Import Alliance 2011 Coverage…Part 8…The Conclusion…

Man, what a series of posts these have been…I fully expected to go the full ten parts but it just wasn’t necessary. Some photos ended up being duplicates and were trashed, while a lot of really good shots went to Honda Tuning and Super Street magazine for the print version of the IA coverage. Overall, I’m really happy with the results and how the whole coverage of the event was executed. I usually just put up the photos and then write on the fly and see how things flow but this time around, I made sure to take note of certain things in my mind when I was out in Nashville because I felt those topics were important to discuss. I’m pretty sure I covered every topic that I felt was necessary to touch upon so today, I will try something a little different and do sort of a “good, bad, and ugly style. This way I can put a final touch of the weekend and present you with the last bit of photos leading all the way up to the very end of my trip. For those of you who are new to the site, thank you for checking out The Chronicles and following the 8-part series of IA coverage. I hope you guys stick around because this site has much more to offer than just event coverage. For those who have always been around, man what can I say, you guys know how I cover events and I hope this one was the best yet. I wanted to give those of you who couldn’t make it out there a good sense of what things were like for us at IA. Thanks for your continued support of The Chronicles and I look forward to more adventures throughout the country. Maybe someday I’ll end up at an event in your area…

Alright, moving on…

THE GOOD – 

Overall…The entire weekend was a great learning experience. I think I have a good grasp on what the car community is like as a whole and I really appreciate the fact that I finally got to see the cars in person. It’s cool seeing these cars online but it’s a completely different feeling when you finally get to see the best builds out there in real life, in a real world setting. No photoshop, no crazy cover-ups or fixes, just the builds themselves. Some of them looked more “raw” when they aren’t glamorized in a fancy setting in a photograph but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I went into the IA trip knowing that I would learn a great deal about the scene outside of the west coast and I wouldn’t have done things any differently…

PG+K…I love these dudes man…Always so generous and always done to extend a hand to make me feel welcome. I told BonB and Jay when they were out here that they could hit me up for anything while they were out here and I would do my best to accommodate them. I wanted these guys to be taken care of while they were out here and make sure that their experience was a good one. That way they could take their experience home with them and remember the good times they had whenever they traveled to the west. I never expected anything in return but these guys took care of my and the rest of the guys that went out there ten fold. They were more than hospitable and often went out of their way to help us out. They are one of the reasons why our trip out there was a good one. From the moment I stepped off the plane, Jay was already waiting at the airport to pick my ass up. Then they made sure that I was fed and then Jay again returned to the airport to pick up Big Mike. Whenever we needed to go eat or something, or use their rooms for whatever reason, they helped us out without question. I couldn’t have asked for better hosts. Anyone that’s willing to go out of their way to make sure that I’m okay is a good homie to me, you know? It’s always a good time chatting it up with them too and I genuinely enjoy their company each and every time I see them. Jay, Bon, Moe, Squirk, EG Mike, and the rest of the guys, all classy dudes and I’m honored to know them. They are an amazing representation of enthusiasts out in the east coast and the south. Thank you guys for everything…

The Canadians… Arthur Malczewski and Chris Scarangella. I gotta thank these dudes and Arthur in particular for always being down to drive us around anywhere, whether we needed to go to the store, eat, or get picked up from the other hotel…these guys saved us from having to rent a car and drive everywhere in unfamiliar territory. It  was cool being able to experience Import Alliance with these guys as well because they offer a different perspective than what we are used to. We gave Arthur a lot of shit for the way he drives but as crazy as he drove, we really appreciated the fact that he did. Chris’ CR-X build is possibly going to be one of the great CR-X builds of our time so make sure to keep an eye out for his project when it’s completed…

The people…Everyone that we met, we met with great appreciation. We learned what “southern hospitality” truly was and everyone that we encountered had great things to say, whether it be about the west, The Chronicles, Big Mike, Rywire, anything. I was honestly very surprised by the out pour of support that we got when people realized that we were out there for IA. I had a sense that people were really happy to see us and we just had a good vibe from everyone throughout the weekend. I started this site just as a little project to keep me busy and it’s crazy how people know so much about us down to the little details. People really remember what they read on this site and it’s crazy. I wanted this site to be a positive influence on the Honda community and from meeting total strangers out in a place I’ve never been to, I can honestly say that this site has helped to slowly kill that stigma that exists between the two coasts…

The homies... For me personally, the people around me can either make or break a trip. For being out in Nashville, in the sweltering heat for the first time, experiencing new things, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of dudes to be with. While it would have been great to have the girls out there with us, it was cool to get the complete IA experience with Rywire Ryan, DPK David, and Big Mike. It was also cool to have Loi and Jade out there with us to share some laughs….

