After Japan, Southern California is the epicenter of the import tuning scene. Sure, involvement has grown and diversified over the years, but SoCal is still where import car culture was introduced to Americans—nine out of your 10 favorite companies have offices here, and it might actually be harder to find a SoCal shopping center parking lot that’s not hosting an import gathering any weekend night of the year. Imagine my surprise three years ago, when the sickest show I’d ever attended became the first annual Wekfest meet in—wait for it—Northern California.
Enter Weak Sauce Parts, the San Francisco Bay Area’s (San Jose, to be exact) most prolific import parts retailer. Combining their vast tuning-community connections with Ernesto “Junior” Sarmiento, organizer of JDM Theory meets of years past, Wekfest was born in S.F.’s Japan Town and immediately raised the bar of the nation’s cleanest contemporary rides—a status it continues to hold as the show spreads across the nation for 2011, starting in Long Beach’s Queen Mary Park. The nation’s cleanest tuned imports in the mecca of import tuning? Here’s what made it hot:
Wekfest is one of the most diverse shows out there, inviting imports, domestics, and Euros to come out and play, but the reigning crowd-favorite champ is still Honda. Civics and Integras still had the largest numbers (heavy on the crazy-bay treatment), but S2Ks are getting cleaner and more powerful at each show—some shaping up to be genuine street killers.
Like we said: Wekfest is diverse. Want to catch the latest trends in building your Subie/Nissan/Infiniti/Scion/Lexus/Mitsu/etc.? Wekfest will show you that, too.
VIP-prepped rides continue to gain steam on the show front, partly because large-body Japanese luxo platforms sporting a slammed/flush/posh treatment is something both the tuning community and the mainstream can agree looks proper. Thank Platinum VIP and Autofashion USA for what you see here.
Despite its heavy late-model influence, Wekfest hosts some of the cleanest old-school rides around. From flawless, resto-modded Corollas, to RB-swapped S30 Zs, F20-swapped Corollas, SR-swapped pickups, and even the occasional shark-nosed Cressida, what comes out of the woodwork for a Wekfest show never ceases to amaze.
Among 2011 Import Tuner calendar girl Alexia Cortez, May ’11 cover model Amy Fay, a few hotties too young to treat to a drink, and one amateur cutie admittedly not sure how to pose for her very first car show (even cuter?), we couldn’t decide who we wanted to kick it with more. Fortunately, we didn’t have to—Wekfest brought them all out, and more.
A pair of flush and flared Mazdaspeed 3s? A time-attack GS? An xB sporting Gulf livery? More flat-green craziness? Offensive (awesome?) T-shirts? Fanboys gawking at tire-fender-rim sandwiches? Tuned Priuses (Prii?)? Honda Ruskuses (Ruckii?)? Bisi Ezerioha? Here’s only a tiny taste; log onto wekfest.com for future event listings. Next up: Chicago!