Category Archives: Retro

Getting Lost in the Build

You’ve just done your first drift day. You’ve had a great day and spent a lot of time setting up a mild tune in your early-mid 90s Nissan, Toyota, BMW or whatever. You got yourself some good-ass coilovers, some extra wheels, a track oriented alignment and a bunch of tires with similar compounds–the whatever’s free or cheap compound. Engine mods are minimal because you want to learn how to move the weight of the car; you’re doing everything right. Learning how the track and your modestly setup car fit together. You start to get a hang of the racing line, braking zones, and even ramped up some cool entry speeds in there.  At the end of the day, your car is one piece (mostly), you’re looking at several tires you’ve just murdered, you can’t get the shit-eating grin off your face, and you’re hooked. You’ve just completed your first successful  drift day.

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The next logical step would be to continue to drive this car and replace parts as they break, or as they need to be upgraded. E.g “My car rolls too much around that corner. I am going to do some research and possibly buy sway bars to prevent body roll.” Doing this after every track experience is bound to create a nicely balanced track setup. Unfortunately, here is where a lot of new drivers get confused – Maybe its the product of constantly searching and reading epic builds, telling tales of unheard of engine swaps, and tubes; maybe they just like fabrication and problem solving- nonetheless, said driver will now take his or her car off the road to “build” it.  In theory and with moderation, there is nothing wrong with that; after all, in places like Ontario we get five months of winter to build our daily/track toys. This can be a benefit as it gives us the opportunity to completely rip a car apart and worry about putting it back together later on–we can pick away at it.  During this time, it would be appropriate to tie up some ends that went loose at the end of the season. Things like worn ball joints, brakes, bent inner/outer tie rod ends, replacing multilinks, and bushings are all things that are usually addressed; especially in a beginner’s track toy.

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What I have been noticing more and more, though, are beginners who have driven one or two track days (if that) and then proceeding to take their cars off the road for ‘pro-like builds’. People driving one or two drift days, getting the hang of it, and instantly getting a roll cage, truck and trailer and pulling the car’s plates for tubs and a crazy swap with a huge turbo (or LS v8). They skip the whole process. They will usually document it, showing off to all their peers about their fully customized powder coated and reinforced sub frames, decked out with SPL and PBM parts (or another manufacturers equivalent), stating they only spend money on the best of the best- doing it right.

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I haven’t been around drifting much, but what I noticed even before I got my car was the consumerism of the build has started to take away from the actual driving experience. It has gotten to a point where people who have never even driven at a track are going around buying rolling shell 240s and spending all of their time and money building a complete monster that drivers with more experience would have trouble actually driving to its full potential; this is wrong. This is not how you enjoy a car. This is however, a great way to ruin a lot of hard work.

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Personally, there is no time I resent my car more than when I am working on it. There is no enjoyment in ruining whatever clothes you are wearing, working on the ground of a cold-as-balls garage (if you’re even privileged enough to have access to one) to install a set of rear upper control arms or something like that. I only ever do stuff like that because I need to upgrade or replace it, and as I said earlier that’s the way it should be: If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. A car should be upgraded as a driver grows. A driver that is more advanced than a car is always cooler to watch than a car that is more advanced than the driver. There needs to be a seat-time to build-time ratio taken into consideration when taking up these projects. A car owner will never have as much fun building a car than they will beating the hell out of it. Cars are meant to be driven. #drivingnotbuilding

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Written: Devaughn Dunbar @devocat
Edited: Ronnie Fung  @ronniefung
Photo: Lucas Stanois – flickr.com/lucasstanois  @lucasstanois

Oktoberfest 2014

As a resident of lower Ontario our summer car season is a scant 5-6 months.   For the last few years, Oktoberfest has been the last event we’ve shown up to during the season.  This years edition had a good amount of cars.  All of which I won’t see for 6 month :(

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The rareness that is Alpina.

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B4 S2.

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Alan’s sweet E30.

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Its refreshing seeing a mk3 without rusted rockers.

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Shayan’s B5 A4 Wagon.  Its a big deal up in Canada.

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I haven’t been to a show where I’ve seen one of these cars by themselves.  These guys go everywhere together.

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H2Oi 2014 Leftovers

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The last few shots from our H20i trip consists of the multitude of visitors and random cars that came by 75th.   Most of whom stopped by to see Brian Arthus who seems to know everyone with a car in the U.S.   Including @farklefitment.

@blowin_bags’s A8L

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@jdmodz`s BestJDM winner at First Class Fitment

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I’m now a bit biased on big body black BMWs.

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Clean Impreza, stopped by for the views.

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Fellow feathered Canadian brethren stopped by too.

