Spring Fever will be a hub for the tuner, import and modern modified car hobby for the seventh time at the Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo presented by eBay Motors. And new for this year, DriveWise will join as a first-time sponsor of the popular feature. Spring Fever will showcase a diverse group of approximately 50 of these vehicles, at the top of Hall 2. Many will be from southern Ontario, but some will be from as far away as Nova Scotia and the United States.

Andrew McDonald, who is one of three people managing this year’s Spring Fever (SF) feature – alongside Sean Cusack and Brandon Hamid – describes the cars showgoers will see in SF as “a factory vehicle that’s been personalized by its owner.”

“They’re personal expressions of the owners’ personalities, that comes out through their vehicles,” he said. “An artist would take a pencil and draw a picture; we take vehicles and we just do bizarre stuff to them, for no rhyme or reason, but that’s what we do.”

While some are used as daily drivers, most of the vehicles featured in Spring Fever are ‘made for show.’ There will be awards up for grabs, once again, where two judges will score each vehicle, creating an average that will be used to determine the winners.

For DriveWise, the sponsorship comes naturally, with owner Kristine Hill having experience as the founding coordinator of Spring Fever at Motorama. She served in that capacity for every edition of the show, up until this past April.

DriveWise is a driving school that focuses on beginner driver education. It was started by a couple who were in the Canadian Armed Forces. They designed airplane simulators for the Royal Canadian Air Force and used that experience to design a driving simulator for students (see photo at bottom).

Hill purchased her three DriveWise locations (Simcoe, Brantford and Woodstock) last year and says it’s the only driving school in Canada that uses a simulator to teach driving.

“It’s a really great way to teach students things like hand-over-hand steering and other types of maneuvers in a safe capacity,” she said. “If they don’t do it correctly, nobody’s going to get hurt, so it gives them a chance to learn those skills without putting them at risk.”

DriveWise will have a simulator in their booth at Motorama, which will be available for use by anyone aged 16 or older, with a class G1 licence, who is interested in trying it out for learning purposes. There will also be instructors on hand, who can answer questions about learning to drive or the Highway Traffic Act.

Beyond her personal connection with Spring Fever, Hill sees the sponsorship as a strong business move.

“I have a huge belief that Motorama’s the best show in Canada, and I think that it’s a great investment opportunity for our company,” she said. “We know that there’ll be about 30,000 people coming through the show and Spring Fever over the course of the weekend. It’s just a great opportunity.”

Hill plans to have a vehicle or two of her own on display at this year’s show, which will take place March 10, 11 & 12 at The International Centre, across from Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

McDonald says that tuners and modern modifieds show personal expression on different scales, from common changes to extremes.

“Most common modification to vehicles would be changing your rims up, changing your exhaust up,” he said. “We call them bolt-ons, just simple stuff that you can do in your driveway, anybody can do it with regular tools.”

McDonald says extreme examples include custom made modifications to the body, interior and engine, including carbon fiber overlays, body kits, engine swaps and in car entertainment systems (I.C.E), extreme rim wheel fitments as well as air-ride and hydraulic suspensions.

“Something that’s just completely outrageous; you’ll see examples of it at Spring Fever where they’ve just taken a vehicle to the complete extreme,” he said. “People will look at that vehicle and say, ‘How did they even get that to go, where do you even start?’”

A few of the vehicles are expected to have interactive features, such as video games in the back that people can try. These will offer an additional element for showgoers to look for as they explore the creativity and personal expression on display in Spring Fever.