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WTF Friday: Steam Punk Rat Bike

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The was last weekend and while I was sorting through the coverage I knew I had a good bike to showcase for this week’s WTF Friday.

When I saw the bike sitting on the ground my initial reaction was indeed WTF, followed by wow there’s been a lot of thought and creativity put into this build.

Built in a short four months by Toronto based this Steam Punk themed bike is powered by a Yamaha Roadstar 1600cc motor mounted into a truss style frame.

You’ve probably already noticed that this bike sits on the ground thanks to air suspension front and rear.

The air set up itself is pretty trick; the compressor is a from a BMW and it fills that green oxygen tank.

The entire thing is plumbed with copper hard-lines –as is the electrical system– and the owner was doing demonstrations of the suspension going up and down all day thanks to a charger hooked up to the bikes battery.

The battery resides in the green ammunition box if you were wondering.

Interesting details are literally all over every inch of this bike. By now I assume you’ve already noticed that Chevy valve covers make up the gas tank but did you also notice the ratchet handled, chain driven, jockey shifter?

No? how about the quick release tractor seat?

The gauges on the truck reside in a custom-made copper “dash” and the tiny Canadian Club whiskey bottles you see on either side of the fork make up the bikes turn signals.

The springer fork uses wrenches as rockers and hides an air bag between the legs. The chain-drive in the rear is supported by a series of tensioners which help keep the chain in alignment throughout the suspensions articulation.

Fittingly an oil can serves as the bikes oil pan, and for foot controls I am sure you’ve noticed the 50mm bullets.

Unsurprisingly the bike drew a lot of attention at Motorama including the attention of Vegas Rat Rods’s Steve Darnell who awarded it prestigious the RatRod award.

The builder/owner isn’t quite done with the bike as he plans to add a steam-powered horn as well. I am not sure if plans are to ride the bike, sell it, or just keep displaying it but it is darn wild any way you look at it.

Look for more coverage from Motorama to start Monday!

Theme Tuesdays: Corvettes

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Some of the most obvious vehicles fall through the cracks for Theme Tuesdays becsuse in my effort to get creative with the weekly themes I over look some of the most obvious platforms. This time around Corvettes are the most obvious.

By nature most of the Corvettes in today’s post have a performance air about them but there are a few built to just plain look awesome.

I really ought to make a return trip to Legendary Motor Car Company sometime soon to see more gems like this C1
This black beauty, was an actual race car and a feature car 
Another race car, or rather street car/race car split isn’t period correct but rather a new Pro Touring build
There’s a lot of cars in this post from various SEMA shows and this particular House Of Koloa painted car still manages to look outstanding today.
Another SEMA spot, I believe this is (was?) the fastest Street Legal Corvette at the time
I legitimately have no idea if this car was ever completed, might have to do a little digging 
The Optima Street Car Invitational event and Corvettes appear to go together like bread and butter
This is from a more recent SEMA show (2014), the windshield banner suggests this car might hold a surprise or two
Brian Hobaugh’s car actually makes an appearance in the next Fast and Furious movie where it gets destroyed when the team tries to hog tie Dom. I prefer the clip below though:

This obnoxious, but ridiculously awesome car, crossed the block at Barett-Jackson not too long ago
This is pretty well your prototypical C3 Corvette, Torque Thrust style wheels, clean paint, mildly lowered
I included that car because this one, is the same effect just put on the ground
I remember at the time people thought this car was a Photoshop because the idea of air on a Corvette was so offensive… funny how times have changed
This wild Pro Street inspired car was at Autorama in 2013, a show I just returned to this year
One of 2 street legal Greenwood Corvette GTOs care of Jason Langley 
These cars ran a blow through turbo set up and put down an estimated 450 hp
Yet another reason to visit Legendary Motor Car 

As over the top of as the car below is it actually inspired today’s post.

In my opinion if the camber wasn’t so extreme he’d really be on to something.

