The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 5…Wekfest Japan Inside and Out…

Wekfest Japan was an overwhelming success. I’m not just saying that because I was/am a part of the Wekfest series either. Going into this event, there were a lot of unknown variables to consider which made all of us a little anxious. This was the first time Wekfest was held in Japan and none of us really had an idea how it would be received. It was understood that the USDM-style had officially become a craze over there and was quite popular but still, you just don’t know how Japanese enthusiasts would view this event. The event followed many of the same guidelines that the USDM Jam series followed but I don’t think people really understood that Wekfest was essentially replacing the USDM Jam series, which after ten years, is over and done with. When I was first told that Wekfest was attempting to make its mark with an event in Japan, I was a little skeptical. Things are very different culturally so I wasn’t sure if the event would transition correctly overseas. The show was presented as an American event but the entire staff was Japanese and the man behind the scenes running the show was Hiro Ueda, who is also a resident of Japan. Hiro and Ken worked tirelessly to put the event together in the months leading up to its debut but for the most part, it was still very much a Japanese operation. This just worked out better. With Hiro at the helm, he would be able to better communicate with not only the staff, but also the vendors and people participating…

I talked to Ken from Wekfest and asked him how he felt about it and even he didn’t really have any idea what the general response was going to be. To be perfectly blunt, I think we were all collectively surprised by how the show was received. Here in the States, people turn out in hoards to come to Wekfest and before the gates even open, there is an incredibly long line of people waiting to get in. Japan, surprisingly, was no different. I remember specifically looking outside at one point in the morning a couple hours before the gates opened and there was already a long line that formed. Thanks to social media, I kind of suspected that the Japanese were really looking forward to Wekfest but that was through the eyes of the enthusiasts who were showing their cars. There was never any indication of how big the crowd turnout would be because the Japanese aren’t the type to go out and scream about how excited they are to just be at an event. It was a pretty incredible sight to see when the gates finally opened up because it had a very familiar feel about it much like a Wekfest event here in the States. Sure there were cultural differences but I think the staff did a great job of making it a “Wekfest” event and not just another Japanese car show that happened to carry with it an American name. I guess you really had to be there to understand what I am saying but all in all, man, this show was great. I couldn’t have imagined things going any better or any smoother than it did and there were literally no issues throughout the day from start to finish…

This was by far the most organized of any car show that I have ever attended. We try our best over here but the Japanese are just way more organized and meticulous than we Americans are. Every single car space within the show had each competitor’s names on it with a mod list to denote where they would be parked. Every single space was also measured out with great precision with specific measurements laid out by string. It was pretty crazy to see. It took much longer for them to set-up but by the time the cars started to roll-in, there was no hold-up because everyone knew where they had to go already thanks to the intricate floor plan that was presented. Hiro and his staff did an amazing job and I applaud them for their efforts. The staff working the gates even had full suits on and were adorned in full business attire. It was nuts. They looked more like they were Secret Service members than guys selling you tickets to a car show. Wekfest Spokesmodel Elissa Alva even had private security with her at all times. Again, I can only tell you how the show went in words but you just really had to be present to understand how everything came together…

As I mentioned, the first Wekfest Japan event followed traditional USDM Jam guidelines. All cars that were competing at the event had to be cars that were also available in America. For example, you would have an Integra in the show because the Integra was also sold in America. You wouldn’t walk around expecting to see a R33 Skyline or something because it was never a U.S. domestic market vehicle. Make sense? Guys like me and Rywire were in attendance because we were also vendors from the U.S. The Chronicles was there on hand to sell merchandise that I would normally sell at an event here at home and the same thing applied for Rywire. I am not very good at speaking Japanese so instead of me running the booth throughout the day, I had some friends from Tactical Art handle the booth for me while I walked around and judged cars and did coverage. It worked out because I am terrible at counting American money, so I can’t even imagine how I would go about figuring out to count Japanese Yen. I’d probably end up giving shit away because I couldn’t count correctly. Many of the other vendors on hand were also either U.S. brands or businesses in Japan that specialized in distributing and importing American goods. There were even food trucks outside like Wekfest events here serving food to show goers. These food providers also only sold American-themed food. They really did a good job of pulling off the whole idea that you were at an American event…

With that said, let us now continue with the WFJP coverage. When we last left off, I was roaming around the parking lot outside capturing anything that caught my eye. Some cars were show participants that hadn’t been staged yet and some cars were just there because they were there to be a part of Wekfest as spectators. After I show you photos from the parking lot, I make my way inside to show you some more of the Wekfest competitors…

There are four other posts prior to today’s. If you missed any of them, please go back and read through them in order so that everything makes sense….

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 1…

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 2…FEEL’S Twin Cam and Tokyo Bay Dinner….

