Wekfest East 2019 Coverage… Part 1…


Photos and Words by Joey Lee (@Stickydiljoe)

It’s rare for me to go back and look at some of my old posts. Today, however, I thought I’d look back to last year’s Wekfest East coverage to see what I had to say. I guess I just don’t like looking back at old posts because whatever it is that I wrote was exactly how I felt at the time. For me personally, there are rarely moments when I would have “take backs” or a sense of regret for what I wrote. I think it’s important to express what it is that I am feeling or thinking during that moment and let it live on in history. Don’t get me wrong, in the course of a decade, I’ve probably written some pretty outrageous shit but I’ve always been firm in my belief that The Chronicles should hold true to its name. It’s a chronological order of events in my life that happened as told through my lens and my words. I am not here to rewrite history. I’m here to create it…

While I was sitting on the toilet earlier, I thought I would take that trip down memory lane to see how I was feeling in 2018 on our annual trip to the East Coast. A couple of people at the show this year came up to me, told me that they ‘couldn’t wait to read what I had to say about the show this year’, and I found myself intrigued. Mostly because I already forgot what I said about the show last year. They said it in a way that made me wonder if I had said something horrible about the East Coast so I wanted to make sure to touch on it this year when I got back home. Toilet time is the best time to reflect, I feel, so I did some reading. It wasn’t so bad. I think I’m often critical of the East Coast car scene but that’s mostly because I’ve always held it to such an incredibly high standard…

The general feeling that I had going into the show last year was that I just didn’t know what to expect. I still feel that way. But after the show this year, let’s just say I’m a little more positive about it. My uncertainty has waned a bit, if that makes sense. Last year was our best tour run in the last ten years of Wekfest so I really didn’t want the East Coast stop to be the speed bump in our path. This year has also been great, but after the Los Angeles stop, I wasn’t so much on a high as I was finding my self in a bit of a concern for the next few years. I think the energy has just been lacking lately out here but overall, the Wekfest Tour has been fantastic. New Jersey always seems to hurl some surprises at us. We’ve made some mistakes along the way in terms of trying to maximize our space at the show, there was a year where there was a fight that broke out inside the show between car guys disputing a car club name or something, and let’s just say the venue staff hasn’t always been the greatest, especially when it comes to people’s personal belongings. You just never know what is coming with this stop. Luckily we have such a solid crew now working the show that we feel like we can take on literally anything. What’s been the biggest change of all internally in the last few years is building a strong core unit and eliminating some pieces that were eating away at the potential growth of the show. What you see now at every Wekfest group is a staff complete with people who are actually friends first and foremost. We literally talk every day and communicate about everything. And that shows in our execution of the show. That stuff I’m happy with and I think the fruits of our labor have finally even translated to the overall feel of the event itself, particularly for this year’s Wekfest East event…

I myself have always been a West Coast kid. I grew up here, I love it here, and I don’t think there’s any other place that could take that love away. My good friend David Andrade, aka DPK David, uhhh…well…let’s just say that he LOVES New York. The guy will find any reason he can to tell you about how much he loves it there. The buildings, the friends he has, the food, everything—he just enjoys it thoroughly. It’s hard to not feel his enthusiasm. Sometimes it gets a little overboard where it feels like he loves New York more than his friends and family, but hey, you like what you like, right? Lol. Whenever the Wekfest East event pops up on the calendar, he’s already trying to get us to do all kinds of shit in the city. Mind you, Wekfest is in New Jersey. If you have ever been there, New Jersey is not New York. They’re close in vicinity but couldn’t be more different. Typically we’d stay in Jersey because the show is there and we prefer to be close to the venue. It just makes more sense logistically. This year however, Ken decided to move our stay over to New York. Just to test it out, you know? And mainly because he wanted to give us more of an opportunity to spend time in New York so David can tell us how much he loves it. I think that made a huge change in our overall mindset for this stop. Instead of it being a work trip, it totally felt more like a vacation with a car show in-between…

Some of you may be thinking: “well if you guys like New York so much, why don’t you just move the show to New York?”

