Wekfest Los Angeles 2014 Coverage…Part 1…

Before I officially begin, allow me to first apologize to everyone who came here to look at coverage of WFLA because my coverage kinda sucks…There were a lot of factors that contributed to me not really shooting much that day but I really should have put forth a better effort to shoot more. I just had a lot on my mind with all that has been going on with work lately and much of my time leading up to Wekfest was spent helping to finish up Mikey’s Integra for the show. I’m sure most of you are aware by now but we basically had a little over 1 week to put Mikey’s car together in time to make the event. Originally we had planned to finish the car for the annual Eibach Honda Meet but of course, we lagged it as usual and didn’t even get started on the car until the week after Eibach ended…

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Mikey’s Integra is special to all of us. We were shocked when he sold it a couple years ago but were even more shocked when he managed to somehow buy the car back not too long ago. When we heard that he bought the car back from its latest owner, we didn’t even want to ask him how much he paid to get it back because we knew that it didn’t really matter. It holds so much sentimental value with Mikey that you can’t even put a price on how much the car is worth to him. Even more surprising is that through the years, somehow, the car has managed to remain mostly unchanged. The turbo set-up was complete, the car was still the same color, and other than a set of seats and a pair of Spoon spark plug wires, everything stayed intact. If it was just one owner, that wouldn’t be all that surprising but a couple different people owned this car after Mikey sold it so we all expected the car to be in pieces. We saw the car after Mikey bought it back and it looked like it had been frozen in time. He updated it a bit by putting some new wheels on it but it looked just as it did in 2006-07…

I’m sure all of you are aware of this but Mikey’s Integra was never in “immaculate condition”. It was far from it in fact. He had owned the car since his late teens and had done a lot of shit to it over the years. He was one of the guys that popularized aggressive wheel fitment on Hondas and his fenders had seen better days after all the different wheels he had tried to cram onto the car. To put it simply, the car was pretty beat up. Still, he loved it as much as the day he first acquired it and was just happy to get it back. The car was representative of his younger years when he had nothing and now that he was finally in a good place financially, it was great to be able to reconnect with the car and have it back in his possession. After we got a nice office/garage space to operate out of and had a place to store our cars, the Integra sat quietly in the corner untouched. One day, we decided to go on a little cruise to a local meet in the area and realized how rough the car rode because it had solid engine mounts. I asked Mikey why he bought solid engine mounts back then and he said with all honesty that he didn’t know that they made anything else back then. He wasn’t the most mechanically-inclined in his younger years so he just bought whatever he thought would work. The car was vibrating so badly because these mounts were so stiff that it felt like the dashboard was about to fall off the fucking car while we were cruising down the street. I told him to get some newer mounts and as the saying goes, “the rest is history”…

What started out as a simple engine mount replacement turned into an entirely new operation. I told him that if he was going to take the mounts off, he might as well just pull the whole motor out and clean up the bay. Mikey had grown tired of the dated gold engine bay and wanted to repaint it any way. If he was going to repaint the engine bay, then he should just repaint the entire car because it wouldn’t make sense for the bay to have fresh paint and the outside be a faded version of the same color. The “might as well” mentality went into full effect and we just decided to re-do the entire car from the ground-up. Everything is the engine bay was coming out so that he could be filled and re-sprayed, and the pieces that made-up his turbo kit would be re-plated in chrome. The car was such an important part of Mikey’s life that I just felt that it was time that the car be rebuilt to how he had always wanted and imagined it to be….

Like I mentioned earlier, the car was supposed to be done for Eibach but we literally did not even touch the car until after, haha. Let’s just blame it on life priorities and a general lack of understanding of time. Once we got started though, man, we worked fast….

