Today, we take a look at the final and concluding portion of my Wekfest Miami ’14 coverage. There is a lot of stuff to go over in this post so I’ll keep it brief. I just want to thank all of you guys for reading up on my post yesterday which I feel is an important topic to discuss. It generated a lot of traffic and as a result, also generated a lot of discussion. Not everyone agrees with me but that is just the way the world works. It wasn’t an argument of a topic that really needed to be argued about. I just wanted to present a point-of-view on something that I know was bothering a lot of us hard-working folks in the industry. I didn’t expect it to have as much discussion as it did but I’m happy that people cared enough to share it and speak on it. It never hurts to stir up some controversy and to get people talking. I’d rather have people talk and agree/disagree than to sit idly-by while we just let things that bother us go on as they do. We must communicate with each other if we want to see progress. It is very easy to just let things slide and to accept it but we should be empowered enough as to speak to the rest of the world when we want to see change. Again, thank you for sharing the post and for allowing my thoughts to be heard…
Anyways, we’re going to look at the rest of my photos from Wekfest Miami and than you’ll follow me on a tour of Miami. One of my favorite things about going on tour with the Wekfest staff is all the adventures outside of the show. Every time we go to a new city we try to make the most of it and eat everything we can. Luckily I get to travel with fellow foodies who want to try new things. The time we share together is always memorable and the food is something that we will not soon forget. Florida is a new stop for us in 2014 so we made sure to eat some traditional cuisine local to that region. The show was a great success and I look forward to going back to Miami in 2015 and beyond. The people are great there and I see promising things for the car community as we head into the new year. With that said, here are the rest of the photos. Enjoy and salute….
If you missed Parts 1 and 2, here are the links below so you can catch all of it in its entirety….
Part three begins now….
Troy Huynh’s turbocharged Acura RSX was one of the more well-rounded, more complete, Honda/Acura builds at Wekfest Miami. His DC5 featured a BackYard Special front bumper, gold Volk Racing RE30s, custom purple paint, and a valve cover that prominently displayed the images of his girlfriend/guest Wekfest host Vivian Chau…
First place in the “Best JDM” category at Wekfest Miami went to John Perez’s incredibly detailed J-spec EF2 clone on rebuilt, step-lipped, Mugen MR5s. His Civic had practically every JDM EF2 component available minus the right-hand drive conversion. It is one of those builds that real Honda aficionados will appreciate and one that you really have to see in person to fully understand….
Kenrick Williams’ Civic hatchback featured a host of Spoon Sports parts as well as J’s Racing FRP front fenders and a Voltex rear spoiler. The engine bay has been cleaned-up and is highlighted by a custom catch-can and intake arm from Speed Factory…
One of the builds that I was looking forward to finally seeing in person was Xavier Ortiz’s turbocharged Civic. It was previously one of my Top Ten Honda build choices and I’m happy to say that it was every bit as impressive in person as it looks in photos. He’s had this build for quite a number of years now and the car continues to be one of the best coming out of Florida….
This yellow 350Z was hammered to the ground on incredibly-aggressive Work Emitz wheels….
One of my favorites from WFMIA was this 240SX hatchback with a near-complete JDM 180SX Type-X look from Slam District…
Ahmad Hassan’s S2000 once again on Work VS-XX wheels. Love the contrasting gray, red, and gold accents of the wheels against the Spa Yellow body…
This Mini Cooper S on BBS mesh was yet another build at WFMIA that was glued to the floor….
Pretty awesome to see a Mugen-themed CR-V with actual Mugen parts on it. I wonder how many people even knew that Mugen even offered anything for this chassis. The white on black two-tone looks like its straight out of the Mugen catalog with the exception of the MRR HR3 wheels…
Xul’s K-swapped Acura EL with individual throttle bodies and CCW Classics. The engine bay of his EL was one of the more thoroughly well-executed bays of the show. He even did the custom steel brake lines and everything. Great job…
Interesting to see a Advan livery on this Spoon-themed Acura Integra GS-R….
RHD AE86 Corolla Levin on Work Meister S1….
The R30 Skyline RS-Turbo that you saw previously in Part 1 of my coverage…
Wish I was able to get some photos of the custom peanut butter interior on this JZA80 Supra Turbo. I wasn’t sure if it was an actual turbo car because the owner didn’t pop his hood at first. Sure enough, he opened it up later and it was….
Jamasco Automotive’s 3S-GTE-swapped APR widebody Toyota Celica once again….