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This was an over 1000 horsepower car if I do recall correctly 
Always did like the color on this car 
Another one from the SEMA show, less in your face than some of the other cars in this post

 

Going to close things out with this wild Car Porn Racing built machine
If memory serves this car is known as the Black Mamba and is many of today’s latest tuning trends applied to Chevrolet’s immortal sports car

Event Coverage: The 2017 Detroit Autorama

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The last time I was able to personally attend the Detroit Autorama was in 2013, precisely the day after I got my car back from Air Lift Performance. On the trip back to Toronto I made a promise to myself that I would return, but I didn’t know it would take me quite so long to do so.

2017 was the show’s 65th anniversary –which is an extremely long run for a show of any kind– and though it would be fun to say I planned specifically to return to the show on its 65th birthday it was all just a coincidence.

hired me to cover the show last December and I agreed to it before I even knew it was the 65th anniversary.

Autorama, not to be confused with the Canadian show Motorama, is one of the larger shows in the United States and there’s a lot of hype around the show because of the coveted Ridler award.

This means many of the best shops in the USA bring their cars to Detroit for a chance to compete for the Ridler, the best of which make the Great 8, with one of those 8 ultimately taking home the award and the cash and jacket that goes with it.

Though only 8 make the cut for consideration that doesn’t mean the rest of the show isn’t noteworthy, quite the opposite in fact.

In fact as a whole this is probably one of the highest quality shows I’ve ever attended. Since there are going to be insanely well-built cars in the building everyone seems to step up their game.

I spent two days walking the show and didn’t get bored for any of it. Truth be told I probably missed some of it after returning to gawk at a few specific cars over and over.

Sometimes it was because of how well they were built, and other times like with the car below, I stared in an attempt to figure out exactly what it started as.

Largely a classic American car show there were a few late model cars and a couple imports peppered throughout, however because I see a lot of those cars in the summer months, and because I was working for a domestic publisher, my focus wasn’t on there.

Don’t worry though, I’ll get a lot of import, euro, and late model photos this weekend at .

I mentioned above that much of my time at Autorama was spent drooling over the same cars over and over and one of those cars was the Charger below known as Solo.

Built by  this charger is a beast, and if you thought Miro’s under construction Cyrious Garageworks built Charger was cut up significantly you might need to avert your eyes away from this car.

Solo has been chopped and sectioned 3 inches making it the lowest Charger built to date, and the black on black color scheme, with dashes of purple for accenting, make it one of the meanest looking too.

Being able to see over the roof of a charger really puts into perspective just how big these cars were. They are massive, massive machines.

This car will actually be making the trip to Toronto this weekend so I will get another chance to look at it and listen in on people’s reactions.

Additionally Pro Comp Custom will be bringing a Camaro they built that is reportedly equally ridiculous.

Another vehicle I shot quite a bit was the Classic Car Studio built, twin turbo LS1, bagged c10 that caused quite a stir at SEMA.

Tiffany, as the truck is called, certainly lived up to its reputation in person and is a beautiful truck inside and out.

With a patina exterior, one might have given Tiffany a passing grade if the interior was rough to match but Classic Car Studio completely re did it from dashboard to seat back and floor to roof.

The colors they chose worked really well and while it had been modernized they didn’t kill the character or the original design.

The metal work under the hood, or rather under the hood if the hood was anywhere to be seen, was extremely well done and the bed floor was done to match.

After looking at this truck through they eyes of Performance Improvement’s Rob McJannett it was great to see the car in the metal for myself.

On the topic of metal work, this Troy Trepanier (aka ) and Dennis Mariani project sat near the front entrance welcoming show goers with its bare metal body.

Starting with a pristine ’29 Tudor Troy Trepanier predictably transformed this car into a work of art, much like all of his other builds.

I’ve read that this far might see burgundy paint at some point but I for one hope it doesn’t.

It’s raw state really lets the metal work (of which there is a lot; chopped top, shaved drip rails, swapped windshield frame and more) speak for itself.

On a more personal level, you already know all the bagged trucks at the show spoke to me.

This Dodge, which was in the Tremac transmission booth, was quite a nice looking truck with plenty of patina and battle scars (see the windshield).

Contrasting the patina and bruises were the bright white Detroit Steel wheels.

