THE ARCHIVES: Nisei Showoff 2006 Coverage Remastered…

Welcome to a very special holiday edition of THE ARCHIVES Series. Today, we’re going to be doing a little something different and looking at some event coverage instead of remastered magazine features from year’s past. When I got in contact with Gene Tjin about some old photos he had locked away in his vault, not only did he have a collection of photos from old magazine features that he shot, he also had some event coverage that he also did for HCI Magazine. Not all of it was used of course and when I got a hold of them, I was overjoyed to see that he had photos from the 2006 Nisei Showoff event. For me personally, this was one of my favorite events of all-time and one of the best shows that I had ever attended….

I remember this event like it was yesterday. It really stuck out in my mind because this weekend in 2006 was not only the weekend in which Nisei Showoff took place, but Hot Import Nights in Los Angeles also took place the day before. I had never done back to back shows like this so it was pretty interesting. I think back and remember driving up to Los Angeles from San Diego to roll-in for the Hot Import Nights event that Friday evening. I somehow forgot all about the 1/4 tank gas limit that was imposed by the Los Angeles Convention Center and found myself driving all over Downtown L.A. trying to burn gas in my Accord that I was showing during that time. It took over an hour or so before I finally got my gas tank down to the appropriate 1/4 level and parked with my friends from Autofashion USA. I didn’t even have a VIP build at the time but was friends with Freddie and the gang so they let me park with them. HIN was cool but man it was really crowded in those days. I remember even having something stolen from the inside of my car at the show. I was so bummed. After the show ended at midnight or whatever the fuck HIN used to end at, I drove over to my uncle’s place in Temple City to store my car in his driveway because I was worried that my car would get stolen at my sister’s over in Pasadena, CA. I couldn’t really get my car up the driveway of his place though so I did the fucked up thing of going up his neighbors driveway which was slightly wider, and drove across my uncle’s front lawn just to get over to his driveway. It was totally fucked and I ruined his lawn, but he didn’t seem to really mind…at least he didn’t let me know that he was mad. My sister gave me a ride back to her place, I slept for like 3 hours and then she drove me back to my uncle’s place to get my car in the early morning. Seems like a total hassle now but back then, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. Either way, I’m thankful for their help and it was great that they understood how important my car was to me. I hopped in the car and headed down to J-town and set-up for the show. Autofashion wasn’t present at Nisei Showoff that year since they had just done HIN the day before but I had some friends to park with that day. During the show, my carbon fiber hood that I had taken off to show off my cluttered engine bay fell over and fucked up a small part of my car and left a giant scratch on my hood…

What I remember the most about Nisei Showoff was the great vibe that it had. Everyone seemed to get along and you really got that sense of camaraderie that you rarely ever feel anymore at shows these days. I don’t know, it’s hard to say but the only word that I can muster up is that things were “different”. The competition factor was always there but I don’t think things are nearly as cut throat as it is today. Everyone seems to try to one-up one another these days and do whatever it takes to win a trophy. Back in 2006, it was important for some people to win, but they never went out of their way to be overly competitive. If you had a quality build, you sort of understood that and people appreciated what you brought to the table. If you weren’t trying to be competitive you just showed up to hang out and to check out the other cars at the show. There were some great builds then too. Some that could even compete today and hold their own. I’ll always think that 05-07 was the best time for the Honda community. The cars were incredibly clean, engine bays were at a whole new level that people hadn’t really seen before, and everyone just got along for the most part. Car crews were car crews because they were friends and not crews that consisted of people who just had nice cars who got together to compete. I’m happy that Gene was able to save these photos because I think they really do a good job of telling the story of what we enjoyed in 2006….

There were two very distinct things that I remember about Nisei Showoff ’06 that really stood out to me;


The first was that Nisei was an important event because it was the first major show after the passing of our friend Randy Gagan. Randy was a great guy and an incredible car builder. He died tragically in an accident on July 4th, 2006 and it really hit the Honda community hard. When Nisei Showoff came around, all of his close friends decided to bring out his unfinished EF build that he had been working on that year for all to see. People signed the chassis and left their thoughts and words for Randy on the car and they even had a life-size cut-out of him next to the car. It was a surreal moment when we all watched his friends push his chassis into the show. It was sort of like, the realization that he was really gone and that we’d never get a chance to see him again or his car completed. I still remember getting a bit choked-up when I saw the whole display with his cut-out by the car’s side….


