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Thread: The end of an era: SCP is no more

  1. #1
    Administrator DannyITR's Avatar
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    Default The end of an era: SCP is no more



    Article: Danny Geraghty

    Undoubtedly some of you have at one time come to Montreal to attend this show. Sadly there will be no more. I just finished up this article on the demise of SCP and though it might interest you.

    The company that brought you one of the biggest, most impressive auto shows in North America is longer operating, Redliners.ca has learned. Everyone knows that the show did not take place last year, however not widely known was the fact that the partners have split up and are pursuing other interests.

    It all started back in 1999 when the "Sticky" crew finished a summer of attending car shows in Montreal, Toronto and the USA. They were a young group of guys in their early twenties with a lot of friends and contacts in the fledgling Quebec modified car scene. Their baby was Sticky Racing Grafix, a printing company in Brossard primarily making graphics and stickers for the local rides under the ownership of Ben woo, Kim Quach and Minh Vuong. Sticky also had a second location in the West Island under the ownership of Daniel Rosen, Luca Colacci and Steve Conroy which was just Sticky Grafix.

    The three owners of Sticky in Brossard wanted to bring to Montreal a show on par with what they had seen that summer and had the resources to do it. Partnering up with show promoter Aurčle Collette, they formed the Sport Compact Performance auto show which was to be held at the Olympic Stadium from November 19-21, 2000. Not knowing what to expect from their first production, they set modest expectations of 5000 attendees. To their astonishment, 29,000 people attended! Having rented only a single hall in the stadium, the place was jammed with people all weekend and you literally could not move around to see the show. The team had promoted the show perfectly over the summer and had even hired Model Francine Dee to come up from the USA and be the star attraction. Francine was one of the most famous import models at the time, regularly seen on magazines covers. All of this contributed to the success of the first Sport Compact Performance show.

    SCP 1 gallery



    Ben, Minh and Kim, decided to leave Sticky Racing Grafix to concentrate on the show full time in early 2001.

    Sport Compact Performance 2 was planned for the weekend of October 26-28 2001. This time the team booked three halls instead of one and was able to triple the size of the show. With a bigger budget and better organization they expected to draw a much larger crowd. The movie Fast & Furious was released that summer, spurring a new segment (some say even a new generation) of young people wanting to modify their cars with "NOS" and "Spoon Engines". This scale of this show was unlike anything Montreal had ever seen before and rivaled even the big outdoor shows at the time such as Car Fever. SCP 2 attracted 37,000 fans over the three days. It was also the second show MontrealRacing.com ever attended as an exhibitor, the first being Car Fever at Napierville in June 2001. We were put in the dark hall which became the inspiration for another show called Sport Compact Nights (more on this later).

    SCP 2 gallery



    2002 was a huge year for Ben, Kim and Minh. They branded the company Team SCP and expanded their horizons to Toronto, holding a Canadian version of the SEMA show called Canadian Autotech. It was a corporate-themed show like SEMA however the general public was allowed to enter. The show ended up breaking even and was scrapped from future plans. Their main money maker was SCP and the goal was to top SCP2 by finally booking the stadium playing field for the show. This was no small feat as they had to fill the space otherwise the show would look empty. They actually had too much room and as a consequence, some questionable cars were let in. It ended up not mattering as much because people were ecstatic at the prospect of the show being held on the playing field; SCP 3 attendance was 42,000 people!

    SCP 3 gallery



    Winning SCP became a huge honor and the best of show trophy was coined the Quebec Cup. Quebecers are very proud of their heritage and this show was a homegrown Quebec production from A-Z. The guys from Team SCP were living the dream that most people their age could not imagine. They owned THE show not just in Quebec but all of Canada. Cars were coming in from all over the Northeast to compete for the Quebec Cup. The only other modified car shows that rivaled the exclusivity of SCP were SEMA and NOPI, two huge American productions and two very different formats. Hot Import Nights held many events but each event was smaller. As if Team SCP didn't have enough on their plate, they also held the show Full Throttle and Track & Wheels at Autodrome St-Eustache during the summer.

    2003 marked the introduction of real competition to Team SCP in Montreal. Tom Tran, owner of Tom Motorsport had managed to book the Olympic Stadium in May for a modified car show called National Sport Compact. Aurčle Collette who had previously worked with Team SCP left and started working with NSC in addition to his four other sport compact car shows: Salon National, Autofest, Import Tuner Show, Full Throttle (to which he acquired the rights from Team SCP.) NSC managed to fill half the playing field of the Olympic Stadium with an indoor show much like SCP. In fact, many spectators were under the impression that Team SCP had decided to move their event to May since the names were very similar. While the formats were similar, the quality of the cars and kiosks were not quite up to SCP standards. Despite this NSC still made money, attracting an estimated 30,000 people.

    NSC 2003 gallery



    Needing to step up their game, Team SCP launched Sport Compact Nights which was essentially the Canadian version of Hot Import Nights. The first event was held at Jarry Park in June 2003 as in indoor/outdoor show. The show was so successful that they decided to make it a nationwide tour starting the following year, snagging BF Goodrich as the title sponsor.

