Photo credit goes to Misael Munguia of Nemos Garage
All photos can be downloaded at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskWR1ayF
It is a tell tale sign that “Show season” is in full effect when Wekfest Long Beach rolls around as it is right at the beginning of summer and regarded as one of the first major shows on the calendar. To most, Wekfest Long Beach is considered to be one of the crown jewels of the Southern California import communities car shows, as it brings out the best of the best from all realms of the car scene. There are no free passes to get into Wekfest either, and it isn’t a free for all where everyone with a willingness to buy a ticket is admitted. It takes hardwork and a true vision to get into the event, and because of that, just getting into Wekfest is an accomplishment for many (and for good reason). Many build their cars specifically with this event in mind, just because if you can showcase your project here, you are likely able to showcase it anywhere.
We are constantly trying to attend the full line up of Wekfest events, just because no matter what state you may find yourself in, you’re always going to see the best of what the area has to offer. And not only that, going to this event in each and every different region showcases just how vast and diverse the scene is as a whole. Go to Wekfest New York? You’ll see that everyone is hell bent on hitting each aspect of performance and everything is built for speed. Find yourself in Houston? You’ll see that the smallest details are what make the biggest difference. But find yourself in Long Beach and you’ll see what could possibly be the best of what is truly out there in the import scene. Most of the heavy hitters in attendance have checked off each and every area of what it truly takes to have a full build, and that is what makes it so special. That may sound a bit biased, and it possibly is, but there is truly nothing like Wekfest Long Beach and we are spoiled to be able to witness the event yearly.
The Nemos Garage FA5 all staged and ready for its official "show" debut at WFLB
For us, it is one of our goals to constantly have something new and exciting to showcase for Wekfest each and every year, and this year was no different. For 2017, we took a 2011 Civic Si, a car that is at the cusp of turning into a classic in the same right as the DC Integra or an EG/EK Civic, and transformed it into a time attack capable yet stylish and well executed machine. Being that these cars are getting a bit older and a little easier on the wallet to obtain, we feel that this chassis is going to be a platform that becomes what the Honda’s of old are. A car that you'll start seeing more complete builds of in the coming years and that will truly show that the new generation of Civic has just as much style and flair as those of old. Slowly but surely, this platform is turning into a classic.
Before we begin breaking it down, this entire project could not have been made possible without the following and we truly appreciate the long nights and big effort they made to button this one up. Ken Suen and his team at LMR Development for their awesome fabrication skills and consistent flow of great ideas. Frankie Torres and his crew at Premier Autobody for the flawless paint and body work they provided. ESM Race for the full spherical kit the car features. Ken and Jon at Ken’s Race Engines, as well as James at Ghostwerks for providing a masterful rebuild on the motor and transmission. KoyoRad and Hasport for their support throughout the process and willingness to work with us on this one. David at Hybrid Racing and his whole crew for providing a whole arsenal of 8th Gen Civic goods to make this car perform it’s absolute best. Jorge Ramirez of Jorgie Built for all the patience that it took to properly plumb this car. And last but not least, Loi Hua and his whole crew at Loi Spec Garage for putting in the long long hours to get this thing operable and ready for this year.
Shot in the early hours of the morning before being loaded onto a trailer and properly detailed, the exterior is masterfully provided by a near complete Feels Honda Twin Cam catalogue
For exterior styling, we chose to go with Feels Honda Twin Cam components throughout. Front bumper, rear diffuser, side skirt add on, fenders, hood, and fender flares all bear the Feels Honda Twin Cam namesake and show the true aggressive lines that this 4 door can pack. Of course, to run this kit, Japanese front and rear end had to be utilized. And due to this, OEM FD2 headlights and an 09+ FD2 Rear end was fitted to the car to make. And this goes without saying, but no aggressive rear end is complete without a wing from Voltex Japan. Our FA5 features a Voltex Type 7 wing, providing 1600mm of width and a center mounting point for a bit of a different look.
By far the easiest pieces to miss on this car though are the roof and the mirrors, which were super custom jobs and changed the entire look and feel of the car. This car started as an original Si model, meaning it came with a sunroof from factory. But being that this is going to be a time attack car in the future, weight savings were crucial. This resulted in the need for a roof skin off of a Civic Hybrid of the same year. The guys at Norm Reeves Honda were able to help us get this one and the dudes at LMR Development welded it on perfectly.