THE BAD-

Not really too much bad stuff to talk about. While I went in with no expectations, I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised with everything. The immaturity that ran rampant at the La Quinta parties was a bit of a turn-off for me but that can easily be resolved by just avoiding that whole area in general. You guys have heard me talk about it before in the previous posts….I’m all for partying and having a good time, but making an ass of yourself and destroying property as well as putting others in danger by hurling beer bottles at them is not a good thing. It’s a responsibility of every person to party within reason and to not get out of control and put others in harm’s way. At some point you have to open your eyes that what you’re doing may be destructive and there are consequences to every action…

The flight itself to and from Cali to Nashville was definitely a bad thing for me. It really wasn’t anyone’s fault but getting out there was just a total fucking pain in the ass. I almost felt that it was going to ruin my entire trip but once I got out there, it was an after thought. Just having to travel a day early and make extra stops in different cities was just a horrible experience. While I like going to different places to see new things, after a certain point, an airport looks like an airport and 20-30 minutes in each city isn’t really going to teach you anything new. We all planned this trip to fly out together and we all ended up going on different planes to different cities, it was just a horrible experience…Fuck flying in general though, it sucks. I hope if you guys ever try to get out here to the west coast that you have a better experience than me…

THE UGLY-

Some of the cars left a little something to be desired. While there were some great cars, there were some REALLY bad ones that were hard to look at. That’s what comes with going to such a huge event though with so many different people from different parts of the country. You’re going to get a different mix of styles, new and old, and a lot of the times you’re going to see some hideous builds. It made for an interesting experience though, sometimes you have to see the really terrible cars to truly appreciate the good ones.

The heat was pretty wild. I can’t really say it was “bad” per se, because it didn’t affect our trip in any way. It was actually better than we expected and even people from the area were saying that it was better this year than year’s past. I didn’t even get sunburnt or anything so that was a great thing because I often get a little burned while I’m at an even out here. It’s just the nasty humidity that makes you feel gross just walking around the entire weekend. I just hate that feeling that I’m sticky and that my clothes in drenched in sweat. Luckily we had the paddocks that provided shade and a nice breeze for us. The humidity also made it a little hard for me to breathe but that’s just what goes with being in that area so I can’t really complain. I just put this in the “ugly” category because it’s just not something I’ll ever get used to…

This is definitely not “Ugly” by any means, but I had to post it here because it was just totally random… People fucking LOVE CCWs out there. I get that CCW had a booth out there but people just love the wheels over on the east coast. Many cars that weren’t even in the booth were rocking CCW wheels. We see a couple sets out here too but over there, it’s one of the main wheels of choice. There were sets of these wheels everywhere you looked. In the bigger spectrum of things, it doesn’t seem like very many but just from simple observation and from looking at photos online, I’m sure you can gather that it was a very popular wheel for enthusiasts there….

And the whole Jack in the Box thing…wow. That’s all I have to say…haha. I think I might go eat some Jack in the Box now, but I’m not going to call my parents and tell them about it, if you catch my drift, haha. ..

Okay, now on with the photos…

The VW truck from Seen It! definitely goes into the “good” category for me because it’s one of the highlight builds of my trip out there. Very cool to see this build with the K-swap and all…

This S2000 on Lambo wheels was one of the cars that I didn’t see the first day at IA. It was also one of the cars that placed in the “best engine bay” category of IA…I have a shot of it but I saved it for publication…

IS on BBS wheels…

Spotted this Accord with good wheel fitment and rocking a Chronicles sticker…haha. Nice simple bay too…

Another car I didn’t see on day one…This root beer colored S2000 was turbocharged, on Work VS-XX wheels and even had an A&W root beer logo on the valve cover…

