Event Coverage: 2012 Motion Auto Show Long Beach | Part 1

Motion Auto Show 2012

I have officially memorized how to get to the Queen Mary/Convention Center in Long Beach. Thanks to the likes of Formula Drift, the Toyota Grand Prix, and Toyotafest, I am no longer a stranger to the downtown Long Beach area. So when Motion Auto Show appeared on my event calendar this past Sunday at the Convention Center, I rolled up my sleeves, shut off my GPS, and headed southbound, not knowing what to expect.

To those of you who have never been to Motion (like yours truly until Sunday), MAS is very much a middle ground between the likes of SEMA and Hot Import Nights. At one end, you have a very professional and business-minded show where cars ultimately come second to business. At the other end, you have an event that is less show than it is clubbing – where again, cars seem to come second to the girls, I mean business, at hand. Motion cuts the line right down the middle and swings the spotlight back to what matters most, the cars.  Sure there are still vendors and girls wearing stringy things for the bikini contest, but you get the feeling that here, it’s the sheetmetal that matters most.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Outside, Savini had come out in force and brought quite a few examples of their wheel line up along with the intimidating Team Black di Forza line up.

Motion Auto Show 2012

However, for some reason, they chose to showcase a red AP2 S2K in their booth, promising that track wheels would be coming soon. I stopped by at the beginning and end of the show and still never saw the wheel covers come off. Odd…

Motion Auto Show 2012

Down the line, just past the Savini cars, the Shop had brought out some fine examples of their work and I unexpectedly stumbled onto one of my favorite cars of the show, a beautiful CTS-V coupe.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Running the supercharged 6.2L LSA V8, the CTS-V puts down over 550 hp and roughly the same amount of torque. Impressive numbers, but probably necessary to move the big girl. I still maintain CTS-V coupe could probably use some pilates or something to tone down the size of its rear, but I didn’t seem to care as much with this one.

Motion Auto Show 2012

The blacked out grill, tailpipes, stance, and the gorgeously matched Dynamic Performance Engineering 5-spoke split wheels made me forget for a while that I was here for event coverage, not feature cars.

Motion Auto Show 2012

There’s a bit of a frustrating catch-22 to shooting cars at shows. On one end, if you keep the hood closed, you can capture the shape of the car and the body lines as a whole, but can’t see what sort of machinery is putting the power down. Put the hood up and you’ve sort of ruined any exterior pictures, but lets you show off all your magnificent engine work.

Motion Auto Show 2012

I guess it really comes down to what exactly you have under the hood…

Motion Auto Show 2012

There are some cars and marques that I simply cannot avoid snapping a few shots of. Lotus is one of them. 

Motion Auto Show 2012

The blacked out primary headlights gave this mean Exige a serious case of bumblebee/wasp syndrome.

Motion Auto Show 2012

I’m always amazed that BMW ever pulled this color off. Known as Dakar Yellow, the pale color remains a fairly popular choice amongst Bimmer enthusiasts today.

Motion Auto Show 2012

I understand the appeal of the R35 and the GT-R line. I really do. International supercar-beating capabilities, bargain basement price for the performance, renowned heritage in racing and in film, it’s difficult to fault the car – but I still can’t get over how damn big and heavy the thing is…

Motion Auto Show 2012

I would really love to see how the stock IS-F wheels look with a dash of concave and a bit of dish to them. Imagine it. Do it now.

Motion Auto Show 2012

There’s no way that can be static. What I never understood about the stance movement is how owners could tolerate the sound of their cars scraping. I know it’s a part of the lifestyle, but I just don’t understand how they do it. A little bit of me dies inside every time I hear my MR2 scrape.

Motion Auto Show 2012

I wish the third gen TL had a bigger presence in the scene. My family has one and it’s a fantastic daily driver. The power in the 3.2L V6 has a wonderful sense of immediacy and the third gen remains fairly restrained compared to the girth of the fourth gen model.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Motion Auto Show is no stranger to gold wheels. No stranger at all… (FORESHADOWING)

Motion Auto Show 2012

This owner was putting the final Mugen touches on his GE Fit. Solid choice of wheels and as a former GD owner, solid choice of car.

Motion Auto Show 2012

There was some airport-style security going on at the entrance to the convention center, but all wonders of that were quelled with the first of many FDs to come.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Chevy really did a bang on job reinventing the Camaro. Thanks to the likes of Transformers and the fact that it’s just a good car, the fifth gen Camaro has really caught on in the market – and I could have sworn that half the market was in the convention center. A whole section of the floor was dominated by Chevy’s angularly angry pony car.

Motion Auto Show 2012

It didn’t hurt Camaro sales either that it’s just a straight up devastatingly good car to look at.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Know your roots and respect your elders kids. 

Motion Auto Show 2012

I was actually really happy to see a G8 at the show. One of the cars that I’m mildly embarrassed to say that I want, the G8 brought a kick of Aussie power to American shores under the Pontiac name. One of these days…

Motion Auto Show 2012

I wonder what it would look like if you switched the EVO X tail lights and head lights around. Not sure if Team Nuisance is willing to give up theirs though.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Maybe it’s just the shows I’ve been going to, but I feel like I see fewer and fewer first gen RSX’s around these days. That smiley Mugen front end makes me want to pinch its cheeks or something.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Maybe it was because my contacts came off kind of funny that morning, but for some reason I had a round or two of double-takes for a while with these two.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Poor man’s Ferrari indeed.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Much to my delight, Team Ar-Kan (pronounced “arcane”) had brought out a gaggle of EP3s.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Too bad the EP3 had to come in FWD. Swap in an F20 or F22, put the power down in the rear and I think you’d have a very potent and useful little car.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Plus then you could run a dual exhaust, which IMO the EP3 could desperately use. Not that the examples here were at all shabby with the black Si running some very serious competition rubber and gold roll cage.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Ar-Kan’s red 370Z has been making its way round the SoCal show circuit for quite some time now as this is maybe the fourth or fifth time I’ve seen it

Motion Auto Show 2012

No complaints though. Especially when you’re doing the talking with the Amuse body kit and TE37 Super Laps. No complaints indeed.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Remember what I said about Motion Auto Show being no stranger to gold wheels?

