The tried and true Import Showoff event thrown by legendary import carshow promoter Ken Miyoshi during Downtown LA's annual Nisei Week Festival in Little Tokyo is always a good time. Everyone knows that Nisei Showoff symbolizes the best of the best - the highest standard in modified import cars, with attendance by the OG crews that used to run the streets of Los Angeles when the sport compact scene was just beginning to blow up. The whole vibe at Nisei Showoff feels a bit nostalgic, to be honest. Can it be that it was all so simple then? Good cars and good friends in a relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by good Japanese restaurants and boutique shops in Little Tokyo.
However, some young car enthusiasts don't care about memory lane nostalgia or waxing poetic about the good old days. For this rapidly growing new generation of frame-scraping tire stretchers, the newly conceptualized Infamous show was thrown as a collaboration between the Fatlace and Canibeat Crews at the Queen Mary in Long Beach.
It's obvious that MotorMavens connects to both scenes and both types of automotive taste, so those who follow @MOTORMAVENS on Instagram and Twitter already know that we decided to hit both shows. Here's a quick gallery of images from both events! Read more...
While driving up or down a driveway may seem like a mundane everyday task for most, it obviously requires a certain amount of technique when you have a lowered car. Tony took that idea and decided to make it into a different form of driving competition, with the help of certain friends. Our own Editor-in-Chief Antonio was selected to be the emcee of the event, while judging duties were handled by Yogi from Fatlace, Noel from Canibeat, and ItsJDMYo's own Keychain. Read more...
Rather than bringing our readers the same stories as the other guys, I thought I would just publish a few more photos of cars that caught my eye. I'll be the first to admit - I don't know a whole lot about drag racing or Hondas, so if I don't go into as much detail as you might expect from one of my stories about drifting or Japanese nostalgic cars, then please bear with me. Actually, I'd love to invite a Honda Maven to share information with us, and even blog on the site! It would be pretty cool, as I know I certainly have a lot to learn when it comes to drag racing and Hondas... Read more...
However, a couple weeks ago, we received a call from DSPORT Magazine's Marketing Director, Tobin Honda, asking for MotorMavens help in promoting the event, and we made a commitment. In the automotive aftermarket industry, there are often times when people make a lot of promises, but they don't have much follow through... Motor Mavens tries not to be like that. Since we're always out at events speaking to car owners and such, we made a concerted effort to promote the car show and the drag event, and we were extremely happy to see many of our good friends in attendance, showing their support! Read more...
A lot of people were crowded around the Bisimoto Honda Insight drag car and the hoodless 700hp D16Z powered Civic wagovan that Bisi drives on the street (Sshhhhh! We hope that we don't have any cops reading this!). Luckily, we were able to use our MotorMavenly powers of persuasion (or coercion) to ask people to move out of the way for just a little bit so we could reposition the cars and snap these photos! Read more...
The clothing company EAT SLEEP RACE speaks for itself. The name is a motto that many people live by and represents a lifestyle of perseverance and dedication to the automotive culture. It is for those reasons that it was an easy decision when Francis and Brian Mabutas (the creators of the brand) invited me out to New Jersey to shoot the largest all-Honda event on the East Coast. How could I say no? My time spent out there was amazing. I made a bunch of new friends, saw tons of incredible cars, and even smashed around on a Honda Ruckus late one night.
Look forward to more videos from myself and ESR involving the always impressive Prayoonto Racing team and an R35 GT-R built by Bulletproof Automotive in the very near future!
Oh, one more thing. Miro, the guy with the red S2000 on teal VS-XXs is selling his wheels! Help me convince him otherwise!
:: Justin Shreeve
Now it's time for me to get back in the swing of things, and publish more of my own photos from Nisei. Since I was pretty busy helping some of our new crew members get started in doing event coverage at Nisei, I didn't actually start walking around to take photos until later in the afternoon.
