Meanwhile, In Long Beach: The Infamous

In the sport of baseball the term “doubleheader” refers two games played consecutively by the same teams on the same day. In the sport of Speedhunting a doubleheader is anytime you shoot two separate events, or cars, at two separate locations in the same day. Saturday would be one of what will only be plenty more in a long line of Speedhunting doubleheaders as I spent the day bearing the sun and heat to cover both Nisei and Infamous. They said it couldn’t be done. They were wrong.

Doubleheaders in all senses are mentally fatiguing and physically exhausting, the difference being that I had no relief pitcher to step in for me at Infamous. I left Nisei and a very hot DTLA at half two and hopped into my Civic, with an A/C compressor that just decided to go out, and drove halfway across LA county to Long Beach. I eventually arrived at a much cooler Queen Mary and found a second wind.

Having literally just left one show to attend another I couldn’t help but draw a couple of comparisons in my mind. The first thing that stuck out was how Infamous seemed to be a more mainstream event geared towards the casual enthusiast. It showed in both the attendance and the other activities going on around the show, like the DJing and breakdancing on the main stage. I’m not saying this is bad thing, actually it makes a lot of sense since cars are just one of the many facets of life Fatlace represents.

The other glaring difference was the average age of people at the event, both car owners and show goers alike, seemed to be much younger here. Just one look at most of the cars, even from some distance, and you could quickly see they were put together by someone with little experience.

Some of the stuff I saw at Infamous made me have downright “WTF, mate?” moments. Again, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, we all go through phases and learn from our mistakes.

Of course that’s just a generalization though; there were some truly great cars out in the sun. I knew going into the event that anything having to with Fatlace would likely bring along some pretty impressive cars, like Brian Scotto’s RWB 911. It was Mark Arcenal’s plan to get all of the west-coast RWB cars together in one place.

Needless to say, he succeeded. In order to complete the trifecta he would of course have to bring his own “Pandora One” 911, which was debuting at INFMS for the first time in its new colorway. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll likely remember it being rather green. Mark decided black suited him a little better and ditched the Kermit color.

I guess I’d have to concede that black does seem to go along a little better with a Leica M8. Maybe one day I can afford a camera that nice, until then I’ll have to keep to shooting photos of Mark and live vicariously through his Instagram stream. He even has a rad leather 911 keychain, the man is unstoppable!

Speaking of unstoppable, I’ve been seeing a lot the Hoonigan brand lately and I can’t help but think that Brian’s Porsche has a little something to do with it. Well, that and that Ken Block guy. No matter what the secret to their success is, I have a hard time finding a fault in a satin white Porsche. To me this car can do no wrong and the Fifteen52 3-piece Tarmacs look killer.

The third car, of which I had only seen in photographs prior, is named “ЧАЙХОНА”. I dare you to say that five times fast. Actually I dare you to even say it once, slowly. Like most seemingly wacky names Nakai gives these cars, it does actually mean something – apparently it’s a bar in Russia. Go figure, from a guy that once gave me a wrinkled up left over pack of Marlboro reds, which I can only imagine were found in a customer car (he smokes Winstons), nothing surprises me.

I do have to admit that I think the 993 is probably the best the looking of the RWB kits, if only by a smidgeon. I’d really love to see an RWB 993 wingless, my gut tells me it would be a good look. Anyway true to RAUH-Welt form, this car has been finished off with a set of 3-piece SSR Professor SP1s and an Idlers tire stencil.

Elsewhere many cars were getting their stance on. While most of what I saw didn’t particularly interest me, I couldn’t help but notice there seems to be new car trending with this crowd – the Mazda3. When you think about it, it does seem to check all the boxes for a young man’s car: it’s cheap, it’s reliable and it has plenty of room to haul around your buddies, or the occasional unlikely lady friend, in.

On top of that, from where I’m sitting it actually makes a pretty good “stance car” (god did I just say “stance car”?).  The body shape actually supports being that low to the ground quite well.

I also found some pretty clean BMWs like this E92. There’s nothing over the top about it but the keen will quickly pick up the modifications which have been tastefully applied.

Here’s a 1-series I quite liked, too bad it was in such a shit location for photographs. The backdrop combined with the mirror-like paint made shooting an accurate photo of this car all but impossible. It’s difficult to tell from the picture but there is some pretty cool stuff going on like a carbon rear diffuser and SSR Professor MS3s.

