Tire Stretch & Motor Swaps At Fitted Lifestyle

The fact that the Speedhunters odometer has rolled over into the tens has been brought up a lot this month, and for good reason – 10 years of operation is well worth celebrating.

Over the past decade, Speedhunters has done an excellent job thoroughly covering virtually every segment car culture around the globe, however, going back as far as I can remember, there hasn’t been a recurring Canadian in the cast.

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Today I’m happy to announce that has changed. Paddy and the boys have welcomed me officially onboard to represent my region of Canada as best I can. To be perfectly honest, I’m more than a little nervous considering the talented company I now find myself amongst, never mind the shark pool of a comments section that waits below.

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Given enough creative rope to thoroughly entangle myself, I’ve chosen to start things off with coverage from Fitted Lifestyle, an event most easily (but not exactly accurately) described as a ‘stance’ show.

Why? Because I love a good challenge. If I can go to a show focused on one of the most criticized contemporary tuning genres and come back with something for everyone, then anything that follows should be a cakewalk.

Or at least that’s my hope. Wishful thinking? Time will tell.

We’ve Been Here Before
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If the roll-in shots peppered through the intro seem familiar it’s because we’ve been here before. Fitted Lifestyle, which itself has been running almost as long as Speedhunters, was the subject of one of my first IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER posts three years ago.

For many of us in Ontario, and a couple from Montreal, Fitted doubles as both a show and a reunion. Spread about the province, we all gather at the Brampton Ontario Fairgrounds to say hello for the first and sometimes last time of the year.

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The reason we choose this event, over a few of the other early season shows, is because the organizers of Fitted Lifestyle have done a great job ensuring it is about car culture and people above all else.

It’s hard to put into words, but, this show just feels right, unlike others where you can tell making money is the organiser’s prime motivator.

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A show doesn’t make nine years resting on its laurels, and each year Fitted tweaks their model just a little bit. For 2018 these changes brought new award classes. These new classes included VIP, VIP Styled, Classic JDM and Euro, in addition to a Track class for time attack and drift cars.

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As someone who’s only missed a handful of Fitted events, I feel justified in saying these classes were more than welcome. With ‘aggressive fitment’ being pushed to new extremes I was beginning to feel a little out of touch.

To quote knowledgeable crackpot Abe Simpson, “I used to be with ‘it’, but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it’ anymore and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary, and it will happen to you”.

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But as much as I might think some of the cars at Fitted Lifestyle are over the top, I’m not about to tell these enthusiasts to stop. My name isn’t on the ownership, I didn’t pay for the modifications, and I don’t have to worry about driving it.

Different strokes for different folks and the freedom to do whatever you want is what makes aftermarket car culture so great.

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That said, not everything at Fitted is nearly as extreme as the vehicles above, and at heart I’m still a slammed car guy so it wasn’t hard for me to find plenty of vehicles I was a big fan of. The new classes just made that quite a bit easier.

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At the end of the day,  if it has clean paint, a lip kit, a bit of camber and a side of wheel lip, I’ll probably like it.

Holy Schnit
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With that bit of primer you can only imagine how much I enjoy this AC Schnizter BMW 850. Some might view this car and scream ‘sacrilege’, but I’d much rather say ‘awesome’.

Already a fairly unique vehicle Monolo, the car’s owner and builder took care not to go over the top in modifying his Bavarian cruiser.

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As you’d assume by the fact that its literally laying on the concrete, this car is on air. Using Air Lift Performance‘s custom crafter components and E34 front strut housings, Manolo was able to plant the front on the ground. The rear set up is built around Slam Specialties bags.

Purists needn’t fret, none of the original suspension components have been harmed. Additionally, aside from a few small holes for air lines the car can be transformed back to stock relatively easily.

The wheels are restored and polished 19-inch Artec pieces originally specced for a Porsche, hence the center caps.

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The fresh high polish on the wheels plays well with the AC Schnitzer pinstriping and badging.

A Convertible Surprise
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Am I alone in thinking FC3S RX-7s don’t quite get the respect they deserve? Overshadowed by the FD3S that followed, these wedge-shaped Mazdas are easily among some of my favorite Japanese vehicles of the mid ’80s and early ’90s.

Here in Canada, our climate and use of road salt has unfortunately taken many of these cars off the road.

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Thankfully, this car RX-7 not only survived but wound up in the hands of an enthusiast. Jon Lee’s FC is unique both inside and outside.

The exterior is the combination of several different manufacturers; the bumpers and side skirts are GP Sports style pieces and the front over fenders are Shine Auto items that have been installed as overfenders. Keeping the Weds Kranze Bazreia wheels contained out back are overfenders of unknown origin.

As a whole, the car has great style and can be used as a booth babe, drift toy, or top down cruiser. But in the chapter title I mentioned a surprise. That surprise has likely been spoiled by the blue valve cover peeking out of the engine bay in the photo above.

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Rotary no more, this Mazda’s heart has been replaced with a Nissan motor.

If you’re not a Nissan guy, that’s a KA under the hood. If you are a Nissan guy, then you’re probably wondering why KA and not SR. The answer here is simple, cost. An admitted S chassis lover at heart, Jon had this motor straight on the engine stand when the FC’s 13B rotary gave up the ghost.

