Wekfest Japan 2019 Coverage… Part 3…

Being in Chicago this past weekend made me really appreciate my trip to Japan a week before. I’m not saying that to shit on Chicago or the Midwest or anything, but damn, sometimes I think even being there in-person that I don’t really get to fully take-in what I am seeing. It just continues to be so good. You definitely can’t compare the two but what I can do is appreciate how different the two shows are. My friend Yasu from Exceed has been on a mission to go to every Wekfest stop in North America so I booked him a last minute flight out to the U.S. so he could come to Chicago with me. I think its important to understand his perspective as well because I feel like he’s constantly around so much of the Japanese car community that it just seems “regular” to him. Not desensitized per se, like me and some of my friends who are constantly on the go, but “regular” meaning that this is all just normal shit to him. He grew-up around this all his life so it doesn’t seem special to him. The USDM style is something he enjoys and as he says himself, he likes to see “crazy cars”. “Crazy” is relative obviously so we each come to enjoy different things. He likes what we do out here in Cali and considers that “crazy” while I can look at a car like the Ishikawa Body S13 convertible and marvel at the craftsmanship for hours and consider that to be “crazy”…

It’s just all about perspective…

We always talk about the differences between the two ways of styling but continue to have a general understanding of what is similar and what’s great about our hobby. What I try to do is capture as much as I can of the stuff that I like and show it to the world. However you want to take it in is just all about perspective. I find myself really enjoying a car in particular sometimes and Yasu just scratches his head and asks me what I think is so special about it. We communicate and he disagrees with me, and I do the same for him. I talk more about what we saw in Chicago when I finally get through with the photos and post the coverage but it was interesting to hear what he thought of the car community out there and how they build their cars. I find it fascinating how we both try to do the same things in regards to experiencing car culture from all angles but we see things so differently being that we are on opposite sides of the spectrum…

I have so much to get through before I leave for Wisconsin in a few days to attend another great event, so I’ll keep it brief with the introduction today. There are also like 80 photos in this set and I don’t want to divide them into two separate parts so I’ll just unload them all today. I didn’t shoot much inside during the show because I was busy doing the judging and what not, but in the few moments when I had some time, I did manage to get some photos. The rest are roll-out shots which is what I prefer anyway. At the very end of the day I also grabbed some more photos of Mori’s EK9, which is the build that Yasu had been working hard to finish to unveil at this year’s Wekfest Japan event. Enjoy the photos and stick around because we’re starting to get into that part of the year when there seems to be an endless amount of events so the content will be FLOWING. Photos, Vlogs, hopefully some Podcasts too…stay tuned!!…

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Work Equip40 wheels looking wonderful lit up by the natural light cast-in by the Port Messe Nagoya domed roof-top…

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Those Equip40 wheels belong to Masanari Furukawa and his pristine C210 Skyline sedan. Loved the paint-matched roll cage…

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One of the things that stood out to me the most during this year’s Japan Wekfest show was hearing the OS Giken TC24-B1 engine roar as it cruised around the venue…

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One of Japan’s best, Masafumi Eto and his USDM Integra GS-R, were personally invited to display at this year’s WFJP…

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The IBComplete Mugen RA Odyssey sitting nice and low on Desmond Regamaster EVOs…

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This S30Z, much like Eto’s DB2 Integra, is another previous award-winner that was personally invited back for display…

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Kohentai’s slammed Lotus Esprit rocking the classic Speed Star Racing livery and both modern and classic SSR wheels…

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Daito from E.Prime debuted a brand new build this year after bringing his all-purpose AE86 Levin to Wekfest the last few years. This build is so new that it didn’t even make it into the building as it arrived just shortly after the gates closed. Hiro from WFJP seemed to enjoy the build so much that he gave him a spot just outside the entrance so that showgoers could still get their opportunity to get a look at this beautiful PS13 Silvia build. I didn’t get a shot of the interior but it actually has the Bride x Betty Smith collab seats with the rest of the interior upholstery redone to match the unique denim material…

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The engine bay is utterly spectacular shaved and tubbed hosting a naturally-aspriated RB engine swap. When Hiro told us there was a nice S13 outside that we should check-out, we thought it was just your usual nice Japanese Silvia build but when we walked outside and saw it, we were blown away…

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This RA Odyssey looked pretty simple, just sporting an OEM Aero Spirit front lip and aggressive Work M.C.O. Type CS wheels…

