If you had some crazy inkling the sport compact car scene is dead in the South, the Import Alliance show at Atlanta Speedway is proof you're dead wrong. Unlike anything we're used to in California, Import Alliance is a weekend-long event, which means the party goes well into the night. We witnessed it in person for the first time last year and we're not exaggerating when we say thousands of cars rolled through. But it wasn't only a huge car show - the Drift-o-rama (yeah, it's a cheesy name) exhibition was also on display for your hooning-loving pleasure.
The beauty of car shows outside of California is often times you'll find a lot more JDM builds, like Skylines and Silvias. But hands down, our favorite car of the show was David Mazzei's '93 Mazda RX-7. With the help of a few extra rotors, David is estimating his car is in the 900hp range.
The four-rotor Peripheral port race engine was built in New Zealand with the world's first water-to-air integrated intercooler intake manifold, which eliminates the need for front or a v-mounted intercooler. Morgan Performance Fabrication made a custom exhaust manifold identical to the design specs to the Mazda Lemans 787B, but with an added turbo. On the outside he swapped the USDM bumper for a '99 spec JDM bumper, FEED front and rear overfenders, and a RE Amemiya rear wing.
"I was blown away by the sheer size of Import Alliance," David mentions. "The best aspect of the show is the people. There's no elite mentality. Everyone is down to earth, they share ideas. It's almost like a pep rally where you gather inspiration and motivation to come back and push your limits again."
This is Import Alliance's 9th year at Atlanta, and as far as we can see, they're killing it. Fingers crossed we can make it out next year!