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Super Street 2 Vegas 2016

How we make our job fun

Aug 15, 2016
Photographers: Jofel Tolosa, Mike Sabounchi

We spend nearly every day behind a computer looking at cars, editing photos, and writing stories. Don't get us wrong, it's not a bad gig, but we enjoy ourselves more when we're out of the office, driving fast cars, and spending money that's not ours. So with that said, we started something called #SS2Vegas. In other words, our official Super Street staff retreat to Las Vegas, and for '16, we made it even better with doper cars, more friends, and crazier shenanigans!

A successful road trip starts out with the cars, and we had to outdo last year, which consisted of Gordon Ting of Beyond Marketing's blue Lexus RC F and our Lexus NX200t project car. Since we knew Gordon had access to a couple other rides up his sleeve, we hit him up and crossed our fingers. After some back and forth, Gordon was on board along with not one, not two, but three Lexus RCs, which all just happen to be former Super Street feature cars!

Super street 2 vegas pandem rc f Photo 2/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Pandem Rc F

To start, we secured two RC Fs; the blue model being the same car we piloted on last year's retreat as well as the Gumball 3000 rally a couple of years ago. It's the most "street" car of the bunch with a GReddy exhaust, TEIN coils, Advan wheels, and a carbon lip kit. It's a breeze to drive and also lets you enjoy all the creature comforts Lexus has to offer.

The second RC F was featured earlier this year in the Toyota issue. Wrapped in orange, it rocks the first Pandem (from Rocket Bunny) widebody as well as TE37 wheels, KW coilovers, and an upgraded intake/exhaust combo. It was built as a dedicated track car, hence the stripped interior, rollcage, and Sparco seats and harnesses (I had to not step, but climb in and out every time! - SD), This particular coupe hasn't seen many miles on the road since it debuted at SEMA '15, so we were very stoked to pop its cherry.

Our third chariot would be a non-F model RC 350. This red Rocket Bunny beauty stole our hearts at SEMA '14. It's the trailer queen of the three, only being transported from show to show, that is, until we got behind the wheel and thrashed it all the way to Vegas!

Like we hinted at earlier, this retreat is a "work" function so we made sure the next 48 hours consisted of proper "media acquisition," "vehicle testing," and "team building." So take a few minutes to see how we conduct our staff retreats at Super Street, and who knows, maybe we'll need your help to make next year's bigger and better!

Super street 2 vegas greddy headquarters Photo 3/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Greddy Headquarters

The starting line at GReddy headquarters.

Super street 2 vegas rcf pandem rear wing Photo 4/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Rcf Pandem Rear Wing
Super street 2 vegas rcf pandem rear wing Photo 5/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Rcf Pandem Rear Wing

Our first casualty of the trip, the rear wing of the orange RC F's Pandem body kit. Because this was an early production piece, we weren't too surprised, but it sucks it happened right at the start of our road trip!

Super street 2 vegas in n out barstow Photo 6/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas In N Out Barstow
Super street 2 vegas in n out barstow Photo 7/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas In N Out Barstow

Burgers and fries at our mandatory In-N-Out stop in Barstow.

Super street 2 vegas lexus rc Photo 8/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Lexus Rc

Mike knew of a few dry lake beds to sneak into for a little mini photo shoot, but unfortunately it didn't last long as the property owner threatened to arrest us with his "power of attorney"!

Super street 2 vegas calico ghost town Photo 12/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Calico Ghost Town

Calico Ghost Town is one of the original mining towns from the 1800s, but we turned around after hearing it was $8 a person just to look inside.

Once you hit the city of Baker, you're one and a half hours away from Vegas. Alien Beef Jerky, a necessary pit stop, sells more than 15 types of jerky.

Super street 2 vegas death valley rd Photo 16/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Death Valley Rd

Instead of hitting the fast lane on the way to Vegas, we veered north on Death Valley Rd., which is where the journey really gets fun—i.e. an extra four hours of driving through deserted roads with no cell service!

Death Valley Rd. is as desolate as it gets. We hung out at a long straight for more than an hour for photo ops and random shenanigans.

