If you're an avid European car enthusiast and have been involved for more than a handful of years, then you're probably wondering what's happening with the aftermarket. Sure, the essentials are still there and not going anywhere. Performance upgrades (though a little more sophisticated than they once were), wheel and tire packages, bigger/better brakes, and speed bump-friendly aero bits are still everywhere and, for the most part, easily accessible. With that said, a large chunk of the newer generation of car enthusiasts are going in directions that might have you a bit confused, and if you're not quite open to the new wave of trends, at least you have something to complain about.
Admittedly, you know what to expect walking into a large car show like Autocon, held once again at the Los Angeles Convention Center this year. Widebody treatments completed within a wide spectrum of body work quality, riveted on fenders, and of course incredibly wide wheel and tire setups are commonplace. With that being said, you can also find some nicely built, "toned down" examples at these events. And though Autocon caters predominately to the import circle, they've also gone to great lengths to make this more of an all-inclusive affair, and that includes domestic, off-road, and as you'll see below, plenty of cars from the European market.
This turbocharged 2002 wowed everyone in attendance, whether they were BMW fans or not. A restomod that left absolutely no stone unturned, this build was on a completely different playing field compared to its competition.
The motorsport and show worlds collide with this Porsche giving a nod to the '80s with its Apple graphic livery.
The AMG GT-S duo from AR Motorwerkz was all but guaranteed to grab show goers attention. Vinyl wrapped in matte pink with a wild hood graphic, this version wears a Wald aero kit and Zito wheels...
..while this Solar Beam Yellow coupe relies on Prior Design aero and is also fitted with Zito wheels.
We spotted this pristine Nardo grey 964 at Eibachtoberfest last year and more recently at Lüftgekuhlt 5. It's an outlier when compared to other cars in attendance due to its factory-like body dimensions.
While the general public in the U.S. might not flock to wagons these days but rather the much larger SUV options, the enthusiast market continues to embrace the original crossover - this floored E30 wagon, a great example.
If you're a Porsche purist, this one is going to sting a little. At one time, the wildly popular RWB treatment wasn't something you'd catch a glimpse of on the regular. Today, however, they're becoming far more common and have us wondering when and if the body kit designer will ever see a downturn in clientele.
In a sea of overtly widened and heavily modified European chassis, this mildly modded sedan made a different type of statement. The wheels and subtle carbon fiber kit with trunk extension, joined by a full set of StopTech calipers make for a well-rounded package and a vehicle we could imagine driving to work everyday while waiting patiently for a weekend track event.