SEMA Show 2011 Coverage…Part 5…

When we last left off, we had concluded day 2 of the SEMA 2011 show and were headed back to the hotel. It was early in the evening already so we decided to grab some dinner before heading out to a local meet later that night. I guess they do these meets in Vegas every now and then but since Freddie and the Autofashion crew were in town, everyone decided to meet up at the Callaway Golf course to hang out. It was a VIP car meet but it didn’t really stop other cars from showing up. I had been exchanging emails with the guys from Tactical Art Japan off and on the weeks leading up to the week of SEMA and we thought it would be cool to meet up. I mean, realistically, how often would we have the opportunity to meet, being that we are usually in different continents? SEMA was the perfect meeting place for us but the only problem was that they couldn’t meet during the day time. Reason behind that is simple: the guys from Tactical Art don’t speak English, and they needed a translator but the translator they had with them worked the SEMA show for HKS. I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to meet these guys so I told them to come by the meet. That way they could not only meet us, but also have the chance to see some more U.S. builds while they were here…

If you’re not familiar with who Tactical Art is or if by chance you just missed out on the post, read more about our Japanese friends here….

We grabbed some dinner over at the Steak n’ Shake inside Southpoint Hotel & Casino, got ready for the industry party later that night, and headed out to Callaway Golf Course for the meet. We arrived a little late, as usual, and the meet was going full force. There were all kinds of VIP cars everywhere but it was a little hard to see because the lighting there was very poor. I grabbed my cell and called up the translator for the Tactical Art guys, and they were already there looking at cars…

The Tactical Art guys were very friendly and I really appreciated the translator taking the time to come out and help us break down the language barrier. They wanted to take a photo with us right away so the translator grabbed their camera to capture the image while May stood off to the side and snapped this photo of us….

They have a blog (online diary) as well were they documented this event, so if you’re interested, you can check it out here. You probably need to understand Japanese though, otherwise you’re just looking at pictures….

This is the resulting photo directly from the Tactical Art blog…Of course you already know the cast of characters up top, but the guys below are (left to right) Yasutaka Shimomukai from Tactical Art, Keisuke Morita who is a Sales Engineer from HKS Japan, and Atuki Tubouti, who is the head of Tactical Art… Taku Kusugami, who owns the brown EK on black Work S1s, was also in town but couldn’t make it to the meet…

Even though it was hard to really speak to one another, I could understand how much they appreciated me doing a spotlight on their shop and cars on The Chronicles. They were asking me how long it took me to put the post together because it was really detailed, not knowing that I am a writer by trade and can whip up some good content pretty easily, haha. It was a great experience meeting those guys though. It’s cool to meet enthusiasts from other countries because they have a different outlook on things. When they were at the meet, I could see their enthusiasm and how surprised they were to see VIP cars in the U.S….

I kinda fucked up by not bringing any Chronicles stickers to Vegas, knowing that I would probably meet up with them down the line, and I felt even worse when they gave me a giant stack of Tactical Art stickers….

…and I mean, it was a pretty large stack. These guys were more than generous and I’ve been putting together a package of merchandise for them to mail out to Japan. I got so many of these that I’ll probably throw a couple of these in there with some big orders when I re-open The Chronicles Storefront. Keep an eye out for that if you’re interested in some pretty rare stickers straight from Japan…

Here’s one of the VIP Q45s at the meet…

Gerald from Royal Origin and his DC2 were at the meet…

…as well as Chivas’ orange coupe. The Tactical Art guys are huge Honda heads so they spent quite a bit of time looking over Chivas’ car and were surprised to see his purple color-shifting engine bay…

S2000 from “Jock Me” with Alexisthemovie’s old glow-in-the-dark Work Rezax wheels…

Ronzilla’s Scion xB… I still remember this car from the 2009 SEMA show when it was still white…

We hung out for a little while longer but it was getting late and we had to get to the Scion industry party over at the Aria so I snapped one more photo with them, said our goodbyes, and headed out with Freddie and the Autofashion guys…

We arrived at Haze nightclub inside Aria around 11 and walked right in to get some drinks. I had been to Haze before and it was a pretty nice club. I remember going there one year for Phaze2 Tony’s birthday and the club was absolutely packed with people. They had like this Geisha Girl show on the stage then with chicks in all kinds of thongs and shit and it was a blast. For the Scion party, uhhh…it was a little different. No geisha girls, and definitely just lacking in general when it came to girls, as expected, but fuck it, we had a good time…