It’s not that easy. It’s quite difficult actually. On the logistics side of things, the show would not only cost more, but it’s not easy finding a venue to house this many cars in the city. And if we had a venue in the city, consider the roll-in and set-up process. Can you imagine 4-500 cars trying to get into a venue on the streets of NYC, lined-up outside and cluttering up the streets. It would be an absolute mess. We could also find a nice, smaller, venue and have fewer cars but is that really worth sacrificing the ability to have so many good cars excluded from the event? That could potentially kill a car show if there’s more spent on the venue than there are cars and attendees to offset that cost…

So New Jersey it is. Edison to be exact. The same venue where the show has always taken place. It’s not a bad venue. The inside is not particularly appealing to the eyes and the food isn’t bad. The best part about it aesthetically is the outside parking lot area where the cars roll-in. During the early morning sunrise, it is actually very scenic and the sun often casts a nice soft golden glow over the area. The cars look fantastic basking in the morning light. If there is anything I do look forward to annually, it’s shooting the cars outside when they’re in the process of rolling in. I don’t shoot much inside anymore because I don’t think the murky dark walls within the New Jersey Exposition Center do the cars any justice. It’s always been a preference of mine to just shoot the cars that catch my eye but to be honest, in the early years, I would find myself trying to shoot as much of everything as I could, including some cars that weren’t necessarily something I’d normally post. The last few years I think I’ve become more preferential and selective of what I shoot. I’d rather chase a good photo of a nice build these days instead of just doing ‘event coverage’ for contents-sake…

As far as my thoughts on the show itself, I think I’ll spend more time talking about that in Part 2. I will say this though, the overall vibe of the show this year was far-better than any other Wekfest East show that I’ve experienced in all my years. I don’t know if the community has gotten closer or if the people have just changed in the past year, but it was just interesting to see how the vibe changed. People are still competitive as hell but everyone just seemed kinda friendly—and that’s new, lol. I’ll try to think more about what was different about it so I could describe it to you guys. I think everyone reading just really wants to know if I think the cars were better this year.

You’ll have to wait for that as well….

All the photos this year were captured outside. It was too nice out there to not shoot all the coverage during set-up and after the show ended. Enjoy…

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Japanese Classics, a popular importer on this side of the country, always rolls-out some pretty cool stuff to the Wekfest East show. This year, not only did they bring a cool car hauler, but they also presented us with this imported tour bus which they’ve customized in their own graphic/color scheme. There were even people riding inside of it as well to complete the theme…

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NSXs are popping up more and more these days at car shows all over the country. What we do see more of out East are Supras…

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Marby’s supercharged NA1 NSX from Regiment Zero is one of the more well-known builds out East and was one of the first to pull-up to the venue that morning…

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A couple of JZA80 Supras, both set-up differently but draped in red…

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Another shot of the Regiment Zero NSX with its fin-like rear hatch duct…

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I think I first encountered this Supra a couple years ago at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Nice collection of parts on here, including but not limited-to, Ridox aero, Advan Racing wheels, Ganador mirrors, and a Voltex GT wing…

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Yuta made an appearance that morning, guiding an R33 Skyline to where the HKS booth stuff was, as it was set to be their display car that afternoon…

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A shot without the guys in it. This BNR33 was nice and simple in execution, but with a rare centerlock conversion with Nismo competition wheels…

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One of the cars that I was excited to finally see in person was this AP1 S2000 built by Crown Speed Lab featuring one of the first Voltex Circuit Version III aero kits in North America. It made its debut this year at the New York Auto Show and I’ve been anxious to see how it looks in person…

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Crown Speed Lab also brought out the brand new A90 Supra. It was interesting to see it parked next to an JZA80 so I had to get a photo of the two different faces…

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The two rear-ends of the Supras of different generations. I actually quite like how the back of the new Supra looks, and the rear shoulder section of it, as well as the back face, stays true to the lines of the A80…

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Rudi Qyu arrived bright and early in his J-spec, Spoon Sports-everything, EP3 Civic SI…

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Everything that could be brought over from Japan that was OEM Civic Type R was, with the only thing showing its true US-identity being the left-hand drive format. Likely every Spoon Sports product ever made for this chassis has also found its way onto Rudi’s Civic…

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Returning to defend his “Car of the Festival/Best of Show” title was Jason Pham’s incredible Vertex S15 Silvia from Team EMOTION…

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Every now and then a BNR34 Skyline GT-R will also pop-up at an East Coast Wekfest event. This one basically stock on a set of Volk TE37 wheels…

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It was nice to get some shots of Pham’s S15 outside with some good golden light cast upon it to show-off its color-shifting/iridescent paint…

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This 2GS was actually a support vehicle just parked in the lot but I thought it made for a cool photo just laid-out like that…

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An FD3S RX-7 from TOUGH CLUB on bronze TEs with some aero additions like a carbon rear diffuser and widened front fenders…

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Amper Kettutat’s Rocket Bunny 350Z themed with colors from the Thailand national flag…

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Interesting color choice on this vinyl-wrapped FK8 Civic Type R…