The Detriot Steel/Mobsteel guys actually invited us to their after party later that night which was a great time, so thanks to them for some good ol’ Detroit Hospitality!

This  built C10 had a number of people around it at any give time hence the lack of complete truck shots.

The color combination of teal, pewter, and brown worked very well on this truck and actually made my wife, who has previously not expressed much interest in C10s, stop and take a few photos with her phone.

Another truck of interest to the Thomas family, for obvious reasons, was this stunning ’51 Chevy, again colors are key here and playing off the brown paint that was under the green was a great idea.

I cringe slightly when I consider how much seeing an interior like this has added to my overall Project Why Wait budget, but seriously this is a work of art inside.

I won’t be installing a center console in my truck but this truck makes a good argument for full door panels.

Another wicked idea/application of an idea on this truck was the bed floor.

Lots of people do tilt beds but you can’t really see the air management at shows that way, nor can you easily work on it. This was a great compromise and something I’d certainly like to emulate with my truck.

Finally the LS swap on this truck was also extremely well done and the inner fenders appear to be custom and coming straight off the fenders then sloping down really cleans up the engine bay.

While it took some work I did manage to pull my self away from the AD above to check out this wicked Studabaker.

A 2016 Goodguys 2016 Vintage Air Custom Rod of the year winner this black beauty is a car I wish I was disappointed that I didn’t take more photos of.

I’m still trying desperately hard to not scratch the motorcycle itch, but bikes like the one above don’t help. Thankfully I’m light on disposal income right now or I’d probably be trying to sneak something past my wife at this point.


Going to round this post out with a few more assorted photos.

I’ve already been pitched the opportunity to cover the show again next year so I doubt four years will pass until the next time I’m in Detroit!

My Day At The Lexus High Performance Driving Program

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Winter driving is an unavoidable situation for all Canadians, and while it would be nice if we were all capable winter drivers at birth anyone who has driven on the 400, 401, or DVP during a snow storm knows this is certainly not the case.

Unfortunately traditional driving schools often under emphasize winter driving do’s and dont’s, and some drivers just try to avoid the matter all together opting to stay off the road during inclement weather. However this all falls apart when you get caught in a blizzard which is something if you drive in Canada is bound to happen at least once.

‘s solution for equipping the owner’s of their vehicles with the skills they need to drive comfortably, capably and competently in the winter is their High Performance Driving Program.  The event invites Lexus owners to, for a fee, learn to better drive their cars while under the tutelage of experienced driving instructors who come from a variety of Motorsports backgrounds.

The event covers acceleration, braking, and steering exercises on various prepared courses in Quebec, Edmonton and Ontario, and arranged for me to take part in their most recent event in Minden Ontario.

I was scheduled to drive in the afternoon session, and shortly after I arrived at the fairgrounds I was tossed the keys, or rather the fobs, to not one but two current year Lexus vehicles;  and  both winter ready all wheel drive vehicles. The IS was an executive packaged car and the NX was an F-Sport equipped model.

After spending four hours, split between the two vehicles, it would be absolutely shameful of me not to spend a few moments discussing first impressions.

Now, I’m not in the market for a luxury CUV, but I will admit that is far from a bad-looking vehicle and didn’t feel overly large or ungainly to drive. That said it is still a CUV, and I felt much more comfortable doing the exercises in the IS.  felt far more nimble and responsive than the NX, but the transition was more akin to good to better than bad to great.

On first start of both vehicles I was taken aback by all the bells and whistles Lexus packs these vehicles with. Pushing the start button (once I found it) brought the car alive, not only starting the motor, but moving the seat to the last stored driver position, locking the doors, and adjusting the side mirrors.

It was much more of a production than I’m used to when I turn the key in my humble speed3.

From behind the wheel, if I had to pick two interior features that impressed me it was the analog clock and GPS display. I can’t recall the last time I saw an analog clock in a vehicle, so that was a nice surprise and classy touch, and as someone who uses their phone as a GPS I’m a bit envious of those treated to a large, easy to read, integrated display.

