A Visit To The Pacific Northwest…

I’m pretty sure everyone knows by now but for those who are unaware, I spent the past weekend up in Seattle, Washington. Super Street magazine commissioned me to do some work for them for their annual “Honda Issue” special and I told them that I had some cars in mind up in the Pacific Northwest. There was about a week or two where I exchanged emails back and forth with various individuals up in the NW before flying out on Thursday morning. Scheduling everything is usually a pretty interesting ordeal. When it comes to getting featured in a magazine, there are guys/gals who always want to do more to their cars before they their cars are shot and there are many who are often not ready for their features. Fearing that the opportunity will not come to them again, they usually will agree to have their cars featured , even though they had more planned. That’s just kind of how the business works. A lot of times, people who work in the industry don’t really keep track of everyone’s cars because there are just too many of them. When they find a car, they usually immediately contact them because there are deadlines that need to be met. If the cars aren’t ready, well…then they have to move on. The magazine industry moves very quickly and deadlines come and go, so the cars that are featured do as well. Sometimes you’ll get a call back to be featured later, sometimes you won’t. It’s just a toss up. In the event that you do get the phone call or email and you aren’t ready, well, you take the chance of not getting contacted again so you have time to build your car the way you want. That’s the sacrifices that come with this hobby…Some people don’t care for magazine features and we get that, just don’t complain if you don’t get one. You know what I mean?

I contacted more than a handful of guys who I had in mind but I specifically decided to head to the Northwest because I feel that that region is largely untapped. There are a ton of great builds out there that no one has ever seen because they just don’t have enough events to generate the type of media that some other regions do to allow these great cars to be seen. I know a couple of guys up in the Washington area from Trikspeed car club and they possess some of the best Honda builds I’ve ever seen. Not just in the NW, I mean in the entire country. These guys have been doing it big for years now and they have inspired many others in that area to build great cars as well. I knew that there were feature-worthy cars up there, the only problem was getting them together in the short time frame that we had to complete the Honda Issue before it went to print. I’ve been working with Super Street on the issue for a couple of weeks prior to that and there were already some pretty good builds in there. It just needed a couple of other really great Hondas to make the issue memorable, and that’s what I set out to do in the Northwest…

As I said, the short time frame really created some problems. Not only did we have less than two weeks to get everything completed, it was also still in the winter time and many cars were still in the process of being completed. Some were waiting on parts and some were just stored away in the garage for winter. The weather is fucking crazy up there and it pretty much rains there 80-90% of the time. Sometimes you get some sunny days tucked in there but it may or may not last more than an hour and then the rain comes down again. You may even encounter some ice and snow at various times of the day. I knew going to the Northwest wasn’t going to be easy in terms of shooting cars simply because of the weather, but I’d have to find a way to get some work done in the random hours of the day when there actually was some sunlight. The only positive thing about the weather is that the rain left the sky gloomy throughout the day so there was no time limit on when you could shoot. It was all just dependent on whether or not it would stay dry enough….

I had about 3 cars lined-up in total to shoot that weekend, with only one of them actually from the state of Washington. The other two came from neighboring Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, Oregon, respectively. The Integra Type R from Vancouver should be a familiar build to you guys, as you’ve probably seen many photos of it online in the past year. I liked the car and how it had the “circuit” look that was so popular these days in the Honda community. The other Honda from Portland had more of a classic look to it and a built B-series motor. The world has gone K-crazy in the last couple of years so it’s cool to still see some guys sticking with the tried and true B-series. I liked what this build was about and thought it was very deserving of a feature. The best part about this particular car was that they contacted me, so there was little to no work on my part. I just had to make sure he showed up the day that I had schedule for him…and he did. The final car from Washington was iffy only because it had been some parts that needed to be painted before I could shoot it. There was just a week and a half in between the time I had contacted him and when we had to get the car shot so it was going to be tough to have the car ready. A couple days before I left for Seattle, the owner notified me that the parts just weren’t going to be painted in time and he didn’t want to rush paint, and I understood, so I had to move on. With just two cars to shoot, I decided to make a couple of calls to try to shoot some other cars while I was out there to make the most of my trip. Again, some came through and some didn’t. I had a couple of builds in particular that I had always wanted to shoot and see in person. These guys had been featured in magazines years before, but I wanted to capture them in their most current states to kind of give people an idea of where their cars are now. The great thing about these cars were that the owners weren’t in any hurry to sell them once they met any standard of what people would consider “fame”. They built their cars for themselves and that is why they were some of the best in the business. You’ll see later on in the post which Hondas these were…