Slim’s “Diet Rootbeer” DC5 RSX with a full C-West N1 aero kit. The engine bay featured a custom turbo set-up with some All-In Fab parts and a completely shaved engine bay. If I remember correctly, this was the overall Acura Class winner…
Will Tetro’s Wekfest Miami “Best of Show” winning LS3 turbo FD RX-7….
I love me some wingless Evo Xs, especially when they have nice wheels and a Varis widebody kit….
Boosted green chrome metallic FG2 Civic SI coupe on custom BBS wheels from Faction crew…
AP2 S2000 with a full INGS+1 kit and Work Emotion CRs….
First Place in the Mazda category went to this FD3S RX-7….
Alex Bauza’s Vertex-widebody S15 Silvia on ISS Forged ML24 Series GT7 wheels…
Most of the Honda and Acura builds in attendance at WFMIA looked a lot like this Civic in terms of styling with aggressive wheels and bright vibrant colorways….
Gold chrome-wrapped BMW with matching roof cargo carrier and Vossen wheels….
One more shot of Ron Hughes’ S2000 build, this time from the driver’s side which hosted a pair of red Rays TE37RT wheels….
Royal Republic’s custom widebody RHD Toyota Aristo featuring a Japanese UZS174 Toyota Crown Majesta front end conversion and K-Break aero kit. There is so much work on this Aristo that you would hardly recognize it since it has so much bodywork done to it. Even the lower door caps have been removed and the doors shaved clean. Crazy build. Still needs a couple things here and there to complete it but man, definitely one of the wilder VIP builds to debut in 2014….
Royal Republic also had this S15 Silvia on display. I only had the morning to take photos so I apologize if I couldn’t get a shot of this car with the wipers down, haha….
Infiniti G37 sedan on Work Wheels that was one of the true sleepers at the show. You look at it like any other bagged luxury sedan but this G37 actually has a methanol-injected VQ37 engine with a 4.2L stroker kit. This thing sounds crazy in person and has all the premium parts you’d expect a high-caliber build like this to have including Aragosta air-cups which is very uncommon here in the U.S….
BMW M5 that I believe I also saw at Wekfest New Jersey this year….
Garrett’s S14 representing Sun Works Florida….
I’ll always have a love for the CB Accord chassis since it was one of my first car builds in the early 2000s. When I saw this one pull-up, I knew I had to get a closer look at it. I didn’t even realize it had a RHD conversion until I saw it up close and under the hood was a turbocharged H22A-swap….
I didn’t really get a chance to see what was under the hood of this Civic hatchback but I like what was going on outside. The J’s Racing front lip is one of my personal favs and the car sat nicely on meaty Hankook RS3s paired with black 949Racing wheels…
Crazy tri-exhaust set-up on this Y34 M from Infamous Society….
One more photo of the R32 Skyline that was parked at the Wekfest booth. Love the Ganador mirriors….
Before I put my camera away and started the judging process, I stopped by to watch one of the Wekfest media guys capture a quick Snapchat video of Wekfest Spokesmodel Elissa Alva….
The whole show after that was a bit of a blur. I had to judge the Honda and Acura classes, along with the Best Engine Bay, Best JDM, and GT VIP categories. There wasn’t much photo work after that as I had to dedicate my time to making sure all the cars got judged and I had enough time to look at every car in detail. Once the awards ceremony ended and the show wrapped, we headed out to dinner at a place called Buns and Buns. It was a spot that was recommended to us by some Miami locals and it did not disappoint. I didn’t get any photos since the place was pretty compact and dark, but trust me it was good. After dinner, we had planned to go walk around South Beach but I think we all just ended up falling asleep. The next day was a day for relaxation and to explore Miami, so our adventures weren’t exactly over just yet….
For brunch, we discovered a place on Yelp! called the “Eating House”. It had a very unique menu and the food looked pretty amazing, so we decided to check it out. By the time we got there, it wasn’t even open yet and there was already a line outside. The bar area was open so we seated there, and that is where the coverage picks up….
Eating House was a really cool spot. The waitress that served us was super chill and what better way to enjoy brunch than with Napoleon Dynamite playing on TV?…. Also, they served this Tang Mimosas which was really interesting….
The “BK Has Browns” which are hash browns with dry rub and over-roasted ketch-up… AMAZING…
The “calentado” which was pork shoulder, fried eggs, and Chimichurri over rice and beans…. I knew I should have ordered this but by Sunday, I was a little over eating pork with all the Cuban Sandwiches I had been eating that weekend, haha….
