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Theme Tuesdays: You Made A Hot Rod Out Of What?


I have to thank KaleB for the inspiration this week. He suggested a Theme Tuesday on ‘vehicles that should never be hot rods but people made them into hot rods anyway’.

The more I thought about the idea, the better it seemed. Usually I’ve posted these kinds of vehicles one at a time, shoe-horned into WTF Friday posts, but why not a Theme Tuesday?

I’m going to play the definition of “hot rod” pretty fast and loose with this one. So if you’ve arrived here from a link hell bend on defending the sanctity of the title hot rod don’t worry, I do very much appreciate true traditional hot rods as see here in my Jalopy Jam Up coverage.

Start things off local with this semi truck ‘hot rod’. Anyone recognize the Cab?
This old war Ambulance had no idea what it was going to be turned into
This is the car that triggered Kaleb’s idea for this entire Porsche the second most recent Porsche hot rod
That project was followed up by this one. I wonder what the next Porsche based hot rod will look like?
Does anyone know if this BMW 2002 project was ever finished? – Photo:
The best I could find was a start-up video below – Photo:

I actually really like this, it’s so ridiculous that it has crossed into he realm of amazing
It was probably a ho hum v6 model to start so what’s the harm right?
Now this I could see more people being upset about
A ’64 or so cut up into a Hot Rod, you just know that has ruffled a few feathers
I opted not to include this in the most recent Volvo based Theme Tuesday, but I couldn’t leave it out of this one
I know it is not built out of a real Volvo, but it uses a lot of Volvo components and is just too damn attractive to overlook twice
The 2CV is a quirky looking French car that takes surprisingly well to minimalist modification such as this
The start to look almost Beetle like the lower they get
This Crosley still cracks me up
I wonder if it ever managed to sell? And if it did I wonder if it was ever raced?
I can’t imagine how large this vehicle actually is in person. It looks massive
This tri axle 2 stroke rod was built out of a
How about a Suzuki Samurai Hot Rod? For those of you who love build threads it’s here on
When photos of this Miata surface online I thought “only Japan would do something as crazy as that” – Photo:
Then later a similar, but different, Miata showed up in the United States

Going to end this off with a curious Volkswagen based hot rod that was rolling around in 2011.

Did I forget a few? If so let me know! Also if you want more be sure to check out my very similar, but different, Non Typical Hot Rod Theme Tuesday from 2014.

If you’re wondering where all the Volksrods are, they are here.

Event Coverage: The 2017 Niagara Truck & Tuner Expo


You have to feel for event organizers. Putting on any type of event is no easy task. After you’ve selected a venue, picked a date (that you hope no one books over) and promoted the show as best you can, you are still left contesting with something completely out of your control. The weather.

Every year the Niagara Truck And Tuner Expo ends up going toe to toe with mother nature. This has to be more than a little frustrating, but entire event staff takes it in stride and has, consistently put on a great rain or shine event.

If you’re looking at the photos above, not a dark cloud in sight, and wondering what I’m on about allow me to paint a picture.

When I woke up morning of the show it was raining. Not spitting, but black cloud sappy movie rain on the window type stuff. When I told my son we were going to a car show today all he said in response was “Daddy, rain” while pointing a toddler finger at the window.

Quickly heading to the they said the main system would pass by 11am, which was well after I would arrive. So, foolishly if you ask my wife, I saddled up and made the drive hoping for clearer skies than when I departed.

The TNT Expo is a charity event after all so it’s worth supporting even if I’d need a snorkel.

Ultimately I’m glad I took the leap of faith because on my way there the clouds did part and the sun came through resulting in a great day at Fireman’s park.

It’s been a few years since I have been able to attend TNT expo personally and I’m glad to see that it is exactly as I remembered, a varied mix of cars and trucks of all styles.

Trends have certainly changed over the years and it’s always nice to go to an event where you can see a little of everything. The Del Sol and CSRX above represent a time when doors swung up, wheels were straight(er), kits were molded and stickers went down the fender rather than the rear window.

