Photography by Ryan Lee & Matt Petrie
Video by Wes Van Heest
Photography by Matt Petrie
Sam, the owner of Mode Carbon, reached out to me to do some photography work for his carbon fiber company’s new venture: Carbon Couture. It is a collaboration between Mode Carbon and AUTOcouture Motoring, bringing their high end carbon fiber products like front lips and side skirt add-ons to the BMW community. He and I had been discussing photo shoot ideas for weeks, but the weather and project cars going in and out of the shop had thrown us through some loops while trying to sort out the specifics. We still couldn’t figure out a definite location, but the plan was to shoot 3 or 4 E9x M3’s sporting the Mode Carbon aero pieces. We finally settled on 4 E9x M3’s, all of which were heavily modified, including ESS superchargers, by AUTOcouture Motoring. The latest car to be supercharged, literally just getting buttoned up that afternoon, was Matt’s Lime Rock Edition M3. Earlier in the week, Matt had traveled up from Maryland to have the guys at ACM take care of his car the way they had done for his friend Eric who owns the Black E90 M3 on Battleship Grey ADV1’s. Eric and Matt drove up here to New Jersey to pick up the now completed Lime Rock, but with a little surprise. Their good friend Dustin Worles of the Mischief movie series came up with them to do some filming for Mischief.TV as well. We called our friends Alex, Elliot, and Tim of Euro Techniks to come out and cruise along in the murdered out X5M and Dakar Yellow Individual E93 M3. Our camera mule, conveniently, was a supercharged Range Rover, so we had no trouble setting the pace or tagging along to get the shots we were looking for.
It was chilly Friday night, but not terrible for this time of year so we rendezvoused at the shop at 9PM, grabbed some food and fuel then made our way over to New York City. We knew of a great location downtown with old cobble stone roads and a partial view of the Brooklyn Bridge that we felt would be suitable for the shoot. Manhattan, as usual, was hopping on a Friday night. The sights and sounds of our cars both annoyed and excited people in the city as the exhaust notes reverberated off of the sky scrapers. We jumped back out onto the West Side Highway to do a little cruising and take a break from the gridlocked cabbies.
Appropriately, there was an Irish Ale house around the corner from the photo shoot location where some of the guys (who weren’t driving of course) went to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. We enjoyed showing the Mid-Atlantic group some of New York City and we ended the night fittingly with a stop at the Chicken and Rice Halal cart on 53rd.
Photography by Matt Petrie
In the tuner world on the East coast, the few days before October are not recognized as the end of September, but rather as H2O weekend. For years, thousands of people have been making the pilgrimage from all over North America to Ocean City, Maryland to be a part of one of the biggest shows in the world. What was once a strictly VAG (Volkswagen Audi Group) show has been transformed over the years into a weekend long event for all makes and models. The show itself is still centered on the VAG community; however the entire weekend, both day and night, is what draws so many people in.
It’s great to see those iconic cars and build threads tangible in one place, but the real reward of the trip is meeting new people and hanging out with friends you haven’t seen since the year before. The simplicity of the weekend is what brings people together so closely. Whether you’re camped out watching cars cruise the strip or hanging out with your feet up on a beach side balcony, it all comes down to that perfect combination of cars and friends. That simple formula is what makes H2o grow in size every year. To describe a city that is consumed by modified cars for a weekend would fall short of words, but don’t be surprised when you hear someone tell you that they went all the way to Ocean City without any intention to see the actual show itself.