Event: Wekfest LA 2014 – The Spice of Variety

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The day of Wekfest LA 2014 came really fast; so fast in fact that I forgot to ask Ken about getting a media pass.  I had been so busy with my day job that I didn’t realize that the LA show (which is held in Long Beach, where I live), was so soon after Wekfest Japan.  As a result, at about 1o:30am on Saturday morning, as I was lying in bed staring at my ceiling fan rotate in a violent attempt to wash the heat out of the air, in a half-conscious state conducive to that of staying up all night the day before, my cell phone began to vibrate as Yuta was calling me.

 

Friday May 30, 2014 was a long day for me.  I didn’t end up leaving the shop until around 2am, for a few reasons.  One being that I actually had work to do on the Civic.  Also, a couple friends came by to hang out, and Jay was working on his car too.  He had to weld up the rear quarter panels to fit his Origin overfenders.  Lastly, it was the night before Wekfest and Mikey and the guys next door were busy trying to get his Integra to a state worthy of show.  On top of that, a couple friends were in attendance from Japan.  A few of them I don’t get to see too often because they live in areas I don’t often go; Takeshi (Type-K), Hiro and Tetsuya were all there.  I had a great time catching up with them, and showing Hiro my build as it greatly differs from what they’re personally into – being so heavily involved in the USDM scene and what not.  Anyway, we talked for a long time and while it was great fun, I think we all paid the price the next morning…well, not me specifically because I hella slept in.  Most of those guys had to be up in another 3 or 4 hours to head to the show though…

So I picked up the phone and it actually wasn’t Yuta that was calling me, it was Kristian, and he said that he was with Yuta and they were on the way to pick me up.  I live, seriously, like no more than 3 miles from the Queen Mary, so as opposed to me driving or riding my bike there they were kind enough to pick me up.  I had initially not even planned on going to the actual show, just meeting up for lunch or something, and Kristian’s brother David was kind enough to shoot some of the show for me.  Turns out that I did end up going though so that’s all good…

 

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Yuta swung by about 15 minutes later and swooped me up.  We then headed to the Queen Mary to pick up Amir and Son who were there with cars, but since they were showing had no way of getting downtown.  With Yuta’s Corolla full of people, we headed to downtown Long Beach.  I suggested we hit up The Congregation for a little gentlemanly brunch, and a couple drinks.

 

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The food at The Congregation is really good, but what’s even better is the amount of beer they have on tap.

 

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Amir took full advantage of that, and before we knew it…

 

 

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…one or two drinks turned into like five or six.  Son here was probably making an important call to Evasive or something…

 

 

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Yuta was probably looking for wheels on Craigslist…

 

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While Kristian, Amir and I just kept drinking.  I think by my fourth Mimosa I had already started having a giant headache.

 

 

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Anyway, we wrapped up our brunch and headed out to Wekfest.  The Congregation is off Pine St. so we began walking back towards Ocean…

 

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As we passed by the Convention Center we noticed that there were some cars parked on top…so we made our way over thinking this was an extension of Wekfest.  We were still quite a ways from the Queen Mary so we figured it was a satellite show.  Maybe some sort of experimental thing…

I thought it was cool that the models were dressing up as Superheros this year.  A little bit of a departure from what we’re used to in Import modeling.

 

 

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They even had teams dressed up in groups modeling for the…the…cars…

 

 

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Amir didn’t seem to have a problem with it though.  I gotta say, this Wekfest was shaping up to be pretty cool.  I wondered why there weren’t too many cars around though…

 

 

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…but there were Stormtroopers…

Wait a second…

 

 

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“This ISN’T WEKFEST!’ said Yuta.

 

Not really…he didn’t say that.  We knew for sure that this was some comic thing that we snuck into…then all of a sudden Yuta started mumbling something in Japanese and…

 

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…BOOM we were at the Queen Mary!  This is Wekfest!  Actually, this isn’t just Wekfest, but it’s the 5th Wekfest that I’ve attended in a row in Long Beach.  I didn’t believe it at first, but I’ve been coming to this show for 5 years.  Even before this website started!  Kind of neat I think.  The attendance this day definitely felt like it had increased since last year.

 

 

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I got it now, we were at the wrong venue.  I’m sure our distraction had nothing to do with alcohol.

Seeing things like this S14 made me realize that we were in the right place now.

