Wekfest Atlanta 2018 Coverage… Part 1…


Whenever I was asked about my personal opinions as to which cities would be good for potential Wekfest destinations, I always had two major cities in mind; Seattle, Washington and Atlanta, Georgia. Seattle came to fruition last year and was a resounding success. I think it helped to inject some excitement into that area and we are already looking forward to heading back. Enthusiasts there seem as motivated as ever before and this year’s event looks to be stacked with some pretty great builds, both old and new. I had been to the city so many times and had come to know so many people from up there that I was very confident in my belief that it was the perfect place to host a Wekfest car show. And, well, it was. At least that seems to be the general consensus anyway. Atlanta was a little bit more iffy. I have also been to Georgia before but I’d be lying if I told you I shared that same type of confidence that I had with the Pacific Northwest. I’ve always heard and seen good things about Atlanta though. For as long as I can remember, Atlanta has hosted a few Import Alliance events around this time of the year and I’ve known a few enthusiasts who grew-up in Georgia who are good people. It is also in a generally good area with a lot of access by the surrounding states. If there was an event there, it was highly possible to get a lot of people from out of state to attend because the drive isn’t too bad. It’s not like Florida where it might be a little too far south for some to make the trek and it isn’t anything up in the Tri-State area or even further up which would discourage enthusiasts from the South from heading too far north. It’s just good middle-ground I feel. Two years ago, I attended the Gridlife event out at Road Atlanta and had an amazing time with both Tiffanie and Yuta. I was excited to go back. I just couldn’t last year because of a scheduling conflict. If I like a place, I’ll usually tell the people I’ll be back to visit again and what better way to visit than by bringing an entire car show with me next time? I’d still like to make Wekfest Australia happen but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself so I’ll try to work with the Wekfest people to make Atlanta the best it can be first…

I can’t say I had extremely high-expectations for Wekfest Atlanta but after seeing some of the cars that showed-up at Gridlife, I think I wanted to believe that the show could deliver some solid car builds. I’m not unrealistic. A big part of me knew that it might be difficult to get the best of the best to roll-out to the show, being that many of these people may not have ever attended or even heard of Wekfest before. It happens. You can’t just expect everyone to know who you are and if you think that way, you’re going to run into a lot of disappointment. It’s just better to go into these types of situations understanding that things take time to develop and it may take a couple stops at this city to really help the show and the community around it grow together. Things just don’t happen overnight…

With all that has been going on lately, this show just came out of nowhere for me. One minute I’m trying to get my taxes done, make sure all these orders are filled, and boom, it was already time to pack and fly to Georgia. Some of the guys on the Wekfest Tour asked me what there was to do out in Atlanta and I couldn’t really think of a whole lot of things to do than to eat. I mean, the city has its tourist spots and all that but I don’t really think we go to different cities to just fully invest ourselves in seeing touristy shit so all we really did was eat. Atlanta has so much good food that it would be a shame to not stuff ourselves with everything possible and I’m totally regretting it now, haha. I’m back at home and I just think about eating some fucking salads. We could have gone to Magic City but I’m personally not too big on strip clubs so I’d rather just hang out and relax. When I say “hang out and relax”, I mean I don’t want to throw money away and spend a bag on strippers, as fun as that may sound to some of you guys. Just let me eat and try to get my ass to adjust to sleeping three hours ahead of my normal schedule, while also waking up three hours earlier to set-up for a car show…

Overall, I think the show was solid. It wasn’t spectacular, but like I said, it takes time to develop when you go to a new city. The cars were good but the biggest headache we had to deal with was crazy weather. A huge storm rolled-up on us the morning of the show and, along with some issues dealing with the venue itself, the downpour and shenanigans caused a delay in set-up. I don’t want to get too much into it, because it ultimately didn’t have too much of an impact on the show itself, but things were a little messy in the morning with the crazy weather. I’ll tell you this though, the rain makes for great photos, and I was pretty stoked about it. I grabbed a steel chair, propped it outside right under an awning where the rain couldn’t really get to me, and shot away. There weren’t too many people shooting outside that morning, especially since the cars were allowed to be parked inside an empty hall next to the show to dry-off. What you’re going to look at today in Part 1 are actually the photos I captured while many of the cars were coming in from the rain. I think it’s pretty cool to see the cars in motion driving through while they were covered in rain. Huge props to everyone for doing such a good job of clean-up their cars. You wouldn’t even think it rained outside with how clean these cars were later…

