Wekfest Los Angeles 2022 in Photos… Part 1…


Let me ask you a question…

How do you quantify style?

I think it is a very important question to ask when it comes to judging a car show. It’s the main reason why myself and others within the Wekfest group thought long ago that the old point-based system of deciding on the best car builds was obsolete. It’s a rudimentary system that doesn’t work in today’s age of automotive tuning. How do you assign points to style, to flow, execution? You simply cannot. That’s based on objectivity. It should be determined by those with the adequate experience and knowledge. Building an award-winning car should not be calculated on a numerical system. Numbers are formulaic, predictable. You can’t calculate good taste. That requires soul…

In the old days, the points-system made sense. Everyone built cars the same way and those that didn’t follow that formula never won. A race-bred, or track-oriented car build would never beat a car that had custom interior and audio. Those were categories that had to be fulfilled even if it didn’t necessarily make sense to the overall theme of the build. Even if the race car had been built ‘better’ or crafted with more technique, it would not qualify for an award because on a score sheet, it wouldn’t be ‘complete’ without the accessories that a car of lesser-quality would have. That’s flawed in so many ways. In the end, the car build with the most modifications would win. Those that take the ‘less is more’ approach would be punished for having a better understanding of what they wanted. The show car community would then create and foster this environment of overdoing cars for the sake of winning…

That’s not how it should be done. I like to call it “Automotive Dysmorphia”. And the car community suffers from terrible self-image. If you subscribe to this system that addition equates to improvement, you may be suffering from automotive dysmorphia. There’s always a point in a car build when you do too much. Whether it be for a trophy or for instant gratification on social media. And a points-based system of judging further feeds into this idea that you have to keep adding more and more…

It just doesn’t work…

Honestly, if you really think about it, even a points-based system is objective. You’re asking a person to decide that whatever you’re doing to your car is based on a number of 1-10. There isn’t necessarily anything absolutely empirical about it. That just gives people with less knowledge or understanding of style to decide whether what you’re doing is enough based on a number. Do you score someone higher in the ‘interior’ category if they have real Bride seats or fake Bride seats? Or is it all the same score because they have aftermarket racing seats? That would be based on objectivity right? It would depend on the eye of the person judging if they even know the difference between real and fake. And if they choose to score the real Bride seats higher, wouldn’t that be based on objectivity, anyway?…

That’s why I don’t really understand why people get upset when they find out that we don’t judge a Wekfest event based on points. When it comes down to two builds that have similar parts, the deciding factor is ALWAYS objective. Points or not. It takes someone with expertise, understanding, and experience to choose the winner. Let’s not hide behind numbers anymore. We should rely on quality of parts, quality of execution, and quality of flow. What’s the common denominator there? Quality. If you subscribe that the idea that the best car is based on how it is executed in its entirety, you will enjoy coming to a Wekfest event…

Of course, you can not agree with me or anyone else from our panel. It’s okay to disagree. Maybe you don’t think we are qualified to make those decisions. That is why you have a choice to come or not. There are plenty of other car shows around that still operate based on the old way. There are also many shows out there as well that don’t give a fuck about quality. They just want your money. They want you to show-up to fill the remaining spots in the building so they can pay for the venue. You might win there. You can win anywhere. That’s the beauty of existing in this environment. You dictate where your money and time goes…

I’m writing all this because people often ask why we don’t do points. I’ve even encountered many car show veterans who refute that our system works—and they’ve won awards at our events. Some are chasing that “Best of Show” or “Car of the Festival” title because they’ve been doing car shows so long and want that award from every car show series. I know of a few that are chasing that ghost but unable to capture it simply because their car might not be what we define as the best of the best. It fulfills every category of what a points-based car show wants—that’s not necessarily what we deem to be the best. That doesn’t make it any less significant of a build. But sometimes, these overdone cars appear soul-less. They just have lots of “stuff”

I think it is a very special thing to see a car build and it just sparks something inside you. Almost as if there is something about that car that speaks to you. It captures your attention and you want to see more of it. You want to understand the backstory, what went into it, and why it has been executed the way it is. It doesn’t always have to have the most “stuff”. That car might not have all the categories checked-off on a list. When it is done right, you can tell that the car has a little bit of the soul from its owner. But, that’s purely spoken from a mouth of objectivity…