Super street 2 vegas abandoned road Photo 20/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Abandoned Road
Super street 2 vegas abandoned road Photo 21/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Abandoned Road

This abandoned road looked breathtaking and also featured some gnarly windy roads. After a couple of hours of high-speed raging, it eventually led us back to the main highway.

Super street 2 vegas las vegas strip Photo 22/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Las Vegas Strip
Super street 2 vegas las vegas strip Photo 23/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Las Vegas Strip

Rollin' three deep on the strip!

Super street 2 vegas le pho restaurant Photo 24/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Le Pho Restaurant

Our final stop at the new Le Pho restaurant in downtown Vegas. Yummy in our tummies!

Guests of Honor

Super street 2 vegas erica nagashima janey b Photo 25/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Erica Nagashima Janey B

The entire staff agreed it might be a li'l more fun this year if our retreat wasn't a sausagefest. So we dragged the '15 and '16 Miss Super Street models, Erica Nagashima and Janey B, along for the ride. We think they had fun despite not being able to drive the cars and also having to put up with our antics, but hopefully we can still be friends and they'll be back with us next year!

How was the drive and what was the most memorable part?

EN: The drive seemed like the longest journey but the most fun! I don't think I've ever enjoyed an eight-hour drive as much. The best part was getting kicked out of private property [dry lake bed], and almost going to Calico Ghost Town.

JB: It was hot...Haha! I've never taken the Death Valley route and it was definitely scenic! Besides that, my favorite part was the car meet and cruise. The Vegas car community is definitely very friendly and super chill! I'd love to cruise out with them again!

Super street 2 vegas erica nagashima janey b Photo 29/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Erica Nagashima Janey B

What's your advice for anyone going to Vegas for 48 hours?

EN: Lots of water, Red Bull and vodka, and sunglasses.

JB: Water. Pound that water to avoid feeling like death. Oh, and good tequila. You can't go wrong with good tequila. Especially when it's 1942!

What would make the trip better?

EN: Longer would be better, and more In-N-Out!

JB: Getting to go to the Exotic Racing Experience with the rest of the boys next time!

Follow: @ericanagashima @hello_janey

Super street 2 vegas tourists Photo 33/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Tourists

During our lunch break at In-N-Out Barstow, a bus full of tourists stopped to take photos with Janey and Erica. Herro, new friends!

Tao and Marquee celebrate Super Street!

If there's a reason to party in Vegas, whether it's a bachelor party, birthday, divorce, whatever, definitely put Tao at the Venetian or Marquee at the Cosmopolitan on your hit list. We had a lot to celebrate during our trip, for example, the 2nd anniversary of our retreat, Janey's birthday, and let's not forget Super Street's 20th anniversary! So a huge thanks goes out to Gordon Ting and our friends at Tao and Marquee for throwing us a pair of parties we'll never forget!

Super street 2 vegas danielle lo Photo 37/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Danielle Lo

Super Street girl Danielle Lo cameo at Tao Nightclub.

Super street 2 vegas janey b birthday Photo 38/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Janey B Birthday
Super street 2 vegas janey b birthday Photo 39/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Janey B Birthday

Birthday cake presentation for Janey.

Super street 2 vegas tracy nova Photo 40/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Tracy Nova

Another SS girl cameo, Tracy Nova.

Boost Brigade x Turn 14 Shirt Collab

Super street 2 vegas boost brigade x turn 14 tshirt collaboration Photo 41/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Boost Brigade X Turn 14 Tshirt Collaboration

You're going to hate us, but Boost Brigade produced a limited number of these shirts and jackets with the help of Turn 14. We were able to outfit our crew and also give a handful of pieces away at our car meet. You'll just have to wait until next year to see what we come up with!

Last-Minute Car Meet at HNRS LV

Super street 2 vegas hnrs Photo 42/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Hnrs

With only a week's notice before our retreat, we had invited local enthusiasts to meet us at street wear store HNRS on our final day in Vegas. Quite honestly, we were expecting only a handful of cars to show up, maybe 40-50 at most, but what transpired was much more than we could have imagined. Nearly 300 cars rolled out to our meet, filling the HNRS parking lot for hours. We saw lots of unexpected rides in attendance such as Roy de Guzman's Hakosuka (featured Volume 18, No. 10) and many more. Huge props to HNRS for letting us invade their space!