There isn’t much about the newer Dub scene that does much for me, but occasionally I stumble across something I like. This was one such example of a car that was quirky but not over-done in its dedication to a theme.

If I’m honest, the wheels were what intrigued me the most. I knew HRE had a line of “vintage” wheels, but I had never seen this particular model, the 454, until now. I can’t really imagine another car off the top of my head that these would look ideal on, but they seemed to work nicely on this MKVI.

Now this is VW that I can get fully behind. Call me a traditional idiot, but there’s something incredible about the first two generations of the Golf that seemed to slowly diminish with every body change thereafter. I’d liken the installation of BBS wheels on such a car to the use of Helvetica as an international standard typeface – not for how “right” it is, but for how “wrong” anything else would be.

It wasn’t just the Dubs that were gettin’ stancey, I spotted this 300E doing its thing on the grass as well. Its thing of course being extra glossy, extremely close the ground and having a set of wheels with barrels so shiny that it was difficult to properly set the exposure.

Here’s another example of a car that was just made for this and/or the shakotan scene. The MKIII Celica, this being a later model GT-S (unless the headlights and fender flares were swapped out), is a car with a face so ugly only it’s mother could love it. Yet at the same time there’s something so radical about it. For several months I sat around searching craigslist for one of these that I was convinced I would swap a 1UZ into and go around pissing off everything in site. One day.

On the other end of the spectrum I have a lot of respect for people that are still building cars to a certain set of criteria that some would call purists. Love it or hate it, the Kouki 180SX is a look that isn’t going away any-time soon.

And would you look at that, a sticker collection with taste to match. Well done.

I also spotted another “traditional” S13 of a different shape. For a while I really did get bored of the Silvia-replica-with-minimal-aero-on-period-correct-wheels look, but compared to how a lot of people are destroying these cars (literally and metaphorically) these days, it’s a welcomed breath of fresh air!

Panasports on a Silvia is always a safe bet. It’s not every day that you see G7s, but this particular style is even less common. In fact I’m not even entirely sure what these are called, I would presume they are a G7 C5__ but I don’t know the final designation. Maybe someone out there even nerdier than I can help out?

The engine bay looks fresh out of a late-’90’s Option magazine. GReddy intake manifold? Check. HKS super suction intake? Check. Nismo oil cap? Check. SARD fuel pressure regulator? Check… and so on, and so forth. Very cleanly done.

Here’s yet another S13 wearing a Silvia face that’s been styled in a slightly more modern fashion. It’s quite low but not exactly Hellaflush. Actually I know a bit about this car owned by Brandon Burke because it was featured in Super Street when I was working there.

Long story short, the car was built entirely by the owner in his garage. The only time the car left was to go to a paint booth where Brandon would paint it himself. I think this is a better alternative to a lot of the cars I’m seeing these days and propose a new heckatucked style will emerge.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Hellaflush show without a ton of VIP stuff. While there were some incredible machines out there like the ones from Autofashion who consistently knock it out of the park, a lot of the cars were more VIPish or VIP-inspired or sort-of-VIP.

I’ll admit I am a little biased to the Y33 body style, there’s just something about that sloping C-pillar that makes me crazy. This particular example looked extra hot with its bronze Work Gnosis GS4s contrasting the forest green metallic paint. Damn that’s a good color combo.

On the road-less-traveled I found this cool Acura TL. You certainly don’t see many of these modified in this manner, but I think it quite suits the lines of the car. It’s virtually impossible to tell from this photo but the paint was a dark root beer color and it went too went well with the wheels it was sitting atop.

If that TL was considered the road-less-traveled than this Wagovan must be the road that has yet to be paved. All joking aside I think this might have been the most interesting, and I’d argue best thought-out, car of the show. I’m prepared to get a bunch of crap for this but hear me out…

Sure at first glance it looks like a rust bucket, and it is. There’s nothing new about the concept of patina, I mean pretty much every car currently sitting in a junkyard for more than a decade will bear at least some resemblance to this. But if you look past the obvious there are lots of little treasures waiting to be discovered.

For starters the louvers in the hood I think are quite cool. I didn’t get a look underneath so I’m not sure how they were done, but any method I can think of would be quite time consuming. Then there’s the hood ornament, which appears to be that of a first generation Accord. Oh and don’t forget the JDM headlights, some style points there, surely.

