I grew up kicking skateboards and pedaling BMX bikes. Much like the car community, the action sports community has been absolutely great to me in providing regular escapes from ‘real life’.
There’s a significant amount of parallels that exist between the two communities. One of the most important is the unwritten rule that you never blow up a spot.
A ‘spot’ can be anything really; a ledge, rail, wall ride, or curb cut. Heck, it can even just be a concrete pad under four posts and an awning. The important take away here is that once you’ve found a good spot, for the love of god, don’t ruin it.
Spots exist in the car community as well. They can be an industrial area, parking lot, secluded back road, or a seldom-used stretch of highway. Regardless of the what, the rules are still the same however. Don’t blow it up. The spot you chill at isn’t the spot you drift at. The spot you drift at isn’t the one you chill at.
It’s pretty simple: Don’t overstay your welcome in either area and it will still remain usable the following week.
Clean up whatever mess you bring and security is likely to look the other way when they see you. Step out of line, however, and the walls start to close in very quickly.
For a good while these rules seemed generally respected in both communities. I’m not really not sure what happened – and hold on, I need my cane to shake for this – but somewhere along the way respect was lost and previously sacred unwritten rules were forsaken.
We’ve all seen it – a meet broken up by some fool that feels the need to ‘drift’ on exit. A few people then follow suit until inevitably someone runs out of talent amid some first gear oversteer. At best a trash can gets taken out; at worst people are sent to the hospital and the police are called.
Boom! Spot blown up.
Repeat a few times over and suddenly anyone with an exhaust within 15 kilometers of what was once a very good spot is a fugitive.
This problem is incredibly infuriating for those of us that know the rules and follow them as they should be followed. As much as I hate the terms, clout chasers and takeover clowns are why we can’t have nice things.Something’s Got To Give
To combat the problem, at least here in Ontario, Canada, the answer has become smaller meets that are invite only. Welcoming a smaller subset of people to a permitted (and gated) location allows you to control the behavior. If someone steps out of line they get an immediate boot and a ban from future events.
One of the best to spin this format in Ontario is a group called the Outrun Night Racers. Their aim is to bring enthusiasts together without all the superfluous nonsense that irks the general public.
Are they the first to do it? No, and there are no claims made in that regard. However, Outrun’s spin on the formula is that they pull out some of the more obscure cars that exist in the province. Especially Japanese vehicles.
This Z20 Toyota Soarer is a rather stunning example.
I’d never seen one before in person, and I have to say they’re a great looking car at any angle. This example is accentuated by the owner’s tasteful choice in wheels and drop.
There were also not one, not two, but three Toyota Century models in attendance. That’s absolutely absurd considering these were originally designed for Japanese dignitaries. Equally absurd is that with all three V12 cars running, their combined engine noise was barely audible.
Not every car was exotic or imported, though. EF series Honda Civics used to be everywhere in Ontario, but now they’re only occasionally spotted.
One corner of the venue was filled with ’80s and ’90s Hondas, and I couldn’t help but marvel over the fact they all still had clean quarter panels. The bumper/quarter junction has always been a problem for any early Honda that’s seen salted roads.
Quarter-hunting aside, a keen eye throughout the evening could be used to spot a few of the accessories used to add a bit of flair to all the era-correct vehicles. Be it a Stillen grill, car phone, or stunning set of Mazdaspeed MS-01 wheels by RAYS.
Japanese cars make up the majority of vehicles at these meets, but there’s no discrimination when it comes to other makes and models.
This Coke-themed VW Bug looked rather cool opposite a very clean S14.
Having not been to a meet of any sort in months, I was fine to take in whatever vehicles were present.
It was just refreshing to be out again, pointing my lens at cool cars.Own The Night
If I have any regrets regarding what was really a pleasant evening, it’s that I didn’t give myself enough time to take everything in during the rapidly-fading light.
Splitting the time between catching up with those I had not seen in quite literally a year, and fighting exposure proved to be somewhat of a losing battle.
But the darkness did work for those who came better prepared for the occasion.
I do believe this Cressida is the one of two kaido/bosozoku-flavored builds running around Ontario right now.
The car is a constant work in progress, so I’m sure there’s quite a bit more to come. The lack of any valance under the front bumper leads me to believe a massive chin spoiler is inbound.
For the more reserved, this Nissan Gloria was a real treat. It’s said to be the only manual, six cylinder turbo Y30 currently in Canada.
At the time of the meet, the Gloria had been in the country less than a week and the owner wasted no time installing the accessories he’d previously scooped for the car on Yahoo! Auctions Japan.
It’s been a long event hiatus for myself, but I can’t really think of a better event to get back into the swing of things. Thanks to the Outrun Night Racers for both their efforts and hospitality; I look forward to the next meet and hopefully spotlighting some of the vehicles.