Wekfest Los Angeles 2021 Coverage… Part 1…


If you guys are tired of seeing this car, I swear, this is the last time I’ll probably have photos of it. And then it’s gonna go back into hiding for another 20 years. Or maybe things will fall into place and I’ll restore it and make it Cobalt Blue again before letting it rot in the corner of my shop, lol. Whatever the case may be…. this year’s Wekfest Los Angeles event was a very special one. Not only because of the circumstances that led to me bringing LJ Garcia’s iconic Civic to the show, but also because it was our first time back in-doors in California in a very, VERY, long time…

Let’s not kid ourselves, we can talk about it now…the pandemic fucked us. It fucked us REAL GOOD. Sure, the automotive enthusiasts community thrived from a business standpoint, but many of us felt completely stuck in place. There were no major events to attend and no means to interact with our peers in-person unless it was at a local car meet. That feeling of getting a car ready for an indoor event was missing. The air of excitement that came with not getting any sleep the night before and struggling the entire afternoon to showcase your car felt so distant. There was no end in sight it seemed and it is so crazy to think back now how ‘dead’ everything seemed. It’s not over yet, obviously, but things are steadily improving. Things are opening back up and it’s starting to feel a little bit more ‘normal’. So what better way to inject some life back into the car community here in Southern California than by putting on the first major indoor car show since the pandemic started?…

I really wanted to do something special for this one. I mean, it’s kind of a big deal to be back inside the Los Angeles Convention Center. If it was like a parking lot show or some shit I wouldn’t have tried so hard but Wekfest would never even think to do something like that. We want and expect the best, and as such, I wanted to create a moment that people would remember when it came to my personal display at the show. One of the best things that could have happened for me this year was undoubtedly this major project that Meguiar’s wanted me to be a part of. I was so honored to be even considered but also felt a lot of pressure to perform. There were levels of creativity within me that I didn’t even know existed when it came time to actually execute and I think it’d be fair to say that I absolutely killed it. Perhaps the biggest thing to emerge from that 5-month long project was me rediscovering LJ Garcia’s old FEEL’S widebody Civic. I won’t get too deep into it because it’s been documented in great detail in other posts that I’ve made, but I came up with the idea to bring the car out of hiding just for one-time only at Wekfest LA…

The reaction that it garnered from my social media posts were incredible. I had no idea people would respond to it the way they did and the reactions were some of the best I’ve ever received from my content creation over the course of thirteen years. If the photos and videos were so well-received, how cool would it be to actually see the car out in public again? All the memories and emotions involved in being in the presence of this car seemed like just the type of moment we needed for the first big show back…

Sometimes when things are meant to happen, they just happen fairly easily. You won’t get any resistance and you just gotta let the pieces fall where they may. Again, I won’t get too deep into it because I’ve said plenty about it already, but the hardest thing about getting the car to Wekfest was literally just getting it there and unloading it onto the show floors…

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I captured this photo immediately after Kristian and I re-installed the original FEEL’S wing onto the Civic. To say that it changed the whole ‘feel’ of the car would be an understatement. We mounted it and just took a step back to appreciate that we were able to randomly find the wing again after all these years…

Huge thanks to George from Moshimoshi Motors for holding onto it for so many years and being so willing to give it back to the car…

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While I was cleaning out all the rat shit and garbage from the inside of the Civic, I discovered it still had it’s original switch box for the air suspension system. I didn’t even notice this in the car when I shot it for the Meguiar’s project because there was so much stuff covering it. If there is anything that really dates this car, it’d probably be this. I still remember back in the day when LJ would just be playing with the suspension all day at a show and having the car air-up/down for people to see…

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I actually borrowed a better set of headlights specifically for the show but came to realize that the headlight brackets had to be trimmed to clear the front wheels with the car fully laid-out. The headlights were loaners so I didn’t want to alter them in anyway so instead, we just stuck with the crappy worn-out headlights that were already on the car…