At the end of Nisei Showoff, Ken Miyoshi always asks me to emcee the awards ceremony. It's always a good time giving out the trophies to the car owners, but sometimes I'm not sure which cars I'm giving awards to, because it's not like people drive their cars up to get their trophies or anything. Either way, the big trophies go to the cars that the Showoff judges deem to be the best, but to be honest, I have a different scale of measuring how dope a car is. That being said, I suppose getting a photo-feature on MotorMavens is my way of pointing out my favorite cars at the show. Drumroll please... Let's begin. Read more...
This year, there were a ton of new cars that made their debut at the show, and several regulars that received makeovers. According to Ken Miyoshi, one of the things that has always separated Nisei Showoff from the other carshows is the face that Showoff has a really qualified panel of carshow judges who really have expertise in the automotive aftermarket. Nisei Showoff's judges include people who have a background of working with companies like HKS, Blitz, Toyota, and places like that. This may be a major differentiation factor to some people, but to me, it's completely different.
Nisei Showoff just has a particular vibe to it. It starts early in the morning, in the exciting hustle and bustle of the competitor load-in, as the cars form ridiculously long lines, jamming up the streets of Little Tokyo as they wait for the show staff to let them in the gate and park at their assigned spaces. It continues throughout the day, as the noontime sun heats up the entire place, and you get to bump into old friends and catch up on the things that are going on in everyone's busy lives. For me, the excitement continues on to the late afternoon too, as I complete my rounds through the show and stop by the cars that catch my eye, making new friends and checking out all the subtle things that everyone has done to their cars. Probably the most fun thing about Nisei Showoff (for me at least) is the fact that Ken Miyoshi has asked me to be the official emcee for the awards ceremony. I've been doing this for the past three (or four?) years now... and that part is really fun, because you get to see what the owners of the cars look like, as they come up and receive their trophy at the stage. Read more...
You might be thinking, “what are you talking about?” After all, we don’t normally post up photos of incomplete cars that are getting painted on our website. This particular snapshot comes from a post on the Honda Tech forum that my friend Terry Pham linked me to.
You might be thinking… wait, is that a GDB Subaru Impreza WRX STi hood scoop bondoed to an EG6 Honda Civic hood? If that’s what you guessed, then you would be correct. However, before you go and pass judgment on whether you think it’s cool or not, let me give you some insight into the story.
This EG6 Civic hybrid is the first of its kind, that’s for sure. It features not only an engine swap, but an entire FRAME and running gear swap from a GDB Subaru Impreza WRX STi! So YES, you would be correct if you guessed this was an AWD Honda Civic EG6… and if you ever heard it driving down the street, you should know that its engine is not blown; in fact, that’s the sound that a 4 cylinder Subaru boxer motor is supposed to make… even though it’s not supposed to make that sound from underneath the hood of a Honda Civic!
While we don’t normally feature these types of cars on our site, I thought I should post it up, because the fabrication work behind this build-up is pretty damn fascinating! The original Subaru body panels were cut off from the Impreza’s frame to make this work, and the owner of this car cut up the body of a perfectly good EG6 Civic hatchback, and pretty much welded it onto the Subaru frame! Whether you like the look aesthetically or not, you just GOTTA give the builder of this car props for his originality and workmanship – c’mon!
I’m wondering what our readers think about this car. First, read the build-up thread (with more photos) on Honda Tech, then come back to MotorMavens to voice your opinion on this!
Would YOU like to have this as a weekend/fun car? Or no…?
:: Antonio Alvendia
However, our story is going to be a bit different, because I'm not planning to post up photos of every single car (250+ for sure) at the show. Instead, I'm only going to focus on the cars that caught my eye; the cars that either had the best style, or cars that had something different going for them, which piqued my interest. After all, I've been lucky enough to have attended a LOT of car shows and a LOT of racing events all over the world. This being said, seeing the same old thing over and over can get kind of dreary at times; not to worry though - the cars at the Wekfest definitely had flavor.
The dimly lit parking structure in Japantown San Francisco that served as the venue for the event might not have had the best looking "background" or ambiance for photography, but it was filled with some of the West Coast's best looking cars, so we'll just let those shine through...
