Event Coverage | SevenStock 14 - "Long Live the Rotary"

October 30, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

Sevenstock 14-21
SevenStock is probably the most anticipated event of the year in Southern California for Rotary fans and owners. I clearly remember as if it was yesterday attending SevenStock last year, running and walking around every single aisle like a little kid, trying to take a photo of every single car that attended. It was during the time period when I didn't know jack about cars, especially rotaries, except knowing the fact that Rx-7s were the shit! Well...that's what I heard, so ever since then, my interest in Rx-7 FDs was growing and as of now, it's my favorite car. Yea~ I know I know~ Rotaries are difficult to manage and not really cost efficient when a problem occurs, but I really don't care! It's like falling in love with someone and willing to do anything it takes to keep her v(^-^)v If I do get one in the near future, I'll definitely make a separate savings account just for the car :D
Anyways, back to SevenStock, the event location for this year was different than last year. Last year's event was at Mazda HQ in Irvine, CA where Cars and Coffee is held every Saturday. I'm not sure if this was the first time, but for this year, it was held at Fairplex, Pomona, CA. Now a few things changed, such as admission fees for people who wanted to show their ride and general + parking fees for spectators. Considering all these 'economic' changes, I was a bit worried with the amount of showcase cars and spectators because last year's free event was totally off the hook. Arriving with our editor Edgar Lozoya at the event around 12pm and taking a quick glimpse of the area, the showcase lot was smaller, amount of cars participating was smaller, and the quality of cars went downhill big time compared to SevenStock 13. I was sort of disappointed, but seeing one well-done FD was good enough, such as the one shown above owned by Ryan from R-Ryde. Let's get to the coverage, so that you guys can enjoy some rotaries!

Random Nightlight | Monstrous 3

October 26, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

Bulletproof Meet-60
The deep throttle roar you hear from miles away turns your head unintentionally. No matter what you are doing, the sound of what hears like a F1 car becomes an instant attraction and if this happens at a meet, it won't be only you but others as well turning heads. Few weeks ago at Bulletproof's 11th Anniversary Meet, it was this M3 Sedan E90 LCI that amazed everyone because of its pleasing exterior look and exotic sound from the Meisterschaft exhaust by GT Haus. There are much more things to share, so read and see along.

Special Coverage | CarsxHype x AutoRND meet

Night-Import: Photography by Andy Nguyen | Words by William Lee & Andy Nguyen

Few weeks ago, our photographer Andy Nguyen attended a meet hosted by both CarsxHype and AutoRND. I don't even remember when this meet happened, but I know a few friends of mine work for CarsxHype and they've been very active in the scene. It's good to see two sites collaborating to organize a meet because it shows how these guys do what they do out of passion rather than fame or greed. Thumbs up!
Via Andy,
The first ever CarsxHype meet and greet at none other than AutoRND. Big shout out to the guys at CxH for throwing a great event with a great turnout! Also for letting me borrow a camera for event!

Event Coverage | Sideway Sundays (Oct. 23)

October 24, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

Sideway Sundays-2
I'm having that feeling again while writing this coverage...dammit...and I say to myself, "Already a year?" I remember the days talking with the staffs of Sideway Sundays before the event was officially launched. There were a lot of things to discuss and few misunderstandings, but overall, I was satisfied and I'm sure it was the same for every company out there that contributed to this monthly event. To be honest with you guys, I was very disappointed with how this event started. Only those who knew about this event during early 2011 know what I'm talking about. The first Sideway Sundays was planned to be free for everyone except drifting participants, but what really screwed things up was the unpredictable weather. What should have been 'Rain or Shine' was cancelled because of a predicted rain weather forecast and everyone who planned to attend were either pissed or disappointed because on the day of the event, it was sunny! From then on, things went downhill. The actual first event was greeted by a thunderstorm, next event was way too hot, and it's been continuing on like that till yesterday. I'm not saying it’s someone’s fault and because a few staffs of my blog and I were a part of this event, there is really no one to blame. I'm just not satisfied with the overall turnout since the first event and hoped it was going to get better, but my expectations were not fulfilled. I tried my best and so did the others, so I guess this is how we conclude Sideway Sundays for this year. Don't worry if you didn't attend any of the events because it will continue on next year.
Anyways, let's get to the coverage on yesterday's final Sideway Sundays of 2011.