Another big thing we did to make the car more ‘complete’ was to install a vented hood. Through its many iterations, the Civic saw a couple different styles of hood but the best looking one, for me personally, was the ‘Invader’ style VIS carbon hood. I couldn’t source one, but coincidentally, Duane from RCompound had an authentic Japanese VeilSide carbon hood in storage so we used it. The Invader hood design is actually based on the VeilSide so it was just funny that we had one to use…

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I couldn’t recreate the dramatic effect from the Meguiar’s shoot because the car had moved away from its original parking spot under the skylight at Art of Attack, but I made sure to turn the lights off to get a shot of the rear end with the wing reinstalled…

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Another major thing that had to be corrected before we could bring the car to Wekfest LA was to figure out the rear suspension. When I shot the car for Meguiar’s, I noticed that the car sat weird because the rear was slightly higher than the rest of the car, as if it were still ‘aired-up’ or perhaps the strut had locked-up due to atrophy. It made the whole car look really wonky so it was important to figure it out…

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I thought there would be this major undertaking to repair it or to unfreeze the shock body but we looked underneath the car and realized that the rear suspension had been propped-up with a set of small vice grips. Since there was no longer air in any of the bags, this was the only way to get the car to roll back when it had to be moved around. It was actually quite funny to see that it was such a simple fix. We took them off and the car came down immediately…

And despite how flattened-out the car was, it still rolled like this… So someone back in the day actually did the bodywork right and made necessary clearance for the car to move at this height…

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The driver’s side of the car, for whatever reason, was missing both center caps for the original 19-inch Racing Hart C5 wheels. Luckily, someone I chatted with over the Internet sent me two caps he just had laying around and my friend Craig supplied me with brand new hex nuts to complete the wheels again. In this photo the cap wasn’t sitting flush because the threaded spline on the caps were a bit messed-up. After we transported the car back to my shop, I took a small nail file and filed down the threads so the cap could sit perfectly flush again…

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It was so nice to see the car outside again. The way the sun hit it, we were finally able to see all the bright flake in the yellow paint again, despite how beat-up the paint was. I also loved how everyone came together to help make this entire moment possible. Even guys like Amir Bentatou were around to lend a helping hand. I never expected it. Before loading the car onto the trailer, I had to take the taillights off because there was no hardware holding it in place and I was worried they’d fly off on the highway, lol…

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I also have to thank Chuy for helping me get the car to and from the show. As much of a drag racer he was in his youth, even he remembered this car making the rounds in the car show circuit and was shocked to see it in 2021. I think as much as so many of the older guys made fun of this car for its styling, they all respected and appreciated what it meant to our community…

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For the show, I went with an entirely new booth display as well. I figured if we were going to display the Civic and have this big moment, I had to do it right. No more canopy tent, no janky foldaway fabric chairs. Just a simple minimalist set-up with a black table, collapsible display wall, and a custom-made sign featuring details about LJ Garcia’s Civic. I didn’t expect everyone to know what they were looking at so I made sure to detail what it was and why the car was there sitting by the front entrance of the show…

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To really commemorate this momentous occasion, I worked with Leen Customs to create some pins of LJ’s Civic as well as a limited number of prints so those in attendance could get some memorabilia…

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Once I was all done setting-up, I started to walk around and shoot as cars began staging for the show. One of the first cars that I spotted was Michael Mao’s turbocharged RouteKS Super Madonna NSX…

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Not only did he bring that, but he also brought out his new turbocharged Integra Type R build with full Mugen aero…

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Both of his cars on matching white Mugen MF10 wheels…

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Austin from NEVER CONTENT made the trek all the way from the Pacific Northwest in his silver RE Amemiya-styled FD RX-7 on Desmond wheels…

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Anthony Keuth taking a nap in his Integra while he waited to be staged inside…

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Dan and Connie pulled-up in his Garage Amis widebody S2000. Little did they know they’d be tricked into helping out at my booth for most of the weekend…

