Welcome back everyone, to our year-end review! Today we pick up at July and carry on – naturally – to the end of the year. Let’s go!
One series of events that has proven to be a great part of the Calgary scene would be Euro Cars and Coffee. Not only do we get to see an amazing assortment of vehicles on an average week, but the organizers also make the effort to arrange for ‘special guests’ on certain nights. One such guest this year was a demonstrator of the McLaren 720S and it succeeded in drawing a massive crowd. Having the opportunity to see and hear the new model in person was very much appreciated, so a big thank-you goes once again to everyone involved in making it happen!
It was then time for a bit of a throwback as I had a set of photos from earlier in the year that I wanted to share on the site – Advantage Ford had held a grand reopening that a few of us attended as it fell on the same night as a mini-meet we had planned. We decided that the solution to wanting to attend both was simple, attend both (genius, right?). I stopped by Advantage before our meet began, and then after said meet had gone on for a little bit we all cruised over to the dealership to catch the end of their event. It was a fun evening and the mini-cruise in between was awesome as well.
More Cars and Coffee photos were next up for the site, as of course I had been attending them each week and had a stash that I wanted to share here. At events in 2017 I also made a point to grab more rolling shots here and there to get in more practice, and the Cars and Coffee meets were a perfect time to do just that given the layout of the area.
One car that received quite a bit of work this season was Brian’s Titanium of course, and we made sure to share updates on it here on the site. One of the easier installs was the OEM 2.3L throttle body, but being a very talked-about mod in the Focus world we wanted to very clearly document it for the site. Photos and a video went up, together looking at the install on both the naturally-aspirated 2.0L (his) and ST (Mustard’s) engines.
During one of my decal delivery runs I found myself at Balance Auto while many of the guys were preparing their cars for the next track day, so while we hung out I wandered around with the camera again to showcase their builds and updates on the site. It was another more-or-less unplanned day but those often turn into the most fun. Even though Mother Nature tried to dampen our fun (ha, get it?) we happily caught up, talked cars, and overall had a great afternoon.
This year Alberta finally joined the ranks of provinces that recognize Collector Car Appreciation Day, and I made my way over to the ceremony to witness the signing of the declaration. It wasn’t the type of content typically seen on the site but was a very important moment for enthusiasts here in Alberta and so I wanted to share it.
It was then time for Sunday School again, and so we all found ourselves back at Max Bell for ill.motion’s annual event. Our group was able to enjoy the show this year having actually slept the night before (no crazy engine swaps or car makeovers for us this time around) and had a ton of fun as always. It is always incredible to see the turnout and support for this event, and it has been such a wonderful part of our summer seasons.
Similar to what I’d done with the Auto Show coverage earlier in the year, for Sunday School 2017 I put up the regular coverage as always but also put together some spotlights. As two standouts from the show which represented very different build styles, I shone the light on both Alex M’s fully-restored and numbers-matching Integra Type R, as well as Gugliano’s swapped, boosted, M&M widebodied Civic hatch which he and the guys at Blackbird had built in no time at all.
With the coverage and spotlights taken care of, the next entry was that of our annual post-Sunday School photoshoot. Once again it rained after the show but it was worth the wait for the photos of our group, since all of the cars were out and we were all together.
Speaking of Sunday School, Derrick had ordered new wheels for the Camaro but unfortunately they didn’t arrive in time for the show, so it was only after that we were able to share LOWMARO’s new look. Joining the #52family, he swapped out the OEM SS wheels for 19” Tarmacs in white. It made for an extremely unique look, and when combined with the meatier tires, stripped interior, and new two-tone exterior, made for a very effective transformation of the car.
Another show that some of us attended this year was Show Your Ride for Brandon, a local event with plenty of importance and meaning behind it. Easily one of the best melting-posts of automotive genres I’ve ever seen, Show Your Ride brought together over 700 vehicles and continued its efforts to raise awareness about drunk driving. Following the publishing of my articles on the event both here and in Alberta Rides, I actually had the opportunity to meet and visit with Kim, Brandon’s mother, and seeing her reactions to the stories meant a lot.
At the end of September then I put up some photos from a couple of Beyond meets, but they weren’t a throwback. Aldrich had semi-secretly started the weekly meets up again and so we made our way over to show support and hang out at Chinook, just as we used to do. They were naturally small but it was awesome to be back at the old location. I’m hoping that these can continue throughout 2018 and beyond, and can somewhat return to how they were before things got out of hand.