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Mugen-themed DC5 RSX from Team EMOTION…

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Peter from EMOTION’s Lexus GS featuring a Final Konnexion front bumper, Vertex sides, Lexon x Rocket Bunny front/rear over fenders, and Work Meister S1 wheels…

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Another view of Jason Pham’s 600HP RB26DET-powered Vertex S15 Silvia which made its way to New Jersey for Wekfest from Virginia…

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Raymond Perez’s Japanese EG6 SiR Civic hatchback running a classic Spoon Sports front lip, J’s Racing Type-S carbon hood, and concave-face bronze Volk Racing TE37…

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If there’s one thing to say about the East Coast, they definitely do not have a shortage of ’90s Japanese muscle…

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Ra’s bagged RHD converted Civic hatchback showed-up this year sitting on a fresh set custom rebarreled Desmond Regamaster EVO wheels…

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A couple shots of Brandon Jones’ Y32 Gloria representing the guys from Japanese Classics. I heard he got into a bit of an accident on the way home after Wekfest but the car has since been fixed and looking as good as ever…

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Kevin Legaspi’s HR31 Skyline sedan is starting to look like its a regular at the Wekfest East events year after year. Not much has changed since we saw it last year but it stands out as a perfect candidate for the Japanese Classics booth…

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Some more of Ra’s Civic, with his custom-chopped hood to showcase his engine bay paired with a J*Blood front bumper…

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A closer look offers a glimpse at his J’s Racing front fenders, custom Regamaster wheels, Honda Access headlight covers, and Honda Access bonnet/hood protector….

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Ra also met Yasu for the first time while we were looking at his Civic and pictured here is Yasu showing Ra some of his builds in Japan…

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One more of Kevin’s HR31 Skyline…

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While I was walking around, I spotted Jose Velazquez’s Civic from the corner of my eye as he drove by with his Sergeant front bumper and Rocket Dancer front lip combo…

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Somehow the R33 Skyline lined-up almost perfectly with Ra’s Civic and his VTi-S rear lip…

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Tony Salcedo’s K-powered, Spoon Sports-themed Civic on Volk TEs is the most recent addition to the famed EMOTION car club…

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For those wondering, Ray Perez’s EG6 still retains the factory B16A powerplant and is also currently for sale…

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Another look at the Mugen RSX…

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David Chu’s black on black Ridox-equipped Toyota Supra from Naizo Garage…

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Kleverton Pessoa’s JZA80 Supra Turbo set-up for drag with its Weld Racing wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson rubber complete with a drag chute…

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Sometimes I find it rather hard to think of a better looking front end than a Japanese DC2 Type R face. It’s just so simple with great looking headlights and it just looks fantastic when paired with a Spoon Sports lip…

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This shot right here is what most of us dreamed of having when we were in high school. Glad to see some guys are still living that dream…

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I asked the owner what blue this was and he told me that it was actually an OEM blue hue from the 88-91 Civic. Nice touch adding the high offset Work VS-XX wheels for a much more early 2000s feel. Sometimes we see so many deep lips and wide wheels that it’s almost refreshing these days to see a high-face wheel…

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The guy also has great taste in t-shirts as well, who knew?….

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It’s not every day you encounter a Yas Marina Blue widebody Dodge Charger…

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Puno’s subtle E90 M3 sedan sitting nice and low on bronze Volk TE37…

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Salem had to adjust his shades to make sure he was really seeing this crazy wide Honda Civic hatchback…

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Nice vanity plate on this Subaru WRX STI on Desmond Regamaster EVO II wheels…

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Willy’s new EK4 Civic SiR build is coming along nicely with fresh paint and a set of bronze Volk SE37K…

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The drag-spec Supra also features a Gracer front lip and a TRD rear wing…

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FK8 Civic Type R running a J’s Racing GT wing, some aero accessories from Seibon, and a set of Volk Racing CE28…

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Jimmy Hwang’s AE86 Corolla with the classic black/white color scheme and bronze Volk TE37V…

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Tucking tire with 17-inch high-faced Work Wheels…

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While on the topic of good ride height, this clean stock-body Porsche 964 cruised by…

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BMW E36 M3 coupe on customized BBS RF wheels with gold faces paired with red caps…

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One more closing shot of Part 1 of the Wekfest East coverage, featuring the Crown Speed Lab JZA80 Supra wearing Ridox aero, Voltex wing, Ganador mirrors, and Advan Racing RS-DF wheels…

More to come, stay tuned!…

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1 comment

  1. Another incredible article. Cool photos, passionate writing and enjoyable to read.

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