Not everyone subscribes to our way of doing things. But we do it our way because we believe this is the best way to put on a quality event. The cars aren’t there just as fillers and the ones that keep coming back are the people that understand our system. It’s all about understanding. The choice is yours…

The three biggest stops of our tour are happening within a 1-month period. San Jose, Los Angeles, and our event in the East Coast are the three where we often get the most inquiries about what it takes to win and why we may or may not have chosen their car for an award. It’s in incredibly competitive environment and we’ve come to expect these types of questions. Some are competitive enough where they’ve slid into our DMs to actually talk shit about their own friend’s cars because they’re competing with them and want an upper hand. You’d be surprised how competitive some people can be. I think it should be said that at the end of the day, this is all just fun and games. If you’re chasing that ghost of winning, you’ll never be satisfied. Once you win one, you’re gonna start having expectations and chasing more. It never ends. It also never feels as good as the first time either. I do understand that some people are highly competitive and that is one of the reasons why they come back. That’s a different type of passion that I can’t help but appreciate. I don’t see it the same way they do, but I understand it. It’s a great feeling to be acknowledged and appreciated. Being rewarded for your hard work is important. Many enjoy that validation that comes with winning. I just want people to understand and appreciate our way of doing things—much like we try to do when we look at all these car builds at every stop on our tour…

Today, we look at some photos from day one of Wekfest Los Angeles when cars were rolling-in. I’ve been trying to stray away from simply calling this “coverage” because I don’t cover every car at the event. I just capture photos now of cars that catch my eye or cars that tell a unique story. Sometimes I’ll shoot a photo of a car just because I like the way the photo is framed or the way it is lit. If I could capture everything and show you guys I would, but that’s not possible so I’d rather not force it…

With all that said, enjoy…

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There were a couple of big stories that came from the Wekfest LA event this year. If you’ve been following my Instagram posts you’ll have read some of it already but I’ll try to talk more about it in this series of photos I’m posting this week…

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This year, the boys from Group B Unlimited decided to have a booth to showcase their NC-01 wheels. I helped them out in getting a backdrop layout done and it literally arrived a few hours before we had to set-up the booth on Saturday…

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For this year, instead of doing a Chronicles booth, Kristian and I decided to set-up a Battlecraft display since our GR86 was recently completed. I had enough space to have two cars in the booth so I thought it was the perfect time to bring my IS300 Sportcross out on new wheels that had just landed from Japan…

These bronze Rays-produced “Two Brothers Racing Itaru 020” wheels had been sitting at Exceed in Osaka for a little over a year now but we just haven’t had time to put them on a container to be sent to the U.S. While I was in Japan a few months back, I made sure to fit them in a container with some other stuff I had acquired while there. I think these are a far departure from the red Advan Racing TC4 wheels I had, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but it was time for a different look. The main reason why I got these was because I wanted to finally run a square set-up since the TC4s were staggered. With JZX100 upper arms, I had so much more room to play with and realize I could run an 18×9.5-in wheel up front. It was more of a matter of finding the right tire size so I could alleviate the slight rubbing issues I was having with the Advan wheels since they were more pushed inward…

The car looks so different on these TBR wheels but I’m enjoying the more subtle appeal they have and how it helps to showcase the Exceed big brakes more…

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The Battlecraft x Exceed Toyota GR86 has remained unchanged since I came back from San Jose. I just had the car detailed since I put some protective wrap on the front end that ended-up leaving some adhesive behind. Now that the car is back in Los Angeles, I’ll probably find some time to get some PPF on the car to protect it from rock chips and debris…

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Alex Burleigh’s Lexus LC500 coupe looks super aggressive hovering around with the 326power 3D Star lip kit and 326power Yabaking Spoke wheels…

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Lexus LS460 on Aimgain wheels wearing a complete Mode Parfume GA-MU Regalia aero kit…

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Defending Wekfest San Jose “Sedan of the Festival” winner Jedh Wholegood in his Japanese tuning-styled BMW M3 pulling-up for the Los Angeles event…

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The “Tonka GX” from 316 Autohaus on Work wheels was beaming under the bright California sun…

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Interesting touch with the white-walled Nankang tires on Ferrukh’s BMW M3 CS from Bimmer Circuit…

