Import Alliance 2011 Coverage…Part 2…

Hmm….let’s see what should we discuss today about the trip…Ah, yes… I got it. I was eating lunch earlier and something came to mind that I thought I should touch on. Today, we’re going to talk about two very interesting topics from the Nashville IA trip; The culture and the food…

Culture Clash…Now I have done quite a bit of traveling in my lifetime, don’t be mistaken but traveling to Nashville, Tennessee was a completely different experience. Thanks to my parents, I’ve been able to see Hong Kong, Japan, China, and many parts of the United States. I’ve been to the tri-state area as well and even Canada, but Southern folks are very interesting people. Los Angeles and Cali in general is a pretty diverse state with many different ethnic groups and cultures, but we still have that general California/West Coast attitude. When I got to Nashville, I was really surprised by how nice people were and got a sense of what true “southern hospitality” really is. This isn’t really from talking to the enthusiasts of course, because they came from all over the central and east coast. I’m talking more about the people that were actually from the south. The people that worked at the Waffle House I went to and other restaurants were really nice, talkative people. I guess it’s because things are a lot slower out there and people aren’t always in a rush to do something or get somewhere that they actually take the time to be human. Over here, everyone almost seems as if they are always in a constant state of panic because there is so much going on. In the south, people are more patient and willing to just talk to you and give them a sense of what they’re like. Even the police out there are unbelievably nice (I’ll discuss this more later on) and let people get away with practically anything. I can’t even think of one person I spoke to out there that gave me a hard time. The manager of the La Quinta hotel that everyone was literally tearing apart was still very kind despite watching her property being destroyed at the hands of drunken morons. I’m just saying, it’s just different out there…

The southern accent is also something that was very interesting to me. Everybody talks that way out there so it didn’t seem unusual to them at all but for DPK David, Big Mike, Ryan, and I, it was a crazy to hear everyone speak that distinctly. It was really easy to pick up though and like I was telling David, if I somehow stayed here two days longer, I swear, I would start speaking with a southern accent too because it stays in your mind. It still trips me out sometimes how guys like Jay and Bon from PGK have a southern accent because we never hear asian dudes out here with accents like that.

All in all, the people were a great experience for me personally. Everybody was willing to give us a ride whenever we needed one, which was great because we saved some money from not having to rent a car, and all the people we encountered while there treated us like we belonged there. Well, except for one guy who was drunk and got in DPK David’s face and almost got his life unearthed from his body but again, I’ll talk about that later…haha…

Fine Dining…The food is definitely something I should touch on. They fucking love sugar, goddamn. I thought people out here for crazy about putting sugar in there shit but people in the south love their sugar. Everything I drank tasted like I was drinking a bag of sugar, and trust me, I love ice teas, and what not that are flavorful. The asian food is really good out there too surprisingly. I never imagined that I would go to Nashville and eat Asian food but some of the spots we went to were so good that I ended up going back. With that said however, I really wanted to speak on the food out there because people FUCKING LOVE JACK IN THE BOX. Holy shit, it was one of the most random fucking things ever. When I got to the hotel after Jay picked me up from the airport, I was hanging out in the parking lot with them by the pool and saw a couple empty Jack in the Box wrappers and boxes, etc. I didn’t think anything of it other than the fact that I found it interesting that they even had a Jack in the Box out there. I still remember the days when Jack in the Box was exclusive only to California and parts of the west coast. Anyways, after Big Mike arrived, he was hungry and was asking some of the people there about what was good in the area. PGK Jay’s cousin was like….”Well Waffle House is pretty good but you guys gotta try this one spot…it’s called ‘Jack in the Box’…” Big Mike and I looked at each other with a non-vocal “what the fuck?” We didn’t say anything after that and just went to Waffle House but while we were there, I brought it up and he too thought that it was strange. After we finished eating, we went back to the hotel again to hang out and some people asked what we ate and we told them that we ate at Waffle House. These guys were like…”Oh yeah, that place is good….but have you tried JACK IN THE BOX?” Ahhhhhh….mind fuck….haha. When David and Ryan arrived, they were sort of hungry and asked what there was to eat and at that point, I explained to them the fascination with Jack in the Box out there and they didn’t believe me.