Nightlight | Lucky 32

October 23, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

Robert's Do-Luck R32 Skyline
The story starts last month when I visited Irwindale Speedway to attend Dubfest 2011. While walking around doing coverage like every week, I came across a Midnight Purple car that looked pretty familiar from far away. As expected, it was this Skyline R32, but not your ordinary stock ones like you rarely see on the streets. Sadly, the car was parked so tightly between booths I didn't have a chance to look at the details. With disappointment, while heading back to my car to avoid the sunny and hot weather, I hear the MC saying a R32 was being raffled out, which struck me instantly with an outrageous expression. I'm pretty sure what I heard was true, so coming home and writing up the coverage, I mentioned what I heard and the conversation happens online with the owner of this beautiful Do-Luck Skyline R32, Robert Elias, from Los Angeles, CA. What sounded so good to be true was actually correct. I'm sure the MC was mistaken with another car or I had some potential hearing disability, but from then on, Robert and I have been talking actively online about his car and the untold story. Today, not will this R32 only amaze you with its looks, but also the history that has led this car to fame starting from Japan and now soon to be in the US.

Event Coverage | Race Day Car Show

October 19, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

Race Day-35
After an awesome time at Lexus The Pursuit III with my boys Low N Slow, I went straight to another event that luckily wasn't too far from where I lived. A good friend of mine, Norman, was hosting his own event for the first time and I had to attend to support while doing coverage. Most of you guys who only show won't understand how much time and effort is needed in order to create an event. It might sound easy, but the cost, location, people you need to talk to, notifying the police department, etc., takes a long time. It's definitely worth it if an event has a good turnout, but not knowing what will happen really gives a huge amount of pressure. I really can't compare such situations to mine when I hosted a meet at JIC Magic few months ago, but even that was a PITA to manage. Either way, I gotta give mad props to Norman for hosting an event at a Go Kart Racing place (Racing Edge Karting) in Burbank. Thumbs up buddy!

Event Coverage | The Pursuit III by Longo Lexus

October 18, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

The Pursuit III-114
Last Sunday was pretty hectic. I had to jump by a few places back and forth, do some quick errands, and then finally had some time to cover events. There were two major ones happening on the same day and time, but like always, I managed to take care of both v(^-^)v.
Most of the major ones that go on annually are definitely a must-to-attend and listed on my smartphone because no one has a clue on what cars will show up. This is true because when I attended Bulletproof's 11th Anniversary meet, I found out the Carbon Fiber NSX made its first appearance to the public. To some of you guys, it might not mean anything, but to a blogger who goes to events and meets almost every week and see the same cars more than twice, it's a pretty big deal and a moment not to forget. The Pursuit was one of those events I didn’t want to miss because of having an awesome time last year, but not having enough time to thoroughly look at the cars. This event is the largest Lexus based event here in SoCal, opening the drag strip for competition along with a car show, both held at Irwindale Speedway, CA, so missing such an event is a no no! The Pursuit III was somewhat the same as The Pursuit II, so I arrived at around 12pm, covered the event for about a good 3 hours, and headed toward Race Day Car Show in Burbank. That coverage will be up hopefully by tomorrow, but today, enjoy the beautiful Lexus and other make/models.

Special Coverage | Bulletproof's 11th Anniversary Car Meet

October 16, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

Bulletproof Meet-49
Managing my own personal blog for a year now led me to so many situations and through those situations, accomplishing goals within this scene. It might sound awkward to some of you guys when I say the word goal, but seeing so many different events occurring in a community, there are things you really want to see a change, such as improvements in certain fields of the automotive industry or giving some spotlight to those who deserve it. My intentions were straightforward when I created Night Import and so far, I have to say I've been doing a pretty darn good job. Naw, I don't think I'm being cocky at all because I still have a long way to go and lack the knowledge in many parts of this field, but looking through how I spent my past year in the car scene, there were times when I said to myself "Wow..serious?" because of feeling honored or just thrilled.