The front quarter glass was deleted in favor of a carbon fiber plate that could mount a set of MRacing Type 1 RR mirrors with ease. This allowed us to shave the OEM mirror off the door and offer a much more aggressive look.
The mirrors are also another detail that may go overlooked, as they are normally mounted on the door and are fairly bulky. Frankie Torres of Premier AutoBody was able to fill the door to perfection, allowing us to remove the small quarter glass that sits in front of the doors and fit a carbon plate in instead. This plate allowed for easy and stylish mounting of a set of MRacing Type A mirrors to streamline the side of the car and further add an aggressive tone to the exterior.
For wheels, tires, and braking components, only the best components could be utilized. We started with a foundation of Volk Racing ZE40s in Diamond Dark Gunmetal and wrapped them in a set of grippy Bridgestone RE71R’s.You’ll notice a common theme if you look closely enough in that many details like the Valve Cover and full roll cage are color matched to the wheels, making them an integral part of the car. One look inside the wheel well and you’ll see a massive Project Mu 4 Piston brake kit, originally made for FD2 but modified to work with USDM Civic (Type R knuckles are different in size, leaving their braking and suspension components unable to work on their USDM counterpart without modification). The 355mm rotor is massive and when accompanied with the 4 POT BBK, the setup allows for a much needed increase in stopping power
Bride Japan bucket seats, LMR Development 6 Point Roll Bar, Hybrid Racing 8th Gen Shifter kit, Checkerd Sports floor plates, and few other pieces sit inside a near barren interior.
The interior (As well as the whole car) was sprayed by Frankie Torres and his crew over at Premier Autobody. They did an absolute masterful job on the timetable they had to work with and we are more than pleased with the finish. Frankie first sprayed the LMR Development cage the same shade of Diamond Dark Gunmetal as the ZE40s. Afterward, he went back and coated the rest of the interior in Formula Red. The rest of the interior is tied together with a set of Checkerd Sports floor plates, Willans Clubman harnesses, Carbon Backed Bride Japan Zeta III, Custom wrapped interior (Door cards and center console), and other small details that the naked eye may miss.
No extreme shave, but a fairly extreme tuck on the engine bay. Anything vital was left behind, and anything unimportant was removed for clealiness and weight savings
And with all that said, we reach the engine bay. If you own an 8th Gen Civic, you know that tucking or relocating anything is this engine bay is a daunting and gruesome task. There is so little room to work with, and nothing is simply removable. For example, Ken Suen of LMR Development let us in on a little tip that ABS is not removable on this car. Sure you can take it off, but because this car is more electronic than mechanical, the ECU will know you’ve removed the unit and govern speed from there on out. To combat this, Jorge Ramirez of Jorgie Built was called upon to relocate the ABS module under the dashboard and run all the hardlines for the setup.
The next issue with tucking an engine bay on this platform is the ECU and Fusebox. While the fusebox is a given, most cars already feature an ECU mounted inside the car. For this, Richewerks was contracted to make a harness that allowed us to extend these pieces into the car to further clean the engine bay up. He delivered with a full milspec harness built to the specification we needed and it truly transform the engine bay.
But the true heros of the engine bay were the dudes at KoyoRad, Hasport Mounts, and Hybrid Racing who came in clutch with the components we needed to get this project rolling. Hybrid Racing threw their full catalogue of 8th Gen Civic parts at the car, including a custom fuel rail that proudly showcases our shop logo. Koyorad came through with a full radiator and oil cooler setup that will help this car keep temps down on track. And Hasport provided a full mount kit for the Civic, ensuring the motor is secure and stationary at all times.
Further cleaned up by a full DownStar hardware kit, swirl pot and overflow tanks done by Rob of Tractuff, and endless fittings supplied by the guys at G&J Aircraft, the engine bay truly looks masterful. It may have taken a ton of work to get to this point, and many may still feel it is such a small bay that hides so much, but we feel this truly shows the potential that is under the hood of the 8th gen Civic for a nice and clean tucked setup.
We could talk about this car til we are blue in the face, but of course, there were other cars present for Wekfest Long Beach. One of the cars we were extremely happy to bring with us at our booth was the BB6 Prelude of sponsored driver Jeremy Allgier.