I won’t pretend like there wasn’t a shift in the site’s content schedule, and the last 3 months were definitely affected by that. As more work went on behind the scenes the site saw less frequent updates but rest assured that 2018 will see a return to form! With the season more or less wrapped up and events disappearing from the calendar, more time was spent behind the scenes on other work; fortunately though I still had plenty of content for you all that happily, you have been enjoying regardless – that is, if the messages I get are anything to go by! Haha
Anyway, October’s first entry was to show off Rebel Devil Customs’ new Devil Drops. In partnership with VMAXX these springs were brought to the market as a way to seriously drop a Mk3 focus without resorting to coilovers. Brian, having signed a sponsorship contract with RDC, secured a set for his Titanium and they arrived along with a number of other goodies for the sedan. We threw the springs and struts in first to finally get the sedan sitting how it should be, and he began putting miles on it to see how they felt and reacted. As the install happened just prior to a show we also tossed on my Wintermacs to fill out the arches a bit better. Talk about a transformation!
Not wanting to immediately follow up Gugliano’s feature with yet more photos of his Civic, I had held off on this set for a couple of months and tossed them up in October. I had visited the guys at Blackbird a little before Sunday School and was happily allowed to shoot Gugliano’s car as it sat, very much a work in progress, but of course the photos couldn’t be shared until after the unveiling as the entire project was still very much a secret at this point in time. Always a fan of looking over build/WIP photos myself, I was pleased to be able to provide this quick look at the car prior to its Sunday School unveiling, showing it in a state that otherwise most would have never seen.
Next came the set of photos from Park and Polish, another great melting-pot for Calgary car enthusiasts. It’s impossible to ignore that the arrival of the show also means that the season will soon be wrapping up, but it’s always a great event with some spectacular vehicles to witness and photograph. No matter where your specific interests lie in regards to cars, there will be something here for you.
I don’t always play video games, but when I do you can bet that they’re almost always car related. I had eagerly been awaiting the new Need for Speed: Payback and so when it released (I managed to get it early due to EA Access) I thought I’d try something different for the site and put together a quick review of sorts. I got some good feedback on it so perhaps I’ll do more of these in the future, but by way of a two-month update it’s still proving to be an entertaining game and the new Speedcross update isn’t bad either.
One event that was new for me this year was Eurodrivers’ Summer Send Off. With an interest in the Euro scene I was looking forward to checking it out, and happily was able to actually enter the Focus to officially take part! While one of the smaller shows of the season, there was no shortage in either quality or fun, and Mustard even managed to pick up an award for being the best ‘Other’ at the event. Haha
Now, we at last move into the current month – December – and the final two posts before this countdown began.
Following the spring and strut install, we continued working on Brian’s Titanium and finally had it to the stage where it could be aligned as nothing suspension-related would be coming apart any more. The trip to Balance for his alignment became another fun afternoon/evening of hanging out (when does a trip to Balance not go that way?) and we were able to show off the other suspension modifications that had been part of his Rebel Devil shipment. By coincidence Dustin also had an appointment that day for his 350 and so we got to visit with him for a bit too – and tease him for winter driving on TE37s.
The final post for 2017 was the next installment in Mustard’s Project ST/RS updates, specifically the reassembly along with the first starts and drives as an ST-powered sedan. As was the established practice, along with the main article on PST a video went up on YouTube and an accompanying post was put up here, this time finally answering the whole ‘dealership question’ that many had asked me since the swap. Looking ahead to 2018 we’re very excited to wrap up both the ST swap and Sriracha’s Phase 1 series on PST, and move on to new content for you all!
And so, there it is. Another amazing year, though admittedly perhaps a bit busier than expected. I won’t lie, I do wish that I had been able to keep a more consistent publishing schedule in the last few months but I wouldn’t be spending that time elsewhere if I didn’t think it wouldn’t benefit this site in the future. Looking ahead to 2018, officialTHREETWENTY will actually be celebrating its 5th anniversary (where did those 5 years go?) and I’m hoping for another season of not just the usual great events, but new opportunities and therefore more content to share with you all.
Thank you as always for following along with everything we do, and Happy New Year!! Tomorrow a run-down of the year’s top posts will be going live, so place your predictions now as to what the most popular entries were! I’ll see you then.