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Event Coverage: Drift Jam 2018 – Throwdown Round 1

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Have you ever been part of a happening? I’m not talking about some weird and plot twists. I’m talking about being at the jump off point of something new and exciting.

Prior attending , when asked if I’ve ever been a part of a happening I would have said no. I’ve been to plenty of first time events sure, but never one that’s shown so much potential.

Drifting is a form of Motorsport and therefore isn’t cheap. Driving in any event requires some level of capital investment.

Tires are blown through in rapid succession, parts break, there are trailer fees, and so forth and so on. Competing in an event also comes with it the potential risk of destroying a car you spent untold hours building.

As a result driver’s are rightfully particular about the events they attend.

If you’re a new series you better prove that you know what you’re doing if you want to survive.

With their first event being a resounding success word obviously spread because Drift Jam had a very respectable field for their first competitive event.

From the gates open to gates closed it’s clear to see that the organizers, Devo and Jover, care about their series the drivers and the spectators. Heck they even care about us media folk as well.

Actions speak louder than words and the actions they took to make the day run better went a long way.

Here’s an example; initially the day started with one track layout. After running it for roughly an hour Devo and Jover modified the layout based on driver feedback. I absolutely cannot understate the importance of this.

If you’ve ever watched a competitive event (of any sort) where the course doesn’t work you know it isn’t fun. It’s much more enjoyable to watch driver’s go all out on a course they love versus cruise through course that doesn’t work.

The result of a quick layout change, along with utilizing the main track, the Fabi track, and the skid pad was a day of near constant action.

The main track was for the primary competition and Fabi and the skid pad were kept warm by those who wanted to drive without the pressure of judged runs.

As you can tell from the photos plenty of people took advantage of the copious amounts of track time and tire smoke filled the air all day.

The Drift Jam competitive events have two classes. Street and Pro. The street class is run more like a jam session. These car’s don’t run tandems and instead compete for awards like most aggressive entry, best car style, and best driving style.

Pro, is as the name describes, for professional drivers. The cars are a little more serious, and the competition a little more traditional, but there isn’t as strict a rule set as other competitions.

In the end this series is more about than it is rules and awards.

From the outside looking in the Drift Jam format appears to have worked really well. From am to pro the driving was exceptional and it looked like everyone was having a great time.

In terms of tandem battle’s the one’s at Drift Jam are some of the best I’ve seen in recent memory. The wide variety of driving styles and cars made each tandem battle quite different from the next.

It was controlled mayhem and quite frankly it was awesome.

There were a couple of offs, and minor break downs throughout the day, but every car managed to roll out mostly in one piece which is what you always want to see at a drifting event.

Nothing is more gutting than seeing someone’s hard work spread all over the track as a pile of unrecognizable debris.

The wildest battle of the day was between Josiah Fallaise and Pat Cyr. Neither driver wanted to give up so much as an inch and as a result they ran incredibly close.

In the end Pat Cyr would up on top followed by Josiah Fallaise (who I promise was more excited than the photos make him seem) and Franky Becerra.

As if that wasn’t enough immediately after the award ceremony local clothing company Screvvface held an event called King Of The Ring.

King of The Ring rules were simple, go out and get the crowd hyped. Do that, and you win a prize pack.

A true showman leaves people wanting more and that’s what Drift Jam did with King Of The Ring. Thankfully more in this case is just around the bend. Throwdown Round Two takes place August 12th 2018 at Toronto Motorsports Park Cayuga.

For more information on the next event and the entire series visit 

Another Saturday At Binbrook Speed & Custom

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A few weeks ago Keith (the owner of Binbrook Speed & Custom) had one of his family and friends BBQs at his home shop in Binbrook. I rolled through (camera in hand obviously) for a good time and some good food.

Much like last year taking photos wasn’t my main goal but with so many awesome hot rods in attendance how can a guy resist?



Keith’s BBQs are always a great way for me to meet some noteable characters among the hot rod community and surprisngly I met two from my neck of the woods here in Durham.

The first rolled up in this super cool Pontiac, it’s a small block powered car that sounds mighty healthy. Apparently it had a bigger motor previously and the current is a compromise for the sake of drivability.

