Autocon 2012 Coverage…Part 1…

Man, there has been a shit ton of events going on lately… So much so that it’s a little hard to keep things “fresh” so to speak. I mean, you can only look at the same cars and the same models so many times, you know what I mean? As much as I love covering events and going to check out shows, I’ll admit, I’m kind of itching to see something new or different. Behind the scenes, I’ve slowly been trying to piece together the Nisei Showoff event and the once in a lifetime “GENERATIONS” line-up so I had some reluctance to check out Autocon 2012. Not that I didn’t like the show but we have all been doing so much lately that it’s been hard to find a moment just to breathe. I even had a couple people come up to me during Autocon and ask me how I can manage being everywhere all the time. One of the reasons why I go to Autocon and show Justin Fong, the creator, support is because he supports me. I get a fair amount of support from the industry but I’ve always been appreciative of how Justin has always taken the time to personally come by and say what’s up and thank me for being at his events. There’s no greater respect than when someone offers you an entrance, booth space, and spots for cars at their own event and then comes by to thank you for coming. Real talk though, I appreciate that a lot. I mean, he didn’t have to ask me, nor was he obligated to come thank me. I’m happy to be there to show support to people that are thankful that I am there. I’ve been to plenty of events and you guys all know by now that I spend lots of time on my event coverage posts. As much as I enjoy going to events, I am basically working the whole time I am there, either shooting for my site or for magazines. It’s hard work. Fun, yes, but it is still time intensive and tiring, especially when it comes to events like Autocon where the weather is in triple digits. I honestly could not care less if people came up to me and thanked me for attending their shows. I’m not one of those guys that demands respect. I think my work speaks for itself and if you enjoy it, then that is good enough for me. If you have a kind word to pass along, that is just a bonus for me. Autocon in general was a bonus. Justin and staff always try to take care of The Chronicles and It’s JDM Yo!! and that’s why I go. I’m not gonna sit there and tell you that it is the best event ever. I’m not hear to blow smoke up anyone’s ass. It’s a fairly new event and there are definitely kinks that need to be worked out. I am happy to be there to see the growth of the event though and I think it is one of those shows that will eventually become a household name. Will it ever be as big as the major events like Wekfest? Ehhh, it remains to be seen. I don’t think the organization is good enough where they could even handle that type of crowd but I’m sure they will use Wekfest as an example of where they want to be…

Overall, I think it was a good event. The weather was absolutely dreadful but that is out of their control so you can’t really blame Autocon for that. As hot as it was, the foot traffic was pretty good and there was a consistent crowd flow throughout the day. I think the venue was a little too big for the event though. The lot was so massive that it almost made the show look smaller than it was. The spacing of the cars was very good though because of the size of the lot, which made for easy photo ops but like I said, it was a little big. Better to have it too big than for the event to be crammed together with no space so the huge venue wasn’t necessarily a negative. It was also cool that it was in such a nice area. I used to hang out in that area all the time and people around there got some money, haha, so the city looks very nice. The mall was right next door to the venue too so if people wanted to get away from the heat for awhile, they could just head over to the indoor shopping area. Having the mall there made for a cool backdrop because it just isn’t anything you typically see from a car show…

Just from plain observation, it seemed as if a lot of spectators were just there for models. I don’t really understand how that works but people were just going absolutely apeshits over these girls. Some of them…well…not to be an asshole, but some of these girls should just go find a day job or something else besides “import modeling”. A lot of them just aren’t cut out for the whole thing and don’t really have “the look” to have staying power in the industry. For someone that has spent over a decade now in the industry, I can tell you right away which girls are going to make it and which aren’t. I follow the cars but of course, the models have always gone hand in hand with the cars so you kind of develop a certain idea as to which girls have “the look”… If it wasn’t so hot that day, I would have also recommended that some of them put on some more clothes but hey, it was 108 degrees so we will let that slide…

My only major issue with the Autocon event was the same issue that I had with it last year… the show itself is just too damn long. 12-7 is a long time for an event. Anything over 4 1/2 to 5 hours is already too much so something that spanned from noon until the 7 is way too long. If you’ve been to Autocon the last two years, you’ll notice that the crowd and foot traffic dies by around 5pm. That’s because these people can only be at a show for so long so they leave at 5. After five the show is pretty much dead. I think by that point everybody who was left at the show were either there stalking import-models-to-be or people who had their cars in the show and were waiting to leave. I had a good time but I’ll tell you this right now; we all wanted to get out of there after standing around in the 100 degree sun for more than 4 hours, haha. I think in the future if they shortened the event, car show participants won’t be so burnt-out and they could save some money from not having to rent the venue for so long. Think about it if you’re someone that is registered to be in a car show; you have to arrive in the early morning and then you can’t even leave until after everyone else leaves in the evening. That’s a long fucking time man. Haha, cut that shit a little short and I think everybody will be happier and the staff won’t have to work so hard at the end of the day. I heard some people had issues with the roll-in because there was some confusion in the morning but I had no problems so I can’t really speak on that…