Here’s a visual summary of how my entire trip went for those who don’t want to read…

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The first two days in Seattle were pretty uneventful. I had some stories I had to finish writing so I stayed in the room upon arrival on my first night in Seattle, then spent my free time the following day scouting locations throughout the Seattle area for the shoots. I hadn’t been to Seattle since I was a little kid so I really didn’t know where I was going. My GPS on my phone also didn’t work very well in the Pacific Northwest either so there were some moments when I got lost. Luckily I had some locals who were able to steer me in the right direction. The problem after that was the weather. It is so unpredictable up there that I wasn’t even sure if I was even going to have a chance to shoot at all. When I booked my flight originally, it showed that Friday and Saturday were supposed to be sunny. When I arrived in Washington that Thursday, I checked the weather once again and saw that it was now set to rain throughout the weekend….

I should mention that I was contacted by Ryan Stanley, a Washington native, a week or so before I left for my trip. A couple of people had told me to contact him while I was there, because he had not only one of the best Integra builds up in the NW, but also because he had probably the best personal garages. Stanley had built an 800hp turbocharged DC2 ITR and wanted to know if I was interested in shooting it. I looked at the photos he sent me and I was intrigued. I told him I’d like to see the car in person and he told me that he had to put the motor back together, but there was a chance it would be ready by the time I arrived to Washington. I didn’t hold my breath but I agreed to come look at the car and would shoot it if it was indeed ready…

That Friday evening, he hit me up to see if I wanted to come check it out. He was a mere 5 minutes away from the hotel where I stayed so I headed over with my camera gear. It was about 11pm by then but if I was going to shoot the car, I’d like to know the general area so I can arrange ahead of time. When I pulled up to his house, I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty surprised. One reason was because the car was not only not running, the motor wasn’t even in it. The second was because his garage was just fucking massive. It looked like a shop built into a normal house. I chatted with him and he showed me around his garage. The Integra Type R was sitting inside and next to it was his other project, a plum purple Dodge Challenger…

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Since I had my gear with me already, I decided to get some shots of his garage set-up. I couldn’t shoot the ITR since it wasn’t done but I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to capture some cool shit…

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Here is Ryan Stanley’s Challenger which was also in mid-build. The motor was still missing some things and the interior wasn’t inside…

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You would expect to see an old carb’d HEMI motor in there but this Challenger featured a modern fuel-injected SRT motor with a Kenne Bell 3.6L water-cooled supercharger…

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As you can see, it was still missing quite a bit of stuff like the engine harness, belts, plumbing for the cooling system, etc…

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A closer look at the Kenne Bell S/C… I guess his dad has a Dodge project that he’s currently working on as well that features a twin-turbo 572 HEMI…

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Parked next to the Challenger was his black Integra Type R featuring a BYS front bumper that reveals a massive intercooler… I forgot to get a shot of it but mounted to the rear was a drag parachute system. It would have been crazy to see this thing assembled with motor and all but it was interesting to see all the parts laid out along the side of it…

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Here is his motor laid out awaiting re-assembly. Note the BMC Race intake manifold and billet valve cover from Plan:B Motorsports…

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Inside are some race-specific Kirkey buckets…

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One of the rare times when the big mouth opening of a BYS bumper is filled end to end…

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Some more shots of some of his motor components like his turbo manifold…

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…and dual TiAL wastegates…

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After I finished snapping photos, I hung out with Ryan and his friend and shot the shit for a bit before I headed back to the hotel. By then it was already 1 am and I had to get up in time to go rent a ladder for the weekend shoots…

