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AutoMass 2017

This year's event brought a car show, drifting, and track sessions to Chicagoland's Autobahn Country Club

Justin Kaehler
Jul 24, 2017
Photographer: Darian Duchan

It's amazing what a good idea — mixed with a bit of passion — can become. Who would have thought that just five years ago a grassroots event designed to give a few Midwest drift kids some track time would grow to become one of the nation's most talked-about car events? But then, not every idea is AutoMass — a weekend-long celebration of everything that's cool about modern car culture. This year's AutoMass brought a car show, drifting, and track sessions to Chicgoland's Autobahn Country Club. Sounds like a party to us, and wherever there's a party, you know we'll be there.

Automass 2017 2jz swapped mazda rx7 Photo 2/167   |   Automass 2017 2Jz Swapped Mazda Rx7

The brains behind this year's AutoMass are Ginash George, owner of JDM Chicago, and Chris Stewart, owner of Gridlife. While in the middle of planning their own two-day event, they kicked around the idea of bringing back the AutoMass brand, connected with OG AutoMass organizers Club FR and TF-Works, and boom — here we are.

In the words of George, the idea for AutoMass has always been "a combination of a car show and drifting. These go hand-in-hand to a certain extent in Chicago, since style here — on and off the track — is very important."

Days 1 and 2 of AutoMass included the always popular #GRIDLIFE, holding here the third round of their TrackBattle time attack series. More casual drivers could participate in HPDE events geared towards drivers of all levels. Next to the track, Simba Nyemba and his Club FR team ran the skidpad to let the cool kids get their drift on.

Automass 2017 nerp wing stands Photo 6/167   |   Automass 2017 Nerp Wing Stands

The second day of AutoMass saw the continuation of the time attack series and HPDE sessions, as well as the car show. Those with a bit more skill getting their cars sideways also got the opportunity to show off their drifting skills on the south course of Autobahn.

AutoMass 2017 was the ideal blend of show and go, a theme that extended to the cars as well. Says George, "The vast majority of the cars could easily have doubled up for the car show — that's how good they looked."

With cars coming from far and wide, George and Stewart hope to make AutoMass a regular event. We can't wait to see what these guys cook up next year. In the meantime, click on the gallery to see more from AutoMass 2017.

By Justin Kaehler
22 Articles



Another look at the gathering of old-school cool JDM vehicles.
Bob HernandezSep 20, 2018
The one event you can always count on to bring out exceptional quality, plenty of variety, and historic Japanese vehicles that you've either never heard of or only viewed in photos.
RodrezSep 18, 2018
Compared to last year's show, the 2018 Eibach Ohio Meet was a frigid slosh-fest. Yet despite the weather, Honda fans still managed to link up and celebrate what makes Honda so special.
Micah WrightSep 18, 2018
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