WEKEAST 2013 Coverage…Part 4: Show Time!…

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I don’t know how many people actually knew about this but I originally was sent out to New Jersey for WEKEAST to judge both the Honda and Acura Classes. I mean, I do a shit ton of coverage too which Wekfest appreciates greatly but my “job” was to be a judge for the show. Being that I work in the industry and have my eyes on builds all over the World, I guess I was the perfect choice, especially since my specialty is Honda/Acura. They had me judge the Honda Class at Wekfest Texas last year as well and I’m pretty sure that I will be returning to Texas this year to once again do the same…

I wasn’t sure how I felt about doing it at first because it didn’t seem like I would have enough time to do coverage as well as judging but after my experience in Texas, I really enjoyed it. What was great about it was being able to talk to the owners first hand about their cars. To see and hear their passion about their cars was an amazing thing and it really helped make me more appreciative about what this great community of our’s has to offer. We all have our own sense of style and things we do differently. We may not all agree on everything that we each do but it is important to remember that the passion is the same. I’ll be the first one to admit that I have at times been overly critical of some builds in the past and I think I’ve grown a lot over the years. While it has always been meant to be light-hearted and done for the sake of humor, I now understand that my words can be misconstrued at times and some people may get their feelings hurt as a result of that. It was never meant to hurt feelings but I can see why it can be taken that way. I think the turning point came on a trip to Hawaii a couple years back when I got to meet some of the enthusiasts out there. Some of their cars weren’t really up to par with some of the top tier builds out here but I immediately realized that not everyone has the same opportunities or tastes as the rest of us. Some guys just build for fun and don’t care for competition and others don’t have the same resources to execute their builds to the way they envisioned them right away. From meeting those guys out in Hawaii, it really changed my perspective on how I should view the tuning community. There is a great quote from The Great Gatsby (The novel, not the movie) that I think really helps to better express what I am trying to tell you guys…

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

I can’t sit here and tell you that I’m not gonna poke fun sometimes or make light of certain things I see, shit I am human after all and that is just the way I am. I would be lying to you if I told you that I’m just going to be openly willing to accept whatever I see. That is just not true. There are some things about our automotive community that I just don’t care for or am just not willing to accept as something that I “like”. However, I will tell you that I am more weary of how I express my words and how my words can be misinterpreted. This site became recognized because I have always been open about speaking my mind and voicing my opinion, whether it was widely accepted or not. I will continue to be that way but I now have a better understanding of how my words affect others…

When it came to being a judge at WEKEAST, it was an experience that I was ready to embrace. Personalities are really different across the two coasts so I knew it was going to be interesting. What I noticed right away was how competitive people were out East. Here in the West, we are competitive as well but we voice them and express it very differently. I think because we have so many competitive car shows on this side, people are more willing to just sit back and let things play out how they will. Many have done enough car shows to know who has a chance of winning and who is just there to hang out, if you know what I mean. There are cars and owners who are there to specifically win the competition and some owners who don’t really give a shit and just want to have fun. Out in the East, I noticed that almost everyone wanted to stop me to tell me about their builds and iterated every single detail about their car. It was a very different experience. People seemed really passionate about being a part of the car show and really, really wanted to win. Though there were so many different styles of builds present at WEKEAST, as I have said, the passion is the same. Judging took pretty much all of my afternoon at WEKEAST because people were so vocal about their builds and what they had put into them to get them to that state. I didn’t mind it, though I would have wished that I had more time to go visit people I knew and to look at some cars in more detail, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Texas was a similar experience but the East was certainly the more competitive show that I have ever been to. Of course there were some guys that didn’t care but it was surprising to see how many people did. If you were a Honda/Acura owner that day and I had a chance to speak with you, I just want to let you guys know that I appreciated your time and everything that you had to tell me. At no point was I not entertained or trying to cut you short from what you had to say. Thank you for your passion and competitiveness. It shows that you care about what you do and your blood, sweat, and tears were not overlooked…

