Offset Kings Showcase Chicago 2015 Coverage…Part 1…

It’s been a real blast traveling everywhere lately. Being that I’ve been doing work in this industry for such a long time now, I always look forward to going to different places and seeing new things. After I got back from Seattle, WA, I hung out at home for a few days before making the journey to Chicago, Illinois for the Offset Kings Showcase event. Ginash from JDM Chicago had contacted me months before inviting me to come out but I honestly had just forgotten all about it until he emailed me one day to remind me. He wanted to bring me out and gave me the option to either judge the car show portion of their event or to do event coverage. Shooting the event sounded like way more fun than actually judging every single car so I obviously chose to do that. This gave me more freedom to roam around and do whatever I wanted to instead of having to look at every single car for the entire day to decide who wins what….

The Chicago car scene presents a very different vibe than that of the community out in the West Coast. That’s really no surprise though. People are just different and as such, the car community is also very unlike anything you’d see in the West or the East. The most common question I was asked throughout the two days when I was in Illinois was “So, what do you think of our scene and how does it compare to California?”…..Ehhh, it’s so hard to compare. I wouldn’t say that it is good or better, it is just “different”. I know that sounds like the most politically-correct answer possible but it’s true. There’s no way to compare them unless it is on a very basic “black and white” level and as you’ll come to understand, nothing is simply black and white. There is so much gray area, especially when it comes to car culture. There’s no “right” way of doing things because it really depends on your roots and how you grew up understanding the tuning community. I will say this however, the cars that are really good in this area are REALLY good and the ones that are bad, are obviously, pretty rough. I think it is the same everywhere though. I guess what people want to know is if the “best” in this area compares to the “best” our West, and I don’t know if I should answer that question because I haven’t been to Chicago or this area in particular long enough to fully understand it. At a quick glance though, I will say that it is all about the details and there are a very select few that I encountered in my brief time there that really grasp the attention-level it takes to have that top-tier level build. There are examples to learn from though if you are a young enthusiast trying to get really involved in the car community in that area. Guys like Ginash from JDM Chicago “get it” and have some of the cleanest cars that I have ever seen. The guy is a real marvel when it comes to creating really clean builds and it got to the point where I honestly felt like I was making his cars dirtier by sitting in them, haha. If that makes sense. Hopefully you guys have had a chance to check out the vlog on YouTube. If not, I’d like for you to take some time to check it out to see what I experienced on my more personal level…

The Offset Kings Showcase event was yet another unique event that is unlike anything you would see on the West Coast. I don’t know if it is obvious to enthusiasts outside of the West, but there is quite a bit of segregation that exists out here when it comes to “car show guys” and “track guys”. So much so that it is pretty difficult to put on an event that houses both. People just wouldn’t show up. Track guys stay at the track and talk shit about car show guys and car show guys stay at their shows and meets and try to make their cars look like track cars, haha… Currently that is what people are doing anyways. In the past it was pretty common to have a race event that featured a car show but it is so rare these days. People have learned to just sort of stay in their own lane and just do what they want. Being at the event in Chicago was a odd experience for me because the Offset Kings Showcase was operated in association with Grid Life, which is a track event series that is quickly growing in popularity out in that area. Not only was there a car show, there was a full time attack event going on and whenever there was downtime, there was even a drifting exhibition. Oh, I should also mention that the entire thing was held within the Autobahn Country Club, which is an incredibly well-maintained, incredibly expensive venue. Like you have to pay $30,000 per year just to be a member there. The track is amazing and usually reserved for exotics driven by rich people so it was bizarre to see modified imports parked on the grass and drift cars sliding off course and eating up the grass. The venue was so nice that I cringed every time I saw a car roll onto the grass because it had rained the night before and the sod was damp. Anytime a car was driving over it and parking there, the grass was surely dead. I don’t know they pulled it off and were allowed to use this venue for basically anything they wanted but you would definitely not see anything like that out here in Cali. Overall, it was a great, eye-opening, experience. Thanks to Ginash and all his friends for the hospitality. I felt like I was right at home out there hanging out with those guys and they did a great job taking care of me while I was there. It is always a pleasure being given the opportunity to see different parts of the world and this experience is one I won’t soon forget. Below are some of the photos that I captured from that day at the Offset Kings Showcase x Gridlife event…

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Ginash’s Hakosuka is quite the beautiful specimen. Awesome that he gave me the opportunity to ride in it and realize how slow it really is, haha. Awesome car though and one of the cleanest Hakos I’ve ever seen…

