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Lost Coverage: The 2016 Autofest Nationals

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In my 2016 wrap up I mentioned that moving East of Toronto put a number of new events in my reach and the Autofest Nationals is on the larger scale of those events.

A twenty-three year old classic car event held at Lakeview park in Oshawa the Autofest Nationals is open to all makes manufactured before 1986.

I’ve peppered a few of these photos throughout and , and even padded a few editorials with them, but for the most part the lion’s share has been trapped inside a draft post.

With January being one of the hardest months content wise I’ve decided to put a few words around these images and unearth the coverage so to speak

For my first Autofest Nationals I went with Ash in tow and to be honest as soon as he saw the neighboring park my minutes were numbered, but we did circle the grounds for about two hours taking in the variety of different vehicles.

If memory serves the weather was calling for rain that day as well, but as it became clear it wasn’t going to rain more and more vehicles started to arrive.

The variety at the Autofest Nationals was pretty good and should you be a classic car fan I don’t think you’d be disappointed going to the show either Saturday or Sunday.

Ford, Chevy, Lifted, Lowered, stock numbers matching, or heavily modified there was a bit of something for everyone.

What I always find interesting to do at a show this large is try and place the year that some of the builds were finished.

Paint colors, wheel choices, and windshield banners can be incredibly telling when it comes to dating a car and it’s always fun to see vehicles that remind me of sitting down in front of the couch watching The Nashville Network.

I loved this High Sierra for example, sure we could split hairs about whether this is dated or era correct but it was clean as a whistle either way, no doubt from years of careful storage and upkeep.

Another car that I’m sure is kept under a cover quite religiously is this Mercury Cougar. I’m actually struggling to think if I’ve ever posted another Cougar to the site and if I have I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a sixth generation.

Furthermore I can guarantee it wasn’t a supercharged 302 sixth gen! How crazy is that?

The twin Turbo Dart got some love in the Mobile Photo Dump Theme Tuesday as I’ve seen it at Shake Rabble and Roll Cruise Ins a couple times.

This car just look sinister at every angle including the side view which, if looking at it, doesn’t convince you stance is everything I don’t know what will.

The Lead Kings Canada has a few cars at the show as well, one day I’ll have to feature at least one of the builds out of this Canadian club because they are all awesome.

Classic car owners are never afraid to show their personality in their builds, other people’s opinions be dammed, and this tall can gauge pod is pretty neat. I imagine more than a few of those cans were drunk during the build.

Matching trailers are not exclusive to the classic community but I do see more of them here than anywhere else.

While I was at the show Blair made the mistake of saying he missed his previously featured ’57 3100 so I made darn sure to take a few photos of this truck to rub it in a little.

This truck sported great patina and laid out quite well. I’d imagine that industrial looking bumper would throw some pretty good sparks should the owner be so inclined.

The shifter was also pretty unique. I don’t know enough about guns to say if this was real or not but it did look rather convincing.

The Task Force was also out at this show. If you remember from the ELTA Summer Bash Coverage in 2015 this is a static big block powered truck.

Again, the stance of this truck is incredibly impressive but I imagine it boogies darn well to boot.

Since I am always looking for some inspiration for Project ‘Why Wait?’ I spent a lot of time looking over this truck and must admit it played a bit of a part in the design of my rear bed mounts.

While I don’t plan on cutting my door for speakers I did like the door panels in this truck, and the use of the original gauges. I plan to run an aftermarket wheel though this truck does make a strong point for keeping the original one.

The truck also tried to make a pretty convincing argument to keep the six, but at this point I’d already made up my mind that it was going to hit the road.

I’m sure you all noticed this truck lurking in the background of the Webber chassis truck. It was built by and is another truck I’ve spent a lot of time looking at.

It’s also a regular at the Shake Rabble and Roll weekly meet I go to and I’ve drooled over it so much that Ash actually points it out when he see’s it now exclaiming “Red truck” with enthusiasm.

The truck is clean enough to show extremely well but if you look carefully there’s enough character in it to facilitate driving it around near daily in the summer without worry.