A couple measurements, some fabrication, and a collection of Tomei parts later and voilà, a Nissan horsepower under the hood of a Mazda.

A GL10 To NV

On my way out the door at Fitted Lifestyle I stopped by the Drift Jam tent to get more details on their upcoming drift series. Behind the tent one of the event’s main sponsors, NV Auto, had two cars on display. The first was their 2JZ-swapped, rear-wheel drive STI. This is a car that is usually deserving of end of post honors.

On this day, however, it had some stiff competition by way of an absolutely immaculate Subaru GL10.

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Remember what I said about Canada and vintage Japanese tin? I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw one of these on the road, and I’ve never seen one at a show.

This car simply existing in Ontario, with sheet metal intact, is remarkable.

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Stock, I would still have been impressed, but with a large intercooler sticking out of the bumper like a set of rabbit’s teeth I knew things were about to get interesting.

Subaru fans get ready, this one’s no slouch. The standard turbo 1.8-liter motor has been binned and replacing it is an EJ22T block with JDM V9 STI heads. Ratcheting up the insanity is a twin-scroll BorgWarner S300SX-E turbo.

The car was originally front-wheel drive, but today it’s all-wheel drive thanks to a JDM STI 6-speed transmission with a R180 3.9 rear end.

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The Subaru makes an impressive 345hp to the wheels and weighs about 2,400lbs (1,089kgs). Counting my fingers, that’s a power-to-weight ratio of approximately rocket ship.

It’s a car that is tracked regularly and yet somehow remains ridiculously immaculate.

It’s not often the cleanliness of a track used car overshadows a show car, but the interior of this car was cleaner than many inside the show. I particularly like the fact that the fancy OEM tape deck has been retained. There’s also a fitting flat-bottom Nardi steering wheel and recovered Recaro seats plucked from a Volkswagen. Replacing the OEM electric dash is an AIM dash which gives the owner and builder Nico a better readout on what the car engine is doing.

This might be one car worth revisiting, what do you say?

At the recommendation of great performers before me, I am going to end this post here on a high note. But, to drop the second pop culture reference of the day, I’ll be back. Until then, if you want more from Fitted, check out the gallery below.

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom

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55 comments

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1
Codrin Stefan

Poor cars :(

2

That Green Z and the subie rocket need follow up features!!

3
Fear the Reaper

THAT GREEN Z???

That dude couldn’t be trying ANY harder! It’s obscene.
Clearly, he’s “the illest” now. That car is Hella-everything, bro!

You obviously must be him. Shameless self-promoting, are we???
That Marlboro sponsorship didn’t work out?

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4

What are you trying to prove, homie?

5

I liked the livery on that green Z as well... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

6

Haha sorry champ but wrong country, wrong vehicle manufacturer and wrong colour to be me.

7
Fear the Reaper

It’s okay.
Just trying to “smoke” him out...he’s always got to be in hiding.
All the women want him and all the men want to BE him.

8

Who's trying too hard? It's hard to tell the winner there.
Marlboro and sticker-bomb crap aside, the Z32 (and also the red NSX) look very tidy and not with the usual tire-stretched, cambered foolishness present in the rest of the story so I wonder what the real problem is here.

9

Agreed, I found it to be more restrained and tasteful against some of the others. Different strokes for different folks and all that.
Would be ditching the livery if it were me though.

10

Great post! Would love to see more on the GL10 always interested in different car cultures. Keep up the great work.

11

I think you should definitely come to Driven Winnipeg on July 14th, think you'll like it, car show and drift exhibition

12

Guess you didn't read the article. Driven was garbage and poorly organized. Pure money grab as anyone and everyone (zero quality) was displaying at the "show"

"The reason we choose this event, over a few of the other early season shows, is because the organizers of Fitted Lifestyle have done a great job ensuring it is about car culture and people above all else.It’s hard to put into words, but, this show just feels right, unlike others where you can tell making money is the organiser’s prime motivator."

13

There was a driven event out here a few weeks ago actually. Not sure how much out of province stuff I'll get to quite yet, but we'll see!

14
StealthStar17

I always felt like this site was lacking a bit in Canadian car culture. Here's hoping you can fill in that void. Welcome to Speedhunters, Dave!

15

I'll do what I can :)

16
Vincent Auger

Good post Dave and welcome ! Looking forward to more stuff from you. Coming to Quebec anytime soon ? I'd be happy to give you a shop tour of a friend's garage that deals with high performance stuff and euros a lot, plus I know a couple of cars that could give you quality spotlights or features !

17

Nice article. Always good to see coverage from another part of the world.

18

Hey, welcome down from the Great White North, Dave Thomas!

Anyway, so many of these cars are cool...until you get to the rolling stock, and it all goes out the window.

Or it would, if it could clear the thickness of paint that makes up the parking lot graphics.

19

Stance is a beautiful thing. In many cases, it's not practicle, but who cares-- it's a fun genre! There's something for everyone in the car world.