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Vorsteiner VRS/EVO Aero Rear Diffuser on the F80 M3…

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Jesus’ F80 M3 ZCP on gold HRE S101 wheels…

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Jedh Wholegood’s F80 M3 Competition with Assist Kyoto Laptorr front, 3DDesign sides, Varis VRS carbon hood and Advan GT wheels…

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The rear showcasses a Varis VRS carbon rear diffuser and Voltex Type 1S GT wing…

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Milano Red Acura Integra with a Exceed front lip and Recaro seats lining-up to get staged within the LA Convention Center. Unrelated, but I still find it very strange that the large sign behind no longer says “Staples Center”

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Ryan Ordinario and family showing-up to Wekfest LA in a CD Accord sedan with full Mugen aero, Mugen M7 wheels, and clear taillights…

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There was a good amount of EV vehicles on-hand this year, as expected with their growing popularity, looking pretty solid with many on Japanese wheels and carbon aero accessories…

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There seems to be a growing number of FK8 Type Rs as well, many running Mugen products that made most very similar in appearance. The only way to really differentiate them was to look at their finer details…

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Jeff from Impressive Wrap’s Mercedes AMG GTS coupe running a widebody aero kit from Carbonerre Motors and BBS LM-R wheels…

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Cavfie’s R32 Skyline GTR with what looks to be a Fujimura Rocket Dancer front lip and bronze Volk Racing 21C wheels…

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Cool Recaro seat covers on T-No’s Toyota 2JZ-swapped BMW E30 coupe…

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This Ferrari F430 looked fantastic just lowered and sitting on gold BBS LM-R wheels…

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I didn’t realize that this slammed DA Integra on Work Ewing wheels had some pretty cool airbrushing done to the roof and c-pillars until later on when I got a closer look inside the show…

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A couple more of the F430 on BBS LM-R….

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Edwin Chan’s Mugen-themed Honda Civic Type R on bronze MF10…

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The West Collective crew always shows out at the Wekfest events in Southern California…

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Richard Garcia’s beautifully-assembled Aimgain Lexus LS500 by Autofashion USA…

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Ravi Dolwani from CSF’s incredible custom-built Porsche 911 prominently displayed up front by the Wekfest booth as one of our “Featured Vehicles”. This section is usually reserved for some of the top-tier builds within the show that exhibitors and show-goers can see as an example of what constitutes an award-winning build…

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John Cruz brought-out “FF Goldy” for display at the Group B Unlimited booth on black NC-01 wheels. Nice to see that this car still cleans-up well for a car show every now and then…

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John also brought out this era-specific Integra with full Wings West aero and WRD Chevlon Racing wheels. This gem was purchased not too long ago and was basically frozen in time with full custom audio and bespoke tweed interior that was all the rage back in the late-90s to early-2000s…

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Fiasko is busy building an EK Civic but found some time to bring-out his RHD DC5 RSX to the show….

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Barry Ancheta who was helping work the show passed-by and dapped-up Fiasko as he was heading-in…

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I can’t say I love the roll-in area outside for photos but the entrance into the convention center always makes for some pretty dramatic shots thanks to the contrasting light…

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Gene’s story is one of the ones that I already spoke of on Instagram not too long ago so I’ll leave the caption here for those that missed it since it would just be time-consuming to re-type the whole thing again…

From my IG:

“Gene has been around the import community forever but the last couple of years, he’s had a black Honda CR-X that he had been tinkering with in his off-time. He’s an older guy in his 50s but was still very active in the community. He set out to build a CR-X that he could take to the track and his goal was to compete in the N2 Class of @vtecclubusa. One of his good friends is @greddykenji and if you know him, you’ll understand that not only is his love for old Hondas deep, he’s been known to produce some pretty amazing builds himself. I guess hanging out with Kenji rubbed-off on Gene, or maybe this is the result of peer pressure, but his simple black CR-X track car soon developed into a full-on build from the ground-up. Not only did the car receive an EF8 SiR conversion, but he also got some wider OsakaJDM fenders and somehow decided to just repaint the entire car after reworking the engine bay. The CR-X even had a full cage and everything…

