Better Late than Never. Remembering 2019
After another long Canadian winter, May had finally arrived and spring was in the air. The kickoff to the automotive season had begun for Alberta. Several years have passed since I last attended Driven Calgary and this year I decided it was time to see what was new on the scene. I had heard there were several complaints about 2018 from other photographers and I wanted to see for myself what all of the concerns were.
Using the event weekend to take a few days off from work, I decided I would brave the potential winter weather with my NSX and headed out from Cold Lake with hopes of meeting up with some fellow NSX friends in Calgary for a spring photoshoot and drive. Of course the drive down I experienced rain but at least it wasn’t snow (Yet) in Edmonton and I proceeded through to Red Deer where I pulled into the local Shell to fuel up at Gasoline Alley.
For 2019, the Driven organizer came up with a plan for a lucky person to win an opportunity to roll into Driven YYC Ignition on Friday night in the Liberty Walk Maserati. I had not seen any competitors for the event on my drive down until I saw something wide and blue in the intersection in front of me before heading back onto the QE2. To my surprise, it was the Maserati that was expected to roll in later that Friday evening with the winner of the contest. I was hoping to drive the remainder of the way into Calgary with some company but as I got closer to the intersection I realized that vehicles were navigating around the car. As I got close enough, I realized the car had a catastrophic failure with the front ball joint assembly. Needless to say, the Maserati was not making it to the event.
Onto Calgary I proceeded with more rain in between until I reached my destination. Of course there had been a weather forecast of snow in the region that I was hoping would go away but of course it is Calgary in May and also Driven so… I left my car at the hotel. A fellow Sebring NSX owner dropped me off at the U of C before the weather started.
As I entered the main staging area I saw the exhibitors and competitors aligning their vehicles and setting up their displays. From Happy Endings Official to Bag Barn, and Lost Royalty to Haute AG, there was a bustle of energy before the lights would go out later that evening for Ignition to commence.
One of the main participants I had come to see was the collection from Doczilla or better know as the F7lthy Crew. The Liberty Walk gathering which included the 458, NSX and the GTR did not disappoint. While I prefer molded widebodies, I cannot deny that these vehicles made their presence known and I do appreciate no wheel gap.
I had an opportunity to walk around and check out some vehicles before the time came where selected competitors drove back outside of the building for the grand entrance people were waiting for. The lights went out and the overhead door opened again.
IGNITION, the event that gives spectators the opportunity to see the competitors roll in before the Saturday’s main event. This was a first for me as Friday usually just allows participants the time to prepare their vehicles for the following day and photographers a chance to get some coverage before the venue fills up. The announcer began and some of the heavy hitters started to roll in via escort by some of the models in attendance. It was dark and everyone started to crowd the front area as a massive 4×4 “The Bear” came through, followed by the F7lthy cars and more participants drove slowly between the rows of spectators who were trying to snap a photo and video of their favorite rides.
Bag Barn had a booth setup with this awesome beetle slammed on air. Along with this cool Volkswagen, the soon to be RWB Porsche was under the knife and getting the suspension treatment that alot of Rauh Welt cars are known for.
While the lights were still out, I was able to use the lighting from other vehicles as they parked again to capture some unique photos. This is a Spirit Rei equipped 350z hiding in the darkness.
The lights came back on and vehicle preparation for Saturday continued with everyone wiping down their vehicles; which ranged from ratrods to custom sport bikes.
Still Plays with Cars had a good showing with an Audi TT and VIP BMW in attendance along others.
Quite a few Euros were in attendance as well.
The showing of Nissans were impressive.
The vendors continue to help support the show and displayed their services and items to sell.
Definitely alot of variety at Driven this year but I was surprised from the lack of exotics and Porsches from when I attended last in 2016. More coverage in part 2 when the event kicked into high gear on Saturday.