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Auto Biography :: My First Car Show at the Scion Car Culture Celebration

Auto Biography :: My First Car Show at the Scion Car Culture Celebration

I know this is gonna shock the weed socks off of you, but I’ve never been to a car show.  Many find this hard to believe, growing up in the ’90s, being of the Asian persuasion, and spending my career in street culture.  But I never cared much for cars; I’ve only seen the first Fast and Furious, my high school car was a firetruck red Ford F-150 pickup, and I’d be more than happy with that forever.  I figure, if it can get you from point A to point B, the car has pretty much served its purpose.  I own a DeLorean DMC-12, but that doesn’t make me a car guy, it just makes me a nerd.

Saturday afternoon, Scion invited me down to the Toyota campus to show off my car for a “Tastemakers” event, in celebration of their new iM and iA models.  Why? I figure while everyone else’s car is about hurting people’s feelings, mine is the only one that makes people smile.

Speaking of which, they designated me a spot right next to the priciest and flashiest new sportscar on the lot.

…apparently clocking in at almost half a million bucks.  The nice guy who owns it has a unique collection of cars, including a white Lamborghini Countach (my second favorite car). He does these ’80s-themed meetups with his car club, and the only ingredient they’re missing is a DeLorean.  I’m in!

To the right of me was this car, right off Battleship Galactica.

Someone at Scion (ahem..Malbon) thought it’d be a wise choice to have Sal Barbier interrogate the drivers.  Most of his questions towards me entailed hackneyed Back to the Future jokes and something about Armor All?  I hope it never airs anywhere…

Slick sails in fashionably late in this champagne Jetson mobile.

Apparently the only year that Chevy used these slant-eye taillights.  Since the graffiti artist is part Chinese, he found it fitting.

This guy’s spent $40,000 doing everything you could possibly imagine to a Smart, which seems anything but. Who am I to judge? I bought a time machine that doesn’t even work.

I feel like you need a Rollie Fingers moustache to drive one of these.

Imagine if your Uber driver showed up in this.

They almost look like Matchbox cars or Micro Machines (if you were around for those).

The cool part about this show was how diverse it was.  I dunno, maybe all car shows are like this, but there were lowriders and rice rockets,  tricked-out Scion milkcrates, and supercars.

I think this is an Acura NSX with the overfender treatment.  If so, the NSX is a Top 5 for me. If it’s not, then nevermind, I hate this car.

This is an NSX, I’m sure of it. Pretty sure.

Ben Baller in his self-titled Lamborghini Aventador:

Is it supposed to look like a lobster? Because all of a sudden, I feel like lobster.

This is what I mean when I say “self-titled.”  That’s a BB, not an RR.

Crooks & Castles is here. Everybody go home.

My favorite car of the day goes to BJ (Crooks)’s Testarossa.

In grade school, the most popular kid in my class used to get picked up in one of these by his hot lawyer mom with her bleached, Bridgette Nielsen crew cut and shoulder-pad powersuits.  Ever since, it’s represented everything stylish and glamorous of the ’80s.  This is a ’92 512 TR though.

Lollipop on the outside, butterscotch on the inside.

My next ex-wife…

So, Rob from Crooks ups the ante.  Remember his Ferrari that I last photographed at the Pac Sun Grand Prix?

Since then, he’s taken the Liberty Walk overfender treatment to it.

He’s literally chopped & screwed his Ferrari with the popular Japanese customization, courtesy of his friends at Liberty Walk.  As he was explaining it to me, this is a popular move in the scene with a deep history, but you rarely – if ever – see it done to a car like this.

The overfender customization alone costs more than most people’s cars.



This mint 1970 Toyota Crown is proudly designed, owned and showcased by an elderly Janet Fujimoto.

The most expensive car at the show was this 2000 GT, with a pricetag at a million-and-a-half dollars.

Toyota keeps one of everything they make in their car museum back there. They brought out a few to compete with the newbs.

Before “Toyota,” there was “Toyopet.”

And some more cars that I know nothing about.

I’ve gotta say, I never quite understood the appeal or interest in these car shows, but I get it now.  Each car has such a complex story, and there’s always a person behind it whose passion and love have taken them so far deep down a hole, that you can’t help but look inside.  The enthusiasm is infectious.  The appreciation is real.


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