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The Blacksmith Skylines

The Blacksmith Skylines

When I think back on it, I mean like really try to remember where this all started, it becomes very clear. By “this,” I mean everything: my admiration for drifting, the foundation of the car community that in many ways is still my home base, and of course, the origins of DODOlogic itself. What I’m trying to describe here is what Bruce Springsteen so eloquently referred to as “Glory Days.” Now, I’m not talking about the first time I realized that I loved import cars because that was a steady progression which started at age 12. No – what I’m referring to is that moment that divides everything that came before it and everything that will come after it. For me, that moment spans the length of three months in the summer of 2009.

IMG_0030sdI’m pretty certain that anyone who was around the Saskatchewan drift scene in 2009 would cite that summer and the race track as that which fuels most of what we do today. The hilarious part is back then we didn’t really have a clue of what we were doing, but it didn’t really seem to matter. A lot has changed since 2009, but some things have remained the same.

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Kyle Zimmer and Jesse Exner, the owners of these two emerald-coloured Skylines, probably share my nostalgia for the summer of 2009 because they participated in my “Glory Days” with the Saskatchewan drift scene. In fact, Kyle Zimmer is still driving the same 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS he had when we met all those years ago.

It is, of course, a very different car from when I first met Zimmer. In fact, it would be hard to tell that it’s the same car. Kyle’s car has had more iterations than I can remember. It started out with a RB20DET, and at some point over the years, that engine was replaced with the much more capable RB25DET.

IMG_0038sdKyle’s Skyline is pretty much a designated track car now, and it’s a far cry from the burgundy street car that it started out as.

Jesse’s love affair with the Skyline sedan is a much more sordid love affair than that of Kyle’s. When I first met Jesse in 2009, he drove a white four-door Skyline. Eventually, Jesse’s Skyline found its way to a kart track, where we used to drift. After many “huck turns” (a term Jesse made up), the RB20DET gave out and Jesse sold the car to avoid the headache of it all.

IMG_0013sdOver the years, Jesse cycled through enough chassis’ to realize that his heart belonged in a R32 sedan, but his disdain for the RB20DET led him to find a chassis with a RB25DET.

Looking back at how things were, you’ll see that Jesse and Kyle have always had quite an affinity for vinyl. To be fair, most of our cars at the time became a canvas for one-off decal ideas that were often inside jokes or just a general collage.

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None were quite as outrageous as Jesse’s Skyline. Every week, Jesse would show up with a new design plastered to the side of his car. Looking at Jesse’s car, it’s no wonder that he became a tattoo artist. Jesse’s talents also fuel most of DODOlogic’s more popular designs, as he’s the artist behind our bestselling Poutine Cat.

IMG_0025sdFast forward to present day and Kyle and Jesse are still in the vinyl game, but have adopted a much more cohesive and subtle approach. Currently, their cars are vinyl-wrapped in this matching emerald green and fly under the banner of Blacksmith – which shares the name of Jesse’s tattoo shop, “Blacksmith Art Studio.”

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Anyone familiar with the Sask. drift scene will know that it’s filled with vinyl-wrapped cars and I’m sure outsiders wonder why that is. The answer is quite simple: limited access to qualified painters and reasonable fees have brought about DIY-means of making sure your car is all one colour. And it’s easy enough to fix if it gets damaged.

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It’s funny to look back over the years and think about how much things have changed or how much they’ve stayed the same. Watching my friends grow and evolve throughout the car community has become one of my favourite things. That being said, it would seem that most of this article has turned into a line from Bruce Springsteen song as I’ve been reminiscing about my “boring stories of glory days.” The good news is that as long as my friends are still in the game, I’m sure there are still a few more glory days to come.

Kyle’s 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS-T
RB25DET tuned by Vex Performance making 279whp @12psi
s2 Ls coil packs
Mishimoto Rad
Mishimoto Intercooler
Godspeed intake manifold
Act stage 3 clutch
Works engineering 90 mm throttle body
Works engineering oil catch can
Apexi power fc
Custom one piece drives shaft
Driftworks adjustable arms,
Driftworks LCAS,
Driftworks knuckles
TIEN extended tie rods
PBM Coilovers
ARP wing
Vertex aero kit
Vertex over fenders
Work VSXX Front:18×9.5 Rear:18×11 wheels
Walbro fuel pump
RCI harness

Jesse’s GTS-S Type M
Work Equips Anhelos Front: 18×10 – 0 Rear: 18×11 – 0.
BN Style front and rear bumpers
BN skirts
BN sports roof spoiler
GTR front clip
Seibon hood
RB25 Mishimoto front mount
1979 Nardi wood wheel
Full R32 GTR interior
Random Rear widebody
Version select wangan style wing
JIC Magic coilovers
Fujitsubo exhaust
HKS triple plate clutch
Gk tech bolt on kit

 

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