Retrospective: The Greatest Car Show You NEVER Saw…

During the summer of 2012, I embarked on a journey to assemble the greatest line-up of Hondas to ever participate at a car. It happened. It was spectacular. You…just never had the chance to see it. Most likely anyways. Unless you were there, you probably missed it and I’m sorry that you did. In hindsight, I think my efforts would have been better placed elsewhere in a different time and venue but I will ALWAYS tell people (privately) that this was my favorite event to ever be a part of…

Okay, so let me back track… In 2012, I was contacted by the legendary Ken Myoshi from the Import Showoff series to help him promote his annual Nisei Showoff event. We are in August now so this came up in my mind last night, so I decided to speak on it now. 3 years removed is as good a time as any right? I think this gap in time will fully allow me to explain to you how I really felt about Nisei Showoff 2012: “GENERATIONS”. Maybe this will make a good entry in my book that I will eventually write some day so let this be practice, so to speak. Anyways, I had been helping Ken Myoshi in the years prior to the 2012 event just because I have a lot of respect for the guy. Myoshi is a good dude and one of the founding fathers of the West Coast automotive tuning community so I wanted to help him out with whatever he needed. Showoff, in the past, was the PREMIER car show series. I went to every event I possibly could and some of my best memories growing up in this community come from the Import Showoff events. When he first asked me to help him out, I was honored. I didn’t think I was anyone special so him reaching out to me was a bit surprising. He gave me my own section of the show to do with as I pleased and I would co-promote the show with him…

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The proverbial elephant in the room has always been if and when the eventual downfall of the Nisei Showoff would be. A couple years ago, the original location for the Nisei Showoff venue was supposed to be torn down. The lot had been sold and there were supposed to be high-rise buildings or something built over the lot. With the lot closing, it seemed like the inevitable end of Nisei Showoff. Ken advertised it that way so it seemed like a big deal that the show was ending. It was the end of a great run. People would show their respects by coming out to the show and then they would see the show off (no pun intended) the right way. The only problem with that was, the last show didn’t end up being the last show and now in 2015, the Nisei Showoff event is still going on. I think a lot of enthusiasts felt like they were mislead or misinformed about the show ending and they felt sort of betrayed by the whole idea of it always being “The Last One” year after year. It wasn’t Ken’s fault, to be honest with you. I see it from both sides so I do understand why people would feel mislead. But I also know Ken and understand that no matter what the case was, he would try to continue the legacy of the Nisei Showoff event at all costs. It just so happened that development on that lot was delayed and as such, it was available for the show to take place there. For Myoshi, opportunity knocked and he simply answered the call. I don’t think Ken saw it as a means of misleading people. He just did what he thought was right by carrying on the tradition of the show. To regular car folks, it would appear that he was trying to sell you the idea that it was the last show just to get you to go but that was not the case at all. I think when he first announced the event a few years back, he really did think that it was going to be the last one. You can consider it bad timing and unfortunate marketing on his part…

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Whatever the case may be, he asked me to help him out in 2012 and of course, I obliged. I had done something the previous year that was similar to my “GENERATIONS” concept but at a much smaller scale. The concept was to include some great Honda builds from the past, some from the current crop, and some upcoming builds that would help to pave the way for the community of the future. I think in 2011, I had roughly about 10-12 cars and that already seemed really tasking. For 2012, I decided to go all-out and tried to assemble the best, and largest, line-up ever. I think it took me close to 6-8 months to put it together but by the end, I was able to build a collection of over 80 Hondas. In this 80+ cars there some epic Honda builds that were from past, present, and future. I was so incredibly proud of being able to get this grouping together. I had a lot of help of course, but it just seemed impossible to be able to get these cars in one place. There was a little bit of everything. I even managed to get some race cars out there that wouldn’t ever bother doing car show previously. But above all else, I think I was happiest about being able to motivate some older car guys to bring their cars back to life and display them with the current generation of Honda enthusiasts. There’s a ton more to read about in the actual posts I will include the links to below. I hope you take the time to read it…