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…but a glimpse under the hood revealed a J30A engine swap crammed into the engine bay. I’d always thought about this swap on my own Odyssey so it was cool to see it executed…

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Noriaki Miyamoto from Commonsnapper had a booth once again this year and presented us with this Kenmeri Skyline with a build L-series engine which he has converted to fuel-injection running a set of Jenvey individual throttle bodies…

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If you watched my Japan Vlogs, you’ll remember him telling Yuta and I about this build and at that point, he hadn’t even begun working on the car yet…

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One of my favorites was undoubtedly the Ishikawa Body S13 Convertible…

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Another build that I had anticipated seeing debut at Wekfest this year was Taiki Yanagisawa’s Toyota 86, built by Kazu Imai. If that name sounds familiar, Imai has long been considered one of the most detail-oriented car builders in Japan. You might know him the most for his Integra Type R build, which was featured in Super Street magazine some years back and shown quite often here on The Chronicles. Interesting to see him work on a “modern” car as he’s always worked on 90s Hondas and even some older Euros…

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The engine bay has been carefully stripped down and resprayed. At the center is a new FA20 engine which Imai has gone over and put his personal touches on…

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Right away you’ll notice the individual throttle bodies on this Boxer engine with a bulk of the factory engine parts done in black so that the aftermarket additions are naturally highlighted to the naked eye…

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Down below you can see the TODA Racing exhaust manifold, one of the many pieces from the TODA catalog that you’ll find on this engine…

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A touch of USDM with these Radium oil breathers that have been placed symmetrically on both sides of the engine bay near the shock towers…

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Racer X Fabrication Therostatic oil filter adapter/relocation kit hosting an HKS oil filter up-top…

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Twin radiator fans mounted at a slight angle….

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Definitely not the most attractive engine compared to say, the likes of a 2JZ-GTE, but Kazu Imai has definitely gone the distance in making this FA20 engine bay look great. So simple, subtle, but everything done with a purpose in mind…

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Tomitsugu Iwano’s slammed Civic sedan on custom Mugen M7 wheels…

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In the engine compartment is a smoothed and resprayed engine bay with a single cam engine showcasing some Lowrider-inspired etching on the exhaust manifold heatshield, valve cover, fuel rail, intake manifold, and both top hats…

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Hironori Koga’s super cool widebody BMW 2002 quite everyone’s eye at the show this year and even went home, rightfully, with the ‘BMW of the Festival’ award…

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Lurking inside the tiny engine bay was a cleaned-up factory 2.0L BMW KKK turbocharged engine…

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Yousuke Tsuji’s Pandem widebody Porsche Boxster representing 9010design and Wavy Savvy crew…

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Mao’s Pandem Porsche 987 Boxster rocking one of the best-looking custom interiors right now, done by 9010design. I think he actually ended the day with the ‘Best Interior’ award…

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Porsche 964 bagged and sitting nicely on BBS RS wheels…

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The Tactical Art-built EF8 CR-X that I posted some photos of in Part 2 of the WFJP coverage was finally opened-up inside so we could see the gorgeous B-series engine bay running Kinsler individual throttle bodies, PLM header, and tucked radiator set-up…

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Pretty cool to see that they paid homage to the rare “CR-X Exclusive” interior with a thorough remake of the seats and upholstery done by 9010design…

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The dashboard receives a similar treatment, redone in tan with black accent pieces…

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Yushi Kaneko’s Hurtling Solid & Joker widebody DC2 Integra on Work Seeker FX wheels. People either love or hate this kit and that’s totally understandable. I, for one, am on the side that quite enjoys this Varis-produced kit…

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Yuta Saito’s EP3 Civic Type R with Buddy Club front and Mag Blue Volk TE37 wheels…

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I didn’t have much time to really get a closer look at the two Ferraris brought out by the guys from Madlane but I did snap these two shots of their F355 bagged on BBS CH501 wheels…

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Always good to see my friend JC Pepino from Work Wheels Japan…

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Masafumi Eto’s DB2 Integra GS-R running a fresh new front lip developed by the guys from Southsiiiiiside Auto Custom…

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Probably one of the top 5 engine bays in Japan right now, in my opinion, with a built GS-R B17A engine with TODA Racing components and Kinsler ITBs. Ignition has been converted to coil-over-plug set-up and the radiator is tucked under the core support with plumbing from XRP…

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Just one more of this S30Z with a glimpse at that OS Giken TC24-B1 head peeking out…

