The Summer of 2015 proved to be an interesting one in my area of the world. Great events took place across the board in terms of shows in the automotive scene here. The Pacific Northwest is cultivating a strong foundation of enthusiasts as I have found out through these events.
Many enthusiasts came out of the garages and various hiding places to attend such shows as Nissanfest, Hot Import Nights, Formula Drift, StanceWars, and the Luxury&Supercar Weekend. I was happy to see familiar faces that came out to the shows. I was fortunate to meet many new friends along the way.
One of the memories that stood out for me was my voyage to Stancewars 2015.
The annual show in Bellevue was a show I had been looking forward to attend since the previous year. It was such a fun show in 2014 and I met a ton of like-minded car freaks and saw some of the sickest, filthiest stanced rides in my life. I couldn’t wait to bring my cars out there and share stories with all the friends I knew were going to be there.
As the crew left my home in Vancouver, we rolled onto Highway 99 which is the Canadian equivalent and direct link to Interstate 5 in the USA. 10 minutes into our trip my front passenger tire blew on the Ferrari and it forced me to make a quick maneuver to the right shoulder of the highway. I was so glad there were not any cars in the lane next to me as it would have surely led to a terrible crash.
Once pulled over I was able to assess the situation and get some help. The front tire was literally torn into two lengthwise with the bead intact on both inner and outer rims. Tony Vergata from Clover Towing came to our rescue when no other tow companies were equipped with a flatbed on that busy Saturday afternoon. He loaded up the Ferrari.
Calls started streaming in on my cell as friends on social media spotted our crew stranded on the highway. One of our great friends Brian Wong (owner of Europa Auto Design) contacted SR Auto Group and arranged for us to deliver the car there for further assessment and repair of the flat.
The tow into Richmond where SR was located gave me an opportunity to chat with Tony and find out more about his love for cars and the greatest love of his life, his child who suffers from chronic medical issues. The time sort of stood still as I learned about Tony and his life. It reminded me of the hardships we are often faced with through life, and how we push forward without question when it comes to our loved ones. The drive with Tony and the conversation we shared gave me a healthy dose of perspective that afternoon. I offered a hand to him in terms of medical advice, little did I know that he ended up helping me even more by allowing me to introspect and reconnect with my thoughts that day.
It was closing time for the service shop at SR Auto Group once we arrived but Ray Moradoghli and Benno Arzo stayed after hours to provide solutions. I mentioned to them that the wheels were recently taken apart and reassembled for painting of the outer rims. It became obvious that after placing new tires back onto the rims and soap testing the bolts on the rim that improper tightening/reassembly was the culprit. The slow leak evident from the improperly fastened bolts turned into a catastrophic failure on the highway.
StanceWars attendance with the Ferrari was starting to dissolve like the soap suds on the wheel. Ray stepped up to me and offered an unbelievable solution. He pointed to one of the display walls at SR Auto and asked me if I liked PUR Wheels and to choose a wheel design that I liked. He said that he has spec built PUR 3-piece wheels made, in stock, with libertywalk 458 fitment! He also offered them fully mounted with new tires and installed on the 458 ready to roll so we could get to Seattle ASAP. Ray knew that I value my local auto scene and he knew how much I loved StanceWars –he did not miss a beat in knowing what I needed and how to get me back on the street.
SR Auto Group extended a huge hand to me on my very first encounter with them. It is times like that, when fellow car enthusiasts see the bigger picture and help other enthusiasts reach their goals. It ended up being a funny thing, so many people noticed and loved the PUR Wheels. The next day, photos began hitting the web and spreading quickly, droves of comments came in about the Ferrari. I kept the wheels on all summer long!