You’ll hear a lot of words when it comes to describing Toyota and their respective sub-divisions Lexus and Scion. Reliable. Comfortable. Beige. Durable. Fuel-efficient. Quiet. Dull. Beige. Rarely do you hear words like awesome, powerful, exciting, or even fast. However, the people who spout the former are either haters or uninformed. As one of the premier automotive powers in the world, Toyota is the equivalent of one Dr. Bruce Banner. Calm and unassuming until it [Toyota] feels the need for speed, Toyota has demonstrated time and time again that when it wants to, it can and will, make machines that’ll tear your face off. The annual Toyotafest held in Long Beach, organized and held by the Toyota Owner’s and Restorer’s Club (or T.O.R.C.), is a celebration of those machines and then some.
As a longtime fan of the brand, I owe a lot to Toyota from where I am today. It was a Toyota that chauffeured my family and I around for the majority of my childhood and teenage years. It was a blazing orange Toyota that got me into the car scene into the first place. And today, by my hard-earned choice, it is a Toyota that zips me through and around the mean streets of SoCal, one traffic jam at a time. Needless to say, I was pumped for this year’s Toyotafest and wouldn’t attend it like the clueless spanner I was last year (forgetting to charge my camera). Commence the coverage.
College kids refer to it as the “the start of the weekend”. You probably know it better as Thursday night. Often overshadowed by the likes of Friday and Saturday, Thursday nights are often wasted in vain and not enjoyed to their fullest extent. That philosophy shall be no more. It is now my firm opinion that Thursday nights are heavily underrated. Especially when there are things like Night Import’s "Collaboration" Meet going down.
I was unable to attend NI’s first meet, so I made sure I could come out for owner William Lee’s second gathering. Titled “Collaboration” to encourage all cars of all styles and philosophies to get together, the meet served as a representation of all the hard work Mr. Lee has put into Night Import to get it to where it is today. Proper respect. Now let’s see what Collaboration was all about…
There’s a strange sense of familiarity about attending a car show. It’s almost like putting on a set of well-worn shoes or shaking hands with an old friend. For us car guys and girls, there’s something just so right about being at a proper car show. Every car show/meet has its own level of scale from the smallest impromptu parking lot gatherings to the likes of SEMA and TAS.
There’s an optimal range of how big a car show should be before it becomes an all out siege upon the senses and Import Showcase happened to tick all the right boxes. Walking into K1 Speed @ Torrance, the first thing on display was Gina (Import Fashion's showcase vehicle and owner Alvin's pride and joy). Pretty in pink, she had all the right kinds of curves, the kind that made even married men double back to sneak another glance. Too bad she’s taken. Alvin you lucky man.