Import Expo Toronto Season Closer 2018

As this season comes to an end, it was only right to finish off the year with the Import Expo Season Closer held at the Better Living Centre in Toronto. I shot this event last year and have been looking forward to this show for another 364 days. The atmosphere and setup of the whole event is exactly what an indoor show should be and delivers an excellent experience for both competitors and spectators.

The beginning of the show is undoubtedly my favorite part of the event. The road into the loading area is surrounded by nice gardens in trees making for a beautiful backdrop for roll in photos and sets the tone for the competitors as they roll in. The entrance to the venue is a large bay door and gives a very cool look to the images as the cars pull in from the bright outside to the dim indoor setting. Most times, shooting and getting the look for these photos can be difficult due to the high dynamic range but for these I decided to work mostly with the properly exposed exterior and keep the indoors area looking dark or black to isolate the car.

@crbn_sq5 rolling into the show

@fkndubbin rolling into show as soon as roll in began.

For many photographers, indoor shows can be a challenge to shoot. Most indoor venues are filled with a dark yellow light that makes photography a huge pain. Luckily it seems like this venue has put some money into better lighting and I was able to shoot at a fairly low ISO for the majority of the event.

As far as the cars in attendance of the event, the show did not disappoint. Import Expo, to me, has always been a show made for all enthusiast. Inside the show you will find builds of all styles, stages, and backgrounds. From motor swapped Hondas touched inside and out to cars that are OEM+, all the way to lifted and modified Jeeps, this show brings them all together.

One of the most refreshing sights for me was the amount of well-done stance cars that were in the show. After travelling to the states for H2O this year, I was worried and had been feeling that the local scene didn’t have much to offer. I was proven wrong on this. Throughout the event you could find numerous cars sitting with fender to lip fitment on static suspension. Just a few of these cars are @aaron_static, @sauga9thgen, @fish_s15, @86senseii and @jake.brz just to name a few.

As the show drew to a close, the awards came and went with well deserved builders placing in their respective categories and roll out began. Through the entire venue all that you could hear was the starting of cars, bagged cars airing up and all of the static guys scraping as they pulled out of the bay doors and down the ramp. For my rollout shots I chose to take a similar approach to my roll in photos. I exposed for the indoor lighting and let the cars fall into a shadow or silhouette with just the headlights left to stand out in the aggressive figure that most of these cars have.

All in all, Import Expo put on another incredible show. This is one of the few shows all year that I haven’t heard complaining about judges after the show, there we no cops waiting at the exit to harass drivers, and all of the spectators had amazing cars to come and enjoy throughout the day, I would like to say a special thank you to the organizer Bret for having me out as media again this year and for another killer event.

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Russell MacDonald

N0-Club Season Closer

The N0-Club Season Closer, a culmination of tooshie Tuesdays, callouts, kids just waiting to be dusted, stretched tires, and stacks, all together at one track to put their money where their mouth was. The finale to a great season was just as good as any thread within the group. 

Ben Boekstein posted up in front of the N0-Club booth

Ben Boekstein posted up in front of the N0-Club booth

From all over southwestern Ontario, the member of N0-club congregated to St. Thomas Raceway Park on September 17, 2017. LIfted trucks, lowered trucks, modded civics, subies, widebodied cars, and drag cars altogether in one place. The event offered a show and shine as well as "run what you brung" drag racing so whether you were built to park or loved chasing your next best 1/4 mile time this event was for you. 

Track ready mustang cooling down in the pits.

Track ready mustang cooling down in the pits.

Crowds were lining up as early as 10:30 with gates opening at 12. As 11 approached the line to the small track outside of Sparta had stretched into town and was causing major traffic issues. The track organizers had to open the gates and overwhelmed organizers with the support from their loving race fans. Organizers did their best to direct the spectators and racers to their designated areas despite not yet being setup and they still pulled it off.

Tyler Van Boekel laying frame as always.

Tyler Van Boekel laying frame as always.

From the start of the day to the very end, the air was filled with a steady mix of black and white smoke. The presence of diesel trucks and 9-second race cars at the same track was incredible to see. All makes and models of vehicles put down impressive times all day long.

Camaro pulling up the wheels on it's way to a 9.7 second pass.

Camaro pulling up the wheels on it's way to a 9.7 second pass.

Show and Shine competitors also brought their A-game all day long. Every competitor had their vehicle spotless and done up just the way wanted. There wasn't one vehicle that I walked past which didn't have passion, time and commitment put into it. Whether it was aggressive lifts, huge tires, perfect rims, and powder coated everything to full custom air ride setups with notched frames and massive audio setups. Every vehicle there could have placed.

Chopped bed and suspension setup in the rear of a ranger.

Chopped bed and suspension setup in the rear of a ranger.

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Ignition 83:16 MEGA MEET

#OurPassion is what got us all into this amazing culture, what pushes us to invest all of our time and money into these builds, and what brings us all together. That is what mega meet was all about. Bringing the entire scene back together. All of the clubs, crews, meets, and events in one place. The meet was organized by Imagine Auto Life, 519 Meets, Ontario Mustang Club, Limitless Car Crew, and Phantom Meets GTA. Some of the largest event coordinators in the southern Ontario car scene. 

As the date for the event approached, the buzz created by the massive collaboration only increased. Along with an increased response from enthusiasts, the WRPS also got in touch with organizers. They had concerns about processions to the meet, as well as reckless behaviors during the event. Thanks to the organizer, Julian, this was no longer an issue. Julian has been around the scene for many years and has built an excellent relationship with the city, local police, and the sunrise center. After a few quick meetings, he was able to implement a plan to control crowds and traffic as well as any reckless post meet behavior. As the day of the event approached, all concerns had been addressed and sorted out.

Much like my recent trip to Erin for the Small Town Style Show and Shine, as I arrived at the venue to begin setup I was not alone. A whole two hours before the set time of the event there were already enthusiasts and spectators arriving. This posed a slight issue for the few stores that remained open until 6, however, was easily sorted with some modified parking. Food trucks, vendors, and booth cars all poured in over the next two hours leading up to the meet. 

The meet was a huge success. The night went on and close to 1000 cars entered the parking lot at Sunrise Shopping Centre, I didn't talk to a single person at the meet who wasn't pleased with the organization, crowd control, and overall quality of the meet. There were classics, tuners, every type of stance, race cars, lifted trucks, a slammed Prius, and any other type of car that you would be interested in. The entire atmosphere at the meet was just incredible, for once the entire scene was together, simply celebrating the passion that holds us all together.

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Much like all meets, as the crowds began to clear out, there are always those few vehicles that feel the need to rev and do burnouts. Thankfully, this was not an issue for the entire event until roughly 9 o'clock. A few cars began to rev, followed by a couple bikes doing multiple burnouts, endangering the crowd that had gathered. The burnouts were attempted to be controlled by organizers and lasted about 10 minutes before they left. 

The event wrapped up around 9:30 with the raffle draws and thank yous from Drive for Cancer. The event raised $250 towards cancer research through donations and raffle purchases. This event would not have been possible without the incredible work by Julian from Imagine Auto Life, as well as to all of the vendors that came out and helped to promote the event. 

Keep in mind. Ignition isn't done for the year. There will be one more. Mega Meet will be topped. September. 

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