First post on PRIME! First I’d like to thank everyone for their support so far. We spent a good amount of time prepping the site prior to our road trip to the great city of Chicago. The response has been amazing so far, thank you. Our 12 hour journey to the mid west began in Times Square. After 11 hours and skillful driving, we arrived to Chicago on Friday morning, exhausted, yet full of energy and ready to explore. There were a few must do items on our schedule, the first stop: Touge Factory.
I’ve always wondered what the actual location of Touge Factory was like. Seeing the quality of their website, artwork, photography and customer/project cars, I imagined a space that matched their reputation, and that’s exactly what we found. Pulling up to the address, I saw a familiar car parked outside, Darren’s newly updated Itasha drift S14. After spending a couple weeks coming up with the new design, this was the first time I saw it in person. Darren has always trusted me to come up with the anime wild style of his cars, glad he likes the new look. Hope people are digging this one. I didn’t know this prior to arriving but the S14 was going to be displayed at Touge Factory’s booth at Wekfest, awesome. After a few greetings with our East Coast homies and some snaps outside, it was time to take a look inside…
The showroom was a lot larger than what I had anticipated. Aside from the product display set ups, there were a number of offices, a design space and a lounge full of JDM entertainment. I particularly liked the photos mounted on the walls of past feature cars they’ve built. While walking through the space, Chinzo gave me a great suggestion, stream this on Facebook (Try not to get dizzy, sorry!).
After a while, more of our East Coast friends arrived. Ting’s FJ piloted by Joe, Sean’s S2K and Curry’s MX5.
After some much needed road trip stories, hometown hero Pat showed up to guide us all to Portillo’s. I’ve been wanting to go back here since we were in town for Offset Kings a couple years ago. We were all starving so no photos of our food, you’ll just have to go experience it yourself!
Then it was back to Touge Factory for some relaxing car talk and meeting up with our Four Star Society friends. This sick drift Miata and R32 were parked up outside when we arrived. Something tells me they went to Final Bout. We couldn’t help but snap a few photos of these since we don’t have many equivalents of this style in NYC.
Red on Red!
This clean Voltex S2000 also happened to stop by.
Later on a few more of our Chicago friends arrived. Allen with his Rocketbunny X TRD FRS made a nice entrance. I’ve never seen this car without graphics on it. It won’t be this way for long though. Soon we’ll see it rocking another Itasha design I put together for my fellow Otaku. As it stands though, the car is looking great. Love the Espirit wing addition.
Gene and Christine in their new daily. Nice LS! Been itching to get one of these myself.
Ray’s compressor with a custom One Punch Man wrap he put together. Saitama would be proud.
While catching up with friends inside, Pravan sent over a text that read “Come outside. Varis STi.” Of course I rushed outside since thanks to the internet, I had already known this car was prowling the streets of Chicago. What a build. This could fit perfectly in a booth at Tokyo Auto Salon.
Soon it was time to head out for eats. We helped (watched) Darren spend another eternity putting his car on the trailer, then all headed out to Gino’s to meet the Wekfest folks for some deep dish. Table for 40 please!
Big thank you to the good people at Touge Factory for having us. The shop location itself far exceeded expectations. Whether grip or drift spec, Touge Factory is a toy store for the any enthusiast. The hospitality of the staff is what stood out the most to me. Hanging out for almost an entire day with the crew and the Chicago locals in this environment was a great memory for our first day in town. We’ll definitely be back!
All photos by Prav.