Coming straight out of a weekend if -20 degree weather posting these now is a bit of torture, but I hope you guys enjoyed it.

WTF Friday: Off Track

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The cold makes people do weird things, especially the cold out here in Ontario that is several degrees below 0 for week-long stretches.

Some people will do damn near anything to avoid having to spend time in the cold, and if spending time in the cold is necessary do whatever they can to make it as fun as possible.

This is how, I imagine, things like skis, snowboards, and snowmobiles came to be and I’m pretty sure it’s how this once Suzuki Samurai started down the path to becoming the subject of today’s WTF Friday.

Posted in a local Facebook for sale group the photo above reveals a hilarious looking snow worthy vehicle (though I have my questions about how well those front wheels will fare).

Sadly the vehicle no longer looks like it does above with the tracks having taken a vacation some years ago.

The motor, which now resides in the rear, and uses a center mounted sprocket to connect to the drive axle, apparently does run quite well aside from a small fuel leak.

It’s a bit of a basket case inside but really looks like a good bit of cleaning and some rocker guard on the floor and it would be great for ripping around some private property.

Currently sitting on four wheels front and rear it looks more than a little goofy, but I could see a lot of fun in this thing if someone where to take the time and restore it to its former glory.

It’s only  so if you’ve got some extra coin kicking around, and the cold has you thinking less than clear, it might be a great impulse buy. If you do be sure to send updates.

The Printed Form: Car Stuff

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Producing content today is perhaps the most streamlined it has ever been, in a matter of minutes anyone can spin up a social channel and begin publishing.

Enabling everyone to essentially be their own publisher has affected the popularity of the printed form fairly significantly, however that is not entirely a bad thing because today when someone makes the effort to release a physical it’s usually content worthy of print.

Growing up few years before high-speed internet, magazines and books have always been something I’ve had kicking around, and recently they have served as inspiration for my long reaching goal to print something.

However sitting down to actually work on a book is a daunting task and that is why I truly respect the efforts of Devaughn Dunbar, aka young Devo, aka, with his first book titled Car Stuff.

Devo is representative of much of today’s content creators in that he’s someone without a pile of industry connections, formal training, advertising dollars and years of experience.

What he does have however is drive, a lot of passion for his craft, a car, and a great group of friends willing to bring him and his camera to their adventures.

Car Stuff is a compilation of photos from the 2016 season chronicling events as close as Topp Drift in Shannoville Ontario and Grid Life in South Haven Michigan.

While much of the book is cars –both in action and not– it isn’t entirely just car photography with some build and lifestyle photos thrown into the mix as well.

The book is also shot exclusively on 35mm film which not only gives it a unique feel but makes it more impressive to me personally as someone who has never, and probably can’t, shoot film.

Interspersed within the photography are a few editorials written in the laid back, conversational style Devo first revealed in his piece ‘‘, that has spread across the internet twice over thanks to a share from .

These short editorials give you an insight into what makes Devo tick (and what makes his cars not) and help further round out the book as a whole.

The last word style piece was actually yesterday for those of you who might want to give it a read.

A humble read all the way through, Car Stuff is a great addition to my coffee table and a constant reminder that I need to get off my duff and plug away at a book.

Unfortunately I was a little late getting this post out the door and all the copies are currently sold out but maybe with enough visits to a second printing will emerge. Or you could try to pry , whichever works.

The Printed Form is a new category to the site but one I don’t plan to let linger so if there are books you think I should take a look at do let me know in the comments below.

Theme Tuesdays: Classic Mercedes

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I had a few different ideas in mind for the first Theme Tuesday of 2017 but after starting and stopping a few odd ball themes I switched gears and went simple, focusing my efforts on older vehicles with the MB tristar that are good and low to the ground.

I’ll be honest with you, cars of the Mercedes Benz marquee typically don’t do a whole lot for me as they usually blend right into the silver sea of cars I’ll likely never be able to afford.

