JARED CROFT AND BLAKE ‘CANY’ HARPUR HAVE RETURNED WITH ANOTHER PAIR OF NECKSNAPPING, CAMBER-PACKING, CHASSIS DRAGGERS TO GET THE JUICES FLOWING — THIS TIME PITTING JAPAN AND US STYLE AGAINST ONE ANOTHER
The lads at Cany Customs don’t do things by halves, and after setting the world alight with their matching big-winged, chrome-wheeled, harlequin-coated Silvia builds, they’re back once again with these neck-snapping ego-hurters, which run enough camber to make small children cry. Blake ‘Cany’ Harpur’s 326Power S15 and Jared Croft’s BN Sports Altezza make for the ultimate Japanese- versus US-style battle.
For as long as we can remember, the show car circuit has treated us to next-level development by those who dare to push their builds to the limits, and there is a pair of Christchurch-based lads working hard to ensure such a spectacle is never forgotten. The dynamic duo are no strangers to our pages either, appearing on the cover of NZPC issue no. 232, and have become certified experts in pushing the boundaries of taste, style, and trends in New Zealand. When we last caught up with Jared and Blake, they had just destroyed the notion anyone might have been harbouring that colour-change paint, big wings, and chrome wheels were dated, with a pair of near-identical Nissans that stole the crowd’s hearts at the 2016 V 4&Rotary Nationals. 12 months later, they’re back for a repeat appearance, although they are packing a completely different kind of heat this time, and lots of it.
To recap how the pair effectively became joined at the hip, it all began back in 2012, after meeting on a night out at the local hangout spot. Jared was stirring Blake on to do a skid, and when he declined, Jared jumped into Blake’s 180SX Type X and proceeded to run it curb-to-curb down the street before turning a corner and unintentionally meeting the curb at speed. Most people would be spewing, but with a cheeky smile and a bit of cash exchanged to make up for the damage, the pair became inseparable. This relationship culminated in what were arguably the two most in-your-face Silvias built on our shores, proving that high-end builds by everyday enthusiasts are more than possible. Straight after the 2016 Nats, the pair were deciding how they would turn the car world on its head once again. If you assumed that they went out and built another pair of identical Nissans, you would be wrong. In fact, what they came up with is the complete opposite — a true battle royal of the styles on an international scale. Although the principles of their builds are the same, incorporating super-slammed ride height to the point of absolute havoc on the roads, kits bigger than Donald Trump’s ego, and enough camber to make a small child cry, they differ in terms of the markets they represent. While Blake has retained his S15 as a base for his new build, Jared has broken their matching bravado and gone with a Toyota
Altezza, as his 180SX was sacrificed to buy his new house. It’s a funny twist of fate after Jared described himself as being “pretty dark” on Blake selling the engine and wheels from his S15 to buy a new house before the last feature, with Blake mentioning “I swear we don’t plan this kind of stuff, it just seems to happen!”
Rather than dropping an enormous amount of cash to build something from scratch, Jared finally decided to do something with the Altezza that he already had on hand, not to mention the collection of parts that he had accumulated over the years. That’d be easier said than done, though, as examples from Japan that tickled his fancy were non-existent. He turned his attention to the land of the US of A, liking the ’Tez-fest that was raging over there.
“I just sat there thinking to myself that I could build one of these,” and build one he most certainly did.
On the other hand, Blake wanted to take his S15 to another level, having sat down and planned the entirety of the build’s next phase in one whack, straight after Nats.
“This time I really wanted to go crazy and show it can be done easily,” he said. “I already knew this car inside and out from the last build, so decided it was the best base to work off.”
Addicted to all things screaming Japanese style, Blake found his fix with the style kings of Hiroshima themselves — 326power.
“The 326power kits hadn’t been done here, and I’ve always loved their super-low cars with silly camber and crazy aesthetics.” he tells us.
Needless to say, a 326power 3D Star kit was promptly ordered! Once safely in his possession and fitted, the car was coated in white primer to hide the old colour and given fresh licks of four-layer MIPA pearl via the Cany Customs treatment that Blake has become known for. Once the red scalloping was added — accented with custom candy red decals — these generated a number of comments likening the car to a low-rider, and Blake being a man of impulse said “F*ck it, I’m going to pinstripe it!”
Good friend Mark Sender was called in for the job, and the original plan was to run a pinstripe over the A-pillar and roof, finishing with a 326power crown on the C-pillar. However, Mark suggested that a Cany Customs logo sit in its place, now represented by the double Cs immortalized in red, white, and gold flake linework to match the rest of the car.
Jared’s own search for parts made an interesting push to get both cars finished in time for the V 4&Rotary South Island Champs 2016 — in fact, the genuine BN Sports kit found on Jared’s car was custom-ordered straight from Japan within a week following Nats, and only arrived two months before Champs.
