Wekfest Texas 2013 Coverage…Part 1…

I always look forward to heading out on the annual Wekfest Tour. They’ve been kind enough to bring me along on their journey as a special guest judge to a majority of their stops and I appreciate that they value my opinion so greatly. One of the first stops that I made during the tour last year was in Austin, Texas. I didn’t really know what to expect during that trip because I had honestly never really had a chance to see what Texas had to offer in terms of their caliber of car builds with the exception of photos online. I remember in 2011, the Super Street guys visited Texas for the first WFTX event and it looks very interesting. The cars were interesting and while they weren’t at the level of the more competitive East and West coasts, they were a region to keep an eye on. In Austin, I finally got to witness what Texas and the surrounding states had to offer and I have to admit, I was delightfully surprised. There were some great builds and some that were just average, but what I enjoyed most about the trip was meeting the people and getting to see their perspective on the automotive tuning community. It was an incredible experience and I looked forward to going back in 2013…

The level of quality has certainly improved in just a year’s time. I think that maybe the exposure from both the web and print really motivated folks to improve on their cars and bring out some new faces that might not have otherwise attempted to be a part of the Wekfest series prior. We out here on the West obviously know what Wekfest is all about but you can’t always expect everyone to be as in-tuned with what is going on in the community because their are subgroups that exist within that just choose to do their own thing. With more exposure and talk comes a broader audience. As the Wekfest event series grows, more people will want to be a part of it and will want to see how their cars do in a competitive setting and you really got to see that this year in Houston. Many may be wondering why Wekfest didn’t return to Austin after having such a great event there last year and the answer is quite simple; Austin was booked. There was no way they could do an event in Austin until next year so they chose to move it to Houston to see how the event would do in another part of Texas. Houston offered a larger venue that also allowed more people to register and overall, it made for a show that rivaled or exceeded the size of the “Superbowl of Wekfest” which occurs here in Northern California…

The major difference between the Austin show in 2012 and Houston this year wasn’t the location change, it was the level of quality in the cars. I’m happy and quite proud to say that the show was better this year because people really stepped-up and brought better cars. The ones that competed last year made improvements as well and it just made for a better show overall. The crowd was massive as usual and it seemed like everyone had a great time. There was a bit of a hiccup in the morning when the Fire Marshall was being very strict with convention center regulations but it didn’t have a huge impact on the show in any way. Safety is important so we all understood the need to follow the rules and to ensure that everyone disconnected their batteries and had a 1/4 tank of gas or less in their cars before entering the building. It didn’t help that a BMW caught on fire during roll-in in the morning so I think the Fire Marshall was a bit on edge. If you’re curious or nosey, the car didn’t burn down or anything, it just lit up for a bit and was quickly put out. I don’t know what happened but people really need to make sure that everything is buttoned down on their cars before attending an event this size. We all know that everyone stays up late at night to prep their cars for the show, but you must make sure that safety is of absolute importance. You always think that shit like this won’t happen at a show but WFTX just goes to show that anything can happen…

I had an amazing time. This year, Ryan Basseri from Rywire even made the trip out to lend a helping hand with judging and it was cool to see how he felt about the tour from behind-the-scenes. The coverage is a little different from the Wekfest New Jersey photos that I provided a couple months earlier. In Jersey, we had a chance to really go do some sightseeing and even had a chance to visit New York, which is always great for photos. We didn’t do a whole lot in Texas. It was cold and even raining at certain times so we just stayed in the same area and just ate and hung out. I didn’t really document the extra-curricular activities outside of the show but I did capture some extra coverage from the “Mayday Garage x The Chronicles Wekfest Pre-Meet”. Mayday Garage did a great job of setting up the meet down the street from the event venue and the turn-out was incredible. I don’t recall ever seeing anything like it. My name was attached to the meet but I really had nothing to do with it. It was all organized by Mayday Garage and I simply helped promote it. I’m gonna start off the coverage with some shots of the pre-meet before moving onto the “official” coverage of the Wekfest Texas event….