Instead, I ordered their Chicken & Waffles, which was unlike any chicken and waffles dish I had ever had before. The dish featured fried chicken of course, but with candied bacon and Foie Gras waffles and maple syrup. “Foie Gras” for those that don’t know, is fattened duck liver. One of the best dishes I’ve had in a while but I also felt fat as shit after for eating almost 90% of it…. If there is one way to make waffles even less healthy is to make the batter with fattened liver, haha… AMAZING though, my god….
Wekfest photographer Jose Beans ordered up the “Cap’N Crunch Pancakes” which had pancakes topped with candied Cap’N Crunch cereal and vanilla butter. Poured over all of that is condensed milk syrup….
After brunch, we all made the decision to go on an adventure unlike any other we had been on before. You know how the saying goes “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”? Well when you’re in Florida, you just have to go check out the Florida Everglades, right?…
We wanted to do something native to only that part of the country so we headed down to the Everglades to check out the scenery and ride some Airboats. The girls in our group are pretty good about finding the deals so they were able to acquire some Group-on tickets for the tour….
The Everglades in all of its natural wonderment….
Our vehicle for the afternoon….
Frog legs are not my thing but it was a prime food choice for tourists visiting the Everglades….
We’re definitely not in California anymore….
While the girls were ironing out the details of the Airboat tickets, I went to go explore and was able to capture this photo on a small bridge across from the venue. I tried to use the bridge as a picture frame and I think it came out pretty cool….
While we waited for our Airboat tour ride to begin, we were invited to go look at some of the animals in the Everglade Alligator Farm. This was my first time seeing an alligator of this size in person and it almost didn’t even seem real….
This one kept looking at me and all I could imagine was it saying “Haaaayyyyy”….haha…stupid….
One of the engines powering the Airboats. Looks to be a GM small block motor….
We hopped on the boat and went on a ride through the calm waters of the Everglades….
We would stop periodically where our guide would give us details and interesting facts of the Everglades. At different points in time we would even encounter alligators in the water….
Another tour going on that circled our boat while we were stopped….
After the tour, the girls wanted to go and try some fried alligator meat and frog legs….”Tastes like chicken” is probably the most common thing you’d here at one of these places….
The rest of the late afternoon was spent relaxing and doing random things. I was still pretty stuffed from my Chicken & Waffles so I wasn’t trying to eat a big meal for dinner. The group wanted to go try another spot so we ended up at a spot called “Havana 1957” which was more of a commercial Cuban food spot in the city….
The dimly-lit restaurant looked more catered to people who were on romantic dates than a group of car guys who just wanted to eat and drink…
One of the cool things about Havana 1957 were the classic Cuban visuals placed throughout the restaurant….
As you would expect, a place with “1957” in its name was themed very much like a 50s environment….
Nothing like eating with a rusty bike hanging over you…
Fancy Pina Colada that one of the guys tried… Again, I was pretty full still so all I had was Chicken Soup, which was good and not too filling….
After dinner, we walked around while the others did some shopping for Floridian souvenirs. We eventually made our way back to the hotel as the rest of the group had an early flight home the next morning. I myself, wasn’t scheduled to leave until the late evening so I checked out of the hotel late. Everyone was out of the hotel by 7 AM while I slept-in and didn’t even leave until around noon. It sounded great to sleep-in but honestly, I think I would have preferred to go back to Cali early since I had stuff to do at home. Regardless, I took advantage of my time there in Miami and did some exploring on my own before I headed to the airport….
One spot that I wanted to try before I left was Manolo and Rene Cafeteria, which was right by the hotel. People raved about the place and we would pass by almost every day without eating there. The spot was small so it would have been hard for all of us to eat there anyway, so it was actually perfect that I was able to eat there on my own….
Not only was the food spoken very highly of there, but the prices were really cheap. I love my some sandwiches so of course, I ate another sandwich….
Freshly-squeezed orange juice sounded good, but I had to stick with some coffee to wake me up….
No one else ate with me so I captured some strangers eating some pretty good food beside me….
Cafe con Leche which I couldn’t get enough of. The only reason I stopped is because I didn’t want to get the shits on the plane ride home, haha….
Manolo & Rene Cafeteria, a must go-to spot if you’re ever in Miami. Open 24 hours too so you can eat at the late hours for cheap….
I walked around Miami for a couple hours and just took in the sights. This was my first time in Florida so it was a good time for me to look back on my weekend and reflect. The humidity made it a little nasty to walk around but I can’t complain…
By the late afternoon, I was ready to fly home so I called Uber for a ride to the airport. I spent the next couple of hours waiting for my flight home and got back to Socal around midnight. And that, well, is the end of my trip. Thanks to everyone for the hospitality and to all of you guys for sticking around to check out the photos. Until next time, have a good one and see everyone in 2015!….