The second was the official debut of Leonard Yee’s magenta EK Civic build. I remember seeing this thing pull up in a trailer and was awe-struck by it. It had a Rando aero kit which was basically unheard of at that time and it sat on polished Sprint Hart CP-Rs. Many of us had never thought to fully polish CP-Rs at the time because they were always known for having the white faces with the signature red lettering on the face. Eliminating all that just to leave the faces fully polished was a real “what the fuck?” moment for the ones who thought within that proverbial box. If seeing that wasn’t crazy enough, the car was magenta…fucking bright metallic magenta. In an era that was filled with very OEM JDM-looking Hondas, this car broke the mold. It basically opened the floodgates to a new world of possibilities and showed the less-inclined that it was okay to create something unique and wild.


Don’t forget the Endless brake kit too…


I should also mention that the car was K-swapped with full-polished EVERYTHING, with a tucked bay, and it also had individual throttle bodies on it. Let me remind you that it was 2006. The car ran like absolute shit and I remember thinking that it was kind of broken as it rolled off the trailer but you also have to consider that there was no real engine management for a K/ITB set-up back then. Nothing that was easily tune-able anyway. Haltech and MOTEC were around but it was really unheard of to tune on full standalone management systems because you either couldn’t afford it, or couldn’t find someone who knew how to tune a K-series motor with individual throttle bodies. To this day I don’t think that car ever ran right but it was a remarkable build at the time. AM7 was THE premier Honda car club during that time but Leonard Yee’s Civic was like a stick of dynamite that introduced chaos into a Honda community that was getting repetitive with OEM JDM parts and accessories…Many will argue that it wasn’t that big of a deal but try to ask anyone about this build and I guarantee you that they will know what car you’re talking about….

Before I begin the coverage of the 2006 Nisei Showoff event, I just wanted to let you know that if you click on the individual images above or below, they will take you to larger versions of each photo. Save them but if you plan to repost, please don’t alter the photos or watermarks in any way. These are exclusive to this site so remember where they came from…

Photo credit goes to Gene Tjin. Without him, this post wouldn’t be possible. Words are by StickyDilJoe. I’ll do my best to recollect what you see today of photos from almost 8 years ago…Who’s doing coverage of an event from 2006 in 2013 and presenting photos that look like they could have come from a week ago? The Chronicles of course….That’s what THE ARCHIVES Series is all about…

Sorry if the photos look slightly too crisp. Flickr image compression and the fact that I am using that resizing is causing them to look that way. Please click on them to get the better quality photo…


I don’t remember who owned this DA Integra but this set-up on gold Work Equip 03s would still be very relevant today….



Sareth Ros’ Honda Civic from “Down Since Day One” on Rays Garcia Tune Speed Choppy wheels. Really cool coupe build that actually graced the cover of Honda Tuning magazine in May of 2007. CLICK HERE TO SEE A SHOT OF THE COVER….


Clean white Civic hatchback with Spoon Sports accessories on Gram Lights wheels…


Silverstone Metallic S2000 with OEM hardtop and gold Volk Racing GT-U…


Really liked this Spoon Sports-themed Civic coupe back then. Not sure what happened to it but it didn’t stick around for very long. I believe I may have written the story for this build in Honda Tuning back then too but it was soon parted-out after the feature came out. Another example of a car that would still be considered a great build even in 2013…


The engine bay was on-point on this coupe. K20 swap with a nicely done bay and TWM individual throttle bodies…


Loved this Honda del Sol from Team Tronics with Mugen front bumper and Anniversary Edition Mugen MR5s…


Great engine bay that’s been tucked away neatly with a turbocharged B-series motor…


I believe this Integra sedan with Mugen front bumper and red GAB Sport wheels belonged to the girlfriend of the guy who built that del Sol from Tronics…


ARC Induction box and intake arm with a host of purple accents in the bay…




K20-swapped widebody Honda Fit brought for display by N1 Concepts. This Fit eventually landed a cover on Super Street magazine….