    Sport Compact Nights gallery

    SCP 4 was an improvement over the SCP3, the team having learnt that not just any car should be allowed into the show. The filled the stadium to the brim with wicked cars and tons of people over three days, with a total attendance of 46,000.

    SCP 4 gallery



    2004 was a full slate of shows for Team SCP. Traveling across the country for the Sport Compact Nights national tour was a huge production. Events were held in Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Halifax. The experience and contacts Team SCP gained on their tour would be put back into the major production at the end of the year which was SCP 5, their biggest, most successful show ever with an attendance of 54,000 people. Production costs reached half a million dollars but the attendance supported this budget. The show spanned the entire playing field as well as an additional hall. Team SCP was at the top of its game. NSC had taken place in May but there seemed to be room for the two productions because the scene was so hot.

    SCP 5 gallery



    For the next three years, Team SCP continued its rein as having the premier sport compact auto show in Canada and likely even North America. This was in addition to the Sport Compact Nights national tour that ended up hitting a total of 10 cities across Canada in that time period including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Moncton and Halifax.

    SCP 6 gallery
    SCP 7 gallery

    In 2007, the first signs of trouble began to appear. Montreal Police had begun a crackdown of people with modified vehicles in and around the city which took its toll on the scene. People were less likely to buy aftermarket parts for fear of being pulled over. The scene had been tapering off a few years prior after its peak in 2005 but the crackdown really put a dent in it. SCP 8 in 2007 attracted 44,000 people but production costs were still near $500K. By spring 2008 it was clear the scene was in trouble. NSC and Tom Motorsport decided to drop out of the Montreal scene all together in addition to several local shop closures such as Revolution Motorsports and Trac Racing Depot. One might have thought that without NSC, SCP could pick up the void left by the show but in reality, NSC never really affected SCP in a negative way. They didn't take business from SCP so when NSC left, there wasn't any excess of people who weren't already attending SCP. BF Goodrich's corporate sponsorship contract of Sport Compact nights was only for a period of four years and was not renewed in 2008, bringing an end to that show as well.


    SCP 8 gallery



    What was to be the last SCP was its ninth event and it took place from October 10-12 2008. Despite some really cool attractions like the Castrol Top Tuner Solstice and CTS-V, the show produced an attendance of only 38,000 people. The money was not there to support the staff for another year and some hard decisions had to be made. Not everyone saw eye to eye on how to proceed and in the end, Ben Woo left to start his own production and consultation company called Woodoo (Woodoo.cc.) Minh and Kim turned the old SCP head office at 1011 Ontario E in downtown Montreal into a fully fledged printing company called Sizons (sizons.com).

    SCP 9 gallery



    When 2009 rolled around with no SCP, many in the automotive community were shocked. What was assumed to be an untouchable show to be back year after year was simply not going to be held. Team SCP was quiet on the matter, wanting to leave the door open in case a miracle happened but it was clear by early 2010 that the company had split up for good and the partners were pursuing other interests. The party had ended.
    Could the show have been saved with smaller venue? Perhaps but having the show at the Olympic Stadium was such a prestigious attention getter, that downsizing to something smaller might have taken away from what Team SCP had built up. Keep in mind that over the course of nine years, the single party goers in their early twenties became businessmen with families in their early thirties. Obviously the time allotted for cars, meets & greets and touring took a back seat to other priorities. Their passion for cars will likely never go anywhere but after a decade of hanging out in parking lots, going to the Orange Julep, going to other shows and generally getting your hands dirty in the way that is required to properly hype up a show, the same drive that existed at the beginning might not have been there anymore.

    Will someone else take over? That remains to be seen. The people that made it all happen still live in Montreal, still work in the automotive industry and are still on good terms with one another. Don't be surprised if some form of the show return down the road. SCP pointed to a few prospective entrepreneurs who may have interest in putting something together but it will be a tall order given the economy and the state of things in the scene at the moment. There is certainly a void to be filled by a large indoor show and hopefully we will see the emergence of something soon.

  2. #2
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    I had no idea SCP had even begun...

  3. #3
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    what's an SCP ?

    Is that like a limited edition of a car or something?

  4. #4
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    scp = sport compact performance

    Good times had by all at these shows, i will miss them

  5. #5
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    on the positive side many more people are actually driving their cars at motorsports events as opposed to polishing their homie chromies.

  6. #6
    Legacy Member III76's Avatar
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    from the pics, I see why its no more

    thank god
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  7. #7
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    I went in 2008 and I wasn't impressed to be honest. I've had more fun at a TSC show at Lynx Stadium than an SCP one...

  8. #8
    Legacy Member empire's Avatar
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    It was a great place to polish off a 26 of vodka and 7 cans of redbull....in 4 hours.

    Glad I made it to the last one, most of the cars from Ottawa are on pages 24-25 of the SCP 9 page including myself and Kenny.

  9. #9
    Legacy Member shon's Avatar
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    We ran did the installer challenge at SCP for three years. Great time! Ill miss comming in 2nd place to a shitty car! for two years!
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  10. #10
    Legacy Member Trueno's Avatar
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    The only show that was worth my admission $$$ was Darknights.

  11. #11
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    In 2007 you should know better than doing shit like this


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    ^ lol!

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