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Mauncho Does The Strip

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For the first time in the 4 years I’ve been going to H2Oi I finally have some of my own photos to show off. Although all these photos took all of 15 mintues to take while we waiting for our table to eat lunch I’d say they came out pretty good.  This years show was very different from the previous years. Traphouse was boycotted, the cops were towing cars on Tuesday, and the rain wouldn’t let up until Thursday.  Once the rain let off everyone who had been waiting to hit the strip all week took the chance to do just that. The problem was the strip was PACKED. Cruising like we used to do 3 years ago was not an option this year. So I did what I do best, drink beer and chill with friends I get to see once or twice a year.  Apart from all the bullshit with the OCMDPD and the strip being the way it was. This year was the best H2Oi I have attended yet. I got to find the real reason this event is the way it is.   It’s all about friends, that you have made through the cars.

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Pfaff Tuning Show and Shine BBQ

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We finally got around to posting more photos from the Pfaff Tuning Show and Shine.  It took place the week before H2Oi so we were all a tad pre-occupied.  It was still a great show, with an array of different cars.  Matt Berenz did a fantastic job of organizing the entire day.  I’m certain next year’s edition will be bigger and better.

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Where else would you see a MK2 Golf and an Aventador at the same lot?   With Mauricio’s MK2 winning best of show no less.  The Best of Show award was presented by us, however the judging was conducted by Pfaff employees.   It was the best way to avoid any biased decisions.

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I was told this Callaway Mk1 was very rare.  We also saw the Mk1 on our way back from H2Oi. Glad to see the owner puts some good mileage on it.

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If you see an Alpina Sedan in Toronto, it’s probably owned by Sia.  He’s got a handful of them now. This E28 however is his s54 swapped 525i. It took home the award for Best Engine bay and was also featured in PBMW a few years back. The E39 below was the first B10 Alpina to be imported into North America.  He also has another E28, and e32, e34 Alpinas in the stable.  I think he has a problem.

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The front of the Pfaff building was where most of the action took place.  Porsche GT3, Rocket Bunny GTR and RX-7 along with a few others.

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I think this was the first time I’ve seen a twin-turbo’d Gallardo.  Puffs of smoke are a good thing, right?

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Matt and Geoff’s Grandmother was very pleased with the show as well.   Here she is checking out an R8.

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Sony Canada, had a big booth for the event along with raffle prizes.  I was fortunate enough to win one of those AS100 cameras.   Which I immediately sold to Matt after H2O, I think he’ll get way better use out of it than I will.

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PFaff Tuning also had cars displayed indoors.  Including Erik’s Saab and Jimmy’s M3.

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The 991 below stands as my current dream daily.  Every bit as good as the 991 GT3 but with a stick shift.


As with every car show the parking lot still has some nice vehicles.  Erik’s boosted Probe is a prime example.

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H2Oi 2014 – BMW Meet

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After last years pretty successful E30/early BMW meet, we decided to replicate the meet but on a smaller scale.  It was now 5 series oriented, since Bron and I both drive one.  We had only planned on having 10-15 cars as we were both just looking to meet other e34 owners.  But it quickly grew on Instagram and we knew we were getting a bigger meet then initially planned. The plan was to hold the meet at the lot behind BJ’s restaurant.  However the owners were none too please.  So Rose’s seemed like the best alternative.  Predicably we were swiftly kicked out of there too. :(

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@see_trees, @patrickw5 and @saeed87    e34 Instagram brethren

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When I made it back to 75th after Rose’s our street was pretty packed with BMW.  I was told by Mauncho this was on the light side.  A few minutes earlier he was hard at work rerouting cars to Rose’s while dealing with the owner’s of BJs.  All in all, in was poorly planned on our part.

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@willem’s bagged M5 trailering an e30.

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Tetanus.

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Unfortunately, the meet was not how we had hoped.  We should have chosen a much bigger lot.  We also should have made a proper back up plan (other than Rose’s).  Let’s hope next year goe better.

H2Oi 2014 – Arrival

The drive down was more eventful than I had hoped for.  2 hours in, Dan and I collectively obliterated a deer carcass.  It was at that exact second I realized raising your car for the drive down is a damn good decision. I took the brunt of the deer as my bumper trim and oil level sensor can attest too. Luckily a quick pit stop had it back in place.  The rest of the trip went uneventful and we arrived in OCMD on Monday evening.

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They may not have the best fitment, but these two were two of the loudest cars all weekend. Apologies to the poor guy I woke up who was trying to sleep in his buddies car.

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Arrive, lower it, wash it, polish it, drive it.  Though later on it became waddle in traffic, instead of actual driving.


After getting our cars in check, we thought some sunset pics were in order.

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Adrian was doing this more than we would have liked.  Thankfully with some JB Weld, he was able to make it back home with no problems. Happy Adrian is good Adrian.

