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If you’ve spoke to either myself or Misa within the past 2-3 weeks, you’ll see the exuberance and excitement in our face the moment “How was Seattle?” is questioned. It literally excites me to talk about Seattle because it blew my expectations out of the water and it is truthfully one of those experiences I wish literally everyone could have had the opportunity to be apart of. It’s one of those magical areas that has the ability to inspire you to go just a little bit further with your own projects and restores a little of that lost faith you may have from seeing cars constantly plastered with whatever is trendy on Instaface, Grambook, and all the other social media outlets.
And for an area to give you that type of feeling, you’d have to think they are doing something totally unorthodox and outside the box, right? Wrong. It’s easy to think that, and I thought it too when I would hear people talk about the area. I thought “What possibly could they do differently that makes this area sound so mesmerizing and different from what is quite possibly the mecca of the import scene (Los Angeles)?”, yet realized that it isn’t that the PNW community is doing anything different, they are just taking it back to what it all originated from.
In California, we are sometimes suffocated by what is trendy. We have media outlets everywhere, shows nearly every weekend, parts manufacturers and distributors in every major city, and nearly everyone is connected to everyone on social media. Because of this, the scene seems to expand at such a rapid pace because there are so many people, places, and things contributing to the California car scene and allowing it to expand exponentially. And with that happening, the trends seem to follow suit and move just as fast. There is a huge “need” to be different, to have your car come out by a certain time, to be “the first” to say you did something, etc. Even if you’ve finished your dream build and dotted every t and crossed every i, California sometimes has a weird way of making people feel like their project is “incomplete” or needs change.
Before I ramble even further about what the California scene is, that last line is the beautiful equalizer that makes the PNW region the place it is. Up there, you build a car for satisfaction and know that once you’ve reached the vision you have in your mind, you leave it be. There is no urge to constantly change or be different, only to enjoy what you have and make the most of what you can. PNW cars (Hondas specifically) are built with a minimalistic approach that mimics what the scene was when forums were your sources of inspiration and also your textbook. The PNW has seemingly been an underdog and untapped market for years, and it’s great that they are finally getting the recognition they deserve. If you ever have the time or means to see what they have to offer up north, take it.
It isn’t to say that this type of stigma and mentality doesn’t exist in California, but it is much more prevalent up north. We found that out on our first day up north when we were lucky enough to catch some of the prep on some of the best Honda’s in the CenturyLink events center the following day. The guys of Endless Looks/CityStars/NoNameGang were so gracious as to allow us access to their pad for copious amounts of beer, cigarettes, and inspiration.
Tomas Burns and myself have been friends for years now, and for years has told me that I needed to come north. I always kinda brushed it off like “Yeah I am sure it is cool, but it can’t be the way he describes it”. But Tomas was absolutely right, and we realized that within an hour of his invitation to his home for the prep work. Tomas is one that isn’t afraid to drive and makes SoCal a yearly trip, whether by plane or by car so it was nice to return the favor and come up north for a change.
Tomas has had his EG Civic under the knife for about a year now, if not longer, and I feel like the months leading up to this was nothing but a gigantic push to get this car done. Tomas would keep me posted about it weekly, but he always made it seem like it just wasn’t gonna happen. Tomas had a couple errors with paint during the transformation from Captiva Blue to CR-V color code Green Tea Metallic, and because he is such a perfectionist, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to showcase the car with the flaws in the paint. But within the last week or two leading up to Wekfest, he made that final push and the Civic Si was ready for the lights under the CenturyLink Convention Center.
William Potts was another guy who was on the verge of finishing a project but just wasn’t sure if he’d make it. Even the day of the prep, Will was still cutting and buffing the whole car and doubting if he would make it. Will’s 96 Spec Integra Type R was finished in time though, and we could just tell by his demeanor that this meant a lot more to him than just having a nice car. To Will, it was about finishing that journey you embarked on 3+ years ago and finally seeing the fruits of your labor come to fruition.
Brian “Butters” McAvoy was the third of the trio prepping for the big show the following day, and his H Swapped EG looked absolutely amazing. You’ll notice that like Tomas’ EG, Butters is rocking the full line of BYS equipment in the aero department. EG6 goods scattered throughout like the mirrors, the parking pole, and the stickers that lay beneath the moldings, these are items that you just don’t see as often as you once did. Brian’s car was also painted within the past year, making all 3 cars you see from this prep session rocking a brand new coat of paint.
To show you how locked into prep these guys were, we endlessly tried to get Tomas to drink with us and were consistently met with “I gotta finish my car, but we can do that afterward”. For Tomas and the guys, this was more than just having a good time bullshitting with the guys. This was a chance to give any fans of modified cars a chance to see just how the PNW does it and to put them on the map. For an area that is fairly devoid of big meets and shows, you could tell these guys were determined to truly show the best of the best and let everyone know that they are a force to be reckoned with. With that said, we let the guys handle what they needed to so we could go eat the assembly line style burgers at Dicks Drive In, drink plentiful amounts of Ranier Beer, and call it a night.
Upon waking up, we were all a mess. Hungover, sleepless, and zombified to say the least. We decided to grab breakfast before the event, which is apparently a 2-3 hour task in downtown Seattle on A Sunday morning . Sure, we could have went to Denny’s, but you have to max out on how hip you can be while you’re in an area that is foreign to you. After some amazing Eggs Benedict from Glo’s Café, we were ready to help one another smoke cigarettes, potentially fight one another, chug a beer before the day truly began, and view some of the badass rides that Seattle had to offer.