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Here’s the Integra after we got it back from paint. Auto Explosion in Gardena, CA came through huge for us and got the chassis back to us in about a week’s time. The engine bay was cleaned-up and the whole shell was repainted in R81 Milano Red. The shock towers were also modified since Mikey used to ride so low that the shock was banging on the towers to the point where they cracked. The old section was cut-out and a shaped shock tower extension plate from ODB Welding Werks was grafted into the body. With the added room, the front can now go low enough to the point where the tire is resting on the inside of the wheel well. If you forgot, this was a necessary mod for Mikey because his Integra is on a D2 air suspension set-up….

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We spent many, many late nights within that 10-day period of re-assembling the car. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience because we realized just how good our friends were. There was an outpouring of support and we came together as a real family to put this car back together. Never was there any arguing at any point or stress that was unmanageable. Everyone worked together like a well oiled machine to get this car done. I’m so proud of these guys for coming out to help and there was absolutely no way the car would be anywhere near completion without them…

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One night, after Mikey had left because he was exhausted, I got the guys to come over and we dropped the motor in without him even knowing. He called us and texted us repeatedly to see if we had done anything else to the car and we all pretended like we didn’t do shit just to troll him, haha. The next morning when he arrived, he opened the doors to see that the heart of his Integra was back in its home….

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Honestly, there was a point during the week when we really questioned ourselves because we weren’t sure the car was going to be complete, but there was a sense of pride that I don’t think we’d ever felt before and we wanted to see this project make it to Wekfest LA. Phaze2, as a car club and family, were united as ever. I think we sometimes take advantage of the brotherhood that we have together and need moments like this to remind ourselves why the people in our lives are important…

There’s plenty more of this build if you guys want to see more photos of the actual build within the 10-day period prior to WFLA. You need an Instagram to see it all in detail but you can also view it at the links below…

http://instagram.com/phaze2heymikeyyyy

http://instagram.com/stickydiljoe

You can also find more by simply searching the “#phaze2” hashtag on IG…

Additionally, you can read more about Phaze2 and our build HERE on the Fatlace.com site

I’ll skip forward to the night prior to Wekfest LA to keep it brief…

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When I say everyone came out to help, I mean “EVERYONE”. Even guys like Dominic Bautista, who isn’t necessarily a “show car guy” came by to lend a hand, as well as our buddy Yuta. We worked until the sunrise and guys like Dom were even taking cat naps on the floor just to get this car together….

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Fast forward to the early morning hours prior to Wekfest and the car is essentially “together”. The car didn’t run and we made no secret about it. We just wanted the car to be in one-piece and presentable to the showgoers. It didn’t matter to us if the car won anything or even competed at the show. We had so many great people involved with this car that it would almost be an injustice to them if we didn’t make every effort to get to the Integra to the show…

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Here is the engine bay with all of its new updates. Gone is the gold paint and everything has been color-matched. The old turbo kit remains but has been renewed in chrome. Even the turbo housing and manifold itself is plated in chrome. Absent is the old radiator because a new Rywire tucked radiator is hidden behind the core support along with the intercooler. There are so many new details that I’d like to show you guys but I’ll get more detailed photos of it when the car is officially “finished” and in running condition. We want to go back and change a couple of things but overall, we were happy with how it all came together….

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We wrapped it up at 4:30 am Saturday morning. Roll-in for us at Wekfest was at 9 am so it gave us some time to go back and shower, change, and then head back to roll to the event. I think I got a total of an hour and twenty minutes of sleep but we were so tired that it must have felt like 8 hours of rest. By the time I got back to the shop at 8 am, the car was already on its way to the show…

I, along with everyone else, was pretty burnt out. We also had our own cars to worry about too but luckily nothing was nearly as difficult and intricate as re-assembling Mikey’s DC. When I arrived in Long Beach, I think I just wanted to chill out and just talk to friends the rest of the day. WFLA is usually much more chill than the San Jose event anyway so I expected to be more relaxed. Shooting coverage was the last thing on my mind but I sucked it up and grabbed the camera to capture whatever I could. I didn’t really start shooting until late in the afternoon however and that is why the coverage is lacking. I don’t even think I walked the entire show that day but I did manage to get some captures of the cars in attendance. They aren’t in any particular order since I was just walking around aimlessly….

