Wekfest Seattle 2018 Coverage… Part 3…


One of the best things we can do at these types of events is to share stories with each other. That morning of the show, during the driver’s meeting, I got on the microphone and really encouraged people to share their personal car stories with others. During the judging process when I’m walking around the show, I love hearing stories from the owners of the cars I’m looking over. Granted, I don’t have all the time in the world and have to judge a couple hundred cars, so I would prefer the abbreviated versions of these stories, but I love hearing them, lol. If you’re just hanging out, I think it is really a good idea to chat with as many people as possible, especially if you appreciate the work that went into their cars. There’s that old saying that “people never get the flowers when they can still smell them”, meaning that people so rarely know that they are appreciated when they are still living and breathing. It’s easy to pass along praise once the moment has passed but it takes true compassion to really tell people that what they do matters when its actually current and happening. When it comes to this hobby of ours, events like these really provide us with an outlet to share our passion projects with everybody, but it seems like it is such a rare thing that people really spend the time to share their thoughts. People are either hanging out in their own little cliques of people they already see every day, sleeping awkwardly in a fold-out chair, or being drunk or high. Wekfest is a show that caters to the enthusiasts and pushes the idea of further developing the enthusiasts community. I always downplay the fact that it is a competition because I don’t see things that way, but I do respect the people who are there strictly to win. Winning is fun but realistically, it is a fleeting feeling. You win and then you go onto the next one, hoping to feel like short high of accomplishment and winning again. The memories you create talking to someone new or spending quality time with your friends is so much more rewarding…

I’ve done many car shows. I’ve been to so many I can’t even remember anymore. I’ve won awards, had my car featured in magazines, been behind-the-scenes helping to run events, and the thing I remember the most about it are the times I shared with people. Some of the people I met at car shows are still some of my closest friends today. One of my best friends, David Andrade or “DPK David”, is a guy who I met randomly doing Honda shit in the mid-2000s. Over a decade later, not only are we still close, I was a groomsman at his wedding and now he’s on the Wekfest tour with me. Ken is another guy I met doing the same thing and we didn’t even live in the same area. He was located in the Bay Area and I grew up down here in Southern California. He took a chance on bringing me on the tour and now we’re building this event series together and helping to further develop the community that helped us become close friends. Human relationships are important. Don’t ever forget that. It’s cool to be the hard ass, tough guy/gal, who just builds cars and is famous on social media, but I think it’s way more fun being the approachable human being who can relate to others, someone who can use their experiences to help others. It sounds cheesy but I don’t care. I’m old. I’ve seen things. Trust me. It’s better to communicate in all forms of relationships. If you’ve ever sent me a message and felt like I ignored you, I didn’t do it intentionally. I was either just too busy at the time or I missed your message. Don’t ever think that I don’t appreciate you for trying. Sometimes I’ll read a message and forget to respond as well. That just makes me human. A human with pour time management but nonetheless, human…

You see us in these Vlogs where we’re just joking around and talking to our friends—those are all real moments you’re seeing. We don’t plan any of that stuff. I show you that type of shit because I want us to be relate-able to you guys where you are encouraged to say something to us if you see us. It’s totally okay. Even if it is awkward. We are not in the business of treating people any less than we would treat our own friends…

Shortly after the Wekfest Seattle show concluded, I was going through my emails and came across a particular email from one of the guys at the show. His name is Mike Andrada and he had his Honda Civic in the show. He rolled-in with one of his friends and a guy that I knew from visiting Washington over the past few years, Ronald Khamphouvong. Ron owns the white Integra Type R that you’ve seen plenty of in the previous two posts from the show that are up on this site. It was one of my favorite builds at the show and even won the “Best Integra” award, judged and selected by your’s truly. With such a great Integra build at the show, it might have been difficult to see the cars around it, because it stood out so much. Right next to it was a Civic coupe owned by Mike. It was dark in color and with its hood closed, it would seem pretty “normal” to guys who weren’t into Hondas. It was a pretty solid build that I think many might have slept on at the show because everyone was so concentrated on the Integra next to it. I took a good look at it throughout the day and even went back to look at it again. It was a build that was good enough to win an award. I believe it placed in the “Civic” category so both these guys went home with awards. Anyways, I didn’t know who owned the Civic until after the show, when Mike emailed me. He wanted to extend his gratitude and give me a bit of back story on how Ron and his car came to be at the show. It was exactly the type of narrative that I was pushing for people to communicate to one another. It really resonated with me because it shows their friendship and how they both helped each other build better cars. The show was merely a byproduct. I guess you can say it was a deadline. Much like Wayne Denman’s CR-X build, all these cars would have come together eventually. They would all be completed at some point. Being able to bring it to Wekfest was such that added motivation, a reason, if you will, for getting it done…