The owner has also integrated a theme of license plates which have been re-tasked for various needs. Here we see a mirror block-off plate, but they can also be found as mudflaps and even inside the car…

As heel-up plates. I’ll admit inside the car things start to get a little strange as the rust bucket theme is met by a Brady Bunch Tiki party, but it somehow works. Again the little details really go above and beyond, the wooden slats securing the AstroTurf  mats, the skateboard wheels on the window cranks, the crown royal shift boot. At the very least you have to admit there was some thought put into it.

The wheels seem simple at first, just some steelies with a baby moon cap, but judging by the way they fit I’d guess these are completely custom jobs. I think it’s also somewhat interesting that this is the only car at the show which could at any time truly be described as “Infamous.”

But if I had to explain what I like the most it’s probably the fact that this car isn’t trying to be something that it isn’t. It’s not something built to impress people on the internet or show off how much money the owner has or “get bitches”. It’s a car that someone had fun modifying, which is the reason why we all got into cars to begin with.

Until next time, I’ll leave you to that thought – crack open a cold one and enjoy the rest of your day!

More car show coverage on Speedhunters

More stories by Sean Klingelhoefer on Speedhunters

-Sean


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76 comments
MoparPete
MoparPete

ЧАЙХОНА isn't exactly a bar in Russia, that would be a cafe in which people drink tea (from the Russian word чай, "chai", which means tea).

Masterwana
Masterwana

"...with barrels so shiny that it was difficult to properly set the exposure."

I know your problem. I had the same at this years Wörthersee, i got hit by an other car while finding the right exposure! -.-

Roberlini
Roberlini

Great coverage man, can't believe you pulled off both events! I think I caught some shots of you at the Hoonigan booth when I was taking shots of the Porsche and Ducati. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/69755329@N06/7805720262/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/69755329@N06/7805719342/) I agree with you about the difference between this show and Nisei. I do think that a greater majority of the cars at Infamous were daily driven and maybe that's why there was a difference between the two shows. I've only seen pics of Nisei though but there were some very interesting cars at Infamous.

koko san
koko san

Anybody knows what those rims are on that white Mazda3?

danfbcustoms
danfbcustoms

The rust bucket wagon is owned by a friend of mine.  Not only is the car amazing and one of the most interesting things to see in person, the owner is an all around great guy.  It's people like James that make the car scene fun and make me want to continue in it.  I was really excited when he contacted me for the ragtop (sorry this really isn't a shameless plug or a plug at all) because I just love this car.

SchmittaMane
SchmittaMane

That Civic at the end should inspire a JDM Rat-Rod category. That thing has all the personality in the world but is still a POS at the same time..the definition of a Rat Rod haha  but its still interesting

 

ps. i wasnt happy when i heard you left SS but atleast your still in the game!

Radiokilla
Radiokilla

Hi Sean. That's my car with the pencil on the roofrack. I hope you liked it. It's a very nice picture of my pencil. One day we can take a picture together with the pencil. :) -Michael

KAG
KAG

To much cool

Corey K
Corey K

Rust Bucket Civic: best car in show!!

 

Annnd that blue Celica is nasty!!

Tim
Tim

YOU DO NOT CHANGE NAKAI SAN'S COLOR CHOICE!!!!!!!!!!!

tenpennyjimmy
tenpennyjimmy

...except i thought Mr Arcenal's porsche looked better kermit ;)

tenpennyjimmy
tenpennyjimmy

Hey Mr Klingelhoefer, dont hold back... say what you feel!

 

PS

For what its worth i agree with most of your arseholes, sorry, opinions.

koko san
koko san

I think the pencil is intended as a joke....it really made me laugh....no need to take things too seriously. The Wagovan is weird, but also poetry in motion. Nice coverage Sean.

JDMized
JDMized

Nakai san is an artist, then along the way come this wannabe, "I want your bodykit but I want it my own way".....WTF?

EVERY cars Nakai works on, are a piece of art. Nobody touches them, but this wannabe first removes the name given to the car, then applies a Wraptivo vinyl, and peels off the original paint, THEN decides to paint it the way he wants it, disgrace!

 

I think I'm gonna buy a Monalisa and draw some mustache, what you think?