Tiger’s turbo EP3…

Very clean EG with a K-swap on TEs…

Ben Torres actually woke up from his alcohol-induced coma and this was the first thing he told me to look at…While her clam was millimeters of cloth away from being exposed, it would be hard to appreciate because the Dodge Neon she was posing on was one of the most hideous cars I have ever seen…

S14 on Work Equip wheels…

Prelude on SBC Enkei RPF1s…

The bay on this VW was pretty sick, basically just a floating motor…

When wheel fitment goes wrong….definitely goes into the “ugly” category…

Really deep, concave wheel on the rear of this Z33…

Crazy looking dude with an umbrella, a Canibeat bag, and a ginger mullet!!…

One final shot of Anthony Smith’s EG6…

…as well as a couple final shots of the JDM Accord Wagon…This car was definitely one of the highlight cars of the trip…

Rywire and B.L.T. Ben Torres, alive and well…

Pretty random shot but this is a display K-motor that was in the K-Tuned booth…

Really liked this Civic from New York…

This was an interesting look…

A group of NSX owners…

I wonder what wheels are on this S2000…hmmmm….

I think this photo is a pretty good representation of what Import Alliance has to offer…a lot of two-toned engines bays and a lot of two-toned dudes…

Both are pretty subpar shots of Cristian Loza’s EP and I couldn’t decide which one I should post so here are both of them….

Liked this EG a lot so I took another shot of it…

8th gen. Civic on “Canibeat Edition” CCWs…

Absolutely no fucking idea why this was happening or what purpose it was supposed to serve…Almost as mind-boggling as putting garbage ass Varrstoen knock-off TE37s on a R33 Skyline…

EK on some teal SSR Competition wheels…

R33 Skyline drift car…

Alright so at this point, Don Napier comes by the Skunk2/Sportcar Motion booth looking for me because he wants me to go check out the awards ceremony. I didn’t have much time left because I had a early flight to catch, but I walked over to check it out…

Omari announcing the awards for Best Engine Bay, Best Valve Cover, etc. with the winners winning 100 bucks…

The crowd at “the winners circle”. This area was checkered black and white and made the sun fucking hot as ever…It was around 4pm or so when this was happening so the sun was beating down hard…

Luckily one of the Canibeat guys was holding one of their huge flags so I stood behind it to block the sun from beating down on my head…I’ve been one of the guys who has been more critical of the Canibeat site in the past but I like their new logo and the further development of their brand. That and I really enjoyed the shade this guy provided, haha…All the Canibeat guys were there because the awards were presented by them as well as guys from S3 magazine…

Two of the winners for Best Engine Bay…

One of the winners in the Best Valve Cover category…the white EP on the right had a really detailed valve cover. I really wish I would have taken a photo of it but at that point it was hot as shit and I really had to get out of there because I had a flight to catch so I totally forgot about it…

While we’re on the topic of the awards, I figured I would talk about the whole “Best Engine Bay” debate. Apparently the owner of the blue Civic coupe, Joe Maguschak, wasn’t selected by the S3 magazine staff as a winner because his car was trailered there and there was a slight crack in the bay (from when they were adjusting the suspension). For reference, this is the Civic I’m talking about…