The old ones though, those catch my eye especially the closer they get to the ground, or as of the last few years the more sideways they get.

This photo goes back to 2010 or maybe even 09, never got to see this once local car roll around on wires but I wish I did
The car later wore more oem wheels…
…then later still mesh wheels
I feel like I wouldn’t be far off in saying the car above influence the creation of this car
s Rick Di Corpo had this awesome 1973 28 for about a season
Manolo has always had a way with European cars, classy wheels and air ride, As seen on this 450SE
He later switched up the wheels, and it looked even better
It’s mind blowing that this hold over from the Cocaine laced 1980s still exists here in Toronto – via

 

‘s w114 was a short-lived project that debuted at Fitted in 2014, stole a lot of heads then promptly vanished

John Ludwick changes cars quite a bit so I don’t know if he still has this w114 but it was a pretty wicked car at H2O in 2013
The overall aesthetic of this car was pretty refined to go with and that camera was actually the air controller
Something extremely satisfying about a vehicle that was once the height of luxury throwing sparks down the road on a bright summer day
Pillarless windows on big cars always provoke a second glance –
went to Australia to capture this Benz and the one below
The full feature on both of these Severed Ties
I don’t know a lot about the heritage around AMG cars but this ’71 300 SEL Rote Sau car is too good not to post
Sic Ryde did a really, really good job with this 500e which is probably the “newest” benz I’d own
This post wouldn’t be complete without a 190, but I must admit that I’m more than likely going to spin 190s off into their own post so I’ll just post this one for now
Though it’s a few years old now its still one of my favorites, if you’re looking for more
Switching gears entirely, this Black Smoke Racing Wagon 300td is one of my favorite drift cars ever, it had a huge holset, a super, and nitrous at one point – via

has since moved on to a new chassis, but this one is the perfect way to end this post and of course I’ll add a video of it:

2016 Through The Rearview

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2016 was an interesting year for myself, my family and Grosirbajuanak. After moving late 2015 I started the 2016 quite literally on the opposite side of Toronto.

A Mississauga boy my entire life the relocation to Durham brought with it a lot of change and as far as the site is concerned it mean that what was previously a 45 minute drive away was not a hop skip and a jump and vice versa.

Change is of course a natural thing that occurs throughout ones life so I eagerly embraced it as I explored what the Durham region has to offer in terms of car culture.

I wasn’t disappointed either, I started the year with the Moneygang BBQ in Pickering which carried with it some familiarity as I knew a lot of the people who showed up.

The event was however  my first introduction to a few of the turbo fed monsters that can be traced back to Oshawa’s GT Custom Exhaust.

Once spring really rolled around I quickly introduced myself to the local cruise-in community and discovered a variety of weekly get-togethers that were held just down the road from my front door weekly. These cruise ins soon became a weekly trip for my son and I and Ash really took a liking to them, as did I.

 

From there one flier lead to another and I found myself stopping by a number of other classic events in the area marking 2016 as a year where Classic and hot rod coverage really rivaled import, euro, and track coverage.

Grosirbajuanak has always been an all-encompassing site but this year I definitely spent more time hanging around pre-1985 American metal. Blaming my locale would be the easy way out but I must admit it’s not the only reason I spent a lot of time around American classics in 2016.

This year I started to hit my stride with freelance work in the classic and hot rod genre so it literally paid to keep my head in the classic game.

Freelance writing for other publications has become something I enjoy –writing for an audience that you didn’t have a hand in creating is a great challenge– and only makes my contributions here all the better.

Furthermore the extra cash flow really helps keep things humming along for .

Spending my time around a different crowd of people has been quite refreshing, and since new events and new vehicles, along with new people and their stories, has always been a staple of this site I plan to continue delving deeper into the east end community in 2017.

Unfortunately like everything else there’s a give and take, and some of that give was missing out on the events held by my West end friends. I tried my best to make it out that way a few times a month and I succeeded with events like Fitted and Northern Showdown but there were a few I just couldn’t make it to.

