Stories: The North American Adventure
So here I was, completely out of my comfort zone making my way across Canada, looking out the window of this chrome train at possibly one of the most epic and somewhat alien landscapes for this little Irish mind. Heading “up north” as its put, not really knowing what to expect. It was incredibly exciting but at the same time pretty scary, I’m sure many of you have that feeling once or twice in your life. This was one of those completely unforgettable life moments, so far removed from everything I had called life back home. I sat there taking snaps out the window trying to process nature on steroids.
I was after purchasing a one-way ticket from Vancouver to Edmonton. The train was cutting its way through the Rockies, nice and slowly, a 30ish hour journey through a white Landscape… I was going to see what it was like to live up where snow hangs around for about seven months of the year. Somehow I managed to catch the Northern lights as the train sat delayed in the middle of nowhere. A train Journey I would recommend to anyone.
I didn’t really know if I wanted to put anything about this story up on Juicebox but I thought why not. Over the next while ill throw up a couple of articles on my Travels across North America, car related obviously. It’s the main reason most people make their way onto the site. Some of you might be interested in what I come across, others not so much.
Here I was, in this crazy cold unforgiving place… Making a few ridiculous choices and under estimating how dangerously cold it is, after catching a tough of frost bite, learning fast lessons from mother nature. . Everything looked like a scene from a movie, the winter was brutal, and the air is extremely dry. I wondered how anyone could call this home.
The first thing I learned about this place is that people are so used to this kind of weather. Life just operates as normal. Being from a small city in Ireland I couldn’t help but laugh at how snow brings our country to its knees. Here it was just another day, another part to winter life.
Everything with four wheels is beat to death, if you thought rust was bad back home, you haven’t seen anything like this. Some cars were almost see-through. I’ve never seen so much rust in my entire life. It’s a very unforgiving place if you own an automobile. I was loosing hope in catching a glimpse of something decent.
Cars from all ages have been beaten to crap by nature and the extreme elements. It’s not uncommon to a two-year-old car bubbling with rust around the sills and arches. The Pick up truck reigns supreme up this part of the world and a four-wheel drive is a necessity.
I landed in the city just at the start of February; to be honest it was messed up. The streets were deserted, everything looked broken. The city felt like it was lost in the 80s, Crazy underground walkways link up the downtown because its too cold to be hanging around on the streets.
There is just so much randomness to this place; unusual sights like this are not uncommon. Along with the general weird vibe a winter in Edmonton gives off, it was extra weird being a fresh soul to the city coming from an opposite end of the spectrum.
This is one of the main reasons anyone wants to go to Edmonton if you didn’t grow up there. The oil. Its very interesting to see the industry first hand that helps move these little metal boxes we are so affectionate about. Edmonton is the last big city before you head further up north, where things get a little crazier. I was starting to think there was no such thing as a car scene in this city, there was nothing but trucks and more trucks throughout the winter, because anyone with pretty much anything else would fail in this climate…
This was until the snow started to disappear… The city completely changes from a baron snow wasteland into some kind of vibrant green city almost overnight.
At the end of may the snow had almost pretty much disappeared, and quickly after that I realised that there was more to Edmonton than I expected.
I worked at this bike shop in the photograph, it was called united cycles, it was pretty much the hub for where people gathered that have an interest in Japanese cars. I found this out pretty quickly as the weather started to heat up. Every weekend there would be a collection of cars parked up. I knew for such a big city, and one that has plenty of money there had to be a decent car scene.
Shit Edmonton surprised the hell out of me. Some pretty unique metal started to appear. Its even more entertaining being a complete foreigner, because we just dont have access to the domestic vehicles Canada did from the US. The city is rich with Old classic cars, Japanese cars right up to super cars.
I lived pretty close to the Bike shop and luckily enough I was tipped off about an annual gathering so I decided to bring over the camera and take a few snaps of stuff that caught my eye. This was usually stuff that tore up and down the main street most nights but I never had the camera on hand to capture it.
To be honest the city has some really nice stuff, I couldn’t get enough of this BNR32, Canada has its fair share of 32’s especially Edmonton, I thought Ireland had taken quite a lot from Japan but this would give anywhere else a run for their money with collecting 32 skylines.
Its funny how North America got the PS13 as the 240 in , sometimes you see these completely standard just cruising around the streets with old people in them.
The love for classic hot rods has grown so much stronger since my time here, every day you were being exposed to something different.
Every now and then you would see a somewhat decent Honda, I guess most of them have been beaten to death through the harsh winters. The DA actually had some real TE37’s which was nice.
How could you not enjoy this. Whats more hilarious is it started snowing in the middle of the meet. A quick reminder of Edmonton’s freaky weather…
Seeing an NSX back home is always a treat, this city had its fair share of them, which would pop up from time to time. This example looked timeless on the AVS 5’s.
Another beauty promoting the sexiness of wearing AVS 5’s. Always good to see a well executed SW20.
In Canada there is a 15-year limit on what can be brought in from Japan. So this year people were grabbing the s15 and I started to see a good few of them just before I left. Sometimes you can forget just how good we had it.
Seen this a few times, such a cool little wagon on even more enjoyable Hayshi bomber wheels.
The city did have an abundance of Evos, most nights you would see a new one and ninety percent of the time they were wearing decent goodies.
This was one of the more enjoyable FD’s at the meet, a Japanese import too; you would see quite a few standard domestic versions cruising the streets.
This was kind of amusing, I guess Canada is starting to take a chunk of these too as they are past the 15 years, check the boat spec one hiding!
This thing was pretty intense. The Vip styling is really starting to make its way across the world in all forms.
Its funny just how normal an AE86 is here in Canada, again sights you never see back home, an almost oblivious old person driving around in a completely standard example. I’m sure they get harassed to sell. I like this car because its kind of what I think of when you picture a North American one.
The love for these grows stronger every day. This hits the spot.
Fresh in fro m Japan. Japan probably has more Minis in the world after the United Kingdom, and even more unusual that this one showed up in Canada.
Check that spoiler, diffuser and those wheels! So good.
Right next to the Mini was this, trucks are huge up this part of the world, its basically truck country, and its not uncommon to see something like this.
Or this, the mish mash of cars at the meet was cool to see. Ive always been a fan of how greasy the original Viper looks in this colourway.
What is rad about this side of the world is seeing the older guys roll up in their pristine beauties. To see different ends of the evolution of car culture all in the same car park was quite nice.
I guess these are the hot rods of our time, someday we will be cruising around in these and the younger generation will be calling them classics.
This meet was pretty cool, back home it would be hard to have a car park full of Lamborghini’s, Hot rods, R32’s and Chasers. It was nice to have all these cars at the one spot. The city has a good selection of decent cars, but its funny, just like anywhere in the world, for every good car there is probably four questionable ones.
Stay tuned for part two…
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