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Before those sunset pics we figured hitting up Taphouse wouldn’t hurt.  For a Monday evening, it was waaay busier than we have every seen it.  It foreshadows the rest of the week unfortunately.  This MK4 checked all the right boxes for me.  Love the racekor look.

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VAGKraft 2014 via Gill

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VAGKraft 2014.  Every year I go to take photos.  I end up taking way more photos of non VAG cars than the name would suggest.  Luckily, Geoff will be able to cover the rest.

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I can’t pass up a photo with a Quattro, even if its stock.

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When Porsche and Audi, get into bed together.  One of the best wagons of all time.  the RS2.

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Nothing gets me giddy like a vintage Porsche.  The sights and sounds of aircooled perfection. I heard this 930 Turbo from 3-4 rows over and had to have a closer look.  The 964/930 bubble is quickly expanding, prices are really inflated, hopefully I’ll be there ready in a few years to catch one once that bubble bursts.

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I love the turbo arches, but the standard narrow body tickles my fancy too.  Dymer’s 911 is still my favourite local P Car.  It comes down to the narrow body, RS IROC (I think) bumper, t-tray wing, and dialled in stance.  I can’t see anything apart from paint, that I would want to change.  It really is the car I want.

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From Stuttgart to Munich.  Since I can’t afford a Porsche right now.  Most of my current attention is swung towards BMWs.   RWD, stick, and Euro.  What’s not to like?

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There’s more to like when its bagged.   Carm’s E30, which won the BMW category.

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The German Miata.

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The Transporter.  Alpinas are the go to wheels for the E38.

Back to Stuttgart.  Mercs are just that slightly bit more luxury oriented than BMW.  Probably why I don’t like them as much.  If only they offered more manual options in the late 80s, early 90s.  But for bombing down the autobahn, I’d choose no other.

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Manolo’s 3rd place 450SEL.  They look MONEY on the Schmidts.  One more pic below.

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If I sold drugs in the 80’s, this would be my car.  W126 with a full Keonig kit.

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And this would have been my “business meeting” car.

VAGKraft usually has a handful of Japanese cars.  That wasn’t the case this year.  I did find this Civic in the lot.  More coverage soon.

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CSCS August 11th

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CSCS,  show and shine, time attack and drifting.  There are no other events locally that combine these three things.  As a person who’s attention span is very very limited ,the multiple aspects to the show are welcome.  It’s hard not to be a fan of time attack and drifting when they are witnessed in person.  Even if the cars and brands aren’t up to your fanboy code.  I’m not exactly a fan of Hondas but I can watch them thrash around the track for hours.

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I rolled to the show with Adrian.  The lack of VWs was obvious.  I still don’t understand why the VW crowd does not show up.  Even the biggest of VW, rear beam fan boys, Adrian had a good time.  The main reason we went was to see Steve skid in the Scraped Crusaders X Swang Bang Money Gang E30. I don’t want to stroke his ego, but for a guy that’s only been drifting on the track for less than a year, he’s doing incredibly well.

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As a Subie fanboy, Riley’s Impreza ticks all the right boxes.  RWD and 500hp?  Yes, please.

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Dylan Sharpe was killing it all day.  Not surprised he was able to win.  More impressive, is that he drove it home afterwards.

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Kitted S13s, make me rethink me car choice constantly.

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Jover’s AE before punting Steve’s car.  Though, the damage to the Corolla was minimal.

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Innovative Tuning had my two favourite cars of the day.  Their LS3 swapped E46 M3 drift car. Purists aside, this thing is awesome.

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Their Impreza time attack car was my other favourite.  At 20 years old. this GC shouldn’t be as competitive as it is.  Watching it slide and power its  way sideways out of corners made my day.

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As an amateur photographer the intricacies of camera settings still confuse me.  So, the photos are limited to mostly the pit lane variety.   That does allow me to get way closer to the machinery, so I’ll have to view it as a plus.   Especially regarding the time attack cars.  I prefer to shoot a closer view of the aero bits, allowing me to watch the racing action without bothering with photos.

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Porsche 944, which the track announcer confused for a 928.

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Mazda’s version of the 944, the FC….bro.

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It must feel awesome when your 150hp, 1500lbs fwd Suzuki Swift is able to overtake a McLaren MP4.

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I was only able to grab a few photos of the show and shine cars.  A lot of the cars were too Dark Knights (old Toronto rice scene car show) for me.  While I appreciate craftsmanship.  I don’t appreciate the terrible taste that goes with some of them.  I don’t have to like your car because you spent money on body work.  Ugly is ugly.

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The complete opposite of ugly is this Z.

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Mike’s crazy eyed FC.  Mismatched wheels never looked so good.

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Veilside?  Brings back memories of videos I used to download off Scour/Kazaa/Limewire.   The season finale it scheduled for September 21.  Unfortunately,  I’ll have to miss it as we’re driving to H20i.