When it comes to automotive lifestyle, some people prefer hitting racetrack events, and some people prefer going to car shows. While the members of the MotorMavens crew definitely love going to the racetrack, we also realize that it’s important to go to all kinds of indoor and outdoor car shows to promote our website to people that may not have seen it before.
When we were contacted by the organizers of the Spocom Tour to work with them as a promotional partner, we were definitely excited by the opportunities it would bring! Although the Southern California-based members of our MotorMavens Crew gained a little experience in throwing and promoting a big outdoor automotive event (Mass Appeal at Ken Block’s Irwindale Gymkhana event), we had little to no experience in seeing what it’s like to run a big indoor car show. We thought it would be extremely interesting to see the inner workings of a big car show series from people who had a track record of doing it, and so began the relationship between MotorMavens and Spocom.
The first thing we noticed about the Spocom Tour – it didn’t feel like a normal car show from our standpoint! It felt like a big, fun party – a hype party that just happened to have a bunch of friends and cars crowded in between the vendor exhibits!
Anyone who has been following MotorMavens on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram knows that we have been promoting the Spocom show pretty heavily online and at events for the past few months. MotorMavens obviously wasn’t the only group of promoters involved (Spocom’s Tricia and all the models were tweeting about the show nonstop!), but we definitely felt good about our efforts when we saw the ridiculously long line of people swarming the entrance of the show! The line wrapped around the venue, and the venue packed people in like sardines for most of the show – it was pretty crazy!
Inside the show, we were given the opportunity to set up a MotorMavens booth to promote the site to people, and luckily, we were placed right in front of our really good friends from Apex’i USA. While we were at the booth, talking to friends and readers of the site, we definitely did not mind hollering and staring at Vivian from Apex Integration. We LOVE everyone from Apex’i, and having Vivian hanging out at their booth certainly doesn’t hurt.
After a while though, Lil Vivie got a little distracting, so I had to kindly ask her to GTFO of the way so we could shoot some photos of the Apex’i D1 Grand Prix FD3S Mazda RX7 competition car that was driven by Japanese drift star Youichi Imamura from Yamanashi Japan-based AE86 drift team ICBM. This has to be one of my favorite cars from the D1 Grand Prix series!!! Although I respect the evolving technology and innovation used in present day Formula D cars, they just don’t capture my imagination like the legendary D1GP cars from Japan.
This FD is one of the few remaining relics of the “romantic” period of drifting in the USA (2003-2007), when legendary Japanese drivers were always being brought to the United States for competition.
Sharpshooter Oliver Petalver called me up while I was talking to Vivian on the show floor, saying “stand still for a minute.” I responded, “What are you talking about, dude? I’m by the booth.” Oliver responded, “I know. I’m watching you guys from above.” Creeeeeeeepy!!! Hahaha but it turned out to be a pretty interesting shot!
I was pretty impressed by how many R35 Nissan GTRs showed up to the event. There were several rows of them, and I honestly don’t think I’ve seen so many GTRs in one place ever before. My favorite GTR at the event was the Cobb R35 time attack car, because it rolled into the show a bit dirty, with several nicks and scratches in the front bumper, but that’s exactly why I think it’s cool. It looks so mean and aggressive!!! More on this car later.
There was an R35 GTR in the Seibon Carbon booth, but the real reason I wanted to post this photo is to show the super cool art installation that was curated by Spocom’s web designer David Rahemi, and sponsored by Seibon. For this exhibit, David commissioned renown graphic designer and graf artist Slick, the owner/designer of streetwear brand Dissizit, and previously the designer of old school streetwear brand Fuct. I heard he also did the graphics for the video game Gears of War.
I thought it was pretty fresh and imaginative for David to put together this Slick x Seibon collab piece, which used several Seibon Carbon hoods as the canvas for Slick’s fresh graf work. Aside from some of the Scion art cars, I’ve never really seen anything like this at an automotive event… ever.
Next to the JDM Sport booth, this fresh white Honda S2000 attracted everyone’s attention! Good thing Mike Kim was able to snap some pics of the car before the show, because there were just way too many people crowded around the car during the event itself!
Bright white BBS kicks on a white S2000? Hell yeah.
The Spocom Model Lounge was also obviously super packed for the entire duration of the show. There were so many photographers walking through there, trying to score hugs from the models while seeking to impress them with the size of their flash diffusers. I overheard so many amusing conversations at the model lounge!!! Many of them went something like this…
Guy With Camera & Big Flash: Hiiii, I’m _____ from _____ Magazine. Let’s shoot, and we’ll put you in our magazine!