But enough waxing poetic about the vehicles, if you want to check one out a is probably not too far from you, and I’m sure you’d rather hear about what the High Performance Driving Program is about.

Compared to the sole other driving school I’ve been to this one focuses less on in class instruction and more on actually getting you behind the wheel and out driving.

Lead by a group of instructors, in my case the polite and patient quartet of Hank, Robin, Mike, and Greg, they ride with you (traditionally in your own Lexus) to run you through the four exercises; slalom, collision avoidance, skid pad, and finally the ice race track.

The first two exercises focus on raising the driver’s eye height to take look further down the road at potential obstacles (an invaluable skill I wish the person who rear ended me had) and getting used to how a vehicle responds to steering inputs at different speeds and varying brake inputs.

The third exercise took place on the skid pad, and it’s at this point I became very aware of just how slippery the ice course at Minden fairgrounds actually is. Flooded every night with gallons upon gallons of water, any sign of pavement is under several feet of sheer ice that provides next to no traction once the snow has been pushed off it.

I’ve done my fair share of parking lot play in snowy conditions, but doing so on an ice track was a completely new, exciting experience. I wasn’t the only one who took a few moments to get used to the conditions, the owner of the car below ended up tapping one of the snow embankments but thankfully his car was unscathed.

My only complaint regarding this particular portion of the training would be that they didn’t let me play around with traction control off and sport mode engaged (to make power transfer more rear bias) for nearly long enough.

The final lesson of the day took place on the actually ice course which is normally home to vehicles like the Subaru and Hyundai below.

The track, which is designed to be fast and challenging has a variety of short straight-aways and turns that allowed us students to get going fast enough to use what we had learned, but not so fast that we could put ourselves or our cars in too much danger.

My first introduction to the fun to drive course was actually from the rear passenger seat of the IS.

At this point in the day Marian (), a Lexus employee from Japan, actually took me for the first few laps –with an instructor at her side of course– as we traded on and off with the IS.

She did very well on the track and wasn’t afraid to push things a bit, which made me feel comfortable doing the same when she was riding in the back.

To make sure nothing got too hairy only two cars were allowed on the track at the time which gave me the opportunity to hop out and take a few photos between sessions. It was however 13 degrees (around -21 with the windchill) below zero so I didn’t stay out too long.

After Marian and I traded six laps each the day was done and we were set on our way to employ what we learned throughout the winter, which I was actually able to do a few days later when we were treated to a healthy dumping of fresh snow.

Overall my experience at the High Performance Driving Program was incredibly positive and I’d recommend it to any Lexus owner looking to become more comfortable behind the wheel of their vehicle.

Thanks for the invite and if the powers that be are listening I wouldn’t mind checking out the summer course!

Theme Tuesdays: Recently Viewed – February 2017

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Time to sit back, connect your device to WiFi, and enjoy another ‘Recently Viewed  Theme Tuesday.

This month the format returns to videos from any given year, not just 2017, and almost any given topic including matchbox cars, race cars and even a little motocross.

(Apologies for unfortunate Nickleback in the early parts of the first video)










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If you’ve got some videos of your own you’ve watched this month you think I would be into feel free to add them in the comments below.

Event Coverage: Autorama Extreme ’17

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As a BMX rider of nearly two decades I’ve become a little desensitized to the word ‘extreme’. Often overly used to describe the most mundane of things the word quickly lost its impact in the early 2000s.

However, name aside, Autorama Extreme is quite awesome and the most relaxed part of the Autorama show.

The upstairs portion of Autorama is great, don’t get me wrong, and I love the Ridler award competitors, but they are so far removed from the average car builder’s project that it’s a little surreal.

Extreme is a little (a lot) more down to earth and where the builds are more often than not completed by the builders.

It is also where people throw caution completely to the wind and do whatever they damn well please, like with the Dodge below.

This truck… or Ambulance technically (M43 Dodge to be precise) was chopped up in pretty well every which way to fit over a lengthened Ford cube van chassis.

It’s got a 6.6 litre turbo diesel motor under hood and was rough in pretty much every way but,  damn if it wasn’t one of the craziest looking  builds in the venue and I’m pretty sure it would turn more heads on the road than one of the Ridler cars just because it is so ridiculously large.

