“You’re only as good as your last show,” goes the saying. I often find myself uttering this phrase while snapping photos, and it always pushes me to do better. But what if your last real show was over a year ago? How will people remember you and the things you’ve done – and what will they think in your absence?
The truth is you’ll probably slip away into obscurity and maybe be remembered as that guy who used to do something. With the way social media has advanced, you’ll probably disappear into the rumour mill if you’re not ever present. Even if your last show was amazing, the “show must go on” – and it will easily go on without you.
A few months ago, in an effort to answer the question, “Whatever happened to the Hotboyz?” we wrote a feature on Eric Zapata and his 1JZ-GTE powered S15. However, only addressing the status of one teammate from a three-car tandem team left more questions about what happened to the other two.
In September 2014, Jordan Hall – in his SR20DET-powered Miata – wall-tapped a little too hard at USAIR. This incident proved to be one of the more memorable crashes at the first Final Bout. While the internet was busy mourning the loss of its favourite tan-coloured Miata, Jordan was busy trying to get it put back together. Most people would have probably loaded the car up and wallowed in self pity. Jordan did wallow for a couple of hours, but then set out on a 4-hour round trip road trip to collect parts sohe could repair his battered and beaten roadster.
Jordan and some of his friends are responsible for my favourite memory of the first Final Bout weekend. Having fixed his Miata with only 1/2 hour left in the event, he took to the track and ran a few laps just for fun. To me, nothing captured the spirit of the event more than the guy who busted his ass to get his car running for just 20 more minutes of driving. There was nothing on the line or any reason to take the car back out on the track, other than the sheer enjoyment of it all.
I like to think that being from Regina, Saskatchewan is a contributing factor for that Goonies-esque “Never say die” attitude that Jordan has. You see, nothing comes easy to a car enthusiast from Saskatchewan. You can’t run out to the store and just buy the parts you need. You have to plan it all out, order them and wait. And more often than not, you end up assembling it yourself because no business in town has any idea what you’re trying to do. If you’re going to build something cool in Saskatchewan, you have to be meticulous above all else. Although Jordan doesn’t live in Saskatchewan anymore, I think that’s a trait that follows him every where he goes.
Little did most people know that the first Final Bout would be the last big showing of his infamous Miata. When I first heard that the car was being retired after the event, I tried to reason with Jordan. You see, most of my time behind the camera had been spent shooting that Miata. In fact, I would argue that no other person has photographed that car as much as I have. Once I came to my senses and saw that Jordan wasn’t scrapping my “meal ticket,” I realized that his ability to have built such an amazing car in the first place would carry over to whatever he built next.
That thought was fully realized a few weeks ago during a visit to Calgary when Jordan rolled up during a recent visit in his new 2000 Mazda RX7 RS. The car is undeniably cool and pretty distinct with the amount of Feed parts adorning the outside of it. I hadn’t seen Jordan in person for well over a year, which was weird considering we used to hang out weekly and what was once a short five-minute drive separated by a few city blocks is now a 12-hour drive separated by a mountain range.
Realistically, not much had changed. I hopped in Jordan’s car, asked “What’s going on?” to which he responded with something politely clever, and off we went. Jordan has always been way more technically apt than myself. In fact, in all our years of friendship, only once have I been any help when it comes to the mechanical operation of his cars. So, most of our conversations about cars involve me asking a question, him answering the question and then adding a short follow-up where he explains exactly what he means and how it will all work. It’s a perfect example of how Jordan operates and how his project cars influence him; learning how things tick is what makes him tick.
I’m not going to lie: seeing Jordan in a car with factory paint and an absence of drift aesthetic was a bit alarming. But he seemed right at home with the car, and to only classify Jordan as a guy who drifts would be a great disservice. Of course Jordan is a drifter; he’s been into drifting since we met over half a decade ago. And long before we were friends, he was into autocross and autosports – to the point where he started autocrossing before he even had his driver’s license.
Much like his tires, this attack/grip racer aesthetic really isn’t much of a stretch. It’s almost like a homecoming – and the next step in growing up as a car enthusiast.
Earlier in the article, I mentioned how you’re only really as good as your last show. In case you missed it, I was obviously referring to Jordan. Somewhere between then and now, he slipped out the spotlight and fell somewhere into obscurity. This was no accident; Jordan’s social media presence is now minimal.
The Hotboyz are often only mentioned in the past tense and keeping tabs on them as a whole is pretty tricky. I would never say the Hotboyz are dead or gone, but I would say that they’ve evolved and grown up, and their current rides reflect that. Don’t get me wrong: bashed up, matching paint three car tandem drift teams are cool… but fresh metal and clean paint isn’t so bad either.
The trick here with Jordan is that it was never about the “show” (and just because I utter a dumb mantra doesn’t make it real). The automotive world is, of course, a big show and sometimes we get caught up in that and the pretend fame that comes with it. What I like about this RX7 is that it exists solely out of passion, not for the benefit of pretend fame, internet approval or recognition. It’s just something my meticulous friend owns so he can tinker with it, and I know the end result of that tinkering will be something amazing – because that’s just how he does.
2000 Mazda RX7 RS
Feed Version II Front Bumper
Feed Fog Lights
Feed Lens Cover
Feed Canards and Origin under Canards
Feed Aero Intake
Feed Side Steps
Feed Afflux GT II Wing
Feed Door handles
Feed Rear Tow hook
Shine Rear Diffuser
Defi Boost and Water temp Gauges
Feed Shift Knob
Momo Steering Wheel
Suspension and Wheels:
Volk TE37’s 17×9 and 17×10 +40 w/ 15mm spacers
Bridgestone Potenza RE11’s
Greddy Front mount intercooler and intake
Koyo Radiator and Samco hoses
Kakimoto Exhaust (cat back)