Autocon Los Angeles 2013 Coverage…Part 1…

As many of you are aware, this year’s Autocon LA event was the final in a three-week block of shows. It’s not uncommon out here in Socal, as we experience a lot of different automotive events annually. This would probably mark the first time where three MAJOR events coincided with one another though. The Eibach Honda Meet is a must-go-to type of an event for me, and the Wekfest series has grown in monumental proportions in the last 5 years. It only makes sense to attend both. Normally in the event where there are three events in one week, I’ll usually pick one to not go to just so I can take a break. If there were three and both Eibach and Wekfest fell before, I would normally elect to skip the final one…unless it was Autocon of course. Autocon is the youngest of the trio and I believe in the event, so I always make an effort to attend. I missed the inaugural Autocon event back in 2010 but have been to every single one since then. Justin Fong, the creator of the Autocon series, is a nice guy and has always been very generous to me and I like the ideas that he’s incorporated into his events. It has grown a ton since the ’10 show and now they have even expanded outside of Southern California and are doing other Autocon events in other parts of the country. Their growth has been an interesting one and I’m happy to see that Justin and his team have always been really good about listening to feedback from enthusiasts in response to how to improve their show. This year’s was the biggest Autocon LA to date and they are well on their way to becoming a staple in our community. It’s not quite there yet, as the rest of the country has yet to understand what Autocon is but they are quickly making their presence known in the industry…

The major gripe about last year was how unbearable the weather was…weather is something that no one really has control over but the Autocon staff attempted to improve upon this issue in 2013 by holding the show at an early time of year. The effort was definitely there but unfortunately for them, it just so happened to be hot as fuck again this year. To be honest, it was actually quite nice compared to last year. There was a bit of a breeze and at certain parts of the day, it was totally fine to just walk around and explore the show. The only real way to truly fix this problem was to change venues, and I think that they are pretty happy with the location where they are at. It’s a really nice spot that is wide upon and in a very nice city. There just isn’t any type of shade or greens in the area to help cool people down. The only way to stay out of the sun was to have a booth or have a tent to hide under. Either way, when you start to plan for events from April on, you’re likely to run into some really intense weather. That’s just how California is. You can either complain about it and stay home or come out and bear it and try to enjoy the day at the show…

IMG_5387-Edit

The Eibach Honda Meet was pretty hot, being that it was out in Lake Elsinore this year. Wekfest LA was actually very nice compared to year’s past and being by the water always helps but the sun still takes a toll. By the time Autocon rolled around the next week, I was pretty done with standing out in the sun. I hate getting burned and just can’t stand putting sunblock on, but I mean, you just have to do it. Feeling sticky all day beats getting skin cancer or some shit later on, so you just have to suck it up. For Autocon, I just did my best to stay out of the sun completely. I had a booth with Tony and the Its JDM Yo!! crew, so that was my excuse for hiding in the shade that day. May was busy doing her Crossfit stuff, so I just told her to concentrate on that and not come to the show until later. I was going to be hiding at the booth anyways so if there was anyone that wanted to pick up merchandise, I could take care of it and just do coverage later. Both Ryans were there as well as other friends so the booth was pretty well covered. Model Jenn Q was sharing a booth with us as well so it was just a chill day hanging out with all the friends. I waited until the end of the day to really do coverage and the photos will represent that. I did glance around and made the rounds throughout the show at brief moments during the day but the harsh sunlight made it hard to shoot anyway. I just kept mental notes of which areas I had to hit later on and just did my coverage around 5:30-6pm… The show went from 1pm-7pm anyhow so its not like we had a shortage of time that would cause us to miss anything…