The next day while we were at the event, DPK David, Big Mike, and I were helping Ryan set up the Rywire booth that was apart of Loi from Sportcar Motion’s Skunk2 booth. One of the guys from Function Garage, Brian, walked over to the Skunk2 booth and asked Loi if he wanted to do dinner after the event. He was like…”Hey, you wanna do dinner tonight?” Loi said he was down and then Brian was like “I gotta take you to this one spot, it’s called….JACK IN THE BOX.” And the dude was like super excited about it…It was one of the craziest things I witnessed while I was there. Loi had no idea so he kinda just looked at him and smiled and then turned over to our direction and we kinda laughed. Shit is wild man, I mean, don’t get me wrong, I fucking love Jack in the Box, but I’ve had it all my life and it’s like a typical fast food spot for me. It’s a preferred spot for sure, but they talk about it like it’s gourmet dining…seriously, I can’t even make that shit up. We had other moments out there where people came and asked us if we had tried Jack in the Box as well. I almost wanted to go to the Jack in the Box out there to see if there was anything different from the one we have out here. Do they serve you two 99 cent tacos and an Ultimate Cheeseburger on a plate or something?  I literally got one like a mile from my apartment…shit ain’t that fancy, haha. I guess it’s like a new hot spot out there for them and it’s just one of those things that shows you just how different the culture is out in middle America…

Another thing I noticed is how much people love to drink beer out there. Holy fuck, everyone was walking around with a Bud Light 30-pack like it was attached to them at the hip. I’ve done my fair share of partying when I was younger but my friends and I never consumed this much beer. We were always more into drinking hard liquor because it got the job done quicker… I think Import Alliance is the sole reason why Budweiser is still in business down south cuz people drink that shit like it’s water…. I thought when I heard stories of all the crazy partying at the La Quinta it was because people were on some hardcore psychedelics like mushrooms or something or pounding down bricks of cocaine but it’s all the product of Bud Light consumption…haha. While drugs would have made the night much more interesting and outright dangerous, I’m glad to see that these guys are drinking only beer and not partying like they were at a club in Hollywood…

Okay, on with the coverage. When we last left off, we had just finished eating at the Waffle House and headed back to the hotel to hang out while we waited for DPK David and Rywire to arrive. Jay’s cousins had dropped us off and went back to hanging out with some of the other folks there and Big Mike and I were just walking around and looking at the cars that were there. It was already hot but we got tired of standing in the sun so we headed up to PGK Jay and Franks hotel room to hang out. Jay was at the car wash with some of the other PGK guys but we had the room key so we could put our bags up there. A fully air-conditioned room sounded amazing so we just hung out in the room and looked out of the balcony while people continued to trickle into the La Quinta lot…

This couple that Jay knew came up to the room as well and brought some ice cold Bud Lights. Big Mike and them hung out on the patio but it was hot as fuck so I stayed inside where the A/C was and pretended to be a part of their conversation…

Eventually I sucked it up though and stood on the balcony and got some shots of some cars…this is that widebody S14 that I posted in part 1. You can really tell how much wider it is than stock with this overhead shot…I really liked this S14. I was going to hit up the owner to see if he would have been down for me to shoot it possibly for a future story in Super Street but I later found out that he was in the latest issue of S3 magazine…oh well…

A couple of PG+K vehicles…The STi belongs to Stephen and the blue RHD Integra belongs to Be and this was actually the car that Jay showed up at the airport with to pick my ass up…Seeing this car reminds me of bad the roads are in Nashville. Be’s got a pretty stiff suspension and there was a point when Jay hit this bump so hard that I almost flew out of the car…