If you’re on the younger side maybe you missed this phase but I remember it vividly.

It seems like just yesterday one of my good friends was cruising around in a ZC swapped CRX on Rota Slipstreams —— with a BMX bike in the hatch.

Also throwing back to my time in high school was this Pontiac Firefly, a car that I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve seen any of since high school. If I’m not mistaken these cars came in a 1L turbo variant, though I’m not sure if this is one of those models.

People have often told me to check out the Cavalier above at shows, and I’ve always managed to pass it like a ship in the night, only remembering I should have looked at it on my way home from whatever venue it was at.

This time I took a look and I can see why people suggested I take a gander.

Surrounded by custom carbon fiber work, done by the owner, is an LS4 motor the far less commonly seen 5.3 LS V8 variant that only came in FWD configuration.

This is probably the most interesting, and impressive, Cavalier motor swap I’ve seen since the famous Northstar V8 swapped car of nearly a decade ago.

Keeping the obscurity up, here’s one of two turbo KLZE Ford Probes in Ontario.

While Erik was at the show, his car wasn’t giving this car the distinction of standing alone.

Completely out of left field was this right hand drive, M sport, diesel e36 touring. This is rare stuff in Ontario, heck in all of Canada, as these were never sold here and very few people have bothered to import the diesel.

Tourings are many people’s dream car so it was pretty wicked to see this one done tastefully with OEM modifications.

The loud exhaust contest at TNT Expo is always a crowd pleaser and that’s when a few American vehicles like this Dodge Dakota R/T made their way from their parking spots and towards where the competition was held.

This Dodge Dart may have won the loudest exhaust competition as it sounded very, very, healthy hitting limiter. I wasn’t able to take in the entire loudest exhaust competition because it was at this point my son Ash spotted the RC drifting in the pavilion.

The second he (wearing the hat above) saw the cars I knew it would be a challenge getting him away from the R/Cs but to be honest I didn’t mind. It’s great of TNT and the scale drifting community to put this little set up together for the children.

The kids obviously enjoy the whole thing, and as someone with a few older remote controlled cars tucked away I don’t mind watching for a few minutes either.

It also gave me a chance to try scaling down some of my 1:1 scale drifting techniques. I think shooting R/C cars might actually be more difficult than their full sized counterparts.

As Ash was watching the drifting I took a few steps away and snapped photos of a few of the vehicles near by the pavilion. The gold VIP Modular wheels on the car above made it an easy subject for a few photos.

Gold wheels have become increasingly popular in the past few years, as this EL wore them as well.

More gold here, albeit of the rose tinged variety.

Not to be outdone in the ‘bling’ department this Subaru had some heavy flake in its paint that shone bright in the sun over the widebody fenders.

This car was part of a large showing of Nokturnal Car Club vehicles that made their way over the border from neighboring Buffalo.

The Subaru showing at TNT was pretty decent, with this wrx and trailer combo turning quite a few heads. The matching wheels on both the car and trailer are a nice touch.

The color scheme also followed through to the Rukus that the owner later pulled off the trailer to join the limbo contest.

The limbo contest, as usual, was eventually dominated by Mazda Miata. These cars can hold their own even at stock height.

It’s always funny seeing the lengths people are wiling to go to get their cars under the bar.

Trust me when I say this, at this point in the day it was far too hot to have that many people in the back of an Integra.

It might not have won the limbo contest but this 9th gen Accord is absolutely hammered. Static it’s by some sort of miracle that the quarters and fenders are still relatively intact.

On the topic of static cars and lack of ground clearance Shannon managed to beach her freshly wrapped car later that day. This car, the last time I saw it, was covered in Plastidip but the new vinyl wrap looks much better.

Contrasting the new color is a silver flake painted engine bay that’s been given a once over.

The chameleon paint job on this B2200 is still hanging in there. I don’t know who did the paint on this truck, but hats of to them because it is still going the distance.

Spec R Silvia’s are not terribly common around here so I didn’t expect to stumble across one at TNT. A shop car, it looks like, via , that this car was imported March of this year.

