Import Alliance 2011 Coverage…Part 1…

Man…where do I even begin?…This trip was probably one of the more interesting trips I’ve taken as far as car shit goes, but I don’t think people really understand how close I was to not even making the trip out. I originally planned to go just sort of on a whim…I didn’t really tell anyone I was heading out to Nashville, Tenn. because I wanted to keep the trip low-key. Big Mike is usually the one doing all the promotion for anything huge that we’re all doing but I told everyone that was going that I would rather stay quiet about the trip until I got there. I mentioned last year that a bunch of us were going to head out there but a bunch of random events came about that made it not possible for that to happen and of course, people started talking shit about how we were all talk or how we don’t support the east, etc., etc. You name it, I’ve probably heard it. When it came time for IA 2011 to roll around, it just worked out because I would be out there for both work and for the site. Things, fortunately came together and I was set to head out there to see Nashville….until the days leading up to the trip itself…

I received an email from Frontier Airlines about checking in early for the flight but I didn’t think anything of it. I had purchased a ticket to get on the same plane as DPK David, Rywire Ryan, and Big Mike so it would have just made more sense to check-in all at once so we could get seats near each other. So I go on the Frontier Airlines website and there is a severe storm warning for Denver, Colorado, which was where our first layover was. The flight out from LA to Denver was cool, but from Denver to BNA (Nashville) was cancelled. I wasn’t about to take a chance and sit at the Denver airport for hours on end waiting for a flight out, so I decided to give them a call to rearrange my flight plans. Turns out that almost 75% of their flights going out of Denver was cancelled so there were hundreds of people already on hold trying to move their flights around. No lie, I waited on hold for almost 2.5 hours just to get through to a representative that would help me out. It actually took so long that while I was on hold, I managed to pack and get all my camera shit together. I wanted to go stop by and spend some time with May before I left so I had the phone on speaker while I grabbed my shit and headed out to her area. Apparently there was a hail storm in Denver that unleashed what they said to be “golf ball-sized” hail that damaged many of the planes. Knowing that there was a possibility that I would end up on one of these damaged planes, whether they be repaired correctly or not, I wanted a flight that didn’t even go near Denver. DPK David and Ryan managed to catch another flight out to Fort Worth, TX or something and Big Mike ended up on a different flight out that wasn’t cancelled so I was the only one left. The lady finally gets the chance to help me and I spend another 30+ minutes on the phone while she searched for a flight for me. At that point, I was about to say “fuck it” and not even go…just get a refund you know? But since the return flight wasn’t cancelled I probably wouldn’t be granted any kind of refund and our hotel was already booked, so I had to go forward with the trip. I don’t think I mentioned this yet but we were all set to fly out at 6:30am Friday from LAX. The only flight that they had left that would get me there at a reasonable amount of time was a flight that was heading out at 11:50pm Thursday. Nothing else was available so they had to piece an itinerary for me that consisted of me flying out from LAX to Minneapolis, and then to O’hare in Chicago, and then from Chicago to Nashville… It didn’t sound fun at all but since I was already dealing with all this shit the whole day, I went for it. So I stopped by the salon where May was getting her haircut at, spent a couple minutes with her, gave her a little present I put together and then turned around and head back home to grab my luggage. This was probably around 9-9:30pm in the evening already and my flight was at 11:50pm so I was definitely on a time crunch. May was a good 40-45 minutes away, without traffic, so by the time I got home, it was going to be past 10pm…

When I finally get home, I stopped by a Ralph’s supermarket to grab some last minute travel goods and then give DPK David a call to see if he could take me to the airport. He was packing still but we hopped in his Lexus and sped off to the airport. Of course there was traffic, which helped only to shit on my day further, and we didn’t make it to the airport until 11:15am. With all the security checks and checking-in and what not, I finally boarded the plane at 11:40pm, just ten minutes shy of take-off…

I board this airline that I had never heard of, Sun Country, and the dude sitting across from me was the only other asian person on the plane. I was in the very last row with this asian dude and a large Nigerian family with a bunch of kids who were just screaming and crying the majority of the flight…