Before I left, I spoke to some of the Wekfest staff about their experiences at WEKEAST the previous year and they had already mentioned how competitive it was out East. They said that most of the time during the awards ceremony last year, people didn’t even clap for others when people they didn’t know won an award. Some even booed and jeered, which is a real shame. It is important to remember that we are all in it for the same reasons and there is no reason to not applaud someone or even boo them when they receive an accolade. This year was a bit different from what I saw. For the most part, people clapped and cheered and at no time was there anything negative going on. Many didn’t even know who the people were that won but recognized their cars from how Junior from Wekfest described them during the awards announcements and they looked at their friends and associates and nodded in agreement when a car won, which was really cool to see because that meant that the judges were doing their jobs and awarding the deserving cars. East, West, car crew this, and car crew that, let me say this again, that the passion remains the same. Enjoy what you do and appreciate what others do…

Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with all this coverage like everyone else, but if you did somehow manage to miss any of the previous three parts, I’ve provided the links below for you to catch up and to make sense of everything…

WEKEAST 2013 Coverage…Part 1: Eastbound and Down…

WEKEAST 2013 Coverage…Part 2: The Morning…

WEKEAST 2013 Coverage…Part 3: The Stage Is Set…

Today, we’re going to be taking a look at the show while everyone was still setting up but I made my way inside the NJ Convention Center to start covering the actual “show”. Enjoy…

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One of my favorite East Coast builds for a while now is this Lexus SC430 owned by William Chau from Liberty VIP. I loved it when it was white and I really dig the gold tone that he’s going with now. This particular platform has never been the most popular to build here in the U.S. but Chau really did it justice by transforming it from the ground-up and making it his own. Everything from the front bumper, side skirts, rear bumper, and widened fenders/quarter panels are all custom one-off pieces. The WED’s Kranze Bazreias look great neatly tucked under the wheel wells via an Accuair ride-height adjustable suspension. Great job…

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Really clean Milano Red EM1 Civic Si coupe on 15-inch Regamaster EVOs. This is one of the rare times you’ll see the true Regamaster center caps on an EVO wheel. I’ve never been much of a fan of the cap since I think it is a bit of an eyesore but I can see why a true fan and collector would search high and low for the caps. They just complete the package, you know? Nice simple build overall and I had a chance to chat with the owner while I was judging his car and he is actually a car audio installer. The center dash console of his EM1 is actually customized to hold an iPad where the head unit would normally mount. Pretty cool stuff…

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Mike Yushinsky’s J’s Racing ZF1 CR-Z that you’ve seen a number of times in the previous posts leading up to today. I really like how Mike’s CR-Z looks because I feel that the J’s aero is probably the best-looking kit for this chassis. The only weak point of this platform is the engine bay because you can’t really do a whole lot to them without pulling the motor and giant magnet out to do a swap. Everything is pretty much there because it has to be to keep the hybrid system operating correctly so you can’t just tuck anything away. Even still, Yushinsky has taken the time to add some accessories here and there and has kept the bay as clean as he can. I dig the Recaro buckets and the Spoon Sports brakes as well. Nice job…

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Adam Holt’s murdered-out Integra Type R featuring gloss black on flat black Work RSZ-R wheels and a rare FEEL’s Twin Cam rear spoiler….

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When you look up front, you’ll notice the J’s Racing badge on his First Molding flugel plate front lip. That is because they are one in the same. First Molding makes the DC2 J’s lip and if you’re familiar with J’s Racing aero products, a lot of the times they source them from different manufacturers and badge them as their own. Bummer that Adam busted his though because it’d be pretty hard to fix without just sealing and smoothing out the crack and color-matching it to the car. I chatted with him briefly and told him that the crack really doesn’t matter but the car wouldn’t look too bad either if the lip were matched with the J’s badge on it. I guess we will see what route he goes later…

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Danyelle Hash’s J’s Racing Honda Fit on Sprint Hart CP-Rs. Hash is one of the people responsible for bringing J’s Racing stuff out to the Midwest/East and was running the J’s Racing booth all day at WEKEAST…

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I walked up to this duo thinking that they were both built by the same owner but it turns out that it was not the case at all. They just happen to look like a matching pair with similar shades of grey. I guess you can say that these are two of the “Fifty Shades of Grey”. BOOM. Okay, I’ll stop..

