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Heavy Metal Affliction -- Stance Wars 2012

John Schommer
Monday, July 16, 2012



Bring a bunch of car lovers together and what do you get? A good time, loads of creativity, fellowship, and enough style, horsepower, and raw automotive adrenalin to serve up a powerful Heavy Metal Affliction fix. After being a part of Stance Wars 2012, I couldn’t fall asleep, my brain was going a hundred miles an hour with ideas, and I think I planned out how to spend my next six months’ pay.


Having been to a fair share of car shows, I know they are always full of cool rides, whether they are hot-rods, classics, exotics, or even bikes and boats. This was my first Stance Wars, however, and my newness to the whole Stance Nation scene will be evident to those familiar with it. Let’s just say I don’t have to feign any excitement; I dug what was happening there big time, and anyone with an appreciation for cars would too. I guess you could say--and I saw stickers stating this plainly—the whole Stance movement is for everyone, even the haters.



Lowering cars all the way to the ground is only one element of the Stance scene. Tucking, bagging, fitment, offset, cambering, and delivering a hellaflush stance are just a few terms I have learned and come to respect. Intrinsically, it’s a deep personalization of the cars; these rides have been given unique personalities that reflect that of their owners.


Performance is not the goal--in fact, performance is sometimes even sacrificed since some of these cars can’t come within a mile of a speed bump and turning radius is often affected--it’s the statement. That statement is broadcast in many ways, from stickers that make bold to self-deprecating comments to a car’s theme that is carried through from bumper to bumper. Pride is one of the most evident factors; club pride, brand pride, and, of course, pride in what the owner has created. Everyone does something different, whether it’s a lack of attention to the exterior but detailing the engine bay, or dropping a Nissan GTR engine in a Silvia to present a dichotomy of JDM exoticness. That, to me, is well-presented Heavy Metal Affliction, straight up. Perhaps more appropriately stated, that is the lowdown on how we can all appreciate these cars.



The atmosphere of StanceWars is reminiscent of the race scenes in the “Fast and Furious” films, combined with an auto show. Participants were very cool, happy to talk about their rides, and everyone got along. Lowered rides seem to have a stigma attached to them and, being new to the scene, I had to get over that. Nobody was walking around with their shoulder out looking for trouble, the clubs didn’t have any rivalries—at least nothing overtly aggressive—it was just about hanging out with a bunch of folks that shared similar interests. That and appreciating the jaw-dropping, radical creations that brought them together.



Turn 10 wants to bring car culture closer to video game culture and vice-versa, so a team of us were at StanceWars with VIP access to get the story, shoot the cars, and gather tons of video. As you may know, Forza Horizon—which comes out October 23 and is available for pre-order—is centered around a huge festival of cars, music, and fun. Check out this preview if you haven’t heard about it. The StanceWars scene was very similar to what the Horizon Festival is all about. The event took place on the top level of a parking garage at a local college. There hundreds of cool rides, music—dubstep, classics, and old-school rap jams--were blasting from a tent; there were a few vendors and people showed up donning their coolest attire. In some cases the quest to be unique, translated to hairstyles, portable transportation, and definitely the right presentation of each car’s spot.


We arrived early; I drove my 1978 Porsche 911 SC—in an attempt to show my own street cred—and rolled up to prime parking on the third floor for VIP’s. The show was on the fourth floor and I almost decided to show my car, but wasn’t quite sure what to expect so I just parked. As it happened, the 911 would have been accepted and appreciated for its own uniqueness in rarity and speed potential (and it is also nicely dropped). While the top floor was the real show, the entire parking garage was worth exploring and photographing. We saw everything from a pretty plain Jane, Toyota Starlet to a new Nissan GTR. Car alarms were going off constantly, intertwined with every sort of exhaust note worthy of a noise violation. It was truly an immersive experience.



After being the first to park in the clearly marked LEV (Low-Emission-Vehicle) spots, we rambled up the ramp and set about taking pictures of every car in the show. Some shots present the car’s stance, some are just to note the wide variety of cars present, and some show what made the car special. A Toyota Cressida wagon may not seem special to most but, here, it is worthy of appreciation.


Some people really go the extra mile to create something cool to see, some just take off the hood and sport their muscle, while others just pull out some chairs and kick it with their buds. The doors officially opened to the public at 6 p.m. and the show lasted until 10. There was also an after-party. As the photos show, the event picked up pace and attendance as the evening progressed and climaxed with an award ceremony for the top two cars.


I was lucky enough to get a few photos of the winning car and interviewed the owner, Ryan Phillips. We are hoping to shoot his car in a perfectly staged environment soon and capture all its uniqueness before the car is parted out in the coming weeks. While it may seem a shame to destroy this artful, slammed, piece of luxury eye-candy, all good things must come to an end to allow for new creations to spawn.



Without further ado, here are a few moments with Stance Wars 2012 winner for Best Fitment, Ryan Phillips:


Forza Motorsport: So, how does it feel to win the top award at StanceWars 2012? 
Ryan Phillips: I was speechless, I went to the show just to hang out with friends, have some fun and see some people that I normally don’t get to see. I never expected to win best fitment.
FM: Your car is sick, what drove the decisions to do exactly what did to it?  
RP: I’ve always loved fitment and cars that are flush. So when I started to part out my pervious build I began to look into parts for the Lexus to find my own style of VIP. As for the wheels it was a gamble, I couldn’t find   any is250/350 on work equips but I took the chance and I’m happy the  way it turned out.
FM: What shop did you work with to get everything just right? 
RP: The initial air set up was done by Air by Pauly B. at Meister Werks. I also had Benchmark Motoring add a second battery in the trunk just to run the air management. All of the paint was done by Fix Auto (previously known as Alki Auto Body) and I had Tempus detail do a full detail on the car before the show.
FM: Is this a driver or just a show car? What other cars do you own? 
RP: This is my daily driver, it would be nice to have a beater car because I work in downtown Seattle but I commute all over WA and even parts of OR.
FM: What got you into the whole Stance movement? 
RP: I got to give credit to my brother Mark on this one, when I started to hang out with him at local meets and shows is when I began to see some “stanced” cars. I really enjoyed the sleek look of them and how there was so many ways of doing it. With that many options it was easy able to make a car mimic your personality. 
FM: Do you have future plans for the car? If so what are they? 
RP: Sadly this is the end of the road for this car. I recently picked up a new project that I’ll be starting very soon.



I think Ryan’s answers really sum up the Stance movement; it’s about finding a way to express your own personality through your car. For these guys it’s about getting low, being unique, and making a statement. Our thanks to Ryan for sharing his thoughts, and if we are lucky, we will have a chance to check out his next creation.


If you would like to check out the entire album of photos, go here.


We will be attending more cars shows in the future and bringing you highlights, photos, and insight. What do you all think of this concept, and what kinds of shows are you most interested in? Comment about what you would like to see in the Heavy Metal Affliction thread. I’d also love to hear what your favorite ride is, tell us about it here.


And, in closing, if you have an awesome ride that you would like to share, post about it in our request for community rides thread. We will be picking cars from this thread to feature. Get your story told, share what you have created and get recognized for your own creativity and hard work.


Check out the Stance Nation Facebook page and “like” to get pictures of sick rides in your news feed. The photographs they present and the stories they tell are good medicine for those with Heavy Metal Affliction.