In this line of work, there are some shows we all look forward to (SEMA, Tokyo Auto Salon), others we really dread being assigned to cover (not naming names . . . but being stuck in the middle of the desert with a bunch of hot rods is never fun), and then the occasional wildcards we really don't know what to expect by attending. Usually the newbie shows fall into this category. It is, afterall, not exactly a simple task striking that perfect blend of the sickest rides, most prolific vendors, hottest scene-specific chicas and industry icons-on a scale large enough for anyone to give a damn-that makes an event worth attending. But not only did SpoCom organizers nail this magical combination on their first try three years ago, they also proved that if done right, a good show just gets better with age.
To start, location is key, and where better to throw a representation of the import automotive industry than at its heart: sunny SoCal's Long Beach Convention Center; a location that show-goers must access by first driving over the rubber-laden surfaces of Formula D's traditional season opener that goes down just months prior-a year-long reminder of who exactly owns this town. We all know the rides are the heart of the show, so for yours to succeed, you'd have to pack it with the best of Formula D, Super Lap Battle, HIN, and Battle of the Imports, all put together. SpoCom played host to the debut of Justin Pawlak's Bergenholtz Racing three-rotor Mazda RX-8 and Alex Pfeiffer's powdercoated (yes, powdercoated) SC300 Formula D sleds, and saved spots for all the regulars' cars. With time attack on the rise, you'd be wise to invite some of the reigning Super Lappers. SpoCom did, and the FX Motorsports NSX, Harman Motive STI, N1 Concepts J's-inspired S2K and the TEIN/Import Tuner IS F were among many in attendance. Even all-motor drag champ Bisi Ezerioha brought out his Insight for kicks. And who could forget the heavy hitters of the show scene? Virtually all of SoCal's dominant crews came out in droves, with Team Hybrid, Function/form, High End, Hokori, ar-kan, and Flawless Rides among our personal favorites.
And let's not forget vendors. Afterall, the key to building one of these show- or race-winning machines lies in fitting it with the right schwag. One of SpoCom's blinding strengths is that it invites the industry's strongest manufacturers, shops, agencies and more to mingle with show-goers, many offering personal advice, guidance, and sales (with the ever-important give-aways strewn about) that make it possible for nearly anyone to walk in a clueless idiot, and out with a solid plan for rolling domination!
But for all the love we share for sun, palm trees and badass imports, still one more building block to a good show remains: talent. As in female talent-the kind given at birth, that develops over time and blossoms into the ability to make men forgo everything else in their lives to partake in its perfection. Yeah . . . there was plenty of that at SpoCom, and 2NR was there to sample a little of it all, with the Import Tuner Model Search, presented by KONIG. Say hello to your winner on page 80, some of the runner-ups here, and keep checking back for more-there was A LOT of talent at SpoCom!