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Kazuka Hatobe’s EG6 Civic SiR with Sergeant front bumper and First Molding front lip, along with OG Denji projector headlights, Spoon Sports SW388 wheels and front brakes…

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Kazumasa Hasegawa’s Silvia drift car from Team Exclusive with fat Volk TE37V wheels stuff under the radiused body…

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Higumon’s two-toned PS13 Silvia exiting the venue as the day ended at WFJP and people began to roll-out…

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Didn’t notice this E92 BMW coupe until it exited that day but thought it looked interesting on Ferrari wheels…

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I wish I had got a few more photos of this clean stock-body FD3S RX-7 sitting nice and low on black Volk TE37V…

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White BNR32 Skyline GT-R cruising out on iForce wheels…

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Just a couple of guys inside a teal Eunos Roadster slammed on Barramundi Design wheels…

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E46 BMW M3 coupe running a AC Schnitzer front lip, Volk TE37SL, and what looks to be a Varis GT wing…

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Truly a rare sight to see a modded second generation Honda Prelude at car shows these days but this one looked great sitting on SSR 265 wheels…

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Ryosuke Ogawa’s Nissan Fairlady 300ZX TT from Illegal Fam cruising static on OZ Racing Futura wheels…

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Masahiro Ogura’s F81 BMW wagon from Senbelow car club on Mayniac 5SR wheels…

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One more of Kaneko’s widebody Integra exiting Port Messe…

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I wonder why people don’t run the Work M.C.O wheel out here in the U.S… Seems like a solid, good-looking forged wheel by Work and they look fantastic on this J-swapped RA…

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The turbocharged BMW 2002 from earlier…

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H22A-powered CE1 Accord Wagon looking crazy rolling static on Work Emitz wheels…

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Not 100% sure but I believe this Toyota 86 is running a Kuhl Racing aero kit and Work Meister S1 wheels…

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Our friends from Speed Forme brought-out their green S30Z for display. One of the rare times I get to see it outside in the daylight considering I either see it inside their shop or inside Makoto Kawauchi’s house…

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Garage Active full carbon fiber-body BNR32 Skyline GT-R rolling-out and on its way back to Fukuoka…

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Gotta love trailers out there in Japan, making it super easy for cars to load on and off…

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Side-profile view of the Spirit Rei Z33 democar…

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What do you guys think of the new Desmond Regamaster EVO wheels on Yasu’s new FK7 Civic?…

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I guess I must have taken more photos of this car than I even realized myself…

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For those wondering, Masafumi Eto’s Integra does indeed run and drive, tuned on a Hondata S300…

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Friendly reminder that the DB2 Integra GS-R was never available in Japan so it’s very special to see one out there and even more uncommon to see it built to this award-winning state…

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Garage Active trailer with their two SS Active GT-Rs all loaded-up and ready for the long trek home…

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I’m a big fan of Spirit Rei as a brand so it was cool to see their take on the Z33 chassis…

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This is actually one of my favorite photos from that amazing afternoon…

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N/A SR-powered PS13 Silvia getting loaded onto its trailer…

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Seems like only yesterday but it’s already been almost ten years since David and I met Yasu…

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Even VIP-styled builds like this Nissan Fuga get the trailer treatment, probably coming from a far distance to be displayed at the Wekfest Japan car show…

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RB25-powered Datsun Z with ZG front chin spoiler and Volk TE37V…

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Popular Osaka-based VW-tuning shop, Voomeran, showcased their MK1 widebody democar this year…

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Towards the end after most of the show exhibitors had left, I had Yasu and the boys roll Mori’s Milano Red EK9 Civic Type R outside to get some photos with the sunset…

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While we were shooting, Masafumi Eto was enjoying a smoke after loading his DB2 onto his truck and trailer…

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It was quite a debut for the Exceed-built EK9 and I’m glad I flew out a few days earlier to see it all come together…

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The Sheepey intercooler presented some problems for bumper fitment, as you saw in the Vlog, but the guys made it work and compromised until everything fit nice and tight…

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The owner of the EK9, Mori Hirai, taking a step back and enjoying his freshly-built EK9. Still much to do on this car from what Yasu told me. I think he said the motor was coming out again because he wasn’t 100% happy with how the paint came out on the engine bay. He’s aiming for the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon event so the car has to be just about perfect for Japan’s biggest tuner event…

With that said, we come to our conclusion of the 2019 Wekfest Japan coverage. I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did capturing it. There were so many great builds in attendance and still so much room for growth for this event. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thanks for looking!!…

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