20 Nov Importfest 2015
Any time I am in Canada visiting my family, I always have cars on the mind, in-fact I have cars on the mind wherever I am, though this time I went with the intention of speaking to some local enthusiasts to find maybe one really nice car to do a small feature, or even just photoshoot with.
However, I seem to have gotten a little more than I bargained for; whilst scrolling through Instagram and searching hashtags that I hoped might lead me to some sort of automotive group local to London, Ontario, I came across a post from none other than Vossen wheels (Google them if you don’t know – you really should know.) the post showed a picture of a flyer with Navin Pillai’s Rocket Bunny’d RX-7 and the text “if you’re near Toronto be sure to check this out”.
I was near Toronto.
Just a short two and a half hour drive and I was there, parked up and walking to the Toronto Metro Centre, a huge venue host to some big events and right beneath the CN tower, one of the city’s most recognised landmarks.
I had no idea what to expect, from a bit of browsing online it came across as being big, bold and bad-ass, and I was not disappointed, though there were a number of standard cars amongst the “modifieds” which if I’m honest, got in the way a little, it might have been nice to spread the rest out a little more.
The show was on the first floor of the centre, I showed my e-ticket – purchased the night before – got my arm stamped, and hopped on the escalator. The show was spread over one large, modern and well presented hall, a stage at one end, with cars, trade stands, clubs and even modelling booths scattered around the rest of the place. I had no Idea where to begin.
Importfest was very different to what us in the UK are used to, in terms of attractions, style and the cars themselves.
As the name suggests, many of the cars were in the JDM category, though there were still a lot of European, and American manufactured vehicles, with many different styles, and a lot of what we would consider “illegal mods”; some going for the smooth, stance, and simple look that we see a lot of in the UK, some with bolt on arches, hugely spiked wheel nuts and wild fitment, to full breed race cars and even a Batmobile with working weaponry!
To me, there were a few cars that really stood out more than the rest; Mike Tran’s Liberty Walk 458 Italia on the Nextmod stand, a car I’ve been desperate to see for some time, I had goosebumps when I seen it in the flesh, what an absolute weapon! Another car that I really got me going was Brad Ruiter’s mk1 Miata, with a Corvette LSX V8 engine, no doors, bolt on arches and a full cage, this thing was a far cry from my usual preference but the quality of the work and the sheer attitude of the car was something else!
And if the huge variation in cars wasn’t enough for you, there was an array of other attractions; there were plenty trade stands, an R/C drift track, B-Boy competition, DJ competition featuring award winning DJ’s, a beatbox competition, professional models doing photo shoots and signings, and even A BIKINI CONTEST (which I didn’t watch… obviously).
It’s not a show everyone will get the chance to attend, and I can’t imagine many people flying off to Canada for the day, but if you’re ever planning a trip, time it with Importfest! It was an awesome show, I hope the pictures are enough to give you at least an Idea of what it was like.
Photos : Michael Scott
Event : Importfest
Words : Michael Scott
Location : Toronto, Canada