In all honesty, I really don’t give a shit about the awards and who won because I wasn’t one of the contributing parties who decided who won. I also didn’t own any car in competition so it wasn’t much of a concern to me. Before I left the Nashville Super Speedway, Greg from S3 approached me because he wanted to know my opinion on the whole thing. He felt that the VW truck deserved to win and I agreed, and he felt that the blue CR-X, in above photo, also deserved to win because it was a “track car”. I really don’t know if it’s really a track car or not, but from the looks of it, it doesn’t look like it’s ever seen a track. If it has then it is a testament to the quality of the bay because it’s shaved and hasn’t cracked YET. If it hasn’t ever seen the track and the owners merely said that it was a “track car” then it’s hard to say if it deserved to win. I really don’t even know why that is even in consideration. If you have a “best engine bay” award, then make it a “best engine bay award”, not a “best engine bay on a running car” award or “best engine bay because it has street cred” award, you know what I mean? It’s really hard to essentially “disqualify” someone from competition just because his car was trailered there, especially when it’s for a “show” award category. If you’re going to not give someone an award because the other person drove his car there, then you need to specify that the next time you want to give awards to people. I’m going to be perfectly blunt, it’s pretty ridiculous. I love Nick Weir’s VW truck….but I can see why selecting him as an award winner would seem completely biased because Greg, who judged the category is a very good friend of Nick’s. It would be a totally biased decision but his truck is honestly very well built and it probably deserved to win an award. He drove his truck there, but he also took his Work CR-01s off and drove the truck back to Chicago on stock wheels. Do you then disqualify him from winning “best engine bay” because he drove his car on stock wheels? You get what I’m saying? It’s very hard to disqualify someone just because of certain criterias that are totally unrelated to judging an engine bay itself and the amount of labor involved in completing the bay. The CR-X won because it had a shaved bay and it was a track car. “Track” car. I’ve never seen it on the track, it doesn’t even look like it has a hood that would close and clear that intake manifold so do you then disqualify him because he can’t close his hood? Or maybe even because there is no proof that the owner tracks the car? See, it’s hard to judge a category based on conditions that don’t have anything to do with said category. It just doesn’t make any sense. Again, I honestly do not care, because I wouldn’t have judged it that way, but since Greg asked me, I feel that I should touch on it. That’s like saying the person that won “best valve cover” shouldn’t have won because they trailered their car….I don’t have any direct relation to any of the parties involved with the “best engine bay” competitors but I would have picked the Civic coupe to win just out of sure labor and execution…

So after that quick talk with Greg, we really had to leave because I had a 6pm flight to catch. The show was pretty much coming to a close though and cars were being loaded up and others were already leaving the venue. Big Mike ended up staying an extra day so he got a ride from someone else, and Ryan was staying a couple extra days down in Georgia so he took off with the PG+K homies. DPK David and I then hopped into the CR-V with Arthur and Chris and it was off to the Nashville airport…

The trip to Nashville was fucking terrible so I really hoped that we could get home to Los Angeles without any issues, but of course, that was too much to ask for…We flew out from Nashville and stopped over at Denver only to realize that my flight was once again delayed and I would have to wait over an hour before I could get another flight home. When we originally booked our flights, David had actually booked a different return flight home from Denver and was flying out to the smaller airport in Orange County while I was set to fly into LAX (Los Angeles International). The two flights were only minutes apart so we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Quiznos inside the airport, then rushed over to the front desk of our airline to see if I could just hop on David’s flight back. We told them of my horrible experience getting there and David was able to convince the lady to give me a seat on his flight. It worked out in the end because May was already hanging out with Jackie, so they didn’t have to drive separately to pick each of us up….

The flight after that was smooth and issue free. I was just happy that I didn’t have to deal with another delay and got home at a reasonable time. This is the final shot of the 8-part IA 2011 coverage….we arrived back in Long Beach, California at around 10:30pm pacific standard time, and the girls came and took us home…

All in all, it was a great time. The events leading up to Import Alliance was pretty hectic but everything else I wouldn’t have changed one bit. Thank you to Don Napier and the Import Alliance staff for putting this event on every year. While I’m not 100% sure if I’ll ever make it back out there again, I’m glad I was able to experience it at least once. Thank you also to all of you for supporting the Chronicles and checking out my content every day. It’s because of you guys that I’m able to make trips like this and see our ever-expanding automotive community from varying perspectives.

That’s a wrap on the IA 2011 Coverage….”y’all come back now, ya hear?”

26 thoughts

  1. https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=203371479699377

    i don’t own the blue crx but here is the video of his crx passes. he drives the car to the track and the whole 10 hours to TN. The bay its been like that for 2 years now. it gets track every other month. quality of the bay over quantity of crappy work it’s what judges seem to be looking for.

    Good coverage i figure i say something to cover the “track part”

  2. For the record the CRX in the bay contest does go to the track, it has been there at least 3x that I witnessed myself. It runs low 12’s. And the hood cannot close, so it has a hole cut out to clear the motor =)

  3. I own the S2000 with the Lambo wheels. To be personally honest I didn’t think I was going to get into the top 3 in best engine bay. My thoughts were that the Blue coupe basically had it on lock and Nicks truck and the CRX would battle it out over the 2-3 spot. After talking to the guys from S3 apparently they were judging on different criteria than we had all assumed and had disqualified the coupe. I think they got dealt a shitty hand but they could have taken it with stride rather than attempting to make a scene at the “awards ceremony”. None the less superb coverage on your end and great photos!