A second unexpected car was this Dastun 280z that was given a complete refresh and new mechanical lease on life from its owner.

As a long time sponsor of the TNT Expo it was great to see the show still so successful.  Before bringing this coverage to a close I’ll leave you guys with a few more shots I took at the event.

Congrats once again to the TNT Expo team for another great show and bobbing and weaving past mother nature for another year.

WTF Friday: The Return Of The Tandem?


There was a time when tandem conversions were incredibly popular. That time was, mostly, before my time –I’ve actually only ever seen one tandem in person— but I’ve always found them pretty puzzling.

I mean why were these conversions so popular? Adding a second set of wheels, wheel arches, and the whole nine seems like a lot of work.

Never mind the decreased gas mileage and extra cost of two more wheels and tires. The more one thinks about it the more the whole idea the more it gets confusing.

But there are people, bless their souls, still doing it for no reason other than to be different.

That’s the only reason I can come up with for someone to convert a Toyota Corolla wagon into a six wheeled pickup.

Well, that or perhaps the need for fuel sipping truck that can support more weight than your average truck to car conversion?

Actually that doesn’t make much sense either, but, regardless of speculation about the reasons behind its creation, this car exists and it is indeed ‘WTF’ provoking.

I spotted this buried on via and if I recall there wasn’t much of a story behind it. So I guess it will remain an odd, six wheeled mystery.

Theme Tuesdays: Billet Wheels, Small Cars


This week’s Theme Tuesday is an offshoot from another Theme Tuesday idea I’ve currently got on the back burner. I’ve always liked the right billet wheels on a Europoean car or import so for this post I decided to seek out more.

While titled this post Billet Wheels, Small Cars, some of these cars are not exactly small and some of the wheels are not billets.

However I couldn’t figure out a shorter title for “wheels usually found on hot rods, muscle cars, and mini trucks used on cars” so here we are. Wheels like Boyd Coddingtons, Centerlines, American Alloy, Eagle Alloy and so forth are the name of the game here.

I’ve posted this car before. I think it looks pretty perfect
I couldn’t find complete photos of this Caddy sadly – Photo:
I did however have a gif of it kicking around
The Coddingtons look great under the ‘dub, very period correct – Photo: 
I feel like these wheels were hopping around for sale for a bit
I have no idea what wheels these are, or how you mount them, but they are indeed unique
I wish I could have found more pictures of this car, it’s perfect
A Prius can spin large billet wheels? Who knew – Owner:
Same could be said for this Peugeot
Centerlines fall under the may or may not be Billet wheels category, but I couldn’t leave ’em out
Full polished Centerlines under Japanese tin is great – Via
BMWs and billets, a mismatch made in heaven
Looks stellar rolling too
Going to close it out with this wagon that I’d glady roll around in –  via

Returning to Binbrook


It’s been two years since I last took a trip out to Binbrook Speed & Custom, my friend Keith’s hot rod shop. In that time Keith has impressively grown the operation while continuing to build some of the best traditional hot rods in Ontario.

As a show of appreciation for the support he’s received since making the transition to building Hot Rods full-time, Keith held a BBQ at the Binbrook shop for customers and friends alike.

While a proper visit back to the shop, free of adult beverages (or perhaps, with adult beverages not being the focus), is in order I couldn’t go and not take a few photos.

For at start-up, mostly one man and a few friends, operation Keith manages to get a lot of work done. Especially considering how busy he has been after having several cars on display at the Canadian International Autoshow and then Motorama in 2015.

His shop is currently full of projects, both inside and out ranging from driver quality hot rods, lead sleds, show grade builds, and even a milk wagon.

Being too busy is something every shop wishes for, and Keith takes things day by day. He’s got a leg up on most people’s jobs commute wise as he’s about sixty seconds total from bed, to shop, and back again.

Not without his humor, even while at full capacity, Keith scrawled this little note about the application of small blocks on the side of one of the current builds in the shop.

Somehow, while neck deep in customer projects, Keith found time to redo the Binbrook Coupe the first hot rod he built mostly in his mother’s garage.

