The Tampa Trio


Photos by: Devin Dees and Denis Korol

Words by: Devin Dees

Editorial: Alvaro Gabaldon

The Tampa TrioStance culture is an ever growing style, progressing constantly as car owners push the aesthetics of their cars further and further. With the majority of stanced cars coming from Japanese or European manufacturers, much of the styling in the US is influenced by these cultures. While the two are very different, Japanese and European styles come together to form a look for cars stateside that’s distinctively American. The melting pot of the United States can extend to the cars we drive too.

The Tampa TrioThe Tampa TrioOne style being widely adopted recently is oni-kyan, or ‘demon camber.’ It looks exactly how it sounds. Owners modify their suspension to go beyond anything the manufacturer ever intended. This style is a common look throughout Cambergang. Tyler Steeneck’s GS300 is a beautiful execution of oni-kyan, with stunning Weds Kranze Vischnu’s sitting at -11 and -13 degrees. Surely the designer of the Aristo platform did not have this in mind. Tyler has always loved the GS. He bought the car two years ago with some wild ideas that would completely change the bone-stock blank canvas GS. It started with a set of coilovers, like many builds do, and slowly Tyler’s plan was put in place.

The Tampa TrioThe Tampa TrioThe Tampa TrioDetailed prep-work preceded the car’s inevitable trip to the body shop, and once it arrived at Sureal Customz, Tim and his team put in some serious work. The team’s creativity meant Tyler could fit his 18×10.5 front and 18×13 rear wheels that, along with a full color change, has made this a truly wild GS. As seen, their work is absolutely incredible.

The Tampa TrioMike Boyd’s Mini Cooper S is not like any I have seen before. The Mini was originally designed as a contemporary economy car, bolstering a front wheel drive powerplant, leaving more room for passengers and luggage. Shortly after, it gained speed in the motorsport world with its extremely light chassis and stout 4 cylinder engine.

The Tampa TrioIMG_6490IMG_6613Its everlasting popularity landed it as the second most influential car of the 20th century. Mike’s Mini isn’t quite like the one of the past, though.  He chose the car after driving one, noting how it was different from most cars but still had a great feel to it. Initially, Mike just wanted to lower the Mini and put some nice wheels on it. LOL. You know how that story goes, the stance bug bit hard and you can see the end product of Mike’s ideas today.

IMG_6531The Tampa TrioThe Tampa TrioAfter just one year of owning his first Mini, some unfortunate circumstances had the car totaled by his insurance. He immediately hunted down another one, and once it was his, he started transferring parts. It wasn’t easy to get the Mini where it is now. Mike ran into many issues with his universal bag set up. Between breaking struts and lack of room for camber adjustment, he decided it was time to move on and has never been happier with his current AirRex air kit. He’s made more room to clear up front, but there is always the thought of going to more extreme measures to push it even further. The white cage, Recaro seats, and beautifully built BBS RS finish off the car in perfect form.

The Tampa TrioThe Tampa TrioIMG_6519The BMW E36 platform is one we are all familiar with. The 3 series is a staple in the German market, and its popularity extends throughout. Justin McConnell picked up his 1994 325IS while helping a friend look for a car. His current car at the time was in far worse shape, so he parted it out and began fixing up the 325 slowly but surely.

IMG_6465IMG_6453Justin began cleaning up the car as planned, when he picked up a set of wheels. Justin’s story sounds all too familiar as well, next was a set of coilovers, and the cycle continues. He had been bitten by the bug. Broadway Static set the car down perfectly.

DSC_1820The rear of the car jumps out at you with the combination of the Abraham Motorsport LTW spoiler, the Mateo rear diffuser, and the pearl white cage to match the face of the wheels.

The Tampa TrioMatched with the deep Green paint, the car comes together so well, and so easily. The aggressive, but calculated style of this E36 molds its European background. Overall Justin’s favorite addition to the car is the staple set of BBS RS’s. He says that’s all he’s heard about since he got them on. I can see why.

The Tampa TrioThese three bring something to the table that we need to look for more of. There are groups, teams, and clubs alike all throughout the country but these guys are something more. They’re friends, they’re family. The trio travels together to events, parks together, hangs together. More than anything, the bond between these guys drew attention in a crowd of many by acting as one. As a community, we need to come together. We need to lend a hand, reach out to one another. Invite people to events you’re familiar with. Share the love of a culture that has so much room to grow, so it can continue to spread!

The Tampa TrioThe Tampa TrioThe Tampa Trio

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