This year we said goodbye to one of the US's halo shows. Canibeat held their 10th and final First Class Fitment at the event's home Princeton Airport, a private airport in Princeton, NJ. Canibeat has grown their event into a proper destination show for enthusiasts across the country. This year being the last drew in multitudes of applicants and attendees from all over the world to come pay their respects to a truly influential event.
Before diving into the coverage, I'll get some house keeping out of the way. I've had an issue with the host for this site that caused issues with pages and images loading. The issue is finally fixed on their end and, after re-hosting all the photos in a few recent posts, it's fixed on my end as well. I can finally resume content updates! I've also created the ability to click on photos which takes you to Flickr and allows you to save photos which I recently learned you couldn't do on the site. Sometimes saving off Flickr on mobile is a pain but it is possible so be patient. Sorry for the lapse in coverage and enjoy!
Attending a show in this region almost always guarantees you'll run into Rick Pinto's genuine EF9 SiR on SSR EXC Fins. Every part of his build is perfect, from the ever fluctuating blue/green paint, the wheel choice and fitment, and his immaculate interior.
350Zs set up for circuit racing and time attack seem to be a rarity compared to their drift and stance counterparts, but there seems to be a resurgence of Z33s built for grip. Amuse CSL aero adorned this particular Z33 whose large GT wing and Project Mu BBK behind TE37SLs hinted at some circuit intentions.
Take a moment and try to think of one stylish Neon SRT4 you've seen in your life. They're nearly non-existent! Most that roam the streets are either function only or...questionable. This one was spectacular! Not only is the idea of Advans on a SRT4 a fun novelty idea, the RS models looked perfect. Its yellow paint was highlighted by matching super rare yellow Recaro SR4 Wildcats and smatterings of carbon fiber.
DC5 RSX with a C West front hiding a Jackson Racing supercharger on mag blue CE28s...
Canibeat always seems to feature some surprising cars amongst the usual suspects like this early four-eyed Foxbody. The black and orange graphics were contrasted by the re-trimmed light interior. It was reminiscent of a well executed 80s show car.
Apparently this zenki AE86 coupe is local to me, but I've never seen it. Hopefully I'll start stumbling across it more because it looked incredible on it's classic Work Equip 01s.
Jo Galezo's Type X kitted S13 is full of rarities like those louvered quarter windows and early Nismo LMGT4s. His car is ever-evolving with rare obscurities and I'm always excited to see what he does next. I took a million photos of it that day and they all came out horrible so here's the best of the two. Battling the harsh lighting of this event was a nightmare!
Air-cooled Beetles look best with an imperfect finish, especially when they're laying belly pan on the pavement.
Henry Pitzer of Tough Club brought his big single 1JZGTE swapped IS300, making a day trip from basically-Canada northern New York. The monochromatic exterior of his car highlights the bright red Recaros well. One day I hope to own as many sets of TE37s as him. His car is another one I took a bunch of pictures of that came out super washed out and then he left early so I couldn't go back and take more so Henry, if you're reading this, it's your fault.
Geoff Stoneback brought out his JZX100 that was built by Mitch Fleischer before he sold it to Geoff. I love that it still looks the same as when it left Mitch's hands because he truly built a masterpiece.
It's not often you see a MK2 Supra finished to such a high quality.
The AE86's traditional hot hatch brother; these AE89 Corolla FX16 GTS are 4AGE equipped FF hidden gems. This one sitting on Chevlon wheels is especially perfect.
Walking around the hangars, I was blown away at the sight of this Impala! Sitting on hydraulics with a fully chromed setup in the trunk and Daytons, it was a mind blowing addition to the show!
Every polished and chromed surface was artfully engraved; from the interior, to under the hood, and even the wheels. Sitting within the engine bay is an LS to help motivate this rolling art piece.
I don't care how many Voltex S2000s there are, they'll always be a top 3 aero option. I liked the matching TE37/CE28s too.
One spot over was another top contender adorned in Spoon aero and TE37s wrapped in fat tires.
