Harbourfest 2016

August long has come and gone, and with it Kenora’s Harbourfest.  A weekend long festival including live music, a boat show, and a car show.

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Since Top Tier Imports’ inception back in 2012 there have been a number of import enthusiasts making the drive out to Kenora for the car show and to enjoy the rest of what Harbourfest has to offer.

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Driven Winnipeg 2016 – Formula Drift Canada Demo

Much like last year, Driven has partnered with Formula Drift Canada for a drift demo alongside the car show.

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Hometown hero Gonzo Drift was out putting it down for the fans.  Along with a handful of other drivers including Mats Baribeau and Kyle Zimmer, the whole group put on a great show.

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Continue reading Driven Winnipeg 2016 – Formula Drift Canada Demo

Driven 2016 – Show Coverage

It’s that time of year again, Driven has come back to town.  Until recently Driven had always alternated years on and off here in Winnipeg.  However, with the scene growing substantially over the past few years it seems the show will become a yearly event.

It’s safe to say that Driven has been and will continue to be the show for the Winnipeg scene.  Prep for the show starts weeks, sometimes months in advance for competitors.  Whether it’s last minute parts from local vendors Speed Factor and Option Plus, or that extra coat of wax before roll-in.  The cars at Driven always have that extra touch done just for the sake of the show.

Continue reading Driven 2016 – Show Coverage

Paws to the Pedal

It is the middle of the car show season, and we are pleased to have covered the third annual, Paws to the Pedal car show.  This show truly brings together the car community in a way that no other local show can.  Many types of cars will attend, many will put aside their differences and begin to create connections. All thanks to the furry friends that we as car enthusiasts came to support.

Paws to the Pedal

Paws to the Pedal

D’Arcy’s A.R.C. has been rescuing stray animals and adopting them to loving families for years, and they are always in need of donations and supplies.  Paws to the Pedal has always been a great way for the car community to give back to a shelter that does amazing work.  This year’s turnout was fantastic, and showed how getting together for a cause can make a difference.

Paws to the Pedal

Paws to the Pedal

Paws to the Pedal

Pets are always welcome at this car show, and there were plenty in attendance.  You couldn’t look anywhere without seeing a pet alongside their owner.  It was a great ice breaker for introductions to new people, and was a blast to have been a part of!

Paws to the Pedal

This year we were joined by members of 403 Media whom brought their unique vehicles,  NVUS showed up with a good portion of their local crew, as well as members from almost every local car group in Winnipeg.  Little Bones made sure we were fed, and RESET Ultralounge took care of accommodations such as drinks and games, as well as the soccer game on the TV.  All of the clubs that came, and services the vendors provided were appreciated!

Paws to the Pedal

Paws to the Pedal

Paws to the Pedal

Paws to the Pedal

Paws to the Pedal

People meeting their friends, exploring cars that we have not seen locally, people meeting and connecting for the first time, cars cleaned up as best as they can be, all while enjoying good music and a good cause.  This is what makes up Paws to the Pedal, and this year definitely did not disappoint!  Thanks to the people whom were involved with setting this up, and to the volunteers.

Winnipeg is home to a great car scene, and the Motive Empire team is committed to capturing the stories behind the cars.  We’ve still got our coverage of Driven 2016 coming, stay tuned!

Lady In Red – Paul’s Toyota Aristo

 

We’ve been following Paul’s  work on his Aristo for a while now.  Waiting on the perfect set of wheels left the project on hold for a bit last summer.  Now though, it’s ready for it’s debut.

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When our weather started warming up the first order of business was a shift in color.  Away from a dark maroon, onto something a little brighter.

Stripping the old vinyl off also allowed for Paul to put his own personal touch on his front fenders.  Investing the time to modify the fenders to his liking really helps set the car apart as one of a kind.

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Along with the new air suspension setup Paul brings those fenders right close to a beautiful set of Avant Garde wheels that suit the car so well.

