Ahh sunny Southern California; a land of sand, surf, and straight up dimes that plays home to celebrities, barbie dolls, and the ever popular beach bum. What describes our little slice of paradise better than a day at the beach with great people, good vibes, and amazing cars? Last year our friends at team Praxis had the genius idea to collaborate with the city of Huntington Beach to put on a ground breaking car show just mere inches from the warm sand of one of California’s most famous beaches. This year was their second endeavor at such a project, and once again it turned out a fantastic crowd and the hottest rides the West Coast has to offer.
Roll in for the show started as early as 6:00am which for us Californians is about okay as eating a bag full of soggy dog shit for breakfast. However despite the morning gloom and ominous clouds overhead cars rolled in droves from all corners of our great state. Some spectators even came as early as 10:00am to get a head start on the soon-to-be massive admission line for the general public to roll in at 1:00pm. The parking lot usually used largely for tourism and general beach parking was flooded in a sea of droning exhausts, spooling turbos, and buckling fenders as teams and solo-riders began staging their cars for the days events.
For a self-proclaimed beach bum such as myself this event presented the perfect opportunity to turn up with my good friends from Lowered Expectations for a long day of intense detailing and inappropriate gesturing at random models passing by. If you don’t already know how we do it, rest assured your missing out. Our 8 cars were grouped in the B-Class with a roll in time of 7:45. Following our prompt arrival at 8:30 we began setting up our cars and planning the quickest routes to the nearest booze-ires (if thats a word). If you’ve spent all day at a car show before you should already know that after a few hours you can only look at so much of the same thing sober before you decide to say fuck it and either waste your money and leave early or take a pointless nap in your car. If you, like us, are a border-line alcoholic then you should have already had a dozen ideas in your head about ways to create mischief (a.k.a fun for you and your boys); if you are among the few belonging to the latter decision, you should probably come party with us at the next local show.
In addition to the usual collection of goons we usually drag to shows we were lucky enough to have our three new prospects turn out to show with us. Jake Owens (of Ruined fame), Carlos with his internet-famous 300ZX, and our homie Luis (a.k.a Jonah Hill) and his flossy white E36 M3 are among the few we were lucky enough to have join the team recently. Getting the team all together in one spot at one time gave us a great chance to build chemistry and dig up new inside jokes to make each other cry ourselves to sleep at night. It also didn’t hurt that our lineup looked like a a bag of melted Skittles on a hot Summer day (aka dope as fuck). We are super proud to have these guys running with us and we hope to see big things from them in the future!
Shameless car club plugs aside, if you go to shows often you know it’s always awesome to run into old friends as well as establish new friendships with like minded enthusiasts. For me it’s always cool to run into cars I’ve shot previously to see how their builds are progressing. One such dude was my boy Cung Pham of Limitless Society and his Shrek-green Infiniti G35. From what we’ve heard down the grapevine a few rolling shots I snapped way back when of his car have been setting Tumblr a blaze in the few days before the show… Too bad neither of us have a Tumblr to enjoy the wide-spread popularity.
I also ran into my boy Randy Sarmiento from team EuroProjektz with his absolutely stunning B7 Audi A4 Quattro complimented by a set of flossing bronze HRE C100 wheels. After what seemed like an endless amount of nagging over the last few months Randy was finally able to impress (or blow his way) into a 3rd Place trophy for Best European Car later on in the day. Whatever the case I’m super proud of him. Maybe now he can do less whining and more winning. In all fairness though this is a stunning (and equally under-appreciated) build that really deserves more credit than it gets. Ya’ll better recognize.
While were on the subject of friends we got to drive by this Genesis on the way to the event. I actually have no fucking clue who this guy is. We aren’t friends, but I’d like us to be (all homo). I have been seeing this gorgeous VIP style Genesis on polished 3-piece Rotiform BLQs all over the web lately and I have been dying for my chance to shoot this car. I would be insanely delighted to have an opportunity to grab some rollers of this bad boy.
Speaking of jaw-dropping rides… Have you guys SEEN this FR-S?! I mean holy shit! Now I’ll admit, I am a little sick of the FR-S/BR-Z scene. That shit is as dry for me as watching a bunch of GTIs argue over who the better drifter is. Fanboy-ism aside my boy Robert Kochis’ FR-S is probably the only one I can look at without wanting to bash my head in over the sheer mediocrity. This thing though? Straight up left me in a neck brace. It may not be a clutch burning, tire smoking demon of the tarmac but this simple FR-S sitting on a fresh set of CCW LM5Ts is just what the doctor ordered. Bravo sir, bravo.
Parked across from us was the heart melting and slightly trouser stiffening display rolled out by new start-up wheel company Avant Garde Wheels. I must say, what a display indeed. My boy Omid representing Grounded Crew with his Nissan 240SX Kouki-Edition was among the few selected to represent the company at the event. This car had people LITERALLY tripping over themselves trying to grab photos on their iPhones. Not bad for a kid fresh out of high-school. Strike that, I’m a college grad. and still can’t turn out anything that dope.
Parked beside my boy Omid at the Avant Garde display was this black 350Z from Low N Slow crew. Allegedly this street sweeper is running a 14″ wide wheel in the rear. 14 inches?! Are you kidding me dude?! Homeboy must REALLY not like spacers. I mean the flare on those fenders is just mind-boggling. Then again, Low N Slow is legendary for turning out some of the most ridiculous cars you can imagine, this bad bitch is NO exception.
Now this car made me a little sad. Actually, scratch that. This car just about made me jizz my skivvies on the spot. What made me sad was the lack of attention this dope E39 5-Series wagon got. I mean, yeah sure, it’s not “hellaflush” or whatever; but this car, for me at least represents what cars are all about. This car has attitude. It has a personality. It’s completely unique even being as simply built as it is. Cars like this are what deserve to take home the gold. Not the stock hot-hatchback with over-priced wheels and cheap suspension that anybody could build. More people need to build their cars like this guy. Fuck the hype, build to your own standards, not the standards of those stupid kids you meet at your local car meets & talk to on dead-end blogs.
I was also fortunate enough to stop and catch up with Mr. No-Its-Not-Paint himself; Mike Vo of MVWraps. If you haven’t checked out my homeboy’s work you are totally missing out. This guy didn’t invent the vinyl wrap game but he definitely went Steve Jobs in that bitch. Mike has fiercely asserted a reputation for himself rather quickly for being one of the best creative minds around as well as one of the coolest and most approachable dudes around. Don’t let the scary neck tats fool you. This dude is the bees knees and so his dope hand-built Lexus GS350.
Those of you who either know me personally, or have been long time readers of the blog know that I love to snap random derp-tastic photos of my friends at meets and shows and spam them all over the internet to see. This weekend was no exception as I caught our new member, and my good homie Jake Owens slipping with this herpa-derp expression on his face. Looks like Jake’s slammed & cammed Pontiac GTO wasn’t the only goat roaming around AutoGallery! Welcome to the team bro, get used to it!
Later on in the day I decided to just put the camera away and enjoy the fantastic beach breeze. The sun came out a few hours after the show picked up and once we walked to BJs Brewhouse and got a few beers into us the rest of the day was filled with nothing but good times and lasting memories. Unfortunately I missed this event last year, but after my experience this past weekend you can bet your bottom dollar my boys from Lowered Expectations and I will be at every AutoGallery for the next however many years Tommy and the boys from Praxis decide to host it.
- Words by Aleksey Royt
- Photos by Aleksey Royt