House Guests at StanceWorks
StanceWorks Open House – June 26, 2016
It might be fair to say that StanceWorks is one of the most influential publications car culture has had in recent years. Although it stems from a fairly controversial sub-culture in the car scene, it is hard to disagree that they have given a great deal to the community. Their forum has become known for excellent build threads, and a communal space to find inspiration and help with your own project. Their publication has featured some of the most incredible machines over the years, starting trends and inspiring many other projects in the process. Perhaps most importantly though, they have brought us some of the most unique builds. Although not everyone appreciates the priority of form over function, it has become a staple in the community over the years. StanceWorks has helped to spearhead this movement, and in turn the community has gathered behind them.
Recently they announced that they would have an open house at their shop. The doors would be open to anyone and everyone, and the public could look around StanceWorks HQ. Of course the excitement of seeing all the StanceWorks cars comes with other fantastic builds showing up as well. So during a Sunday afternoon in Costa Mesa, California, enthusiasts came from all over to take a peek behind the doors.
Perhaps a means of setting the bar, this Datsun Sunny pickup was parked by the front curb. As you drive by or walk up, it is likely the first impression you get of the show. Many of you will be familiar with this car, as it has been making the rounds on the internet. The owner of this car grafted on a Hakotora front end, making from a unique blend of legendary sports car and humble ute. I have seen countless posts and articles on this car, but seeing it in person is something else entirely. The attention to detail in the front end swap, and throughout the rest of the car is fantastic. The owner recently put it up for sale, although I imagine this car will remain in the spotlight for quite some time.
There were a number of Bavarian cars on site, however the E28 was certainly one of the best represented. Maybe it’s because of StanceWorks’ most famous creation, but I also have seen increasing interest in this chassis over the last few years. It can be rare to see even one E28 at a show, so seeing a number of them lined up, especially looking as incredible as they did, was fantastic to see.
I think my favorite car at the show that day was this Porsche 964. I spotted this Carrera4 rolling in with a group, and my jaw hit the floor. I don’t hide the fact that this era of air-cooled 911 is one of my favorite cars in existence. With prices skyrocketing in recent years, it shows commitment to build one instead of sit on it as an investment. To me, this specific example has been executed perfectly.
If you spend any amount of time on StanceWorks’ forums or features, you’ll realize there is a serious passion for aggressive fitment and the aesthetics of a car. While this 964 might not please the purist at heart, the owner has found the perfect setup for their car. It’s hard to go wrong with a set of BBS RS wheels, and with the color, the ride height and the offset all dialed in perfectly, this car is stunning.
Big body cars were well represented as well, with this immaculate E38 hanging out at the front of the shop. Former executive cars have found their way to the hands of enthusiasts, and their creations are nothing short of stunning. While I love a slammed E30 or 2002, the refinement and comfort a car like the 7 series has, is certainly attractive. This specific E38 is a 740il, meaning it has a stretched wheelbase. Whoever originally ordered this car might not have ever expected it to be laid out as it is now, but they certainly understood what it meant to have a comfortable ride.
Not everything in attendance had traditional stance. A few 4×4’s were parked in the middle of the show. Although a far cry from the low slung BMWs and Porsches nearby, they did fit in with everything else in a way. There are a great amount of love that enthusiasts put into their cars. It shows universally, regardless of make, model or type. There is also a certain quality about old trucks that makes them very endearing from an enthusiast’s stand point. This Raider seemed like an excellent example of that. They are bare-essential machines, and it shows in the design and amenities. This spills over to the outside as well, the truck has simple lines and durable parts.
One of the biggest draws of the event was the fact that StanceWorks was opening their doors to the public. People were wandering around the shop, and getting a peak at the space and what was being working on. Tucked away in the corner was the shell of an old Mini, obviously undergoing a very extensive build. Absolutely everything had been stripped off, and what was left seemed like a very honest little car.
On a nearby workbench sat an equally small engine block and wheels. It seemed like a good hint as to where this build was headed. I don’t think I have ever seen a set of turbo fans this small, but they were definitely a highlight of the show for me. Seeing obscure cars and parts is fascinating for me. Plus, if wheels make the car, then this Mini certainly has a bright future ahead of it.
Scattered throughout the shop were wheels, engines and projects in various stages of completion. There is a clear focus on all things BMW in this shop. Another E28, which had clearly lived a hard life over the years, sat on stands waiting for some attention. Behind it an S54 sat on an engine stand, next to it was an S38. It is reminiscent of old hot rod shops having small block V8s scattered around.
The 4x4s spilled into the shop as well, as this old Land Cruiser sat parked under a lift. It’s clear that there is an appreciation for all things automotive here, not just the low and fitted. This particular Land Cruiser might be familiar to some, as it has recently joined the StanceWorks fleet. So many of the old Land Cruiser’s are becoming collectors items, but this truck obviously was built for work. The paint was a durable coating, the interior was functional and a far cry from stock. It’s obvious that this truck will be used off road, not hidden away in a collection to rot.
But it wouldn’t be StanceWorks without Rusty Slammington. This car could be one of the most controversial builds of all time, evolving many times over the years. But what has always kept me a fan was the unending passion for this specific car. Neither an accident, nor a fire could keep this E28 from returning to stir up more arguments on the internet. In it’s latest guise the car has become a brutal race car. A full tube chassis lies underneath, with a monstrous S38 which screams at the touch of a throttle.
Most importantly though, the rusty body panels that brought this car to fame are still present. They were cut and draped over the tube chassis to create something entirely new. Where there were once four doors, there are now two, spliced together. The fenders are boxed, but the old chopped roof remains. There are a lot of menacing BMWs out there, but I don’t think anyone will be topping Rusty Slammington anytime soon.
Rusty might have been the biggest draw of this event. I have seen the car once before at another event, but just being able to see the car up close again was worth a six hour haul across the desert. This car is something truly special, and I imagine something that will continue to inspire many builds and projects for years to come. The heart and soul that Mike has poured into this creation is fantastic to see. There are so many little details that could go unnoticed at a glance, but this car clearly took a great deal of thought to shape.
StanceWorks has been a huge influence on me over the years, featuring cars that I might not have otherwise been exposed to, and inspiring me to build things the way I want. While some will cite “stance” as being an issue, I can’t help but love the style and passion each and everyone of these cars have. The guys behind StanceWorks have created something fantastic, and it shows when they invite their friends and fans to come hang out. Between the awesome shop, friendly faces and awesome builds, there was plenty to enjoy. If we can’t say that is the mark of a positive influence on the car scene, then what is?
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