The Aristo has been out breaking necks on the streets for a while now.  But, for the chance to see it up close and personal come down the Driven, July 9th at the Red River Exhibition grounds to see this beauty at the Motive Empire booth!

It’s been great following everything Paul has done with this project and we look forward to seeing what’s next!

World of Wheels 2016 – Winnipeg

Finally the season looks like it’s getting close for Winnipeg’s enthusiast population.  For many World of Wheels marks the beginning of Spring.  The first big show of the season, and the push many need to start getting their cars ready for the summer ahead.

World of Wheels has been an interesting show over the years, filled predominantly by classics.  However last year, and furthermore this year, imports are slowly making their presence known at the show.  There’s definitely something for every enthusiast to appreciate when walking around WoW, with a wide range of vehicles from full restorations, to rat rods and everything in between.

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What we found most interesting of the show is, the interest shown by the older generation towards the imports.  Of course there will always be some that scoff at the “rice-rockets”, but the genuine interest by the majority was something else.  It’s nice to see that import cars are receiving not only recognition, but respect from the older crowd.  Not so long ago it seemed as though the import crowd and the classic crowd were constant opposition, now it seems as though finally most have been united by an appreciation of cars and the work that goes into them, regardless of what year the chassis rolled off the production line.

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With the first show of the season in the books we’re anxiously awaiting shooting more, especially as cars come out of hibernation.  We’re also happy to have Darcy Tiderman joining our group of photographers this season, we can’t wait to see more of his content on the site and the Motive Empire Instagram.  Looking ahead Motive will be at Top Tier Imports Spring Awakening, but if you’re looking for photos of your car before the big meet get a hold of us here at Motive and we’ll get some content for you!

The Winter of Our Discontent

2014 Toyota Tundra

Well, it’s that season again, the season where cars are in storage and the enthusiasts are abuzz on social media and forums everywhere planning for the next season.  With not much excitement in the scene, people quickly grow bored waiting for the snow to melt and warmer days to return.  But, with that boredom, comes a lot of talk, with a mix of good and bad.  The problem with the bad is, it has a tendency to build on itself making something relatively trivial, a big deal.

We’ve all seen it happen, participated in it even, and honestly, it’s tough to avoid at times.  But, at the end of the day, is it really worth getting involved in?

Probably not.

Toyota Aristo

Of course that is not to say that people are not entitled to their own opinions.  There’s no way that everyone is going to like everything that everybody else is doing with their car.  But, when the owner is happy with their choices, that’s really all that matters.

Again, people are entitled to their opinion, they’re also entitled to share that opinion.  There is a big difference in sharing that opinion, and shooting down the choices the owner has made.

For example, there’s a dramatic difference between saying, “Hey, you know what, I wouldn’t have done that if it were my car, but good on you.” versus “that looks like garbage, you’ve ruined the car.”.

Acura NSX

Group politics also play into this as well.  This is not to say that we have issues with any of the clubs/groups/squads in our local car scene, or that we haven’t been involved in disagreements in the past. However, there continues to be a level of division between groups.  The scene feels very clique-y, which is unfortunate and may be discouraging for new enthusiasts.  Sure the vast majority will come down to Top Tier’s Friday Night Lights, but you’ll see people show up in their group, hang out in their corner of the parking lot with their group, and leave with their group.

Everyone will have their core group of friends that they know best, and are closest to, but does it really hurt to branch out?  No, of course not!  Sure, come and leave with your closest friends, but make an effort to speak to people you’ve never met before.  Chances are, their impression of you is largely based on what they’ve heard about you, even a quick conversation can change an opinion.

Honda Civic

We’re all in this together folks, at the end of the day, working together as enthusiasts is what will make the scene grow.  It shouldn’t matter what name you’ve given to your core group of friends, or which Instagram page is your favorite.  As Top Tier put it, we’re all connected by cars.  Find interest in the fact that every vehicle at a meet is a little different, even if it isn’t one of your friends’. After all, if everyone built the exact same car, it wouldn’t feel much different from seeing dozens of bone-stock vehicles all parked together.

