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  • Writer's pictureBraeden Park

Driven Calgary 2019

Another year, another Driven Show, except this year was a little more chilly than any show I had been to. Driven was the first "real" car show I ever went to, and that was back in 2013; about as long as I have really been into the car scene. Back then I was pretty much blown away by anything, but naturally since then my taste in cars has changed fairly significantly. This is not going to be a blog post providing "full coverage" of the show, but rather some photos of some cars I liked, and a bunch of opinions on the show. Let's get this going!

"In a world full of wraps, the paint will shine through." - Me, at Driven Calgary.

In all seriousness though, when did wrapping cars become more popular than paint? I can see the appeal, change the colour of your car for cheap, sounds pretty good, right? Well, I don't know, man. I would say about half, maybe even more of the cars were wrapped, and maybe 10% of those cars actually looked good up close. I am not going to go out of my way to post photos of cars with sub-par wraps, mainly because I didn't take any photos of the cars I didn't like (that's the beauty of posting on your own website) but, I am going to talk about wrap probably 18 times throughout this article. For wrap to actually look good (in my opinion) you need three things: a clean starting point, the right choice of colour and the right person to install it. I could not tell you why it gets me going this much, but damn if you're going to put your car in a high quality show, do it right. The few wrapped cars I did like at the show had those things in common, as well as the people who did a full clear protection over their wrap seemed to look good as it added a little more depth to the wrap, which is what all wraps are missing.

I am gonna start this off with probably my favourite (of that few) photos I took. Maybe I shouldn't even say I didn't take that many. I'm used to shooting sports, where I easily clock 2000 photos during a game, so it just feels like I didn't take that many. Anyway, I thought this photo was dope because we have a wide body NSX, snow, and the po-po. Props to this dude for bringing three cars all the way from Vancouver, they were definitely some of the nicer cars at the show. I guess that's unsurprising when you compare it to cars that are daily driven with unprofessional wrap jobs with bolt on fender flares. (Salty)

I am normally a fan of simple things, and I'm not going to lie, I would *maybe* prefer this Ferrari in a OEM paint job, but I can definitely appreciate the work that went into the aesthetic of this car. I can tell you that this works out because everything is quality, and it really, really does show.

I mean just look at it, it's cool! Dare I even say...super cool?


I was a little worried when I woke up Saturday morning and saw snow in the forecast, but I don't think it deterred anyone from showing up, it looked like a full house to me! However a full house doesn't always equate to a good thing. I would be lying if I said I've been to a million shows, but I know quality when I see it, and I hate to say it, but this show was not an example of quality. I get that not everything is my style, and that's not even what I'm talking about. Lots of things just seemed...half-ass? I don't mean the organizers did things half-assed, but some cars were just...there.

I always end up going to the show by myself, knowing I will find people I know there. But not this year. This year I actually convinced a friend to come with me "Theres gonna be a lot of quality cars there, people have to get approved to get into the show," is what I was telling my buddy on the way there. I have never felt like such a liar. Don't get me wrong, there was quite a few nice cars there, but the ratio of not-nice to nice was overwhelming. You know it is bad when not one, but two people tell me "you could have put your car in here," and my car is far from show worthy. Yikes.


How about we focus on things I thought were dope, before I get back into my thoughts on Driven Calgary as a whole.

I never thought I would see the day where I said "a Honda Civic is my favourite car here." It took a lot for me to say that, seeing as back in 2012 I was that guy posting "2.0 litres are for milk," memes on Facebook.

It became apparent pretty quick that my favourite car at the show had paint and not wrap, just kidding (but not really.) For real though I was a fan of the "cool stuff," and for me, this little Civic definitely ticked that box. The thing was awfully race car looking, and that's awesome. It had one seat, sticky tires, appropriate gauges and it was also clean!

All angles looked cool, and it looked like the rear bumper was chopped up higher? I could be wrong, but this shit looks awesome. Plus the noises this thing was making when it was driving away after the show, damn. 10/10 would own.

It seemed like some of the "usual" car show groups weren't there this year, I couldn't tell you why for sure, but I heard through the grape vine that it may be because Driven is the show of "wraps and rivets." Nonetheless it was still a full house in there.

Another one of my favourites had to be this VW. I don't know jack about VW's but I think this was a MK2?

I am not usually drawn to older VW's, but this thing was honestly awesome in every way. Super clean literally all over, now I only wish I got a better photo of the engine bay, the photo didn't turn out, hence why it's not here, but trust me it was tight, I mean who doesn't like ITB's? The interior was also working for me, retro looking, yet clean and also functional. I would love to get my hands on this car for a full feature photoshoot.

It became clear as the show went on that I liked genuinely cool stuff. an RB26 swapped FD? that definitely falls under the category of "cool stuff."

I haven't seen, or even heard of this swap being done before, so hats off to owner.

Just look at that interior!! spaceship. You see that little screen just above the dash in the photo below? that is essentially the passenger side mirror. Now that I have you confused I will elaborate. On the left side of the car there is no actual mirror, but instead a very tiny camera facing backwards. That camera streams what it sees to that screen, and effectively acts as a mirror. SO COOL!

One more photo of the front that includes some more info about the car incase you're curious, which you should be.