Drinks weren’t exactly cheap at the clubs, but that was expected. With little women around and plenty of industry folks walking around trying to have a good time, their only release was throwing down some alcohol. It’s also not as crowded as it usually would be on say, a regular weekend, so the clubs mark up the prices a bit to make some money off these guys. Luckily for us, our buddy Fat Kid from Ballade Sports had the super duper Scion VIP wristband, which allowed him to have access to an open bar all night. This guy right here, standing next to DPK David, literally made our night because he would just go back and forth and bring us whatever drinks we wanted. He was basically our liaison to an open bar with free drinks and he did not hesitate to keep bringing the drinks over….

Our buddy Nick Caster flew out from Roseville, CA and made it just in time for the party, while our other friend Hoonie (scary giant to the right), drove out from Orange County to join the festivities…Here they are partying it up with Rywire Ryan and Fat Kid…

With few women in sight, Ryan enlisted the help of a Peter North video while he pounded down two drinks…Ryan could be heard saying “…Damn that dude must eat a lot of egg whites…”…

While Ryan was busy enjoying some fuck faces, I ran into one of the Tjin brothers. Gene is always willing to experiment with fashion so he showed up to the club rocking a fucking Nintendo Power Glove…If you don’t know what these are, then you were probably born in the 90s or later. Never fear though, because the Tjin brothers are now sponsored by some Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall video game store in Garden Grove, CA and will be releasing the “Tjin Edition” Power Glove. They will come in a new brushed metal wrap that will still come with the timeless ability to make it difficult to pick up anything while trying to get this glove to work with Shaq-Fu the video game… I was overjoyed by this news and asked Gene if they had a brand-new in-box Virtual Boy, which he replied “Yes, but the only game that works on it is called ‘a headache’…”….

Jared was looking mighty pimped-out in his velour blazer posing alongside May….The jacket would later be found on the kitchen counter where Jared was busy unearthing his demons into the sink…

Somewhere later on in the night, Fat Kid had given us waaaaayyy too many free drinks and we started doing all kinds of dumb shit…I don’t know who that girl is and Wolverine seemed awfully douchey, but it didn’t stop me from dancing like an asshole with my glow stick out…

The rest of the night just kind of seemed like a utter blur after that… I didn’t know what the fuck was going on… I totally forgot Rom was there partying with us until he emerged from this cloud of smoke…. Shit looked like a fucking Prince video…

When the club shut down, we headed out once again to go grab some food…I think…the night was pretty hazy (no pun intended, you know cuz we were partying at “Haze” and because of the last photo..no pun though I swear).. We got back to the hotel room and listened to Jared re-enact the scene from The Exorcist and went to bed…

I thought I went to bed fine and dandy, but around 6am, I woke up with a sudden urge to take a shit. I walked over to the bathroom, sat down, looked through Facebook with one eye open, and then got up…and fucking threw up all over the toilet. I guess I had drank more than I had remembered, and broke my consecutive non-yack streak of 4+ years. If that wasn’t bad enough, I actually still had to take a shit too so I sat down to poop, probably all the while sitting on my own yack….I did my business, hopped in the shower, cleaned the toilet, all the while with just one eye open, and then hopped back into bed and kiss May goodnight, haha…

The next day was kind of rough. I really wanted to hit up the SEMA show early because I wanted to see whatever was left that I had missed. It didn’t help that we woke up super late and didn’t get to the show until about 1pm…

I really liked this VW MK1 Golf from the United Kingdom that was sitting in the Meguiar’s Car Crazy Showcase…

I don’t know enough about Volkswagens to tell you what swap is in here…pretend I did though and act like I have endless amount of knowledge… Fucking R32 motor or something, yeah that sounds about right…

Right hand drive with an absolutely immaculate interior….