Be excellent to each other. We’ll see you in the spring, with cameras in hand.

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Gonzo Drift Demo – 2015

For the fifth year in a row, local Formula D Pro Am driver Chris Gonzalez, has put on a drift demo in a continuing effort to bring drifting to a city where the drift scene is still fairly grassroots.  With drivers coming from across Canada and the States, it was by far the biggest demo we’ve seen in Winnipeg.  The heat and humidity wasn’t slowing anyone down and all the guys put on a solid show for the crowd that filled the stands and anywhere else they could get a good view from.  With every year the show has grown bigger, we look forward to next year’s event!  Until then, photos will have to suffice.

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www.motiveempire.com Instagram: @motiveempire - Automotive lifestyle blog Photographer: @motiveempire_mitch

www.motiveempire.com Instagram: @motiveempire - Automotive lifestyle blog Photographer: @motiveempire_mitch

www.motiveempire.com Instagram: @motiveempire - Automotive lifestyle blog Photographer: @motiveempire_mitch

www.motiveempire.com Instagram: @motiveempire - Automotive lifestyle blog Photographer: @motiveempire_mitch

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www.motiveempire.com Instagram: @motiveempire - Automotive lifestyle blog Photographer: @motiveempire_mitch

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Ncrashb – Hyundai Genesis

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While driving his 2.slow Jetta a few years back Noah had his first sighting of a Genesis, being arguably Hyundai’s only really appealing car at the time it caught his interest.  But with it’s debadged trunk and cambered stance it was love at first sight.

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When it came time for the Jetta to find a new home, and Noah to find a new car he test drove a handful of vehicles.  A Nissan Sentra SE-R; an admitted mistake, a Scion FRS, and then, finally, the Genesis.  It was an instant match, through work relationships Noah got connected with the owner of Winnipeg Hyundai who managed to hook him up with a Spec-R instead of the base 2.0T Noah had originally been looking towards.

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Since getting the Genesis Noah’s made many connections in the industry including some of his closest friends.  Like many of us, he has a hard time wrapping his head around just how many great relationships can come just from having a modified car.

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www.motiveempire.com   Instagram:   @motiveempire - Automotive lifestyle blog   Photographer:   @motiveempire_brianna

While he might not have missed it when it first went away, Noah’s now missing his Jetta; it would’ve made a great winter beater for our unfavorable season.  As it stands right now, he’s pretty happy with the car as it is.  But since the rear-seat deletion Noah’s also considering a 4-point cage and some harness.  Time will tell what’s next for the Genesis, for now Noah’s thankful for the car, and the friends that came along with it.

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The List

Wheels | Suspension | Brakes

  • 19″ Avant Garde M590 Tiffany Blue w/ Bridgestone Potenza (summer)
  • 18″ Enkei Imola w/ Michelin X-Ice Xi3 (winter)
  • Eibach Sportline springs
  • Spec R Brembo’s with stainless brake lines
  • Spec R Front strut bar

Drivetrain

  • Synapse BOV w/ anti-stall kit
  • K&N 69Typhoon short-ram intake
  • TurboXS Racepipe/downpipe
  • AEM Staggered Quad-tip Axleback exhaust
  • ATQ Short Shifter & custom weighted knob
  • ATQ Shifter linkage bushings
  • ATQ Rigid subframe collars
  • Stainless Braided clutch line
  • Redline MT85 trans oil
  • Torsen Limited slip differential

Interior

  • Custom rear seat delete
  • Pioneer AppRadio system w/ 12” JL subwoofer

Exterior

  • Full LED replacement w/ switchback signals
  • DiodeDynamics Rear Brake-As-Turn mod
  • Khartunerz Carbon Fiber lower grille

(Not so) Pokie STi

The Story

Back in 2013, Hayden picked up a 2007 STi, it was everything he had hoped for, stock, low kilometers; as the previous owner rarely drove it, and it had never seen a winter.