Upon entering the building, the of the first cars we gravitated towards was Daniel Haggerty’s beautiful Spa Yellow S2k. Looking absolutely beautiful on Work RSZ-R’s, the odd yet perfect choice of wheels is fitted with some meaty rubber to make the CR look subtle yet mean. Under the hood was a mildly tucked bay that housed a nice turbo setup.
Marcus Di Sabella of HeelToe Automotive made the long 20+ hour drive to Seattle to help with brand recognition and to showcase his badass 1G CR-X project. Housing an incredibly rare Brown Top ZC Motor with an easy to miss turbo setup, Marcus has a few more kinks with this car before it is fully operable. It’s been amazing to see this thing come together though, and we can’t wait to see the complete project!
Terry Suvonnarith aka Spriggan brought out his legendary Integra build to display it at The Chronicles booth and it is one of those cars we are happy to have had the chance to see in the flesh. So happy, in fact, that we don’t have a full photo of the car. Spriggans car showcases one of the best Integra builds in the PNW (and maybe ever, anywhere) and is outlined by the well plumbed B18C engine bay, the Feels front lip that you will likely never see ever again on any other car, and the 17” CE28N setup that looks perfect with a StopTech trophy brake kit housed behind them.
Bill Master’s EP3 build is one of those that is in the upper echelon of Honda builds in the PNW, and because of this, it took the best Honda of the festival on the day. Bill took a chassis that was never widely loved and adored by the USDM market and truly made it possibly the best EP3 build out there. Rocking a plethora of Mugen goods, from hood, trunk, post-facelift front lip, and even a full Mugen roll cage. It takes people like Bill to truly showcase just how far you can go with a chassis like the EP3.
And who would have thought that an equally as awesome EP3 would be found within walking distance with Mel Diego’s pre facelift EP3. Mel’s EP3 featured just a little bit more Mugen that day than Bill’s, but by no means are either of them Mugen catalogue cars. Both builders pride themselves on using the components that are best for them, as opposed to only utilizing the offerings from one select brand. Mel’s EP had all the same goods as Bills car, but one major addition that most would overlook is the dry carbon radiator duct in the front bumper. This Mugen piece costs 2 kidney’s and a lung if you can even find one, but it adds a great amount of beauty and aggression to the EP front.
The man who had the most to showcase at Wekfest Seattle was definitely Huy Huang who brought out all 3 of his projects for the Wekfest show. The first project on display was his nicely styled, K-swapped EK. Take note of the simplistic aero with things items like a Spoon Hood, First Molding Lip, Sergeant rear diffuser, and Seeker rear wing providing an aggressive EK that still retains all stock body lines.
The second project on display was Huy’s white DC5 project that he actually utilizes as a daily if you can believe that. Fully mugen kitted with a nice little stash of parts throughout, we can only imagine how nice it must feel to daily a car that is just as nice as all your other projects. And when the project you apply the least attention to is as nice as many of the project cars that you’d see at any other event, you’re definitely doing something right.
The crowned jewel of Huy’s collection though is his DC5 build dubbed “redrum”. This car graced the cover of Super Street last year and with one look it’s easy to see why. The full Mugen kit with a Varis wing fitted to the trunk, fully custom metal widebody, full weld in roll cage, and a full built motor with a beastly turbo setup are just a few of the highlights on the DC5. Easily one of the best cars in the building that day and easily one of the best builds the PNW has to offer, which could precisely be why it was dubbed import of the festival. Congrats Huy!
Jackie Law’s S2000 was another car we were super excited to check out as it is one of those S2000 builds that has been there for as long as we can remember. Jackie is a Canadian native and made the 5 hour trek to Seattle in what could be described as one of the more interesting journeys to the show. Jackie lives on an island in Canada and has to take a 2 hour ferry to get to the mainland. After this, it’s another 3 hours to get to Seattle. Almost makes me wish we could have a ferry or something to autopilot for us on the long trek to some events haha.
Jackie’s S2000 featured some cement grey TE37s that looked awesome against the dark grey metallic paint. Accompanied by various Voltex goods such as a Race front bumper, sideskirts, and S2000 specific diffuser, Jackie’s car retains stock fenders which is a huge deal for the S2000 chassis since it is so often you see them with widened, aftermarket fenders. One of our favorites on the day, truly an awesome ride.
Jeremiah Styles DB2 is another awesome gem from the PNW area. Out of Salem, Oregon, Jeremiah brings this extremely mint example of an almost complete Mugen catalogue DA9. From the rear bumper cover to the side skirts and wing, the aero on the 2nd gen Integra is absolutely stunning. Complemented by a set of Mugen M7s and more Mugen goods under the hood, this one was a car that truly left me in awe. I couldn’t help but look at this thing and smile because it is always nice to see people take the time to build an amazing DA integra.
Franky Chan of Private Runners is someone I’ve followed for quite sometime and have never been let down by his total willingness to drive his car whenever possible. It’s pretty amazing how clean Franky keeps this thing for driving it as often as he does. Franky used to have a DA himself but switched over the EG platform a couple years and seems to be enjoying it. J’s front lip, AutoPower Rollbar, and Mag Blue TE37s give the car a real simple yet aggressive look.
Gonna cut this one a little short, but we still have plenty of shots. We will revisit Seattle again sometime within the next week for some more show photos, roll out, and an awesome aftermeet at Alki Beach. Stay tuned!