The best, and most random, thing about the flight was that they served hot dogs and potato chips as the in-flight snack…I’ve never been on an airline that served hot dogs but I hadn’t eaten anything all day so the microwaved hot dog was a gourmet meal…

The flight from LAX to Minneapolis was the long leg of the entire flight to Nashville so I pulled out May’s Motorola Xoom and got on some Angry Birds for the remainder of the time. I’m on that whole thing where I’m trying to get three stars on every level so the time flew by real quick…

I got to Minneapolis around 5am or so, central time and it was a fucking ghost town… I was also in a rush to get over to the next terminal which was in an entirely different building…

…so I had to get on this thing called a “light rail” or something to get over to board my flight…

While I was on the tram, light rail-thing, I saw a little bit of Honda-influence because there was an unused-bike rack mounted on the wall…

I had some spare time when I got to the other terminal so I bought some Burger King breakfast, sat down and charged my phone. The plane ride to Chi-town was only an hour and a half long so I used to time to finally get some shut-eye… The moment I got to O’Hare I had to immediately jump on a small plane to Nashville and it was so cramped in there that I didn’t even bother pulling my camera out and just continued to sleep…

So I took off from Los Angeles at 11:50pm pacific standard time and finally landed at BNA at 11:25 central time…at that point I was already over the whole flying thing and actually looked forward to being outside in the Nashville heat. Oh I forgot to mention that I called up my homie S2KJay from PGK the night I flew out from LA to see if there was any possibility he could swoop me up from the airport when I got into Tennessee. Everyone else from Cali wasn’t going to be there until a couple hours later and I wasn’t about to just hang out in the airport. Luckily for me, he was going to drive in from Atlanta, Georgia around that time and said he had no problem picking me up. I was a little confused by the whole lay-out of the airport but managed to walk outside and see a blue right-hand drive Integra waiting for me. Jay said there was no possibly way for me to be able to fit in his S2000 with my luggage so he borrowed one of the homies’ cars to get me to the hotel…

For those who have never been to Import Alliance or really heard about it, the La Quinta hotel was apparently THE spot to be at. That’s where everyone stays, the majority of the cars are there, and people just fucking party all night and fuck shit up (More on that later)…The other PGK guys were there chillin’ in the pool with Frank from Bolt Boys and I can’t swim for the life of me so I pulled out my camera and started taking some pics of the cars that were there…

This is Christ’s Civic…no really, his name is Christ. We asked him if that really was his name and he said it indeed was…guess his dad wasn’t the best at English and picked his name out of a bible…so yes, this Civic doesn’t indeed belong to Christ himself…

Really liked this widebody S14…

Subbie from PGK on CCWs…if you’re a fan of CCW wheels then you’re in for a treat because there were A LOT of CCWs out at IA…

S15 Silvia on Volk GT-Us…

This as to be one of my favorite builds at Import Alliance. This Volkswagon truck belongs to Nick Weir from “Seen It” and is K-swapped…

I am a huge fan of Work CR-01 wheels and I think it looks great on this VW, especially with the gold accents and matte face…He said he was originally supposed to have Rotiform wheels on it but I think this set works out perfectly…

This S2000 is also his but was driven out to Nashville by his girl…He made the trip out to the annual Eibach meet here in Cali earlier in the year and on the way home, he hit a raccoon which destroyed his bumper. The impact was so hard that the raccoon was stuck inside the bumper…

They haven’t had time to repair the bumper yet so they have a raccoon plush sitting in the bumper to pay homage to the dead one…

A pair of nice EKs that were chillin at the spot. The second one is track-prepped and the rear shock tower bar on it is fucking massive. I have a picture of it but it’s still in my memory card. I’ll post it up later on in the coverage…

8th generation Civic on some CCWs…

Really liked this Mugen-kitted Accord on CCWs…Guess what wheels are on the TSX next to it?…

…CCWs!…It’s a good look though, I’m not gonna lie. I really wish people would take those “daily-driven” stickers off their cars though…