I started reading the email and had no idea it would be as long as it was. More often than not, I get brief messages or just one sentence about anything in particular. Most of them are from people asking me if I took a photo of their car. Those are not the best emails, lol. Sorry, if you didn’t see it posted, I probably didn’t get a photo of it. There wouldn’t be a reason why I would withhold it from you, you know what I mean?..

I actually really appreciated the time he invested in typing out the email. Mike is not a writer by any means. Most people aren’t, and most times, people don’t write emails or messages like these because they are embarrassed that they don’t know how to process their thoughts to other people. It’s okay to not be a good writer. Just know your ‘there, their, and they’re’s and we’re good. I liked his email so much that I wanted to share it with you guys. It was a pretty personal message so I asked him for permission to use it before I re-typed it out to share with the world…

Hey Joey,

I wanted to personally reach-out to you and say ‘thank you’ for showing your appreciation. It means the world to me that guys like you see the effort we have put into our cars, but especially for me because I was in shock when my name was called. I was there to support Ron (Ronald with the Whitecrow-faced ITR) so when his name was called for an award I was already on cloud nine because we had put so much time and effort into his car. I had a feeling he would at least be in the running to take something home with the rare parts and execution but Ron is a very quiet, humble, guy—but also the most deserving. We bonded like brothers through building our cars together and I would not trade all those long nights and weekends for anything. Now we have something to tell our kids when we are old, haha. It might just be a plastic piece to some but it’s validation for me that being passionate about something, being different than everyone else, and staying true to what we  like are all being noticed by people that matter. To sum it up like you said “Passion first, the rest will follow.”

Ron and I first met when he was in search of someone who could help him weld up some cracks on a set of wheels about six years ago. He had purchased them from Yahoo! Auctions Japan and another buddy had mentioned my name to him. I am a welder so our mutual friend knew that I could probably help him out. He sent me a text and we set-up a time to meet. I was questioning why this guy wanted to fix these wheels and why not just buy new ones but I am not a wheel guy by any means.  Come to find out that they were actually a set of Work RSZ-R wheels in pretty rare specs. I guess things came full circle now because he actually has those wheels on his ITR now and they were on his car for the show. I guess you can say that was the beginning of our friendship. We stayed in contact because I was looking for someone to paint my car and since he was a painter, he said he could do it. It would be a type of labor trade where I could make a custom header and exhaust for his car and he could paint my car for me. He was also still B-series at the time and I personally hate making B-series stuff so we didn’t really set a deadline for one another. A year and a half later, he brought my car back to me with the body and paint all finished. I was blown away. It was perfect.

Some time later, Ron began getting the itch to build his B18C engine but I was trying to convince him to do a K-swap. I kept egging him on and an opportunity came up where our friend Jeff Diaz was selling a full swap out of his own Integra. The motor needed a rebuild and Ron was hesitant because the engine inside his ITR was original. He really wanted to make more power so I offered to build the motor and help him with the swap. Eventually he caved in and decided to do it. I even had him drill out the mount on his chassis so he couldn’t turn back, lol. We rebuilt the K20 engine using Wiseco pistons, Manley connecting rods, and sent the head to 4Piston to be built. Once everything came together we put the motor in and used a K-swap header that Jeff had just to get the car running.