R32 Skyline GTR on GTR-faced Regamaster EVOs…


Ryan Ordinario’s bike back in the days when AMSEVEN was in their prime…



Ordinario’s turbocharged EF hatchback that graced the cover of Honda Tuning magazine. Definitely one of the best EF builds of that time….You can still catch his 2005 Honda Tuning Magazine feature online HERE….




Danny Hernandez’s 4-door Civic with K-swap done by RedZone Performance. Danny’s was one of the first Hondas that I remember seeing with a K-swap during that time period. I remember walking into a liquor store across the street from my old job and purchasing the HCI Magazine that it was on the cover of. It was actually the first issue of HCI that I ever picked up. He kept this car mostly in this state for years before redoing the entire car last year. It made its final appearance at this year’s Wekfest San Jose event actually and was parted-out after that. It is currently a bare shell…


Mike G.’s glossy red Acura Integra on white Mugen RnRs. This was his daily/side project during that time and it was later sold to someone from Prostreet, if I remember correctly, and the new owner transformed the car into a full-fledged drag vehicle. The Mugen RnRs live on today on Mike G’s Honda Fit aka “Casper”….


Jeremy Gilman’s Acura Integra Type R was one of my favorite Honda builds back then. I can’t say I was a fan of this look on bronze TE37s. TEs are probably the greatest Japanese tuner wheel of all-time but his ITR was just perfect on GAB Sport wheels. I’ll always remember this car having GABS on it…


Ernie Uy’s Acura Integra literally stands the test of time up until this very day, as it looks essentially identical to how you see it in this photos in 2013. He bought the car brand new, modified it slightly, and then kept the car this way its entire automotive life. He still participates in the Japanese Classic Car Show every year out here in Cali and the only thing you’ll ever see changed on it are the wheels, which are also era-specific….


Integra with JDM front end and full Rando aero from Team Flux on Work Nezart wheels…


Custom widebody Toyota Solara on Fabulous wheels…



Mugen-themed AP2 S2000 with J’s Racing carbon intake and bronze Mugen MF10s…


I might be wrong, but I’m pretty confident that this Subaru Legacy on Volk Racing GT-Vs belonged to Mike Sabounchi. MIke was working for Yokohama Tires at the time but is currently the Social Media Manager at Source Interlink Media (publisher of Super Street, Honda Tuning, Import Tuner, Modified, etc…). I remember meeting Mike back then through mutual friends and was shocked when I encountered him at Source when I was at the office one day since I hadn’t seen the guy probably since this event…


Vertex widebody S13 hatchback on anodized red Volk Racing GT-Vs that was featured in JTUNED online magazine…


It’s nearly impossible to find an R33 Skyline GTR today in California. The U.S. Government did a mass seizure of this vehicles after they started cracking down on them thanks to the guys from Motorex and what not back in the day who brought them into the States with falsified paperwork. Back then, they were still rare but at least it was possible to get a hold of one…


Jonathan Wong from Super Street Magazine’s S13 Sileighty project back in 2006 with SR20DET swap, S13 Silvia front end conversion, and Volk Racing GT-U. This car was later sold to Super Street Associate Editor and now Head Editor of Import Tuner Magazine, Charles Trieu, who transformed this Sileighty into something incredible. To this very day, it is still one of my favorite S-chassis builds of all-time. CLICK HERE TO READ THE FINAL FEATURE ON IT BEFORE IT WAS PARTED/SOLD….


This was my CB7 Accord build on 16×7 Sprint Hart CP-Rs. This was the same year in which I landed my Honda Tuning cover feature, as seen in the plaque in the photo. I loved this build a lot and invested a ton of money and time into it. It is probably the sole reason why I drive an RA3 Odyssey today, because they both drive and share a lot of the same characteristics. I had this car up until late 2007 before I sold it to purchase my Infiniti Q45 that I still have….