The dude on the far left is Zach “RogueEG6” Poland. This dude talks so much and is so loud, that I swear I can still hear his voice in my head…haha…Seriously though, he does talk a lot. Nice guy though…

A couple minutes later, Ryan and DPK David show up with Arthur and Chris, who are friends of Ryan’s from Canada…Throwing down the beer in this photo is Stephen from PG+K…

We hung out for a little bit and got Ryan and the rest of the group caught up on everything that we had done since we got there. We then headed out to the balcony and saw that the “Civette” showed up. If you guys are unfamiliar with the build, it’s a Civic shell that’s been mated to a Corvette chassis. We went down stairs to take a closer look at it and here’s a shot of the engine bay. The rest of it is outright hideous so I didn’t get a shot of the whole car…

The others were hungry since getting in from their flight so they took off to go eat at the Waffle House while Big Mike and I stayed behind to walk around.The weather was starting to cool down a bit so it wasn’t totally unbearable…

Another shot of Nick Weir’s K-swapped VW truck…

Here’s another shot of the silver track-prepped EK who belongs to Justin or username; “wEaK Squad” from the NWP4Life forums…I’m showing you this shot because I wanted to show you…

…his massive rear shock tower bar…shit is beefy-looking…

I saw this S2000 a couple days before I left for Nashville on the web so it was cool to actually get a closer look at it in person…

The rear fender treatment isn’t for everyone but it’s wild in person. The bodywork looks pretty good too and makes the rear of this S2 extremely aggressive…It’s so wide though that I think it almost throws off the front end of the car. It’s definitely different though….

Color-matched Cusco cage is a nice touch…

Rear quarter shot of Jay’s S2000…

Seen It! S2000…

Matte Red Volkswagon GTI…

Big Mike discussing engine bay ideas with the guys from Grade A Garage…Zach Poland taking a beer nap in the background…

Joe Maguschak’s engine bay…Had to be one of the cleanest, best assembled engine bays of the Import Alliance event…more on that later…

DPK David talking to Matt aka “Bad 350Z”. Matt is the one that did the bulk of the work on the engine bay above…

Jay’s S2000 was pretty dirty but he’s a track guy now so it’s okay to be filthy. Just ask his dirty mustache that he grew out for the weekend…

Honda Fit on some CCWs…

As soon as DPK David and the rest of the guys came back from eating, David and I grabbed our luggage and went to our hotel to check-in. We had heard all the crazy stories about the parties at La Quinta so I wasn’t about to try to sleep over there. In hindsight that turned out to be an amazing idea because it got pretty bad over at the La Quinta pretty quickly. Our hotel was walking distance to the La Quinta so we had the best of both worlds. We got to hang out at the parking lot party and also got to sleep peacefully after…Name the wheel in the above pic and you win absolutely nothing…

The first night of partying wasn’t so bad. There was some debauchery that went about but for the most part it was pretty chill. Just people drinking beers in the lot and talking…

The Nashville Police were present the whole time but were only there to keep an eye on things and get cars to move if they were blocking the flow of the parking lot. They just drove around and hung out with people there….

A couple hours went by and the cops were asked by hotel management to shut down the party outside early so people retreated to their rooms. I didn’t really take very many photos at this time because it was pretty dark in the lot. The last couple hours consisted mostly of people drinking beers and staring at cars and shit. It was pretty uneventful. At around 10:30pm, we decided to head out to downtown Nashville to grab some dinner…

The Hard Rock sounded good and was one of the first spots we saw so we made it our dinner spot…

It was kinda late in the evening already so the restaurant was pretty dead. We ate, talked, and then went back to the hotel to get some rest. We only had a couple hours to sleep so we made the most of the 3-4 hours that we got…

I guess the parties continued on while we were resting, including some dude who apparently was just jacking off in the parking lot or something in front of everyone. Whatever the case, I’m glad I wasn’t a witness to any public male masturbation…fucking weirdos…