This time around Keith spared no time or expense building the coupe. Getting the car presentable for the was the goal and on that front he succeed despite a few set backs along the way.

As it sits in the photos the car is a roller, and Keith wants to revisit a few things before it hits the road, but it looks incredible all the same.

The body and paintwork are now immaculate and the flake is easily some of the best I’ve seen, and darn near impossible to capture accurately on camera.

You can bet I’ll be back to take more photos of the car when it’s complete. I mean just look at it, how could I not?

WTF Friday: What’s Old Is New Again


I receive a lot of s about the WTF Friday content I post. Surprisingly most of it is positive (thanks), and often updates on a project or more information.

Last year “Shinejug” commented on a post titled Bike Ram Rod that featured a Harley converted Quad.

He mentioned in that comment that a friend’s father recently purchased the bike and that when done it would be for sale. I have not heard an update since but a few weeks ago something very similar popped up at the in Thailand.

Now some things look different, but a lot looks similar. Is it a copy cat or the real deal now in Thailand?

I’ve yet to determine but I’m hoping that perhaps someone will see this post and fill us all in. Inquiring minds need to know!

Event Coverage: Fitted Lifestyle 2017


For an event dedicated to a genre of automotive modification that many assumed would be a quick flash in the pan, has evolved into quite the show.

Expanded far beyond its original parking lot roots Fitted remains the most well supported and longest running aggressive fitment showcase in Ontario.

Operating as a well oiled machine, the curated competitor/exhibitor field at Fitted always carries with it a certain level of diversity. Because of the varied show field Fitted is an event that remains on my calendar year after year, even when life dictates I can only stay for a few hours.

That was the case for this years show, I had a prior engagement later in the afternoon, but I did still manage to fire as many shots as possible between conversations with people I have not seen since last season.

The aggressive fitment community has become synonymous with builds that seemingly exist only to cause a reaction. With each passing year the number of cars that are built, or at least temporarily set up, to cause a stir increases.

But that seems to have become part of what the aggressive fitment community is all about. Think things have gone too far? Well to prove you wrong, or just plain provoke you someone is going to take things further.

To the most casual observer this might seem unusual, offensive and a waste of time. But often the cars are a few spanner turns, or the replacement of a control arm or two away from a more traditional set up.

The owners just happen to enjoy seeing just how far they can push the limits of drive-ability, and how many keyboard smashing, temper tantrum throwing, reactions they can evoke.

That is the case with the Miata above, that, , appeals to a much wider set of people.

The civic above, if I recall correctly, spent most of the event last year pushing around the gravel in the parking lot. This year it was accepted as part of the main event.

Static, this Civic employs the DGAF in your face aesthetic often seen on cars from Japan. The car might look un-driveable but it gets spotted bouncing around 400 series highways fairly regularly throughout the summer.

The CB Accord above attracted me from a far simply because this chassis is now seldom seen around Ontario thanks to rust and mother nature.

Our climate is particularly vicious toward quarter panels, and usually the area you see above is completely rotted away.

Here the quarters remain and have been pushed outwards (along with the door) to accommodate extremely wide wheels.

If you prefer your Hondas a little more conservative you will probably enjoy the eg above. It’s simple yet eye-catching, and if you look extra close you can see racing buckets and an X brace inside.

Gray (), and Gill (), could also be found parked among the dandelions showing off their respective cars.

Gill was later joined by a seven series with the most appropriate vanity plate I have ever seen.

Parked beside Gray’s Mazdaspeed was this wild Subaru wagon from Quebec.

With wide Work VS-KF wheels all around this car has molded custom flares in the rear, and bolt on ones in the front. In any color other than black I probably wouldn’t like this car as much, but the deep black paint really suits it.

Before we step back inside here’s a look at a trio of beetles that rolled in near the middle of the day. 2017 actually marks the first year in recent memory where no beetles were found on the show floor.

That’s OK though because I think everyone at the show stepped out to take a look at these cars.

Stepping back inside Fitted has, for the last few years, held space open for RC drifting.

