Tuner Spirit 2022 – Part 2

For those in my own time zone, I suppose I should be saying good morning! I’m sitting down to type this up now following a rather enjoyable Father’s Day car show surrounded by GM metal of varying vintages, including both the Suburban and my Grand Prix. The assortment of vehicles in that lot probably couldn’t be further from what we had at Tuner Spirit if it tried, but moving between themes and eras with all of these different events makes the car season much more enjoyable if you ask me!

Anyway, today we wrap up the Tuner Spirit photos with Part 2, showcasing the final shots I took that morning before getting to work with John to judge all of the cars. It isn’t going to be quite as long as Part 1 was but will serve to wrap things up so that we can move into some project updates and other articles over the next little while! If you haven’t read Part 1 I would recommend that you do so for a proper introduction to the event, and when you get to the end you’ll see that we pick up exactly where we left off:

Right behind the A90 with which we closed out Part 1 sat this Rally Backer BRZ, which took home the “Cleanest Wheels” award, AKA the “safe from Jason calling you out on social media” award. It’s hilarious how his barrel checks have taken on a life of their own here and so many are stepping up their game to ensure their wheels are up to show standard. Except for Errol, who just intentionally disrespects his.

I have no issue with bolt-on widebodies as the hardware can really suit the theme and character of a build and provide additional opportunities for adding detail, but there’s no denying that a molded kit really makes a car stand out.

We stay inside the venue from here on out, starting with the R34 GT-R from Zee’s Garage backing into position. You know there had to be a shot included which featured the iconic tail lights all lit up.

It was great to see Kanji again and briefly catch up, and also see the new look of his trusty BRZ. I remember going with him on his initial test drive of the platform back in 2014, and multiple looks later he’s still changing things up with this one. Along with the new colour the most noticeable visual change from the last time I saw it in person was the removal of the chassis-mount wing, though worth mentioning is that the car is also now supercharged.

Pink cars, so hot right now?

First Gear’s STI appears again because I liked it and wanted another photo of it. It’s that simple. Haha

I walked away from Driven with only a few poor photos of this mental Passat so I was quite pleased to have another opportunity to photograph it at Tuner Spirit, as well as look over it in more detail. It was evident from the start that this would be a strong contender and provide plenty of competition to the other builds in the show, and sure enough the points quickly accumulated when it came time to properly judge. At the end of the day this took home “Car of the Festival”, for the quality and quantity of work.

A slightly better photo of the two freshly-repainted Chasers. I adore that Calvin still rocks one of the OG officialTHREETWENTY decals on his rear door’s glass as well, after all these years.

Chain Smoker should need no introduction at this point, nor any explanation as to why it took the “Craftsman Award” at the end of the day.

The stance on this bagged Genesis was crazy enough on its own, but the RHD Z next to it seemed to have gone even wilder with its Koenigs’ specs – and I want to say it was static as well?

Each was a Toyota (Lexus) dumped on some chrome and gold wheels, but beyond that they went very different ways. I must give special note to the treatment of the Celsior’s wheels specifically as the two-tone being carried out the way it was added some real depth and a very unique look to them.

F80s already look great out of the box but throw on some carbon, subtle aero, and TEs and you really have something impressive. This one was seen during Part 1 but I wanted to shoot it again. The blue was a wrap I believe and really showed off the lines well, not to mention made the carbon stand out.

We’ve been fortunate to see R34 GT-Rs for some time now in Canada but shouldn’t let that dilute the experience for us, especially when it’s an example as well cared-for and built as this one. I won’t lie, I’m a bit sad that I’ll never be able to afford one but will always enjoy seeing what the lucky custodians of these machines do to continually customize or preserve the ones they have.

Is this as troublesome as shooting a white car with black wheels? Probably. I promise that one of those black voids was David’s M6 Gran Coupe, sitting low on KWs.

Here’s a shot to better show off the “.5” part of Faisal’s S13.5, sitting next to a sibling that retained its original pop-ups. For being about a decade newer, the 15 nose really does flow quite well with the styling of the S13 hatches. The boxier coupes, maybe not quite as smoothly.

Kanji’s BRZ appears again, but it was still being cleaned at this time so the trunk was open. I was instantly a big fan of the green/gold/bronze/carbon scheme when it rolled in that morning.