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Loved this two-toned PS13 coupe with full red Bride interior. Never got a chance to see what was going on under the hood though. With that front-mount I’m hoping there’s an SR-swap in there…

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Good ride height and posture on this S30Z on Volk TE37V…

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Interesting mix of aero on this 86. Looks to be an Aimgain front end paired with Rocket Bunny over-fenders…

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There was a good variety of cars at this Wekfest event, as you’d expect with it being in the heart of Los Angeles and all. You’d find everything from Hondas, to classic Nissans and even some chrome-wrapped BMWs…

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This particular Hakosuka was unique in that it was a left-hand drive version. Something you definitely don’t see every day…

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Everybody enjoys seeing a clean red RPS13 with factory aero and TEs…

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Tommy pulled-up in his ASM-everything Honda S2000CR to show everyone how you win the Honda Class category of Wekfest…

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Following close behind was Mark Munoz’s incredible Mugen-themed Civic build, a car that has come together over the last couple years and has made a big impact in California in 2021…

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I was surprised by how many IS300 Sportcross builds were at this year’s event. It kinda made me want to go back home to grab mine too. This one looked great with AME Tracer wheels on with bolt-on flares and an Elixir aero kit…

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This Sportcross had a more luxury flare to it hammered on the ground on aggressive SSR Vienna Kreis…

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While the rest of the show was coming together, I decided to put the car covers back on the car to hide it until the show began the following day. It just made it seem more ‘special’ I guess even though everyone knew what was under the covers…

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I’m not gonna sit here and act like I know anything about Corvettes, because I don’t, but I thought this one looked pretty sick widened all the way around and sitting on 3-piece Rotiform wheels…

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Jessy’s Porsche 997 back on Desmond Regamaster EVO II, in my opinion, the best look for his car…

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Mao’s Super Madonna NSX all cleaned-up…

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One of the builds that I didn’t expect to see was this turbocharged DC5 from West Collective. I really wished I went back and shot more detailed photos of it but it was so impressive that it won the overall Acura Class category….

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I took this photo because it was important for me to remember that I finally saw this Aston Martin on TEs and it wasn’t at a Brekkie event…

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The red left-hand drive Hakosuka on RS Watanabe wheels got a pretty decent spot at the show…

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A couple more photos of the car not cleaned-up at all, lol. It was important for me to display the car ‘mostly’ as I found it because I wanted everyone to see just how much it has aged. The car was basically left for dead and sold for cheap, left to rot away on a driveway. The odd thing was that when we finally put it altogether and parked it at the show, it still had every much of a presence as it did back in 1999. It can’t help but stand-out. How crazy is that?…

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HKS widebody GR Supra laying aero on bags parked directly in front of the Wekfest booth…

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For the Wekfest booth, we had Rob’s Ferrari on BBS wheels displayed…

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Jose Mejia’s Integra RS race car cleaned-up well and served as a display vehicle for the VTEC Club booth…

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Parked right next to it was Dave Chik’s beautifully assembled Civic hatchback with color-matched Exceed by Mode Parfume front lip and canards. I love that he matched the mirrors as well…

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If you’re wondering what wheels are on both the Integra and Civic, they are brand-new soon-to-be-released GroupB NC-01 wheels. Look for these to start popping-up everywhere in 2022…

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The reason why this Hakosuka has its steering wheel on the left side is because it was actually a Nissan built for the Middle-Eastern market, as notated by the Qatar license plate. Somehow during its many years of existence, it found its way over to North America…

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I’m really digging the overall vibe of the Wekfest displays lately. Ken has taken the aesthetic to a whole new level, particularly now pairing-up with clothing brand Gardens & Seeds, who set-up this MCM table with a Lego bouquet and some of their merchandise…

Oh, it’s dinner time, which means I’ll cut it off here for now. There’s still another set of photos coming. I wished I had shot more like always, but setting-up the whole booth and LJ’s Civic took a shit ton of time. Anyways, come back for Part 2 coming later this week, thanks!!…

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2 comments

  1. Great coverage mate! Looked like a quality show!

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