Anyways, let’s get going with the coverage… I know I’ve been bombarding you guys lately with a lot of wide angle stuff so I shot strictly with a 70-200mm lens at Autocon so you won’t see any wide angle stuff at all. It also helps to kind of change things up with the coverage since I’m sure you have seen plenty of these cars this year already. Enjoy…

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I got to the venue at about 9:20am after meeting up with DPK David in the morning. It was already about 78 degrees at that time so we knew it was going to be a scorcher that day. This Y32 Cima was one of the first cars I spotted after I pulled at my camera while waiting to park and set up my booth…

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Very traditional Japanese VIP-themed build…Not like many of the “VIP” cars you see today that are just slammed on some wheels that don’t fit and are proudly showing off their fucked up fenders. I love the whole wheel fitment thing but I much prefer that people “make the feels fit” by altering their fenders in a way where the wheel actually still seats under the car, haha…If you don’t agree then you don’t agree…

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Mike Mao has been everywhere in Socal this year so you’re bound to see his NSX pop up in almost everyone’s coverage of events…. Random thought but I noticed that a lot of people already have their event coverage up of this event. Strange because normally it takes a while for people to get their content out… I don’t really have a logical explanation for this… Just merely wondering why that seems to be the case…

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Jose Romo cleaning up his Audi A3 wagong before the gates opened…

After setting up the booth and putting the cars where they needed to be, we got hungry so we decided to walk over to the numerous food trucks to see what kinds of food choices we had for the day… Food trucks aren’t necessarily the healthiest thing to munch on but we rarely eat food from trucks and car shows are probably the only times when we have the opportunity to….

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Once we saw the Dogzilla truck, we knew we had to get something from there. They weren’t ready to serve people yet since they were still prepping food for the day but we stuck around to get our food before the hoards of spectators came in. While we waited, all I could do was stare at these ice cold sodas, wishing I could drink all of them to try to cool down from the heat that day…

There was a good ten minute wait so I looked around to see if I saw anything interesting. DPK David walked over to another food truck to stare at the menu while I spotted this iced-out black dude…

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Haa….

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If you haven’t had a chance to try out the Dogzilla truck and you live in Socal, I highly recommend it. I am a great appreciator of hot dogs (no homo) and Dogzilla has some really good ones…

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The food was almost ready so I used a spare moment to snap this shot of an BMW M5 from FX Auto Design…

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…and this shot of a TSX on Enkeis that I believe a buddy of mine owns…

AFter we got our food, we headed back to the booth so we could have a seat while we ate. May was also working the booth that day so I had to make sure she was well fed….

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May snapped this photo of my homie Sam Ip while I was busy chowing down… Sam’s recently gotten into photography and while he’s still pretty green, I enjoy his enthusiasm and happy to see that he’s picked up a hobby. He’s usually so busy with work that it doesn’t seem like he’s had much time to do stuff on his own…

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Dudes were going crazy all day trying to get shots of models… I often wonder where these photos end up since I never seem to see them anywhere online but apparently it is totally worth being sweaty as fuck to get a good titty shot, haha…

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I wanted to see what all the hoopla was all about so I walked over to the model booth to see what was going on… I snapped this photo that I think came out pretty decent but I did not manage to catch this model’s name…Tony probably knows but I’ll forget to ask and you will never know… moving on…

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Ms. Marissa Hiroko, who I hear has a pretty big spread in the newest issue of Super Street magazine…

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I don’t know if you guys remember watching the Wekfest SF video from Studio Mountain but it predominantly featured Ryan Der from ATS Garage and his finger pointer. Well he brought it out again and I wish we could have used it more but this is one of the rare shots of it. Later on in the day a couple other people were walking around with it so who knows where that finger ended up…

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I believe this is Loni Kai… Man, I was confusing the shit out of this girl. I had my camera pointed at her while some other guy was shooting photos of her and she had to keep looking back and forth and I wasn’t even shooting at that moment. I was trying to catch a candid but that didn’t work out. She was probably cross-eyed after that moment…

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Melissa Riso… whose photos have been known to make men’s penises cry worldwide…haha…

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Thought this Tacoma looked pretty good posted up in the parking lot. Of course when I’m at a car show I decide to take pictures of cars in the parking lot…

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Infiniti G35 in the Import Fashion booth on custom gold-faced Alstadt wheels… If you ever want to know what Import Fashion or what JDM Sport is, don’t ask me because I have no idea what the fuck they do or sell or what… Every show they have a bunch of different girls modeling at their booths and the Import Fashion booth always looks like a bad music video. They got girls on stripper poles and shit and this time around at Autocon, they were even pouring water bottles all over the girls. When I was passing through at the end of the day, one of the girls got FUCKING PISSED. I’ll let you know which girl it is later on when I post up the photos…haha…

