Nisei Showoff 2013 Coverage…Part 1…

Import Showoff sure has changed over the years. Once upon a time it was THE premier car show series in the nation and the import automotive community flourished because of it. We all owe a lot to Ken Myoshi, creator of Showoff. He laid the foundation for what is considered a import “car show” today and had it not been for him willing to take a chance those 19 years ago, there is no telling if the scene would have grown to what it is in 2013. These days, the Import Showoff series is down to just one event, Nisei Showoff. This sole event encompasses the history and tradition of not only our community, but also the Japanese American community as it coincides with the annual Nisei Week festival. Times have certainly changed though. Nowadays, car shows are abundantly fruitful and the newer generation has seemingly forgotten, or just never learned of, the storied history of the Showoff series of events…

A couple weeks ago, I ran into Ken Myoshi at a local car meet and to be honest, it was strange to see him there… Ken rarely ever goes to any car-related events anymore and the only time I see him is when he hits me up to talk about the upcoming Nisei Showoff event. It turns out that he was there to meet up with a journalist for OC Weekly, The publication covers all forms of news in the Orange County and Long Beach area but I can’t say that I’ve ever read about them discussing any type of import-related car news before. The journalist, Michelle Woo, wanted to talk to Ken in person and interview him about his history in our community and to talk about Showoff for the upcoming issue. It feels weird to see Ken talk about himself because he’s mostly a mild-mannered, very quiet individual. I let them do their thing and enjoyed the car meet that we were at. We hung out for a bit and chatted but really didn’t talk too much about what his plans were for the show. A couple weeks after that, I got a text message from him asking if I could meet up with him for a photo shoot for OC Weekly. He was to appear on the cover of the printed publication and wanted some nice cars in the back drop. I didn’t hesitate and agreed to stop by. Me and a couple of others showed up for the shoot and it was an interesting experience. I normally am on camera-end of the shoots since I am a photographer so it was strange to have my car as the subject matter. The shoot was interesting… it was in the early evening in a pretty bad part of the city. We shot in the middle of the street and sure enough, the police came to rain on our parade. I was surprised that the shoot lasted as long as it did in that particular location but the cops were okay with it. They checked the photographers credentials and gave them a 20 minute window to finish…

Here’s a shot on my Instagram of the shoot from my perspective… CLICK HERE…

…and here is a video on my IG account of when the cops came and we all thought that they were gonna question us and make us lay down on the floor and shit, haha… CLICK HERE….

oc1

Last Friday, that issue of OC Weekly dropped and I think that the reporter painted a great picture of Ken Myoshi and his involvement in our community. It’s a bit of a read but a good one since it covers the very early days of Showoff as well as what happened in it later years. I know that many of you outside of the Orange County area may not be able to obtain a hard copy of this issue but you can read the digital version of it HERE…

Now, onto the show itself… Nisei had a very different feel for me this year because I decided to take a step back this year and didn’t really help coordinate anything with Ken. Last year’s Nisei was a monumental event for me. I organized one of the largest generational Honda groups EVER and had them on display at Nisei Showoff 2012. For me personally, it was hugely successful because I was able to get some great Honda builds together in one place but the lack of serious foot traffic sort of put a damper on things. It was great to have these Honda guys together in one place but there was another event going on that same day that didn’t help bring the type of crowd to the show that I think Ken would have wanted or expected. Add on top of that triple-digit weather numbers and it was just a really taxing experience on me. I just wanted to chill this year and hang out at the event without having to really do anything. I’ve been helping Ken out for a couple of years now and besides doing that, I was also organizing my own booth for The Chronicles. I didn’t want to do any of that for 2013. I just wanted to go, snap some photos, and chill. When it got too hot, I’d leave and go eat somewhere with air conditioning. There was no booth to watch over and no one else to worry about. Ken ultimately decided to try something new and collaborate with Stance Nation, which really helped take the pressure off of my back. I honestly felt bad about not wanting to really do anything with Ken this year but I got so much on my plate that I just needed to take a break. I was surprised to hear about the collaborative effort between Ken and Elvis Skender because I never figured Ken to really care about the whole “stance” craze. He’s always been incredibly traditional so teaming-up with one of the more popular stance-related websites was kind of an odd pairing. I think the general consensus for many of us was that it was a far-fetched idea but after doing some thinking, it made sense. Ken needs to expand his horizons a bit and incorporate into his show a very popular style of car modification. Stance is ridiculously popular in 2013 so why not open the gates to those enthusiasts who build specifically towards that style while also incorporating the classically-built imports of year’s past. You not only get the regular Nisei Showoff supporters but also that younger crowd that maybe didn’t know of the history of the show since they weren’t around…