Subaru STi

Soon after getting the car mods found their way from Hayden’s previous WRX, an AEM intake and Invidia cat back exhaust, and with the help of a friend Hayden picked up a Cobb Accessport to take advantage of those mods.

Subaru STi

Within the first year of owning the car Hayden enjoyed what he had, constant control, regardless of the situation.  He knew he had found the car for himself.

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Early into 2014 Hayden got himself the nickname of Pokie at work, and though he wasn’t a big fan, it stuck.  Shortly after getting his nickname, life happened, and Hayden went through some personal troubles, all the while the STi never let him down.  With that it was time to reward the car for it’s service, so an Invidia downpipe, HSD coilovers and Fast Hayaku wheels in 17 x 9 +35 were ordered.

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When the parts arrived and the wheels returned from receiving a coat of Southwest Blue powder it was time to install everything.  As any enthusiast will tell you, install days don’t always go smoothly.  So, after a day of stripped and seized bolts, broken tools, and bloodied hands, Hayden was fed up with the car.  Until he took it to his friend Justin’s place to show the work off.  Justin was impressed with the looks of everything, and after a quick drive to show the performance changes it was clear that the car wasn’t so Pokie.

Subaru STi

Over the summer of 2014 not much changed on the car, the suspension was adjusted and a Perrin turbo inlet was purchased, but primarily the car went to as many shows as Hayden could get to.  It brought home Best Sport Compact at Garden City.

Within a few weeks of the show at Garden City, it was decided that it was time to take Pokie further. Justin and Hayden took on the challenge of a build on the car, including a wire tuck and painted engine bay, among other changes.  After 4 days the bay was painted, and it was time to do some shopping.

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After a month of research Hayden had found what he felt was the perfect combination of parts and pulled the trigger.  Once everything had been delivered it was time to get to work on the car.

Unfortunately, it was now late November, and to work in a uninsulated garage with only a few electrical heaters to keep warm was a true test of dedication. Winnipeg’s winters are enough to break nearly anyone’s dedication, but thanks to a propane heater loaned to Hayden by friend, Paul Smyrski, work continued on Pokie through December.

Subaru STi

Come March, and Pokie was nearly ready to go, thankfully so, as Hayden’s winter vehicle suffered an accident he was forced to rush and get Pokie back on the road.

Trouble struck again when after only 3 days, the hood latch broke and sent Pokies hood up and into the windshield.  Thankfully the signature Subaru hood scoop took the brunt of the impact, saving the window and the roof, but the hood was bent.

After a few months of looking for the right shop to take care of Pokie, Hayden decided on Urban Autobody after a recommendation from Option Plus.  Urban took great care of the car and had it done quickly.  While Pokie was in the shop Hayden decided it was time for new wheels and went with a set of Enkei RPF1’s in 17 x 9.5 +38.

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The car came out of the shop in time for Driven, where it showed in the Option Plus booth.

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For now, Hayden isn’t sure what’s next for Pokie, he’s happy with the car as it sits, and thankful for all the support from friends along the way.

He hopes for 450hp at the wheels when Robert from AMR Performance is finished tuning it.  Making the car not as pokie as it’s name might suggest.

Subaru STi

The List

Exterior

  • HSD Coilovers
  • Enkei RPF1 – 17 x 9.5 +38 w/ Bridgestone Potenza RE11
  • “POKIE” Plates

Engine

  • 1000cc DW Injectors
  • 255lph DW Fuel Pump
  • Perrin MAF Intake w/ cold extension
  • Perrin Turbo Inlet
  • AMR Cast Up-Pipe
  • AMR Unequal length headers
  • AMR CXR550 – 10cm housing turbo
  • Mishimoto oil cooler
  • Mishimoto Aluminum radiator
  • Invidia N1 turbo back exhaust