Event Coverage: ImportExpo 2019


In 2018 ImportExpo returned to Toronto after a fairly lengthy stay abroad. Their seemingly sudden return to this side of the border raised a few eyebrows, but coming back home was evidently always in the cards.

Falling after Motorama/Spring Fever, but before Fitted, predicting what cars will appear at the ImportExpo season opener is no easy task. This actually makes it somewhat of an interesting show to attend.

It’s impossible to know who will make the show and who won’t. Many of the notable attendees at other shows are absent at Expo. Thankfully the show runs a pretty tight ship in regards to who gets in and who doesn’t. The result of this rigor is an overall high caliber of vehicles.

Additionally there’s usually a fair deal of cars at the show I’ve never seen before.

Being a variety whore, I always like to see new cars at an event so hat tip to the Import Expo oragnizers for coaxing out some new metal.

As a show that’s early on the calendar people are eager to get their new looks out in front of as many eyes as possible. One of the cars making the most waves in that regard was this red 86.

The day before Import Expo vehicle sponsor Nextmod actually posted this car on their alignment rack. Due to the extreme working angles the machine actually laughed at the prospect of aligning the car, assuming the sensors were mounted incorrectly.

A careful read through the comments of that post reveals the camber is in excess of 20 degrees negative which is pretty hefty. In fact it’s some of the most I’ve seen locally.

It’s not to my taste, but as the saying goes to each their own. Hopefully the MTO is kind to him this year. Or at least if not kind to him, the rest of us.

I had the chance to talk to the owner of this car at Spring Fever and man, did it bring back a lot of memories or my early days as an e30 owner.

This 325is is a single family owned, Canadian car, and a shockingly clean one at that. The original paint shows well and overall it’s a well put together example.

Air ride and a timeless wheel choice go a long way. Expect photos of this one pretty much anytime I see it, sorry not sorry.

Another Spring Fever alum, is this turbocharged, b16 swapped Mini. I really didn’t think the owner would be able to fit a grill, or most of a grill, on the car but he sure proved me wrong.

The car isn’t quite complete yet, but it has all the makings of an absolute monster once shakedown is completed. So, the addition of the new neon green cage makes a lot of sense.

Maybe someone can convince the owner to bring the car out to a CSCS Racing event later this season. I am sure that I’m not the only one who’d like to see the car stretch its legs.

Another car that is probably an absolute riot to drive is this W10 MR2. As you can probably tell by the wheel and tire selection this car is set up for straight line domination.

So, naturally, I had to see what was going on under the engine cover.

Twin carbs, and a big bottle of giggle gas? That’ll get the job done. Performance modifications aside the car was also overall incredibly clean something that I always appreciate from a show car.

On the topic of cleanliness, one local car club that does things right is Team Mayzn. All of their vehicles are done to an incredibly high standard and subtly improve year over year.

They’re not a crew known for shock value modifications and I truly appreciate that aspect of their group.

Actually, to that point, I kind of feel like I got old all at once at ImportExpo. I directed an almost disproportionate amount of my time to vehicles that, at least from a visual aspect, could be considered lightly modified.

This Type R was more or less stock and I absolutely loved it. These were great looking cars in their day and in my opinion they’ve aged exceptionally well.

They also embody an era of cars that is pretty much done and gone, as we move closer and closer to generic pods with each blobby CUV.

Championship white has always been my preferred Type R color, so I really dug this Spoon brake and Mugen wheel equipped DC integra.

Of course I couldn’t help but notice the NSX behind it.

I’m not sure if I’ve seen this particular car before, and as a result I wasn’t familiar with the make of the over fenders. Some research revealed they are Chicochopshop pieces that have been installed without visible rivets.

The car is also apparently turbocharged, though I managed to miss getting photos of that. A bit of a flub on my behalf but hopefully the next few Hondas I’ve selected to end the post with make up for it.

I have seen this NSX before, and it belongs to @johndimsum who owns a seemingly endless fleet of mind blowing vehicles. No, your eyes don’t mistake you, that is a lot of not so factory piping under the opened engine cover.

The GruppeM supercharger on this car pushes the output to 512whp. His cars usually make closer to quad digit horsepower so I am almost thinking those might be baseline numbers…

Continuing the clean boosted, Honda/Acura trend this battleship grey DC is a car I revisited on a few occasions. Cars like these make me wish I was a bit more of a Honda head so I could pick out all the intricate details that are no doubt prevalent throughout the build.

I can of course pick out the obvious, like a high polished Jackson Racing supercharger.

The ultimate JDM showcase at the show belonged to Chase (@mugenbeat). Both of the vehicles are Japanese imports and each were some of the cleanest vehicles at the show.

Not only that, Chase has collected pretty much every Step Wagon bit of memorabilia there is, on top of hoarding nearly every possible Step Wagon accessory available.

As for the Van itself, it’s one that I could poke my camera round for hours and miss all sorts of details. If there’s a modification of accessory available, changes are this van has it.

The ability to coax out enthusiasts like this is what helps differentiate Import Expo from some of the other shows in the area.

Personally I wouldn’t mind if the doubled down on JDM legends at the next event at the sacrifice of some other vehicles.

That’s just my personal take of course. But I feel like we’re approaching, or in the middle of, an 80s – 90s JDM renaissance. Personally I’m 100% OK with that.

But like I said before, maybe I’m getting old.


  1. Any more pictures of that s3?

    Also, how is got ass still a thing?

    Finally i sure hope that the red brz isnt street driven at all. Between the unnatural loads placed on the suspension components at those angles and the contact patches equivalent to running donut spares at all 4 corners, it just isnt anywhere near safe. The MTO will come down hard on that car and most likely use it as an example of why they are so hard on everyone else.

    • I might have a few more photos of that S3, I can look.

      I’m with you on Got Ass but apparently they are still desired, also with you on the BRZ.

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