The next morning, I got up around 9 am and packed up my stuff for the day. I needed to the photography rental place in Downtown Seattle to grab a ladder before meeting up with the owner and car I was shooting that morning. As I mentioned, it is going to be featured in the upcoming Honda Issue of Super Street so I’d rather not divulge who the owner and car are. Some of you already know who it is but I’d rather the ones that don’t get to know the car when it arrives in print…

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I had driven around the docks by West Marginal the day prior and found the perfect spot to shoot at. It was up a driveway into a brick building and was very secluded. A printing company owned the property but were closed that Saturday so we wouldn’t be in any one’s way nor would we be disturbed. Some of the Trikspeed guys wanted to cruise by to hang out as well so we all met up down the street. When we pulled up to the location of the photo shoot, I saw an older gentleman standing on the balcony of the building. They were closed that day and I even called to make sure but I guess he had some work to do so he was surprised by the fleet of rumbling exhausts that pulled into his peaceful lot. I got out of my rental car and walked over to the front door. He had seen me coming so he made his way downstairs. I explained to him the situation I was in and how I had come from out of town to work. He seemed really cool about it and told me to do as I pleased as long as our cars weren’t in the way because he was expecting a shipment of supplies to arrive. We stayed for a couple of hours and I collected all the photos I wanted of the feature car just as it started raining…

One of the Trikspeed cars that I really wanted to finally see in person was Steven Kwan’s EK. You know him by his online screen name of “Dagreenek”. This Civic has long been one of the best EK builds EVER so I was excited to see it for myself. His Civic had been sitting in the garage for awhile now so he acquired a temporary pass to drive the car around for the week. It started to rain pretty hard after the first shoot but we wanted to wait it out and see if we could possibly get some sunlight so we could get some photos of Steve’s EK. There was a truck stop gas station and Subway nearby that I told everyone to meet up at so we hung out there for awhile…

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The gas station provided some cover from the downpour so I took the free time to take some photos of Steve’s EK while it sat out in the rain…

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The rain continued on so we decided to move to a different location to try and see if we could chase some sun light. I’m not familiar enough with the area to know where we went, but we eventually ended-up somewhere in an older part of the city where the rain stopped…

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Oh here’s a photo of Jeff Diaz aka Citrus’ C-West Integra right before we left the truck stop. I would have taken more photos of Jeff’s car but he’s not done with it yet and I’d rather wait until the next time I return to the Northwest to get some better shots of it in a more completed state…

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We found a great spot in this part of the city that was perfect. A large section of it was abandoned and some of the buildings had even been torn down. The rain had seemingly stopped and I was able to pull out all of my gear to get a full photo shoot going. I haven’t had a chance to go through the photos yet but I’ll post up Steve’s EK shoot later on unless a Japanese publication wants it or something. I’ll let you guys know. I was really happy with the shoot overall though and loved the location….until security came by and made us leave. Luckily I had all the exterior shots I wanted by then. The engine bay and interior stuff I finished after we left that area to return to the original truck stop we were at…

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While I was busy covering the engine bay and interior of Steve’s car, Ronald from LCM (LowerClassMen) pulled up in his ITR on aggressive Volk TE37s. Everything was stock under the hood but it looked so good with the TEs on it that I had to take a pic… Larger Version Here (1400×933)

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Thought it’d be cool to get both Jeff and Ronald’s ITRs together for a photo op…. Larger Version (1400×933)

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I also wanted to get a group photo of those who were there to hang out that day. It was good to have friends to hang out with in an unfamiliar place… Larger Version (1400×933)

After we wrapped-up for the day, we cruised over to Terry aka Spriggan’s house for a visit. Terry wasn’t too far away and his house was a good spot for us to chill at while we waited for the other guys to drop off their cars before dinner. I didn’t take any photos there however. We just drank some beers and watched Terry work on his Integra until the others met up…

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We ended up with a pretty solid group of people for dinner at RAM Restaurant and Brewery…I was starved from not eating that entire morning and afternoon so I was ready to feast…

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The steak portion of my shrimp and steak dinner…

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Steve Kwan and Jeffrey Diaz in the background….

