Events galore. For better or worse, summers in Southern California can be a dream come true for car fanatics, whether they want to go to shows, meets, or join a group for some weekend track adventures. In the last few years, the number of events that have materialized has increased continually to the point where now you have to strategically plan your weekends, especially if you're in the business of providing coverage for any of those events.
As the summer months pass and the last few shows and track days come and go, there are still a few monsters to contend with. The first, and probably most hectic, is SEMA week. Just a week after that comes the Super Lap Battle x Global Time Attack finals, and less than a week after that is Tuner Battle Week. Sitting snug in between the big convention and the all-out track attack events is where you'll find the VIP Festival, organized by AutoFashion USA.
AutoFashion opened its doors to the public 13 years ago, and for the last 10 years, co-owners Freddie Fernandez and Elroy Paule have hosted their yearly VIP Festival. The event was created to celebrate VIP cars, a movement that AutoFashion played a major role in since the very beginning, while bringing friends and customers together in a very laid back environment.
Coming off of a week in Vegas, and having stomped through the convention center halls and stacked a ridiculous number of miles on my worn feet, the last thing on my mind was attending another event. However, the VIP Festival is more like a family BBQ than a tense, "hurry up and wait" type of affair. And though it was intended for VIP cars specifically, cars of different styles often make their way out, along with a few vendors like Air Runner and Kyoei USA.
Formerly held near their Miramar (San Diego) headquarters, AutoFashion ventured out this year and traveled just a few miles north to GreenFlash Brewing Co., located in the central business park region of Mira Mesa. If the name sounds familiar, it might be because we dropped by GreenFlash back in September for the Motor Union 5 car show. Now with two successful automotive annual gatherings under their belt, it'll be interesting to see what moves the brewing company will make in 2017.
A decade in car years is basically an eternity. To generate more interest now than ever before is something to be proud of, and the AutoFashion crew will no doubt have an 11th annual event waiting for you next November.
The VIP style no doubt tips the scales toward appearance in the grand scheme of car building, but that doesn't mean performance is always ignored. Here an HKS supercharger, accompanied by some custom dimple die panel work, takes over the bay of the Lexus sedan.
Randy Riggs' G coupe is more than just a shiny, pretty face. A built block and ported and polished head back the Vortech super charger. In addition to the extensive polished metalwork on just about everything under the hood, Riggs states that over 200-plus original bolts were replaced with stainless Allen head hardware.
Car fanatic and twin-daughter creator, David Andrade, with help from Premiere Autobody in Hollywood, Calif., finished up the kit and paint on his LS430 just in time to make the 10th anniversary festival.
Though black seemed to be the preferred color for VIP sedan builds early on, times have definitely changed. More colors and wilder builds continue to push forward the VIP community.
You don't see a ton of Mercedes builds at VIP events and you'll note that even less of the wagon variety are used as a project base. This white people mover, fitted with flares and Kranze rollers, certainly stood out.
Blurring the line between VIP style and sport sedan, Yogi's 2006 GS430 had everyone talking when it was first unveiled a few years ago. Today, with a few select changes, like the wheels and the low profile wing, this car still turns heads.