Back on the topic of Nissan’s design team, almost 25 years on now there’s no denying that they seriously got it right when it came to the S15 as a whole; and when fitted with the full catalogue of OEM Aero components, it gets even better. On that, I’ve probably mentioned it before on the site but pet peeve time: stop calling it “Spec R Aero”, there is no such thing. The factory Aero Package (skirts and wing) was an option for both the Spec S and Spec R variants of the S15, while the Aero front bumper (shown here) and rear spats (hidden here, see mine for reference) were additional standalone optional parts from Nissan. Nothing was exclusive to the R. That is all, class dismissed. Haha

In Part 1, I had promised I’d provide some detail as to our decision to award Reegan’s GTI with the Best Stance award, so here we go. Incidentally I’ve not seen or heard of any debate over it, but being such a subjective judging process I figured some might be curious as to how we wound up here. John had some ideas in mind for winners but Reegan’s was one that stood out to me because it showed the essential, careful consideration of wheel and tire specs without going to extremes – and in the end we decided it was the one to pick. The term “stance” can quickly lead you to oni-camber and 205s hanging on for dear life on 13″ wheels – which, like all mods, have a time and place in which they work perfectly – or it can also lead to quarter panels being ruined as the envelope is just pushed too far. Reegan’s GTI, when aired out, had the sheetmetal on each corner just perfectly kissing the lip of the associated wheel and was a textbook illustration of how nailing the entire wheel/tire/fitment package can seriously elevate a car. There were cars with much more extreme approaches at the show and perhaps some might have expected the award to head to one of them, but this GTI was a masterclass in getting the math spot-on and an argument for going for precision over chasing the craziest wheel specs.

I will also point out that there were a few vehicles on display which showcased absolutely beautiful, equally-well-calculated meaty fitment and “functional” stance (Daniel’s M3 here was pretty good in that regard but more importantly just looked unbelievably mean) but I think we can all agree that Best Stance at least had to go to something tucking tire and bringing those wheels and panels as close together as possible.

Now for a different kind of “functional”. Jiahao’s Evo wagon was seen in a bit more detail in our Driven coverage (Part 2, if you want to see some extra photos) and being a very well-rounded build it was also one of the Top Ten winners from Tuner Spirit. It’s a super cool platform that obviously isn’t seen much, has been built to the crazy level you see here, and still retains an interior (with kiddie seats) to haul around the family. Imagine sitting in your SUV or minivan, waiting for your kids, and then seeing this thing pull up in line.

With so many offerings on the market these days, can we call a V1 Rocket Bunny kit a bit of a throwback? This one was doing its best to frame those massive TE37Vs (best looking TE of all time, change my mind) and Zestinos.

I had to get another of the R8 for fun, especially with a little bit of the colour-coded x-brace peeking through. I’m okay with Audi splitting up the side blades now, even though they were such a defining feature of the original R8s.

Normally at shows I’m waiting for people to pass; shooting during setup I was waiting for cars to pass, so a couple of photos ended up having extra illumination from oncoming headlights. Carter’s 1.5JZ swapped 240 was looking good as it always does, with that frozen-in-time exterior not really hinting at the level of engine work.

Tyler’s Mk3 Supra is a build that shines in every area – paint/body, interior, and especially engine/bay. It was another of the day’s Top Ten winners for its immaculate presentation and incredible work both in bolt-on parts and custom fabrication.

Manuel’s Varis STI was looking its best; every time I see one of these bumpers though, I pity the poor painter who had to mask it up for the two-tone. It’s also interesting how there are options in regards to how one can split the colours, with the various body lines and details in the design.

Gian’s 7 series continued its winning streak at Tuner Spirit with one of the three Judge’s Choice awards, and it has still yet to stop. John and I each selected a car we felt deserved recognition (Gian’s was my nomination, as it happens), but if you’re good at math you’ll realize that doesn’t add up to three; Shawn selected the third and final (John’s pick was Roe’s FK8, and Shawn’s was Scotty’s STI).

I made sure to grab one more photo of Kanji’s BRZ – this time, fully set up – because I didn’t know when I’d see it again and it’d likely look completely different by then anyway. I do know that more power was already in the plans at the time of the show (and could even have happened by now) but above all I was just pleased to see him continuing to work on the car; I was also pleased to see that a couple of parts we had worked on way back when were still on it despite the other changes.

I believe this was Ross’ old S2000, now in the hands of Jonathan. It was a showcase of some of the best parts available for the platform and was all done for function; it merely had the added bonus of being a head-turner at shows too.

As we now are just about at the end of this entry and therefore the coverage, the final car to be highlighted is the Seeker CSX. I wanted to get a proper photo of it (not just the across-the-lot shot from earlier in the day) and as noted found myself continually coming back to it for another look before we headed off to judge. As revealed in Part 1, it took home the “Tuner Spirit Award” for being the debut of the show, and I was quite pleased to see the car recognized for the quality parts and work on display.

With that, the only photo left with which I have to close out this morning’s entry is this final, super quick shot I grabbed during the awards ceremony. My batteries were low (as were my camera’s) but it was worth it. Tuner Spirit ’22 really was an incredible event and I’ve already heard from a few people who couldn’t attend that they wished they’d been able to after seeing the photos and videos circulate online.

I want to thank the team once again for the invite and opportunity to assist, and would happily do so again come the next iteration. On that though, it’s now 1:30AM and I am very tired (not to mention mildly sunburnt) so I’d better get some rest. Thank you all for reading (and thank you for all of the shares I saw following the publishing of Part 1), and be sure to check back soon as we get to covering some of the news and updates regarding the cars. See you then!


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