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Those who know me are probably aware that I have a 240sx that I’ve been building for just over 3 years now. The car has been a never ending work in progress and has been ever-changing as I constantly change my mind. This spring has been a lot of work to get the car running properly after I changed quite a lot of motor and suspension parts. I had terrible luck in my first week of driving the car on the road – blowing a wheel bearing, overheating, a rough idle and so on. When I checked my calendar and noticed this particular weekend was fast approaching, I knew I was in for a challenge.


This past weekend started on Thursday and carried onto Sunday. Ertefa held its first organized car show on Thursday at the Markham Fairgrounds and my car was invited to be featured in the show. After slapping the car together, hopping on the alignment rack and re-balancing my air-fuel ratios I was as ready as I could have been to cruise out to Markham, two hours from my hometown of Belleville. The car still had a quarter-tank of gas that had gone bad in storage, so I topped up the rest of the tank with 94 octane mixed with some additional octane booster and dealt with some pretty gnarly backfires for the first hour of the drive.


After that my Type-X SR20DET was running on clean fuel, all temperatures were balanced and I started to feel more comfortable. The uneasing feeling and overthinking died down to about half power. I worried less about double-checking all of my suspension nuts and bolts, if my fresh braided lines were going to hold up, if I put my motor back together properly, and all of the other countless worries. It was time to enjoy the car I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears into.



Before I knew it I had arrived at Ertefa and my car was loaded inside the show room. The smaller hall was overly crowded with cars as far too many were involved for the size of this venue. The DJ in the smaller hall also had no clue what he was doing as everyone who was trying to enjoy the cars and company of others was deafened by ridiculously loud, treble-filled music. These flaws were understandable given that this was the first organized show the Ertefa crew had put on. It surely isn’t easy to have 4000+ people at a show and maintain order. I’m sure next year the organizers will better plan the spaces for the cars and hire a better DJ for the smaller hall.




The larger hall was more organized and was filled with the sponsor-supplied vehicles that weren’t forced to drive a pot hole filled gravel entrance like the rest of the featured cars. The stage featured several acts including dancers, a hip-hop group and a host who got the crowd involved in some promotional activities.




I’ve never thought of my car as a show car and I certainly don’t have many of the same qualities that these hard parked cars have. I’ve built this car to race spec to enjoy driving it. Some sacrifice functionality in order to create an aesthetically pleasing vehicle and although that isn’t my style I can still appreciate it. Going into the show I was unsure of how people would react to my not-so-shiny, functionally aligned, aggressive car but as the event went on I noticed people’s attention was often pulled away from some of the fender-to-lip, well painted, bagged cars to go show appreciation for my car. It seems like race cars can in fact be show cars, but I do know that not all show cars can be race cars. With that in mind, I will continue to take the same approach in building my car with a new awareness that people appreciate it just as much as a shiny, stanced show car.




On the shinier side of things, the other featured cars were quite impressive. You could probably buy a house with the collective amount of money put into wheels and paint/vinyl.




One car that had the most of my attention (of course) is Jonathan Prem’s Zenki. The Kranze LXZ wheels look absolutely incredible tucked under the widened fibreglass fenders and the nicest fitting rear over fenders I’ve ever seen – take another look, there are in fact over fenders on the car! Everyone I saw walk by couldn’t take their eyes off this S14 and most thought it was still on bags.



The Next Level E46 was sitting fender to lip just outside the show halls breaking the necks of everyone who walked past.




The E46 game continued to be pushed to further limits with Karol’s big wing equipped coupe. Obviously I have a soft spot for big wings, and these uprights made by Money Gang Steve himself are on point!



The Next Level crew continued to impress with this Golf, along with a few other of their cars. They took home the prize for Best Crew.






Something I really enjoyed seeing was this duo of the Datsun 510 and the Austin Cooper “S”. The Cooper specifically interested me as I have always secretly wanted to restore one and swap in a Honda B Series motor. As it turns out, that’s exactly what the owner did with this little gem! A GSR motor powers this tiny car and everything about the car is how I’d want it to be if I owned it. The interior is a sight I could never get tired of and I’m sure this car is incredible to drive.




I could type on and on about the rest of the cars in the show but I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Not only was there a show indoors, but outside in the parking lot there was a good show of its own forming. Hundreds of cars came to post up in the parking lot, including plenty of super cars and some nice motorcycles.





Overall I enjoyed the event and will likely attend it again. From Markham we drove up to Georgetown to stay at a friend’s place and get ready for Saturday’s continuation of my daring adventure.


After all the stressing, when I finally relaxed and took some confidence in my work I truly enjoyed driving my car. The boost in confidence surely came from the appreciation for the build shown by the spectators at Ertefa. Thank you to everyone who came out and liked my car or gave me kind words. I am still finding myself tagged in a new post on Instagram every few hours, keep them coming if you have them!

Click here to read “Part 2: Still Rolling”

Click a thumbnail below to see larger versions of the above photos and more photos.

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