Few months ago when Bulletproof Automotive contacted me to be the main Media for their upcoming meet, I felt as if what I've been working for came to a point where it was all worth it.
Bulletproof is known for being a distributor of Japan aftermarket parts, but also for their blog, Real JDM. Unlike other companies, keeping things authentic is what this company is all about and if you read through their blog, you'll either see/read about their project cars or thoughts about the automotive industry, which is not doing so well today. You'll rarely come across blogs that talk about sensitive subjects and speak the truth, which is why I personally consider Bulletproof as one of the best companies and blogs out there today. Their 11th Anniversary meet held at K1 Speed in Torrance, CA yesterday was a day for those who followed Bulletproof for a long time or recent fans like me, knowing what was good and being supportive with originality . Although there weren't a crazy amount of cars like local night meets, this meet was more of quality than quantity.

Special Coverage | 1013mm's Burfday Car Meet

October 14, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

1013mm Bday-130
Yesterday was a day to remember. Not only because it was a birthday party + car meet for a good friend of mine, John Zhang aka 1013mm, but also because it was one of the biggest meets I've ever been to with so many quality cars in attendance.
Well to talk about how this meet started, John wasn't even planning on doing a meet yesterday, which was his birthday. He did plan on doing a meet, but was unsure of when until I brought up the subject of doing it on the day of his birthday. Why not? Right? It's a win win situation; enjoy a day with cars and friends. Now we were thinking about two places; Guppy House Plaza where John hosted his first meet or Seasons Plaza where AutoCon held their event last year. We did want good lighting because of coverage purposes and that Tokyo Drift style meet, so Seasons Plaza underground parking structure was a go. From then on, John worked things out really quickly and made things possible. It was hot as hell and the car meet made it even hotter because of all the support and cars that came to congratulate John.

Random Nightlight | White on White BNR34 V-Spec N1

October 12, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

FD Final-201
Going to car shows are filled with unexpected surprises, such as coming across cars you've never seen before. You guys have seen two Random Nightlight features so far, Jon Sibal's Dodge Challenger and Import Fashion's G35, from last week's event, and this one I'm about to feature will be the last and personally my favorite one from all the cars that were present at Slammed Society Showcase hosted by Fatlace.

In the states, it's not like Japan where you walk for a good mile or so at a busy location and come across a highly modified or rare vehicle. Probably the only way for this to happen is to visit a shop that specializes in Imports or even better, go to a major car show. Last week was that day when I was in awe seeing some beautiful cars and the one that caught my attention after walking each row was this rare Skyline BNR34 built by NISMO Omori Factory presented by Fuji Auto.

Random Nightlight | RWB Inspired Dodge Challenger

October 11, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

FD Final-29
Before truly understanding and loving the automotive scene, there were a few blogs and sites I was a fan of, checking almost every morning with a cup of coffee, and one blog I stacked my knowledge in cars was from a graphic designer and car render artist, Jon Sibal. I personally do not know Jon, but have been keeping myself updated with his new designs and contribution to the automotive community. One car I do remember seeing in person was the tC designed by Jon, taking 2nd place during Scion tC Tuner Challenge at SEMA 2010. Today, I want to feature a car Jon has been working on before I got into the scene, which is his 09 Dodge Challenger that was present at last week's Formula D Round 7 - Title Fight. This car has a history of taking 1st place at various contests and still being modified with a new look surprising Domestic and even non-Domestic car fans. My blog rarely features Domestic cars, but Jon Sibal's Dodge Challenger just became a turning point.