Autorama Extreme is also where, for unexplainable reasons, I’ve seen some of the most unusual aircooled beetle builds, something one would assume be reserved for the European shows I frequent.

The raw metal example had a crowd around it pretty well all day making a full shot next to impossible, but I did wait for the seas to part twice to get photos of the grey one which was pretty wicked.

are justifiably popular in Detroit, and while I’m dead set on 15s for my truck I must say that school of thought was rigorously tested over the weekend thanks to cars like this Buick Invicta.

There are quite a few more Autorama photos set to roll out this week stay locked for that and check out my ongoing Autorama coverage on RodAuthority.com

WTF Friday: Maximum Overdrive

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Semi truck hot rods are not that new concept, but the more elaborate ones are still some of the most ridiculous builds going. $50,000 worth of ridiculous? I’m not sure, but at the same time I don’t really know what a used semi truck goes for so maybe that is a bargain.

The owner of this Kenworth, called the Thunderhawk, sees it as an investment claiming that it will be work $500k or so at when complete.

The Thunderwak is long, really long, due to being stretched by the builder and having a legitimate sleeper cab. In addition to being elongated it has also had the roof chopped 6″ which actually looks pretty becoming.

However there are two things that really make this truck stand out; its stance (which is thanks to a custom frame and suspension which is independent front and rear and came from a charter bus and another semi) and the Detroit Diesel Motor.

On top of said motor is a pair of 671 blowers with a zoomy style exhaust set up. Unlike a lot of these Craigslist projects this one does run and sounds monstrous at that.

So what’s left to make the truck look like the rendering below?

Well honestly it sounds like just finishing work, paint, interior and the like. That is of course assuming that the frame is done well and the drive-line is hooked up so that the truck can move.

If you’re looking for a crazy project this one is for sale and if you do buy it please, please, please keep me in the loop!

Theme Tuesdays: The 2017 Pirelli Tires Great 8

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If you follow Grosirbajuanak on or then you know that this past weekend I was in Detroit attending the Detroit Autorama as part of my freelance work for .

Initially the ask for RA was 5 articles, two of which were to be done in quick succession as they were going to be on the Great 8 cars and Ridler winner respectively.

For those of you not familiar with the Ridler award, it is essentially a best of show award on steroids. Only first shown cars can compete, and they must arrive a full two days (Wednesday) before the show officially starts to be pre-judged. From there  ISCA (International Show Car Association) judges take over and determine the Great 8 which are the 8 cars that will be eligible to compete that year.

After those 8 are chosen they are again further judged with the Ridler winner being announced on Sunday. These cars are no joke and each of them could easily win a best of trophy award anywhere else, but there can only be one Great 8 winner and that winner was….

The Renaissance Roadster

The custom aluminum bodied Renaissance Roadster was the big winner at the 2017 Detroit Autorama taking home the Don Ridler memorial trophy.

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This car was built by Steve’s Auto Restoration and was based on the ’32 Ford (as a twist a full fendered Ford and not a fenderless one look everyone forgets).

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Style wise I can’t shake the Prowler vibe I get from it overall, but that isn’t a criticism because the Prowler was likely inspired by the same vehicles that vehicle designer Chris Ito drew his inspiration from.

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Being able to plan out your own car entirely from scratch and then execute it to this level is no small feat, so congratulations are in order to Marcy and Buddy Jordan the cars owners.

The Phoenix

A lot of the Ridler cars are commissions, that is to say someone has a shop execute on their idea over a set amount of time. This car however was almost entirely built by one man over a twenty-four year period.

Styled to emulate the 60s era of hot rod building the Phoenix was red, on red, on chrome and the owner/builder Dennis Portka was never too far from the car keeping it polished and dust free throughout the entire event.

Outside of upholstery Dennis did all the work himself. The hinges and emblems on the car are custom designed, the un-chopped roof is vinyl wrapped and Dennis actually figured out a way to spray bed-liner smooth for the car’s interior.