Overall, I think the collaboration was a great success. It was surprising but I can’t recall seeing a crowd this big at a Nisei Showoff in years. There was a line prior to the gates opening to the public and there was a pretty consistent flow of people throughout the day. The show was also filled end-to-end with show cars. There was a nice mix of cars of all styles, but there were definitely more “stance”-related builds than before. It didn’t hurt the show in any way and helped to bring more variety to the event. There was also a big vendor turn-out this year as well. Companies like Falken Tire made an appearance for the first time in years and it was just good to see companies backing Showoff again…

My coverage starts the day prior and continues all the way until the end of the show. You guys know how its done here on The Chronicles. Enjoy and make sure to read the OC Weekly article above to read all about Showoff. Thanks to Ken Myoshi for having me and congrats to him on a successful event. Next year is the 20th year for Showoff and Ken promises to go big…

IMG_8047-Edit

Our story starts the day before Nisei Showoff, as we got together at the Rywire facility to prep our cars for the show. DPK David wasn’t originally going to show his EJ1 coupe but got a call from Falken Tire a couple days before asking if he could bring his car for display at the Falken booth. He agreed and got his coupe waxed and detailed for the show…

IMG_8052-Edit

DPK David also wanted to help out our friends at Ballade Sports by displaying their new Signature Series valve covers which features this blue anodized finish…

IMG_8057-Edit

I prepped my RA3 Odyssey for display at the Barramundi Design wheels booth and also installed my freshly-painted Ganador Super Mirrors. I was stoked to get these back and was really happy with how they fit…

IMG_8060-Edit

DPK David applying some Never Dull to the polished parts in his bay…

IMG_8063-Edit

We all rep Falken Tire because they’ve always done a great job of taking care of us…

IMG_8069-Edit

Rywire Ryan made sure to get his car running again after its been sitting for a minute…

IMG_8065-Edit

He’s been occupied with customer cars and engine harnesses so the E-AT hasn’t really been a big priority…

IMG_8070-Edit

He was also set to be in the Falken Tire booth and like DPK David, was also helping Ballade Sports by having one of their Signature Series valve covers on his car…

IMG_8072-Edit

Ryan had the battery charger hooked-up to his E-AT to give the battery some juice…

IMG_8073-Edit

The anodized blue pops really nicely in the naked bay of Ryan’s car but I think his other valve cover complimented his XRC cooling hoses better…

IMG_8079

An overhead shot of the cars at the shop… Here you can see Ryan’s E-AT, Ryan Novak’s Rocket Bunny RB25 S13, Sportcar Motion’s EG track beast, my RA3, and DPK David’s coupe…

Since I didn’t have a whole lot to prepare for, I relaxed the rest of the night and took my Odyssey over to my boy Mauricio’s house to be detailed. He does automobile detailing as a side job and does a fucking awesome job of it. I was so happy that he was willing to detail my Odyssey in the evening and was overwhelmed by the finish of my paint afterwards. I know now to take my car to him every time there is a show and need my car to look good. After leaving his place at around 1 am in the morning, I headed home and got some sleep. The next morning, I woke up, got ready, and headed straight to downtown L.A. for Nisei Showoff…

IMG_8082-Edit

Steven Lam from BMD-USA already had the booth set-up so I didn’t have to do anything but park my car. He also brought breakfast too so we hung out and ate before the show started. It was refreshing to just be able to show-up and not have to worry about anything but I do admit that it was weird not having a booth for The Chronicles at Showoff…

IMG_8084-Edit

Steve’s S13 coupe with JDM Silvia front-end on 17×9/17×10 Barramundi Design Elevens…