FCF seems to bring some real cool Benzes out of the woodwork. From the 124 camp was this S124 wagon on OZ Futuras and a C124 coupe on BBS RS, both with a super necessary oem two-tone paint scheme.
This 2nd generation Honda Acty was a cool display with a matching Honda Grom in it's micro bed.
Choosing to use a sedan for this EK gen Civic track build is a cool move. There's a perfect balance of no nonsense function while still producing a quality and still fairly stylish car.
The best part of the day was when the sun finally began to dip making the lighting a little less harsh and shooting a bit easier.
Just outside the exhibition area was this Douglas C-47A Skytrain. Considering the typical fair of private jets and Cessnas, this craft stood out for more than just its size. Honestly this might have been the coolest surprise of the event.
I wonder how often this 993 GT2 tribute car gets mistaken for an RWB build.
You can really see where Akira Nakai gets his inspiration from for his own designs.
The motorsport homage look is still in full swing. This E30 in full Tic Tac livery was absolutely wild. Epsilon Southernway mesh are an interesting wheel choice that looks perfect in this application, especially complemented with the custom turbo fans up front. Another interesting addition is that green lens over the headlights.
Corey Stover's STI is a masterclass on how to build a beautifully simplistic looking GD chassis. It's nearly impossible to improve upon its current state. Previously featuring mag blue TE37s, the silver on silver look with Desmond Regamasters is perfect. The rest of the car is seasoned with subtle tweaks and styling choices, most notably a Cusco GT front lip, a roof vent, and a very clean sideview mirror delete that I didn't even notice until I posted up these photos.
99 times out of 100, I prefer the JDM DC2 Integra front end over the USDM/UKDM quad headlight setup, but every so often an example strikes upon perfection. I guess it also helps being a Type R, but with its bronze Mugen MF10s under it's Championship White exterior, it couldn't be improved upon.
You have to be a pretty hardcore Honda enthusiast to go through all the trouble of importing a fairly new car just to get a minivan. That being said, there is no better daily driver or cruiser for a Honda enthusiast than an RB1 Odyssey. The fitment on this Modulo kitted one with its Weds Kranze Vishunu was perfect.
I'm always excited to see this Voltex kitted Evo at shows. The A-symmetrical HKS livery is such a cool concept and a hard style to pull off.
The perfect Beetle; solid body, perfect patina, laying pan.
Varis's F82 wide body aero makes for quite an intimidating vehicle, especially in black.
Every inch of this DC2 was immaculate. The exterior is kept simple with a Mugen gen 2 wing, J's Racing hood, and J's Racing fenders being the most pronounced additions. I'd say the interior was showroom fresh, but it would be an insult to how perfect it really was. The K swap housed within its immaculate engine bay was fed by an enormous Precision turbo and the custom piping was pure pornography.
S2000 with ASM R1 front bumper, ASM flares, and a J's wing... Oddly enough, this S2K also featured mismatched TE37/CE28s like the one earlier, except these were mag blue. This is one of the more perfect S2000s from the area which earned it a spot amongst the feature cars in the main hangar amongst other incredible cars I forgot to photograph.
Canibeat Crew's own Dave Tormey found matching plane to his S2000 to park under.
There was a decent showing of s-chassis and these two from the big wheels, big kit camp represented well.
There's a surprising amount of Evo5/6s in the tri-state area. It's a welcomed infestation, though.
Liberty VIP came out in a force with an always impressive lineup of VIP builds. My personal favorite of the bunch was this GS on Luxury Abstract wheels. Big Ty's GS has been around for a while and is one of the leaders in keeping true VIP alive in the States. The aero consists of a Mode Parfume Regalia front and sides with a custom rear bumper. Junction Produce made the grille and rear wing rounding out the exterior aero. The interior is bathed in red leather and Junction Produce accessories. One of the best from the east for sure!
One car that didn't quite fit the typical Liberty MO was this W201 190E Cosworth on the first set of BBS RS that have impressed me in a long time. In typical Liberty fashion it was immaculate and perfectly executed.