Overall, I thought the show was good. Foot traffic still doesn’t compare to any of the Wekfest events but I honestly don’t think that they were shooting that high anyway. They had a great turnout and even with people complaining about the weather all week, it didn’t seem to deter anyone from actually coming out. The Autocon series tends to bring out the younger crop of enthusiasts, as it should, being that the creator is not very old himself, and you’ll recognize that in the way people dressed, as well as the style of cars that populated the show. If anything, the Autocon show kind of reminds me of just how long I’ve been in this industry. Things have certainly changed a lot in the last decade and it’s cool to see a younger enthusiast make his way in the competitive car show community while still growing himself…

IMG_5423-Edit

I had a great time and everyone that I spoke to that day seemed very positive about the event. My only gripe was the overall layout of the show. Last year, it seemed as if the show was a little bit “too wide open” with cars being spaced-out to the point where the show looked sort of empty. This year, everything looked to be really compact, almost as if cars were crammed into the venue. All this cramming caused a lot of congestion in the morning and made the roll-in process pretty rough. Cars couldn’t get through to where they had to be and people that had already set-up were forced to move everything around to accommodate more cars coming in. This isn’t a fatal flaw or anything and can be easily fixed with better planning and experience. The layout made it hard for photographers to get coverage of the event too since the cars were parked so tightly together. there were areas where you could barely get a clear shot because other cars were blocking the frame due to how close they were to one another. Again, not anything that can’t be fixed so hopefully in the future they will figure it out. Since last year’s was too open and this year’s was too congested, maybe next year it will be just right. I like where this event series is going and I wish Justin and crew the best of luck as they make their way out of California and onto other venues in other states. It’s a good show with a lot of innovative ideas and it is these unique factors that help to set them apart from the rest. Some would say that I was critical of how the show was run but I feel like these are things that should be addressed. It’s very easy for people to complain and then not say anything honest when it comes time to really state their opinions. Why not just say what you feel at that moment with understanding that the event organizers are listening to what you have to say? If they aren’t then they won’t be successful in the future. From having spoken to Justin over time, I think he’s taken criticism and the suggestions of others quite well. If they continue to strive to improve, I don’t see why Autocon wouldn’t stick around and become a regular in our industry…

As I mentioned, about 90% of the coverage from Autocon LA 2013 is from the end of the day. I think it actually worked out better this way because it produced the best images as the sun began to set. There were moments when I walked around and just snapped random photos though and you’ll quickly recognize which ones those were. Many of the model photos are from the middle of the day because they tend to leave earlier before the show ends so I tried to capture some of them while they were still around. Anyways, enjoy the photos and thanks to the Autocon staff for having me…

IMG_5388-Edit

These ladies were from Western Auto Crafters or some shit and were not too far from our booth that day. They seemed really nice but the only annoying thing about them was that they had these two other folks that kept bugging people to take photos with them. I guess they got paid or whatever for how many photos they took with spectators or some shit but it was fucking irritating. Every time I walked by some old lady would harass me and tried to get me to take pictures with them. She kept saying “oh don’t be scared, they won’t bite” like I was afraid of them or something. Bitch, I’m a grown ass man. I just don’t want to take pictures with them. I don’t understand why they had to be so pushy about it. I was trying to be nice about it and by the end of the day she kept doing it so I looked at her and said “look, I don’t want to take a fucking picture with them. I have a booth to run and have shit to do and have my own photos to take.” I’m not trying to be an asshole but damn, let that shit go. Not like she didn’t recognize who I was, I was like 6 feet away from them throughout the day. The fuck I wanna take a photo with them for anyway? I don’t even know what company they rep or what they are about. Most of the cars that were in their booth were lame anyway…

IMG_5394-Edit

Bright red VIP F50 Q45 from Royal Flush crew that also wasn’t too far away from the booth…

IMG_5398-Edit

Pretty interesting to see how popular the Y33 chassis has gotten since the whole “American VIP” scene has grown over the last couple of years. I remember when I first got my Q45 how no one even knew what the car was. Now they are almost as popular as the Lexus LS chassis. I guess it goes with them just being more affordable these days. This one in particular is a nicer example of a U.S. VIP Q build. It featurs a Version Select kit with JDM headlights, fogs and a set of custom Work Ryver Touring wheels…