People often criticize the Ridler award as a wallet based award so it was cool to see a vehicle entered built largely by its owner.

The Gold Standard

When I talked to the guys from the they all looked super tired, but they were also incredibly excited about making the Great 8.


The paint on this truck was something to behold, flawless like all the other competitors cars it was very deep with a lot of eye-popping flake and complimentary pin striping.

Outside of the interior the car was an entirely in-house build that the team said everyone contributed to in some degree.

They were most proud of the fact that no single detail stole from the other, I mean the flathead looks great but could you say it took away from or over shadowed the interior?

Not really, and that is exactly what they were going for with this build.

Heirloom

As you all know I’m more than a little intimate with the Advanced Design flavour of trucks, at this point being in the middle of building one, so the first thing I noticed about this truck was that the proportions were not at all stock.

The second thing I noticed was that the builders had called the truck a c10 on their sign board, C10s didn’t exist until the 60s which made me wonder if perhaps there was a C10 under the AD body.

While a swap like that would explain the increased track width, from a performance stand point it isn’t really that much of an upgrade compared to the other options available.

Knowing something was afoot I asked what was what and was informed the truck was built on a c5 Corvette chassis.

That performance chassis is what resulted in the generous propositions, and the distinct rear end is a custom bed made up in part of Cadillac Eldorado components.

Custom wheels tuck up under the fender and bed thanks to a lowered C5 chassis which if you look closely above is covered by a louvered belly pan.

The rawhide interior with custom dash, and bronze/steel assets was designed by Kyle Hix of who, in addition to being super talented, is one of the largest humans I’ve ever met.

Like a few if the other vehicles in the Great 8 the Heirloom was posted by a supercharged LS motor.

Transitions

The first of two Corvettes in the Great 8 this particular car was inspired by the first Corvette concept in 1954, of course it is an updated version of said car, a transtion between then and now as you will.

One of the most interesting things about this car was its stance. It’s been progressively body dropped (there’s an inch difference front to rear body wise) to give it the rake you see.

You’ll see no complaints from me over cutting something up to get the right stance!

The motor is, fittingly, a supercharged LS motor, interestingly enough it is backed by a 4L60e but apparently it is set up in a way that it can be quickly transitioned (there’s that word again) to a manual transmission.

The GPT

Even though there’s no rule, hot rods are what I’ve come to expect from Ridler cars, not sure why probably because I compare it to the Grand National Roadster show’s AMBR award but at any rate Ridler, I think hot rod and this year there were two fenderless Fords competing for the accolades.

The GPT is owned by George Poteet who is, from what I’ve read, a pretty serious automotive collector and this ’32 is his latest addition to .

Designed by E Black Design and Erick Brockmeyer the ’32 was chopped and re worked heavily (adjusted wheel arches, re-worked cowl, re-worked grill, shortened windows etc) before being painted black and perched atop a custom chassis.

Halibrand style wheels sit at all four corners and a potent Ford Y-Block sits in front of a custom billet Firewall.

The Split Ray

From afar the Split Ray looked almost stock, but as they say looks can be deceiving.

The Split Ray is a wide body, an actual wide body, not flares, not wide fenders and quarters, no this car was cut down the middle, opened up over six inches, plunked on a , and welded back together.

One of the more subdued Great 8 builds this was a car that you really had to study to realize just how far beyond stock the car really was.

I particularly liked the interior which was updated to look like a 2016 Sting Ray, if I had to choose this car would have been my second pick.

The After Thought

If the Split Ray was my second pick what was my first you ask? Well those honors go to the 1930 Model A known as the After Thought built by .

In the video that was playing in front of the car Cal Auto creations describes the vision behind the stance which was a cartoon like rake for the perfect stance.

Looking at the photo below you can’t say they didn’t nail it.

The color scheme of the car is described as art deco and the fins you see used all over the car were inspired by an exhaust manifold Cal Auto Creations owner Andy Leech spotted over two years ago.

The fins were used everywhere on the car and yet still somehow not over done. I spent a lot of time looking at this car and honestly couldn’t find a single thing on it I didn’t like.