The area allocated has always been more than just a few cones and duct tape affixed to the ground. Strictly Sidewayz does a great job setting up the drift area and the scale cars are always worth a look.

It’s crazy how accurate the details are on this RC. From the switches in the dash, to radiator and mounts, there’s even a positive lead hanging off the battery.

Then you look at the work cart and start to wonder where exactly one gets scale air tools.

Taking some post apoplectic Mad Max influences the 370 above looks like it’s ready for war. Again the detail work here is tremendous and everything has been weathered to match the motif.

Like R/C drifting custom motorcycles have also become a Fitted staple. This makes sense because I think a lot of the organizational staff are now into vintage motorcycles.

I’m not a motorcycle guy by any means but Haybusas seem to be a bike that people consistently modify.

The most obvious modifications on this bike are the extended swing arm and ultra wide rear wheel. Any of the riders reading this want to hazard a guess at how this bike handles now given its modifications?

On the topic of wide wheels and rubber this Golf debuted at Motorama blue with bolted on .

Now it’s black and said flares have been permanently molded to the car. Molding the flares and painting the car shows follow through on the original idea and I’m curious to see if there are plans to widen the rear bumper to match.

BBS RF wheels are, in my opinion, vastly under appreciated. I’ve yet to see them not suit the car they’ve been bolted to.

Call me old-fashioned but the cars with measured restraint are starting to stand out more than the extreme ones.

I really dug this Volksagen Golf R, simple at first glance the half cage and Corbeu seats hiding inside make me curious about what, if anything, is going on under the hood.

Unlike the Golf R, that kept its secrets close to chest, the latest competition build kept nothing to itself, sitting in the Rota Canada booth all day with the hood open.

The big turbo 2jz is permanently on loan from their former WRX competition car as they campaign this more traditional platform state side in Formula Drift Pro 2 for 2017.

Also in the Rota Canada booth was Datsun 620 truck.

I’m told the truck gets slid at local drift events and I know it has had a motor swap. Sadly I’m drawing a complete blank on what was swapped in.

I did however get a bit of info that could allow me a closer look at the truck later.

The A3 you see above is no stranger to this site, I’ve posted it here a few times when it was in the hands of a different owner.  After a bit of a rough go near the end of that owners time with the car, the new owner gave the car the TLC it deserved to get it to this point.

Now tucking Verein Sport wheels the car looks, in my opinion, phenomenal.

Unique wheel wise the custom splits found on the green 190e below take the cake.

Tucked under green fenders, split by grey two lower body cladding, the white faces and gold bolts really bring the whole car together.

For those curious the wheels were done by a local machinist that is building a himself.

Parked adjacent to the 190 was this event older Benz. Dumped on air, and wearing Dodge diplomat police car hub caps this car was one of my absolute favorites at the show.

I’m going to admit something here, 2 Fast 2 Furious absolutely ruined this generation of eclipse for me. in that movie is so bad that I usually ignore all of them whole sale, however, this one was hard to ignore.

It was actually the prominent air set up, more than the wrap or wheels that had me giving this car a once over. Built by it is a pretty tidy car throughout.

Grounded also brought out their Skipper equipped GTR that rides on Vossen/Work wheels. I tried to shoot this car last year but it never materialized. Maybe I’ll start barking up that tree again later this year…

As I start to bring this coverage to a close I’m going to highlight a few of the award winners from Fitted 2017. The first is Performance Auto and Sound Magazines tuner battlegrounds winner for Fitted 2017, a Liberty Walk equipped Audi S5 that is part of Next Level.

Brian might have spent time getting his car to sit even lower aired out this year, but it was engine bay that netted him an award this time around. The Red hatch at the start of this post actually took home best hatch back this year.

Luigi, also part of Next Level, took home the best of show at Fitted 2017.

His Genesis is really the complete package, and I imagine it is going to keep winning award after award as the season progresses.

For 2017 PASMAG (Performance Auto And Sound) had an editors pick award for the event and for the inaugural award they choose Aidan’s IS300.

