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Wekfest L.A. 2018 Pt. I

New venue ... you know who this is

Aug 7, 2018
Photographer: Bob Hernandez

Every year in L.A., just as the show and car meet seasons are starting to establish themselves, the always highly anticipated Wekfest show stops in Long Beach for the SoCal leg of their nationwide (as well as Japan). The big show usually takes place in late May and always occupies the waterfront park at the Queen Mary. For 2018, however, Wekfest decided to make some major changes.

The first of those changes is timing. Rather than hitting prior to summer, this year's event took place in early August, and if you're a SoCal resident, you're well aware this summer has been brutal, with scorching temps week-to-week and no relief in sight. That brings us to the second major shake up—location. No longer held on the grassy lot in Long Beach, the show was moved indoors (a major relief for show goers) to the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

What separates Wekfest from many others is the cars they bring to the table. Rather than a free-for-all, the staff handpicks vehicles from the countless registrations they receive in an attempt to maintain quality. It may sound digitally pretentious, but the result is stiffer competition for competitors and a better display for show goers. In addition, vehicle debuts aren't uncommon at Wekfest, and you're almost guaranteed to run into a few cars you've either never seen before or only seen online previously.

At Wekfest L.A. 2018, the expected Civic, S-chassis, and FRS/BRZ builds were present, but joined by a larger number of VIP builds that seemed heavier than previous years. And when you mention VIP, especially in SoCal, the name AutoFashion should probably be included in that conversation. Setting up a massive booth similar to their appearance at Spocom, AutoFashion's event presence in 2018, whether strategized beforehand or simply a result of circumstance is undeniable. The variety of cars they're bringing and the look and feel of their booth has undoubtedly made its mark this year.

In Part I of our coverage, we take a look at just a handful of standouts, but don't worry—Part II is coming up shortly.

Wekfest LA 2018 300ZX Photo 2/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 300ZX

Ahead of its time and priced well out of reach for most enthusiasts when introduced, the 300ZX is something we don't see nearly enough of. And when we do, they're rarely this clean.

Wekfest LA 2018 LS V8 swapped 350Z Photo 3/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 LS V8 Swapped 350Z
Wekfest LA 2018 LS3 swap Photo 4/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 LS3 Swap

Try all you want, you can't escape it. The LS engine swap infiltrated import ranks years ago and not only found a home, but seem to have built a growing empire.

Wekfest LA 2018 autofashion usa EG Photo 5/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 Autofashion Usa EG
Wekfest LA 2018 k swap Photo 6/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 K Swap

AutoFashion's large-scale booth included this reminder that although they're established themselves as the VIP gurus, they get their hands dirty on projects well outside that world. The front end of their Rocket Bunny kitted Civic project has been modified to tilt forward, similar to the Rocket Bunny NSX kit that they were the first in the U.S. to install a few years ago.

Wekfest LA 2018 turbo K swap Photo 7/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 Turbo K Swap

Highly detailed and equipped with every go-fast part imaginable, Honda engine bays at events like Wekfest continue to progress. This fifth-gen. Civic features a Sheepey Race turbo kit with hood exit exhaust packed into a shaved and tucked bay.

Wekfest LA 2018 ITB K swap Photo 8/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 ITB K Swap

While on the other end of the spectrum, this fourth-gen. Civic, also K-powered, sports large Kinsler individual throttle bodies.

Wekfest LA 2018 S30 Photo 9/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 S30
Wekfest LA 2018 V8 swap Photo 10/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 V8 Swap

It doesn't have the side-draft carb setup you think it should, and instead this beautifully restored Z relies on American muscle.

Wekfest LA 2018 350Z Photo 41/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 350Z
Wekfest LA 2018 Cima Photo 75/105   |   Wekfest LA 2018 Cima
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