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Now, I call this “The Greatest Car Show You NEVER Saw” because the downfall of the event was the lack of attendance. Literally no one saw it but the people that attended the event. There are reasons why it happened the way it did but despite the lack of people, it still felt like a success to me. One of the reasons for the low number of spectators was because of the unfortunate marketing that I mentioned above, but I think the main contributor to the low numbers was because there was another event going on that day in Long Beach. I believe it was a Fatlace/Canibeat event that was going on that day which catered more to the younger crop of enthusiasts. It was the more “appealing” event so we all sort of expected car enthusiasts to gravitate towards that event. The third factor was the weather. It was hot…INCREDIBLY HOT. I think temperatures that day jumped to triple digits. This part of Downtown Los Angeles isn’t the most forgiving when it comes to the weather so it really prevented people from making their way down to the event. If you had the choice to go to DTLA where it was 108 or over to Long Beach for a similar event with bigger appeal to the masses, the choice is pretty simple. I don’t blame people for not coming…I just really wished they would have. Wishful thinking doesn’t change the past, present, or future, so we are now looking back at one of the best events that will probably be forgotten sooner than later…

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I present this to you now, AGAIN, so that you can bare witness to one of my proudest achievements. Would I have done things differently? Ummm…it’s hard to say but I don’t think I would. It is one of those once in a lifetime things that just happened. Even if you were to try to recreate it I don’t think you’d be able to assemble a group like this ever again. This is like the equivalent of a “ESPN: 30for30” series if it were to be about our great car community. I think in a few years time, I will be able to look back at these photos and still remember exactly how I felt the day it happened when I stood in the middle of that line-up of cars. There was an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, with just a small hint of disappointment because I knew not everyone would be able to see or experience it. I don’t know, I think maybe my passion gets confused sometimes for me being overly prideful. I love what I do and this was my ode to the Honda community that presented me with so many great opportunities in this industry. At the end of the day, I was happy that my friends and fellow Honda people were there to share it with me. It was a reunion of sorts for many because a lot of the older car guys aren’t really as active as they once were and this event helped to bring them together. It also helped to bridge the gap between the older generation of car guys with the current crop of guys. It was my hope that perhaps the bridge would help the younger people appreciate the past with the idea that what they were creating is something that future generations can appreciate. It came to me late last year that I should maybe try to do something similar to this for one of my anniversary events, but I just don’t think people would be up for it anymore. Maybe it’s too soon. Perhaps in the future, we will see another GENERATIONS line-up. The scary idea of it is that possibly by then, WE will be the past and a newer, younger core of enthusiasts will be paying their respects to us…

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Sorry for the rambling but I think this is something that you should all see if you haven’t seen it before. I really appreciate you guys for taking the time to check it out. When The Chronicles is long gone and I have nothing but previous memories to look back on, this will, without a doubt, be one of my favorite memories… Nisei Showoff 2015 takes place this year on August 15, 2015. Ken has since decided to team up with Elvis from Stance:Nation to create a collaborative event. I wish them the best. This is a show filled with great history and I hope this year’s adds to that storied tale…. WWW.SHOWOFFCAFE.COM

 

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Here are the original links to the posts related to Nisei Showoff 2012: GENERATIONS…

Nisei Showoff 2012: GENERATIONS coverage…Part 1…

Nisei Showoff 2012: GENERATIONS coverage…Part 2…

Nisei Showoff 2012: GENERATIONS coverage…Part 3…

Nisei Showoff 2012: GENERATIONS coverage…Part 4…

Nisei Showoff 2012: GENERATIONS coverage…Part 5…

Nisei Showoff 2012: GENERATIONS coverage…Part 6 of 6…

6 thoughts

  1. Hey Joey. I remember reading you coverage of this event and feeling bummed that I couldn’t attend. The builds that you managed to get out there were simply amazing. A historical event for the import tuning community took place that day. It was truely awesome. Being from NorCal myself I am only able to attend 1 or 2 SoCal events a year. I make it a point to hit up CAM ( because I’m an Accord guy ) and Chronicles. Unfortuneately I didn’t get to go to Chronicles last year. My life was pretty hectic and I just couldn’t make it. It would be awesome if you could pull it off for one of your upcoming anniversary events. Either way I’m sure Chronicles will be great.

  2. Man, time flies. Im whats considered an “old” guy in the honda community even tho i cant grow a beard (probably more to do with being oriental) but even tho i couldnt be at this event i watched as u posted it back then in as much of real-time as i could. Seems like yesterday. Been doin the honda thing for more than a decade and u keep it going for what seems like exclusively for me.

    Love that you reposted and hope another GENERATIONS show can happen.

    Thx JL

  3. I remember that year. It was the only Nisei I ever participated in, and it was unbearably hot! Ever since then, I’ve never gone back, mainly because of the venue location and the beating it gives you, along with the sun, is unforgiving and uncomfortable to say the least.

  4. Pingback: The Archives: Import Showoff EXC 1999 Coverage… Part 1… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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