20

Dave, if your writing continues like it was in this post (which was as fantastic to read as the photos where to look at) then you truly deserve a seat amongst the pantheon that is the speed hunters crew. I seriously look forward to your next piece, keep up the fantastic work!

21
Fear the Reaper

Bonus points for using the word “pantheon” to describe bloggers.

22

I'm just an enthusiast with a keyboard and a camera at the end of the day.

23

I freaking hate that term 'car enthusiast'. It's what rotten, morally bankrupt insurance companies made up to describe luke warm policy holders.

24

More on that Supercharged v8 first gen celica please!!!!!!!

25

*twincharged v8 celica :)

@johndimsum on instagram.

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26

Great read. Congrats, Dave! I’ve been a long time lurker on your site. I’m really hoping project why wait gets some coverage on here!

27

Sweet thanks man, I'll still keep my site moving as well. We'll see if the truck makes it here. Not sure if I want to share DIY garage fab to so many people yet.

28

Is that an airbagged trailer? any more info on that?

29

Yes that's our Airbagged Trailer up here in Toronto. Thanks for the Pics by the way Dave!

30

It is yeah. They are actually something you can buy through airbaggedtrailersdotcom pretty cool set up. He spends a lot of time tugging around local show cars.

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31

That GL10 is stunning, absolutely destroys the aggressive fitment cars for me.

32

Yeah I included that car to balance the scales.

I'm honestly surprised no one has blinked at the FC

33

Congrats on the new gig Dave! Their lucky to have you.
And great article as always. I've always considered Fitted to be the best show in Ontario. The volume of quality builds is unmatched.

34

Congratulations Dave!!!! Great article as always!!!!

35

I don't like the excessive camber and stretched tires. I believe it to be unsafe in my opinion. I would think such things detract from the performance of the vehicle.

36

Is that orange car on CR Kai's a Mazda Protege? That thing is sick!

37

Mazdaspeed protégé yeah. It's a friends car he's done a lot to clean it up inside and out. Very nice car.

38

PitCrew Miata...NOICE

39

Those pics made me miss my old '85 Subaru GL. That car was built like a tank and would still be running if it could only be smogged.

40

That Acura in image 12, what are the dimensions of these wheels? and what king of weird fitment is that?
Regarding the BMW 8 series, i think purists will hate the Porsche wheels more than the suspension setup.

41

It's called Sudani style, or something very similar, basically it's a larger diameter lip while the barrel is smaller. So imagine a 17" barrel and wheel face and 18"lip. The tire is mounted to the barrel allowing the lip to look like that.

Apparently it's 'safe'.

And yeah you might be right about the wheels being more of an issue to the diehards!

42

You don't sound like you know anything about cars Dave.

43

You're saying that based on my description of the wheel and tire set up Ishac asked for? It's a multi piece wheel with a stepped lip. Usually in a step lip configuration the face is 16" the barrel and lip are 17. In this case the barrel and lip are 17" and the lip is 18.

Here is an extremely exaggerated example without a wheel mounted.

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45

Wow, think that's the first VW Eos I've ever seen on Speedhunters. Any more pics?

46

That's all I got. It's not the first one I've seen bagged out here in Ontario though

47

That ke70 Corolla wagon with BEAMS motor is fucking sick. The bracing in the bay is so much cooling than cutting it up and going tube front end.

48

The writer of this article completely glosses over the fact that some of these cars with ridiculous fitment are just downright dangerous. Road users should be able to have a reasonable expectation that there's a minimum standard of safety on the road. It's not a matter of personal taste, it's a matter of people being so fucking arrogant as to endanger other road users all for the sake of pushing a trend to it's limits. A publication like Speedhunters needs to stop publicising such dangerous rubbish, or at the very least, acknowledge that it's dangerous and incredibly selfish.

49

I get what you're saying, but truth be told dangerously modified vehicles exist in nearly every niche that mentioning the possibility of danger in every article would get tiring. Furthermore if the site featured only vehicles that were 100% street legal in every jurisdiction the cars might end up rather boring.

For the most part this post skipped over the more extreme examples, except, you know when I talked about them as being extreme :)

50

That's literally the dumbest logic a human being can operate on: other people do it so it's ok.

Luc is right that this is dangerous and your response is pretty stupid Dave.

51

Other people do it so it's ok wasn't what I intended to be the core of my response when I wrote it. I was trying to convey that mentioning the fact that car modification could be dangerous in every post would be rather repetitive.

But, given our previous conversations, I know when to fold them with you John and we won't see eye to eye on this style of car being posted on the site and that's fine.

52

Yesssss! Dave is finally an official Speedhunter! Definitely need more Can Con.

53
Александр Трофименков

Honestly, I find this straight up weird. The guy has the means to buy ridiculously expensive kranze bazeria wheels, but he can’t afford anything better than a ka engine? For me this sums these people up perfectly. They get a performance car, put it on wheels heavy enough for the engine to die on them, and then do a weird engine swap only to brag about how edgy and unique they are

54

You just described drifting in its entirety. Welcome to the club.

55

I remember when the industry used to laugh at shit like this. Now it's acceptable. Boy how this industry has changed in 10 years. Buncha dip shits modifying cars now.

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