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...
Once I got into town, my buddy Nick Soo suggested that we check out the Rucksters Customs garage. My experience with Honda Ruckus scooters was fairly limited, to say the least. I had seen a dude cruising on a fairly unmodified one at Drift Mania, and then this year at Formula Drift in Florida, I saw a stretched out Ruckus for the first time cruising around the paddock area. I was definitely intrigued but I was unable to get a really good look at the machine.
As soon as we pulled up to the Rucksters shop, it was clear we were at the right place. I figure that when your front door is this legit, you must have some awesome stuff behind it. We were greeted by shop manager Hai who was hanging out at the front counter, and he was more than happy to show us around the place and really school us on some crazy Ruckus knowledge. Read more...
If you’re into muscle cars, then screw those four bangers. If you're into rotary powered vehicles, then screw those pistons! If you're into road racing and time attack, then screw drifting. If you’re into Formula One, well, screw everybody. If you’ve been around car culture for any length of time, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You also probably know that not everyone feels this way. As we get a bit older and experience some of the great aspects of other car cultures, more and more of us are discovering that we’re all the same under the hood – we're all just car guys.
In the middle of 2009 when we started MotorMavens, we established the site on a basic principle – that everyone’s voice is validated by their passion for the cars and car culture because the one thing that brings the entire spectrum of car culture together is passion. We call it the “passion principle.” Wherever you find some mind blowing interpretation of the automobile and the lifestyle that revolves around it, you also find some passionate person wrenching away – usually with a ton of pride and satisfaction in his/her accomplishments but very little money to show for it. That’s exactly what the MotorMavens Crew searches for; we look for that passion in every possible niche of car culture so that we can broadcast it loud and clear to everyone when we find it.
So, what does all of this have to do with the Mass Appeal Show? It’s simple. When Ken Block and the Gymkhana Grid team approached us to produce a car show at their Ken Block Invitational, we already knew that it would need to be different than what most people might expect. We knew our car show would need to represent the driving principles of MotorMavens... the car show would have to be multi-car-cultural; reflecting the wide spectrum of car culture that we love so much. It would have to have mass appeal - get it? 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
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...
So yesterday I was sitting at my desk, cleaning up my external hard drive. I realized I’ve got TONS of extra footage of Formula Drift Long Beach and quite a bit of footage from the Fatlace OneOfOne Showcase that didn’t make it into the final edit.
My girl had the car for the day, and I wasn’t getting anything else done… so I decided to make another edit. This one has a much lighter vibe than the first, with no color grading and very little audio work; just lots of familiar faces, pretty cars, and loud engines.
:: Justin Shreeve
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
Since we don't have too much information on these choppers themselves, we thought we'd just present them on the site as a photo gallery, so everyone can enjoy the hard work and craftsmanship that goes into creating one of these two-wheeled works of art. 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...