Up above, the entrance to the underground parking structure was packed with cars and spectators... I was surprised that the City of San Francisco allowed that many people in a place that had so few exits! Nevertheless, the show had a good vibe to it... at times, it kind of reminded me of what it felt like to be in the parking structure scenes when I was on set shooting NBC Universal's Fast & Furious 3 Tokyo Drift movie... if only you replaced the Japanese (and Japanese-looking Chinese, let's be honest here) cast members with a bunch of young Filipinos, Chinese, and Vietnamese car owners. LOL Read more...
It seems a LOT of people were pretty hyped after seeing Bisi Ezerioha‘s turbocharged Honda Civic EF Wagovan in our previous post about the Norm Reeves Honda Meet. I was hyped when I first saw it too! It’s pretty crazy to have a front wheel drive car with that much horsepower… especially a car that gets driven on the street! And it has aggressive wheel fitment. =)
Here’s a pretty simple and straightforward video that was shot off the cuff and unrehearsed. It’s not really the type of video that shows off the MotorMavens ability behind a lens, but I think it still works because it’s simple and we get to see all the details of the car. I think these simple hand held/unedited video features are going to become more and more popular… it’s kind of like videoblogging vs. preplanned, high production/edited videos. The funny thing is, I first started shooting this video just so I could remember the details of the car without having to actually write down notes. However, when I got home and watched it again, I thought Bisi did such a great job explaining everything on the car (and pointing out parts from his sponsors, haha)… I just decided to post it up anyway.
Hehe, since I wasn’t originally planning to post this, I was saying a lot of ridiculous non-related things in the video! LOL don’t mind me. I didn’t have an external microphone or anything with me to amplify Bisi’s sound levels. Oh well, whatever… the only good thing about it is you can see the details of Bisi’s car! If you want to see professional photos of this Bisimoto EF Wagovan, go to the bookstore and buy an issue of Super Street Magazine.
:: Antonio Alvendia
To go along with our coverage from the event, I thought I’d post this great video from BOWLS LA. The Bowls crew really did a fantastic job of capturing the vibe of the Norm Reeves Honda Show/Toy Drive. This edit has great style to it, between the shots, cuts, and West Coast soundtrack. Take a look!
:: Andy Sapp
1223 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
San Marino, CA 91108
Hours of Operation
Monday – Sunday
1200 – 1900 Hours
P +1 626 614 0068
F +1 626 614 0020
E intel [at] bowlsla.com
Well, Scott wasn't lying. I was honestly quite impressed with the level of the cars that came out to this gathering, which wasn't even a major carshow or anything; it was just a simple Honda meet in the parking lot of a local dealer! Even though it wasn't some sort of big event like Import Showoff or something like that, the H crowd showed up strong to show off their new wheels!
That's right, I said wheels! It seems that there are more and more Honda owners catching on and joining the low offset/stretched tire movement, and I think that's a good thing. Sure, there are a lot of people who hate on this new trend in the Honda scene, saying that it makes no sense to stretch the tires and camber the rear wheels on a Front Engine, Front Wheel Drive car... but hey, Volkswagen guys have been doing it for years, and their cars are FF too! Read more...
But back to our unfinished story about Nisei Showoff, perhaps the thing that most impressed and surprised me was the sheer number of good offset Hondas that made their way to Little Tokyo to represent. These aggressive offset, slammed Hondas are dope as hell. In my opinion, these cars inject new enthusiasm and excitement to the Honda scene, and the Japanese car scene in Southern California overall. Hopefully the days of FR guys hating on Hondas and FF drivers are gone... I personally have nothing but respect for these guys. Their style is fresh and innovative, and all I can say is... it's about freakin time! The Southern Cali Honda guys have now joined the aggressive offset movement, and hopefully the path has now been paved for the rest of the country... please take notes, kids!
Regarding the above photo, make a decision. The stance or the girl, which one would you choose? Read more...
So as I finish organizing my own photos of the 2009 Nisei Showoff Grand Finale and prepare them for posting (I should have like 3 more posts to make on the last Nisei Showoff), I thought I should shine some light on these photos, which were taken by a non-pro photographer that I don't even know. Good work Hasback! Now on to the pics... Read more...