Wekfest East 2015 Coverage…Part 1…

The East Coast leg of the Wekfest tour is always an interesting one…. Not so much because there is a ton of change from year to year, it’s actually quite the opposite. The last two years I’ve attended, there wasn’t a whole lot of change in terms of the cars that attended. If I put the photos side by side from 2013 and 2014, you almost wouldn’t even notice a difference. There are a lot of contributing factors to that but I think it has a lot to do with both the weather as well as the level of competition that exists out there. The cold seasons really don’t allow for very many changes to vehicle builds because guys can’t drive their cars anyways and many are just stored for the winter. Because of this, they don’t really focus on rebuilding and instead just bring their cars out to cruise whenever they can. Out here in the West, it is much different. Our seasons don’t really affect how we build our cars and because of the competitive-nature of enthusiasts out here, cars are constantly changing and evolving. On the right coast, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Cars tend to stay about the same and a bulk of the enthusiasts who do drive their cars throughout the year aren’t as aggressive about tearing down their cars and rebuilding them from the inside-out. I completely understand why this happens and I think that is why there is such a huge gap between the highly-competitive show cars and the lightly-modded “daily drivers”. There’s almost no in-between. You go into these shows with a pretty good idea of who is likely to win something already but it is still always great to chat with everyone because you want to hear about how enthusiastic they are about their builds. It doesn’t matter if they are going to win or not, all these guys go into it thinking that they have a shot, and that’s a great thing…

The enthusiasts in the East, particularly from the Tri-State area, seem to have an overwhelming sense of pride in everything that they do. I think that is just the way they are brought up. They think that whatever they are doing is top-tier stuff and it translates over to the car community. It’s not a bad thing. I think having pride in what you do is incredibly important. I also think that it is endearing to hear them be so prideful of their work, whether it be car-related or not. I think this pride sometimes deters from the growth of the community out East because they are almost in their own “bubble” of sorts. Like they feel that whatever they are doing is the best there is so there is no need to see what is happening throughout the rest of the country. You really see it when you head to different areas of North America. In the South, people are constantly trying to learn and pick-up on new ideas. They travel to each end of the country to see what is currently trending. In the West, the competition level is high but to a point where the people here have created their own style. In the East, you still see influence from Japan but it’s quite different than the West. It is almost as if they are interested in what Japan “did” and not what they are doing at the moment. Current trends in Japan don’t seem to translate over there as quickly as it does in California and adjoining states. Here it seems like fair-trade of ideas. It is back and forth and the Japanese have used California as a gateway to influence their own car community back at home. The East understands Japan, but they are using ideas and influence from the past to help build their current cars. While it sounds like I’m being negative about the link between the East and Japan, I want to state now that I actually think that it is a GREAT thing. I love the fact that I can go to that part of the country to and still see stuff like a fully-built RE Amemiya FC RX-7 or a traditionally-style “J-spec” Honda. The connection with Japan is apparent, it is just back-dated. That and you see a million Skylines cruising around all over that area and you begin to just accept that they are regular cars there. In Cali, Skylines are few and far-between. In the East, the R32 is the new S14. They are fucking EVERYWHERE. I love traditional Japanese-style builds. They are the cars that influenced me growing up and what helped to shape the car community out here. It is quite refreshing to see only 1 or 2 Rocket Bunny cars compared to the plethora that are being built every day out here. This widebody madness has saturated our community out here because everyone wants to be a part of the “IT” trend. Over there, you almost appreciate them more because there is still that sense of rarity to them…

It is hard to explain and I think people will pull more negativity into what I am saying than what I’m really trying to express but it is one of those things where you just have to be there to understand. Unless you’ve been all over, you won’t understand just how different the people are in the various parts of the country…

There is almost no comparison to the East and the West anymore. The separation is so great that you just can’t simply compare the two. It’s apples to oranges. Because of different factors, there is no “better”… It’s just different.

