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Wekfest Chicago 2017 (Part I)

May 9, 2017

Going out to Chicago has always led to amazing food adventures with a side of cars. This time around was nothing short of amazing, despite the unrelenting rain. Being our third annual visit to Chicago we have wised up and decided to fly instead of enduring the miles of driving. For images from last year, check it out here, here, here, here, and here.  Our friends in Chicago always know how to make their city our second home. If you have never traveled for a car show, I’d urge you to give it a try. You are bound to meet and hang out with some interesting people. The thing is that most people want their city to be as welcoming as it can be. Take for instance the first time the Chicago folks visited us in NYC. We always wanted to make the city we call home welcoming to other enthusiasts. We had a great time renewing friendships and forming new ones.


After work, Edwin and I flew out of NYC and once we landed we were scooped up by Pat (@happy_hooder) our gracious host and David (@ch3ckm3out) who was visiting from Indiana and showing his UCF20. You’ll see his ride later, we promise. The morning of roll in was super wet and it rained nonstop. Pat drove us in with the JDM Chicago crew who have been building a community of like-minded JDM enthusiasts for what it seems like forever.



Of course, the roll-in was much slower since the authorities required owners to dry their cars before entering the venue and gave a 1/8th of a tank maximum just a day prior. This was in no way reflective of the Wekfest staff, all of whom were gracious, courteous and patient.




Once these cars entered the venue we could already see some of our favorites. The styles in Chicago are so different from that of NYC and California. There weren’t so much VIP style cars nor were there cars with excessive camber. Grip fitment was the name of the game, whether the car was FF, MR or FR.



We will officially call him “Crazy Willy” for driving his Fairlady from NYC with R888’s, no hood and no wipers during monsoon condition storms. For the record, he was the first vendor to the venue. Peep his knobs here.


One of the cars that quickly caught our eyes was this Black Limited AE86. I wasn’t sure if it was a replica but it has a few bits that would prove otherwise. Either way, it looked great on the period correct SSR XR4 Longchamp.


This HCR32 had so much style. Whether on the track or on the street, the aero and parts selection reflect 90’s JDM drift culture with an updated look.



And in the blue corner…this other HCR32 D1 Street legal by one of the folks from Risky Devil rocks the original front hood, fitted Panasport G7, Ganadors and blue tints all around.




Most of my close friends know I’ve been looking for a clean S30 that I’d like to modify and keep. Finding one in that isn’t rusted out has proven to be a formidable task. Seeing how clean this S30 was really made me want to find something of my own. The paint was immaculate and had a modern flare. I would have loved to see Christine’s S30 side by side with this one.



The last car we are including in this Part 1 is Jay Jay’s super clean KP61 ’82 Starlet. While most people simply didn’t know the work that was put into this car, I was smitten at first site. It reminded me of the 80’s/ early 90’s style found in Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands. The list goes on and on but it was interesting to note that before Jay Jay began his project, the car was purchased from someone who used it to deliver pizza. Fast-forward to today, it shines in its Speedway blue from the modern TRD Tacoma.  Staying true to the Toyota roots, the KP61 sports a 4AGZE out of the first generation MR2 but instead of keeping the supercharged setup, he decided to out with a turbo setup. The TRD N2 widebody kit gives the little car some girth and the Starsharks give an updated look. The period correct Solex Hi-Tech locks give and added detail. Before all the electronic alarms and GPS homing devices, these locks prevent thieves from stealing your prized possessions. If you couldn’t tell, this was my favorite of the entire show. For detailed information check out this write-up by our friends from JDM Chicago.




We have plenty more for the second part, including a description about the Itasha AE86 designed by our very own Edwin.
Keep an eye out and check ya in a bit!

About Pravan
Prav comes from a background in academia and consistently pursues the development of a community both with his work in academia and his interest in all things motor. It is this community which he believes will help preserve automotive history and knowledge, priming a future generation of enthusiasts to expand and improvise on previous builds. Through his lens, he captures fleeting moments as car enthusiasts build, break and rebuild their creations as a means to preserve and express what the enthusiast originally intended. He finds his daily inspiration from the merging of cultures, mainly the transfer of street culture to the front stage of art, food and design. Consequently, nothing is more relevant to this merging than automotive builds meant for the street. You can find his daily life in images IG:@Pravzilla.
  • Danh T Phan

    Looks like a great start to the show coverage guys. The Black Limited hachiroku actually belongs to Thaison Nguyen from Austin, TX. It’s a real Black Limited from Japan.