IMG_8086-Edit

My daily beater RA3 Odyssey with JDM OEM Odyssey Aero Spirit lip kit, Mugen grill, Mugen rear wing, and 17×9 Barramundi Design Eleven wheels on Falken FK453 rubber…

IMG_8088-Edit

Parked next to me at the BMD booth was Super Street head-editor Jonathan Wong’s EF Civic hatchback on 16×8 Barramundi Design Tomans…

After everyone finished detailing their cars, DPK David, DPK Jared, Jared’s girlfriend Leslie, Ryan Der, and I headed-out to go get some food. One of the best things about doing Nisei Showoff every year is enjoying the local cuisine in J-Town. Some of the best Japanese food in Socal is in J-Town so we always try to hit up a couple spots during the show. We decided to get some sushi at a revolving sushi spot less than a mile away and Jonathan Wong met up with us soon after…

IMG_8089-Edit

Nisei Week also tends to bring out a lot of, ummm, eccentric people to J-Town… You have your cosplayers, which aren’t unusual at all in this area, and then you have oddities like this elder gentleman, who decided to dress like an Asian person who has no idea how to dress like an Asian person. I don’t know too many old Asian dudes rocking Crocks, a button-up with a dragon on it, and a hat like that in sub 90-degree weather. The man later asked me what was going on across the street, to which I replied “Oh, a car show”. And then he asked me “What about the train?” to which I said “Uhh, what? It’s a train.”….

IMG_8092-Edit

I don’t know how many of you guys know what revolving sushi is, but for those that don’t, it’s a style of serving sushi on a conveyor belt system. The belt circulates sushi throughout the restaurant and patrons grab whatever they want to eat. Each plate they grab has a value to it and at the end of the meal, the waiter/waitress adds up your total based on how many plates you have. It’s a pretty cool way of eating sushi and this particular spot in J-Town, known as “Kula”, serves sushi at only $2 a plate…

IMG_8091-Edit

One of the rolls that DPK Jared grabbed off the conveyor belt…

IMG_8100-Edit

One of Jared’s favorite things in life besides white girls and Mugen parts is eating…

IMG_8094-Edit

Some form of jalepeno-topped sushi dish that I didn’t get the name of…

IMG_8095-Edit

I wasn’t too hungry since I had just thrown down a Vietnamese sandwich that Steve from BMD-USA brought me but I did enjoy a Tiger Roll…

IMG_8098-Edit

The plates added-up pretty quickly…

IMG_8102-Edit

JDM Wong was excited to be there because he like Jared, is also a huge fan of eating…

IMG_8105-Edit

On the way back to the show after sushi, we stopped by to grab some of these “Cronuts” which is the latest food craze here in Los Angeles. “Cronuts” are donuts that have the texture of a croissant. People go crazy for these fucking things so we decided to give it a shot… I grabbed the blueberry one that you see above…

IMG_8107-Edit

I hung out at the BMD-USA booth for a little bit and then I decided to finally go do some coverage. I was hesitant because the sunlight was so harsh but it had to be done, otherwise I’d run out of time trying to walk the show in the evening as the sun set…

IMG_8110-Edit

Slammed and static IS on polished CST wheels. I believe this is what the kids are calling “The lowest IS in the country”….

IMG_8112-Edit

IS300 Sport Cross with TRD Neo front bumper and Work Schwert SC2s…

IMG_8117-Edit

IMG_8119-Edit

Eddie from Nutek Wheels’ 2JZ-GTE powered Nissan S14…

IMG_8114-Edit

Awesome to see a rare Toyota Sports 800 coupe in person….

IMG_8120-Edit

F50 Q45 on Work Equip wheels at the Airrunner booth…

IMG_8122-Edit

Samson Mak from Hawaii’s LS430 on SSR Professor MS3s…

IMG_8127-Edit

The bright sunlight really helped to bring out all the different colors in SSR’s “Spectrum Silver” finish…

IMG_8129-Edit

Jin Ueno’s beautiful LS400 build from Kyoei USA…

IMG_8134-Edit

IMG_8132-Edit

Another rare sight at Nisei Showoff ’13 was this R34 Skyline GT-R on Volk RE30s. We don’t see very many of these in the U.S. these days thanks to all the government seizures…