In any case, I was happy with the first Atlanta Wekfest event. There is so much room for growth and the potential is definitely there for this to become a spectacular event. I love seeing all the new builds and finally getting a closer look at some of the cars I’d seen only online previously. There was one car in particular that I knew was coming which I had a feeling would be pretty much untouchable when compared to the others. This build was just that good. I knew when I first saw it at the SEMA Show last year that it was going to be a force to be reckoned with if the owner ever decided to bring it out to compete. I’ll tell you guys more about it when we get to it in the photos. Enjoy and thanks to everyone for coming by…

The day before the first-ever Wekfest Atlanta event took place, we stopped by the Dry County Brewing Company to check-out a Wekfest Pre-Meet hosted by Joseph Dale and Southrnfresh, a long-time blog/website which operates out of the area. They host events and do event coverage much like myself, but on that end of the coast. Dale actually contacted me last year to see if he could host the Pre-Meet and so I linked him up with Ken from Wekfest and they made it happen. The meet itself wasn’t too big or had the same type of feel as a cruise down Timesquare in New York, but it was nice. Fitting for the area we were in and the weather wasn’t too bad so it was nice to be out for the day…

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One of the centerpieces of the Wekfest Pre-Meet was this TRA Kyoto Rocket Bunny FD RX-7. It sat, bagged, nicely on refinished/rebuilt Work Equip wheels and the color popped under the overcast skies. I later found out that the owner, Tommy, also owns an Aimgain GT 370Z that would pop-up at the Wekfest event the following day…

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Just look at the depth in this Work Equip wheel on the rear of the Rocket Bunny FD…

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If you’ve never seen a NEXT! Miracle X-Bar for an RX-7, don’t worry, you’re not the only one…I also have never seen one in person before until this particular day…

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Not really sure why he’s running a different tire up front, probably due to fitment issues but the car overall looks pretty solid. Love the color choice and parts selection…

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Reinhard Takumi dual blast pipes for the FD. Great looking exhaust…

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One more shot just because…

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OZ Futuras seem to be an incredibly popular wheel choice for many down in Atlanta. I went from seeing one to two sets per year around the world to spotting like 5 sets at one event. It’s a universally great wheel that looks good on just about anything like a Meister S1 or TE37 so it makes sense. I guess you can say it was the Leon Hardiritt Orden before they became popular…

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I’m not lying. See, here’s another set of OZ Super Futuras that look to be a custom rebuilt set on this F80 M3 sedan…

The following morning, really fucking early I might add, like 530 AM early, we headed to the venue to set-up for the first-ever Wekfest event and the storm was ON… It started pouring and it just did not stop. This wouldn’t have been too much of a problem except for the fact that the people who operated the convention center where we hosted the event failed to CLEAN THE VENUE. It looked like another event had happened there the day or two before and everything was just left there. Normally places like this would be baron and cleaned-up but not this place. The clean-up later took a couple of hours and pushed the entire set-up process back, forcing us to find another location for the cars to roll into to get out of the downpour. The only positive thing about the rain was that it made for some pretty dramatic photos so I stayed outside and tried to get as many photos of the cars as I could as they were quickly filing into the designated roll-in area inside…

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Doug Williams’ Porsche 996 on CCW Forged wheels…

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Lexus 4GS F Sport on Leon Hardiritt Orden wheels…

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The build that I was referring to earlier which I said would pretty much be a sure lock in winning “best of show” honors if it showed-up to compete was this Midnight Purple Vertex-widebody Silvia from Team Emotion. I saw this build debut at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas and had a chance to get a thorough look at it throughout the week while I was in Vegas…

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It is perhaps one of the most well-rounded and complete builds that you will see in 2018, with equal focus devoted to every section of the car inside and out. You won’t see it lacking in any particular area because it was built with intentions to be a complete show car build, also with power and engine modifications in mind. The owner, Jason Pham, is no stranger to building cars either as this S15 is his third major build. He’s also one of the original members of Emotion, one of the premier car clubs in the country that has been known to house some of the best show cars on that side of the coast….

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It’s a shining example of great parts selection and proper execution. I’ll have more detailed photos of the RB26-swapped engine bay in part 2, but for now, enjoy the photos above of it outside in the rain…

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Lexus 3GS running Aimgain aero and Work VS-XX wheels also representing Emotion car crew…

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Varis-adorned Mitsubishi Evolution X on purple 19-inch Volk Racing TE37…

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Tate Whiting’s R35 GTR from Emotion crew…

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Larry Young from Infamous Society’s Lexus LS460L on Vossen forged wheels…

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Acura TLX running a factory optional lip kit and VIP Modular wheels…

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Stephen Stern’s Infiniti G35 sedan with custom front bumper and paint representing Infamous Society, sitting on Leon Hardiritt Gral wheels…

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Nice to see Adam Holt out and about with his Integra running J’s aero and JDM ITR front face. He recently had a baby but its nice to see it hasn’t slowed him down from the continued evolution of his Integra…