  4. Cool coverage Joey. Looked like you guys had a good time with who you hung out with. The PGK guys are always a fun time. They seem to show off a bit of a hospitality like I have never seen anywhere short of the 02-06 days with Dang and southern meets. Once again, cool write up.

  5. Really awesome right up, thanks for going, taking pictures and sharing. I’m originally from Louisiana so it was a lot of fun to spot the pelicans on the license plates! Also, pretty much every single friend I had in college moved from Baton Rouge to Nashville so had I been paying attention I could have hooked you up with some friends that could have also shown you the awesome non-car related side of Nashville and taken you to awesome places to eat other than the Waffle House. Not that you’d put a lot of faith in a stranger from the interwebs… but hey.

    Thanks man, for your coverage and your site.

  6. Not that I care cause I went to a meet not a car show but since you touched on it I will too. Actually I am more touching on it because Rogue thinks my Volkswagen is a rusty piece of shit. Rogue and company seemed to make this a direct competition with my truck, when there were far nicer bays than ours at the meet but only 6 or so cars had entered.

    The Best Bay (thanks for getting that correct, other parties seemed to think it was “cleanest bay”) was judged by more than just Gregg from S3.

    Here is a picture off the judges looking over my bay:

    http://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/252087_2110055065778_1077648832_2430415_941393_n.jpg

    Here we see Gregg from S3, Chase himself from Chase Bays and a representative from Hybrid-Racing. I think there were more than 3 but for arguments sake these are the only judges that matter. I guess i won because I 1) have a Chase Bays harness, 2) Have a K series which is Hybrids main squeeze and 3) know Gregg on a personal level. Magoo’s bay had none of these “in” factors.

    So my bay probably won on politics. Who cares? Maybe 30 people watched the ceremony, actually 29 cause Rogue shouted and stormed off cause his friends bay didn’t win. The prize was 100 dollars. No trophy. No plaque. I took the $100 and immediately gave $20 of it to the second place winner Joe with the white S2000. I would have gave it all to Rogue if I knew he needed it that bad to buy more 100 point bolts but I thought he had everything except the lug nuts and those were on the way.

    Oh and I didn’t win the Best Stance Contest cause my car didn’t have a canibeat sticker on it. Boo hoo.

    For what its worth Joe’s bay is amazing, but I think he and his friends built the car for the wrong reasons.

    • Thanks for your imput. i went for the same reason. because is not a competition. this contest took place and the crx entered at the last minute for the hell of it. congrats to you. a lot of work went into your truck and the attention was deserved. keep up the good work.

  7. Very nice ending to such an epic coverage. Hope you guys decide to come back in 2012. Thanks for the photos again Joey! .. have been telling everyone to check all 8 parts out. Well worth the read.

  8. I guess I’ll chime in too. I said what I said because. 1. That is how I felt. Honestly you can ask a few friends of mine about what I said after that I wouldn’t enter my own bay because in the end who cares what 6 dudes thought of it when they all have there own opinion on things. I never once called your car a rusty piece of shit. So you can stop spreading bs.

  9. Great coverage. I noticed all the cars parked next to me throughout the 8 parts but its a blog so I can’t argue, I did enjoy seeing all the other EP’s in the event coverage though. Feels like EP’s don’t always get covered. I was also excited to see Nick’s truck in person since I followed the build on FB. Can’t wait til next year and hope to meet you in person, so I can thank you in person for having new reading material for me.

  10. That irritates me, stupid local kids took our products when I finally had time to walk over to the S3 booth finally. Took all sorts of immature and retarded photographs. Hate that it surfaced even after I chewed them out. I hope their stupidity does not reflect onto our business.

  11. Hey man. Reader from the UK, and I absolutely love your coverage. It’s fantastic. Hopefully in the next year or 2 I’ll be able to make a trip out to the states to see some of these immense rides in person!

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