Model: Oh niiiiiiice! Do you have a copy of your magazine that I can see?
Guy With Camera & Big Flash: Oh, our magazine is online only.
Model: Oh… so it’s a website?
Guy With Camera & Big Flash: Well… it’s an online magazine.
Model: Oh. Okay. …so hey, do you wanna buy a signed 8×10 photo of me?
Guy With Camera & Big Flash: Oh, but I just took a photo of you already…
This is Christine Barnum. She told me that Spocom was the very first car show she’s been to as a model. I think she’ll be pretty popular in the scene, don’t you? She was rocking some dope new glasses from a lifestyle vendor called 9Five. I’ll be honest – prior to this Anaheim event, I had never even heard of 9Five, but apparently their fresh new sunglasses and eyeglass frames are in a lot of retail outlets already.
I was jocking Christine’s glasses because they’re made of plastic, but they have a high end appearance, and have a directional woodgrain design on the frames! Super fresh! I want to get a pair of those exact same glasses pretty bad! I even thought of stealing them from her, but I figured her screen name must be ChristineKill for a reason.
After seeing Christine’s glasses, I walked over to the 9Five booth to try on sunglasses with Lieze Truter (an original member of the MotorMavens Crew who was visiting from Atlanta GA). I liked the woodgrain glasses from 9Five, but I dig the clear framed sunglasses from 9Five too.
Seriously, 9Five was one of my favorite booths at the show. They told me that Spocom was the very first car event they had ever been to. They normally attend concerts and other types of parties. So glad they came out to the event! I saw EVERYONE at the event picking up glasses from them. Their style is DOPE and they’re less than $100! Check out their collections online if you dig fresh sunglasses like I do.
There were quite a few baller exotic cars in attendance too. There were quite a few Lamborghinis, Benzes, Audis, and Porsches at the show. We took some photos to post in the event coverage, but after speaking to fellow sharpshooter Oliver Petalver, we decided that we’ll just do full features on some of the best cars we found.
Mike Kim carspotted this black Toyota Celica liftback from Ranz Motorsports, the crew that created the orange RX4 that we previously featured on MotorMavens. You just can’t go wrong with RS Watanabe wheels on a black car.
In the Formula Drift display paddock, some of the cars in attendance included the yellow strawberry-faced S13 Sileighty that was driven by Robbie Nishida in two rounds of this year’s Formula D series, and the multicolored S14 of rising drift star Odi Bakchis.
At the end of the show, I spotted everyone’s favorite MotorMavenette Samantha Totem writing something on a MotorMavens flyer? Was she possibly giving this guy her number? Holllaaaaaaaaaaa!
Running into an old friend at a show is always fun! I ran into my friends Jeremy Rafanan and Wynston Fernando (pictured) with another old friend of mine… my old Canon 20D! Wynston bought my 20D from me several years back, so it’s great to see that it’s still alive and clicking!
This is the same 20D that I used to take photos at the JGTC All Star Race at California Speedway, as part of the legendary GT LIVE event from 2004. It’s also the same 20D that took most of the photos from my hardcover book, Drifting: Sideways from Japan to America. I swear, that thing has been with me all over the world. It was so great to see it again! It still has an old Battle Magazine sticker on the battery grip from one of the legendary old BM Battle of Drift events in Japan. If you don’t know what BM Battle of Drift is, imagine the D1 Grand Prix series, but more grassroots, with the most amazing drift teams driving together in single and team drifting competition, with WAY doper cars than I’ve ever seen at any pro drifting events.
Sometimes I think MotorMavens shooter Mike Kim only notices old school cars when he shoots. Mike couldn’t get enough of the old school Toyotas, like the green chuki KP61 Starlet in the background, and this bright orange kouki TE72 Corolla sedan, with metal bumpers and ATS wheels.
I’ll end this installment of photos with a photo of our boy Big Mike. I’m pretty sure that EVERYONE who has been to a car event in Southern California must know (or have seen) Big Mike or his super immaculately clean mint green Honda Prelude. I just caught a spy pic of Big Mike hollerin at this girl Julie Mai at one of the booths! It looks to me like he’s trying to talk her into something, and she’s not too convinced… hahaha!
Spocom Anaheim definitely had a fun party atmosphere, and I can NOT wait to go to the next event… Spocom in Hawaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!
:: Antonio Alvendia