A few weeks ago I got a call from my buddy Martino from Garage Collective saying he was going to Gridlife and had an extra seat. Having no idea what, when or where Gridlife is, I obliged. Why not, what’s the worst that could happen. I love road trips, and the idea of going to a drift event in the states is actually pretty appealing. I told him to save me a spot, and ordered my ticket later on that night.
What I didn’t know, was that Gridlife is one of the coolest things that happens in the states. Its essentially the North American Awesomefest, with wild drifting all day and a great party at night. Live DJ’s like Keys N’ Krates, RJD2, The Hood Internet and Party Favor lighting up the night with their coolest new content. It was actually impossible for this event not to be a good time.
From Toronto, South Haven was an 8 hour drive (with a few stops for gas, food etc). We left way behind schedule (at around 8 oclock) and got there for 430am, hopped up on Redbull and excitement. Parked next to us was the famous Risky Devil Crew, and across from them was Ryan Tuerck. It was around now that the internet fanboy inside of me started kicking in, and I started to clue in to what this event really was.
Unfortunately for Mike and Anthony, their cars were nothing but problematic the whole trip. Anthony’s S13 snapped his rear upper control arm, which ended up putting his axle at an awkward angle and shearing it. After scrambling around trying to get it fixed, he sourced an axle and found a rear upper control arm (thanks Mr. Tuerck). After finally getting everything installed, he went to start the car to test drive the alignment and realized the starter cooked itself. With only one more run for the day, he admitted defeat and decided to enjoy the event from a spectators perspective.
Mikes car was running like a dream all day. From a passenger’s perspective, the SR pulled very, very hard. As soon as it hit boost it was like a completely different animal. Despite the under steer issues due to the wet track, Mike was still on top of the world and happy to be driving the car he has tirelessly put hundreds of hours into. On the second last run of the final day, the SR finally gave up. It was deep in the rod knock zone, and Mike was pretty disappointed.
Jover, on the other hand, had a great day. He drove his 86 Corolla 660 Km’s there, drifted it all day without any issues, and drove 660 Km’s home. The little corolla that could proved to be more reliable than every car there.
Putting it simply, the cars at these events are reflective of a scene so developed and tight knit that it is unbelievable. These tight knit crews cut no corners in the building of these slammed, street driven skid machines. Talking to Steve, the owner of the Risky Devil SR20 swapped E30, he made it very clear that the car scene overall where he is from is way bigger than the growing one in Ontario.
Seeing some of the famous crews like Proceed, Risky Devil, Dirty Love,, Club Sandwich was a real eye opener, and really makes me want to take this sort of stuff home. The car owners were all so friendly, and just as stoked to be there as me.
Unfortunate as it may be, one thing I’ve been exposed to personally (locally and online) noticed that is consistent with having a nice car, is the snobby attitude that comes with a lot of them. Albeit a causation or a correlation, the two always seem to be linked together somehow.
At Gridlife, there was none of that. No supremacy, no arrogance, no judgement and no disrespect. Everyone was just there to have a good time and the way the event ran was reflective of that. There were no rules broken, everyone respected the track, and even after the concert the track was clean by the next morning.
Despite the weather and breakdowns, we all had an awesome time at the event and will definitely be back for more next year.
Article by: Devo Dunbar
Photos by: Lucas Stanois