SoCal Scene: 2012 Import Showcase by Import Fashion

Import Fashion G35

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.

This being Import Showcase, there were definitely models with real curves. Like this silver Z33 with Ver. 3 of the Veilside kit made infamous by Tokyo Drift. Just jokes. Model Jackie Treadwell was the real center of attention. You wouldn't believe how many people I had to squeeze past to get a clear shot.

Veilside Nissan 350Z

Moving down the line, I came across a gorgeously white VIP IS. Even with an interior stacked with Junction Produce goods, I was immediately taken by the neo-chrome Endless brake calipers. Do WANT.

Lexus ISF

Check the window reflection for what I stumbled onto next. 

Lexus IS250 Junction Produce

Oh yes my friends. It is indeed time for an NSXXX-y party! Mike’s NSX was shot to the ground and sat pretty tight against a set of white concave Volk TE37’s. I could not get enough of it.

Honda NSX Volk TE37

With Senna contributing to the handling dynamics and suspension tuning, even at 22 years old, the NSX still has unbelievable presence. While Honda’s finest often graces the online pages of automotive blogs and magazines, there’s no substitute for seeing one in person. No substitute. 

Honda NSX Volk TE37

Honda NSX TE37

Wasn't terribly sure of what to make of this license plate.

Lexus CT200H

For a second, it was like the 1990’s again as I stumbled from the NSX to John’s yellow FD loaded with parts from small nobodies like FEED and RE-Amemiya. Grapefruit shooter for sure.

Mazda RX7 Feed RE-Amemiya

I flat-out love rotaries. I even did an engineering project for a class on the rotary engine and was extremely serious about picking up a project FD for the longest time. I love the 13B’s against-the-grain attitude, the way it “braps” at idle, the buttery power delivery. Although I hate the fuel economy…

Mazda RX7 Feed RE-Amemiya

Mazda RX7 Feed RE-Amemiya

Very. Very clever.

Mazda RX7 Feed RE-Amemiya

Surprises surprises. Next to the FD, was a car I had never seen or even heard of before. A Subaru Vivio RX-R. This would require research. A quick trip to Wikipedia later, I was armed to the teeth with Subaru kei car knowledge. Named after its engine displacement of 660cc (Vi, Vi, O in Roman numerals), the twin-cam, supercharged RX-R was one to have for speed nuts like us.

Subaru Vivio RXR

Talking to the owner, most of the car’s parts had been sourced from Japan through a friend. No surprises there. It was an absolute delight to experience kei car packaging up close and personal.

Subaru Vivio RXR 02

Check that out! Period-correct Bride seats!

Subaru Vivio RXR 03

Stationed next to the Vivio were two Si’s. This one was outfitted with the beautifully crafted PW:JDM dry carbon Powerchamber and littered with Spoon Type One stickers. Type One is Spoon CEO and founder Ichishima-san’s vision of the ultimate Spoon Sports dealer, infinitely knowledgeable about Type-R’s and coaxing as much power from Honda engines as possible.

Honda Civic Si Spoon Password JDM 01

Honda Civic Si Spoon Password JDM 02

This Honda owner was adamant that I approve of his Si. The sticker didn’t leave me any choice. 

Honda Civic Si Spoon Password JDM 03

A first generation Honda CR-V on some BBS mesh? That’s something new. Not too shabby.

Honda CRV BBS 01

Somebody get Fujiwara Tofu Shop on the phone! Easily one of the cleanest 4AG’s I’ve seen in a very long time.

Toyota AE86 Hachiroku 4AG

The same hachiroku was running on a meaty little set of Kumhos stretched over a set of Work Meister CR01s. Well done indeed and officially one of my new favorite wheels.

Toyota AE86 Hachiroku Work

With Import Fashion’s connections, VIP had a strong presence at Import Showcase. However, apart from the standard slew of big-bodied Lexus’ and Infinitis, there was one humble Toyota that caught my eye.

Lexus Toyota VIP 01

A Previa at a car show in VIP guise? You learn something new every day. Quite possibly Toyota’s real “swagga wagon”, the Previa had a midship engine layout running power to all four wheels – while still capable of carrying up to eight wild-eyed passengers. Most commonly seen humbly going about its parental duties, it was fantastic to see a Previa freed from its chains and that is what I love about this community.

Import Showcase Trophies 01

Some day man. Some day. Now about the weather… Was it cold out? I’m not sure, but Ela Pasion was smoking up camera lenses across the show. 

Ela Pasion 01

You’d think automotive bloggers/photographers had never seen a girl take off her clothes before. Wherever the models went, the herd followed. Serious case of swarm mentality.

Ela Pasion 02

This sticker gets my full respect. It’s so easy for so many builds to get out of hand, for labored efforts of blood, sweat and tears to become trailer queens. It’s so easy to forget why we put these machines together in the first place – because they are fun. A car that can’t be driven on the streets is not fun. A car that can’t be enjoyed every day is not fun. Driving should incite joy.

Nissan 350Z 01

That sh*t kray?

Infiniti G35 02

Just another bunch of Datsun’s. Nobody take any notice, especially of those two red ones at the end. No biggie. 

Nissan 350Z GTR 01

Nissan GTR 02

Easily one of the most recognized badges in the tuning scene. Even those unfamiliar to the brand, to the lineage, can see those three simple characters “GT-R” and understand that it means business. On my walk out, I kept my eyes peeled in the parking lot. Gems are always scattered around at shows like these and I was not disappointed.

Scion XB 01

This was one of the few cars at Showcase that could’ve benefited from a bigger exhaust… Love the boso touches and influence on the single pipe and then there’s Toyota’s hybrid blue logo and the original bB emblem. When styles collide – good things happen! I’ll cap off our coverage with a parting shot of Team Nuisance and their EVO X, FC, S2K and Si. Doin it right.

Team Nuisance 01

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