The next day, we got up at 5:30am, got ready, ate some breakfast, and set off to Nashville Super Speedway for the first day of Import Alliance 2011. The lines rolling in were massive but we had vendor passes so we just drove right in and parked…

Right when we parked, I looked outside and spotted Bon B’s Civic, which I haven’t seen in over 3 years. I still remember the first time I met Bon when his Civic was still blue. He had driven out to Eibach and blown his motor then and I met him at Do It Dyno. Crazy to see how far the car has come and how it’s now finally close to completion…

He’s now K-swapped and his entire car has been repainted a Porsche GT3 green…

Looking good so far but Bon was the first one to admit that he still had a lot to do before it was finished. The engine bay that connects through the firewall still needs to be completed and his intake manifold has been left untouched because he soon plans to acquire a set of Kinsler individual throttle bodies…

One of Bon’s axles was binding as he was driving, which resulted in the C/V boot ripping and grease spraying all over the bay. Here he is attempting to wipe it down before the gates opened…

Tim Shultz from Hybrid Racing chatting it up in front of Bon’s Civic…

I found out from a Chronicles reader that this yellow CTR belongs to Matt Tucker. Here he is wiping his EK9 down…

I wanted to give you guys a glimpse of what was behing the vents in the rear bumper but I suck at that…

Really liked this Nissan 370Z from Import alliance…The Wedsport SA55M with the matching color inserts and the overall stance of the vehicle is just a great look…

Walker Japan…

Matt Tucker’s K-swapped CTR engine bay…

Not really sure why this happened or what purpose it serves…

The engine bay of Nick Weir’s K-swapped VW truck…

 

Big Mike chatting it up with Shocker Joe Coville…

Gonna close it out today with one of the best IS300 builds I’ve ever seen. I still think my boy Billy Shea’s HKS-themed IS300 is the best of all time but this one is right up there with him cuz this shit is the business…I remember seeing photos of it floating around on the net from various events in the past but it’s crazy to see it in person….

Lots of custom bodywork on the outside and you can already tell from the cut-out on the hood that this turbo is pretty massive…

Right-hand drive Toyota Altezza conversion…Vertex floormats, Bride seats, custom center console, color-matched trim, etc…shit is sick…everything that you would want an an award-winning show car…

Shaved and tucked engine bay with a 2JZ-GTE swap…

Big Mike talked to him and I believe this IS made around 1048whp….

That’s all for today…thanks everyone for looking and I hope you guys come back for more…

24 thoughts

  1. I’m ready for the Saturday night run down… I’ve already heard stories haha. Knowing what its normally like I expect some comedy from this.

  2. Nice coverage, so from what I have gather so far from Part 1 & 2. People love Jack in the Box out there and 4/5 cars rock CCW? haha looks like good times, might have to make a trip out there next year to see this for myself.

    • Peter, You can get that impression easily but it’s really more like 40/6,000 cars have CCW. They have a booth their at IA so the wanted a lot of their customers to park in the CCW booth which is desirable place to be for the show.

  3. Man, I just realized how much I guess I exaggerated when I said I’d been reading The Chronicles for “5 years” haha…woops. Should have stuck with “a good while”

  4. Thanks for the awesome coverage of IA. It’s great to see peeps from all over make it out there. There were def some top notch vehicles there. Next year, I’m not staying at the laQuinta either. “y’all come back now, ya hear?”

  5. Awesome coverage! I think I may have been one to mention jack in the box lol. I also may have been one of the bud light supporters 😛

  6. Great coverage! I hope to make it out there one of these years. Jack in the Box?!?!?!? When yall come to AZ I’ll show you this place, it’s called Del Taco. Shit’s premium!

  7. The picture of the bumper cut out was to show off a new product of CPCK Engineering, the bumper support and tow hook. Check us out at cpckengineering.com!!!

  8. Great coverage of IA! However, I have lived in TN my whole life and do not know one person that likes Crap in a Box. But then again I do not know anybody who goes to Waffle House either, unless it is after midnight.

Leave a Reply