If you’ve been following us for awhile then you’re probably aware of how much we love “adventure time”. We love to get out of town and take in new experiences, and as a bunch of car guys we tend to take the opportunity to find something automotive related along the way.
On this trip in particular we were supplied some travel vehicles by Vancouver Velocity Cars to head into the Okanagan of British Columbia to visit our friends over at Throttle Thrashers Garage.
Now for some quick background:
Vancouver Velocity Cars is a local to the lower mainland dealership that imports Japanese domestic vehicles to Vancouver. This can be very handy for anyone who wants to take a first hand look at these imported cars. You can alternatively bring in cars via a reputable importer like Rob Fujisan, but for people who want to inspect the car themselves before buying, Velocity can be an excellent resource. Having gone through new management in the last couple years, we’ve first hand seen an improvement in their staff and quality of cars. Streetlight staff themselves have something like 8 JDM cars that have been brought in through Velocity and we’re happy to say its been a happy experience. There are no unrealistic expectations from us as we understand we are buying 15 year old cars and its our discretion. If something doesn’t look right or sit right, don’t buy it. Now that being said – Velocity supplied us with an excellent example of a 2005 Subaru Legacy B4 (we lovingly call it the B5) with a manual transmission and a really cool Nissan Elgrand with a 3.5 V6 paired to an AWD automatic transmission.
Throttle Thrashers Garage is a smaller shop in Penticton that is your one stop shop for restoring Skylines especially R32s. Cole and Chelsie have put in countless hours honing their skills from the literal ground up. It’s not uncommon to pop by and see a frame on a rotisserie getting the full scrub down treatment. Welding in any changes in the body, priming, assembly, wiring, or even full mechanical performance modifications. Now Chelsie and Cole have been absolutely blowing people away with their depth of modifications and custom fabrication work which was well showcased in their RB25DET swapped FR-S. But their fame really blew up when they took the SEMA shows Young Guns builders challenge by storm. This power couple came in hard with the aim to win and they delivered in spades. Cole with his R32 GTR powered by a 2JZ GTE and retaining the AWD drivetrain and Chelsie with her FD RX7 mid-engined with an Audi 2.7T powerplant swap. If you’re looking for automotive enthusiasts who make the impossible possible, then look no further than Throttle Thrashers Garage.
Now onto the adventure:
Starting on Friday we head down to pick up our rides for the weekend trip. The very clean Subaru B5, turbo charged flat 4 with a manual transmission – from Japan. What could go wrong? And the absolutely lovely 7 seater Nissan Elgrand.
Our first surprise didn’t come from one of the cars but rather finding out @whothehelliszack is a absolutely fitting question – if you know, you know.
Shortly after collecting the cars we loaded up and head out to our traditional stop at the Chilliwack Burger King where we were promptly mocked by the staff for wearing the BK Crowns in the lobby.
Unfortunately with traffic and weather the drive into town would take a bit of time and as a result we found ourselves driving late into the night. The B5 was a wonderfully fun and capable car to drive through the winding roads and the gear box was well suited for the changing paces. That being said nothing holds a candle to the comfort and visibility of the Elgrand. In a perfect world I would have someone drive me everywhere in one of those. Now driving through the night presented some complications – like bathrooms. Which brings us to a small issue. We gotta give two thumbs down to the Turnabout pub in Keremeos. No ones a fan of mudslides on the side of the highway and the staff at the Turnabout could have been tremendously more welcoming but in the end they chose to be rude and kick us out without any help on where else you might find a bathroom at 1am. As you can imagine when you’re not a local that’s not a fantastic experience.
We would split off in 2 different directions with the Subaru going into Oliver for the night and the Elgrand going straight to Penticton. Late night indeed.
The next day the rip from Oliver BC through OK Falls into Penticton was an absolutely splendid one. Nice big open highway, wonderful sky, warm, bright weather and higher speed limits heh. We would all group up in downtown Penticton for a quick breakfast meeting before heading over to meet Cole and Chelsie at their shop. Upon arrival it is critical you check in for a CAT scan with Piper their local shop guard kitten! Once you’re cleared for the premises perhaps consider a quick dip in the local pool before taking a look at the various projects on the go!
At time of filming, Chelsie and Cole were knee deep in three R32 project builds, not including their own and also had the FD RX7 being worked on with the FR-S outside.
With a quick look around you can really take in just how much passion this power couple really has for their cars. Cole could talk for hours and hours about his R32 and Chelsie was literally covered head to toe in dust from working on the precision design work she wants out of the RX-7. They could be sitting around basking in their glow from their social media fans, flexing their merchandise and successes all over their shop walls but instead these two are constantly working on improving their own craft to be better tomorrow than they were today.
