Wekfest San Jose 2016 Coverage…Part 1…

Man, Wekfest San Jose was really good this year. Okay, I know that may sound a little “home team-ish” since I am on the Wekfest tour with the staff but seriously, the show was REALLY good this year. The last two years or so, I’ve been racking my brain a bit trying to figure out how this show could be better but as it turns out, all it needed was some better builds. I’m not saying the builds in the past have been bad or anything but a couple years ago, the Norcal Wekfest event was held towards the beginning of the year, like in late January to early February. All the new builds of that particular year came out at the show because it was the first show of the season out here in the West Coast. All the enthusiasts built their cars for that specific show because they wanted to come out strong. When the show moved to the summer, in a different location, the anticipation for new builds sort of died down. By the summer, many of the new builds had already made their debuts at say, the Wekfest LA event, so there weren’t expectations of seeing new builds in San Jose. This year was a different story. I don’t know if people have decided to finish their cars for this event now or things just happened by coincidence but this year’s show had a handful of really good debuts, and that, in turn, helped to bring up the quality of the show overall. It was the official Norcal-debut for the Rywire Integra (which hasn’t been seen since the SEMA Show last year), Albert Zheng from PlusOne’s LS-powered RX-7 finally made its debut after a near-decade long build-up, the LTMW-built Boss S14 with BMW engine swap came up to the Bay to shock everyone, and on the Honda front, Jimmy Nguyen unveiled his H2B-powered EM1 build that he’s slowly been tinkering with in his garage over the past two years. Jimmy is a quiet guy but he has a good resume building Hondas over the years so many of the enthusiasts who are diehard Honda guys were looking forward to seeing his latest project…

All in all, it was quite the event. I’m happy to see these new builds coming out for the San Jose event because even though LA has gotten significantly better over the years, I still look to this event as the “Super Bowl” of the Wekfest series. All the heavy-hitters come out and make a strong showing every year. The debuting builds just help to add to the quality and anticipation. I arrived early Saturday morning during roll-in to photograph some of the cars because, as always, it is just way easier to do coverage before the show begins on Sunday. The crowd is so big at this event that it is almost impossible to get a clean shot when the doors are open to the public. People are just everywhere. The downside of capturing the cars during the set-up phase is that you don’t always see them in their finished state. Some guys are still cleaning-up and many are still dirtied from the long drive up to the Bay Area from wherever they drive up from. I’ve always just preferred to shoot during this time because I am so busy later on in the day judging the Honda/Acura Classes, along with the model-specific classes. For this year, they even added a “Best Honda Pre-90s” category which was really interesting. For once the spotlight was shined on the EF guys or some of the older models that usually get buried into the mix with all the wild Integra/Civic builds. Below is the first portion of photos I captured that day. Tiffanie was going to help me run The Chronicles booth on Sunday but had to shoot a wedding that evening so she didn’t fly up to San Jose until the following morning. Because she was shooting a wedding, I let her use my usual go-to lens, which is my Canon 24-70mm 2.8L USMII (camera nerd language). I still wanted to get wide shots so luckily John from VIPstylecars was around as well as Kevin from Autofashion so I went back and forth switching lenses with them to get all the stuff I wanted. Enjoy the shots below and make sure to come back for more from the 2016 Wekfest San Jose event…

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The Phaze2 Crooks Corsa twin Porsches rolling into the venue that early Saturday afternoon…

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One of the more notable debuts that I was personally interested in seeing was Jimmy Nguyen’s EM1 Civic coupe which he has been building for quite some time now. I had been following his build on Instagram and was excited to see that it was completed in time for the San Jose Wekfest event…

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Kelvin Bulda’s Civic build comes out of the garage once a year pretty much only for the Wekfest event in Norcal. This car has long been a staple of Norcal’s great Honda scene and I am always happy to see that it is still in immaculate condition. This is a very similar set-up to what he had back in 2004 but with a more “CTR-ish” appearance now…

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Darren’s 991 Porsche with GT3 front/rear bumpers…

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Tovar from Stoopidlow’s bagged Acura NSX on Volk Racing TE37SL at the “Sellouts” clothing booth…