 

 

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This E36 that was at Autocon showed itself again at Wekfest.  Really cool car, again, much better than that green one…

 

 

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And that’s saying something because I’m not the biggest fan of Rocket Bunny stuff…

 

 

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Really cool, turbocharged S2000.  Seemed like a really well thought out build…would love to see it on some Mag blue TE’s instead of the read.  I’m pretty biased though.  Engine bay looked really cool with the Full Race manifold.

 

 

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I really liked this 3 series on bronze TE’s.  So simple, such good.  What a nice daily this would make…

 

 

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Nice EVO parked by the waterside.

 

 

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This S14 had some potential.  I won’t nit pick, but I think the owner is in the right direction.

 

 

 

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I wanted to take a picture of Thao’s car but Amir got in the way…and then all hell broke loose…

 

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…and by hell I mean Amir and Son started doing some sultry yoga exercises or something in front of the car.  I think this legally makes them a couple.

 

 

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Son wanted a moment all to himself…

 

 

 

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I liked this S2000 on Gram Lights.

 

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Really good wheel…

 

 

 

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A couple NSX – the yellow one belonging to Sam, which has Alex’s new signature wheel on it.  I really like the look.

 

 

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I think I remember seeing this S2000 at Joey’s anniversary meet…I like it.  I apologize for not knowing anything about who owns what cars in the US.

 

 

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I saw this car last year and really liked it.  Doesn’t look like much, or anything, has changed, but that’s not a big deal.  I do wish it was a bit lower though…

 

 

 

 

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Pretty cool Lotus Elise on Mag Blue TE’s.

 

 

 

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We met up with Jay, Dom and Touda eventually after walking around a bit.  Here is Dom looking mean as usual…and handsome as usual.

 

 

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Noel’s FRS now equipped with Varis, but still maintaining a Rocket Bunny wing…looks good.  Needs mirrors.

 

 

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Mikey’s DC2 that was reassembled in about a week, with fresh new paint, and a bunch of shiny bits.

 

 

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Amir had his 911 on display at the Nitradyne booth; the company (or single person rather) that put his cage together.

 

 

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Great looking Porsche and a really good friend.

 

 

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Ryan’s EA-T build.  Great retro look on the outside, but this car is full of new technology.

 

 

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One look at the engine bay will give you an idea of how much.

 

 

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Joey also unveiled the new look for his Y33 at this show.  Now sporting a full Aimgain kit, resprayed in the original color.  Looks good; a much cleaner, sophisticated look than the previous kit.

 

 

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Ken from Wekfest fame and Hiro, now part of Wekfest Japan, hanging out at the official booth.

 

 

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I really liked this STi on the new Enkei RS05RR wheels.  I also like how ridiculous of a model name of wheel that is.

 

 

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Tri-spoke!

 

 

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Another S2000 I like, and an upskirt shot of Kristian.

 

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Track inspired Civic.

 

 

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The Central Pine built Celsior.

 

 

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Neat FD.

 

 

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I remember seeing this Cup edition Porsche 997 at Shift S3ctor when Yuta and I drove up there to have out with SP Engineering.  It was in the parking lot…pretty awesome.  Love the center lock wheels.

 

 

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Dilly got a cool shot of it as well.

 

 

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Yuta wrote an article about this S30 when it was in Import Tuner a few months back.

 

 

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Really cool Prius of which is owned by the owner of Kyoei US I believe.

 

 

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Nicely done Hawkeye at the front entrance.

 

 

 

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The Evasive S2000.  This was the car that Son brought and almost ran out of gas with…way to go man…

 

 

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Then Amir photo-bombed this shot of the Spoon CR-Z.

 

 

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David’s coupe with newly installed Mugen skirts and Battlecraft hood.

 

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The man, the myth, the legend….the David Wong.

 

 

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I sat in Amir’s 911 for a little bit to rest and nurse my mid-day hangover and Touda stole my Mugen umbrella.

 

 

leaving

 

 

When we decided to leave to go eat dinner I saw this cool Porsche pulling up.  Well, I hope you enjoyed what I could scrape together for Wekfest LA.  Lucky for you there are a ton of nice sites out there that have coverage.

On a side note, I’ll be at the Wekfest in San Jose this year to provide coverage of the cars up North.  Who knows, maybe there will be a comic convention going on then as well.