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Dave Chik’s absolutely timeless DA Integra build from Metrospeed. Everything about this car is just about perfect. If you were to ever compile a list of the best DA builds ever, yes, EVER, Dave’s would be very high on that list…

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I had known that Jason Haradon was building a Civic hatchback but I didn’t know that it was already finished and would debut at Wekfest LA. You probably know Jason more for his white DA Integra build that is always parked next to Dave’s. While the Civic may look simple, it was by far one of the most intricate Honda builds at WFLA. The entire car was restored from the ground-up and everything is brand new down to the most simplest things like the factory bolts from Honda. The engine bay isn’t tucked or shaved or anything and just looks like a factory Honda bay as Jason intended. You really have to see it in person to really appreciate the car and I wish I myself had more time to really study all the details of his build. I didn’t judge the Honda class this time around but I believe Jason won an award for his efforts and was totally deserving. Full restoration builds don’t get as much recognition as other Hondas but as these cars get older, it is getting harder and harder to find all the original OEM parts in brand new condition. He went and sought out all of these parts for his Civic and built his ideal vision of a lightly modded Civic. I don’t even think most of the younger generation would even appreciate a resto-mod build because they are typically more popular in the American hot rodding community….

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While we’re on the topic of timeless Honda builds, check out “Tegboi’s” DA from Ultraspeed with a full Mugen (Replica?) aero kit and Mugen MF10L….

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Jay Calderon’s RC Garage-built K-swapped Integra from Arizona continues to be a top contender for “Best of Show” at every event it attends. You can see it in full detail in the latest (and possibly last) issue of Honda Tuning magazine….

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Another angle of the incredibly well-executed engine bay of the RCG Integra…

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John’s Civic hatchback build from RCG with a K-swap equipped with a Jackson Racing Supercharger…

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Michael Mao’s twin-turbo NSX build wrapped in red vinyl. I’ve really enjoyed the progression of this build over the years and I think this is by far its best look to date….

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Making a huge splash at Wekfest LA was Sam Ip’s supercharged NSX with newly added aero parts from Spoon Sports. His NA2 features an incredibly rare Spoon NSX front and rear bumper that was brought over to the U.S. by Go Tuning Unlimited. The car sits aggressively on Airrex air suspension and 3-piece custom Arcane wheels….

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Leon Casino’s NA1 NSX on Weds Sport TC105N wheels….

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Jay Thammavong came all the way from down the street to attend WFLA in his Laguna Seca Blue S2000 with individual throttle bodies…

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One of the most traveled participants at Wekfest LA was Tom Syhachack and his turbocharged S2000 from Texas. I remember Tom saying he was going to come out to check out WFLA when I was in Texas last year but I had no idea he was actually bringing his car with him to compete. Since we last saw the car, he’s gone and added a turbo set-up with the dump pipes coming straight out of the middle of the hood. You can see and read more about Tom’s S2K in the newest (and possibly last) issue of Import Tuner magazine. Props to Tom for bringing his car out to compete with the best in the West….

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Karl’s Maritime Blue GReddy turbocharged Honda S2000 looking as good as it ever has. Crazy to see so much progress on this build in such little time…

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David aka Cheeseburger’s Honda Civic coupe with First Molding front lip and bright yellow Volk TE37 wheels…

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Eden Mao’s Honda S2000 on custom-built Mugen M7 wheels….

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Chris Ratawessnant’s BB6 Prelude from Team Legacy. He’s recently added a set of Project Mu front brakes and swapped over to beefy Toyo R888 rubber….

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Noel Barnum’s Varis Arising widebody Scion FR-S. The Varis aero is a new addition for Noel in 2014 and he also just recently received his Varis carbon hood from Japan as well…

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…And here is Mikey’s Integra in its nearly finished state at Wekfest LA. The car was very well received and I think a lot of people were surprised to see it again. For so many years, the car was known for its gold bay and turbo set-up so it was quite different to see it redone in one color with all the chrome pieces….