Anyways, the 2015 Wekfest East show brought about some surprises. From 2014 to 2015, there seems to be a number of new builds that showed-up. Much more so than in the previous years. Some guys who had brought out cars in the past brought out some completely new cars and the heavy-hitters from the past who were consistent winners at Wekfest East went and added some new things to their builds. There was even a new “Best of Show” winner this year. The cars who competed for top honors the last few years were so far above the rest of the pack that it almost seemed certain that they would be repeat-winners but a new build came through and blew people away. I’m sure I have some photos of the BMW E46 that did win buried somewhere in my memory card. There are still many photos that I haven’t found the time to go through and I’ve also been contacted by another publication to use my photos so I have to sort out what goes where. In the meantime, check out Part 1 of my coverage below. It covers the early morning roll-in which is usually my favorite part of the day to shoot. I just like seeing the cars outside roaming around and not restricted to a convention center floor. Enjoy and make sure to come back for the rest of the coverage. Also, check out our official YouTube channel to check out the Vlogs covering this event….

As with every Wekfest East event, the guys from Ravspec always show up first thing in the morning so they get the first section of coverage with the many builds that they bring annually…

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Ravspec’s Rocket Bunny FD3S RX-7 on Work Emotion CR2P wheels. Love the way this thing looks especially with the minimal vinyl on the car. It isn’t airred-down in these photos so the car looks high but it does sit pretty low when it is properly parked…

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The ER34 Skyline sedan that you may recognize from our Vlog coverage. It cruised through the streets of New York City on the Friday when we arrived and we got to get a pretty close look at this roughed-up Skyline on Volk TE37s….

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William Blanco’s Varis Arising II Subaru BRZ turbo on bronze Volk Racing ZE40….

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700+HP Acura NSX featuring a Cantrell Studios widebody kit and Work Wheels CR2P….

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Soowoo-baru WRX STI rocking a full red-on-red theme on Work wheels…

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Widebody Subaru WRX coupe on Volk Racing TE37V….R35

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R35 GTR running APR aero add-ons and Volk TE37 Ultimate wheels…

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Another R35 GTR, this one with a satin silver finish and Work Wheels…

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Proverbial “I like big butts” comment or some shit for this photo…

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Drew Evans’ G37XS bagged on Airrex suspension and Work Meister S1 3-piece wheels….

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Ricky Gonzalez’s 2015 Aimgain Lexus RC350 on Work Zeast ST2 wheels in blue…

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A rear shot of the ER34 Skyline drift car….

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The front face of Blanco’s Varis BRZ with a peek at the front-mounted intercooler…

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A couple more photos of the Rocket Bunny FD with a look at just how wide the rear end is…

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Joe Cheung’s UCF30 LS from Liberty VIP on gold-faced Work Zeast ST1 wheels…

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NA1 NSX on staggered Volk Racing TE37…

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Awesome to see a full RE Amemiya FC3S in person. Rarely get to see stuff like this nowadays but I’m glad that the East Coast still has that Japanese-touch where they still appreciate the cars that made us fall in love with Japanese tuning style…

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Japanese Classics LLC, brought out that RE FC above along with this Toyota Crown. Both were for sale…

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Included on their trailer also was this Eunos Cosmo coupe. The Cosmo, for those unaware, is the first production vehicle to run a 20B rotary engine. This one retained the twin-turbo set-up but also had a built automatic transmission. It too was also for sale at about $15K….

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One of my favorite Honda builds from this side of the country is Cory Shifflett’s F20C Rotrex-supercharged Civic hatchback. He made some recent changes to the car that made it that much better so I made sure to get plenty of photos of it during the early morning roll-in…

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SNTRL’s Itasha-themed Zenki S14 drift car unloaded off of its trailer….

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Another of the NA1 NSX…

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AP1 S2000 with OEM hardtop and Backyard Special front lip…

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Cory’s Civic with half-cut rear bumper, J’s Racing rear wing, Chargespeed sideskirts and Chargespeed front fenders…

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“REALNCE” is right….