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Impact Performance’s Lexus SC430 build on Work Wheels…

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Sung Kang’s “FuguZ” Rocket Bunny S30Z build was delivered to San Jose to be in the GReddy/Boost Brigade booth…

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Rocket Bunny Lexus RC coupe looking great as always…

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David “I’m Too Lazy” Uy’s Ferrari 458 with GT3 aero kit and custom one-off Rotiform wheels…

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Amir Bentatou from Marvelous Tune’s NA1 NSX track car made the trek up from Southern California. He originally had planned to be at the Wekfest LA show but ran into some issues on the highway where he received some front end damage, thus preventing him from showing at WFLA that weekend. The guys over at Battle Craft stepped-up to the plate and helped him re-align his front end and the car looked as good as it ever has at the Wekfest. The NSX also sits on new Exceed Japan SSD coilovers now and the ride height looks just right….

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One of the highlights of the San Jose Wekfest event was this line-up of Integras featuring the Rywire DC2 Type R build and three heavy-hitters from Norcal’s own ATS Garage car club…

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Widebody Infiniti G37 coupe from Inspire USA…

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Nice to see the Street Dreams EG Civic again. I remember the first time I saw this car in person was years back at one of the older Blox car show events…

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One of the marquee debuts for this year’s Wekfest show was Albert Zheng’s FD3S RX-7. He had been working on this build for over 5 years now and the car was completed just in time…

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Every section of this car, down to even the smallest of details has been touched and gone through by Zheng and his friends. The color is a bit brash for most but once you take a closer look inside, there is a ton of interesting bits inside. I wish I had gotten some shots of the interior but they were still putting some of the pieces back on at the time of roll-in. The entire car is completely custom-wired by Rywire Motorsports Electronics and even features a floating air tank for the suspension set-up…

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Inside the engine bay is a GM LSx engine swap which was also custom-wired by Rywire…

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Speaking of Rywire, Ryan’s personal “GT3 Integra” made its triumphant return to the Bay Area. The car originally started-out in Norcal after coming over from Japan and stayed in this area for many years until Ryan acquired the car. Wekfest San Jose marks its first public appearance since the 2015 SEMA event where it was a part of the top ten “Battle of the Builders” finalists…

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Not much has changed on the car since SEMA but Ryan is slowly ironing out the final details on it to get the car shifting properly with the custom paddle-shift set-up he has created. Just some minor bug fixes here and there but everything is falling into place…

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The turbocharged K-series engine that you’ve all come to see a lot of since it debuted at SEMA…

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Not too far away from it was this TRA Kyoto “Boss” S14 240SX from LTMW featuring a turbocharged BMW engine transplant. Much more on this build in the coming parts of this WFSJ coverage…

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Also coming out for the first time in 2016 was Phil Sison from ATS Garage’s K-powered Integra. It made its debut at my anniversary event toward the end of last year and they too have been working on getting the car running properly after its tune since then….

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Ferd Natividad’s Integra from ATS Garage has taken more of a minimal approach in the past year or so. Gone is the C-West front lip and Chargespeed sideskirts. Instead, Ferd went with a more traditional Spoon Sports theme with the carbon front lip and SW388 wheels…

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ATS AJ’s JDM ITR-faced Integra is looking better than it ever has. He recently got his ride height figured-out with the Volk TEs, got himself a set of Ganador Super Mirrors, and some Shift Sports front fenders to run the thicker tire…

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Dina Sakai’s J’s Racing-themed Honda S2000 with Diamond Black Volk CEs resting closely to the body panels via an air suspension set-up…

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Making its debut at the Wekfest San Jose event was ATS Garage member Joey Abundiz’s AP2 S2000. He had the entire car repainted in this gray hue, mixing in an authentic Mugen hard top, OEM S2000 CR wing and front lip, and a First Molding carbon fiber hood. He also had a pair of Volk ZE40s on one side and a set of Volk CE28 wheels on the other….

