Autofashion VIP Festival 2017 Coverage…


Rounding out the busy month of November annually is the Autofashion VIP Festival event. Freddie and crew have been organizing this event for over a decade now and it has consistently been a great event over time. Similar to my annual events, the VIP Festival is typically held during SEMA time to provide guests from all over the opportunity to attend. You’ll see visitors from Japan there, sometimes from other parts of the country and even the rest of the world. If you’re into VIP car culture, you’ll probably be present at this event because it is an important one. VIP car culture is still growing in the U.S. and has always been more of a niche scene within the larger spectrum of Japanese car customization. I think people always find that it is odd that I myself own a VIP-styled Infiniti Q45 because I am so heavily involved in the Honda community. I stay committed to modding my Q45 because I’ve always been a fan of Japanese VIP style since I first picked-up a VIPstyle magazine in January of 2001. I had no real idea what it was when I first visited Japan and saw the magazine, but immediately fell in love with the styling and grandeur that comes with customizing Japanese luxury cars. I eventually bought my Q45 in 2007 and have been playing with it since then. Crazy to think that at this year’s VIP Festival, I was asked by the same magazine publication to have a small feature done on my car for a future issue. I guess you can say it is a bucket list item that I never thought would or could be accomplished. I don’t think that highly of my car compared to so many other great builds out here but I’m glad it was recognized. I would have never thought that I would one day have my own build in the magazine that helped get me into Japanese VIP car culture in the first place…

This year’s event was held once again at Green Flash Brewery in San Diego, CA. Perhaps this was the biggest one yet as the lot was filled pretty early with a bevy of nicely executed VIP builds of different makes and models. It rained early in the morning but by the early afternoon, the weather was just about perfect. I just hung out with some friends and chatted, doing some video here and there before waiting to shoot most of the event during sunset. This venue always offers a great back drop for photos and the sunlight just sort of hits perfectly in the later afternoon. It is always a super chill event where people just get together to enjoy each other’s company with some big sedans planted on the pavement. Most of the crowd is a little older too so things are typically very peaceful. Congrats to Autofashion USA for continuing to do big things and still staying incredibly relevant after such a long time in this crazy industry. These guys are out here building all kinds of cars for SEMA and still find the time to put this meet together right after coming back home from SEMA. I don’t know how they manage, haha. But I am glad they do. Enjoy the photos…

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Nat’s HKS GT-Supercharged Lexus LS460L featuring an 2015 OEM F-Sport front end conversion, Black Pearl Complete aero, Wald vented fenders and a custom metal widened rear quarter panel to fit aggressive Work Zistance wheels…

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Cesar from Kyoei USA’s color-shifting vinyl-wrapped Aimgain Lexus LS460 seated on Airrunner suspension…

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Always been a big fan of this complete Junction Produce Lexus LS430 on WEDS Kranze Bazreia…

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DPK David’s Mode Parfume Phantom GaMu LS430 on Superstar Leon Hardiritt wheels…

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I decided to cruise out to San Diego with David and brought out my Mode Parfume Y33 Q45 on Work Meister M1 wheels. It’s nice to bring the car out every now and then, especially since its all repainted and looking decent…

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John Ross’ Datsun 510 Wagon is pretty bad ass so I took the opportunity to get some better shots of it since he was parked pretty close to us and I had some free time…

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Cleaned-up engine bay that’s been smoothed-out and resprayed. Sitting nicely inside is an SR20DET swap that looks right at home inside his wagon…

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Precision turbo upgrade wrapped with a DEI Titanium Turbo Shield…

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A view of the SR-swapped bay from another angle. Love all the custom fabrication used for the turbo piping and the custom brake lines running along the firewall into the wheel well…

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One of the best-looking components is this GReddy intake manifold. Love the finish of it and it it suits the engine bay aesthetic…

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custom “WC” plate mounted on the firewall to represent John’s car club, Wild Cards…

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Different angle of the GReddy intake manifold with a view of how the intercooler piping is routed into the manifold…

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Tomohiro Sudo’s Honda Civic Wagon from Southsiiiiide Auto Customs. Sudo actually lives in Japan but built this Civic here stateside. Love the widened steelies which have been pinstriped to match the visuals on the side of the vehicle and headlight covers…

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Here you can get a closer look in detail of the headlight covers which feature the words “South Siiiiide” painted on them…

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Close-up of the custom colorway on Sudo’s widened steelies…

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Appropriately themed “Southsiiiiide” side stripe design…

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I forgot to get a shot of Gil Susana’s 510 but I was stuck studying his engine bay for quite some time…

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His engine bay has also been shaved and smoothed-out, with a SR20DET swap and Garrett turbo upgrade…