“That was the hardest part, finding the right parts to achieve the look I was going for. Altezzas don’t seem to have a huge offthe-shelf catalogue like their Toyota brothers and sisters.” explains Jared. Nonetheless, it arrived with enough time for Blake to take at it with the gun, finishing on a custom Porsche 964 colour — said to be a bluey-green with silver tinge. Jared wasn’t sold on the
colour at first, telling us it looked a touch too “pastelly” when they mixed up a small batch, but put faith in Blake after being assured it would pop over the whole car. That faith was not misplaced as the result is nothing short of eye-catching.
The suspension, which gives the Altezza its strikingly low ride height is — contrary to popular belief — exactly as the ‘LOLAIR’ plate suggests: 100-per-cent static. Coming in the form of Broadway Static coilovers, the set was sourced from the Work VS-KF–wearing IS300 owned by American @IS300_Chris, as he is known on the ’Gram, with a mere 300 miles ticked up since new.
“The 46kg springs are pretty damn heavy; they feel like it’s on bumpies when driving, but helped get the look I was going for,” Jared says. “It was never going to be for going to the supermarket!” Good thing, too, as squat and roll aren’t on the agenda at heights this low, and with fitment this precise.
Chris also put Jared onto Figs Engineering, a stateside manufacturer specializing in suspension components, and which produced the VIP kit capable of running the -19 degrees of camber currently found on the rear.
“On the way to the photoshoot, a middle-aged lady pulled up next to me, yelling and frantically waving her arms around,” Jared recounts. “I wound down the windows and she’s shouting, ‘Your wheels are broken, your wheels are broken!’ I said, ‘No, they’re not, they’re meant to be like that’, and she just looks at me and responds, ‘Well that’s f*cking stupid then!’ ”
Meanwhile, Blake stuck with his tried-and-true 326Power suspension arms and coilovers. 326Power is the king of low in Japan, and Blake has taken it to the extreme, dialling all settings to their absolute limits, which is saying something considering the highest setting sits the chassis barely 100mm off the ground. As he also opted to detail the entire underbody to a show-winning level, the height is both a blessing and a curse, as most will never get to see the detail beyond the ground-scraping ride height.
Such fitment wasn’t pulled out of thin air, and both of the boys had specific wheel combinations in mind to to achieve maximum neck-breakage. Carrying the wheel theme over from their previous builds, having both run Work Equips, the pair naturally chose Work wheels again. The S15 runs 18x10-inch (-28) and 18x10.5-inch (-31) Meister M1Rs, while the Altezza wears a set of 18x10-inch VS-XXs, offset at (-5) up front and (-18) at the rear. Both sets were stripped down and had the centres given a fresh coat of colour, before being strapped back together with Work gold assembly bolts.
And, finally, there’s the one thing we’ve been missing for many moons — the return of super-sleek interiors. Blake continued his white-and-red theme by incorporating red Bride seats in the front and a re-trimmed factory option that sports red gradation material in the rear. The door cards have clean, white accenting and the Grip Royal steering wheel is a crisp, pearl white. Jared, too, gave his interior some love, with 120 hours spent on re-trimming. After sinking a few Jimmies with friend Dan, a roll of caramel tan suede was sourced and fitted to the factory black leather electric seats in an American-trucker diamond-cut style. It’s not surprising, then, that the car took out the title of ‘Best Interior’ at Champs. Jared and Blake smiled at each other, before Jared told us, “We’re bringing it back. The big-game interiors of a show car need to come back … I don’t think my car would look anywhere near as smooth without it.”
There aren’t many dudes out there that strive to create waves quite like the Cany Customs boys do. Both Jared and Blake have blown minds and raised the bar that’s expected within the scene, and we humbly commend them for such a feat. As for the future, Blake assures us that the S15 will stay in its current guise, “That will be it, I’ve done enough to it now!” he laughs. He’ll be on to a new project — which may or may not include the purchase and rebuild of Jared’s previous 180SX — while Jared plans to sell the Altezza to clear up funds to finish his other love: Blake’s old 180SX he put into a curb all those years ago. Yep, these boys are destined to be together forever — when’s the wedding?
SHOES WHEELS: (F) 18x10-inch (-5) Work VS-XX, (R) 18x10-inch (-18) Work VSXX; Work gold assembly bolts, custom arctic white with silver sparkle centre TYRES: 215/35R18 Achilles ATR Sport
INTERIOR SEATS: Re-trimmed interior, caramel tan suede with diamondstyle accenting by Daniel Cowie at Cover It STEERING WHEEL: Grip Royal Clay Knight AUDIO: Kenwood head unit, Focal speaker system and crossovers