Event Coverage | Formula Drift Round 7 - Title Fight (Pt. II)

October 10, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

FD Final-180
Drifting is such an awesome automotive sport people tend to look down upon. I should say it was popular back in the days when drifters from D1GP Japan came down to the states, but it seems like the popularity is growing back slowly, especially after hearing so many people attending Seattle's Formula D event, which eventually sold out. I didn't even imagine Saturday's event was going to have the biggest crowd out of all the FD events held at Irwindale. The main event, Top 16, started at 8pm and that's when the stands were usually filled with spectators, but it was already packed at around 5pm when the Top 32 was competing. Today, I'm going to share the rest of Fatlace's Slammed Society Showcase and a few drifting shots I took from the VIP stands. Our photographer, Jay Ebue, was in the track taking shots, so those photos/coverage will be shared within this week.

Random Nightlight | Import Fashion like a G

October 9, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

Alvin's G35 6
Only those who know Alvin, owner of Import Fashion, knew about the transformation his G35 was going through. Actually, let me take that back; even those who knew Alvin had no idea what kind of a makeover was planned for his car. I've personally known Alvin for about less than year now and seen his car only once before it went to the shop. He was also my photography buddy at SEMA 2010 and that's even when his car was stored in the garage. But all of those who were active back in the days when HIN was booming knew about Alvin's ride because of its looks and uniqueness.
Finally, the long awaited G35 is born again with an even sexier, catchier, and stylish look that no other car can even dare to imitate. Here is Import Fashion's baby, Gina.

Event Coverage | Formula Drift Round 7 - Title Fight (Pt. I)

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

FD Final-3
I had a kick ass time at Irwindale on Friday during Formula D practice and qualifying rounds and was expecting much more on Saturday. As expected, let's just say out of all the Formula D events I've been to, yesterday's final round were THE BEST! The competition amongst the drifters were so intense and the amount of spectators overcrowding Irwindale Speedway couldn't get any bigger. Matter of fact, yesterday's event had the biggest crowd ever from all the previous final rounds held at Irwindale Speedway. You'll be seeing some crowd photos throughout this coverage, so sit tight and enjoy my story from how it started till the end.

Well first off, I was planned to show my ride in Fatlace's Car Show section with 1013mm, but because of some sudden plans I had to attend, that was cancelled and I decided to apply for Scion D-VIP, which is only for those who own Scions and once accepted, have access to certain places at the event and  a separate parking lot. Luckily, I got chosen from the 50 who got in, so things went pretty smoothly.

Event Coverage | Hellaflush Japan (Pt.II) / Drift @ Mobara Race Circuit

October 8, 2011

Night-Import: Photography by Zee-Zayas | Words by William Lee

HF,Mobara Race Circuit-33
Zee-Zayas sent me some new and better photos from Japan's Hellaflush event that happened few weeks ago at Fuji Speedway. Seeing a few coverage's going around the net on this event, it makes me want to use all the money I have just to go to Japan and have fun! At first, I thought it was about the cars, which actually is the main reason why I want to go, but their style, culture, food, etc. seems to fit perfectly with my lifestyle. Who knows? I might head down there next year and go to random places with Zee and a few friends to do live coverage for you guys (^-^)v.
This coverage isn't so new from our last one, but there are some new cars and other things to share, so gogogo!

Event Coverage | Formula Drift Round 7 - Title Fight (Practice/Qualifying)

October 7, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

Formula D Practice-21
It's finally here back to Southern California! Formula Drift Round 1 @ Long Beach, CA was such an amazing event and many were anticipated to see professional drifters ripping the tracks and flying tire rubbers throughout the stadium once again. I luckily got accepted as Scion d-VIP for Round 7, which allows access to certain parts of the event, but I sort of regret not applying for media this year because I had a kick ass time last year covering the last rounds of Formula D. It's not about walking around and seeing classier models or cars in the Speedway, but the intensity you feel when getting on track and shooting drift cars that pass right by your face! Wait...not really...but the cars do really come close to you. Anyways, it's pretty difficult for me to cover both the car show and drifting on the day of the event, which is why I have photographers working for my blog. Jay Ebue will be sharing his amazing drift photos tomorrow, so stay tuned for that part.