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Check-out the crazy amount of welding it took for all these pie-cuts to come together for the exhaust…

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On the intake-side there is similar amount of work but the piping on this end has been coated…

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Tomei wire cover mounted on the SR valve cover which has been custom pinstriped…

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Nardi woodgrain deep corn wheel with polished center…

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Christie Miyasato’s freshly imported RHD Honda Civic Shuttle RTi on Work Equip 40 wheels running a similar “Southsiiiiide” sidestripe…

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One of my favorites and one of the best of all-time, Steve Wong’s Mode Parfume LS400 on SSR Professor TF1 wheels…

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Another really great VIP build is this 1st gen. Lexus GS from Endless Projects wearing a rare Skipper kit…

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Next to it was another 1st gen. GS, this a complete Junction Produce rendition, also from Endless Projects car club…

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K-Break Lexus GS300 using Airrunner suspension sitting on newly released Work Emitz…

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The first stateside Mode Parfume Phantome GaMu Nissan 370Z on SSR Professor wheels built by the guys from Autofashion USA…

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This Mode Parfume Phantom GaMu GS is another great build from the guys at Autofashion USA. This car is actually privately-owned but the owner is so lowkey that he doesn’t want anyone know he even owns the car, which is interesting and also very refreshing in a generation where everyone is trying so hard to be seen and heard…

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The long-awaited Pandem Civic build from Autofashion USA, with the custom clam-shell hood…

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Under the clam-shell is a K24 engine swap, with custom paisley valve cover. Check out the custom wheel tubs and front core support…

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The guys from Buddha Concept Designs did a crazy job getting this clam-shell hood set-up to work, and even made a custom sheet under the hood with the Autofashion logo…

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Full-size radiator up front with an OEM RBC intake manifold coated black to match the blue/black theme of the bay…

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With the fenders attached to the clam-shell set-up, the wheel tub area had to be customized since much of the chassis is exposed when the shell is propped-up…

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Custom roll cage inside the Pandem Civic with custom metal panels throughout the rear half of the car. A NEXT Miracle X-bar has been mounted for both appearance and nostalgic appeal…

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You look a little further in and down by the spare tire area is the custom Nuke Performance fuel set-up…

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JC Pepino from Work Wheels Japan made the trip out to California for the annual VIP Festival…

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The first stateside Mode Parfume widebody S2000, built by Autofashion USA. Excuse the high ride height, as it was just unloaded from the trailer after coming back from the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV….

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Sam Hagen from Central Pine’s personal Y33 Q45 build, sitting static on T-Demand coilovers and SSR Professor wheels…

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Central Pine/T-Demand USA Lexus 4GS on SSR Executor wheels…

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I didn’t get a chance to see the debut of this Lexus LC500 coupe at SEMA so it was nice to check it out in person at the AF VIP Festival. This is one of the first LC coupes to sit on T-Demand’s new coilover and bag set-up, T-Demand brake kit…

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…and huge 21-inch SSR Executor CV04 wheels….

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Japanese visitors who are generally Honda guys but just like hanging out in the U.S. and experiencing car culture out here…

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I really like this UCF20 LS400 from PUREVIP wearing Aimgain aero, seated on Rotiform wheels…

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Custom widebody Hyundai Genesis Prada Edition on Luxury Abstract wheels from PUREVIP…

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LS430 from Endless Projects sitting against the setting sun on SSR Professor MS3…

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Project Mu-equipped Lexus 2GS on HRE wheels, a custom molded front lip and a set of Bride seats…

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Aimgain Lexus 3GS on Volk TE37SL from Lowballers car crew…

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Big body Benz from Liberty VIP on MAE Crown Jewels…

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Two of the cleanest, most complete, JZS147 sedans left…

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Still can’t get over the subtle radius of Big Steve’s LS…

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SSR Professor TF1…

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Crazy to see Cesar from Kyoei USA’s Toyota Century limo now wearing a complete Junction Produce kit….

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Job Design widebody 370Z on Work Wheels from Platinum VIP…

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Nice custom blue Aimgain Lexus 2GS on WEDS Kranze LXZ wheels…

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The much talked-about Junction Produce Rolls Royce Phantom that was first seen at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas…

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Endless Projects consistently bringing the heat at every annual AF VIP Festival…

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Russ from Lowballers’ Aimgain Cygnus F50 Q45 build that was recently painted in time for this event…

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Siiiiide profile shot of the Southsiiiiide Civic…

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Just a perfect, relaxing day in San Diego with some big body sedans and good people…

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That’s a wrap on another year of Autofashion VIP Festivals. Looking forward to the next one in 365 days….

Thanks for looking…

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1 comment

  1. Awesome coverage of the AFVIPFEST11. Keep up the great work. 👍🏼

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