have this year, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be left alone or forgotten. Among other updates for Driven a new intake went in under the hood, and a 1-off carbon fiber and leather steering wheel replaced the stock piece.
As you have seen the S13 joined Driven this year too. Since it had already attended a couple of times – and had already won an award from Driven (in 2015) – my mother decided to leave the Thunderbird out this time around in favour of bringing the new little convertible instead. We were also curious to see the reactions it’d get given what it had already received during its couple of brief appearances at local meets.
You may note the addition of a front plate now too – the only ‘modification’ (change is probably a better word) that the car will see. Being a BC car originally it had a large front plate bracket mounted on the bumper which we didn’t wish to remove, so the idea came about to get a mock Japanese plate for it instead. It was temporarily fastened for the show but since has been properly mounted with hardware following holes being drilled in the plate.
Jumping back to the Ford side now with Yolanda’s ST – Miracle Whip – looking good all cleaned up. As it’s fitted with colour-changing headlights, partway through the show Yolanda activated them and put them on a cycle to try and surprise showgoers. She also brought along a miniature version of the car to display on her dash which was a nice touch – a diecast that she painted white and black to match.
Shane’s Teggy, looking mean as always. It’s exterior is simple but purposeful and the interior has been gutted – the focus here is all on performance. As I was making the commemorative decals for the show I asked Shane if he still had the green valve cover on – which he did – so I chose that as the main colour for his decal. I never knew why he had chosen it but learned it was to go with the green Takata harnesses.
The new face in our lineup this year was Stephen with his black and gold Fiesta ST – he was the only one to not have shown at Driven before. This was also the first time we’d had a Fiesta ST in our lineup; the plan is for Mario to return next year with Sriracha after having sat out the last two shows.
In prep for this year’s event not only did the FiST get the new banner as shown in Part 1, but a new wheels were acquired as well – Ford Racing pieces specifically, custom powdercoated to stick with the colour scheme.
Also showing off a few new parts was Alex’s ITR. As I had noted in the video, the last time I’d seen this in person prior to Driven it was covered in winter grime, so to see it cleaned up like this was a huge change. It still needs to have its passenger fender replaced but as a temporary measure the dent was removed via PDR and really helped the car look much better. Also improving its appearance were the new PCI sideskirts, replacing the OEM Championship White pieces the car had.
Brandon’s ST – Le Yeti – retained its True Blood roof for the show but when we applied the new banner, we decided to remove the wrap from the mirror caps to clean it up a bit. The only other change to the exterior came in the form of a light tint on the fog lights; the original protection film was looking weathered so it was removed and I applied some Lamin-X tint to the lenses.
ST/mini ST/ST/fake ST. And now on to the rest of the show…
Next to us was Drift Squad with their trio of Nissans. Given how good they looked sitting still I can only imagine how good of a sight it’d be to see them all sideways in a drift train. These things had no shortage of style.
Two crazy coupes representing the EJ and EM1 versions of the Civic, with beautiful selections of parts and great execution. Both were built to be functional and both looked amazing as a result of that. The red-on-red combo was perhaps a bit unique but it worked very well and definitely made the EJ stand out.
Another angle of the Balance Auto ITR, which you had seen in Part 1, with Errol’s behind it for a bit of contrast. With the aero constantly getting crazier and power levels constantly rising, this thing is quickly becoming a monster.
A better angle for Errol’s ITR now – which happens to wear my favourite ever wing for the chassis, a Mugen Gen 1. It’s crazy to see the same model of the same car side by side, built so differently. Errol’s is quite obviously the more conservative one, but that’s also not saying much since I’m using Jackie’s for comparison.
There should be an engine bay shot of this colour-shifting FR-S later on; it had a full set of carbon fiber covers, an ARC induction box, and even a scale model of a Rocket-Bunny kitted 86 for good measure (which you can just make out here).
Lost Royalty rolled in last-minute immediately following a trip back from Japan and ended up taking the Best Team award! I’m sure that was worth the extreme lack of sleep they had as they prepared their fleet of widebody cars for the show. Understandably, some of them didn’t stay awake for the entire event, we noticed.
This grey, Varis-kitted FR-S was one of Mario’s personal favourites from the day and took home Best 86 Chassis. TE37Vs, the aforementioned Varis kit, boost, and more; it was definitely a solid build.
R33 GT-R sitting nicely on some deep Volk GT-7s. Classy, simple, effective.
These two LS-swapped 240s may have shared the engine/chassis combo but from there had certainly been taken in very different directions. Seeing the Boss kit in person was really cool and while I’m frankly still undecided on it, it certainly accommodates the inclusion of styling cues from other eras and genres well. I’d love to see one of these brought to a non-tuner based event and watch as people try to figure out what it is.
Kanji’s madeover Chargespeed x Aimgain BRZ again, looking nuts. It’s loud, it’s crazy, it’s different, it’s Kanji. I like it. Note the switch to a longer roof box which now reaches the wing, and take a closer look at the front fenders while you’re at it – they’re actually carbon fiber items that were cut up for the overfenders instead of the original parts.
It was hard to miss Kanji and the rest of Buu Crew as they came in with a set of matching cars, including a few Skylines. It’s always nice to see the R34 sedan getting some attention!
This one in particular was impossible to miss with what were among the widest overfenders I’d ever seen. Combined with the crazy dish on the wheels and the tuck provided by the bags, it was quite a sight. And in case you were wondering, yes; it’s a GT-R.
Next door to it was a much more conservatively styled R34 GT-R. It’s still somewhat uncommon to see these here, surely thanks in no small part to how the prices have gone in recent times.
Coolest tail light award goes to…
As it happened, this Celsior actually took home two different awards when all was said and done – Best Stance and Best VIP!
I was so taken by the appearance of this S15 that it wasn’t until the second lap of the venue that I noticed it actually had a 2JZ swap! Following the show when this arrived at a meet and I noticed the license plate, I then discovered that this was a car I had seen before, albeit when it looked completely different – as in with a stock body and different colour!
No Doritos here – there was a 2JZ (no sh!t) under the hood of this FD as well!
It wasn’t all 2Js though. This S14 had instead taken the engine from its big brother – an RB26. It poses an interesting question; both are highly respected and capable inline-6s, but which would you choose?
We don’t seem to see a lot of FCs built around here which is a shame, so it was nice to see this clean one at the show – and the icing on the cake had to be the Super Advans, my favourite wheels of all time. Sorry 1552…haha.
This was a gem – a seemingly all-stock ITR in spotless condition. They’re amazing platforms and of course have nearly endless possibilities when it comes to modifying, but it’s always nice to see an example like this; as it was when it left the factory.
Haute|AG had a great pair of F80s on display among their other cars. This white one looked rather purposeful with the prominent splitter up front and wing out back. With it matching the bright white exterior, the cage inside surely also got its fair share of attention!
A little more reserved in terms of appearance – but still head-turning – was this Austin Yellow sedan.
Nearby another F8x could be found, in the form of the M4 GTS that I’d seen last year at SAIT’s 100th birthday car show. This was my first chance to see one in person with the hood popped – check out the weave on the underside!
Last but not least for today, this widened and slammed S13 – two-tone coupes are always awesome to see and the white/gold pairing suited this one perfectly. This is a car I went back to a few times during the day.
I hope everyone enjoyed the start of the official Driven Calgary coverage, and please do check back for Part 3 soon!