Enjoy and I hope you stick around to see the rest of the coverage. I’m really happy with how the shots came out from the entire event and I can’t wait to show you guys all of it…

Oh, I should give you some info on the Mayday Garage/Chronicles Pre-Meet. It was actually held at 8th Wonder Brewery and food trucks were on hand to provide munchies for people who attended. I thought it was actually held in a massive parking lot within the confines of the brewery but when we arrived that evening, I think we were all a little surprised to see that it was held on the streets of Houston. The brewery was in an industrial area so there weren’t any houses or anything nearby so no one was really disturbed. All the businesses surrounding the brewery were closed so everyone just parked wherever they wanted. From what I saw and heard, there was no drama and everyone just hung out and had a good time. If you wanted to grab one of many beers that 8th Wonder had to offer, you could go inside and get a drink. The only slightly negative thing about the meet was that it was incredibly cold. The windchill was almost painful so we didn’t really stay very long. I walked around and grabbed some photos and then met back up with the rest of the Wekfest team and we went to go eat dinner. Most of the people didn’t seem to mind the cold and just hung out there all night. They don’t often have events like this out in Houston so I’m sure everyone there and the people that visited for Wekfest all took full advantage of the opportunity to just hang out with one another….

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Upon arrival, the first car that immediately caught my eye was Jessyca Blood’s widebody Aimgain IS-C. The color combo with the gold ISS Forged wheels easily makes it a stand-out but I actually noticed the car because I remember seeing it a month before at the annual SEMA Show in Vegas. I really dig this Aimgain kit and I think she actually pulls the look off better than the actual Aimgain demo vehicle that I saw earlier this year during my stay in Japan…

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Spotted this dark purple AE86 Corolla from Natsukashi Garage on Work Equip 01s. The car features a JDM Corolla Levin front end and the owner was pretty brave to bring the car out with no rear windows. It must have been a chilly drive…

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C-West equipped Kouki S14 240SX on Volk Racing TE37 wheels. The car is actually female-built/owned and she did the SR20DET swap herself…

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The guys from Hybrid Racing made their way out for Wekfest and also decided to bring their cars out to the pre-meet…

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One of the cars that I was really looking forward to seeing in person was David Cordell’s JDM EG6 SiR-II build. He painstakingly restored the vehicle and just recently completed it in time for the Wekfest event. I got a couple more shots of this car and I’ll tell you more about it later in the coverage…

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The always easily-recognizable Civic Type R from Matt Tucker made an appearance in Texas…

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Danny Barber’s RWB Catalina parked directly in front of 8th Wonder Brewery…

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Captured this shot of a bagged G35 coupe on Work VS-XX down the street from the brewery as another car cruised by….

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Another Kouki S14 that I spotted, this one on 3-piece polished Work S1…

After hanging out inside the brewery for a good 30 minutes while the others tried some beer, we took off to go eat some Houston-area Vietnamese food. I didn’t drink at 8th Wonder because I was so cold and shit so I just wanted to get some hot soup in my system. I didn’t know Houston had such a huge Vietnamese community until I got there so I knew their food would be good. The Mayday Garage guys recommended some spots for us and we headed out to eat. I didn’t capture it with my camera but I did snap a photo for my Instagram account. If you want to see what I ate, CLICK HERE…

After we finished eating dinner, I hitched a ride back with our friend Hieu, who is a Houston resident, and made our way back to the hotel. The Hilton we stayed at had a really nice bar so we hung out there and grabbed some drinks with some of the Wekfest family as well as Elissa Alva. We had drank there the night before as well and it just became our hang-out spot for our stay in Houston. I don’t remember how long we stayed up but eventually, we all headed back to our rooms to get some rest as many of us had to wake up super early to go set-up the event. I woke up around 6:30am the following morning and got ready to go to the show….

The great thing about Wekfest Texas this year was that it was held inside the George R. Brown Convention Center. Not only was it a huge venue, it was also literally walking distance away from the hotel we stayed at. Ryan and I got our stuff and grabbed some coffee before walking a few steps over to the show. The staff was already setting up as vendors were rolling-in and I hung out to shoot the cars that were making their way into the venue. I absolutely loved the backdrop for the roll-in section of the event. It was just really gritty and above us was a Houston highway overpass. It provided some great scenery for the roll-in and the morning was my favorite section of coverage. The sun was rising and peaked through the gates of the venue and it just made for some pretty good photos…. Epic sunflare ensued but I promise you, it is all legit. I’m not the type that has the filters or whatever it is that people use to force fake sunflare into photos…

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Autrey McVickers’ AP1 Honda S2000 from DWS on Volk Racing TE37SL…

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This Lexus IS-F on Work VS-TX looked heavenly as the sun gleamed through the underside of the highway overpass…

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David from Hybrid Racing cruising into the venue as they had a vendor booth for the event…

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Clean old school BMW 5-Series sedan…

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R34 Skyline GT-R rocking a Do-Luck front bumper and Enkei wheels…