That was basically my Saturday in Seattle. The next day, I had another shoot schedule for an enthusiast driving down from Vancouver, British Columbia…Like the car from Saturday, I’d rather not release any of those photos until it actually makes it to print. Again, you guys probably know who it is already so just stay tuned for the Honda Issue either way…

As soon as I wrapped up the first shoot, we moved to another location down the way so I could get a mini shoot going for a 4-door K-swapped DB Integra owned by a friend of Jeff’s by the name of J.D. The car was pretty simple and a bit rough around the edges since it was daily driven, but it photographed well…

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I forgot to mention that it was also converted to right-hand drive and caged… Larger Version (1400×933)

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Interesting to see that the engine bay was re-sprayed a different color… Larger Version (1400×933)

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First car I’ve ever shot with a CD sticking out out the head unit, haha… Larger Version (1400×933)

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Larger Version (1400×933)

Here’s a full mod list of the Integra RS sedan above…

Engine

K20A2
Hybrid racing motor mounts
Hybrid racing pnp adaptor harness
K-Tuned liquid filled fuel pressure gauge
K-Tuned inline fuel filter
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
Dc5 valve cover
Wire tuck
Fuse box hidden
Splatter paint subframe, mounts, and brake booster

Drivetrain
Type S 6-speed transmission
Exedy Stage 2 clutch and flywheel
Hybrid racing shifter box and shifter cables

Engine Management
Hondata K-Pro

Chassis
Apexi N1 coilovers
14k front/12k rear
ITR rear sway bar
Cusco roll cage
Function7 rear subframe brace and lower control arms

Resistance
Jdm ITR 5-lug conversion
Hawk front and rear pads
Slotted brake rotors

Wheels
Desmond Regamaster EVO
17×8 +35  front
17×9 +38 rear
205/45-17 BF Goodrich KDW

Exterior
Itr champ white paint
Jdm itr front end conversion
Oem 4 door window visors
Custom rear diffuser

Interior
JDM RHD conversion
Jdm ITR cluster
Personal steering wheel
NRG quick release
Bride Zeta 2 seats
DB8 rear seats

Once that quick shoot was finished, it was time to find a location to shoot another Trikspeed build that I had always wanted to see in person, Toto Deleon’s EK Civic hatchback. Like Steve Kwan’s shoot, I have yet to go through them but I’ll have some time after I knock out the rest of my work for the Honda Issue. For now, here’s a quick teaser shot from that day…

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Easily one of the best EK builds of all-time, right up there with Steve’s, Ryan Der’s, and Chris Sakai’s from ATS Garage…

That pretty much sums up my trip. I went back to the hotel to get some rest after and grabbed some dinner. The next day I had a bunch of little errands to run here and there before my flight back to California in the evening. It was a very productive trip and I’m happy that I had the opportunity to fly up to the Northwest. One of the great things about this job that I have is that I do get to travel and meet a lot of great people as well as see some great automotive builds. Huge thanks go out to the Trikspeed family and the guys from LCM for their hospitality and help throughout the weekend. If not for those guys, I don’t know how things would have gone. They made things very easy for me and even helped me move equipment around and look for areas to shoot at. It didn’t even feel like work most of the time because we were all hanging out the whole time.

As a bonus, here are some 1080p sized desktop images. Just click on the links below the images to get the full widescreen images…

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Desktop Version (1920×1080)

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Desktop Version (1920×1080)

Thanks for looking…

5 thoughts

  1. Man such good coverage from the NW! All those guy’s cars are amazing! Trik speed is the best crew in the NW period. We have amazingly built cars up here, you just have to search for them. I will probably come and drive my STI up and hang out with everyone whenever you come back! If I still have it that is…. Nice write up and photos man!

  2. Pingback: A Visit To The Pacific Northwest…Part 2 of 2… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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