PGK Jay’s S2000 has to be one of my favorite builds of this particular chassis all time. He’s one of the first dudes I’ve known from out east that has gone all out on his S2K and now he’s tracking the car too…It’s cool to see that he’s still rocking the 2009 Chronicles Top Ten sticker too…

EG Mike from PGK’s freshly finished Civic…I’ve been following the build on his Facebook page since he started it so it was cool to finally see it in person…The paint of the doors is mismatched but I think it’s going to be repainted anyway after this weekend when someone dropped a skateboard on one of the doors…

The guys were hungry at that point so they got out of the pool and we headed to some Thai/Vietnamese/Japanese place to eat. What was my first meal out in all-American Nashville, Tennessee?…Yup, ASIAN food…

EG Mike driving my ass to the restaurant…

I wasn’t really prepared for the heat yet so I ordered a nice cold Thai Tea to cool down… After we finished eating, Big Mike’s flight had just arrived at the airport so once again, Jay headed out to the airport to pick him up. I head back to the hotel with EG Mike and continued to shoot pics of cars that were slowly trickling their way into the La Quinta parking lot…

When I got back, I spotted one of my favorite CTR builds… I don’t know the owners name but I’ve always been a fan of his Civic. A lot of people hate on the cut-outs in the rear bumper but I think it works…It’s different but in a good way…

Love the F-Zero Blue Volk CE28Ns….

Engine bay being detailed…

CTR on legit red GAB wheels…

Civic with a Mugen lip on Stark IIs…

S2000 on some green Work Meister S1s…

When Big Mike finally arrived, he was hungry and I didn’t want to stand in the hot ass Nashville heat anymore so we decided to go grab some food. I wasn’t planning on eating so I was just going to grab a seat and have a drink…

Waffle House, I guess, is one of the major chains out there in Nashville…It was right down the street from the hotel so Jay’s cousins gave us a ride over there and ate with us…

The food there looked pretty legit but it did look like it was going to give me the raining shits so I went with my better judgement and just drank a Sweet Tea. I don’t know what it is about Nashville but the people there go fucking ape shits with the sugar. I took a sip of my tea and almost went into diabetic shock…

Big Mike’s grilled chicken sandwich and “smothered and covered” hashburns…This photo is pretty blurry because I had so much sugar in my system that I couldn’t focus on what I was shooting…

I liked the decor in there because it has a typical, classic, American diner feel to it where you can sit at the counter and eat and watch them cook right in front of you…After Big Mike and Jay’s cousins finished eating, it was back to the La Quinta hotel once again where we hung out until Rywire and DPK David arrived…

Danny Dang’s turbo Civic…

Another shot of Jay’s S2…

CTR all cleaned up and ready to roll out to the Nashville Super Speedway…

Really liked this EF…super clean with a nice subtle interior…

That’s all for today… Gonna try to keep each portion of the coverage to around 40 photos or so since the pics are now larger and I want everything to load smoothly…back with WAY more everyday until we get through it all… Thanks for looking…

17 thoughts

  1. After hearing all the talk about the event and seeing pics, I have to admit, the people from the midwest and south definately know how to get down. As a SoCal car guy, we have a lot of pride among the scene here, but after seeing this year’s IA, this is an event that I would totally look forward to going. DEFINATELY

  2. I will be interested in the part where he talks about everyone acting like a bunch of frat boys and farkin everything up. It was a circus of dumbarses if you ask me.

  3. Hahaha I can’t wait to see your La Quinta rant.. we planned on staying there but switched last minute, and swung by on Saturday night for the best of it. FUCK THAT PLACE!

  4. That’s just the first night at the hotel lol, second night…things got crazy. Thanks for taking a pic of me and big mike. I was honored

  5. Joey it was great to see you again, im glad you guys made it out, really hope to see a pic of the car since you guys and ryan went by it sunday to look, make my day to see the car on your blog. any chance of you comming out for wek fest chicago? if so ill see you there

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