SpoCom San Diego didn't carry with it the onslaught of updates and "I can't wait for it" type social feed buzz you might expect for a large-scale car show, and as a result left many people wondering when the event was announced and how it snuck in under their radar.
Having spent the majority of my life in San Diego, I was really looking forward to this one. In it's heyday, the area's Del Mar Fairgrounds served as a staple in the Import Showoff schedule that later ushered in tour stops from Hot Import Nights and even hosted the often forgotten VTECNIK, a car show dedicated to all things Honda back in '99. Due to the massive uprising of street racing in San Diego during those days, these events, which brought in plenty of visitors from out of town, made for some interesting late-night activities during those days.
Those days are ancient history, and in terms of tour stops, import car shows held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds dried up some time ago. When I got word of the show, I was hopeful this would be the event to put America's Finest City back on the map. Unfortunately, those thoughts began to falter throughout the day. Couldn't quite put my finger on it but the show didn't have the same energy that L.A. and NorCal shows typically do, with the line outside looking nothing like SpoCom Anaheim and L.A. events that seemed to trail off forever prior to the doors opening up. Of course, this is only the first San Diego show the group has organized, so it may be a matter of getting some momentum going and a visit in 2019, something the group hinted at on their social media, means this might just be the start of a regular indoor series landing in San Diego once again. My hope is that if that's the case, the locals step it up in order to make the visits something to showcase just how versatile the city's enthusiast circle really is.
In the '90s, all three of Del Mar's halls would be packed, and the line to get in seemed to go on for miles, but times have certainly changed. This event took place in just a single hall and an adjoining parking lot at the Fairgrounds and included VIP, street, and show cars of various makes and models and even a handful of domestic offerings.
Once I arrived, media check-in was prompt and simple, and within minutes I was scouting the main show area. Many of the cars captured should be familiar, being that they've attended multiple shows we've covered on the network previously.
Familiar faces at SpoCom SD included the crew from AutoFashion. San Diego natives that have served as an automotive staple for the city and beyond for well over a decade, they brought with them a line of cars that elevated the bar considerably...
..and included a few of The Team Wildcards old-school builds to boot.
Haters will say it's Photoshop. When you have your friends bring your car and set it up for display, sometimes they add a little too much "pizazz." Everyone cracked a smile at the unauthorized throwback cotton smoke treatment on this 510 wagon.
An FD that not only relies on its native power plant but also includes a healthy Comp Turbo upgrade, V-mount intercooler setup, and just the right amount of black and polished pieces to offset the yellow paint.
Jonny Grunwald brought both his RX-7 and 8 to display in Del Mar. We featured his FD last year and you can expect his latest build in the next print issue.
Van builds continue to increase from show to show and Jacob's Honda Odyssey is a perfect example, with its Autocouture rollers, bagged stance, and vented hood and fenders. Oh, and don't forget that intercooler front and center.
Taking home the Best Exterior award was this wild Hako we last encountered at SEMA 2017 under the Colin Project banner. Though the outside looks great, don't forget to peek under the hood at the unique carburetor setup.
There were quite a few very detailed VQ engine bays at the show - something we don't see all that often at events like this...
..at least, not to this level of precision. An excellent blend of coatings and polishing on both OEM and aftermarket parts really do make these bays stand out.