We don't usually attend so-called "import" shows - neon lights, big spoilers, headrest monitors and deafening music aren't our thing. But we were informed about a different breed of show creating a buzz in downtown San Francisco. The event was Wekfest, which claimed to be an underground show without being excessive or flashy. And in fact, its 2010 event defied belief, drawing almost 20k visitors and 430 cars to an underground parking lot - when's the last time you saw people lining up for a car show?
The quality of cars at the event surprised us as well. There was certainly less excess and more cleanliness. This was apparent across the entire show, whether the cars were Japanese or Euro.
To give you a brief history, Wekfest started eight years ago within the Japantown district of San Francisco. Focused mostly on Honda and Acura, it has evolved from an annual gathering into a full show organized by Weksos Industries.
While the majority of this year's event was still Japanese, there were plenty of Euros to add some variety to the field. The organizers even included more European show classes to address the growing participation.
"Diversity was our focus going into this year's event," explained organizer Kenneth Li. "And the trend of low offset wheels for a wider stance was in full effect. We also saw the attention to detail in engine bays continue from previous years and go to another level."
We can't help but smile when we see Japanese car owners drawing influences from the Euro scene with subdued paint, no vinyl, stretched tires, large diameter, wide wheels, air suspension, tucked engine bays, etc. Perhaps it's a good sign the Japanese scene is finally catching up to the Euros. Regardless, this show surprised us with its execution, huge crowd and the quality of show cars.