How Our Neighbors to the North Do Car Shows: Importfest 2018
A short list usually pops into one’s head when thinking of Canada, probably including the stereotypical maple syrup, Tim Hortons, hockey, Drake and ketchup chips. Ok, that last one was a stretch, but after being the biggest car show north of the border for the past 18 years, it's about time Importfest rings a bell as well. While American car enthusiasts have a veritable laundry list of huge events with standing reservations on the calendar—Wekfest, AutoCon and Tuner Evolution, for example—Canadians from across the nation make their way to Toronto each year for this gathering of the community.
As the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is positioned in the shadow of Toronto’s CN Tower, the stream of passersby and tourists couldn’t help but to stare and snap photos during load-in the day prior to the event.
The cars had to drive up through the stream of people and in through the loading bay, putting on somewhat of a show before the show. Once inside, the variety and quality of builds was hard to deny. Bringing in cars from across Canada and the northeast U.S., each aisle shone new light on just how strong and wildly varying the Canadian car scene actually is.
Every Kind of Car
A perfect example would be this Honda Civic. At first, it appears to be a show-worthy EK Hatch with a GReddy front bumper, SSR Wheels, center exit exhaust and some other aesthetic modifications.
Upon closer inspection, the B Series under the hood links up to an AWD transmission with a sequential shifter in the cockpit. Giving it only a quick glance and missing the small AWD badge on the rear hatch may lead one to walk on by this build, but it’s awesome once the reality of the situation comes to light.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, this widebody 1967 Mustang Coupe is impossible to miss. The LS swap poking through the hood, fully stripped and caged interior, and massive 19"x 11"-68 front and 20"x 13"-80 rear Govad wheels pull attention from every angle. The rough, unfinished exterior and no-frills all-metal interior are about as eye catching as any other car under the convention center roof.
Of course there were tried and true favorites as well, such as JJ Dubec’s “F7LTHY” widebody NSX in the center of Acura’s booth, white paint in stark contrast to the surrounding royal blue carpeting.
Across the aisle, the Importfest Performance Boss S14 was standing guard at the Nitto Tire booth, proving blue on bronze will never go out of style and TE37s make everything better.
One last pair of standouts were these from MZ Kustomz, a 1965 C10 dually laying frame on the concrete floor and a towering 2017 F450. If variety is truly the spice of life, having almost six feet of distance between your two vehicles' seating positions is probably pretty tasty.
The list of cars to gush about would probably take until next year’s Importfest to complete, so hopefully the huge photo gallery below will suffice. If Toronto is anywhere on your list of places to visit, you owe it to yourself to put Importfest 2019 on the calendar. Oh, and don’t forget the ketchup chips.