With slot mags in the rear, and factory wheels up front it’s got a bit of an understated presence I really dig.

Bart Smith, a local illustrator I’ve wanted to meet for awhile, showed up riding shot gun in the Pontiac to pick up his four banger powered Model A. It’s a simple little hot rod, but for what it lacks in size and power it makes up for in sheer fun.

The spartan Model A was at Keith’s shop for a little front end work. Keith addressed a few niggling issues in the front end and Bart drove the car the over 2 hour track back to Durham.

Can’t wait until the next BBQ, or my next chance to shoot a Binbrook build.

Motor Monday: V10 S2000

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Full disclosure, I’ve been trying to track down Francis Gosselin’s s2000 for years. I’d seen photos of it before at events like Topp Drift, but I was never able to make it to an event that the car was present at.

Our game of Polkaroo finally ended at Throwdown event. There not only did I get to see the car, but I got to watch it turn tires into smoke.

The car is beat up, the motor is dirty, but such is the life of a drift car. The most important part is that the swap works, and it works well.

Surprisingly the v10 doesn’t even look all that uncomfortable in an engine bay that was originally designed to fit a small four cylinder.

I was in a desperate hunt for water when I caught the car in the pits, so I’ll have to do a better job of bringing you details and more photos the next time I see it.

There’s this year, so I feel pretty good that I will come across the car again.

Theme Tuesdays: Exploring The Details at the Majestics BBQ

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I’ve been going to at least one lowrider BBQ a season for the past six years. If you think I’d get tired of the events you couldn’t be further from the truth.

I absolutely love them, still. The atmosphere, the music, I’ve gone over all of this before. If you’ve never been you ought to go. Because I’ve covered the event so many times this year I’ve decided to take a macro approach and post just detail shots here on SIE.

It’s a bit different than how I normal present every coverage, but detail shots work great in a lowrider space. It’s also a great way for me to package up some event coverage into a succinct little Theme Tuesday.

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If you want to see my more traditional coverage of this event I did two posts over on . A , and one .

Theme Tuesdays: Ford Econolines

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A few days ago, while I was watching  most recent Dagiban video, and it occurred to me that I have not done a van related Theme Tuesday in years. But, not wanting to directly steal from Noriyaro I’m going to go left and focus on Econlines instead of Dodge Vans.

Why Econolines? Well, why not? Early Econlines were designed in an era where it was incredibly common for axles to sit under occupants and the motor between the driver and passenger. This configuration created a unique look common between VW busses, Corvairs, Dodge A-100s and of course the star of today the Ford Econoline.

That drive-line positioning can make lowering thse vans a bit of a mission, but, where there’s a will there’s a way. Thankfully all of these owners found both the will and the way.

We’re going to start this one of tame and get crazier as we go. This one looks pretty good dropped over one of the most common wheels of the early 90s
Note sure if this local project was ever finished, but the Corvette wheels certainly made it an intriguing project
The “Tinman” from Vanfest 2018
I feel like I let all of you down but not realizing there was a wheel standing Econoline in Ontario while this site has been in operation

While, not technically a van, I couldn’t leave this one out, it looks sick
Steel wheel (widened in the rear), pinstriping, and some low and these vans look way better than they did from the factory
Judging the by the wheels and the watermark I’d wager a minitrucker had a part in this one
I absolutely love this Econoline shot by
The wide slot mags really make it Photo:
The darket accents around the bodylines work well on this van, gives it a cool kustom vibe
The added vintage lettering just puts the whole thing over the top
Pro Street Econolines scratch an itch I honestly didn’t know I had
Especially the 454 packing variety
spotted this very American wheel stander in 2013, sadly I can’t find video of it running
This is a later van, obviously, but the only of its kind I have seen this low
A little SEMA style thanks to Rob McJannett and
Perhaps the only traditionally styled lowrider econoline?
In the world of custom vans, Vango is unquestionably one of the best – Photo:

This video from Hoonigans breaks down the iconic van extremely well.

A Unicorn Hits The Streets

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Imagine working on a vehicle on and off for twenty years? Sounds a little crazy right? Well life happens, and once life happens to you, you start to realize how one year can quickly slip into several.