Back to business, I was underwhelmed by the show as a whole. The lack a shit? seemed to be present in some displays. I saw one vehicle that literally looked like it was detailed by a dead rat. Okay, it wasn't that bad; you would think at a car show you would want your vehicle as clean as possible. That is what I thought anyway. There was a Porsche in there that was actually quite nice, but it literally looked like it drove down a dirt road before arriving. Im not sure if the term "car show" and "car meet" mean the same thing nowadays, but that must be the case for some people.

I always consider Driven to be the "kick-off" for car season in Calgary, despite the amount of "(insert crew name here) season opener's," but it didn't feel like that this year. Maybe I am just getting older, although at 23 I shouldn't feel that way, but this didn't feel like a "kick-off" to me. I always thought of the Driven Show as a "real" car show because it is indoors, has music, has models walking around, vendors selling things and more. They had all that this year, but it was lost in the amount of low quality cars in there. I would like to know what constitutes as a "build" these days. Not that every single car needs to be "built" to be in a show, but in order to have your car in a show that people have to pay to get into, your car should have to adhere to some sort of standard. Perhaps I am just overly critical of it because I paid to get in there, and there was only a handful of stuff actually worth the admission price.


Since the last car I talked about had an RB26 in it, I'll hop on the Nissan train.

Bayside Blue R34-GTR, it would be silly to not include this car in the write up.

*Inserts two R34 photo to flex on any U.S. readers*

Parked just beside the Blue Skyline was this silver one. Potentially on of the cleanest cars I have seen in a while. I could be wrong, but I think I am familiar with this car from previous shows and following the previous owner on social media, but damn does this thing ever look impressive.

I told you we were hopping on the Nissan train, next stop: a super-wide R32 GTR.

I believe this thing came in from Saskatchewan, good to see some people from out of province showing up! Definitely one of the highlights of the show for me!

Remember in 2012 when you could import a clean R32 GTR for under 10k CAD? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Next stop on the Nissan train: a very well done S15.

I am not super stoked on these shots, I had a hard time shooting this car, because of the lighting? colour? I am not sure, regardless it would be a shame not to include this car in my highlights of the event, because I mean...just look at it!

Final stop on the Nissan train: another super clean R34 GTR - Take that Americans!

One car that I was not huge on until recently was the Mazda RX-7. What changed my opinion on them was my buddies 1JZ swapped FD. It wasn't the Toyota motor that made me like it, it was just simply badass. Now whenever I see a nice FD I feel obligated to give it a second, maybe even third look.

Just look at it. And, it still has a rotary in it! Too cool. my first thought was that I wish it still had the pop-ups, but these headlights definitely suit the theme of this vehicle very nicely.

Not a good photo, but man I really liked this car.

You know what else I thought was cool, actually, super cool?

These. These cars are beyond super cool. I couldn't imagine what driving either of these would be like. Definitely a highlight of the show for me, as they're not something you see everyday!

The next few photos are just going to be some other things I thought were cool, and definitely stood out from the rest of he vehicles in there!

I don't even really know what was in this thing, all I know is that it was badass! Looks like it even has an extended wheel-base as well?

From straight up Murica' to straight up Japan.

I am a big fan of EVO V and VI's (even though my stock Type R STI has pulled on every one of run into.)

Although, I think this car would be quite a different story. Super clean looking car and I loved the racecar-ness of it!

When I first saw this E36 I was like "wow I definitely have one almost identical in Forza 4," so this thing definitely caught my attention, looks like it rips too!

I wish I got more photos of this thing above. One of the cleanest engine bays of the day for sure! The MKIII Supra is definitely underrated! I would also love to get my camera on this thing again in the near future.

Ive always liked Type R Integras, except when one destroyed me on the track in 2016. I also realized I love full livery's on cars, super cool car! very tasteful design and quite clean!

This Subaru is simply badass. Great look and it definitely looks like it rips. Hearing it drive away at the end of the show definitely ruined my pants.

And the last photo that I took "inside" the oval that I'll include in this post. I had a tough time picking which van I wanted to put in, and although this may not be my favourite van in the group, it was the best shot. We talked to one of the reps from the group for a bit. They came out from Vancouver in these super fitted-out vans! They said they wanted to see the van culture grow, and, honestly I could get behind it!


I don't know how much more I can really say about the show without repeating myself. I guess maybe my idea of a good car show is too good to be true now? I guess only time will tell as the car season goes on.


Now for the few shots I took as everyone was rolling out. It was snowing pretty good at this point so I thought two things. The first being wow, this could make for some sick shots, and second, there is going to be a lack of traction, and everyones going to slide around the corner and brapbrapbrap down the road. Only one of those things happened, unfortunately. The Police were at the exit escorting people out, so I guess the chance of someone brapping all over was quite low, and the chances of me recording another RX7 smoking the curb was low. I guess the photos made up for it.

Exactly how I thought the photo was gonna turn out. Now here is a question, would you prefer if the snow was slightly moving in the photo (slower shutter speed)? I tried it, and I thought this was more appealing to the eye, but let me know your thoughts!

If you haven't noticed, I like Skylines.

Panning shots on the way out turned out...okay. This one was super crispy, so it is the only one to make the cut.

I know this photo is at the top, but I figured it is a good way to end this off, as it was in fact the last photo I took on Saturday!


There you have it. Some photos and some opinions I have. To sum it up: the quality of cars was generally low, but its not the shows fault, that's just how the car scene is, apparently. I will always be a believer in "quality over quantity."

Thank you for taking the time to read, every share is appreciated!

If your vehicle is featured in this post, id love to do full feature of your car! Please contact me at or message me on Instagram @braedendpark

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