48 Posts Later & My Password Still Works

It’s been just over 200 days since I officially became a Speedhunter, and it’s a little alarming how fast the time ticked by in a flurry of shutter clicks and key strokes.

As one of the more junior members of the team, I hesitated slightly at the premise of doing a year-end wrap-up, because comparatively my own contributions to the site have been rather minor.

While the likes of Paddy, Mark, Matt, Ben et al. traveled the globe to hunt for speed, I was very much a homebody. The one time my passport was punched in the name of Speedhunting, was when I joined Dino, Trevor and Keiron in Las Vegas to cover the 2018 SEMA Show.


Otherwise, I focused my efforts on slicing right through the centre of the automotive variety my home province of Ontario has to offer. In doing so I hit a lot of the notes I wanted to hit, but there’s still a lot I left uncovered. A large province and a short season, time simply got the better of me.


But the fact that I didn’t get to everything I wanted to in 2018 isn’t a bad thing, because my password here still works and 2019 is just around the corner. I’m looking forward to using the hunt for speed as an excuse to explore Ontario at a level deeper than I ever have.


I’m also keen to revisit some of the vehicles I photographed prior to joining Speedhunters, and presenting them in a new light, the car in this post’s header being a definite example. But before going to deep into my ambitious 2019 plans, I think it’s time I properly introduced myself.

Hi, My Name Is…

Having been air-dropped straight into the chaos, it only occurred to me after reading Naveed’s introduction, and Antonio’s reintroduction that I never properly said ‘hello’ myself.

So, hi, I’m Dave, and I promise not to take up too much of your time.

As I’ve mentioned in nearly all of my posts, I’m from Canada and as a result some people think I’m slow, eh… Sorry, I’ve made reference to that line from The Simpsons once before, but being a ball of pop culture with some arms and feet, I tend to jump at the opportunity to slip a few quotes into my work. If you caught both references in that sentence, then congrats, we’d get along quite well. If you didn’t, don’t worry, neither were crucially important.


I digress into pop culture only because a.) It’s awesome and b.) it’s played an incredibly important part in my journey as a car enthusiast. Transformers introduced me to Datsun 280Zs, the Lamborghini Countach and Martini livery, while The Dukes of Hazard reruns sparked an early interest in American muscle. ‘Lucile‘ from House Party helped solidify my interest in mini trucks, and the start of Xzibit’s Front 2 Back introduced the fantastic world of lowriders to my impressionable, sponge-like brain.

Hunting for cars in popular media led to a pretty serious scale modelling obsession, too. I spent many a Sunday kit-bashing AMT/ERTL or Monogram models while watching Shadetree Mechanic on TNN.

Referencing The Nashville Network dates me a bit, so for the historians, I’m old enough to have been into cars before The Fast and the Furious, but young enough to have genuinely liked the cars from the first movie.

As for the automotive media thing, I started in 2009 after a S10 Blazer project went particularly south necessitating smarter spending for a few years. Picking up a hand-me-down Rebel XT was a way for me to stay involved, while saving a bit of money.


I cut my teeth so to speak on my own site, Stance Is Everything – which either never fit, or quickly outgrew it’s name – covering everything and anything I possible could. It took years of staring at the back of a camera disgruntled before I got the hang of things, but eventually things started to come together.

Since then I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to a wide variety of digital and print rags, spanning cultures from kit car builders to very traditional hot rod publications.

I’ve even managed to work my way track-side to world class motorsport events like Formula Drift and the Honda Indy. If Speedhunters had superpowers, I’d like to think mine would be versatility. If it’s got a motor and wheels, then nine times out of 10 I can find a way to be passionate about it.

Getting Lost In the Hunt

Embracing diversity is one of the reasons I was so keen to land a spot on the Speedhunters roster. Paddy gives each of us authors a significant length of rope to entangle ourselves, which is what makes Speedhunters as eclectic as it is. While we’re all of a similar mindset, no two of us are quite the same.

Personally figuring out which of my preferred niches intersect with the interests of the Speedhunters audience has been an awesome, eye-opening experience.


Some posts I thought would take off ultimately didn’t, while others far surpassed my expectations. In 2019 I plan to continue to test these waters (and Paddy’s patience), while doubling back on some of the things I know worked.


One area in particular I’m eager to share is the local Ontario motorsport community. Outside of a hint of quarter-mile coverage, the chance to share my track-side work never fully materialized in 2018.


This is a significant miss on my part considering the racing community that exists in Ontario. Like much of the world we’re pretty keen on going fast around here, with time attack being incredibly popular.


I’m not sure exactly which events I’ll hit next year, but the plan as of right now is to do a proper job of at least one.


I also hope to find myself track-side for a few more local drift events as our grassroots scene has picked up tenfold.

The challenge will be presenting Ontario’s drifting community in a way that’s unique. Given the powerhouses that have covered drift events here, it’s going to take some time for me to figure out my own angle.


However, with winter fully set in, track events will have to wait nearly six months.

But, instead of shaking my fist at the heavens and being jealous of Californians, I am going to shake off winter lethargy and pop my head into a few friends’ garages to check up on their projects.

If I’m to be so bold, I think garage builds are woefully under represented here, and I’d like to do my part to change that. In my mind, these posts wouldn’t necessarily be about the final project, but rather the journey. Capturing nights where more laughing gets done than actual work, only because a break was need from the one step forward, two steps back, ‘will this thing ever be done’ vortex some of us find ourselves in.