I almost had to laugh when the video said that the car originally came in for a minor over haul.

While this car didn’t win, I hope that it doesn’t disappear and more people get to see it in person because it’s a pure work of art and one of the best coupe builds I’ve ever seen.

As a completely shameless plug if you want to read more about the Ridler cars you can check out and The on

Motorama Or Bust: Part 8

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It’s been just less than a year since the last update on the but this one is one that many of you have been waiting for.

In preparation for this weekend’s Blair put a lot of work into making the car in a much more drive-able state, seats were upholstered and put in, the shift linkage was sorted out, air ride checked over, fluids filled and the car was fired for the first time.

The video below documents the first start and idle, and is, as far as I know, the only video of a Latham supercharger running anywhere.

As one can imagine there’s still a bit more teething to do before the car is out and driving, but there’s plenty of summer ahead and lots of rubber to burn!

Event Coverage: The 2017 Canadian International Autoshow

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Running throughout mid February The  doesn’t quite signal the end of winter but it’s pretty damn close and always a welcome escape from the cold.

Every year, in addition to debuting a number of new models from major manufacturers (many not just first time showings in Canada but first time shown in North America) the Autoshow curates a few different exhibits designed to showcase various parts of the automotive hobby.

This year the stand out attraction was an exhibit located on the Metro Toronto Convention Center’s 100 level that showcased 50 years of Grand Prix Racing in Canada.

I don’t follow F1 racing particularly closely, but this room was one of my first stops on media day and can you blame me?

As legends of the sport Villeneuve (both Jaquces and Gilles), Schumacher, and Senna are all names that are recognizable to even the most casual of racing fans and seeing the cars they drove to assorted accolades all in one room was pretty incredible.

Despite being 25 years old at the youngest, these cars still look remarkably fast sitting still and looking at the cockpit of Gilles 510 horse power 312T3 I couldn’t help but wonder how exactly he fit inside the car.

I’m a pretty skinny guy but I couldn’t imagine shoe-horning myself into the car, never mind sitting in it at any length of time while wrestling it around a track.

The cars in the 50 years of Canadian Grand Prix showcased technology from eras gone by while in the Infiniti booth sat the latest in F1 technology, the Infiniti/Renault joint F1 vehicle.

After spending previous years working with Redbull, Infiniti has partnered with Renault for the foreseeable future.

The engineering resources of Infiniti will be put to task on the Renault car and Infiniti has been they have no intentions of just being a player in F1, they want podium finishes within the next two years.

Big words, and it will be interesting to see if they deliver on their promises.

Having now seen the car in the flesh I just might tune in to a few races to see how it performs.

Not one to sit on their laurels (or copious amounts of money) Redbull has partnered with Aston Martin in 2017 to create the AM-RB 00. Debuting for the first time in North America the not so creatively named car is designed to be the new super hypercar standard.

Details are still a bit sparse but production will be limited to about 100 units, one race variant and one street going, and the vehicle will be v12 powered.

Ratcheting down the insanity, if only slightly, brought a Paganai Huyra to the show which was actually slightly over shadowed by their latest project, a gn, Pfaff commissioned, 911.

In a color-way significantly more outspoken than the one they brought to the show last year, this Singer is of course built to the insane standard that one comes to expect of a car with Singer badging.

Trimmed in blue and red this car is visually loud in person, but at the same time restrained and mature.

The colors make the car stand out and draw the eye but it’s the finer details that keep you looking at this car.

The choice of interior materials plays of the exterior colors and those inserts in the Recaro seats would probably look out-of-place and tacky anywhere else.

Also featured in the Autoexotica room, where the Singer Porsche and AM-RB 00 sat, was all 1500 horse power of the Bugatti Chiron.

Boasting a top speed of 300 or so MPH and looks that could only be from Bugatti this is a car that I’ll likely never seen within the circles I travel, but a man can dream.

If you’re anything like myself looking at the photo above your eyes go to one car and one car only, despite the fact that it isn’t actually the most modern car in the line up nor is it the most expensive.

