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Nisei Showoff Little Tokyo - Save The Clock Tower!

Scene: Nisei Showoff; Little Tokyo - Los Angeles, CA

Jonathan Wong
Nov 1, 2009
Photographer: Sean Klingelhoefer

It's hard to imagine that it's been 15 years since I went to my first Import Showoff, way back when I was a young buck, and that this past summer, at the tender age of 31, marked the last. I know it's been a long time because my old car club shirt that I brought out of my underwear drawer with its perfect creases and half-defunct sponsor logos tell me that it's been a long time - that, plus the stench. But I couldn't miss this Import Showoff for the world. For as long as I've been going, Ken Miyoshi and Mainstream have always used this key event as the "it" show - if you weren't rockin' the best shit, you weren't gonna survive at Nisei and everyone brought the goods to Nisei. This one stayed true to that ideology and mentality.

Sstp_0911_03_o+nisei_showoff+acura_integra Photo 2/49   |   Nisei Showoff Little Tokyo - Save The Clock Tower!

For the first time, after all this time, I finally brought out my first car for competition. Sure, I've displayed a few times but I never thought my car was on a level that I thought could stand its own ground against people who have become known for winning, like anyone from High End Performance or Team Hybrid, or new schoolers like Infinit Wheels, DPK, so on and so forth. But to finally bring a car that I was finally satisfied with, I had to get it out to this Nisei Show and roll with the best of them. Plus it was the final standoff between my EF hatch and Project Car's CRX. But, no matter how dope I think my 1995-era-style is, I couldn't match the quality and up-to-date trends like PCM's CRX has - so I gracefully declare my loss. Our staffs both had a rockin' time either way.

As expected, we got the cream of the crop for this final send-off: the best Hondas from around the way, enough wire tuck action to last a million lifetimes, more custom offset wheels and rare SSR kicks than ever before - it was all, as Sean described to me after, "inspiration to make you want to go out and finish your car, even if you don't have the money or the parts to complete it with." That's what a good show does to you, though. It messes with your mind on borderline obsessive, causing you to think how cool your car could, would or should be. But that's a good thing; we need the inspiration, and after all these years we want to say thanks to Ken Miyoshi. Thanks for always bringing the best together to inspire us all. If there were only some way to save the best...

For more exclusive photos from Nisei Showoff, check out and don't forget to check out 'Happy Ending' this month for a chance to win parts from M-Two and Mainstream Productions.

By Jonathan Wong
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