Importfest was one (though that had nothing to do with physical location and everything to do with a wedding) and every Canadian Sport Compact Series event was another.

I’ve been a supported of that series since 2010 but the distance, combined with fatherhood has certainly put a damper on my ability to attend.

Thankfully Drake Nolte has been able to pick up quite a bit of the slack in that regard and be a tremendous help to the site as a whole.

Always down to shoot pretty well anything on wheels he and I work very well together, and since we often shoot from different angles it gives the event coverage we do together a depth I could never reach solo.

Aside from events Drake and myself also came together on what is now, officially, the most popular feature ever to hit this site, the Cyrious Garageworks built World War Z Camaro.

Miro and Pat really made this shoot enjoyable and the two of us did our best to do World War Z justice.

In addition to Drake 2016 also had the continued support of and Gray Schilling. Both of these too have an extremely clean photography style and acute eye for detail.

For the first time original build coverage became a part of the site’s content kicked off by the Motorama Or Bust series that followed the Taylor’d Customs build ‘Taylor’d Dodge’.

I’ve followed many a build in my day so it really felt natural to bring you coverage of one from start to near finish.

The focus on builds isn’t something that’s going to change for 2017. The Dodge isn’t quite done which means there’s more to come on that car, and there are already some updates waiting in the wings to be posted along with a stack of parts in my garage.

If you’re a fan of my editorial work I’m happy to say I will also be doing more of that in 2017 since I only manged to hit exactly half of my initial goal of six a year.

On the bright side of things all three of those posts were well received my opinions on the current state of automotive media really resonating with industry peers in a way I never imaged it would.

Each year I find myself parked in front of the computer writing for this blog I’m humbled by the support and encouragement from others to continue to go on.

I hope that all of you reading this are on board for another 365 and I promise to keep plugging away at this site one shutter click and keystroke at a time.

 

WTF Friday: Pleasantly Surprised

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Trolling around on ebay searching for the terms ‘one of a kind’ and ‘rat rod’ can yield all sorts of results, but yesterday things seemed pretty tame, dare I say even pretty good.

This ’48 Jeep project that turned up actually shows decent potential and the art above the shop door suggests it might not the builders first kick at the can.

Pictures are sparse –the ad only has two– but in the photo above you can see that the body has been channeled over a frame that has a four link out back (on air) and up front there’s a straight axle/leaf spring configuration.

Naturally this has been all set up to put this jeep appropriately in the weeds.

‘Chevy running gear’ is all that’s listed so one can assume its a small block between the rails, and the wheels look similar to Cragar soft 8s painted black. The missile headers are a nice touch, they add some character without putting an over the top car further over the top.

Jeep hot rods are nothing new but this one looks like it could turn a lot of heads, and frustrate a lot of Jeep purists if someone buys it an finishes it. At the very least there will be a lot of Jeep owners saying ‘WTF’.

Interested? . Still some time left to make a snap 2016 decision!

Theme Tuesdays: Recently Viewed – December 2016

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Being fortunate enough to have been off work since December 23rd I almost lost track of what day of the week it was and let this week’s Theme Tuesday slip by, almost.

It seems fitting to end another year of Theme Tuesday posts with a ‘recently viewed‘ because this late 2015 addition to the popular Theme Tuesday category has done very well throughout 2016.

Additionally as the calendar clicks over to 2017 there’s bound to be a number of new videos dropping which means the January recently viewed post would have been extra long had I not have been able to get this one out the door.

Like every other recently viewed the videos are an assortment with this month containing movie trailers (Fate of the Furious), Instructional Videos (welding), and dyno comparisons but it’s all things I’ve been watching or researching this past month.













A post shared by (@dopefedlsx) on

I’ve been musing that for 2017 I will make producing at least one video a goal for the year with video of the  running being first on the docket then maybe adding some video to the progress to follow. Photos and text will always be the priority here but every year I like to experiment with something new so maybe it will be video for 2017.

Not sure if I’ll be able to steal away some more computer time before the year ends so if I don’t happy new year, and if I do see you Friday.

