Updated: Feb 11, 2020
First Class Fitment is one of those aspirational events many east coast car people dream of participating in. Hosts Canibeat have crafted an event that highlights a variety of styles filled with excellent representation of each methodology of building a car. Coupled with the event being set in a private airport, which is still live during the event, it's definitely an interesting event and a fun way to spend an afternoon!
I always love traveling down to the tri-state area, especially New York and New Jersey, because the quality of builds are high and thorough. Another element that makes the North East car scene cool is, because we have winters with car eating salt, there's a solid 4-5 month period cars are stashed away, and it'd certainly be a waste not to fool around with the cars while they're forced off the road. As a result, show grounds always seem to be evolving with yearly revamps. There also seems to be a surprising amount of builds in the tri-state area that tend to stay out of the public scope and only really come out for certain events. Getting to see these special gems in the metal is definitely another thing that makes these events so much fun to attend.
Even more of a surprise than some of the cars in attendance was after I got all my film developed and realized I shot the entire thing in black and white which turned out to be a pleasant surprise after I saw how a lot of the pictures turned out. It was overcast almost all day after it rained in the morning so it would have been pretty gray anyway. Fortunately I somehow always end up taking way too long to leave my house and, in this instance, missed all the rain during setup.
The very first vehicles to greet you were these two behemoths parked right inside the gate. Toyota's 60 series Land Cruiser is already a capable machine but this example has been further enhanced for off road adventure and looked like the perfect overlanding getaway car, especially with the tent. I don't really like camping, but I'd be more inclined to get into it with a setup like this. Get yours before the BAT nerds jack the prices of them well beyond what you could justify off-roading. Also, yes that is a JK Jeep on TE37s! It was also rhd and those fenders were carbon fiber. I assume the rhd setup was from it being a mail truck originally. What a weird creation.
One of the most exciting things I got to see at FCF was my friend Chet Lopez's BNR32! He's had this car for a few years and was the first GTR I got to get real up close and personal with when he first got it as a stock TH1 blue example. A couple years ago he became one of very few bagged R32s utilizing Broadway Static suspension and serving as their test vehicle. Shortly after finishing it, he killed a deer with it. Fortunately the deer did not kill the GTR and it's come back to life with this wild HKS livery and white faced OZ Futuras. I'm definitely obsessed with this car and I will definitely be linking up with him this summer to do a full shoot of the car for this site without combating the constant crowd surrounding it.
While on the subject of JDM imports, Chet's GTR was far from the only Japanese market car on display. This S13 Silvia was perfect in every way! Draped low over these equally stunning SSR MK3s, it was a perfect example of a simple OEM plus styling.
On the more form side of Japanese import builds is Daniel of Tough Club's BNR32. Sporting a mix of subtle Japanese aero parts you may or may not have heard of, and at the time a stunning set of Nismo GT2LM wheels. It looked perfect and had the go fast bits to match. I definitely suggest giving him a follow to see how the car is progressing since it's been through some changes this winter. He also has an incredible looking Blobeye Subaru as well...and he has some real cute corgis...He also really likes receiving hugs.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is this BBS RS equipped Ford Model A based custom. I hope to get owner Mike Cashman in for an interview on how he came from a static E46 stance car to a custom Model A and maybe get some inside dirt on his up and coming "million dollar E30" build.
Not too far from Mike's build was a different take on an American cruiser. I think it's a Pontiac Bonneville but I'm not confident in that statement. I'm definitely not the most knowledgable with classic American cars. That said, watching it hover millimeters off the ground through the show grounds was incredibly cool. I would love to experience owning a big American sled like this one day.
Speaking of cool cruisers, Jeremiah Friegorgeous's W115 240D Mercedes was rad! And what goes great with rad Mercedes? Beer! Obviously. Jeremiah made sure you're never too far from a cold drink with that beer tap in the trunk.
This C124 was adorned with quite a few rare goods. The C124 was produced pre-merger of AMG and Mercedes-Benz when AMG was "just" a tuning firm similar to Brabus and this example is wearing one of AMG's aero kits comprised of front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and the 3 piece rear wing. Also among the rarities is the heckblende rear light garnish. I think this is the first time I've actually seen a C124 heckblende in real life.
I am a huge Honda nerd and have lately been nursing an obsession with S2000s. Seeing such a prime example at FCF certainly didn't help. There are few kits better than the ASM kit this one wears.
What might be an even bigger obsession is the one I have with AE86s. Years ago before I purchased an S14, I was in talks over buying an AE86 coupe. I ended up talking myself out of it due to it being on the other side of the country, a little "expensive" at $5,000 (this was about 5 years ago), and not a hatch and I've been kicking myself for that decision ever since, especially after seeing such prime examples like this coupe. There are many ways to style an 86, but small wheels and simple aero are always hard to beat in my book.
The spotless engine bay of Chester's AE86. Is there a more perfect setup than a 4AGE with ITBs floating in a shaved engine bay? Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the outside, but I hope to fix that with a more in depth look at his AE86 hatch. Trust me, it's perfect!
In a world of hammered S-chassis, it's always pleasing seeing nice ones. The fitment on this kouki S14 was tremendous.
One of the most needlessly unloved Honda chassis. Alec Coutinho's RL has come together fabulously with its A Spec aero and SSR MS1s. Maybe it's a lack of aftermarket support for the chassis that causes it to be overlooked, but Alec proves they're worth the effort.
I keep trying to think of a caption and immediately start fantasizing about walking out to this NSX in my driveway.
Something I wasn't expecting to come across was a brand new NSX on air suspension and Advans. Another surprise is how good it sounded with its titanium exhaust! I hope this chassis gets the redemption it deserves because they truly are an excellent platform, especially since it was updated for 2019.
2012 Justin Bieber even made an appearance! It also might have been Peter Stuppard, but it's hard to know for sure.
GD chassis Subarus seem to only come in 2 flavors lately; full out stance builds and function only. I've had the opportunity to pour over this example at a few shows and it's always refreshing to see.
Parked right next to it was another GD chassis Subaru I look forward to seeing at events in this area. Both cars were sitting on Advans and were fairly complementary together, each sporting a different design ethos but the same level of quality and attention to detail. Also make sure you take a peek at those monstrous Endless breaks behind those Advan RGs!
997 Porshhhes on Japanese wheels are always a welcome sight. TE37s have never looked bad on something.
Best in show!
Seventh generation Civics don't seem to get much love, and I almost walked past this sedan before the engine bay caught my eye. The craftsmanship was impressive and I'd gladly hang that etched valve cover on my wall!
A good representation of the variety Canibeat prides themselves on is this classic combination of W201 190E on RSs and a metal widebody Sentra with equally wide wheels.
I'm still unsure how I feel about the turbofan craze, but they suited this E30 pretty well.
There was definitely no shortage of desirable European-based builds. There was everything from stance oriented builds to racing focused classic Audis and even this Volvo Amazon on Moon Disks.
The VIP scene has been growing in this region and it's been creating some handsome examples.
The Japanese offerings were just as varied in style and purpose.
I'll leave you with this super rad IS300 I walked past outside the venue.
My FCF coverage is a little late but I didn't have a website when the coverage was relevant so it's better late than never! I look forward to attending First Class Fitment every year and will certainly be back this year to cover it again. Shoutout to Canibeat for always hosting an excellent event.