James is an Ontario minitruckin’ OG and twenty years ago he took his truck off the road for an overhaul.

Though it took, perhaps quite a bit longer than expected, he did managed to get the truck done this year.

Additionally it’s played and on the street and he plans to make up for 20 years of the truck being off the road by driving it as much as he can.

For a truck started twenty years ago, it doesn’t really look dated at all.

The gunmetal paint and simple chrome was a great choice to give the vehicle longevity. Wild paint is nice, but tends to age quite fast.

In a switch on the norm James’ truck also rides on a Pro Hopper set up, not, bags. Pretty cool to see and something a bit different.

His truck being back out on the road makes me very excited for that’s rolling into town August 25th at Country Heritage Park In Milton Ontario.

Man In Motion

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I’m sure you all have noticed that hit a bit of a lull last month. As the tumble weeds blew by the front page I was caught in a bit of a personal, or more accurately professional, whirlwind.

As I alluded to when I shared photos of Mike Livia’s Apache, I’ve decided to ramp up my freelance endeavours for 2018. I am doing this in part to pay for Project Why Wait –hey, I’m honest if nothing else– but also because I love producing automotive media and all the experiences that come with it.

– Speedhunters.com

Meeting new people, seeing new projects, learning more about automotive niches, I’m in for all of it. Each article I write, or photo I take, just sends me deeper down the rabbit hole.

Now nearly ten years deep I’m eager to continue down following the hole all the way through to Wonderland.

– SpeedHunters

In the time I’ve been clacking these keys I’ve learned that while I thoroughly enjoy writing here, I love the challenge of writing for new audiences. Writing about hot rods one week, drift cars another, and whatever else may follow the week after that isn’t easy, but it helps me grow as content creator.

It also makes me a bit more versatile within the industry, and it’s a skill I’ve used to unlock a couple of doors I assumed un-pickable. One of the achievements I most recently unlocked is an official spot on the roster.

To say I’m stoked to be joining one of the largest online automotive publications in the world is an understatement. I’ve been chipping away at this goal since 2014 and finally, finally, it’s a reality.

I can’t speak to everything I’ll be doing at SH just yet, but I hope that each of you who read, like, comment, and share my posts here will do the same to the ones I write over there.

– Rod Authority

Doubling down on good news, has also given me some more rope to do features and is also interested in more Canadian content.

Don’t worry, as busy as I get elsewhere I’ll always keep the porch light on here. Grosirbajuanak is my home, it’s where I can be unfiltered, and it’s where I’ve forged plenty of long-lasting friendships.

So, thanks for sticking around and hanging with me as I see where 2018 and beyond takes me.

Yes this means I’ve missed another Theme Tuesday.

WTF Friday: Falcon Punched

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The creativity of individuals when presented with a bushel of lemons never ceases to astound. Skyler Bethel had single owner, low km 1964 Ford Falcon roll into his shop and usually that would be a good thing but that wasn’t the case with this bird.

This particular Falcon has a tree fall on top of it creating significant damage.

Unsure of what to do with his twisted metal the owner sold the car to Skyler on the cheap.

Skyler parted out what he could of the car, but kept the running gear because it had quite a bit of life left in it.

Starting with he drive line, he made an interesting sort of transaxle out of the motor, a very short drive shaft, and the transmission.

A lot of creativity, a coil spring, and some square tube later and Skyler was one tractor seat away from a very custom trike.

He built the car, or bike, or whatever it can be registered as, in a mere 18 days. It’s mostly completed but he plans on finishing up the handle bars a bit better and adding some more tasteful tail lights.

For 18 days work of work though, this trike isn’t all that much to scoff at. Probably won’t win any beauty pageants but imagine it’s one hell of a drive.

Guest Blog: 5 Reasons Why The Nissan Silvia Is Good For Drifting

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The Silvia has been one of Nissan’s flagship models since the mid-1960s, so it has a long and prosperous legacy to support its current reputation as an icon of the industry.

Over the years its success has been bolstered by its popularity in the drifting community, both in Nissan’s native Japan and in other countries around the world.

