We woke up around 9:30 or so on Saturday- thankfully, my roll-in time for the show wasn’t until noon, since I wasn’t with a specific “crew.” I thought the late roll in was a good thing, until I looked at the radar when I woke up. A pretty gnarly thunderstorm proceeded to roll through downtown Chicago at 10:30 for about an hour or so. Naturally, my car was parked outside, so it got pretty trashed. Thankfully there wasn’t any hail or anything, though.
The drive from my brother’s apartment to McCormick was interesting to say the least. We left at 11:30, giving us a half hour to drive 5 miles- plenty of time, right? Apparently not, lol. All of the side street entrances to Lake Shore Drive were closed because of an Air Show that was going on. We basically had to negotiate our way through the middle of town for a while in gridlocked traffic until we found an open route to Lake Shore. Jordan pulled up Google Maps on his phone, and every single street was red, lol. Brutal. Top it off with the fact that it was raining the whole time and every window in the car was fogging up, so we kept smoking the frame rails on pot holes and stuff that we couldn’t see.
At this point I was thinking we weren’t going to make it to the show, but somehow we managed to get there at about 12:10. We got all checked in and negotiated through the tunnel/ramp up to where the show was taking place. The tunnel was super dark and completely flooded, so we drove through about 5″ of water to get up there. I honestly have no idea how some of those cars got into the show- it was nuts.
It was really nice having Jordan with me, since the car was completely trashed when we got there. They were still working out staging, so the staff had us chill off to the side while they moved some cars. We busted out the cleaning supplies and managed to make the car look pretty decent considering the drive in. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring a spray gun or paint, so the car still had its usual flaws, lol. After about 20 minutes, the staff came over and told me they were starting a new row with my car-zing! Awesome news. I coulsn’t have been happier with the spot they gave me. I know it wasn’t based on my car or anything, but it was a welcome coincidence.
Danh from Mayday Garage stopped by and gave me a couple of their stickers- he told me they were big fans of the car, which was an awesome compliment! They have randomly posted a couple pictured of my car on their FB page in the past, including one of Kyle and I’s cars at Import Alliance about a week ago, so that’s always really cool to see. I appreciate the compliments and the stickers, guys!
Once the car was all situated, Jordan and I walked around the show to check out all of the cars before the show opened to the public. It seemed like a pretty good array of cars- I was impressed overall with the turnout and the cars they chose. Granted, it is the Midwest, so there will always be some things that feel like they don’t really fit the theme of the show- but that’s to be expected. I took some snaps of a few cars that I thought were nice:
I had the pleasure of meeting Josh, Phil, and Chob from Risky Devil- all of them were super cool dudes with some really nice cars. I had never seen any of those cars in person before, so it was a pretty cool experience. These guys may get a lot of hate sometimes on the internetz, but they are some classy gents.
Touge Factory brought out this 6666 Customs/ Rocket Bunny coupe that was pretty crazy. Fizz Autosports had their S15 out as well- not used to seeing cars like this out here. I thought both of them were sweet!
My friend Dan from Michigan brought out his immaculate all-NISMO fitted R34 as well. Always nice to see this car in person- the attention to detail is insane. I was sort of bummed that he didn’t head home with an award, but I know this car gets its fair share of attention:
Surprisingly, I ended up going home with the 3rd place Stance Award presented by HellaFlush, which was quite an honor. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if some people were annoyed about that, but it was still cool. I’ve never really felt like my car was “HellaFlush Approved,” so I was really shocked. But really cool either way and I appreciated the recognition from the judges! Means a lot coming from the Cali dudes.
So yeah, my overall impression of the show was positive. I started to get a little worn out/bored around 5 PM, but I think it’s mostly just because my brother went home and Kyle/Toby weren’t able to make it out to the show. One thing I’ll never understand about these shows is the model chicks and the way dudes freak out about them. I mean I guess I understand why models are there and that it is a part of the car culture and whatnot, but some guys are just skeezers. I saw this one dude wildly snapping pictures of a model chick’s butt while standing right next to his wife, look at the shot on his camera screen, and then let out a nerdy Napoleon Dynamite- esque, “YESSSS!” I guess I’ll just never understand it. I mean, if that’s what you’re into that’s cool I guess, it’s just different being a married dude with a beautiful wife at home (not to toot my own horn or anything, but it still blows my mind, lol.) I did what I could to avoid the model chicks like the plague throughout the day.
My only other gripe with the show was people whining. I found that a large majority of the Michigan people that came out had nothing but negative things to say about the show when they got home- whether it was the quality of cars, the money/time they spent, or whether or not they won an award. Honestly, I had no idea this was even a judged event until they announced it at the show. I understand that some people are all about the show scene and trophy collections, but I guess it just isn’t about that for me. I enjoy going out to events, talking to people about the car, and just meeting people and seeing their cars in general. The whole community thing is what I like- show results are just someone’s opinion anyway. As for the quality of cars not being there, I’m sorry- but if you don’t like it, build something better and enter the show. I would bet that a lot of the people complaining didn’t even apply. You’ve gotta pay to play!
OK, yeah- I hate to rant like that, but I wanted to put that stuff out there because I thought it was important to address. But yeah- I tip my hat to Wekfest and all of the WekSos crew, Fatlace, and Hellaflush for a great event! I am thrilled to hear that these guys want to come back next year. I’ll for sure be out there again as long as they’ll have me!
The rest of my mediocre shots can be seen here.
Saturday night after the show was really chill- had some dinner with Stevie and Jordan, played some PS3, and got some sleep. I left for home the next morning around 10:30 Chicago time because I had to get home to pick the dog up from the kennel. While sitting in traffic on 94, I got to watch some of the air show planes fly through the Chicago skyline along the waterfront, which was pretty awesome.
The weather was perfect for cruising and traffic was great once I got out of the city. That’s what it’s really all about for me- cruising and using the car that you have spent so much time and money on. This was an awesome trip and I hope to take the 240 to Chicago again really soon- I’ll be cruising down to Normal/Bloomington, Illinois in October for Broadfield’s Nissan BBQ, so that will be my next road trip!