Top dollar honors go to the Ferrari 250LM below, a similar car to this one fetched a handsome sum of 17.6 million (USD at that) somewhat recently.

Of course all the race prestige in the world doesn’t replace the fact that the F40 was the car that damn near every kid from the 80s had on their wall next to a Countach.

Gushing over these cars every time I see one seems almost redundant at this point but I can’t help it, it is practically ingrained into my blood and this year’s Canadian International Autoshow features not one, but two F40s.

Now ‘s black F40 I have seen before, at ‘s Cars and Coffee, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive to see again and marks the Canadian International Autoshow the only place where I’ve ever seen two F40s within walking distance of each other.

Speaking of Engineered Automotive they brought this blown C10 to the show, which surprised me because I didn’t know blown, bagged trucks were in their wheel house.

The joke is of course on me because it looks like they are quite adept at building a stand out american classic.

Another standout classic at the show belonged to Peter Klautt of .

This L88 is his own personal car, and it wasn’t designed to just look the part of a race car, it’s raced, and raced hard at that.

Regularly driven at speeds in excess of 175 miles per hour this car is a monster and a full feature on it can be read

The Art and The Automobile exhibits at the Canadian International Autoshow are always pretty interesting, and for 2017 one of the most prominently featured cars was a concept I had never heard of namely the GM LaSabre.

Designed in an era where cars borrowed more than few design influences from planes, this luxury convertible was designed by Harley Earle who thought jets symbolized the very pinnacle of modern engineering.

Made of fiberglass, aluminum, and magnesium the car is fully functional, and was Harley’s personal car for two years after doing the song and dance on the show circuit.

The car was quite advanced for the time, but the only thing that GM really used from it was the LaSabre name plate which ended up falling under the Buick nameplate.

Buick surprised many at the show with this beautiful Avista sport coupe. An elegant car that debuted last year it is, sadly, one of those ‘design experiments’ that probably won’t ever hit the streets.

I’m not sure if Buick is thinking of going after a younger market, but if they are this car would certainly do it.

Another brand synonymous with ‘old people’ are Lincolns, and this Navigator concept pulled out all the stops showcasing what could be possible if production costs were truly no object.

Gullwing doors, a wardrobe out back, and the most elaborate steps I’ve ever seen fold out of a vehicle, this concept might hint at the general design and shape of the next generation Navigator I highly, highly, doubt many of the other features will make production.

That all said, it was pretty cool to look at. Though I imagine air ride and a body drop would be out because then how would those steps work?

Audi had a few debuts at the show; the  SQ5, new TTRS coupe, the R8 Spyder as well as an RS3 sedan.

I however spent most of my time in the Audi both staring down this R8, which was split in half ala Batman’s Two Face. The Split really shows just how different a race ready R8 is from its factory counterpart.

BMW also introduced a few new cars at the show, none of which were the M6 coupe above but that’s ok.

I really like this style of motorcycle and the R NineT is a pretty rad looking bike, I used to hate the look of BMW bikes growing up so it’s nice to see them release something as awesome looking as this.

I feel like it’s my duty as an aftermarket enthusiast website to mention the Civic TypeR  concept, but honestly I think it’s so far from the original Type R variants that caught everyone’s hearts previously that I don’t feel any major draw to the car.

Still though, hat tip to Honda for throwing us all a bone.

Wondering away from the OEMS Nextmod debuted their latest GTR, a Ben Spora kitted example, that true to their form is done to the 9s. Nice to see Peter with a new car, and hopefully he hands on to this one for a while.

Parked near the GTR was the new ML24 FRS wearing the first production version of their V2 kit which drops the rivets of their frist kit going for a much smoother overall look and feel.

Sitting on ISS forged wheels this car struck a pretty fair balance between function and form and really looked sharp. All the cabs looked great and I didn’t really have any criticisms for the kit as a whole.

It will be interesting to see how many people end up rocking this kit next year and in the years to follow. Nice to see something designed here in Canada, and expect to see a lot more of this car as the year goes on.

I’m going to close out this post with a few other photos from the show, from various areas.


The show runs from now through to the 26th so you’ve got one more week to check it out!

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