The Aud was packed on the weekend with vehicles limited only by their owner’s imaginations.
But one wildly customized car was creating heavy traffic in the fairground building.
Mark Creese’s 2018 Ford Venom Mustang is truly a car like no other. The 870-horsepower, bluish-purple beauty has a modified everything: the drivetrain, brakes, chassis and suspension, and a supercharged whipple – an engine component that helps it produce more power. It has underglow lighting and lights in the wheels and the scissor doors. The car’s custom audio entertainment system consumes the entire trunk.
Its custom wrap depicts Venom, the superhero in the 2018 Marvel Comics movie. But there’s a twist: Venom’s head – illustrated in several locations on the car – is half the superhero and half Creese’s own face.
A machine beneath the vehicle was blowing out vapourized distilled water making it look as if the engine was smoking.
But Creese’s favourite modification is what’s called a “clinched widebody kit,” which he says makes it the widest Venom Mustang in Canada.
Creese, who operates Wraptors Hamilton, which specializes in chrome automotive wrapping, takes the Venom Mustang to shows all over the country and to local fundraising events.
“I’ve loved cars since I was five years old and handing tools to my dad,” said Creese. “I bought my first car when I was 15, a Camaro. I like to take something ugly and make it beautiful.”
The weekend marked the 13th annual Summer Showdown Car Show, started by Simcoe resident Kristine Hill. Her love of modifying cars took off when she was 21 and began customizing her 2003 Pontiac.
Hill and a friend established the Ontario Pontiac Club Birthday Bash (which became the Summer Showdown Car Show) first held at The Aud in 2008.
Now open to all makes and models, the show attracts cars and owners from Ottawa to Windsor.
“You customize it to suit your personality and your needs,” said Hill. “Some people do it for performance and go to tracks. Some are involved in audio competitions.”
Hill said car customization can easily turn from a hobby to an expensive passion, with some owners sinking tens of thousands of dollars into the vehicles of their dreams.
“It’s a project that never ends,” said Nickolas Gillis of Peterborough who brought his 2001 Nissan Sentra SR to the Simcoe show.
At 21, Gillis is just getting into car customization after being introduced to it through video games like Need for Speed.
Gillis said he learns more about his hobby by travelling to weekend shows and talking to more experienced car owners.
“You have to do one thing at a time. You can’t afford to sink $20,000 into it right away. You learn as you go — and there’s lots to learn.”