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Touge Factory/ TF-Works S14 Kouki with full D-Max aero and Origin rear over fenders…

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This S13 with full GT-1 aero belongs to the owner of Touge Factory and he’s had this thing for over a decade now. It’s been through various set-ups but this one is not only the most current, but probably the best look…

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Touge Factory’s 6666 Customs/Rocket Bunny S13 with GM LSx engine swap…

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Circuit-prepped Civic hatchback with a PCI rear spoiler set-up and Kosei K1 wheels…

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My buddy Chris Sullivan’s S2000 that he tracks occasionally whenever he’s not busy being a club photographer in Chicago…

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Wild aero set-up on this time attack S13. I think I have more photos of this later but it also has a S15 face that comes apart in two-pieces…

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Varis widebody Evo X on matte blue Volk ZE40…

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The Touge Factory time attack S14 going from Volk ZE40s to a concave Volk TE37 set-up…

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This Z33 actually belongs to a Touge Factory customer but they campaign the car at various events with a dedicated driver. Interesting to see a SR20DET with NEO VVL head under the hood over the bigger VQ engine…

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Some of the cars that I was really look forward to seeing while in Illinois were the builds from Team Proceed. They are a local drift crew based in the area and all their cars wear matching graphical liveries. I love how the cars are set-up and wanted to see them for myself. I had planned to go to Final Bout 2 this year as well to see them compete in a tandem drift competition but I’m not completely sure what my schedule will be like in September…

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FC3S RX-7 on classic Work Equips wheels looking like it was straight out of the ’90s…

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Another look at the Touge Factory 6666 S13 coupe and the GM LS swap in the custom tubbed engine bay…

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One more of the TF-Works GT-1 S13 on Rays Nismo LMGT4 wheels…

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A look at the L-series motor under the hood of Ginash’s Hako…

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Christine Siepka’s 1978 Datsun S30Z looks every bit as amazing in person as it does in photos. It is just one of those cars that steals the show whenever it pulls up anywhere…. You can see more of the build HERE

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Varis widebody Subaru WRX STI bagged and planted on bronze Volk Racing ZE40…

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One of my favorites from the event was this white Kraftwerks supercharged AP2 featuring a rare Sorcery front bumper and Circuit Garage over fenders…

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Proceed 2JZ-GTE 2GS before it lost its front bumper on the track…

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Battle-worn 240SX hatchback on Work Emotion CR wheels. Shout-out to @shirtstuckedin…

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Risky Devil Nissan SR20DET-powered BMW E30 coupe on Work Equip 01… Love the influence of Japanese parts on old Euro builds….

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Flared Subaru WRX coupe featuring a EJ20 turbo swap from Four Star Society, a Chicago-based car club…

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Everyone was pretty excited about the drifting exhibition that took place at the event so we all huddled around the fence to watch. I wish we could have gotten closer to the track to get better shots but I made due with the space I had…

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The Proceed GS went off the track and lost its front bumper on the initial lap out but it didn’t stop him from getting some good angles in without the face…

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Proceed S13s sliding alongside one another….

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You can actually see the GS front bumper in the grass here as the coupe slid by…

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Another of the banged-up 240SX hatchback…

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Geekylurv aka Mico Brillo-Cruz’s EM1 Civic coupe which he tracks regularly…

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Trunkless S13 coupe with Origin over fenders and front wide fenders…

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Take the Ford truck out of this shot and it looks like something straight from Japan, haha. One of the rare moments when the owner of the car is at the right place at the right time for this capture…

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I gotta admit, it felt a little weird seeing Marcus Cooke and his G35 sedan out in Illinois because I’m so used to running into him back home in California. He took a job recently in the area and is currently in the process of relocating to the Midwest. The first thing he brought out was his G so he could participate at this event. His family is on the way as well so good luck to him in the future with the move and getting acquainted with his new home…

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Marcus has good company while he’s out there as he’s already found other G35 owners out in the area…

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Turbocharged Nissan 350Z on 19-inch Volk RE30…

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Pat’s Airrex-bagged Toyota Matrix build on WED’s Kranze wheels…

That wraps up Part 1 of 2 of the Offset Kings Chicago coverage. Below are some extra shots of Ginash’s Hakosuka Skyline. It seemed like everywhere was a good photo-op for it so I just shot it every time I looked at it. Such a lovely car…

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That’s all for now. Make sure to check back for the second, concluding portion of the coverage. Thanks for looking!!…

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