So let’s first address the obvious question we’re certain many of you have about the 2016 edition of Tech Day – as in, where were the pro drift cars getting teched? The short answer is there wasn’t any; the process of inspecting Formula DRIFT competition cars and making sure they’re up to snuff is today largely an internal affair, sparing teams the prying eyes of both fans and challengers.
The thing is, after Super Street got involved with Tech Day a handful of years ago, adding the meet ‘n’ mingle and more recently a vendor village, we’ve seen huge amounts of cars and fans roll through to enjoy the event – in the order of 800 whips at the peak of the day in years past. We sure as hell didn’t want to lose that, so after some calls and asking around the opportunity came up to hold it at one of the coolest places we could ever imagine holding a meet, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, Calif.
If you’ve never heard of the Petersen, turn in your enthusiast card now (shame on you!) It’s known as one of the world's largest automotive museums, with over 100 vehicles on display in its 25 galleries, and the remaining half of its collection kept in a vault located in the basement. It recently went through a $90 million remodel where the building’s façade features a trippy stainless-steel ribbon assembly. And if none of that makes the Petersen memorable, it’s also the place that hosted the party the Notorious BIG attended the night he was murdered in 1997 (he was gunned down some 50 yards away).
The Petersen offered us use of its parking structure, which boasts some 700-plus parking spaces. It was the site last year of the museum’s inaugural Japanese Cruise-In, and in fact this year’s meet was officially known as the “Japanese Cruise-In & Tech Day Car Meet” (that’s a mouthful).
Along with the cars on hand, a few well-known brands joined in on the fun and displayed some of their latest and greatest. Spec-D Tuning brought out a slick Subie and Evo duo to show off some of their accessories that range from cutting edge lighting, to aero, interior, suspension and even engine upgrades. Established in '03, we've seen this group continue to grow every year. Klutch Wheels has been busy making a name for themselves in offering "precious metals" intended for all vehicle types, from Japanese to European, hardcore drift missiles to your average daily driver — these guys cover it all. A number of meet vehicles that rolled in throughout the morning were fitted with Klutch goods. Flanked by a Skyline and an R35 GTR (not a bad place to set up), Formula D's apparel and accessories booth hosted some heavy foot traffic as morning turned into afternoon and fans browsed their line-up.
We filled every one of those 700 spots and then some, allowing others in as attendees left. Some even ventured into the museum and extended their day at the Petersen. Yep, Tech Day 2016 was another unqualified success, as you can see going through the photo gallery; we even split off separate coverage of some of the amazing Hondas that turned up in a separate piece over on Honda Tuning’s website – enjoy!