For the past seven years the Wekfest staff, led by Ernesto "Jr." Sarmiento and Kenneth Li, have been on a mission to make a lasting impression on enthusiasts around the world. What started in the Bay Area eventually made its way to southern California, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, Chicago, Hawaii, and even Japan. Now on a regular yearly schedule that has the staff hopping from venue to venue, Wekfest continues to grow, remains highly anticipated, and is showing no signs of faltering, even in a market often described as saturated and unstable.
When it comes to car selection for each event, the process by which Jr. and his crew activate each city can be good or bad, depending on what side of the fence you reside. Sifting through hundreds, sometimes thousands of submissions, the group has to make the tough decision of granting access or denying someone based on just a handful of photos and a spec list. The purpose? To fill their show with what they visualize as the highest caliber that will not only wow showgoers on the big day, but get them buzzing to come back for more the next time the tour swings through their town.
Like any organized automotive event with a heavy emphasis on import vehicles and competition, controversy and complaining have sometimes accompanied the high spirits and positivity that surround each of the eight annual stops. Competitor issues with judging, display vehicle roll-in, parking procedures, and venue access have sometimes come up, but that's to be expected when an event that carries as much weight as Wekfest has obviously found its groove and is only picking up steam.
A major component to the absolute pandemonium that surrounds the San Jose stop of the tour revolves around this group of longtime Honda fanatics. The ATS*Garage crew has been around for well over a decade and when you've flipped through magazines, scrolled through a forum, or been served your daily social media snackables via that complex Facebook/Instagram algorithm, you've undoubtedly come across a number of their builds.
The third generation Integra is the current weapon of choice for a number of ATS*Garage soldiers, and with NorCal-to-SoCal transplant Ryan Basseri of Rywire.com in their lineup, the Honda fans in the crowd had more than enough to pour over throughout the day. You won't come across many builds that reach iconic status before they're even completed, but Rywire's DC2 did just that. Officially unveiled at SEMA 2015, the entrepreneur and avid envelope-pusher's masterpiece features far too many custom touches to list, but includes a one-off drive-by-wire conversion, meticulous interior tin work and a host of high level, modern day motorsport electronics that place this DC2 in a class all its own.
More and more highly modified RSXs seem to be coming out of the woodwork and this example featured a shaved bay with custom cowl to match the coil pack cover and a set of individual throttle bodies. Also note the AN fittings that feed into the shock tower bar.
Are you one of those angry old-school guys that can't stand much of the current crop of trends that plague the Honda community? Basically, are you like me? Then you'll appreciate a build like Nick Higgins' '89 Civic. The wheels fit the way they're supposed to, the engine bay only relies on what's necessary to keep its ITB-fitted B16 running at peak performance, and the JDM front-end conversion updates the nose of this immaculate fourth-gen. build.
Before you pass judgment and assume Amir's NSX goes from the garage to a show and right back into hibernation, think again. Just browse our regularly posted VTEC Club track day coverage to see this sleek black flagship in action. If that's not enough, you can always read his full story once his HT digital feature goes live in August. That's right - full feature, for free, via superstreetonline.com's Honda Tuning tab. You didn't hear that we're back? Look at me ... ya' welcome.
This is not your aunt's Accord. Alex's coupe got a bit of an attitude adjustment by way of a supercharged J32 swap to complement the custom blue hue and Dunlop Formula CP-R rollers. Sure, he can't close the original factory hood over this monster, but why would you want to?
Two things that always seem to revolve around Jimmy Nguyen: badass Honda builds and H2B power. His previous build, a CRX, appeared on the cover of Honda Tuning and the attention to detail and precision he showed at that time are still very much a factor with his current EM1 project. Fitted to the Frankenstein mill is a Skunk2 Ultra intake manifold, custom velocity stack and a Myers Competition header. The execution was enough to raise a few eyebrows and Jimmy left with a "Civic of the Festival" win.
Continuing to make their presence known, Nemo's Garage played host to this RSX chock-full of shiny bits under the hood, including a tough-to-nab ARC induction box. The effort didn't go unnoticed and this DC5 earned a second place "Best Honda" award.
Ira Fouquette carried the momentum from his recent "Best Acura" award at Spocom and rallied to bring home a "Best Honda & Acura of the Festival" nod at Wekfest SJ.