Emotion: the aspect of consciousness that’s affected by what one constantly endures—feelings. Emotion is an amazing aspect of our conscience, and it has a lot of influence on what we do while trekking through our lives. For Matt Ayvazian passion fueled determination, determination influenced execution, and the end result panned out to be one constant emotional state: satisfaction.
Saturday, July 14 2014 was a very special day for all of us at BlockstarCars and Canibeat. BlockstarCars opened up their brand new premier automotive boutique to the public, and with that also came the opening of the one and only Canibeat pop-up shop which grants customers access to purchase exclusive Canibeat merchandise while they indulge on Blockstars’ hospitality and relax until services are completed on their vehicles. Our friends at ISS Forged, Tuner Evolution, and Liberty VIP came out to kick it and enjoy the dope cars, live music, and good food that were a necessity at the grand opening. All-in-all… locals support locals, and roots run deep with support for the fellow enthusiast catering to others, especially to those enabling goals and aspirations of others in our community. If you’re remotely close to the Washington Metropolitan area and need anything done, head to Blockstar Cars. You and your ride will be thoroughly taken care of.
Nowadays it seems as though cars are becoming more and more disposable. We see cars get built for an extended period of time, revealed at a big car show or feature, and then quickly disassembled or sold. On the flipside, there are cars that owners become attached to, and for lack of a better term, have a longer relationship that lasts; sometimes the better half of a decade, or in some cases even longer. Katie has maintained ownership of her ’99 Volkswagen Jetta for over seven years now, and she has no intention to part ways any time soon.
I first spotted Jose’s 350z at Wekfest Long Beach earlier this year and it immediately caught my eye. The uniqueness of the build, the color, and how damn wide it was! I immediately started to follow Jose’s build very closely, admiring each and every detail put into it to make it truly one of a kind. After finding out Jose was a native of Southern California I had to ask him if he would give me the opportunity to shoot his build, and Jose couldn’t have been more humble in accepting.
Back in June I was invited to hangout in Baltimore for the weekend to shoot Jose Chong and several of his friend’s cars. The weekend began with washing the cars in the Baltimore suburbs, followed by a trip to West Virginia for a photo shoot with More Than More photographer Anna Taylor. Anna has had her eye on this industrial factory spot for a while and it ended up being the perfect location.
Many of you may have seen Jose’s wagon before. In the last two years it has undergone countless changes, most currently the red wrap and prima donna RS’s. Jose’s other build, his MKI cabrio, boasts flawless original paint and drives as smooth as ever (I would know, most of the rollers are from the Cabby). Several of Jose’s local friends joined in, including Matt Wiese with his beautiful Passat and Erik Holloway with his MKIV R32 on those awesome Hartmann Twists. Perfect weather and gorgeous scenery was the cherry on top. Thanks for an awesome weekend guys! Hope you enjoy the video.
I was stopped dead in my tracks. As I admired the amount of detailed work that someone had put into this stunning Volkswagen Corrado a familiar face approached me with a grin, widening ear to ear. “Last year at SoWo, I joked that you never go full retard in terms of building a car. Well this year I went full retard.” I smiled at the remark as I greeted Andy Faulkner.
Last year when I received the invite from Gab Laroche to come up to Canada for Eurokracy I knew I had to take it. Gab Laroche is the owner of Gab Eurosport in L’Assomption, just outside of Montreal. For those of you who don’t know Gab… he’s crazy. He has a habit of buying bare shells in the fall and turning them into show stoppers by the time spring arrives just a few months later.
This year was no different, showcasing his stunning new Harlequin complete with a shaved bay 24v swap. On Friday night before Eurokracy we arrived at Gab’s shop and hung out while they prepared the cars for the following day. The other shops in his complex include several professional fabricators, a woodworker, painter, and even a shop where Formula Drift cars are built. I now understand how they can turn around quality projects so quickly. They even gave us a ride in their little side project — an e46 with an LS3 swap — which you’ll see on the following pages.
Show day brought out some amazing builds, many that you aren’t likely to see unless you make the trip to Canada. The day’s events included sanctioned burnouts on the track, and a low limbo obstacle course complete with speed bumps to maneuver. Between the charismatic burnout participants and the cars in the top 100 without so much as a speck of dust the enthusiasm at Eurokracy is really something to enjoy.
The first time Jerome Cruz’s Volkswagen Jetta caught my attention was over two years ago. For the following years I’d see it at shows and in passing, but never had the ability to set up a full shoot. There was always something about this build that caught my attention, though, whether that be the unique paint or specialty euro parts… it’s tough to point out a favorite part.
Last year Wrong Fitment Crew threw its first annual “Wrong Fitment Fest.” They held this event as a big meet instead of an official show, just a big hang out for everyone who wanted to come. This meet is about good times, good hangs, checking out some awesome cars, catching up with a bunch of good friends, and of course making new friends. Wrong Fitment Fest takes place in beautiful Oceanside, California, which was a nice break from the one hundred plus temperatures most of us are use to in the Valley.
Time and time again, we stumble upon cars that really break the mold. Cars and owners that are doing things that we would never expect to be done seem to become more scarce every year. Robbie and his ’98 Subaru Forester have done exactly that. This generation of Subaru’s family hauler wagon takes the brunt of the negativity surrounding its existence. When I first saw photos of Robbie’s car scattered across various social media outlets, I knew right away this car was something special.