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“Stanced and Enhanced” (see windshield banner) S2000 from San Diego on Work Equip wheels…

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KP61 Toyota Starlet with some pretty rare TRD Tosco wheels…

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Newer model 4A-GE motor with individual throttles…Pretty sick car overall…

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Really liked this AE71 Corolla on ATS Classic wheels…

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Black-top 4A-GE, also with individual throttle bodies…

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Armand’s half-winged MR-2 on Work Meister S1s… Everytime I look at his MR-2 it makes me feel like I ordered a bucket of KFC chicken and they left out a WING…haha…

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Top Secret GT300 Supra replica from Auto Concept Elite…

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I thought this VW Jetta wagon was pretty sick with custom paint and one-off DPE wheels…

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Always interesting to see VW bays because the motors always look like they are missing the other half, haha…

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Daniel Leung’s Subaru STi on aggressive SSR Type-Fs…

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Stephen Leung’s Evo X… in this shot you can see the Santa Anita mall in the distance….

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Sam Ip’s FA5 Civic Si…

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Alec Nguyen cruised out to Autocon in the FAST Autoworks Civic coupe…

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John Ma’s beautifully restored Nissan S13 coupe on Panasport G7s…

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Jesse Ortiz’s A60 Toyota Celica from Low N Slow rocking old school Epsilon Southern Ways mesh wheels…

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Not really sure when S2000s became VIP cars but this one looked pretty good on WED’s Kranze Bazreias…

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Lexus LS460 from Royal Flush…

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Love the design on these VIP Modulars…

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WED’s Kranze Bazreias on a more appropriate Lexus LS430 from Platinum VIP…

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Demon camber set-up on this 2GS Lexus…

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This BMW M5 was one of my favorite cars that day….

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Great fitment and sizing on the concave Rennen Forged wheels…

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You don’t know how happy it makes me wheel when I see wheels that fit under a fender these days, haha…Good “VIP” fitment on this GS… Wheel fitment has become a lost art. If good wheel fitment is the equivalent of buying nice pants and getting them hemmed to fit, then wheel fitment these days is equal to kids folding their pants and stapling them to fit… Then they drag so much that the pants get torn and fucked up on the bottom, haha…

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Subaru on custom step-lipped Work Equips…

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LS400 from Royal Flush on Garson Deep Racing wheels…

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Lexus SC coupe wearing T&E Vertex (or “style”) aero…

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This Infiniti M was looking very nice on AME Shallen LXs…

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The asshole that drives this Q45 is the guy who runs this site and who is typing the words you’re reading right now…

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This is what the Chronicles booth looked like that day at Autocon 2012… Thanks to Tony from It’s JDM Yo!! and Justin from Autocon for making it happen…

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May was selling cupcakes from her side business, Love is Sweet Desserts, at Autocon in my booth. She spent the whole night baking these Red Velvet cupcakes and was selling them for $3 each. 20% of the proceeds went to charity and I think she did pretty well that day…

I’ve been planning on setting up a shoot with Holly Lee and some cupcakes but haven’t gotten around to it since its been so busy lately. Holly came by and we managed to get some shots together real quick but I still plan on doing a full photoshoot later on down the line…

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Big shout-out and thanks to her for stepping away from the model lounge area to get some shots with May’s cupcakes…

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…also credit to May for being dedicated and making sure all her product was perfect before Autocon… It was so hot that day that she was worried they would melt but they lasted and looked great…

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Holly with the Love is Sweet cupcake box…

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Unknown random breezies posted up by Mike Mao’s NSX…

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Michelle Yee…

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Jin’s LS400 from Kyoei USA…One of my favorite stateside LS builds because of the quality of parts and attention to detail…

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Lewis Liang’s ITR reppin’ Loi-Spec Garage…one of the many cool Honda builds you’ll be seeing in a couple of weeks at Nisei Showoff…

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Closing it out for today with a shot of Brian Hua’s 4-door Integra on white TEs…

Thanks for looking. So much more to come so check back throughout the week for updates!…

9 thoughts

  1. Not a bad write up. Weather was crazy! Too hot to be walking around! The Platinum VIP, Phantom Garage USA and JDM Sport guys got lucky since they were under the shade! No lie though Joey, a lot of what you critic on could’ve been worded differently to not make you sound so much like a sour douchebag but then again it is your blog. I like what you were saying about wheel fitment. It seems like nowadays, people are cambering their cars to either 1. Fit their “aggressive” wheels or 2. For looks or fad. You know where the whole camber and aggressive fitment comes from; Traditional Car : big bodies import sedans Non-Traditional Car : Civic.

    What grinds my gear is people loosely modding their vehicles. I for one will say a Lexus CT 250 with rhinestones and chubaka fur is for one not VIP. Big bodies like LS or Q45 is a VIP platform.

    Well enough said…

    – King Bukake

  2. Pingback: Autocon 2012 Coverage…Part 3 of 3… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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