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 3…#Wekfestprep With Tactical Art…

The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 4…WFJP Begins…

…and now, we continue our adventures in the parking lot of Port Messe in Nagoya, Japan…

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This EG6 Civic has been on The Chronicles a number of times in the past but I still am not very familiar with the car itself or who owns it. I know the group he occasionally rolls with but the rest remains a mystery. I really like the green tone and the color-matched faces of the BBS RS wheels. A good looking car overall. To be honest, I think the owner was just here to be at the event and wasn’t actually a part of the show….

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Wekfest Japan brought out a variety of different cars and styles, including this Porsche 996 GT3 Cup car from Phat Ride Automotive…

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Really cool pin striping and caricature of the Porsche on the rear end of the car…

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One of the most unique cars that was parked outside was this Suzuki Alto from CLS which wore a parody of the traditional Idemitsu Motion livery. Sections of the car are completely sticker-bombed but still very reminiscent of the Idemitsu design. I just thought it was funny how it says “Lotion” with some added drops instead of it saying “Motion”, haha. Very random theme but it makes for a really cool car. This is one of those cars that you won’t find inside Wekfest Japan because the Alto was never sold here in the U.S….

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T.R.A. Kyoto/6666 Customs Rocket Bunny RPS13 180SX from Garage Hirota on black SSR Professor SP3s…

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Yasuhiro Hashiba’s Toyota Mark II converted to USDM Cressida with 1JZ-GTE turbo swap and Rotiform wheels…

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Seeing builds like this re-affirm my idea that Advan Racing TCIII wheels are one of the best looking wheels ever made…

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One of my favorite builds from Wekfest Japan was a car that wasn’t even in the show! This S30Z was so badass. It was bagged, which is very unusual for this type of chassis but under the hood was even more impressive…

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Sitting in the bay was a Toyota 2JZ swap with individual throttle bodies! Not only was it an S30Z on bags, it also had a 2JZ swap that wasn’t even boosted and naturally aspirated on ITBs. Crazy…

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The moment I saw the rear end of this car I was already captivated. It was weird to see it on Weld racing wheels but it fits its unique character and styling. A couple people mentioned to me that this car was featured on Speedhunters not too long ago so I looked it up and indeed it was. The Datsun is from a shop called Daddy Motorworks and apparently the inspiration behind this build is my buddy Yuta’s old “Zombie Z”. Awesome how inspiration goes full circle and how much of an impact Yuta’s Z still makes today. The shell is literally just sitting on the floor at No Rush and I see the thing like every day, haha. Regardless, this Z was spectacular. I loved everything about it…

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Parked right next to it was another classic Fairlady Z, this one more traditional with RS Watanabe wheels…

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Accord Euro Wagon on Work Emotion CR Kiwami wheels…

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Another car in the parking lot that caught my eye was this MA1 Honda Concerto. For those that aren’t aware, the Concerto was a joint effort between Honda and British car maker Austin Rover. It was designed for the European market but was also available in Japan. In terms of where it stands in the Honda lineage of the late 80s and 90s, the Concerto was supposed to be like the next level up from the EF chassis. It had more options than the EF and was meant to be a classier car. This was my first time seeing one in person and it was cool to see that it was modded…

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The owner of this Concerto even attempted to clean up the engine bay a little bit where the factory 1.6L DOHC ZC engine remained…

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You rarely see these things ever because they were more readily available in Europe but it honestly isn’t a bad looking car. You can tell it’s a traditionally styled Honda that has a mix of EF Civic and a little bit of Accord as well as other early 90s Hondas. I dig it. Seeing stuff like this makes my trip worthwhile because I would have never seen a Concerto otherwise…

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Subaru Legacy Wagon on Work Emotion XD9s…

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Toyota Mark X on Work Gnosis GS1 wheels…

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Yet another awesome parking lot find was this VeilSide Fortune Model FD3S RX-7. You may probably know it better as Han’s RX-7 from Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift. The colorway and everything matches the one seen in the movie, even down to the VeilSide Andrew Racing Evolution V wheels. Not sure if many even know this but the original Tokyo Drift car wasn’t built specifically for the movie. It’s design and colorway actually came from VeilSide like that as it was one of their demo vehicles at the time. People remember it as Han’s car but it was just one of VeilSide’s FDs that they already had…

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Taku Kusugami’s Mitsu EVO X on new CCW SP16S wheels. You guys may know Taku as the owner of the brown Tactical Art EK Civic that was on the cover of the Super Street Honda Issue a couple years ago. He still has the Civic but this EVO X is his daily driver…

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WFJP marked the first time that I ever saw a modded CF6 Accord Wagon in person…

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Osaka JDM/Car Craft Boon! built Honda Integra with Mugen Gen. II rear spoiler and orange-anodized Barramundi Design Eleven wheels…

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Always been a fan of Masaki Maeda’s DC5 Integra Type R on 17×10/10.5-inch Barramundi Design Raycod wheels…

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Slammed and static NSX with shaved front bumper…

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Kohei Taguchi’s Honda Integra Type Rlooks great with the OEM ITR front bumper and carbon Spoon Sports front lip. This is is circuit set-up as he normally cruises around with a BYS front bumper and only tracks with this lip…

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This yellow EK9 CTR wasn’t in the show but luckily I was able to spot it in the lot. The car has gold Volk Racing CE28s, Spoon Sports frotn brakes, carbon hood and hatch, along with a pair of rare Craft Square side mirrors….