I have a vested interest in the constant cycle of bumping up against one’s own skill level, because that’s me. No literally, that’s me welding up above in my own mess of a garage, surrounded by a project that might one day move under its own power. The truck itself is a bit left of the usual projects covered here, so I have not yet decided if it will park along side the rest of the cars in the SH Garage. While I deliberate, I’ve got plenty of friends with much, much, more interesting projects in their sheds.

You Are Also The Speedhunter

Before I bring this wide-reaching, year-end wrap-up/2019 preview/stream of conciseness to a close, I’d like to take a moment to touch on the I Am The Speedhunter program. IATSH, and a lot of stubbornness, are the only reason I’m here. My first guest post was in 2014, and I continued to contribute all the way up to this year before earning a spot on the bench. I watched the site grow while identifying areas in which I could contribute. It wasn’t easy but it worked.

Most of the current staff followed a similar path, and there’s no reason to think it can’t continue to happen with many of you reading this, should you want it.


So I encourage anyone who might be considering contributing to do exactly that. This site thrives off the efforts of passionate enthusiasts, and as a reader first, contributor second, I love reading what’s going on around the globe from the words of those driven by pure passion. Go and check out that event and poke your head under the hood of that car or truck that looks rather unsuspecting.


You never know what might lay within, and where the resulting photo or new connection may take you. Remember: should the opportunity arise, always say yes to adventure.

Happy 2018, here’s to 2019!

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom



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Hi my name is what,

my name is who?

my name is Chika Chika Dave Thomas


Is that a k swapped swift? Please do a feature on that car! Or at least send me all the photos you have of it. I’ll be your friend for life!

I’m from Ontario too and I truly miss the car culture. I have to say the west coast is very disappointing by comparison. It’s all I miss about home. The roads, the tracks, the rally community and the car community in general.


Supercharged k swap swift in fact. Check out speed academy on YouTube, they did a lap with it.

They're also on my list of people to assault with a camera.


Good job, Dave. It seems like you’re enjoying the work. Now, a bit of constructive criticism...

Don’t get caught in the trap of propagating lame photography.

-Avoid the majority of shots being at eye-level (get creative).

-Utilize and compose the entire frame rather than focusing only on the center.

-Study every photo Mike Garrett took to learn what NOT to do.


Thanks, I constantly find myself at odds with being creative and capturing the car.

I usually air on the side of capturing the car (as usually that's priority) but I'm always down to try some creativity.

There's so much to learn with photography and writing that I'd be a fool to think I'd learned all I need to.

Matthew Everingham

Say yes to beady little eyes and flapping heads.


I LOVE Atmosphere! You're my new favorite contributor.


Yes, glad someone got it!

Rhymesayers as a label is nearly all you need.


I always like when your posts roll around, something about Ontario makes me feel "at home" at all these meets because the surroundings always feel so familiar,. I'm not Canadian or anything, but I live in the rockies in the US, and a lot of the meets I wind up at tend to look and feel like yours do. It adds a nice touch of home to alternate from all the potsts everyone else does about how cool and exciting and different Japan is. I love Japan and it IS cool and exciting, but a lot of those articles wind up making the same conclusion (perhaps without realising it, maybe).
Also, it's fun and exciting to see someone's photography improve almost in real-time. I remember some of your very early stories (Was that you with the Orange V6 Mustang? I can't find that story at all now) , and your shots are getting better all the time, which is exciting for me because I started taking photography seriously around roughly the same time, and I've made about as much progress. I know it can seem sometimes like you have hit a plateau, but, true photography skill grows like a beard, it's harder for you to see when you see the beard every moment of every day. But as long as you keep shooting, it will keep growing

p.s. I agree this site needs way more builds in-progress and garage stories, we have a few of them but they're usually in Japan and so again the theme becomes the old standard "Japanese people are more fun and easy-going" and less about what is actually going on in that garage. Definitely miss the days of reading incremental progress updates from Dmac's drift projects, or seeing Keith's badass Kaiser come to life
p.p.s. loving the Atmosphere reference too


The Orange Mustang was Richard Brown he's across the country from me but I hope he starts contributing again.

I too love Japan but I love what we have going on in North America too. Especially outside of Cali which everyone already knows is awesome.

I'm glad you want to see some more garage builds! Keith and I actually keep in touch he was a big influence on me. His kaiser too 8 years I'm trying to come in under that but we'll see!


It’s pretty damn cool that you grew up to the same stuff and exposure to car culture and respect for all types of dope vehicles. See you around Dave. You’re always welcome at our events. Thanks for your contributions here and also on Stance Is Everything


Dave, you're probably of a similar age to myself, as all of those references I caught, even TNN.

Also from a similar region. If you'd like a chance to do the Syracuse Nationals, Buffalo Motorama, Watkins Glen IMSA, (or even a lame shop build) I'm in that region of NY, have some insider abilities, and would love to meet a fellow "equal opportunity gear head" (when I saw the deuce hittin' switches I knew I would like you).

Happy New year to all Speedhunters and nice to meet you Me. Thomas. PS, I won't make the quip about your daughter's hamburgers.


Haha, burger jokes are quite alright.

I've never hopped over to Buffalo (for car stuff anyway) but have some plans in Detroit this year if all pans out!

I love lowriders so I'm going to keep trying to get those published here.


Epic work Dave and i went onto your site aswell haha loved that you have a post up of your 4 year old shooting too so RAD!


Cheers man, I hope to bring my son's work over here but he can be a little unpredictable haha

sdimes r the next classics

Glad to hear you are sticking around, its great to have a fellow canadian on the site!

I will be waiting to see some more mini truck/ syty/ s-10 coverage, they are under represented by most sites i find.