Refinished Ronal Turbo wheels in a wrinkle black finish…

Had to get a shot of this as I passed by the Meguiar’s stage…

Our buddy Hoonie tagged along with us to check out the show and here he is pointing at the 50-inch wheel he was planning to put on his Chevy pick-up…the A/C isn’t working but if the truck is sitting in the sky with these big ass wheels, he won’t have to worry about getting hot…It’s a wire wheel though so he’d have to stop the car every 10 miles and re-tighten all the spokes…

Seibon’s Honda CR-Z in the Hankook booth with some baby ass TE37SLs…That’s like a TE37SL fetus that hasn’t developed into a full grown wheel…

These girls were happy to see me, although I am still unsure if the girl on the right is still capable of smiling…

Three things are very obvious in this photo, one of them being that I should have framed this photo better…the other two are bursting out of that girl’s dress…

I tried to think of what to say to her and the only words that came out of my mouth were “Tiiiiiits…” which she responded to with a smile…she probably gets that a lot…

Pretty model and a company with some unattractive wheels…

SLS McLaren inside the Forgiato booth…

Murcielago from Japan with Liberty Walk aero, air suspension, and Forgiato GTR wheels…

I guess there was some controversy online as to whether or not this was actually a real CLS 63 AMG or not…turns out that this was a regular CLS550 and the brakes ended up being the dead giveaway. One eye witness who was at the show even stated clearly that one front brake caliper said “AMG” on it and the other side didn’t….weird, either way it’s still a CLS with a Wald Black Bison kit on it. The aero isn’t for everyone, especially when it comes to the typical demographic of CLS owners but companies don’t take risks and make these aggressive kits to please everyone…It’s an interesting look in my opinion but I’ve also seen photos of it online where it’s just black and not this bright matte orange color…Either way, it’s not something I really care too much about cuz it’s out of my price range anyway, haha…

Oh man, this was crazy. We were at the back half of the wheel/tire hall when I thought I spotted the HRE section. When I looked closer, it turns out that this wasn’t HRE, but a Taiwanese company called BC Wheels that literally took EVERY SINGLE wheel from HRE and made copies of it! Fucking nuts…I mean, they made no attempt to even hide the fact that they are ripping off HRE wheels. Even their center cap design was close to the HRE center cap. Apparently they are forged too, but who knows….

I mean, seriously…a copy of every HRE wheel…shits crazy….Even if you were a casual car enthusiast you would probably recognize these wheels as being HREs…I just had to snap some photos because nobody would believe me. I know I usually get some photos of the Rota booth but nothing is really different this year other than the fact that they have already made a copy of the Work CR-01 wheel. Oh speaking of which, FUCK XXR wheels. Every year at SEMA they prevent people from taking photos of their booth. They even have signs posted everywhere that they don’t allow photography. As soon as they see that you have a camera they already have a rep stand up and hover over you and shit, it’s bullshit. Lame ass company…It’s sad how dirty they are and how they are afraid that people will take photos of wheels that are blatant copies…Rota doesn’t give a shit and will even give you a fucking free baseball cap. XXR tries to pretend like they aren’t doing anything wrong, when everyone already knows what they are all about….

Ever wonder what a blank 20×8.5in wheel looks like before a design has been cut into it?…(Totally unrelated to the company above by the way…)

Ever wonder what a Chrysler 300 would look like if it crashed into a brick of government cheese?… Haha, I think this rolling travesty was once a Chevy S10 pick-up that transformed itself into a giant brick of crusty government cheese. Don’t know what government cheese is? Well look it up, because you’re lucky to be financially stable and never had to encounter government assisted foods…Usually when that old crusty brick of cheese has been left in the fridge too long and gets old, it starts cracking and flaking and looks a lot like this truck. If somehow there were ever an accident where a Chrysler 300 crashed into a Best Buy the same exact moment when a Chevy S10 carrying a truck-bed load of government cheese crashed into it, this would be the result… And they say miracles don’t happen…

One of the best comments I’ve seen online about this thing is that it’s fitting how the truck was built by a collision center because it’s meant to resemble an accident, haha…Seriously though, why the fuck does a hood need to open like that? Unless it’s like a trap door that opens to a world filled with giant tittys and free hamburgers, it’s awfully unnecessary. And then whoever built this thing is trying to fool me into liking this truck by throwing some fucking sideways TVs inside the doors. Motherfucker, I can’t even watch TV like that….

Anyways, moving on…

Now let’s take a look at a build that is much more pleasing to the senses….This is John Fortuno’s Chrysler 300, which is dubbed “Fatchance 2.0”. We had actually walked through the Dodge/Mopar section earlier but we ran into some of the guys from out east and totally missed this car. On the way over to the Falken Tire section, David and I spotted this thing walking up the stairs and decided to go take a look at it. When I started looking at the bay, the owner John Fortuno came out from the back seat and decided to give us a tour of the car…

We talked with him for quite a bit actually and even found out that he’s from Huntington Beach, CA, which isn’t too far away from us. Fortuno has a 426 HEMI engine swap with custom fuel set-up, tucked harness, and white powdercoated intake manifold….