Mustang Sally

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If you follow or you’ve already seen a photo or two of this car which seemingly appeared out of nowhere in Barrie Ontario.

This project, which is being built by steel fabricator Kyle Scaife is, or was, a sad for itself ’67 before the metal started to come off.

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Far from a pristine car Kyle, with what looks to be help from a few other people at his shop, quickly wasted no time removing a significant amount of rusted metal from the chassis which actually included most of its structure.

Looking at the progress photos is a harsh reminder that rust around here really doesn’t play around.

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From there he drew up a plan for the car, that is quite clearly heavily influenced by the Hoonicorn which is of course not a bad thing.

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It’s at this point where, if you were not already offended as a purist by the removal of a lot of what makes this car a Mustang and the roof chop, things get really interesting.

Instead of using Mustang under-pinings, or building a chassis from the ground up, Kyle intends to use the guts of a C5 under the Mustang “shell”.

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At this point the C5 donor has been slid under the modified body and they are embarking on the long task of stitching everything together to make it a functional car.

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As one would expect the LS motor isn’t going anywhere, and all that room might be taken up by a pair of turbos after the car is running.

The goals for this build are a car capable of both the street and track and you can follow the build on Instagram via .

Theme Tuesdays: ‘Tis The Season 2016

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It’s that time of year again, the holidays are right around the corner and instead of wrapping gifts or tending to other priorities you’re here on checking for another ‘Tis The Season post.

I appreciate your procrastination, I really do, and this year I’ve kept it all to real cars no illustrations this time around.

tistheseason5_rceshan
The owner of this car , is actually an awesome local Toronto photographer I was previously on aware of
tistheseason1
makes it two seasonal Theme Tuesdays in a row, this time with a little support from the man in red
tistheseason12
has such a great looking car, really love this livery
tistheseason13
Unexpected tree hauler is unexpected. I imagine it didn’t drive like this… via
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plans on driving his R8 throughout the entire winter, and why not they are all wheel drive after all
tistheseason6_poddymallett
also uses his R8 to bring home trees
tistheseason7_louisdunseith
Up until about a week ago Ontario was looking pretty green like in this photo by
tistheseason8utahvette
Perfect setting for a winter photo shoot in this photo fond on
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Another contirbution from  one would assume its a warmer climate but some of the Hot Rod guys are really dedicated so you never know
tistheseason9
I wish this photo was a little bigger but I doubt a larger original exists!
tistheseason2-paleon
No trees or snow here but has Rudolph’s antlers going
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caught Santa Ridin’ Dirty
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Adam Szarmack took of this ’57 that we’ll end this year’s off with. His  so definitely check it out.

I’ll have one or two more posts until Christmas but if this is the last you read until then Merry Christmas, and if you don’t celebrate Happy Holidays!

WTF Friday: All Mixed Up

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Ah the great giver of WTF Friday content. On any given day a quick search can lead to hours of wading through layers of ridiculous while looking at, and searching for, things one never knew they needed.

Today’s find is a ’54 Ford F100 ‘Rat Rod’ that’s been customized in a fairly unorthodox manner.

mixedup-1

The cab and frame are original Ford pieces, and the hood and fenders have been removed up front to get the rat rod look the owner was looking for.

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For some reason the hood made its way to where the bed would have been, and has been transformed into a bed of sorts…

The gas tank is the keg you see there, but I am not sure what purpose, if any, the other container holds.

mixedup-2

Inside racing buckets have been added, and it’s got an entirely new floor and what looks to be a traditional body drop so if you’re tall this might not be the truck for you.

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Motor wise it’s got a ’79 Camaro 305 with turbo 350 transmission that’s been wired up with a painless system. It looks like there are custom headers (or just plain flipped stock ones) and more vintage headlights thrown into the mix as well, in addition to a grill sourced from who knows where.

The entire thing is which, according to the owner, is less than what he has in it. If a more traditional build is your choice this might not be the best pick, but if you and the owner share the same vision then it’s still up for grabs.

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