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The RE FC heading into the New Jersey Convention Center for staging…

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Faiz’s custom widebody IS300 with 2JZ-GTE swap and Volk Racing TE37SL….

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Loved the combination of Mag Blue 15×8 Volk TE37 wheels paired with BMW Laguna Seca Blue paint…

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Shyam Sookram showed up to the 2015 Wekfest East event with a new Backyard Special front bumper on his normally Spoon-themed Acura Integra Type R…

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AP2 S2000 running the new Spoon Sports Super Taikyu front bumper and custom gray Regamaster EVO wheels…

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Dave Tormey’s AP2 S2000 on Regamaster EVO wheels running an Amuse front bumper and Spoon Sports side mirrors….

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Always been a huge fan of Advan Racing TCIII wheels. They look great on this Scion FR-S paired with an Aimgain front bumper…

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Kyle Crawford’s EF9-look Civic hatchback on Almighty Grey Rega EVOs….

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The rear end of John Paul’s S2000 which features the first M&M Racing Hyper widebody kit in the U.S….

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R32 Skyline GTR on traditional BBS LM wheels…

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A better look at the M&M Hyper kit on the AP2 S2000…

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William Blanco’s Varis BRZ heading into the venue…

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Z33 with bolt-on fender flares and Nismo aero….

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FD from Regiment Zero with complete RE Amemiya aero…

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Gene Siepka’s beautifully-executed Varis Arising II 370Z on Work wheels….

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Non-widebody Scion FR-S with Varis aero and Advan Racing GT….

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There seemed to be an influx of R32 Skylines this year at Wekfest East. It seemed like every other car was an R32. I didn’t get a shot of every single one there because it would dominate a bulk of this coverage but I did catch this one on bronze Volk CEs….

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As well as this on on bronze Work wheels…

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Will Wang, the defending Wekfest East “Best of Show”/Car of the Festival winner, came out to the show with some new changes. More on this later…

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Dave Marino’s K-powered Civic on 16×8 Mugen MF10 wheels and a First Molding carbon front lip…

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Closing out Part 1 of this coverage with one more shot of the Rocket Bunny FD, this time finally airred-down…

11 thoughts

  1. Great coverage as usual. East coast cars looking tough. I dig the nostalgic JDM cars and the vintage 90/00s style they preserve.

  2. I’ll take an East Coast “back dated” build over Rocket Bunny shit any day. If I wanted to see a bunch of trend following cars that look like the next gen of “rice” I’d buy an issue of Super Street. The reason why people stick to building those “retro” builds is because the look is clean and timeless.

    • I don’t believe its a rice thing or not – the east has a different style just like how the west does. To say one look is better than the other without any other justification besides calling it rice shows your lack of knowledge on the topic.

      Joey, I don’t really agree on the whole weather issue. A number of these guys have their own shops, heated garages, etc. so builds are actually full force during Winter to be completed by Spring. WekFest on the East Coast isn’t considered the ‘mecca’ of all builds like it does out West. The “Elites” are beautiful cars that only cover a small portion of whole story here. Speaking for my area in general, we don’t have a lot of shows all season long that everyone fights to get to. I guess in a way, it’s still very much a grassroots community where you’d just have to know the right people to really see the cars that are the true “Elites”…

  3. This is the best piece of writing that I’ve seen to date recapping a show, I’m a fan for life. Wonder if my Chargespeed WRX was snagged along the way? I would be honored.

  4. Pingback: Wekfest East 2015 Coverage…Part 1… | TruFormOnline

  5. love that you didn’t get all nuts on the r32’s haha. gotta say, the car is ruined for me now after the recent tidal wave of them around. and it seems almost every owner is a douche. they get pretty butthurt when no one freaks out over their car like they imagined in their head when they bought one lol

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