Prelude builders aren't as prevalent as other builders, but those who take the time to build this chassis have a true dedication and love for it that is incomparable to most
Jeremy is one of the few dedicated dudes who truly believes in the Prelude chassis, and he knows all about passion due to that alone. Knowing there are few options for the car out there to begin with, Jeremy got craft with the build and integrated components from other cars onto his own.
Abbey Road Company makes absolutely nothing for the Prelude, but that didn't stop Jeremy from getting crafty and making it work
It’s no secret what brand Jeremy has the most affection for, and his large collection of ARC goods may or may not give that away. ARC spark plug cover, header shield, over flow tank, and so much more that have all been custom modified to fit Jeremy’s Prelude. The rest of the bay is complimented by a rare Jackson Racing SuperCharger for H22, as well as tons of titanium hardware throughout. Jeremy's full car was sprayed by Jorgie Built last year and made it's debut at The Chronicles Year 8 event. Since then, it has been one of the true builds to look out for this year.
Nothin' like a set of OG TE37's. Notice the Kaminari side skirts, which are likely one of very few options for the sides on this car
You may have noticed in the previous photo, Jeremy was rocking a set of Chrome plated Advan RG-II’s. But because he couldn’t make up his mind. Jeremy decided to take one side on the Advan RG-II’s and one side on classic TE37s in white.
No matter if the event as far as Florida or as close as California, Mike is always willing to take this thing wherever there is a group of enthusiasts who share the same love.
Mike Schietroma and his now infamous RCG EM1 were out at the event from Arizona. Mike’s car is well decorated and needs absolutely no introduction, and because of this, he received one of the best seats in the house. Right on the water next to the best views, the car looks more photogenic just due to this alone. Mike continues to rack up the hardware with his Civic and took home Best Honda of the Festival. Congrats Mike!
All gold everything on Tommy Nguyen's "StormtrooperDC5"
Anthony Gonzalez of Encore Automotive in Indio, CA brought out Tommy Nguyen’s gold decorated Acura RSX. This build has been many years coming, and it is always awesome to see the joy both Tommy and Anthony have when talking about the build. The real focal point here is the engine bay, which is themed around two things: Gold and titanium. Overall, another outstanding build from the guys at Encore Automotive.
Type R Front end with Mugen Lip and Grill on these 8th Gen Civics. One of the most instantly recognizable (and expensive, haha) JDM conversions out there.
Anthony Reynoso’s beautiful Mugen themed, CTR inspired 8th gen civic parked next to Kelvin Ceron's equally clean, white Mugen themed 8th gen. As we said earlier, these cars truly are starting to become more prevalent out there, and guys like Kelvin and Anthony are leading the pack to provide inspiration for those who want to take one on. These cars headlined a row that was seemingly multiple Mugen catalogues from different generations
Mugen, Mugen everywhere.
Parked next to the 8th Civics were the fillipino group of Mugen freaks that dub themselves the “Mugen Manyak’s”. Mark Moonoz 3rd Gen Civic was first in the line up, rocking a Doobie/Purple Speed front lip, a mint set of Mugen CF-48 wheels with Aero Disc, Mugen S1 Buckets, and more. Mark's dedication for a car that has literally nothing out there is awesome and it is amazing to watch him build something truly period correct. Next to him was Alex Alfaro’s beautiful 97 Spec R that wound up taking best Acura of the festival. Mugen Half Lip, S1 Bucket seats, and more make the ITR one of the best examples of a Mugen DC2 out there. And rounding out the trio was sponsored driver Fred Antonio, who took 2nd place best Acura with his Mugen catalogue RSX. Complete Mugen kit sitting on the recently recreated MF10's made by Rays for King Motorsports
The dust at Wekfest Long Beach isn't always forgiving, but it is a tell tale sign that you were apart of the event and can be taken home as a trophy so nobody leaves empty handed!
Robert of West Collectives simple NA1 NSX on another set of the recently re-released Mugen MF10’s. This setup is staggered in perfect NSX spec with 17x9 rear and 16x8 front. You’ll see the blue on Roberts car doesn’t shine as much as usual due to the heavy amount of dust from the Wekfest grass which is one of the very few drawbacks of the event. Still looks amazing!