Tonioseven
Tonioseven

I dig the rustbucket as well as the rest of 'em. Great story bro. Really.

Ruben
Ruben

Whatever...  strapping a huge #2 pencil to a bike rack is just plain stupid...

Anyway, HRE vintage 454's+Any Lambo from the Countach on=secs with two pairs of twins and their respective mothers...  also twins...

Papa Smurf
Papa Smurf

Seriously how do you pronounce the Blue RWB in english?

Morgan Jade
Morgan Jade

I think it is great to see someone such as Sean on board with Speedhunters. I don't see how anything you said was out of line. I think you were very proper in how you chose to voice your opinions of what you saw and what you shot. Part of building cars is learning to take constructive criticism, many need to learn that.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work on here! 

Bathsalt Barry
Bathsalt Barry

I actually love how you featured a few owner built cars. It seems all we get to see is the people with a bunch of money. It gives me hope that my build will get somewhere soon.

TomJungbluthPhotography
TomJungbluthPhotography

hi sean,

 

great great coverage it is. I like the words even if they're a bit critical. Do you have some other pictures of the "new" pandora one, or will you do a full coverage soon? I am interested in some cool wallpapers :)

 

greets from Luxembourg

 

t.

sean klingelhoefer
sean klingelhoefer

 @Roberlini Ha! You did get me lol. Ya both shows were cool for different reasons, I'm not trying to imply that one was better or worse than the other, just mentioning the differences between the two. In a perfect world everyone would have gone to both like me, then you're a real die-hard ;)

sean klingelhoefer
sean klingelhoefer

 @danfbcustoms Ya as it turns out I know the owner's roommate (I used to live in AZ), I guess it's a pretty small world after all. Definitely got a kick out of the car, and look forward to seeing more of it... apparently the engine bay is pretty radical as well.

sean klingelhoefer
sean klingelhoefer

@Radiokilla Haha it's all good man, it certainly stopped me in my tracks. Hands down the biggest pencil I've ever seen!

sean klingelhoefer
sean klingelhoefer

@tenpennyjimmy I didn't say I didn't like the green, just that the black matched his camera better ;)

sean klingelhoefer
sean klingelhoefer

@kokotorrio Ya I'm sure it was a joke (I hope) but it still made me scratch my head.

cornerbalance
cornerbalance

 @JDMized

 only difference being that there is only 1 MonaLisa, and it's priceless, and not for sale.  There are, however, more than a few RWB cars, and whle the work and care Nakai puts into them is on par with any coachbuilder out there, just on a different level/platform, it is essentially out there for anyone else to purchase if they have the money and time to wait in line.  With the prescence now of RWB USA, anyone can buy the body kit and paint it any color they want.  Or they can buy it and never even both to install it at all.  My guess is the point of the first few cars done here in the US were dual purpose.  One, it fulfilled the desire of the owners to have one of the coolest modded cars out there, and two, to help establish the RWB USA brand via some people who are well known in this import/tuner, car culture thing.  Sort of like Jay Leno getting one of the first P&M Corvette's.  I could be wrong, that's at least how I see it as a casual outsider.  

 

As cool as the RWB cars are, they aren't the pinnacle of Porsche tuning, or even Porsche modification.  Instead, they are another option for those with deeper pockets, and who want a different take on a popular chassis.    Sort of how Smokey from Top Secret has flown to many places around the world for some customer cars too.

 

Alot of time is spent criticizing the stance trend, or cars that are built with form over function.  But somehow the RWB cars get a pass in this regard.  I don't know if it's because they are Porsche's, or because perhaps the suspension setup really does maximize performance and aesthetics simultaneously.  I don't know enough about them nor have spent any time studying them; I just find it an interesting aside.