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This GY6-swapped Ruckus was actually one of the best-built projects of WEKEAST. Love the colorway with the grey and orange and all the little details. I don’t know enough about these things to make you believe that I do but just from observation, it doesn’t look to have one area that was overlooked. This thing later took home an award I think the in “Best Import Class”…

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Another build that I’ve been a fan of and was looking forward to seeing in person was this Voltex-equipped Evolution. I loved the two different shades of grey with an added touch of green for contrast. Great use of colors and nice parts selection. I also dig the WED’s TC105Ns, which happen to be one of the most slept-on wheels of all-time…

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Bagged Acura TSX Wagon on VIP Modular wheels rocking a JDM Honda Accord Euro Wagon front grille…

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Caged S13 240SX coupe with Japanese-spec Silvia front end conversion and SR20DET swap. Nice touch with the mismatched wheels with Volk TE37s up front and Work VS-KFs in the rear…

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Really liked how this E36 BMW M3 coupe looked hammered on BBS RF wheels…

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Rare to see three generations of the Skyline chassis represented at one event but it was great to see this R32 Skyline GT-R on Enkei Kojins…

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…This orange BNR33 GT-R on bronze Volk Racing TE37…

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…and this BNR34 GT-R on Magnesium Blue Volk TE37SL… it would have been perfect if the R32 was on TEs too just for the sake on consistency but hell, who cares, haha…

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I can’t remember the last time I saw a GReddy front lip that wasn’t destroyed but this coupe was looking pretty clean with the lip. I’ve always felt that the GReddy lips were huge for any of the Honda platforms but with a nice set of matching sideskirts, it comes together nicely…

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TRA Kyoto Scion FR-S with traditional Four Six Customs graphics. These Rocket Bunny builds always look so naked without the matching rear wing…

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FD3S RX-7 from Team Regiment Zero on BBS LM…

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Subaru WRX also from Regiment Zero on Koya Racing “Work Emotion CR” replica wheels…

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RHD EK4 SiR Civic on polished Sprint Hart CP-Rs…

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White Evo X on matching white Work Rezax II…

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Bagged Root Beer-toned Mitsu Evo that you saw in Part 2 of our roll-in coverage on tan-faced CCW Classics. Nice touch with the tan interior as well…

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Subaru WRX STI with Varis aero kit and bronze Volk Racing SE37K…

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When it came time to decide what build was the best Honda at WEKEAST, the decision was pretty simple. After familiarizing myself with his del Sol build and all of its intricacies, it was basically Will Wang’s competition to lose. His Mugen-adorned del Sol is one of the top Honda builds in the country so it would have to take some pretty stiff competition for him to lose. In the end, I and the rest of our panel of judges decided that he not only had the best Honda build in the building, but was also one of the best overall. Next to Alex Witkin’s Subaru WRX STI build, there was none better and he took home the second place “Best of Show” honors. I don’t have nearly enough time to tell you everything about this car but please feel free to click this link HERE to read all about it in its cover story for Honda Tuning magazine, also written by your’s truly…

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Will Wang’s K-swapped engine bay featuring a K24 engine block and K20Z head. Not only is this an award-winning show car, it actually makes very good power too as the head and block are built. Note how he had his Rywire Mil-Spec engine harness routed to the side of the bay instead of the more traditional firewall mounting point. He said that if he was going to spend the amount of money he did on the harness, he wanted people to see it, haha. Since his HT feature, he’s acquired a new intake and velocity stack set-up…

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Really love how he mounted his Carbing catch can and coolant reservoir under his intake manifold where it is tucked away but also still visually-appealing to the average eye…

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Attention to detail is key and Mugen hardware is always welcome when it comes to catching the attention of onlookers…

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Parked next to Will’s del Sol was this silver K-swapped Civic coupe owned by Raza aka “BlazeD”. The coupe stands out immediately with the First Molding carbon kevlar flugel plate front lip and tear-drop side mirrors. I’m not sure how I feel about the kevlar on silver but is definitely eye-catching…

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For those diehard Honda guys, what really stood-out were his 16×8 bronze Mugen MF10s and Alcon big brakes. 16×8 MF10s are incredibly hard to find and if you take closer look, you’ll notice how the x8 MF10 has a bit of a concave face compared to other more common 7-inch wide wheel. Overall, a really nice build with a nice collection of parts. I didn’t get a shot of his bay during that time since everyone was still setting up and didn’t get a chance to go back until I went to go judge the car later but by then, I didn’t even have my camera with me…