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Here’s a look at Mikey’s engine bay with the new coil-on-plug set-up. Even at this angle it is hard to see the radiator and the new shock towers look like they came that way from the factory. The turbo manifold actually presented a lot of problems for us as it didn’t clear the radiator when we first mounted it. We had to tilt the radiator forward along with the front mount intercooler just to get everything to fit correctly….

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I stopped by the Vossen wheels booth real quick to say what’s up to my friend Jenn Q….

And now, a look at our line-up at Wekfest LA. It’s rare for us to all get our cars together for a show considering how much we have going on in regular, every day, life as we get older but I was happy to see how good of a group we had that day. I think it might have been one of our best line-ups to-date….

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Ryan Der finally decided to bring out his BMW E30 M3 on concave 17×9/9.5 Volk Racing TE37….

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DPK David’s every day Lexus LS430 on newly-installed Airrex suspension. It’s good to see his car on air finally because he used to always complain about how he was the highest car in our group of VIP cars and he was pretty low as is on static coilover suspension…

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My Q45 that has been recently repainted with my new Aimgain Euro Edition kit. I’m really happy with how the car came out and how much shorter these new bumpers make my car look….

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Ken Kojima’s Vortech supercharged Z33 also on Airrex air suspension….

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Salem’s CL9 TSX rocking a Spoon Sports front bumper, J’s Racing rear wing, J’s hood, and 17×9 Barramundi Eleven wheels…

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Rom Figueroa’s Civic from DPK running a BYS fiberglass front lip and 15×8 Volk TE37 wheels. The guy walking by either smelled a really bad fart or was really disappointed about something….

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DPK David’s EJ1 Civic coupe with newly installed sideskirts to add to his aero package along with the Buddy Club front lip and Battle Craft hood….

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DPK Jared’s Mugen-themed S2000…

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Mauricio Santos’ timeless Civic build that you can read much more about in the current Super Street Honda Issue. This build has a very rich history and is an important part of the West Coast Honda community. Make sure you read the story if you grab the magazine…

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Ray Deleon made the trip from Las Vegas to display his Integra GSR sedan with its freshly painted engine bay…

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DPK Chuy’s Spoon-themed, authentic, RHD Honda Integra Type R. Individual throttle bodies are TWM units with carbon horns….

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Mauricio aka More-Ass also brought out his daily EF Civic sedan on Mugen NR10Rs….

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Darryl from DPK’s K20 EM1 Civic coupe running rare Mugen rear spats, Mugen SS front lip, and 17-inch Diamond Black Volk Racing TE37s….

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Closing-out Part 1 of my WFLA coverage with a couple photos of Rywire Ryan’s E-AT Civic on white Mugen CF-48s. Not much has changed with this car since the last time you saw it because it pretty much just sits pretty inside the Rywire facility while Ryan turns his focus now to his Integra Type R build that recently came back from ASC Speed Metal…

That’s all for today. Part 2 coming very soon with more photos from the Long Beach leg of the Wekfest worldwide tour…

Thanks for looking!!….

8 thoughts

  1. These high level of honda-builds are just a standard for you guys in the US…in Europe we’re trying to catch up but events are just plain boring compared to events like WFLA..keep it up..Would love to see some more US involvment to take the scene to a higher level in Europe.
    (Im waiting for the Rywire integra a long ass time!)

    • Actually the build level of Hondas are similar to Europe’s high caliber VW builds. US honda builds have been taking styling cues indirectly from the euro scene. Apply the same build concepts from those show winning VW golfs to a Honda platform and you’ve got a show winner.

  2. Pingback: Wekfest Los Angeles 2014 Coverage…Part 2… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  3. Pingback: Wekfest Los Angeles 2014 Coverage…Part 3 of 3… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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