Over the past decade, there have been a ton of new faces in the traveling Formula D circus - new drivers, new photographers, new teams and sponsors, new models, and new fans. When the very first Formula Drift event was held at Road Atlanta back in 2004, drifting was very much new to the United States. Most people didn't even know what it was. Most of the drivers and teams were very grassroots in appearance; we certainly didn't see the big corporate event activations and sponsor logos that you find at Formula Drift events nowadays.
Many of the original drivers, models, and teams from the inaugural Formula Drift event in 2004 have moved on to pursue other things. However, there are still a few OG Formula Drift heads (like me) still around. Man, we're getting old! Read more...
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...
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
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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...
Most Motor Mavens readers have been following Antonio’s photos and stories from Nisei Showoff, so we’ve decided to release a video of the event as well! We really wanted to highlight something that impressed us at the show – the fact that so many of these great cars are stepping up their game with aggressive offset and negative camber!
Forget the trophies – for us, the super slammed cars with the best wheels, stance, engine mods and paint jobs were the stars of the show. Nisei Showoff wasn’t about the models (although there were a few that showed up, haha); it was about the hottest street cars. Events like this are becoming more and more rare. We feel privileged that we were there to support Ken Miyoshi on his last Nisei Showoff, because of the great feeling that this show produced. Props to Ken and the Mainstream Productions crew for bringing us an awesome day of street cars and good friends in the middle of Little Tokyo.
We hop you enjoy the video, and don’t forget to leave comments!
:: Travis Hodges
So let's get back to our Showoff photos. Although Import Showoff was founded way back in 1994, with the first event held in March of 1995, the first actual Nisei Showoff didn't take place until 2000. As Showoff founder Ken Miyoshi explains it, "the people that organized the Nisei Week festivities in Downtown LA's Little Tokyo wanted to bring enthusiasm from younger people back into the Nisei Week Festival, so I decided to work with them by throwing the first Nisei Showoff."
"Back then, all the JA (Japanese-American) guys with dope cars used to go to OCBC (Orange County Buddhist Church) during their Hanamatsuri (Flower Festival) and cruise with their friends," Ken continues, "This was also happening in Little Tokyo; there always used to be a carnival in the original Nisei Showoff parking lot location (2nd Street and San Pedro) and a parade as well. People from the carnival used to chill out on the curb, and wait for all the fixed up cars to cruise through Little Tokyo. Back in the day, we used to see crews like Black Magic from SGV (all black cars with different types of SSRs; SSR Superfins, Supermesh, Neos, Work Emotion, Gale Racing, Bang Vecs), Shoreline Racing (old school Toyota guys from Gardena/Torrance area), NRG from Cerritos, Split Second from Carson area, Redline Racing from the San Fernando Valley, and a whole lot of others." 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...