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Completing the trio of Hondas was this silver hatchback owned by Dave aka “Crazyjetsfan22”. His Civic build is highlighted by a clean K-swap and Mugen SS front lip. What caused in uproar was his custom black Mugen MF10 wheels. Another guy got incredibly angry about it and stirred up this huge argument on Instagram because he wasn’t credited with coming up with the idea, which in itself, is a little ridiculous. Like social media, custom coated Mugen wheels are not that serious and unless black Mugen MF10s with silver decals can cure cancer or simultaneously give ultra-satisfying 3-minute blowjobs to 100,000 virgins, it really isn’t that big of a deal. Cool idea though. Game-changing original mind blower? Ehh, not so much… Both cars that have them look great and lets just leave it at that…

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ES1 Civic sedan on polished CCW wheels…

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Aggressively-fitted authentic RHD Civic Ferio on BBS wheels…

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Cool to see Recaro Tomcat seats in this Accord coupe…

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Silver Honda Fit on red Volk TE37s with spaced-out front fenders and sideskirts for additional front wheel clearance…

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Scion xB bagged on OZ Futuras…

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Nicely executed Civic build owned by Jonathan Tanguay from Unique Auto Squad. The outside features a carbon Spoon Sports front lip, Spoon Sports brakes, Mag Blue Volk CE28s, and a pair of canards. Under the hood, you’ll find an RMF header, ARC intake and ARC Induction Box. Oh, also a nice touch with the Spoon Sports hood too…

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One of the award winners in the Acura Class was Shyam Sookram’s completely Spoon Sports-themed Acura Integra Type R. I like how he stuck with the theme all the way down to the yellow Recaro seats. I think the ARC winglets are a bit much but I can understand why he went with them…

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Under the hood, you won’t find an incredibly tucked or naked engine bay. I chatted with Shyam about it and he said that he really wanted to keep the engine bay as original as possible without altering it by shaving the bay or moving everything around. It is an original Type R after all so it makes sense. You don’t have to do a bay in that fashion all the time, even though it is becoming a standard in the industry these days. Sometimes it is even refreshing to see a engine bay like this because it shows that you really don’t have to do anything crazy to make it look good. Like the exterior, everything under the hood is also Spoon Sports-themed…

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One observation that stood out to me was all the Hondas with parts bearing the signature of Ichishima Tatsuru, founder of Spoon Sports. Tatsuru was out at the Honda Day event a couple weeks before WEKEAST and people took full advantage of the opportunity to get his signature on their rides. A ton of Hondas at WEKEAST beared his name and while it was cool, it almost didn’t seem as “rare” to have his signature anymore because he saturated the East Coast Honda scene with his John Hancock…

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Ray Delgado’s S2000 from Unique Auto Squad also rocking some Spoon Sports products….

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Classic white Integra Type R on white Sprint Hart CP-R wheels. What stood out to me was that the Hart wheels have been refinished but instead of having the “Sprint Hart” lettering on the face, the owner opted to go with the “Formula Hart” wording in red instead. A little odd since Formula Hart CP-Rs are traditionally silver and blue/purple or white on blue. I asked the owner and he didn’t seem to understand my question so maybe he acquired the wheels like that. They are legit Hart wheels though. I checked because I like to be thorough, haha…

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Speaking of white on white, here is a white EK9 Civic Type R on Regamaster EVOs. Every time I see an EK9 CTR, I always miss seeing Matt Tucker’s in person because his is one of the few heavily-modded CTRs nationwide. Nothing wrong with keeping it simple though, legit EK9s are still pretty rare so I understand why you would want to retain their value by leaving them alone. That and if you have a B16B you really wouldn’t want to do a swap or anything unless you had to….

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Miro Sutai’s E30 BMW M3 is quickly becoming a favorite of mine on the right coast. As I said before, I absolutely love the color selection and overall execution of the build. Japanese-themed Euro builds seem to be one of the styles that will soon pick-up nationwide…

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Another cool J.Sutai project car was this C63 AMG on SSR Professor SP3s owned by Kyle Rotondo. With builds like this and the M3, I see J.Sutai becoming a household name out in the East…

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I understand Euros as much as I understand Japanese Hentai tentacle porn but this VW Jetta looked pretty slick. I don’t know why they have this partial hood cut-off styling but again, Euro stuff is very foreign to me. The only reason why you would want to do that is if you were hiding a baby deer under your radiator core support or something like wanting to show off your Boser-style hood. I’m just joking but I really don’t know how this style caught-on. Props to dudes who take the time to cut, paint, and customize an extra hood to pull it off though….

