09-08-2018 – Laurie Southern
Project Yata: Always Meet Your Heroes?

If you’re reading this, I’m going to wager you’ve heard of of Khyzyl Saleem. If you’re not immediately aware of what he’s achieved in the automotive world, then chances are you’ve seen his work on social media at least. He’s a bit of a wizard, if you will. His mind works in a way others just… don’t. I’ve never seen anyone put out such incredible work at such a rate that he does. To top it off, his imagination is one of the most vibrant you’ll ever come across.

What’s my point here? Well, it just so happens that I was fortunate enough to become good friends with Khyzyl when we were just out of college. In fact, it was myself that took him along to his very first race day, but I’ll save the bragging rights. That’s not what I’m here for. What I am here to do is share some photographs he took of Project Yata for me last time he was back home for a visit.

Earlier in the evening, we headed over to a local meet to see a couple of friends and have a look at the cars that made the trip out. It was enjoyable, but nothing more exciting than what we’re used to week in week out. We both had cameras with us, so we decided a better use of our time would be to find a spot nearby and take some photos. To say I’m glad we did would be an understatement.


Being a photographer, it’s rare me or my car end up on the other side of the camera. People just don’t think to take photos of photographers. It was incredibly refreshing to have someone shoot my car for a change. Especially so when it’s such a good friend and someone so special to the community. I can’t thank Khyzyl enough. And the photos… the photos.

I’ve recently bought a hard top for the car. Part of me obviously thinks it’s a good idea to remove the convertible functionality of my roadster the moment the weather perks up. Truth be told however? I’m in love with it. It completely transforms the look of the car. This, added to the extra rigidity a hard top provides, justifies the decision for me. I really wasn’t quite sure until I saw these photos, but I’m sold.

Watching Khyzyl work was a pleasure, too. He’s just as meticulous as I am in the positioning of the car. Those of you that have met him will know he’s not the shortest guy around. Watching him try to clamber in and out of my tiny go-kart was just as amusing as you’re currently imagining it to be. I’ll bring a shoehorn along to the next one.. (Sorry mate – I had to.)

I should probably point out the obvious here, too. The car has come a long way since the last time it appeared on these pages. I’m long overdue a full update, but it’ll come soon. I’ve a fair bit to talk about since you last saw it here!

I’m properly taken back by the photos and again, can’t thank Khyzyl enough for taking the time out with my car. He has a tendency to include the owner in his shoots, so here’s my attempt at ‘acting natural’. I’ll leave you with that for now.