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Inside the Civic was this rather gaudy KEY!S Fossa Magna steering wheel….

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The rear features a Sergeant rear diffuser/lip and L.E.D. taillights…

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The slammed NSX had a hell of a time getting up this driveway into the venue that really wasn’t even that steep at all…

The sun was really beating down on me at that point and I decided to head back inside the venue to take a break and to capture some of the cars that were already parked within the show. The front gates hadn’t opened to the public yet so I still had plenty of time to do coverage without spectators getting in the way…

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Hideo Shingu’s 1998 Honda Integra Type R which is converted to appear as a ’97-spec U.S. ITR on WED’S Sport TC05 wheels…

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The inside of Shingu’s ITR and his rare MOMO Benetton steering wheel w/Mugen horn button….

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A couple more shots since I’m a fan of his ITR….

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Kohei Saito’s build is one of the cars that I looked forward to finally seeing at WFJP. You’ve probably heard me talk about it plenty of times but Saito’s Civic is actually an original EK9 Civic Type R which he converted to USDM Civic DX-spec. People often ask why he would do this but it is the same reason why we put JDM ITR front ends on Integras here; it is just something that we don’t have, so we want it. Guys like Saito who are into USDM style make their CTRs, which are readily available in Japan, look like a Civic DX that they never had…

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The interior is still very much a CTR minus the manual crank windows and Mugen steering wheel….

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The exterior looks very much like a U.S. Civic DX that has been modded with Spoon Sports parts. Also make note of the black side moldings, bumpers, and rear license plate garnish. This is one of my favorite Honda builds ever from Japan because the idea of making a CTR into a DX-trim Civic is just fantastic to me and genius for those into USDM style…

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Yosiyuki Hatano’s Mugen-themed S2000 is another awesome build coming from the TPK camp. While it still holds to Japanese Honda tradition with the complete Mugen aero, it is still an S2000 that would fit here in the U.S. This is basically a white version of DPK Jared’s S2000 with the exception of the Mugen hood and S2000 CR rear spoiler. Something about the white on the bronze Mugen MF10 wheels is just pure perfection…

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Slammed EF2 Civic on BBS wheels from SOUTHSIDE car club….

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You guys should remember seeing this EF on the site a couple times because of its rare and unique “Island Molding” which was originally only available as an option in EFs in Hawaii…

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EF8 CR-X SiR dumped on Work Emotion CR01 wheels…

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Yuki Hatano’s Toyota Corolla Rumion which has been converted to USDM Scion xB specifications. Really like the color-matched window visors and the Volk Racing TE37SL…

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Here are some more photos of the sick D21 Nissan Hardbody pick-up on Barramundi Design wheels…

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You can get a good idea of how much custom fabrication had to be done to the suspension to get the truck to sit the way it does. Check-out how the coilover suspension is installed and how the wheel wells have been completely cut-out for wheel clearance…

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One ore of Maeda’s Integra Type R…

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Honda Integra on SSR Formula Mesh wheels and USDM 98-01 Integra face…

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Here’s a better look at Satoru Hasegawa’s Civic Ferio. Hasegawa is in important member of the USDM movement in Japan as he was one of the first enthusiasts to really customize an engine bay to resemble the engine bays you see in Hondas over here. He did a great job with this car and I have a lot of respect for him for taking his Honda to the next level and setting a precedence for how USDM Honda enthusiasts in Japan mod their cars. He’s created a very well-rounded Honda build and there isn’t one area that he hasn’t touched upon yet, which is something that we really try to do in the U.S. It also has a very specific color scheme that flows consistently throughout….

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One more of Hasegawa’s 4-door representing A-Spec Japan….

Before I go today, here are some extra photos of Saito and Hatano’s Hondas since I couldn’t stop looking at them throughout the day…

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That’s a wrap for today. I still have a ton more to show you guys but I’ll save it for the next update. Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for looking.

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9 thoughts

  1. Pingback: The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 6…Even More From WFJP… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  2. Pingback: The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 7…Closing Out The Day At WFJP… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  3. Pingback: The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 8…Celebration Time… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  4. Pingback: The Chronicles Wekfest Japan Trip 2014 Coverage…Part 9 of 9…The Finale… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  5. Its crazy the amount of fab work in that Hardbody truck. Considering the trucks came with torsion bar suspension up front, it has a lot of custom stuff up front. Looks like S chassis coils on it now. Hope theres more pics later on.

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