I’m sure many of you will recognize this EJ1 Civic coupe. It belongs to none other than DPK David Andrade and he currently still has this car. Back in 2006, there was no “DPK” yet and the coupe was still fresh with a B-series motor and all on Mugen MF10Ls. It even had an unpainted Mugen front lip at the time which he later had color-matched and just recently sold. David will tell you how much he loved this car in this state because of how clean and new everything was but for me personally, THIS was my favorite stage of the car….


Rudy Falcon has one of the most memorable DC5 builds of all-time, but back in 2006, it hadn’t gone through it’s massive makeover yet with all the 24K gold parts that helped to create the “DPK” car crew. CLICK HERE to see the car in the stage in which you probably remember it the most…


Honda S2000 on Prodrive wheels…


Custom widebody Toyota Celica on gold-plated JLine wheels built by Danstoy. This Celica was actually female-owned and featured a built 2ZZ engine with individual throttle bodies…


If there was one build back then that was basically untouchable at major car shows out here, it was this Mitsubishi EVO IX MR owned by Karen Zorrilla. If this car showed up to an event, it was pretty hard to beat. It had it all in terms of rare, high-dollar, Japanese tuning products. It won so much that she eventually just retired the car because you really couldn’t build anything else that could touch it. Karen and Jay from JDMEGO built this car together and she later gave the reigns of the EVO to Jay, who further developed the build and redid the entire car in his own vision. I actually had the pleasure of writing the story on the car after Jay finished the build, which can be seen HERE….It’s one of my personal favorite pieces of work that I ever put together because I think it perfectly captures Jay’s personality and his build…


In 2006, the EVO was in its C-West stage with the only products from Voltex being the front canards. The engine bay was also filled with Abbey Road Company (ARC) products…


The one set of wheels that really helped to collectively shit on everyone’s parade were these legit Volk Racing TE37 Forged Magnesium wheels that NO one else had. You still won’t be able to find a set today either. You know how everyone is all about “Mag Blue” these days? Well, these were “Mag Blue” in color but were also “Mag Blue” because they were made out of Magnesium…


Robbie Perez’s turbocharged AP1 S2000 from OG Team Kosoku…


Reggie Quemuel’s ’95 Integra with JDM ITR front end conversion, better known as “NOOPS” (SPOON backwards). In 2006, Reggie’s car was still rocking a turborcharged B-series motor. It was featured in Import Tuner magazine and later in Honda Tuning magazine after it went through a makeover with K20 Type-S swap, which you can see HERE. The car was later sold to Downstar Frank from Bolt Boys….


DA Integra on polished RS Watanabe wheels…


Caged EF Civic hatchback with Chargespeed rear wing and beefy tire/RS Watanabe combo from Hyper 16 Valve….


Another EF build from Hyper 16 Valve. All of their builds carried a very similar style and theme which was pretty cool…


EF Civic hatch on old school Heroes Racing wheels…


Two-toned DA Integra from Hyper 16 Valve…


Civic rocking a J’s Racing rear spoiler and a rare set of Work NR Four Racing wheels…


Issac Marin’s Acura Integra Type R on gold Advan RG back when he was showing with Team Flux…


Not sure how many of you are aware of whose car this is but this was Linda Sy’s Toyota Matrix before it was redone in its metallic rootbeer tone with custom kit and air suspension. This car became a very dominant competitor in the Toyota Class at all major events out here in Socal. You haven’t seen a whole lot of it in 2013 since I believe the car might be retired but HERE is some more photos of it to jog your memory….


Normally I wouldn’t show you very many Scion xAs here on The Chronicles, but this one in particular was pretty cool because it was the first xA with individual throttle bodies. I believe Coi from Team Flux owned it. He also had a pretty elaborate MR2 Spyder build back in the day….


This Civic was one of my favorite Honda builds back then. Crazy how much has changed since ’06 but this was built by Rodrez, now head editor of Honda Tuning Magazine. He was a freelance photographer then and I wasn’t even fathoming the thought of working for Honda Tuning at that time. Now he’s the head guy there and I work for him, haha. I met Rodrez when he originally shot my Accord for Honda Tuning magazine. We became friends after that and I would see him all the time at shows. I remember at this Nisei something broke on his car, maybe a hose clamp busted or something, but I took something off my car to help him get his car running. Man, it’s wild to think back now because it seems like yesterday…


His engine bay was one that I always studied and stared at. In ’06 he was running A-Sport ITBs and was tuned on APEX’i Power FC…



This Integra Type R clone was a build by Eric Dickerson, better known as “Edick” to many. I always loved this car and all of its many set-ups. Bummer that he ended-up being a giant scammer who scammed a lot of good people out of their hard-earned money. There was never a doubt that he knew how to build a great Honda, it was just unfortunate how he went about doing it and how he was exposed later on….Ah, anyways, moving on…At least we can look back and appreciate the build itself….