I still owed him a header/exhaust set-up and one day he asked me if I still remembered how to weld titanium. I thought he was kidding but he was dead serious. It would take me some practice and to really get back into the groove of working with titanium but he knew what he was getting himself into. It would take a lot of time but I told him I’d do it because he always went above and beyond for me without question. We ordered materials from Ticon and I started off by making his intake pipe. The titanium exhaust took about a couple weeks. The first week consisted entirely of making pie-cuts and the following week was all welding, consisting of 2-lbs of filler rods and four refills of two huge Argon tanks. There’s an invoice from Ticon that we don’t like to look at but needless to say, the header and intake were complete. Around March of this year, we got Ron’s engine tuned and he then pulled it out so he could respray his engine bay. During that time, I started building my own motor and began fabrication on my turbo set-up. I really wanted it to be one-off, to fit my car the way I wanted it to and not have a typical sidewinder-style of manifold. More importantly, I needed it to be functional with a top-mount wastegate as a priority.

The three of us (Ron, Jeff, and myself) registered for the Wekfest Seattle event and once we knew we were in, the commitment lit a fire under us to keep pushing until our cars were ready. We all ran into issues, some major, some not so much, but we kept each other’s heads up to get through it together. Ron even surprised me with Spoon Sports mirrors that he paint-matched to my car and Jeff got me a Zoom rear view mirror. I was humbled by their actions. I’m sure they also wanted me to have more cool J-spec parts on my car because I’m not much of a car show guy, lol. Wekfest is the only show I go to and other than that you’ll find me at the drag-strip. Sorry to make this long but I really just wanted to say ‘Thank you’. 18 years ago I was sitting in detention reading Super Street and Import Tuner dreaming of potentially winning something some day and that day finally came. Thanks again.

-Mikee Andrada

Pretty cool, right? Like, these are the types of stories that should be shared. Not only were their cars pretty great, but now we all have a deeper understanding and appreciation for how they came to be. And it somehow all comes together and works perfectly because I’m going to bombard you with detailed photos of Ron’s engine bay today. Now we know who put in all that work to get those titanium pieces done, not to mention how good Andrada’s paint looked on his Civic, which is anything but what the owner himself would deem a “show car”, given his roots in racing and fabrication…

Stories, people. Let’s tell them. Share them. We’ll never be able to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes but what we can do is tell you how we did it and what we learned from our experiences.

As promised in Part 2, I also have some more photos of that really well done Prelude build I was telling you guys about with all the JUN Auto stuff on it. It’s a good post filled with many more of the great cars that participated in the second-ever Wekfest Seattle event. Let’s hope for many more and really get this show established as one of the go-to events in the country. Thanks for taking the time to read all this and enjoy…

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Wild-looking widebody R32 Skyline coupe from Vancouver, BC on Work Meister L1…

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Boosted Powerhouse Amuse (Amuse-style perhaps?) AP1 S2000 on Volk Racing wheels sans rear GT wing…

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I’ve encountered this EM1 Civic SI many times on my recent trips up to Washington. Prior to this set-up, the owner utilized a more aggressive rendition of a traditional Spoon Sports-look. For 2018, he decided to change it up and added a C-West front bumper and sides. Beefy Volk Racing CEs in bronze get the car on the ground and behind the front spokes are AP Racing front brakes…

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The engine bay is highlighted with a billet B-series valve cover, custom oil breather set-up, Spoon Sports cooling hoses, and spark plug wires, along with a bigger intake manifold finished off with a aluminum intake pipe and velocity stack…

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J-Blood front bumper on this Civic hatchback sitting on bronze Mugen MF8 wheels…

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Huy Hoang’s supercharged K-series Civic hatchback is one of the best Honda builds in the PNW, and its his side project… can you believe that? It features a Mugen SS front lip, 16×8 Mugen MF10s, Spoon Sports mirrors, Spoon hood, AP Racing brakes, and everything else nobody else can afford while also building an award-winning DC5…

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The engine bay is an homage to the style executed so well in previous years by many of the PNW Honda heavy-hitters with the black/gold Jiffy-Tite fittings, black braided lines, and ARC accessories. The centerpiece is a Jackson Racing supercharger with an intake that routes out under the driver’s side fender where Huy hides all his money…

