There are number of car enthusiast events that take place on the waterfront at Queen Mary Events Park throughout the year, but few are as highly anticipated as the Wekfest tour's L.A. (or more accurately, Long Beach) stop.
Though the inaugural SoCal visit could be described as lukewarm years ago, the follow up visits each year have increased exponentially in the number of cars, vendors, and eager spectators. Expected to bring in a number of high-level builds as well as a few cars that most had yet to see, Wekfest – as usual – delivered.
Walk through the front gates and you were immediately met by a parking lot full of Hondas, Nissans, Mitsubishis, Toyotas, Subarus and even a few domestics. Get through those first hundred or so cars and vendors and make your way to the grass of the events park itself and you're greeted by an overwhelming number of cars, maneuvered into place with Tetris-like precision. So many cars in fact, that upon a second trip down a row or through a section and you were almost guaranteed to catch something you missed the first time around.
It's no mystery what the hottest trends are currently, and as you might expect the number of widebody or flared fender-shod builds with ultra wide wheels was greater than just about any other style. However, that's not to say clean and simple lines, as well as more performance-focused builds, weren't on hand as well. Just five years ago, coilovers and custom paint were the norm, and now air suspension and vinyl wraps seem to be the staple. The great thing about the Wekfest staff's attention to pre-screening and cultivating what they feel are the best cars submitted by aspiring competitors is that you get a solid mix of cars to keep everyone happy.
Just as the Long Beach event has gone on to find its legs and establish itself as one of the most popular in the tour series, a potential development plan submitted to the city of Long Beach in March could force the show to a different location entirely. The proposed waterfront makeover, intended to help churn dollars in order to chip away at the Queen Mary's massive 289 million dollar repair bill, would bring in restaurants, a hotel, and other businesses, effectively eliminating the show grounds. If the construction moves forward, how much of an effect a location change would have on the Wekfest Long Beach tour stop is impossible to gauge, but with a loyal following that faithfully rides the Wekfest wave without question, we're confident the staff would make it work.
The VIP style and influence is still strong and the number of Lexus sedans this year seemed to outnumber last year’s attendance.
It’s been over two decades and the MkIV Supra has only grown in popularity. Examples like this one, nestled within the 3M booth, are a stark reminder as to just how ahead of the curve Toyota’s design department was in the early ‘90s.
This NSX, completed just before the show, enjoyed one of the best parking spots of the event and one of the greatest features of having the show at the Queen Mary events park. If the planned construction at the Queen Mary events park does more forward, we’ll certainly miss attending shows on the waterfront.
Not often you run across a Toyota truck with the heart of an S2000. We’d love to see this pickup screaming to 9K with its F-series power plant.
Once controversially powering drift and, on occasion, street cars, the LS swap has completely infiltrated the import market and is often spotted on show cars as well.
We still appreciate a clean RX-7 without the addition of flares.
Or widebody pieces like this spotless FD with V-mount set up.
Close to the entry was this trio of modern-day supercars sporting custom wheel and widebody kits.
And along with the new-school cars, there were plenty of old-school legends on hand as well.
Polar opposites – the Wekfest tour always brings a solid blend of styles and eras that offer something for everyone. It’s one of the reasons the upstart currently stands as one of the premier car shows.
Increasingly more popular by the week it seems, Volk Racing-equipped Tacomas are popping up everywhere. This Quicksand colored version looks right at home on a set of bronze TE37x rollers.