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Slammed G35 coupe from “Stature” barely clearing the roll-in ramp…

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Still really cool to see JZZ30 SC coupes at car shows in 2018… This one running rear over fenders and polished SSR Vienna Dish…

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Johnny Tsunami’s Spoon Sports-themed AP2 S2000 on bronze Volk Racing TE37…

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One of the best looking aero kits for the S2000 chassis ever is the Spoon Sports S-Tai, especially with the Mooncraft hard-top. Also can’t forget the Spoon Sports mirrors as well, also a fantastic option for the chassis…

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A familiar build from Wekfest Florida showed-up to compete at the Atlanta event, looking much the same as it did just a few months ago. This 1.6L 532HP Miata is certainly one of the most interesting builds of all the Wekfest events and is always right up there with the best of the best…

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I don’t imagine it would be very fun to drive this thing in this type of weather, luckily it was just a short trip into the venue…

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A little bit of peace before all the chaos inside the building…

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Simple EM1 Civic SI on 16-inch Desmond Regamaster EVO wheels. Under the hood is a tastefully Spoon Sports-themed engine bay set-up…

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One of the stand-out Honda builds of the day was Kelvin Ornelas’ gray K24-turbocharged Civic hatchback build on CCW wheels running hefty rubber front and back. The color reminded me a lot of the JDMYard Civic in Australia and a look under the hood showcased a pretty potent boost set-up…

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The other Ornelas build was this Civic on WEDS TC005 wheels which was also K-swapped but naturally-aspirated…

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It’s always nice to see a 1G Eclipse/Talon/Laser in 2018, this one running Enkei RPF1 wheels with a stock body and front-mounted intercooler peeking-out behind the bumper…

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These fine gentlemen were probably trying to figure out where the nearest Waffle House was, which there are plenty of, and not looking for the entrance into the venue because I was literally standing right in front of it…

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Cliff Ridinger’s Ultraviolet Lexus GS F Sport looked great riding nice and low on OZ Super Futura wheels. I love it when VIP-themed builds can just cruise low to the ground and not look like a baby deer moving around all awkwardly when the cars have to be airred-up with insanely odd-looking camber. This is how cars set-up like this are supposed to roll, people…

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This black MX-5 Miata had a bit more of a race-inspired look to it, running over fenders front and rear, along with Toyo-wrapped Volk Racing TE37Vs…

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I spotted Tae Chang’s supercharged S2000 a couple years ago at the Gridlife Atlanta event but never really had a chance to see it in detail until the Wekfest Atlanta event. I love how the lines of the Spoon Sports front fenders and Sorcery front bumper make the S2000 look longer at a glance as well as the beefier appearance in the rear with the molded Circuit Garage rear over fenders…

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Lovefab turbocharged “Super GT” inspired widebody NSX…

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Not sure which front bumper this is, possibly Burn-Up or Downforce-equivalent I think but a good-looking NSX overall…

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This Mazda 6 looked pretty spectacular on Work Durandal wheels…

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Oh shit, we’re at the end of Part 1 already. Before I go though, check out this S15 Silvia looking very traditionally Japanese on Advan Model 5 wheels with Ganador mirrors and a Blitz front-mounted Intercooler. How cool is this, right?…

Anyways, thanks for looking and make sure to come back for Part 2! Not sure when this will be posted since WordPress has seemingly taken a shit today but hopefully you guys see it before the day ends or get to enjoy it during your morning coffee when you’re contemplating why you chose the profession you did and somehow hate life a little but not enough to complain about it to anyone who will listen. Lol. Bye for now, please come back, we’re barely hanging on here!! Just kidding, come back though for real…

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2 comments

  1. Great photos so far. Johnny owes me Korean BBW- I mean BBQ.

  2. Wish I knew that Wekfest was having an event in Atlanta, being that its just about a two hour drive for me. But, that’s what I get for not keeping up with the car show scene like I used to. Anyways, looking through these photos, I’m really partial to the S15 from Emotion… I think it would look at home on the cover of an Option magazine.. It really is one of the best builds I’ve seen in a while, and it seems like a lot of time and thought was put into this particular car, and the selection of parts and paint choice reflects that. I wish more people put this much thought into their builds, instead of just slapping on a knock-off body kit, air bags, vinyl wrap and trendy/tacky three piece wheels.
    Special mentions go to the RX7 with the Reinhard exhaust..I can’t remember the last time I saw a car with a Reinhard exhaust; and I too have never seen a Miracle bar for an RX7. I quite like the Super GT style/inspired NSX..looks like something you’d see back in the day, battling it out in a Hot Version video.

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