 

I have known of the RWB stuff for a long time now.  Since well before it became an internet thing a few years ago.  I don't know enough, nor frankly care enough, if someone takes the car they paid for, and paints it, or paints the cage.  I personally wouldn't make those choices; the car would remain as I wanted it from the getgo.  But that's how I treat any of my cars.  Others tastes may vary, I don't spend any time thinking or caring about it.  My understanding is though that even when a kit is purchased, Nakai is not doing the paint work on every single kit.  While it could be part of the package I'm sure for a price, it's not how it is on every car.  Heck it might not be how it is on ANY US built car.  I bet Mark, or those who have done business with RWB directly, are in a better position to comment vs anyone else.   I know the car that was done in Florida was, by every account I've seen, painted locally (and looks amazing in it's dark grey...I think it's the best looking car yet).  But is all that minutia and internet heresay really important?  Isn't it just cool that a few of these cars that were once only shown to us in pictures, and prior to that, in print in a random photo from a Japanese magazine, now live and breathe on US soil?  Is it really sacriledge that the car is somehow a bit different than it once was?  Every single one of us here are guilty of that, as we've each taken cars that often were perfectly good, and altered and modded them, often beyond recognition.  Supra motors in old BMW's, BMW engines in Subaru's, Subaru engines in Porsche's.  It's all the same oatbag at the end of the day.   If that were somehow the case the cars could be considered bastardized vs how Porsche originally built and conceived them.  And I'm sure many Porsche-philes feel exactly that way.  Back in the day people felt exactly that way about modding an S30 Datsun.  Those who don't get it, don't get it.  But do we all really care that much about something that isn't even ours?  How is it really any different to the white car that is now wearing 1552Design wheels, vs the tradaitional SSR or Works?

 

FWIW Mark, the car looks great in black.  Frankly better than it did in the green.

MarkArcenal
MarkArcenal

 @JDMized hey its the idiot named JDMIZED.. nakai actually wanted me to paint the car black. the green was only painted for the Sema show cause it was going to be displayed. IF YOU KNOW HIM, WHICH I KNOW YOU DONT, he resprays alot of his cars all the time. You have no facts whatsoever to back your words up about him cause you do not know who he is as a person or a builder. 

sean klingelhoefer
sean klingelhoefer

I never considered a Lambo on those wheels, but now that you mention it that does sound rather hot... wonder if it exists?

sean klingelhoefer
sean klingelhoefer

@Bathsalt Barry A cool car is a cool car. I'm not concerned with who built it or how much it cost or politics, I'm just interested in the end result. Just keep at it, you'll get there eventually. And along the way you'll find it interesting how your definition of "there" changes.

sean klingelhoefer
sean klingelhoefer

@TomJungbluthPhotography I have a few others I shot at Infamous but nothing spectacular. Perhaps the next time I'm up north I can arrange a shoot. There are some other Fatlace cars I have my eye on anyway...

koko san
koko san

 @sean klingelhoefer  @kokotorrio Yeah you're right, the question for purists here would be , if the pencil is functional or not LOL, at least from the bottle opener we now it is.

MarkArcenal
MarkArcenal

 thanks. i honestly dont understand why Alex aka JDMized hates on everything we / i do. we / i grind hard and enjoy what we have. we dont mislead people in thinking a certain way, we just do what we do. 

 

JDMized
JDMized

 @MarkArcenal That's right. I don't know Nakai san personally, but I know you enough, and I stick to what I wrote above.

Did you, or did you not remove the "Pandora One" sticker on the skirt? Isn't the name given to the car Nakai's signature?

You went ahead and wrapped the car with Wraptivo, and realized that the green paint was peeling off, again....WTF?

THEN you painted the car black. I'm sure Nakai san flew here in the US just to paint the car for you (like he does with all his creations), right?

Mark you're a joke, and the sad part is, those high school hipsters fall for it. Keep faking the funk!

Tim
Tim

 @JDMized Ya and what to do with the Green rollcage?? wrap that too?....

EricSeanDelaney
EricSeanDelaney

 @MarkArcenalNot going to lie, I liked it better in green, but whatever. I think you should bring out to Michigan though at some point, you know, just cause.

MarkArcenal
MarkArcenal

 @JDMized  ALEX BUTTI, before Sema it was already said the car was to be repainted. I was just waiting for the right time. We didnt get to paint it when Nojima was here painting the blue one due to time restraints. You really dont have any of your facts straight. I've seen Nakai 6 times in the last year and we talked about the car going back to black plenty of times. The name is STILL Pandora One if you didnt read Seans Article btw. 

 

I honestly hope in the future you can enjoy your life a bit more from all the hate cause you're only in this world for such a short time. 

sean klingelhoefer
sean klingelhoefer

Oh lordy that's beautiful, not sure how I missed it. And no worries on the link, the Stanceworks guys are my buds.


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