When a city plays host to a Grand Prix circuit named after a Canadian Formula 1 racing legend, an abundance of flavours within the automotive subculture should come as no surprise. Since the first time I set foot in Montréal, I was in love. What’s not to love? Beautiful women, incredible cuisine and a rich history of racing – this city possesses all of the perfect ingredients for perhaps the most diverse car culture in Canada. Watching stunning cars slither down Maisonneuve Boulevard from the balcony of Stogies Cigar Lounge – with scotch on my tongue, and a cigar in my hand – will be forever burned into my mind.
What was unexpected however, was finding an organization that made such a diverse car culture look almost myopic – enter So Clean.
BLD: Who are you, and what is So Clean?
Massimo Macera @ So Clean: My name is Massimo Macera and am co-owner and organizer at So Clean. We are a lifestyle organization focused on bringing the car scene together through our events. Form and function come together to make a much more enjoyable final product for the spectator and participants.
BLD: What is the significance of JDM Monday to So Clean?
Massimo: Back in 2011, Rolland and I had begun the So Clean meets when JDM Monday had officially been shut down. Rolland had come over a few weeks prior with stickers and an idea which we then decided to put into motion – So Clean was born.
Our cars were always impeccably clean – top to bottom, inside and out. We started as 7 cars in the parking lot at Fairview Shopping Centre. Our friends were there week after week, hanging out and talking about cars. Eventually we moved over to a Tim Horton’s parking lot on Cote-Vertu, ending the season with 50 cars.
We found that people enjoyed what we offered – music, food nearby (the Amir extended its hours every week we were there throughout the summer) and decided we would keep it up. We worked tirelessly throughout the winter, gathering content, pushing our page, sharing our events and harassing the general public in order to be able to bring more people together.
Our hard work paid off. Two summers later, we opened the season with over 2000 cars, a DJ bringing the sound, and an hour-and-a-half wait to get in. Filling the industrial area with modified cars as far as the eye could see from 8 to midnight.
We had been lucky, we made friends along the way with great people and companies, including Auto Acethetics, Autoglym, CHAG Autosport, Autocare Performance and others. They have supported us and shared our vision of being able to bring the automotive community together. The So Clean Show is our attempt at doing just that. Hosting a VIP carshow and incorporating drag racing in order to bring a kind of completeness to the day. Rounded off with food trucks, a live DJ, giveaways and lots of companies on site to interact with the crowd.
BLD: In an article from 2012 with QNR, your cousin and co-founder Rolland said “We became a local meet that was completely different.” What made So Clean meets unique?
Massimo: We brought a different vibe to the car scene – we were organized, we brought out all brands of cars, organized contests and gave away prizes to those who won. We gave companies a place to start up and get exposure, helping the community grow and thrive was – and is still – what we are working towards.
BLD: Is that still true today? In what ways has So Clean grown since then?
Massimo: Our goal has remained the same, it’s why we do what we do. Our brand expands every year. We change up our apparel and try to incorporate something new to our Show every year.
However, So Clean is a family. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of everyone who comes to the events and helps us throughout the season. Our crew pitches in a lot of their time and energy to help us keep the events and meets rolling smoothly. We have a variety of builds and all share a true passion for the automotive.
BLD: So Clean can attribute some of its success from the great diversity of automotive subculture it represents. What other factors were key to So Clean becoming what it is today?
Massimo: Two very important factors make or break any endeavor. Perseverance on the part of the owners – not just Rolland and I, but also those who work with us, who built their brands and have never stopped pursuing their dreams with an absolute dedication to quality. Ensuring that the best possible product is realized at any given time.
That’s an absolute, but not everyone is willing to push the boundaries and really take their idea to the next level.
BLD: What would you say makes a car, or an enthusiast “So Clean.”?
Massimo: Ahhhhhh, that’s a tough question to answer!
However, a good answer would be taking a look at our crew. We all strive to attain a level of perfection that will forever be out of reach. We don’t settle for mediocrity – our goal is to show what quality is. From our different sponsors, to the work we do on our cars, everything is held to the highest degree. Our family is tight knit, always supporting each other and bringing new ideas to the table. We help each other make the right decisions when it comes to our money pits.
BLD: When you say you help each other with making the right decisions – is Rolland still giving you a hard time about the WCI wheels since November’s events?
Massimo: Not just Rolland! The whole crew loves to take shots now and again. We’re 20, so it makes for good laughs all year long! I do fear how hard it’s going to be to sell the wheels now though. laughs
BLD: What makes car culture specifically in Québec different from the rest of Canada?
Massimo: That’s hard to say, one of the biggest things I’ve noticed going to events outside of Québec is the quality of some builds. Not the big picture, but when you get to the details, where it really matters, the final touches that make a vehicle yours and not someone else’s, that’s where Québec falls short on a lot of setups. Too many people who want to follow trends instead of stepping off the path and forging something themselves.
That’s what we want to showcase, our family is built on quality. Rare parts, custom built everything but we also love talking with people about our projects. That’s one of the greatest things about hosting events and getting to meet new people constantly.
Sharing a passion and really being able to connect because we see our cars as something more than just a means of transportation. It’s a way for us to express ourselves.
BLD: To change gears, So Clean 2017 has been announced for July 2nd – what can we expect this year? Any insider details we can share?
Massimo: We’re working tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of the event again this year. We can guarantee quality builds, good racing, tons of prizes and giveaways and an excellent day for everyone.
As for sneak-peeks, I can guarantee a significant facelift to all of our team’s cars. A more organized and streamlined method for inscription to the show and (hopefully) many more participants from outside the province to share a memorable experience with us.
BLD: I really want to thank you for investing the time and effort into this interview together. Any closing thoughts?
Massimo: I’m glad to have been given the opportunity to work with you!
I hope to see plenty of new faces this year, lots of high quality builds, and am looking forward to more good times with friends.
So Clean. 4.0 – July 2nd, 2017
Massimo Macera | Co-Founder, Organizer
Photos via UMAD Photo