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Slammed R32 Skyline on polished 17×9 OEM R33 GT-R wheels…

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An aggressively stanced Z33 on custom Work Rezax II wheels sped through the lot…

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Another shot of Cordell’s EG6 SiR-II…I was so busy snapping photos that I didn’t even notice that he had rolled his window down and stared at the camera until I got home and went through the photos, haha…

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Matt Tucker’s K20 turbo EK9 CTR rocked somewhat of a new look with a meatier tire set-up but he unfortunately pinched his fenders because of the thicker rubber…

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Bradley LaFayette’s RHD 96-spec JDM DC2R with J’s Racing carbon front lip, canards, and front duct…

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Wesley Lebouef’s legit JDM EK9 Civic Type R with K-swap, First Molding front lip, and bronze Mugen MF10…

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VW Golf on CCW’s new Classic 5 wheel…

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Lexus LS460 wearing Wald International aero….

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One of the cleanest builds at Wekfest TX was undoubtedly this E30 BMW M3 owned by Greg Strube from Team 16niss…

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Another of the Do-Luck R34…

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Spotted the RX-7 that I last saw at the SEMA Show wearing TCP Magic widebody aero rolling into the set-up line…

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Lebouef’s EK9 getting inspected by the Fire Marshall before entering the Convention Center….

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This Honda Odyssey from Team Prospekt on ADV.1 wheels was one of the best Honda builds in attendance at WFTX…

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Lorinser Mercedes S600 from “NOLA STUNNA” car club…

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Bright red MK6 GTI on Work Meister S1….

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Paul Morgan’s recently redone Honda S2000 making its way into the George R. Brown Center. The S14 that is behind him in this photo is also his car…

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Since there was some inactivity outside as we awaited the next group of cars to come in, I decided to walk inside the venue to watch some of the cars set-up. Here is the Wald LS460 build from earlier…you can see the front and rear Futura Design big brakes behind the VIP Modular wheels…

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Lafayette’s Integra Type R getting cleaned-up as the guys from Hybrid Racing prepared their booth…

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Tucker’s CTR on F-Zero Blue Volk Racing CE28N…

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Outside, I got to see the next crop of cars as they prepared to roll-in. Included in that group were cars from both Team 5star and Low-Weezy-Ana from, you guessed it, Louisiana…

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Black Lexus 2GS lowered on SSR Agle Strusse with red caps…

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Honda S2000 featuring a OEM CR front lip, JDP rear wing, and J’s rear diffuser…

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Team 5 Star’s line-up for Wekfest Texas…

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Tom Syhachack’s Honda S2000 with some new improvements since I last saw it at last year’s Austin event, including a ASM front bumper, rear blister fenders, and Mooncraft hardtop…

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Joseph Clark-Molina’s BB4 Honda Prelude on Regamaster EVOs…Front lip is Spoon if I remember correctly, sides are Kaminari, and rear wing is Mugen…

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Christian Santiago’s beautiful NA1 NSX from Team 5 Star with original NSX-spec Regamaster EVOs…The name of the front lip eludes me right now but the sides are Marga Hills… Love how this build came together…

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Some of the Team 5 Star members hanging out while they waited for the Fire Marshall to come by to inspect their cars…

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Kouki S14 from Low-Weezy-Ana on aggressive Garson Deep Racing Ryujis….

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Supermade Kouki S14 on polished Work Equip wheels and two-toned bay with what looks to be a KA turbo…

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Flared Z33 from BRG on SSR Professor SP1 wheels. I believe this is the same Z from last year that was vinyl-wrapped in green….

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Really liked the sporty-theme on this CL9 TSX rocking a rare Mugen rear spoiler…

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Tom’s S2000 getting some attention from a fellow enthusiast…

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Bagged E-Class looking great on Leon Hardiritt Ordens…

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Closing it out for today with some detailed shots of Charlie’s custom Civic coupe from CNS Custom Works. He showed up at Austin last year with the car missing some details but he came out strong for Houston with a lot of new additions. The first and most obvious are the Work Carving Head 40s that suit the car more than the 15-inch Mugen wheels he had before…

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The engine bay is where you see the most of his custom work including a K-swap with a ton of engraving…

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The intake manifold alone is impressive enough. It may not suit everyone’s style because it is a bit more “lowrider” than your traditional “tuning” style but you gotta give props where it is due. The man spent a great amount of time transforming this coupe into his own custom project and it definitely shows…

Well, that’s all for Part 1. Make sure to check back for more as there is still a lot more to cover…. Thanks for looking!…

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