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The Higgins-Built EF Civic was looking as immaculate as it always does. I recently caught wind of some news that he is beginning the part-out of his engine. I wonder what he has planned next…

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Dustin McQueary’s DA Integra has been making the rounds this year. Seems like every event I go to I see him out there, which is a great thing. The number of DA-chassis Integras is quickly dwindling-down at shows and meets but it is good to see that Dustin is still doing this chassis justice…

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Front shot of Drew’s GM LSx-powered FD3S RX-7…

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Mark Arcenal from Fatlace/Illest’s Hakosuka GT coupe at their display area….

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Some better shots of Jimmy Nguyen’s EM1 Civic build including a look at his engine bay. This car was built pretty much entirely inside the garage of his house and he’s done a spectacular job. You may notice the lack of an oil cap on the H-series valve cover. I saw him a little later and asked him why he had no oil cap and he said his friend told him to take it off because he didn’t want it to get stolen. We both kinda had a chuckle about it but then I returned the next day and saw that he had a MINT GAB Sports oil cap on there. Definitely one of the rarer pieces that should not be left out in the open even though the venue was pretty safe with security and all. That cap is pretty rare so why take the risk, right?…

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One of the more unique builds from the Bay Area is Son Nguyen’s K24-powered EM2 Civic coupe. Not many would take this chassis this far but Son decided to take the unpopular path of building an EM2. I still find them a bit odd-looking but this one has to be one of the best ones around. Just the work in the engine bay alone with the swap and what not is pretty awesome…

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Chris Warren’s Civic on Rays Garcia Tuned Speed Choppy wheels made the drive from Stockton, CA to be a part of the WFSJ event….

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Harvey Flores from TRONICS’ Mugen-themed DB8 Integra engine bay. I was trying to think back and remember why I didn’t take any photos of the actual car itself but then I remembered Harvey came up to me and gave me a sweaty hug, thus enabling me limp and incapable of using my dSLR. Nonetheless, Harvey’s Integra is one of the best up there in that area and I’ve always been a fan of it. The engine bay has always been pretty great but I really like all the exterior changes he’s made to it over time. I just wish I could show you guys, haha….

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Also missing was a photo of the exterior of this Integra, which was recently completed in time for Wekfest and who is also a friend of Harvey’s. This could be a sedan, could be a two-door, we just don’t know because I didn’t get a photo of the rest of the car. Okay, seriously though, it isn’t a DB8. I remember that much…

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I did, however, get a photo of this Subaru WRX STI bagged on bronze Volk ZE40s….

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…as well as this MK2 Golf with a nice gray/bronze motif…

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Lexus GS from Pure VIP on Infinitewerks wheels looking great as usual…

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DPK Chuy rolling into the venue with his other Integra Type R, this one a legit RHD R from Japan. Yuta and him recently installed some Exceed Japan SSD coilovers on the DC2 and the ride height is looking really nice…

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A few more shots of David Uy’s GT3-inspired Ferrari 458 Italia since I don’t see this car very often…

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David Uy’s girl “Azeen Barbie’s” TRA Kyoto Pandem R35 GTR wrapped in blue metallic flake vinyl at the VEX Motorsports booth…

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Marshall Lum from Airrex recently returned to Hawaii but left his Mode Parfume Prius-R here in California to attend all the major shows here. The caretaker of the car, Nilo Miranda, actually had to be hospitalized and wasn’t able to take the car up to Norcal so Yasu and Yuta went over and picked the car up from him so it could make it to Wekfest San Jose…

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Part 1 coming to a close here with a shot of this Voltex-equipped Mitsubishi Evolution IX on Advan Racing TCIII wheels…

Much more to come so please stay tuned for more. I don’t even know how many more parts there are because I’m still busy going over the rest of the photos. Thanks for looking!…

2 thoughts

  1. Looking forward to seeing some more of the Street Dreams EG if you have any. I could not stand 3-spoke wheels back in the day.. so maybe it’s a nostalgia thing but, I’ve kinda wanted some myself lately.

  2. This show looks like it was a good time…are they any other pics of the car next to Mark’s Hakosuka? It appears to be a TSX wagon, and as I am an owner of one, always looking to see what else is out there

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