But why is the Silvia such a good choice for drifting and what about the range has helped to sustain its prominence for so many decades?

Ubiquity
One factor of drift cars which is consistent across all of the most commonly chosen models is that they are widely supported in the mainstream automotive market.

In the case of the Silvia and many of its rivals, such as Toyota Celica, the widespread availability of parts and spares means that upkeep is inexpensive. There’s no need to scour the internet for costly spares and aftermarket add-ons; both official and third party components are offered affordably and in significant volumes.

This ubiquity also helps lower the barrier of entry to the subculture of drifting. Almost anyone can snap up a second hand Silvia, then get to work to convert it into a dedicated corner conquering dream machine without breaking the bank.

Newcomers who need a guide to help them get started can read up with a guide to find out all they need to know about this internationally recognised pastime.

Solid Stock Setup
Even before any additional parts have been fitted to the Silvia, it has the advantage of being a fun vehicle to drive and drift in its basic state.

This is especially true of the S14 generation, which first touched down in 1993 and took the range forwards in a number of ways. A lower ride height, a wider footprint and a more planted wheelbase helped make it easier to handle and also raised its profile amongst enthusiasts.

All of this comes together to deliver a compelling behind-the-wheel experience that does not require any specialist knowledge or under-the-bonnet tinkering to put a smile on your face.
Of course people who get serious about drifting will want to take things further. But it is nice to know that the Silvia and its offshoots like the Nissan 200SX can provide a firm foundation for excitement on the road or the track.

Rear Wheel Drive
It might not be obvious to the uninitiated, but the one requirement that a car needs to be able to drift is rear wheel drive.

Sure, you can technically drifting in a front wheel drive car, but this is only achievable if you
deliberately install low-grip tyres at the rear so that the back end is liable to kick out in the corners.
Even , but that doesn’t mean that they should be.

The Silvia is a rear wheel drive range, with improved suspension and exceptional distribution of weight across all four wheels, especially with the most recent S15 generation vehicles.

Of course older Silvia variants have also had a major impact on the world of drifting, so people looking for a capable performer which has a bit more retro charm might consider the S12 or the S13 worthy of some attention.

Once again the diversity of the range, as well as its extensive history, helps it to maintain relevance today.

Interestingly the traditional drifting trend for Japanese imports being preferred by fans is gradually changing.

Drifters from Nissan’s homeland are , which
shows that the ebb and flow of fashion can influence people just as much as the technical benefits of a particular model.


Styling

There’s only so much technical prowess that a car can bring to the table in order to win over the drifting community; in the end a lot of its success or failure will be determined by whether or not it looks cool.

The Silvia and its derivatives have street cred by the bucket load, thanks to a combination of their innate aesthetics and their appearances in pop culture. From anime classics like Initial D to Hollywood franchises like , there are a large number of influential shows and movies that have featured this range in one form or another.

Aggressive styling has always been a calling card of the Silvia, while the increasing width of the bodywork and the opportunity to augment it with aftermarket kits has also been key to its enduring popularity.

Modifiability
Lots of cars can potentially be turned into drift machines, but the Silvia is one of the few that is so readily modifiable in a way that doesn’t suffer from a steep learning curve.

A lot of the mechanical elements are relatively straightforward, especially on earlier generations, while a wealth of third party components designed for drifting can be purchased affordably and installed with relative ease.

That is not to say that a complete novice can get to grips with tweaking a Silvia from day one. It is simply a case of recognizing the comparatively accessible nature of the platform. So for beginners and experts alike, the Silvia is understandably seen as the savvy drifter’s choice.

Theme Tuesdays: Recently Viewed – June 2018

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It’s July, school is out (which honestly doesn’t affect me much yet), the weather is hot, and realistically we’re all trying to squeeze the most out of what will probably be a quick summer.

I know I flat-out missed last week’s Theme Tuesday, and I’ll elaborate more on why later this week, but in the meantime enjoy some of the latest in automotive video.

YouTube and Facebook remain the sources for this month, but with Instagram throwing their hat in the long form ring I might have to see what’s in that space for next month.
















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