IMG_8136-Edit

Interesting to see a Lexus LS460 on sporty Advan Racing RS-D wheels…

IMG_8140-Edit

ZF1 CR-Z on silver Enkei NT03s from RTG…

IMG_8141-Edit

IMG_8137-Edit

RHD EF8 CR-X on BBS wheels…

IMG_8143-Edit

Cream-white AP1 S2000 on custom candy red Desmond Regamaster Marquie Promadas…

IMG_8146-Edit

Absolutely love how this Dodge Charger from Low ‘N Slow looks on Avant Garde wheels…

IMG_8147-Edit

Yellow S2K on VIP Modular wheels…

IMG_8150-Edit

Z33 also from Low ‘N Slow on white SSR Professor MS1…

IMG_8151-Edit

Supermade widebody S14 on Work Rezax wheels…

IMG_8153-Edit

Milt’s matte gunmetal 350Z on aggressive SSR Vienna Courage wheels…

IMG_8154-Edit

G35 coupe with Kuruma Z front bumper on step-lipped white-faced Work Equips…

IMG_8156-Edit

IMG_8157-Edit

Incredibly aggressive wheel fitment on this black-flaked Z33 on orange Avant Garde F140 wheels…

IMG_8158-Edit

Ryan’s VIP-themed “Gumby” Scion xB…

IMG_8161-Edit

IMG_8163-Edit

One of the best builds at Nisei Showoff was this yellow Toyota Corolla on Panasport wheels. One of those really well-rounded classic builds that would be an attention-getter at any show…

IMG_8166-Edit

Really unique “Tiffany Blue” Scion xB build….

IMG_8167-Edit

3-series Bimmer on gold-faced 3-piece Work Meister S1…

IMG_8170-Edit

DPK Jared’s S2000 looking great as usual on bronze Mugen MF10 wheels. Everything on this S2K is legit from the authentic Mugen hard-top, to the S1 bucket seats, to the Powerhouse Amuse front bumper….

IMG_8172-Edit

Rywired engine bay with Mugen carbon fiber intake and custom made catch can and breather tank…

IMG_8174-Edit

Another angle…

IMG_8176-Edit

Mickey Andrade’s bad ass S2000 F20C-powered AE86 coupe on HRE wheels. Mickey calls this the “#BASTARD86″…

IMG_8177-Edit

Under the hood, you’ll find the heart of a Honda. Nice touch with the “Toyota” plug wire cover integrated into the S2000 valve cover…

IMG_8178-Edit

IMG_8182-Edit

DPK David’s K20-swapped EJ1 Civic coupe as you saw in the beginning of this post. This build really needs no further introduction…

IMG_8185-Edit

Leon Casino’s custom widebody Kouki S14…

IMG_8190-Edit

Ryan Romaine’s authentic right-hand drive Datsun Bluebird coupe on bronze RS Watanabe wheels from R-Rydes…

IMG_8187-Edit

Closing out Part 1 with a couple shots of this beautifully-executed VW Golf. I’ve always been a fan of how this MK2 looked, especially how simplistic it was aesthetically, but I had no idea…

IMG_8192-Edit

…how “race-themed” it was inside. The OEM cluster is gone, replaced with aftermarket gauges and shift light. A variety of gauges has also been added along with sheet metal floor plates for both the driver and passenger side…

IMG_8194-Edit

The rest is all gutted bare and as you can tell from the previous photo, this VW also has a full cage…. I like the nice touch with the cargo net inbetween the harnesses and harness bar. Pretty awesome build… Nice job…

That’s all for today. Make sure to come back for Part 2 of our Nisei Showoff 2013 coverage. There’s a ton more to come so stay tuned!…

6 thoughts

  1. Pingback: Nisei Showoff 2013 Coverage…Part 1…

  2. Pingback: Nisei Showoff 2013 Coverage…Part 2… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  3. Pingback: Nisei Showoff 2013 Coverage…Part 3… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  4. american sushi really is weird haha. there is a popular chain called kura here in japan. kinda similar looking to the kula place

  5. Pingback: Nisei Showoff 2013 Coverage…Part 4 of 4…Finale… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  6. Pingback: Motor Union 2013 Coverage… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s