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Franklin Woo’s white 2000 Civic hatchback that remains in the same pristine condition as when I shot the car for Super Street two years ago. Notable highlights are his custom front fenders, First Molding front lip, C-West sides, J’s rear wing, and Mugen MF10…

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In the super clean engine bay is a 2004 K20A engine using a K-Tuned ram-horn style header and polished RBC manifold. Check out the custom brake lines and firewall-mounted mil-spec connector for the Rywire engine harness…

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Super-wide FC3S RX-7 with carbon doors and a beautiful set of aggressive step-lipped Panasport G7 C5C2 wheels….

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Garage Five FK8 Civic Type R with some nice added red accent touches and Volk Racing TE37 Ultra…

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Canadian Acura Integra Type R in Phoenix Yellow from Garage Five sitting on what looks to be 16×8 Volk Racing CE28RT…

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Matt Nelson’s Midnight Purple BNR32 Skyline GTR from R-Rydes, a very solid build which took home the “Skyline of the Festival” award that afternoon…

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Rob’s Varis Super Taikyu Evolution IX from R-Rydes showed-up and showed-out once again to take home the Best of Show/”Car of the Festival” award at Wekfest Seattle…

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He’s recently added even more titanium bits and pieces which continue to make his engine bay one of the best in the country…

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Huy Hoang was having some transmission issues but still managed to get his Super Street-featured, multi-time award-winning DC5 RSX build out to compete at the 2nd Wekfest Seattle event…

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Not much has changed as of late but the car is damn near perfect so anything you really want to add to it would probably be doing it an injustice…

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White AP2 S2000 running Mugen MF10 wheels, OEM hard top, optional front lip, front splitter and sides, and Voltex GT wing…

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Mikee Andrada’s turbocharged K-series Civic coupe on Advan Racing RG wheels. Andrada is of course the guy that wrote that email which you guys got to read at the beginning of this post. As mentioned, the paint and body work were all done by Ronald Khamphouvong. You can even see the Spoon Sports side mirrors which Ron got for him as a gift…

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The custom fabricated turbocharger set-up, all created by the hands of Andrada himself using materials provided by Speedfactory. Normally they don’t sell materials directly to enthusiasts but Andrada is a close friend of Kevin’s from Speedfactory and they knew he’d be creating something completely one-off, so they were more than happy to help. Also notice the tucked radiator, coolant reservoir, oil breather, and custom brackets that hold all those components in place. Great set-up overall and a real surprise compared to the simplistic exterior…

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Now we get a closer look at the details of Ronald’s Integra Type R. As noted in previous post, this is a real Integra Type R wearing a Japanese ITR front face, Crowhouse front bumper, modified J’s Racing fenders, Airwalker sides, Mugen Gen. II wing, color-matched Spoon Sports mirrors, and the repaired/refinished Work RSZ-R wheels which helped to create Mikee and Ron’s friendship a few years back…

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I always thought that Ron had a good-looking ITR, but one of the things he lacked was any engine bay alterations. When I first met him he was still running the factory B18C Type R engine and it was pretty much stock. As you read, things changed dramatically after Ron met Mikee and what you’re seeing now is the car at its very best…

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The K20A engine is built internally using Wiseco pistons and Manley connecting rods, the head has been upgraded by 4Piston, and externally, you’ll notice that Ron is running an SBS Performance ported RBC intake manifold…

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Ron also has a tucker radiator set-up hidden under the core support. The valve cover has been modified to fit an oil breather set-up which runs to a canister mounted to the firewall with fuel system upgrades from Radium Engineering…

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Under the Rigid 3-point front strut tower bar is a custom one-off titanium header beautifully-crafted by Mikee Andrada…

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And from the other side you can get a peek at the tucked radiator as well as the titanium intake arm which uses a dimpled titanium plate mounted to the engine mount bracket for structure…

Overall, it’s just a fucking incredibly well-executed, functional, engine bay set-up with no over-smoothing or shaving…

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Paired with the Work RSZ-R wheels are Endless 4-Pot brakes up front…

