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...
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...
I met a whole TON of people today at the 10 year Anniversary of Nisei Showoff in Downtown LA’s Little Tokyo! Most people were taking photos, whether they were with DSLRs, point&shoot cameras, cameraphones, and even disposable film cameras.
This is the section of the site where I’d love to invite YOU to post up your photos on MotorMavens! We want to see what photos you came up with, whether you think they’re photographically amazing or not. We just want you to show us your favorite cars (and scenes) from Nisei Showoff 2010!
We’ll let Ken Miyoshi from Import Showoff pick the best photo gallery from Nisei Showoff, and the winner will receive a special prize from ShowoffCafe/MotorMavens! (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
Reppin Los Angeles... is the Phaze 2 crew, bringin it hard with some of the sickest Hondas at the show. Phaze 2 is all about slammed cars with aggressive offset and stretched tires, and they all seem to have contrasting color engine bays with super clean wire tucks. They floss it hard too - they all rocked their cars hoodless, so other crews would realize just how much effort they would need to put in to get to the Phaze 2 level. Read more...
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...
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...
I was happy to see several media outlets at the event covering the show as well; I'm hoping that all the magazines and websites out there run coverage of the show. Super Street Magazine and Project Car Magazine both had a strong showing at Nisei, with booths and a build-off competition of the magazine editors' personally owned cars. I also saw people from Import Tuner, Japanese Nostalgic Car, Urbanracer, Auto Otaku/Speedhunters, DSport, even an ex-Jtuned guy and several other media outlets out there to support and shoot photos of Nisei Showoff. Make sure to check out their coverage of the show as well.
For any other media outlets who weren't able to make it to the show, but still want to run coverage of the event, please contact us at motormavens(at)gmail.com and we will supply you with photos for free, just to help out our friend Ken Miyoshi who runs the show.
While it may seem to some outsiders that we've been hyping this event quite a lot, it's only because Nisei Showoff really is a big deal to those of us who go there with our friends and family every year - it's a tradition that we've all kept up for the past nine years.
In fact, the very first time I ever put my own AE86 in a carshow was at Nisei Showoff in 2000 - the first ever Showoff event in Little Tokyo. That year, I linked up with several of my other AE86 friends and old school Toyota heads, and we lined our cars up all in a row, parallel to 2nd Street in Little Tokyo. We all thought it was so cool to be in a carshow in that area, since we would always hang out in Little Tokyo after work. My friends and I were always there, whether we were buying Japanese drifting magazines at Kinokuniya Bookstore; renting Japanese car videos at J-Wave; getting ramen at Orochon or Daikokuya; buying Japanese market limited sneakers at the shoe store inside Japanese Village Plaza; or of course, getting drinks at Oiwake. Read more...
Check out our newest video on Streetfire.net, which highlights video footage from the IDRC West Coast Nationals at the California Speedway Drag strip in Fontana. One of our friends, Tobin Honda from DSPORT Magazine was promoting the event, so we definitely wanted to be there to show our support.
FWD, All-Motor and Street class cars were running all day. Some of the car setups were pretty crazy, but many of them were modified street cars. It was cool to see the Honda Civics and CRX’s with wheelie bars and parachutes, but for us, seeing the normal street cars run was pretty cool because they were more stylish and were also driven to the track! You should also make note of the FWD ‘s grip tire placement. Not where you would typically see them on a dragster.
On the RWD side, you have to keep an eye out for one of our favorite cars at IDRC; the Mazda RX2 drag car that was featured in Antonio’s carspotting story from the event.
With the continued help of Antonio’s brother Dave, we were able to get some great coverage combining the footage from the small Canon HF S100 consumer HD video camera I’m testing with the video capabilities from Antonio’s Canon 5D MarkII digital SLR.
Enjoy the video and let us know what you think of the footage from the cameras!
:: Travis Hodges