Simplicity always makes a bold statement, but not everyone in this generation always keeps that in mind. Thankfully, there are people like Hector who abide by the rule of simplicity.
Hector Levario’s Voltex themed S2000 also made it out, showcasing a very simple yet still mean look on the AP2. Voltex diffuser, Type 2 wing, and Race front bumper compliment the car nicely with a set of custom spec TE37s tying it all together.
Rob's Spoon EG is always a crowd pleaser whenever it is out and about. You name the Spoon item and I guarantee you Rob has it on the car or has plans to have it on the car
Sponsored driver Robert Perez and his Spoon themed EG Civic need no introduction at all as his car has been a staple of the Honda community in So Cal for many years. Rob stopped bringing it out due to a couple personal issues he had with the car, but it’s nice to see him bringing it out again. There are very few items on this car that are not Spoon Sports, but this photo alone shows just how much of a Spoon nut Rob is. Rob took home the Best Civic award, which is a tough honor considering the abundance of clean Civics present at the event that day.
Nobody should build for the hardware, but a little recognition is never a bad thing.
With the day nearing a close, award time brought a couple pieces of hardware to the cars we showcased at our booth. Jeremy Allgiers Prelude took 2nd best Honda and our FA5 Civic taking 3rd. We were shocked that our Civic took anything, because in reality, we feel it is not quite 100% yet. We can't wait for it to be 100% by San Jose, though.
Barry's passion for the EP3 chassis is near equal to Jeremy Allgiers love for the Prelude. We need more people who see the potential in these oft forgotten chassis.
We caught Stay Classick creator and EP3 fanatic Barry Ancheta on his way out of the event. Barry helped organize parking and helped keep the event under control all day, but he still managed to bring his Phoenix Yellow EP3 out to showcase it. Nothing too over the top, but the Mugen front end pieces and CTR bits scattered throughout compose a really awesome build.
Nothing beats retaining stock body lines and simplicity
With the day coming to a close, that means that it was time for all the infamous photos by the water. Kelvin Ceron's aforementioned Mugen/CTR themed 8th gen sure was eye candy out on the water. As I have said probably multiple times throughout this post, simplicity is often forgotten but the builders who can utilize it and utilize it properly are honestly the ones who make the most timeless projects.
Often thought of as a crew, Hasback is a brand headed by Son that is dedicated to the love and appreciation of Honda modification. Son's EK leads a fleet of well done builds that are all about doing things the right way
Creator of Hasback brand, Son’s EK is also one of those cars that is just an instantly recognized staple of the SoCal Honda community. Son always has a new set up or is consistently mixing and matching what he does have to create different looks and always awesome setups. He showed up to WekFest rocking a front end consisting of a First Molding hood and Backyard Special bumper, with further aero provided by Vision Type DC Mirrors and a Zeal/Endless Rear Spoiler. The wheel wells were complimented by rare yet blingy Crimson Linea Sport Super Spokes.
Making it to Wekfest is so important that sometimes you just gotta suck it up and bring your project non running. We should know as we have done it too haha
Long time customer Tan Tran finally was able to debut his EK Hatch after it being down for a couple years. Right hand drive converted and K-Swapped, Tan’s car unfortunately had a wiring short somewhere that he couldn’t trace before the event so he unfortunately had to bring it non running. We were happy to help Tan with most of the K-Swap and aero goods on his ride, and we are excited to see the car operable and running at 100%
Never a bad photo out on the waterfront and easily where the best photos of the event are created
Son, Rob, and Tan taking some photos at sunset with the beautiful scenery of Long Beach as the backdrop. Always one of the quintessential parts of leaving Wekfest LB is trying to capture that one photo of your car right before the sun goes down.
It's near impossible to build an S2000 the wrong way since there are so many options that just look so well mixed and matched together
Can’t identify the owner of this S2000 but everything about it was executed nicely. Voltex Street front bumper, J’s Racing Type V hood, and an OEM S2000 CR wing give the car more of a street style than an over the top aggressive look.
Packing up the FA5 after a long day to bring it back to the shop and prepare it for San Jose. Always an enjoyable and amazing event that the Wekfest staff put on, we are truly grateful for such an awesome platform to showcase our builds and view everything else the scene has to offer. We eagerly anticipate San Jose in a couple weeks, and hope to catch you at the event! We will be there with a full booth so make sure to stop by