IMG_5400-Edit

I normally think that Ryvers are kind of ugly, especially since they are always being thrown on random ass cars, but this refinished set is really, really nice… I like the wheels with the deep step-lip and the gold hardware. The lugs are a nice touch too…

IMG_5697-Edit

Next to it was Droo’s Q, another cleanly-executed Y33…

IMG_5492-Edit

Droo’s has WED’s Kranze Bazreia wheels on it and Aimgain front bumper and sideskirts…

There was a point in the day where I was just trying to capture random stuff like model photos and what not, so the next couple of photos are barely car-related other than the fact that there were cars around…

IMG_5402-Edit

IMG_5403-Edit

Having Jenn Q at the booth was us was quite an educational experience. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that there are a ton of creepy ass dudes that come to car shows to just see the models. Autocon is like, the perfect place for them because they always bring out the best current crop of import models. With Jenn Q on hand, we were able to see this creepiness first hand and see just how scary and random these dudes looked…

IMG_5418-Edit

Some were pretty regular looking guys, who just were fans of the models, but some were just downright odd. There were a bunch of really REALLY old men, some guys that looked like they never leave their house unless there was a car show going on with models, but the most random ones that I spotted were a trio of two old Asian men who was also accompanied by an elderly Asian woman, all armed to the teeth with the best photo gear. I don’t know who or what they shoot for but they had a system too. They would all take turns shooting one model at a time, rotate, and come back later for more. It was the most bizarre thing I think I had ever seen… We were joking around at the booth all day and giving random people nicknames, so I dubbed them “Husband, Wife, and Brother” and would chant it every time they came around to take pictures of Jenn Q…. So if you heard me yelling “HUSBAND, WIFE, AND BROOOOTHER”, that’s because they were hovering over the booth…

IMG_5434-Edit

Another interesting-looking fella that probably shoots for the website “www.mycreepybedroomshrine.com”. Our discussions that day also involved what exactly these guys’ bedrooms must have looked since they not only take pictures, they also buy prints that are signed by the models. I wonder if they have a whole room of photos with the girls’ eyes cut out of the photos or something crazy like that, haha… fucking scary. When I say that they have some serious photo equipment, I’m not lying. The gear that they use is equal to or better than what most of us print photographers use. They can’t just be used to shoot model photos at events, there’s just no way….

IMG_5412-Edit

Speaking of nicknames, we called this model “The homecoming queen” that day since she was the only one of her group with a tiara-like head band on that day…

IMG_5435-Edit

I’ll let you guys guess the nickname for this one…

IMG_5422-Edit

Model Sally for Stance Wheels. I heard she also works at Cafe Lu for those of you who are interested in going…

IMG_5425-Edit

First time seeing Dawn Jaro in person…

IMG_5430-Edit

Brittani Paige, who I remember from the Formula D Long Beach season opener when she was working the NOS Energy booth…

IMG_5431-Edit

Alexia Cortez…

IMG_5440-Edit

Tony, who isn’t a model, from It’s JDM Yo!! doing some filming with his new camera on the Autocon stage…

IMG_5442-Edit

DPK David and the Jaro sisters, Justene and Dawn… Not the best capture since Justene ended up in the harsh sun…

IMG_5454-Edit

Back at the It’s JDM Yo!!/Chronicles/Jenn Q booth, I captured Jenn during a break enjoying a nice cold Boba (For you East Coasters “Bubble Tea”) beverage that had me dying for a drink all day… Luckily our booth was stocked with cold waters and some Gatorades that Ryan Der brought for us…

IMG_5458-Edit

Appropriately (not really) parked next to The Chronicles booth was this Ferrari on Forgestar wheels that I will never own… Looks great though…

IMG_5460-Edit

Michael Mao’s NSX of course, that ended up going home that day with the Best Acura honors at Autocon LA…