I think the car made its first appearance at this years @thehondameet but I didn’t get a chance to see it, so I was excited to see it once I found out it would be in the @groupb.unltd booth at Wekfest LA right behind my booth. That morning, I heard that he was not able to bring his car himself because he had injured himself the night prior. While prepping his car, he went under the dash to zip tie something and with the car being so cramped now with the cage in place, he managed to lock his back up while under the dash and couldn’t even move! He had to have a friend help him out of the car and couldn’t even walk after. Luckily he had some good friends that assisted him in getting the car to the show…

I saw him the morning of the show and he still walked a bit gingerly, but I think the excitement of having his car on display at one of the biggest shows of the year helped give him the adrenaline boost necessary to keep him on his feet. Gene even made it to the end of the day where he walked up to grab his 2nd Place Honda award…

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The decal in the engine bay says “Relax, it’s not a show car” but the engine bay is executed quite well. I’d say it was on-par or better than many show car Honda engine bays if I’m being honest…

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The B-series swap is actually a simple LS-VTEC set-up from what I remember with a GReddy header, custom fabricated intake, a Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold, Koyo full-size radiator, and Radium fuel components…

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Jordan from West Collective came back to Wekfest this year to defend his “Acura of the Festival” title from last year’s event. His DC5 is one of the best in the country featuring Max Racing front, sides, J’s Racing vented fenders, a Varis rear wing, Ganador mirrors and 17×10 Volk RE30s…

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Lots of great custom fabrication work inside the bay with a fully-built K20Z1 utilizing a Borg Warner turbocharger. The engine itself internally has Darton sleeves, Supertech valvetrain, Drag Cartel 3.2 cams, Callies rods/pistons, and so much more…

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Everything is also plumbed beautifully with XRP HS79 hoses with Adel Wiggins clamps and a Mil-spec engine harness hides all the wiring throughout the bay…

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Love that you can see the titanium intercooler piping double stacked through one of the openings of the Max Racing front bumper…

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The rear bumper has been cut, exposed to show the First Molding rear diffuser. Here you can see how the rear quarters have ben altered to house the 10-inch wide RE30 wheels. I also think it’s a very nice touch how the top section of the Varis wing is paint-matched…

If you’re wondering, yes, Jordan repeated as this year’s overall Acura Class winner…

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Vick’s Formula Red AP2 S2000 on bronze Volk CE28N with a Mugen hard top, Spoon brakes and a carbon front splitter attached to the OEM lip…

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Captured another shot of my IS300 just to see if I can pull the bronze out of those TBR wheels. I was slightly bummed that this bronze isn’t a match to the original Rays bronze but its an entirely new coating process now at the factory so it’s no longer anodized…

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John’s DA Integra cleaned-up really well after he dedicated a good chunk of time into semi-restoring the car to its original glory…

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This Hakosuka Skyline from Auto Conduct was displayed right up front to greet show-goers as they entered the show…

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The two Porsches from earlier now with Wekfest backdrops added. The sun at this point was setting and cast some good light into the building…

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You can really see it here as it beamed into the convention center and lit-up this British Racing Green G82 M4 coupe built by IND…

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The light just hit these BBS E88 wheels on the BMW just right…

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Making its first appearance at a Wekfest event was Jonny Grunwald’s latest 3-rotor FD3S RX-7 build running full TCP Magic aero. He’d competed previously before in his white TCP Magic FD but this new project roared into the building that weekend where it eventually placed as the runner-up to the “Car of the Festival” or best of show…

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Still so much more to come but I’ll leave it here to cap-off Part 1 with a shot of Chente Lee’s EJ6 hatchback as he pulled-up minutes before roll-in ended that Saturday…

I think the Wekfest LA photos are gonna add-up to three total sections so stay tuned for more! Thanks for looking!!…

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3 comments

  1. Excited to see the other two parts, just seemed like sensory overload the way the la convention center is spaced out compared to long beach. I felt like a lot of cars that had quality things done to them were just simply overlooked by myself just due to space, and other people trying to enjoy them, take pictures, or have conversations. The 2 hours to browse the show before hand really is clutch, but went by super fast.

  2. Hi Joey.
    I’ve been a silent reader/picture saver (lol) for many years. I have never ever enjoyed an article of yours, as much as I did this. Every single word was on point.
    I didn’t know Wekfest didn’t use point. I respect it ever more now.

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