Well few weeks ago, I had already planned on attending the practice and qualifying rounds, but what made that choice optional became sort of mandatory in a good way because I had to shoot for drifter Nikolay Constantino and his team NK Racing. I was a bit late to the event because of dam traffic, but what made it worse was Nikolay's S13 shutting down because of engine failure. I'll be talking more about it throughout this coverage, so LEGO!

Event Coverage | Hellaflush Japan at Fuji Speedway (Pt. I)

October 6, 2011

Night-Import: Photography by Zee-Zayas | Words by William Lee

Hellaflush Japan-29
The highly anticipated event we were waiting for coverage on is finally being shared with the help of our photographer Zee-Zayas in Japan. Hellaflush is a very well-known event here in the United States and for the first time ever, Fatlace decided to go worldwide, organizing and hosting one in Japan @ Fuji Speedway. 
Without any doubt, I can say this particular style all started from Japan and inspired many around the world. I'm one of those guys who started with the Hellaflush scene and appreciated every single part of it. Personally, it wasn't just a style, but art. Many of you hellaflush haters just hate the fact that this style was not meant for a car to be functional, but that is totally absurd and false because it's only a part of it that applies to such a statement. I can write about this for days and I'll still be unsatisfied because of all this hate that's going around, but because this post is a coverage and Zee-Zayas and I want to show you guys how the Japanese do it, let's get on with the photos. Zee transferred these photos from his Ipad, so the quality might not be so good, but I want to thank him for traveling and covering this event for my blog.

Nightlight | 1 Step Higher

October 4, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

John Zhang's 1 series feature cover
There are many misconceptions in the automotive scene and one that I come across pretty often is how a group of enthusiasts think automotive photographers don't drive nice cars. We probably see these professionals driving their Vans or SUVs to accommodate the load of camera equipment's they have, but there are a few who take a step higher. I'm talking about photographers who manage two expensive hobbies; photography and cars. I don't consider myself yet as a photographer, but I'm one of those guys who love taking photos and to modify my car, which is actually intractable because both require a lot of money and dedication, but today, I want to introduce someone who's beyond the level of many photographers, owning a ride that many of you guys might have not seen, but know him for his photography. As much as his photos are highly respected around the world, his car doesn't fall behind. A freelance professional photographer and also a contributing photographer for the well-known automotive site Canibeat, here is John Zhang's, aka 1013MM, 135i BMW.

Event Coverage | Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (Frankfurt Auto Show) 2011

October 3, 2011

Night-Import: Photography by Kaoru Shoji | Words by William Lee

I'm very glad that even though my site is a personal blog, there are photographers who are willing to contribute and to share what they cover or feature for you guys to enjoy. Our two new family members from Japan have been giving us some great content and today, our photographer Kaoru Shoji in Japan brought us an unexpected coverage from Germany. Kaoru-san travels pretty often to various countries and taking this into consideration, he took a visit to one of the world's largest automotive car show called IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung) or aka Frankfurt Motor Show.
As much as its fame upholds in the history of automotive, the 64th show introduced 2012 cars and concepts that will be in production pretty soon. More than 900,000 visitors attended last year's event and every manufacturer in the automotive industry introduced vehicles with the latest technology.
This year's Frankfurt Motor Show was like no other, having more than 1,000 exhibitors from all around the world.

Special Coverage | Eagle Rock Plaza 2nd Car Meet

October 1, 2011

Night-Import: Photography and Words by William Lee

Eagle Rock-48
Yesterday night will be one of those memorable moments of my time being in the automotive scene exploring car meets because of going through 6+ bumps in Eagle Rock plaza that literally ripped off my front lip because of being too low and having to come out of my car every time I went over one because my bumper fell off, but also because I attended a car meet held at a permitted lot!
This was my first time attending this meet after hearing others the 1st one was epic, so I didn't know what to expect. O yea, just a heads up, from now on my coverage on events or meets will have a title on the cover photo. I usually just post a photo that goes along with the whole event/meet, but seems like some of you guys liked/wanted a title on it, so look forward to seeing poor title fonts (^_^)v.