Before the Scion brand was dissolved and absorbed by its parent company Toyota last year, we managed to swindle a one-year loan on a new iM. There was really no restrictions to what we could do, just that the car had to go back to Toyota, bone stock, after 12 months. Right off the bat, we knew we wanted to put it through some abuse and rack up the miles, but we also realized this wasn't going to be a car that we could rip around Streets of Willow on the weekends or make into a show stopper. We had to understand and appreciate the iM for what it was—an affordable, versatile, economical, five-door hatchback that could get us around town every day with ease. Knowing this, it didn't make sense to get too crazy on the mods, so we stuck to the essentials such as lowering springs from RS-R, an intake and header from DC, and our personal favorite, 18" WedsSport SA20R wheels that transformed our Scion from looking like it drives UberPool, to something enthusiasts like us could actually relate to.
After 23,000 miles, the iM served the Super Street staff like a champ. It was such a breeze to drive every day to work and on road trips, and we're a little sad to see it go, but hopefully we'll have another project car in the works that we can get a little wilder with. But before saying our final goodbyes, we decided to get a little artsy and invite three students to photograph the car. There was no real criteria for the photo challenge, just to have a compelling theme and be as creative as possible. We hope you enjoy what they came up with. Judging by the results, we're certain this won't be the last time you see images from Alex, Don, and Manny as they continue to advance their diehard passion for automotive photography.
25, Art Center College of Design
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV + 70-200mm f/2.8L
Title: Lower Grand Nights
Location: Downtown Los Angeles
Concept: "My concept for this shot was based around what Los Angeles and Super Street meant to me. I moved to L.A. four years ago, and it has become an important part of me—a second home. I decided on Lower Grand for two reasons: First, I wanted somewhere dramatic with a lot of contrast; the color palate down there was perfect. Second, because L.A. is full of special places like Lower Grand waiting to be explored."
Nikon D750 + 24-70mm f/2.8
Title: Starry Sci
Location: Joshua Tree State Park
Concept: "As the contest stressed creativity, I tried to stray from the staple close-up and rolling shots and create something untraditional. The Scion iM is a tad vanilla relative to the other cars Super Street typically features, but the car holds many leading lines and contours that make it sleek and clean in its own right. What better way to highlight its curves than under the moonlit starry sky?"
24, The Art Institute of California
Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 17-40mm f/4L
Title: Find the Balance
Location: Massimo Power
Concept: "My concept revolves around Frank; he is an embodiment of many fellow (art) students and automotive enthusiasts. Like most, Frank has to balance his full-time job as a mechanic and his scholarly duties. The scene depicts Frank staying at the shop late after a heavy day at work to carry out his assignments and scratch that constant automotive itch that every car enthusiast bears."