IMG_5461-Edit

DPK David and Anh from Style Over Comfort having a chat in front of the booth…

IMG_5465-Edit

IMG_5468-Edit

Hadn’t really seen a heavily-modded JZA70 Supra in awhile so it was a pleasant surprise seeing this one that weekend with a nicely done engine bay with 2JZ-GTE swap…

IMG_5471-Edit

Bagged BMW E60 5-series sedan on Leon Hardiritt Waffes…

IMG_5473-Edit

Edmond Chan’s EF on Spring Hart CP-Rs…

IMG_5475-Edit

Loi Spec Garage DB8 Integra on silver 15×8 Volk TE37s…

IMG_5476-Edit

Lewis Liang’s Integra Type R… All the Loi Spec guys seem to be in attendance that day but I figured you guys had seen a ton of photos of their cars from Eibach already so I elected not to capture all of them at Autocon…

IMG_5479-Edit

IMG_5482-Edit

This Lexus IS-F caught my eye because it has the first set of 19-inch Regamaster EVOs ever. They are re-barreled of course, being that Desmond never made 19s but it defintely makes for an interesting look…

IMG_5483-Edit

IMG_5485-Edit

David’s Civic coupe from It’s JDM Yo!!’s Vanguard Collective car crew…

IMG_5490-Edit

Eulises Torres’ S2000 on Work VS-TX reppin’ the Vanguard Collective and Forbidden USA…

IMG_5493-Edit

Bagged Civic hatchback on custom Tiffany Blue(?) BBS RS wheels…

IMG_5495-Edit

Vivek Baid’s Vortech supercharged G35 sedan on air suspension with a retrofitted G37 front bumper…

IMG_5496-Edit

Love how this G35 engine bay looks with the polished Kinetix SSV intake plenum…

IMG_5499-Edit

G35 coupe on blue Work VS-XX wheels…

IMG_5502-Edit

IMG_5503-Edit

Chris Ortez’s supercharged, daily-driven, G sedan with custom Kurookie front bumper with carbon kevlar elements…

IMG_5505-Edit

RareJDM team member Mark’s G35 sedan…

IMG_5507-Edit

IMG_5509-Edit

Marcus Cooke’s supercharged G35 sedan on SSR Professor SP1…

IMG_5510-Edit

Subaru WRX STI on aggressive white Work Emotion XD9…

IMG_5528-Edit

The infamous “RUINED Z” on discontinued SSR Type-F wheels…

IMG_5530-Edit

John Prosk’s Dodge Charger from R-Rydes…

IMG_5533-Edit

IMG_5534-Edit

Subaru BRZ with INGS+1 aero kit and ML24 over fenders looking good on SSR Professor MS3…

IMG_5537-Edit

Randy Riggs’ mulitple award-winning G35 coupe build…

IMG_5525-Edit

IMG_5522-Edit

IMG_5527-Edit

The “Blue Waffle” G35 coupe that you’ve been seeing plenty of here on The Chronicles as of late…

IMG_5513-Edit

IMG_5516-Edit

IMG_5518-Edit

IMG_5520-Edit

IMG_5540-Edit

Ka Wong’s Corolla is by far one of my favorite AE86 builds of all-time and in my opinion, his is one of the best in the nation by far. Every time I see it I always make an effort to get multiple shots of it. I love everything about it…

IMG_5548-Edit

That’s a wrap for today but tomorrow will be the second and concluding portion of the Autocon LA 2013 coverage, featuring the car show return of HeyMikeyyyy’s turbo DC2 Integra that he recently found and bought back. Hopefully you are as excited as that guy is in the photo, haha. Stay tuned!!…

4 thoughts

  1. Pingback: Autocon Los Angeles 2013 Coverage…Part 2 of 2…Plus: NOLTT Episode 4… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  2. The last photo speaks volumes to me…I wish Honda community (and import scene in general) was more like this, you know young married couples enjoying the show – a family affair. Instead we have creepy old men, loser hipsters, and overall doucheness.

Leave a Reply