Wicked Garage

Here's some photographs of the inside of Wicked Garage, a custom car and bike shop in Ottawa's south end. They are renowned in the city for their incredible work and the annual open house that draws car enthusiasts and owners from all over the region. They're an integral part of the area's car community and their passion for their craft is evident in the incredible projects that roll out of their shop. They were kind enough to allow me to poke around with my camera one afternoon and below is a selection of images from that day. Their annual open house and charity bbq will be held on May 20th this year, check it out if you like classic and exotic rides, the turnout is impressive!



Leah and Charlie, August 2017

Leah and Charlie were married on a hot summer day in August. Their humble and elegant wedding was a pleasure to photograph, full of sincere excitement for the fun couple. They brought the house down with a hilarious and endearing first speech and kicked off a great party on the dancefloor. A lovely evening of celebration and connection. 



1963 Triumph Bobber

I connected with Scott through Instagram. The tourism department of St. Thomas, a small town in southern Ontario, posted a picture he took of his bike just as I was in town visiting my in-laws. I sent him a message and we connected one evening in July to make these images. I had often walked by this parking lot and wanted to use the vine-covered archway to frame a subject. Scott's bike was a great fit: a piece of industrial engineering beauty contrasted by the organic, wild life of the vines. We hit the road just as the sun was making its exit for the day and wound up with some of my favourite tracking shots to date. Scott was incredibly generous with his time and the story of his bike, which I'll leave to him to explain:

The bike is a 1963 Triumph T100SS (500cc). My uncle bought it all in boxes in the late 60's/early 70's sometime and put it together and rode it for a number of years until he sold it to my dad so he could buy a riding lawnmower. Dad rode it for several years until he bought a '72 Honda CB750 and loaned it back to my uncle until it came off the road in 1980. After that it spend a bunch of years in a tobacco kiln and then finally in my parents garden shed for another 15 years or so. 

Around 2009 I asked if I could have the bike to build a bobber our of and my dad said yes. So in 2010 I sold my motorcycle to fund the build. Then for the next three and a half years I slowly completed my first ground-up bike build, doing most of the fabricating, all of the wiring and a bunch of the engine work myself. 

1970 VW Beetle

Lise bought her 1970 VW Beetle a few years back but it sat for a couple of seasons in need of some repair. Being the badass that she is, she searched out a mechanic who would allow her to work alongside him so she could learn how to do some of the work herself. They connected with a great parts guy in Southern Ontario and got the car in top shape. 

These cars are nostalgic trips down memory lane for many of the people she meets when driving it around. It was amazing how many stories came out from the people who were hanging around while we did the shoot. I think that's the best part of these old relics, the stories their designs resurrect: from hoods popping open on the highway, to broken down heaters and cross-country treks, these little workhorses sure made a name for themselves.

1965 Porsche 356

John Shade's 1965 Porsche 356 is something to behold. The elegant simplicity of its design is something lacking in today's cars, and something that can't be captured in still photos is the beautiful sound it makes as it rounds into fourth and the speed picks up. John has done all of the work on the car himself, save for the painting, and his interest in restoring all types of old vehicles is evident by the collection assembled on his front lawn and driveway. 

Here's what John has to say about the history of the vehicle:

The car is a 1965 Porsche 356c (despite the badging that says SC which a previous owner added) and was originally delivered to Los Angeles, California.   This was the final year of production of the 356 and production of the first 911's was already underway.  This car was owned by at least two different owners (probably more) in California and eventually sold and exported to Europe in 1996.  Service records for the car go back to the 1980's and include an engine replacement and rebuild.  At one time in its life - likely the 1970's or early 80's the car was involved in a significant crash with evidence of major repair work found on the right side of the car which had also prompted its first repaint.

We purchased the car in August 1996 from the company in the Netherlands that had imported it, and did some suspension and engine work on it. We drove it regularly around Amsterdam and the Bussum-Hilversum area of the country.  At times it even had two of our youngest children in the tiny back seats!

The car was imported into Canada in the summer of 1999 when our family returned to Canada from a five year stint overseas. It was driven very occasionally in 2003-2004 and then stored as it needed engine work and restoration.  In January of 2016 the body restoration finally began with a complete stripping of the car to bare metal and replacement of part of the right front fender and rust repairs in a number of areas including the doors and hood.  The floor pan on the car remains the original.   The paint on the car was completed in August 2016 and reassembly continued through the winter into 2017.  Bodywork and paint was performed by Phil Walker at what is now "Twisted Metal Garage and Paint shop" in Carleton Place. The interior of the car is largely original, particularly the seats which have never been reupholstered and all door panels and vinyl which are as delivered in 1965 !

In summary, the Shade family has owned the car for almost half its life and intends to keep it within the family indefinitely !

Jess and Scott's Wellington Gastropub Wedding

Scott is one of my oldest friends. We first met playing little league soccer in our single digit years. I bought him Metallica's black album for his birthday and felt like a bit of a rebel for doing it. Scott introduced me to Jess a couple of years ago and I knew instantly they were a perfect match. Jess is probably the only person I know whose Sharon Jones and soul revival fandom can match Scott's. 

They chose the Wellington Gastropub in Ottawa for their small and intimate wedding in May, and the space could not have suited them better. They rolled up in Scott's heirloom MGB and hosted a beautiful evening full of laughs, tears, delicious food and great music. While Jess' pregnancy wasn't news to anyone in attendance, the upcoming arrival of a new life brought an extra level of joy to the celebration. It was a wonderful gathering of the people closest to them, and all the smiles are real. 

Congratulations again, you guys!




Kasper's 1981 Volvo 242 DL

The story of how Kasper came to own this near-mint Volvo 242 is pretty spectacular. Back when he was in high school he met his friend's grandmother from Victoria while she was visiting in Southern Ontario. They bonded over the fact that she had this car that he loved and she told him that if she ever sold it she would keep him in mind. Well over a decade later he gets the call. He flew out to Victoria and drove the car back across Canada, putting almost as many kms on it in that one trip as it had accumulated in its lifetime. The simplistic and timeless Scandinavian design hasn't aged. We took it out in St. Thomas, Ontario just as the sun was setting on a hot August night. 

Emily and Geoff's Herb Garden Wedding

Our friends, Emily and Geoff, were married in the fall at the Herb Garden in Almonte. Their wonderfully casual and welcoming personalities came through in every detail. Emily designed and made the jewelry and finished the venue off with some very creative and personal touches. The smiles and the tears were sincere, the laughs were loud, and the party was rocking. Congrats again, you two!