Dubbed “the unicorn” by myself and others Aidan had the car completely redone for 2017. Wrap Works took care of the exterior finish while made sure that the car could ride at a height befitting of a VIP car.

The new red wine red color and oem lip kit really give the car the VIP feel that Aidan was always shooting for. After being under the knife for so long its nice to see the car back out where it belongs.

Congrats to Aidan on a well deserved trophy and hopefully the Unicorn makes a few more appearances this year!

I might not have been at fitted long but I did take a lot of photos so instead of extending this coverage another hundred words here’s a few more of the cars that were on display in no particular order.

See you guys at the next one!


Theme Tuesdays: Recently Viewed – May 2017


Another month, another collection of videos to suck away your data. This month a few great videos dropped from the usual sources, and in the comment section of Jalopnik I discovered a compilation of all the jumps from the first three seasons of the Dukes Of Hazard.

Grab your dixie horn and some pop corn because it’s time for another Recently Viewed!

A post shared by (@pham_tastic) on

WTF Friday: Quick Estate


Hit up  this week to see what the warmer months have to offer for WTF Friday content and I actually came across something that blew me away.

It’s not uncommon to find various Pro Street and Drag vehicles on Kijiji at any given time (usually very dated examples or ones missing their motors) but a COE set up to blast the quarter-mile? Now that’s rare.

With branding on the bed I foolishly assumed finding information on this truck would be easy. I quickly learned that there isn’t much on the truck to be found.

Well not much if you don’t count the video below of it running 6.47 at 105 mph.

That’s fast, really fast given it’s size and even faster when you consider the pass was made basically sitting dead center over top of the axle.

But still, I was hoping to find a bit more info, maybe something about the builder, or something about the power plant. Every avenue I explored however I came up snake eyes.

The for sale ad reveals the  truck is set up for SemiPro or Super pro and runs 6:40s on alcohol (as seen above) and 6:50s on pump gas.

It comes with a 26′ enclosed trailer which is presumably the one below, and it is part of an estate sale.

The truck is currently in Ottawa (and I feel pretty confident in saying in that area) with a 30k OBO asking price.


Theme Tuesdays: C10s Part II


This weekend, while listening to C10 talk out in the garage, I decided it was due time for a second C10 Theme Tuesday to follow the original post from 2013.

C10s have always a great platform to start with, but they have become particularly popular in the last three years or so. At this point they are, or at least are quickly becoming, the ‘new’ affordable classic truck.

In Ontario we’re lucky enough to have several cool ones floating around many of which are in this post. I have also included a few noteworthy examples from SEMA trips over the years, and a couple popular internet trucks for good measure.

This photo is a big reason I take a lot of dead on rolling shots, it’s so perfect
For those wondering this truck sounds as good as it looks
This truck was the subject of a SEMA Showstopper post from 2016, the subtle body modifications (especially the bed) are stellar
Another SEMA Showstopper, the (infamous?) Radial C10
Really hope to see/hear about this truck running some day
I was, or rather am, a huge fan of phantom grills in the right application, and this is indeed the right application
The last SEMA build I’ll post, this behemoth belongs to Paul Tracy

And now for a brief video intermission:

What better way to tow your project C10, than with a second C10?
This truck is sold now (I believe to a stateside owner) but what a finished product it became
This is going back a few years but the truck is still around as far as I know and still awesome
This truck was from Motorama a few years ago and was built for the same person who owned this previously featured Advanced Design Truck
I have a decade old truck Magazine with this truck in it, miraculously the condition is the same
Now diesel-powered this C10 is a pretty awesome ‘rat’ truck
I believe Carryalls actually carry their own chassis designation code, but for the sake of this post I will leave this one here
The very first time I saw this truck was at SEMA, to my surprise a few months later it ended up here in Ontario
This truck has an impressive presence about it with wide rubber and a healthy motor underhood
‘Tiffany’ was one of my favorite vehicles at the 2017 Detroit Autorama
Sure it was also at SEMA but Autorama was my first time seeing the truck!