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Custom widebody FA5 Civic coupe on SSR Professor SP1. The front has a Mugen RR style bumper integrated to fit the U.S. coupe face and I thought it was interesting how the owner went with a two-toned look up top. The bodywork is done very well too and the flared fenders and quarters flow seamlessly into the OEM body lines…

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Been a fan of this grey Civic coupe from looking through other people’s coverage in the past. I dig the dark grey tone on the Magnesium Blue Volk SE37Ks. The engine bay is nice and clean with black accents to offset the dark grey and the single blue used on the valve cover. A very well-done Honda build overall and was one of my choices for the top Hondas at WEKEAST…

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Spa Yellow NA1 NSX on black Work Meister S1 and red Bride seats….

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Work Meister S1 3-piece wheels also looked incredible on this Porsche 997 with Fortune Auto Muller Air Cup suspension…

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Totally didn’t expect to capture the purple on this chrome blue-wrapped Honda Accord Euro Wagon on orange Work Equip wheels….

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Grey Evo 9 that you guys saw in my previous WEKEAST coverage….

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You may also remember this bagged Subaru WRX on Work VS-XX wheels from Part 2 of our coverage…

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GM LSx-swapped BMW E36 M3 parked over at the Canibeat booth…

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Scotty Ramos’ airride-equipped Infiniti G35x sedan on bright gold VIP Modular VX110…

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Roy Jang’s S55 AMG Benz on VIP Modular VS310 wheels…

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The SNTRL NYC booth had this E46 M3 Cabriolet on Luxury Abstract wheels. Note the Neochrome finish on both the wheel lips and the bike rack on the roof…

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On the other end of the SNTRL booth was this Lime Green Metallic NSX. While judging this car, I learned that it had a complete NA2 front and rear conversion and the whole car had been repainted in this OEM Lime Green tone. Looks great and I like how the owner stayed true to the original double staggered set-up with 18-inch Volk TE37s up front and 19-inch TEs in the rear. If you know NSXs, they require this type of set-up where the rear wheel is bigger and wider than the fronts but many non-traditional NSX owners tend to stray away from manufacturer’s recommendations…

Well, that is it for now. There is still a shit ton more photos to come so stayed tuned for more show coverage. Thanks for looking and make sure to come back!…

14 thoughts

  1. You know the quote from The Great Gatsby is true. You are a very talented and well respected person in the industry (yes, you are) and many people who read your blog take what you have to say in consideration. One thing I noticed is the clowning on dudes who have fake shit. An enthusiast is still an enthusiast even if he can’t afford it. Where do people start if not from the bottom? Yeah, I understand everyone has their own opinions but c’mon, let encourage each other and help each other out here fam! /end rant

    Also loved the grey evo.

    • i don’t think you are understand why he does that… Fake stuff is fake stuff.. you are copying someones original design that they have probably invested a lot in and some other company is freeloading off the hard work and time it takes to design something. I understand not everyone can afford the real deal but there are other brands to choose from that are not knockoffs of top of the line companies. It is those knock off companies that are putting these Major companies in a struggle.

      • Its too bad that many of the retro JDM designs are ripped off from italian designs like campagnolo. same shit happens in the design world all the time, it is nothing new or illegal. Perhaps its slightly unethical.

  2. Great shots man in all the parts. But missed so many other nice cars like most of the photographers at the show. Why be like all the others doing the same shots just riding the vendors and crews. When so many other great builds done by real car guys not sponsors.This is why the scene is all rims and drop nothing else dying so fast. Hats off to all the guys that built there own cars there way.

  3. Pingback: WEKEAST 2013 Coverage…Part 5: More Show Coverage!… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  4. Pingback: WEKEAST 2013 Coverage…Part 6: Winding Down… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  5. Pingback: WEKEAST 2013 Coverage…Part 7: The Grand Finale… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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