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First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

After a decade of events, FCF closes the show with their biggest turnout to date

Rodrez
Oct 14, 2019
Photographer: Al Norris

The Super Street Network covers car shows, meets, and track events week in and week out throughout different parts of the country, sometimes going well beyond the U.S., in order to bring you a taste of what's happening in a region you might not be familiar with. Many of the regular event pieces you see are based on tours or annual affairs that fans wait months for, often specifically making changes to their cars or rushing to complete their builds in order to "debut" them in front of the local masses.

First Class Fitment 2019 Princeton Airport Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

From an organizer's standpoint, these annual events that come and go in the span of a day are typically the culmination of months of preparation that usually include getting through painfully slow red tape, various fees, and all of the associated headaches that accompany a large-scale gathering. If things go as planned, the questions are almost always, "What's next?" and "How can we grow this?" The question you rarely hear, however, is, "When is enough, enough?"

First Class Fitment 2019 trophies Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

For 10 years, First Class Fitment has served as a mecca of sorts for the East Coast enthusiast circle. From Honda to Porsche, VIP to rat rod, the all-inclusive gathering was born out of a joint effort between Cristian Loza and Roy Jang, founders of Canibeat, and their newly elected (at the time) official site photographer, Dave Tormey. Cristian recalls, "Dave grew up around Princeton, and after always driving by the airport on his way to work, he thought of the idea [for a show] and stopped by one day." That location, Princeton Airport, was purchased in 1985 after a four-year period of inactivity, and reopened with a host of new services, improved conditions, and newly constructed hangars. Beyond the smooth surfaces and shimmering aircraft on hand, the area is well known for some incredibly scenic views, especially around sun down—a fact that was important to Loza and crew, being that all three carry some creative genes.

First Class Fitment 2019 lamborghinis Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

At each event, the main hangar at Princeton Airport played host to a specific theme, which formed its own attraction apart from the always sold-out vehicle registration roster. Collaborating with the likes of Rotiform produced some custom-made trophies, and for the final show it was decided all of the previous year's winners would populate the highly sought-after hangar section of FCF. The announcement that this would, in fact, be the final gathering only helped bolster an already incredibly stout history of attendance, and it should be noted that 2019 produced the group's largest turnout.

First Class Fitment 2019 acura nsx Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

Now, back to the question: Why? Why would 2019 serve as the final year of what most would describe as a wildly successful endeavor, especially after 10 events? The answer isn't all that cut and dry. When I asked, Loza stated, "We just decided this is the final event, as it was a good milestone and we wanted to ride out on top. It just felt right." Whether there's more to it than that is up in the air, but having recently appeared on the Think Bigger Podcast with Big Mike, Loza mentioned the event series exceeded the group's expectations, they had made their mark, and it just felt right—it didn't make sense to keep going, and the number 10 seemed like a good number to end on.

First Class Fitment 2019 rx7 Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

Speculation and drummed up theories could carry on for months, but the bottom line is even in the face of success, sometimes the need to focus efforts elsewhere take precedence. Other times an unexpected level of achievement is reached and it's simply time to move on. Some might refer to it as "quit while you're ahead," while others might see it as a chance to redirect and try something new. Loza notes that as of right now, there are no future car show endeavors underway, but things could change in the future. Whether that's a way of leaving the door open or simply playing close to one's chest, we wouldn't be at all surprised to see the Canibeat group once again taking on large-scale organizational duties in the automotive realm in the future.

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First Class Fitment 2019 bmw Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

If you weren't familiar with the name, the "fitment" part of the event's title might have you assuming extreme camber and all but non-existent ride height dominates the once annual event. And, yes, that style is certainly present and accounted for...

First Class Fitment 2019 rat rod Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale
First Class Fitment 2019 blitz intercooler Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

...but in this instance, variety is key. Here, you're met with a mixed bag of cultures and styles, some that have thrived for years on the East Coast, right alongside others that aren't commonly adopted. The combination, blended together for a single day of automotive harmony, is what FCF will undoubtedly be remembered for.

First Class Fitment 2019 dave tormey Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale
First Class Fitment 2019 tormey s2000 Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

Canibeat's first official photog turned bona fide partner, Dave Tormey, addresses the crowd during FCF's final send off. Tormey's immaculate AP2 is well known for its "keep it simple" approach—shown here on Advan rollers and dressed in Spoon side mirrors and OEM hardtop.

First Class Fitment 2019 christian loza tsx Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

Cristian Loza's EP3 was once featured in the pages of Honda Tuning Magazine, and after parting with the 7th generation Civic hatchback, Loza didn't stray far from Honda's grasp, eventually landing behind the wheel of this second gen. TSX, fitted with authentic Mugen aero and bronze CE28s.

First Class Fitment 2019 fd3s Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale
First Class Fitment 2019 mazda rx7 Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

Don't talk about '90s heroes unless you're bringing the mighty FD3S into the conversation. Often the recipient or, victim, depending on what side of the fence you reside, many third generation RX-7s these days have been fitted with American muscle, making rotary fans that much more eager to maintain its native heart. Regardless of powerplant, the sexy lines only mildly massaged, like this yellow version, or aggressively manipulated, like the widened red example above, will forever draw a crowd.

First Class Fitment 2019 rocket bunny FC RX7 Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

The Pandem craze continues. Revitalizing the iconic RX-7 FC chassis, GReddy introduced the multi-piece kit to the big stage with their cover feature earlier this year . Based on an ultra-straight body, this green FC is nicely executed.

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First Class Fitment 2019 nissan 300zx Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

One well-done, iconic 300ZX is good, but two shining examples of Nissan's flagship of yesteryear are even better.

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First Class Fitment 2019 lamborghini gallardo Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

Exotics and supercars have certainly had a home at FCF, often times offering some incredibly stark contrast as they rub elbows with the likes of economy cars turned show stoppers, upscale family haulers transformed into VIP sleds and the occasional rat rod. It's the kind of organized confusion that's often set social media ablaze and had attendees planning their return visit just hours removed from the gathering.

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First Class Fitment 2019 toyota mr2 Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale

Glass T-tops and a turbocharged mill just a few feet behind the driver's seat powering the rear wheels, all wrapped up in a package solely designed and carried out by Toyota. It was a different era when risks like the W20 MR2 were taken, and you, the enthusiast, reap the rewards of those efforts—even 30 years after inception. **Manufacturer collaboration not included.

First Class Fitment 2019 hardtop s2000 Photo 119/119   |   First Class Fitment 2019 - The Series Finale
By Rodrez
784 Articles

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