Super street 2 vegas ian perry datsun 280zx Photo 46/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Ian Perry Datsun 280Zx

Ian Perri's Datsun 280ZX slammed on rebarreled 14" Advan A3As might be one of our favorite cars from the 702!

Super street 2 vegas liberty walk r35 Photo 47/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Liberty Walk R35

Liberty Walk R35 GT-R hangin' with an R33 Skyline.

Super street 2 vegas roy de guzman hakosuka Photo 48/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Roy De Guzman Hakosuka

Roy de Guzman's Hakosuka rockin' new livery since his SS feature two years ago.

The Exotics Racing Experience

Super street 2 vegas mike sabounchi Photo 49/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Mike Sabounchi

If getting wasted at clubs and gambling aren't on your Las Vegas itinerary, maybe you would rather be behind the wheel of an exotic supercar. The folks at Exotics Racing have you covered. They'll let you push the limits of say, a Ferrari 458 or a Lamborghini Aventador, on a specially designed track just 30 minutes north of the Las Vegas Strip. Do you need to win the jackpot to drive one of these cars? Nope. To put it into perspective, you can drive a McLaren 570S for less than what you'd pay for bottle service at a club.

Mike reflects on his experience in the 488 GTB: "Remember when you played that 'five-minutes in heaven' game when you were a kid? It was a lot like that. I was alone with my love, got to do anything I wanted, but I was too nervous to push too hard. Needless to say, I would pay almost anything to spend more time with that Ferrari on that track!"

Super street 2 vegas exotics racing ferrari 488 Photo 50/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Exotics Racing Ferrari 488
Super street 2 vegas exotics racing porsche gt3 Photo 51/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Exotics Racing Porsche Gt3

ER has more than 10 cars you can choose from for its 1.2-mile track.

Super street 2 vegas exotics racing class Photo 52/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Exotics Racing Class

A short class and a warm-up lap as a passenger gets you ready for the experience of a lifetime.

Super street 2 vegas exotics racing vip room Photo 53/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Exotics Racing Vip Room
Super street 2 vegas mike sabounchi Photo 54/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Mike Sabounchi

The VIP room features Steve McQueen art throughout as well as free refreshments.

Eat at John Mull's Road Kill Grill

Super street 2 vegas road kill grill Photo 55/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Road Kill Grill

When I hear the words "Las Vegas," I think of food! Yes, I know, I'm the oddball here who actually goes to Vegas to eat, but hey, it is what it is... For me, there's always one mandatory visit and that's John Mull's Road Kill Grill. The two must-have items are the brisket and the burnt ends. The original John Mull's location also doubles as a butcher shop. It's not uncommon to see someone bring in fresh game they killed nearby while you're eating!

Super street 2 vegas road kill grill Photo 59/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Road Kill Grill

Sarap Life

Super street 2 vegas jofel tolosa Photo 60/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Jofel Tolosa

Although I loved all of the RCs, I decided to drive the blue RC F just because it had the perfect balance of street and comfort for the long trip. The Rocket Bunny RC 350 looked so damn good, but I'd rather just watch it on the road. And the Pandem RC F was the most aggressive; however, with a gutted interior and rollcage, it would've been difficult for a guy my size. I don't know how, but we all survived this year's retreat; we even went to the Eibach Meet the day after! I know I'm going to regret it when I say this, but I can't wait to go back!

- Jofel Tolosa

To the Max

Super street 2 vegas max frauchiger Photo 61/61   |   Super Street 2 Vegas Max Frauchiger

This retreat was borderline euphoria/insanity with a mix of maniacs, models, Death Valley, Vegas parties, and three of the most clean, new Lexus cars anywhere. While not pictured, I piloted the official support car for the team: a new GS F with only 3,000 miles on it. I have to say, I had a blast watching all the cars get beat on through Death Valley at speeds I can't legally say. I still have a void in my heart from when I had to return the keys to the GS F. Lexus, you'll make some money when I can finally get my own. Shout out to Gordon, Kenji, GReddy, and Boost Brigade!

- Max Frauchiger

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