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Jeff Diaz’s Formula Red NA1 NSX on Mugen M7 wheels, the same Jeff Diaz who provided the K20A engine for Ron’s Integra Type R. Glad the three of them managed to get all of their cars to Wekfest Seattle…

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Ken Gushi’s GReddy 2JZ-GTE powered Toyota 86 Formula Drift competition vehicle, competing at its first-ever Wekfest event at GReddy’s display area…

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Peter Terry’s 1 of 5000 ever-produced ST185 Celica GT-Four RC holding true to its original rally-aspirations sitting on Compomotive wheels featuring with custom D-Lng Designs wheel fans. Always a really cool sight to see whenever he brings the car out from the state of Oregon…

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Being an IS300 Sportcross owner, I can always appreciate seeing one when they are out at events. This one is nice and simple, running a Altezza Gita face and Volk Racing wheels…

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One of many Toyota Mark IIs at Wekfest which made the trek down from Canada, this one representing Serial Nine…

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Turbocharged DC5 RSX running a Mugen front bumper, seated on original Advan Racing RG…

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In the engine bay is a sidewinder turbo set-up utilizing a Precision turbocharger…

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Korey Arnold’s JUN Auto-themed Prelude had some great details that I had to make sure to go back and capture during the morning while I was running around. Notable parts on the exterior are the JUN Auto front lip, JUN Auto hood, Vision Type MC mirrors, I believe those are Valuesports sides, and you can’t miss the custom Work RSZ-R wheels paired with Spoon Sports brakes…

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Supercharged H22A engine with minimal clearance for the blower to clear the firewall. Powersteering is retained but the cooling system has been altered to use -AN braided hoses running an aftermarket radiator with custom water necks. Make note of the JUN Auto billet wire cover, oil cap, and radiator cap…

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Right up front is a JUN Auto header mounted to the H-series head using titanium hardware….

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As said before, Korey actually has the JUN Auto GT wing but didn’t run it for the show. Instead, he had another super rare piece, a First Molding wing or “Flugel Flap”. The partial rear taillight covers are Azect pieces made specifically to protect people from stabbing themselves on the sharp edges of the taillights. Totally kidding but yeah, it’s weird for them to make something like that. I mean, it doesn’t make the taillight any better looking or anything. Kinda like a sock that’s about to slide off your foot because the elastic has worn out. The fucking thing is holding on for dear life. I do appreciate the rarity of oddball stuff from companies like Azect and Valuesports though. How cool…

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Anyways back to modern times, here’s a Phoenix Yellow Integra Type R rocking a traditional Spoon Sports-theme, but with the addition of J’s Racing front fenders…

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Spoon-themed engine bay layout with yellow valve cover and all, but like the J’s fenders, the theme in the bay has been added-to with an ARC Induction Box and Intake Arm…

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I swear I love John Zuberk aka slowprogress’ E30 M3 coupe on silver Volk TEs but I can never see it in person with the fucking TEs on it because the last two years he’s shown up on BBS wheels. I mean it’s still a great-looking car but I hope to someday see it on TEs, haha…

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Alex Louie’s Libertywalk Performance Audi S5 coupe from the Slowlane crew…

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Varis-equipped Mitsubishi Evo IX on bronze Volk Racing ZE40. Love the red accents on the bottom and of course, the Ganador mirrors…

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I found out today that nobody stole my nobori flag after all. Wayne messaged me to tell me that some asshole was using it at as a carpet to sit on and he politely told the dude to get the fuck off and then he took it and put it under my table. Solid dude that Wayne Denman. Anyways, here’s another photo of his CR-X that I captured during the beginning of the show. Part 4 concludes this series with some roll-out photos after the show ended. It’s a good set of photos, believe me. Thanks for looking and please come back for the conclusion!…

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1 comment

  1. Fantastic coverage as always Joey! I’ve been following your work for years sir and for one appreciate all the hours you put into covering these events. The quality and inspiration just pours through in your photos and your writing. Thanks for sharing a bit more of the historical side leading to this Seattle event; look forward to seeing and reading more in the upcoming coverage this year.

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