I love the front end on these new 300s because it finally has a look of it’s own and not anything resembling a Rolls Royce…

The trim pieces, grille, etc. were all removed and redone to have this brushed metal finish…John tells us that he took the pieces, sanded them down to a dull finish and then powdercoated it in black chrome to produce this look…

Full custom interior…You can see the brushed elements also appear inside…

Custom trunk enclosure with dual air compressors for the air suspension and Accuair digital leveling system…

Fatchance 2.0 also features aero from Xenon and 22-inch forged USW Uprise wheels… Overall a great build and another one of my favorites. It was a pleasure talking to John Fortuno as well and I appreciated the fact that he took the time to tell us all about Fatchance 2.0. You can actually find quite a bit of information on this 300 if you’re really interested in it. Just google “Fatchance 2.0”. This build is quite famous in the Mopar world and is considered the first heavily modified 2011 Chrysler 300. John even worked closely with Chysler to put this car together after the success of his first 300 build, Fatchance 1.0….

Once we finished speaking to Mr. Fortuno, we made our way to the Falken Tire area…

We walked by the Toyo Tires booth along the way where I spotted UFC lightweight Anthony “Showtime” Pettis…There were a bunch of UFC fighters on hand during SEMA and a couple of them made appearances in the Toyo section inside this make-shift cage display. The first day featured Rampage Jackson and Strikeforce Woman’s Champion Miesha Tate. I think the next day it was Brandon Vera and then Anthony Pettis… While walking around, I also spotted Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Leonard Garcia. I don’t know if you guys recognize any of those names but I’m a huge MMA fan so it was cool to see these guys just walking around and enjoying cars….

One more look at the widebody Cadillac CTS-V coupe from D3 Group….the car features an APR rear wing, matte body wrap, and D3 hood, sideskirts, chin spoiler, and widebody kit…

Motor is powered by a D3 Stage 3 supercharger, D3 1000HP axles, and Art Carr transmission…

Speaking of widebody, I also spotted this Ford Mustang from Galpin Auto Sports. The front looks good but the side and rear are not really all that pleasing to the eyes…

I don’t know what Kenda Tires are but they had this S13 hatchback with Kouki S14 front end…

GM Performance LS3 crate motor and Sikky engine mounts….

Finally got to the Falken Tire section to grab some free Falken gear and so that some of the others could see the RWB Porsche…I had already seen all the cars here so I just hung out and snapped some photos of the Falken ladies…

Falken Tire model Randyl Dawn…who was giving out some free Falken carabiners and referred to me as “Hey you cameraman”…

Falken Tire model Melanie Tillbrook…

Falken Tire models Julie Galindo and Myra…

We left the wheel/tire hall after that and walked back outside to try and find some cars that we missed…

The new Camaros are all the rage these days, especially at SEMA 2011, so it was refreshing to see this 80s-90s era Camaro completely race-ready and in great shape…All caged-up with lexan glass front and back…crazy…

Widebody Subaru WRX wagon parked next to some railing…this is a perfect example of a nice build that might have been missed because of where it was placed…

I was finally able to get some better shots of this matte red E61 BMW 5-series wagon on VIP Modular wheels….

Love this brown Ford truck…

Gonna close it out for today with this 1960 Cadillac DeVille aka “Cruella DeVille”, owned by Justin Carillo….

That’s all for today folks, hope you enjoyed the read. Thanks for looking, back with whatever is left of the SEMA 2011 coverage later….

8 thoughts

  1. The Green mk1 Golf has a PD130 (diesel) engine conversion under the hood, props for featuring a UK car in your blog & I’m even more shocked that the car has been shipped/flewn out to the states for a show.

    Craig.

  2. BC Wheels is the wheel division of BC Racing suspension. I talked to them last year about it, they are (or were) 100% made to order which I found a little strange considering but whatever.

    That is so weird about XXR.

    Bless that model for walking around with her tits 3/4 of the way dumped out.

  3. That Suzuka blue belongs to Phil, from Jock Me Crew, here in Vegas. Those wheels are not Alex’s old Rezaxs. They were purchased from a private party and refinished by Juan at Snail Motorsports Custom Powdercoating in Las Vegas. The finish doesn’t glow either. I am only commenting because I would like to see both of these cats get the recognition they deserve.

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