Motion Auto Show 2012

This NSX was a showstopper in every sense of the word. I was glad I got in early and was able to take my time shooting because when the doors opened, there were people constantly coming over in a state of wonder.

Motion Auto Show 2012

These are Mugen MF10s customized by wheelflip for the NSX. Looking for all the world like 24K gold, the wheels were visible a mile away and brought in fascinated members from across the automotive spectrum. From the Honda crowd to muscleheads, no one had seen anything quite like it.

Motion Auto Show 2012

At first, the appeal was less than obvious. People make wheels ridiculous colors all the time (think Blurple), is 24K gold really that much more outlandish? Then, I started to remember what model the wheels were fitted to and the puzzle pieces started to form a picture. This was an NSX on 24K gold Mugen MF10s. I still can’t quite put my finger on it yet, but the with an end result so distracting I’m not so sure I’m gonna bother.

Motion Auto Show 2012

I watched a lot of people walk away from the car and give it backward glances. The NSX was truly a hard act to follow, but this Z33 gave it its best.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Forrest Wang’s S13.4 was painted quite possibly the most difficult shade of green to accurately capture .

Motion Auto Show 2012

I don’t know who Uncle Benny is, but I'd like to meet him and complement him on his taste in engines.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Speaking of F-series swaps, I was stupefied that somebody had fitted this F22C into a first gen Celica. How is there so much room in the engine bay? Why does the S2K need such a long hood then?

Motion Auto Show 2012

I actually saw this Bluebird first on bringatrailer.com and was very surprised to find it here at Motion. A variant of the Datsun Bluebird-U, the 1974 SSS-E (Super Sports Sedan) model was exclusive to Japan and this specific example was imported to the US in 2007.

Motion Auto Show 2012

The car is absolutely flawless and according to my research, outside of coilovers and wheels, is entirely stock with all the original parts included. Other touches included the chrome grill trim (which is reputedly impossible to find) and factory air-conditioning, a rare treat on Datsun’s of the time period.

Motion Auto Show 2012

One last sneak peek…

Motion Auto Show 2012

You never know what to expect with Ruckus owners. The mods their riders can dream up are nearly limitless and the finished product is almost always a sight to behold.

Motion Auto Show 2012

I’ve been to Alpinestars’ Ruck-Out and back, but wow. Forced induction Ruckus? I imagine lag isn’t a huge problem with a turbo of that size, but wow. Like I said, limitless.

Motion Auto Show 2012

While I’m not a regular on VIP forums, I’m starting to get impatient with the scene. Hopefully I’m missing something, but I want somebody to come along and just shake up everybody’s existing conventions and make some new waves.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Well well. What do we have here at the Autofashion booth…

Motion Auto Show 2012

Hakosuka! If I didn’t know better, I would presume “hakosuka” was just another phrase Japanese restaurant waiters/waitresses/chefs yell out at random intervals during your dining experience.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Perhaps the only Skyline I would ever consider putting in my driveway, this hako was definitely not running ‘70s power.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Turbocharger-focused Synapse Engineering brought out an older EVO 8 to play, showing off some of their Synchronic work

Motion Auto Show 2012

As always, Falken came out hard at Motion, displaying their FD FD alongside Justin Pawlak’s own FD on TE37s. I know the shot’s not as clear as it should be, but you can even see the Bisimoto 911 with its pants down in the background.

Motion Auto Show 2012

While I still refuse to really call it a “green”, the healthcare services teal and blue stripes are immediately recognizable and instantly unique and have become synonymous with Falken performance.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Falken may not know what a real green is, but HRE sure does.

Motion Auto Show 2012

Peeking inside Vaughn’s Mustang revealed a surprisingly simple cockpit bereft of the aircraft-esque displays associated with professional race cars. I guess when you’re going close to 70mph sideways into a corner, there’s not really that much time to check all your gauges.

Motion Auto Show 2012

I would love to hear about the design process for race/drift car liveries. Who decides who gets what and who gets to put what where? It can’t be something as simple as a contract so who makes the call?

Motion Auto Show 2012

As always, HPI Racing was in the house displaying their finest sheetmetal. I mean plastic. Loving that little intercooler touch on the Supra. Not digging the lights though. Not digging the lights…

Motion Auto Show 2012

The NOS EVO 9 was wearing the APR Performance Evil-R body kit to great effect.

Motion Auto Show 2012

I wasn’t too sure what was going on here, but NOS had also brought along what looked like a fighting games tournament. I saw a few flashes of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and what looked to be Soul Calibur 5, but disappointingly didn’t see any Super Smash.

Motion Auto Show 2012

We'll wrap up the first half of our MAS coverage with the Injen GTI wearing some oddly appropriate looking HRE 454s from their recently released Vintage Series. Taking styling cues from the wheels of Lamborghini’s past, the undecidedly Italian 454s worked surprisingly well on the little German hatch. 

Motion Auto Show 2012

Stay tuned for Part 2!



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