Now to be clear we were there quite specifically to capture Coles R32 GTR and while its been seen all over and featured in various magazines its important to note the car had not been on the street under its own power yet. See Cole has done something that people have spoken about a lot but no ones really done. Coles R32 has a ton of custom work into it including body kit, paint colour and ITS LEFT HAND DRIVE! While he was partially sponsored by Sparco for this build Cole still had to shell out a HUGE amount of capital to get this car finished even with how much of the work they do in house. Now we could go into intense detail about the car but you can just watch our video about the adventure to hear Cole say it first hand. We will provide the spark notes for you just to tease your appetite.
Coles R32 GTR is LHD converted and powered by a 2JZ-GTE engine with a big single turbo. Right now he’s breaking it in but will be making the infamous 1000hp in the near future. This god-tier engine is custom mated to an R32 drivetrain allowing this Godzilla to maintain its AWD system that the GTR is so famous for. With a beautiful metallic green exterior paired up with soft black and bright yellow accents this GTR is a one-of-one, stunning neck breaker and we could not wait to get this thing out on the road.
As we head out from the shop you could feel the anxiety of the maiden voyage building up, but we were put at ease by Chelsie bringing the reliable RB25DET swapped FR-S with us to support Cole just in case. We would take a rip into the mountains with the goal of getting some gorgeous scenic content that could only be found there. I mean just take a look at that amazing rolling shot of Coles car in our print shop – You should really get one for yourself. Unfortunately we would have quite a fright as Coles diff locked up while in the mountains. Fortunately our staff is prepared for scenarios like this and we had a safety car trailing behind so Cole was not lost behind and we gotta say, being locally famous like Cole and Chelsie definitely has its perks. As a spectator I can tell you right now its very clear that both Cole and Chelsie are very good people who are actively involved in their community. Several people pulled over to check in, help us push Coles car out of harms way on the highway, ask if they needed drinks etc and then even stepped in to help with towing the car back! Everyone was so familiar with one another and so friendly it was a really humbling experience to be with it all. We dream of seeing a community come together like this and it was amazing to see it first hand. Now that little hiccup wasn’t going to deter their spirits and with a bit of ice cream therapy and some time to cool off the Throttle Thrashers duo was ready to rock to the next stop!
We reached out to the local Nissan dealership knowing that a lot of the dealers have had low inventory due to supply chain issues and figured we should take a chance that we might be able to use their showroom as a backdrop. The general manager Scott was absolutely thrilled to accommodate us with getting the GTR and the FR-S into the showroom for a VIP photo shoot. It was quite a moment – the GTR being made by Nissan but powered by Toyota and the FR-S a Toyota car powered by an RB Skyline motor sitting inside a Nissan dealerships showroom… And quite the showroom at that! Very beautiful building with a very nice layout inside. We were also welcomed to get some shots under the Nissan “Tower” out front which made for a nice little display but the real icing on the cake was seeing just how excited all the staff got over seeing the Elgrand. A true Japanese Nissan from Japan! Scott actually pulled out his fancy Ray Bans and got one of his staff to take some photos of him in the drivers seat haha.
There isn’t really anything better then being able to make a bunch of memorable experiences and that’s really what “Adventure Time” is all about. But “Adventure Time” isn’t complete without some harmless shenanigans. So once we had wrapped up with Throttle Thrashers the team went off to grab dinner together in the Elgrand with all 7 seats full. Cruising into town together wouldn’t be right without a giant inflatable unicorn hanging through the roof right? Don’t be silly of course not. The restaurant of choice ended up being off Marine Drive and the locals seemed to get an equal kick out of the unicorn as we did, haha. We also spotted a very nice S14 driven by a young lad ripping around and got to take in some quality cool air while we were parked on the beach at night.
The following day we would load up the cars and head back to Velocity for a drop off. A wonderful weekend was had by all and a wonderful batch of new memories was created. Of course there was tons of photos and video taken so that we can share the experience with all of you as well! So make sure to keep your eyes on the page as new prints will be uploaded through the month of September and of course the story of Throttle Thrashers will be uploaded and published to YouTube soon as well!
950kms travelled – The B5 was surprisingly fuel efficient! The Elgrand was not unfortunately, ahah. Velocity cars got us there and back safely and in style. Throttle Thrashers makes amazing cars and has the best guard cat. Penticton beaches are much better than White Rock beaches. 7 seater vans are loved by everyone in their right minds. And lastly but most importantly, memories are constantly under rated. Make sure to take time to live and love life and if its something really special to you then you should probably call us to do it with you and capture it so you can really truly look back at it over and over.
Until next time!