They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and with the annual SEMA Show proper effectively cancelled this year due to the pandemic, a lot of aftermarket companies that use the massively popular trade show as a platform for revealing their latest are much in need of a way to get their news out. We're sure some—maybe even many—are relying on the show's online replacement, SEMA360, to deliver their messages. But a few bold outfits, like GReddy Performance Products (aka GPP) in Irvine, Calif., have taken matters into their own hands to fashion bespoke media and dealer events in small scale, which is how GPP Live came to be.
We called GPP Live the "anti-SEMA SEMA Show" in this story's deck, but that's a bit of a misnomer and exaggeration—it's more of a highly-targeted, single brand line show rather than an alternative to the industry-reflecting Las Vegas megaevent. Like any normal year, GReddy has product development and project cars to share with the wider world but no SEMA Show to do it in this year, so it carved out a few dates, cleaned up its headquarters, and set the stage for industry friends to come over and learn all about what the legendary aftermarket tuners have been working on over the last 12 months.
We showed up to cars in the GReddy parking lot, several familiar ones at that, machines like actor Sung Kang's Datsun S30 "Fugu Z" and actor/director/producer Daniel Wu's Honda S800, both featured on Super Street. In fact, there were a handful of SS alumni in the bunch—Ed Liu's Nissan R32, which is essentially a GReddy catalog car; pro driver Dai Yoshihara's K20C-powered Corolla AE86R; and the Evasive Motorsports Time-Attack 2JZ-GTE Toyota 86 (the car that Dai drove to a Pikes Peak Hill Climb victory this year), Dai's Hachiroku and Evasive's 86 both featuring universal GReddy parts. Liu's Skyline has a few new touches since last we visited it, namely GReddy's new billet valve and front covers for the car's RB26, and Kang's Fugu Z is undergoing a major upgrade in GReddy's hands as we type this.
In GReddy's garage, the GPP AP2 showcased the Ultra Premium version of GReddy's new turbo kit for the S2000 with charge plumbing in Cerakoted black, a forced induction setup that also comes in Standard and Premium variants. The Honda roadster additionally rocked a GReddy radiator, fan shroud, and oil cooler kit, in addition to KWxGPP coilovers; other Honda on tap included GPP President Kenji Sumino's restomod EF Civic SiR hatchback, which we're looking to write up a complete feature on, and Eimer Engineering's FK8 Type R, which received GReddy's SP Supreme exhaust, CARB-approved intercooler kit, and new oil cooler kit.
There was a ton of Nissan to go with the Datsun and Honda already named, including GT-R examples from R32 to R35, like GPP Marketing Manager Mike Chung's 900-pluh-hp GT-R and Dustin William's R32 Skyline. TopRank Vehicle Importers' Brian Jannusch brought out his RHD Mk4 Toyota Supra with GReddy bolt-ons and throtl's Mickey Andrade turned up the JDM even more with his Suzuki Cappuccino Kei car.
We ventured inside GPP's HQ to check out all the fresh goods they had on display in their showroom. GReddy now offers built performance cylinder heads that feature new cores, CNC porting and complete valvetrains; heads are available for Nissan RB and VR engines, as well as Toyota 2JZ mills, both VVTi and non-VVTi. GReddy also flexed its engine programs, illustrated at GPP Live by a completely built RB26 stroker long block on display, and we also laid eyes on a new twin-turbo kit for the Z34 and cooling components for the Civic Type R and Si (an oil cooler kit) and '15 and up Subaru WRX STI (intercooler and oil cooler kits).
GReddy showed off its universal intercooler cores, billet and cast end tanks, and even snazzy billet 2JZ valve covers at GPP Live. The experience was just like visiting the GReddy booth at SEMA, only there was a lot more space, and more show cars, and definitely no rush on time. And actually, if we're being transparent, GReddy invited out reps from its technical partners Titan7 wheels, OS Giken, Koyorad, Sparco, Ignition Projects, Supertech and KW suspensions—so it was even a little more like the annual trade show, sort of an extremely pared-down version of it, anyway. Having no SEMA Show this year certainly threw a lot of people for a loop, but GPP Live proved that, with the right planning, small-scale rollouts can be just as effective as (getting lost on) the industry's largest stage.