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Wekfest Chicago 2017

Its 8th year in the Windy City, Wekfest kicked things up a notch — or 10 — by bringing hundreds of the nation's top rides to McCormick Place

Justin Kaehler
May 26, 2017
Photographer: Ryan Belville Videographer: Ryan Belville

They say time flies as you get older. For some of the (ahem) more mature members of the Super Street staff, it seems like only yesterday the Wekfest show was establishing itself in a San Francisco parking garage. But then we look at a calendar, realize those times were almost 10 years ago, and recognize today the Wekfest name is a powerful global brand. It's a show that has moved beyond stance, setting the stage for the automotive trends that will go on to define the big trade shows in Tokyo, Las Vegas, and beyond.

With 2017 marking its 8th year in the Windy City, Wekfest Chicago kicked things up a notch — or ten — by bringing hundreds of the nation's top rides to McCormick Place. It's a spot familiar to the scene, with the first Wekfest Chicago being held at the same venue. Of course, as the show has grown, so has its footprint.

Wekfest chicago 2017 center exit exhaust Photo 2/131   |   Wekfest Chicago 2017 Center Exit Exhaust

Thousands of enthusiasts braved terrible weather for the opportunity to get up close and personal with the cars they love, and the people who love them. Do you like the flush on your bippu sedan to be hella? Wekfest Chicago has you covered. Like your cars purpose-built for the track? Wekfest Chicago has something for you as well. Are you a weeaboo? Guess what? Wekfest Chicago brought out the itasha, bringing a taste of Akihabara to the Midwest. Hell, there was even a Chevy truck or two flexing their muscle in a sea of imports.

Wekfest chicago 2017 86 Photo 3/131   |   Wekfest Chicago 2017 86

The sheer number of built Honda S2000s our team on the scene encountered also overwhelmed them. With its perfect balance, RWD chassis, and timeless Honda styling, this roadster is the perfect canvas for any type of build, whether it be time attack or cruising low and slow. Given the massive variety of rides at Wekfest Chicago, if you couldn't find something that struck your fancy here, maybe you just don't like cars.

Wekfest chicago 2017 STI Photo 4/131   |   Wekfest Chicago 2017 STI

And for those who attended the first Wekfest Chicago, this eighth edition brought back more than a few familiar faces. Remember the K-powered Volkswagen Caddy that won the first Chicago show? Well, it took best of show again, with its clean lines, shaved engine bay, and supercharged power plant proving that sometimes it's the simple builds that are the best.

Wekfest chicago 2017 AE86 Photo 5/131   |   Wekfest Chicago 2017 AE86

It's been exciting for us to see this show grow over the years, and we can't wait to see what the next 8 to 10 years will bring. Given its humble beginnings, seeing how Wekfest has grown has inspired us to dream bigger; maybe we can create something of our own that can change the world. Or, at the very least, seeing a bunch of immaculate builds has given us the motivation to clean our own rides. You know — baby steps. Let's focus on the easy stuff first. We'll try to change the world later.

By Justin Kaehler
22 Articles

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