Roy Barba’s candy red Civic hatchback from PlusOne crew with EK4 SiR bumpers and carbon Spoon Sports Lip on red GAB Sport wheels…


Rootbeer DC2 Integra with JDM ITR front end from PlusOne on white Work RSZ-R…These days, any brown Integra will automatically be associated with Gerald Reyes’ “Rootbeer DC2″… Well, calm down kids, he definitely wasn’t the first, haha. And I say that with the most love possible…


Danny Lee’s Civic coupe in its earlier stages with Mugen SS front lip and bronze Mugen MF10s. This coupe later went through a ton of changes and all sort of turmoil, being sent to various shops because many fell through on their promises. Quite a shame because it was such a cool car after. I don’t think it ever really lived up to its potential because Danny was so burnt from being fucked over by so many people. You can read all about it HERE


PlusOne Randy Auyeung’s turbocharged Civic with White Crow front bumper and BYS front lip on Mugen MF10L. You’ll see much more of this build in a future installment of THE ARCHIVES…


Nicely done DA Integra from PlusOne on Mugen MF10 Mirror Face wheels…


Sorry for the Shadow People but this was Randy En’s Sunbake Gold JDM EG6 clone with JDM B16A swap…If you want to read more about it, CLICK HERE


Boosted single cam Civic on polished Mugen RnR wheels. Can’t really tell what front bumper that was since I don’t really recall this build…


Jason Deang’s J’s Racing-themed Civic build also from Norcal’s PlusOne crew. This was another build that was later featured in HCI Magazine (FEB. ’07 issue). I believe Gene has the photos from this shoot as well that I can post up later in THE ARCHIVES but I’ll have to check…


Rodney Auyeung’s 1st gen. Acura Integra on white Mugen CF-48 wheels. Not a whole lot has changed on this build up until this day, though from what I last heard, it was just sitting on jackstands….



One of my all-time favorites and an utterly timeless Civic build was Willy’s yellow hatchback. This was one of those builds that really helped to show me the potential of what a Honda chassis was capable of. I remember when I first saw this build in person and I stared at the engine bay for what seemed like hours trying to study it and to figure out its intricacies. I still am an awe looking at old photos of it now. I guess if there was an archetype of how to build a timeless Honda that also had the juice to back it up, it would be this one…



Going to close it out for today since I’ve been working on this post for the last four-five hours and it is now 6 am Thanksgiving morning with a couple shots of the Tjin Edition ER34 Skyline GTR. On my list of favorite all-time import builds, this Skyline would be one of the cars on that list, albeit in its pastel green stage, because to me, that was when it looked its best. The Tjin brothers had built some pretty cool cars prior to this one, but I think this Skyline build was the one that solidified their presence in the import community and garnered them respect from all of their peers. This was one of the most elaborate Skyline builds stateside and featured a ton of custom fabrication, air jacks, HRE wheels, Stoptech big brakes, a built RB26DETT motor with a fully tucked engine bay…it was just utterly insane…

Well, that’s a wrap for this installment of THE ARCHIVES. Hope you guys enjoyed the leap back in time to the summer of 2006 on this Thanksgiving holiday. It’s been a pleasure. Have a good one!….

6 thoughts

  1. Wow I remember this day pretty vividly, all these builds before they became famous or their prime has soo much nostalgia feeling to it. This era is now officially over Joey. There’s good and bad things now about the scene that only we wouldn’t quite understand. But in the end, the car scene will never be the same ever again.

  2. “Vek’s Acura Integra Type R on gold Advan RG back when he was showing with Team Flux…”

    IIRC, the owner of that ITR is named Isaac.

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