Words: Aron Norris | Photography: Kasuga Sora
Wekfest Japan, May 2017, location: 〒 - Port Messe, Nagoya, Japan
The Wekfest Brand.
In automotive circles, Wekfest has become a force to be reckoned with in recent years. Established in 2008 from an underground garage in Japantown San Francisco, Wekfest now host some of the best modified car events on the planet, producing events in eight cities across the US and one in Japan. Nine years in, these guys are still serious about car shows.
Wekfest describe their events as a “showcase exhibition of individuals and businesses from the aftermarket automotive industry” and few can ignore the influence of Wekfest in recent years, especially given the quality of cars they have become known to attract at their events. All exhibitors are carefully “screened” in order to promote a “higher standard”, which might piss off some people, but ultimately keeps cars at the highest level, and of course, for those who didn't make the cut, there’s always next year.
With the Japanese tuning scene is in a constant state of flux, events like Wekfest provide the platform for the rest of the world to keep an eye on what’s coming out of Japan next.
We sent our Japanese photographer Kasuga Sora along to Wekfest at Port Messe, Nagoya, Japan to check out this year’s talent. Wekfest Japan, we salute you, its always nice to see something new.
The number of high end cars on the receiving end of some “personal touches” is growing and growing, not least in Japan. Ferrari is clearly no longer the preserve of the rich collectors - times are changing.
In Japan, there is a new wave of car collector coming up fast. The young and wealthy are taking risks and bringing new ideas to expensive exotics. They don’t care for sentiment, if they want to do it, they do it. Form over function, no f*cks given. We love that.
In fact, two very famous modified Ferrari’s were shown at this year’s Wekfest Japan. Kazuki Ohashi’s 1989 Testarossa and Ginpei Yamaguchi’s 1991 348tb were here and causing a stir. Of course, being liberal car enthusiasts, we all love a slammed Ferrari don’t we?
Being a Japanese event, naturally, there were many domestic market cars on display. Plenty of Nissans, Hondas, Toyotas, Mitsubishis and Mazdas as you might expect, all modified in typically Japanese fettle. Wekfest Japan is for pristine show-and-shine entries only, this definitely isn't the event for used and abused Kanjo racers.
Even the “simple and effective” builds were far from just that with wire-tucked engine bays, smoothed bodywork and custom light clusters. Sometimes those details demand a second look to fully appreciate and Wekfest served up plenty of cars in that category. When they said the standards were going to be high, they really meant it.
Overfenders/wide arches and performance parts were still very much in focus at this year’s Wekfest at Port Messe. We especially love the Renown liveried RX7. Who didn’t grow up dreaming of being a racing driver, after all?
In the European Corner.
In addition to all of the typical Japanese metal, there were plenty of European cars on show. It seems quite fashionable at the moment in Japan to modify old German cars. It could be argued that Japan has breathed new life into old Golfs, with the growth of tuners like Euromagic Voomeran, specialising in mk2 VW Golf turning parts. Cars that were starting to look the same have been given a new lease of life.
We were pleased to see so many classic VWs at Wekest, as well as a good number of tuned modern VWs and German marques dotted around the show. Wekfest represented all types at one event, and as you can see, the standard was high…