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

Ncrashb – Hyundai Genesis Instagram: @motiveempire - Automotive lifestyle blog Photographer: @motiveempire_mitch

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

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


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.   Instagram:   @motiveempire - Automotive lifestyle blog   Photographer:   @motiveempire_brianna   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. Instagram: @motiveempire - Automotive lifestyle blog Photographer: @motiveempire_mitch Instagram: @motiveempire - Automotive lifestyle blog Photographer: @motiveempire_mitch

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


  • 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


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


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

Top Tier Imports Spring Awakening

While there is never really an official start to the car season here in Manitoba, the closest thing we have is TTI’s Spring Awakening.  The meet that continues to grow year after year, bringing together enthusiasts from all over Manitoba, and some from Top Tier Imports’ Saskatchewan chapter.

Mazda RX7

This year, with a new, larger venue, it seems Top Tier may have finally found a place to bring everyone together at the Red River Exhibition grounds.  Over the years they’ve suffered the growing pains as year after year they’ve filled the venue to overflowing.  Thankfully they have adapted, finding a venue with the space to fit the 600+ cars that made their way out.


With food provided by The Red Ember, The Churro Stop, and Vilai’s SpiceBox, give aways, a car limbo contest, and no shortage of cars to see there was something for everyone.


Mazda RX-7

Toyota Corolla

The limbo was a big draw, nearly everyone in the lot stopped what they were doing to come see who could sneak under the limbo bar.  Watching people pile into cars to get that little extra compression out of the suspension lent for some great photos.

Mazda Miata

Toyota Celica

Honda Civic

In a scene that often seems full of animosity and division, it was great to see, 600+ cars from different groups, different makes/models all coming together and having a great time at a solid event.  It lends a lot of faith that the car scene is progressing the way it should.  Sure, not everyone is going to be friends with everyone, and you might not like someone’s car, but hey, you don’t have to drive it.  We hope that this attitude carries over for the rest of the season, and seasons to come from here.