Jared Cabral's FD3S is possibly undergoing changes...or being sold for a cabin in the forrest somewhere...who knows.
Kevin Espinoza walks a fine line between multiple styles with his Varis aero equipped FRS. His build list is a who's who of tuning companies involved in ZN6/ZC6 tuning, and others that aren't.
This FK8 started as a special occasion dream car but soon evolved into Mary Valdez's daily driver after she took her supercharged 8th gen Si daily off the road for a host of work. I actually bought some Varis fender trim off her after she decided to focus more on her 8th. About two weeks later she ordered a J's Racing exhaust, J's headlights, a full Mugen lip kit, and a host of Honda OEM accessories for the Type R so I guess not. If the car isn't cool enough, she's also a regular at tracks like NJMP using Honda's halo car for what it was intended for.
Parked right next to Mary was a USDM DC2 Integra Type R. Phoenix Yellow almost necessitates a Spoon theme.
Of all Devin Larson's American classics he's chopped up, this Catalina is my favorite of the bunch. It almost doesn't look real perched on its rockers with half its wheels stuffed within the fenders.
As the event wound down and the sun began to sink into golden hour, people began moving their cars around the venue for photo opportunities. Puno's E90 M3 and Kevin's FRS were snuggled up by the runway until more people discovered how good of a spot it was.
Nainglin Myint's GP Sports kitted S14 looks great on ZE40s, but I do kind of miss his Grenade GX-01s.
Hosen Tandijono brought out his itasha IS300 drift car. The 2JZGTE it packs under the hood justifies the widened fenders and wide tires. This is the very same IS300 mentioned in the feature prior to this of his Lancia Delta Integrale Evo.
This is the peak 180SX style. Paolo Lim toiled away in secret on this 180SX for a long time, finishing it the night before FCF for its debut to the world and most of his friends. Hot Road aero coupled with a G-Corp wing, 17/18 stagger bronze OG TE37s, and an interior that's purposeful but still complete are the recipe for the perfect S13 hatch.
Team Ronin always shows out with their fleet of incredible Subaru builds.
Surprisingly there were a few R34 GTRs, but this was the rarest of them being a Midnight Purple III V-Spec.
It's amazing how much presence a couple Japanese coupes can possess.
This E91 had a full M3 exterior conversion, 3 piece converted BBS RS II, and the perfect color choice of Daytona Violet. How cool would a real E91 M3 be?
I somehow missed this S2000 during the event but managed to catch it while rolling out of the show.
GT3 style aero and TE37s made for a perfect looking 911. The guy that owns this 997 also owns the NSX and Model A behind it (both on TE37s), the C10 roadster you can see a glimpse of, and a Chevy dually that was on display as well.
A closer look at his Model A on Volks...
Super simple MK3 Supra on Work Meister S1s...
John Ludwick brought out his BMW 700 for this special occasion.
The hotrod styling of this E24 was wild! The gold louvered roof over the patina covered body was a cool contrast.
Impressive MR2s of any generation are a rarity. Despite the bar being set low, this one reset the bar incredibly high. That aero looks amazing.
Itasha cars stick together!
For whatever reason, TE37s are the perfect wheel for E90s.
Choyboy Danny Choy's Z33 is one of the most stylish in the country without a doubt with its wild combination of aero.
Unlike previous events, people seemed to linger around the venue longer, some getting in last minute shots and others trying to extend the moment as long as possible. It felt weird to leave until you absolutely had to.
In the coming years we can only hope someone fills the gap left by First Class Fitment's absence. Considering the entity Canibeat created through the organic growth of their show and their own personal style they injected into it throughout the years, it cannot be replicated or replaced. Seeing such an icon end is sad, but the memories of events past will always exist and it's better to see an event go out on top than fizzle out over time. From its inception to its end, FCF has been a must see and an example of how to host an event; a focus on an exciting venue, diverse display, excellent promotional material, and above all, quality over quantity.