Long Beach: It’s About More Than Drifting
The Kings Return

As you’ve already seen, this past weekend was the kick off for the 2015 Formula Drift season at its traditional home on the streets of Long Beach. And while the drifting competition was certainly the headline act of the weekend’s program, it was really just one part of this important event that brings so many car enthusiasts to Long Beach every April.

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Even if you aren’t interested in clipping points, qualifying scores or tandem brackets, the Formula Drift weekend still offers a lot for the car lover to see. Not only can you get an up close look at the array of drift cars in the paddock, there’s also a large number of demo cars and company booths to enjoy. And then there’s the Offset Kings car show, which really is large enough to be considered an event in itself.

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Being one of the first big events of the show season in Southern California, you can always count on a large turnout of vehicles to be nestled in the tire smoke, and the 2015 Offset Kings Long Beach showcase was no different.

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Along with a strong line-up of both new and familiar show cars, the Long Beach event also featured a special display of RWB Porsches, representing a solid chunk of Nakai-san’s creations for the US market.

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I’m told there are about 20 RAUH-Welt Begriff cars spread across the United States these days, and with five examples on hand this was easily one of the largest RWB gatherings seen on American shores.

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For me it’s been a little over seven years since I first encountered Nakai and his radical Porsches at Tsukuba Circuit in Japan, and despite the overwhelming coolness factor, I still never could have guessed his work would become recognized on an international level.

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But then again, it shouldn’t be surprising. Whether it’s at the track in Japan or on the sun-baked streets of Southern California, the RWB look is as iconic as it gets in the modified car world.

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Speaking of iconic, I think the term could also be used to describe this FC3S Mazda RX-7 displayed at the Fatlace booth. There’s no shortage of these cars around, but seeing one as clean as this is a rare occurrence.

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The color choice and widebody conversion were impressive, but for me it was the Panasport G7 wheels that sealed the deal. Dare I say that these are some of the best-looking and most under-appreciated wheels of all time?

Trend Hunting
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Rather than just wandering around looking at the cars, one thing you can always do at events like this is scope out new automotive trends. And they always seem to pop up in fashion-conscious Southern California.

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The Itasha movement been happening in Japan for years, but like many styles born out of that country, it’s now made its way across the Pacific to the US.

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There were several cars with anime-inspired graphics schemes at Offset Kings, and there were a few times I thought I was at the UDX Parking Garage in Akihabara rather than the Long Beach waterfront.

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Fans of Japanese car culture across the world have always looked toward the motherland for inspiration, but the Japan influence seems to be especially strong when it comes to sticker designs. They were everywhere on Saturday.

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While I’m not sure how many people know what any of these decals actually say, it’s all part of the fun that is trans-Pacific car culture.

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Of course, there were other Japanese influences besides anime characters and kanji stickers. This Rocket Bunny equipped FR-S was sporting a circa-2001 D1GP graphics scheme to compliment its deep-barreled Work VS-KFs.

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Aside from the aforementioned JDM influences, I also noticed what seems to be a revival of 1990s styling – particularly when it comes to wheels. Here we have a set of Nismo LM GT multi-piece wheels on an S13 for a very period-correct look.

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It doesn’t get much more ’90s than three-spoke wheel designs, and the Try Force Zelda wheels on this FC3S are just one more example of nailing the look of the era.

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Despite its Japanese origins, the Work Emitz is one of those wheel designs that feels right at home on the streets of Southern California, and they match nicely with this stock-bodied LS400 for an old school VIP look.

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Of course, there’s no rule that says wheels must match the era of the car they’re installed on, and in this case we have the same Emitz wheels mounted on a much newer Lexus IS.

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This particular set has been completely customized, and the widened fenders of the Lexus are quite literally sitting on top of the wheel lips. Offset Kings indeed.

Picking A Winner
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While Japanese cars made up the majority of the show’s line-up, there was a very strong selection of European machinery as well – including Fatlace’s own Mk7 GTI project car with Work wheels and Voomeran styling from Japan.

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There’s never a bad time for a slammed station wagon, and the long-roof BMW 3 Series from Boden Autohaus was easily one of the day’s coolest with its airbags and 20-inch HRE Vintage Series wheels.

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Did someone say vintage? This unusual E36 was another car overflowing with ’90s style.

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I’m not actually sure which part of the car was more retro – the turquoise body color or the turbofan covers over the wheels. Either way, it certainly stood out from the crowd.

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While many of the cars at this particular show were geared toward aesthetics more than athletics, that’s not to say there weren’t some legitimate performance builds among the bunch.

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This BMW E30 not only had an immaculate exterior and treatment, it also had an E46 M3 motor lurking in its engine bay. In terms of swaps that will still appease the purists, it doesn’t get much better than this.

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Another old school machine with some serious updates under the hood was this tidy little Datsun 510 on a nicely restored set of SSR XR4 Longchamp wheels.

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The SR20DET swap beneath the hood was the perfect way to complete the package. E46 M3-powered E30, or SR-swapped 510? Talk about a tough choice…

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Want to do a 300ZX the right way? You could certainly take a few tips from the owner of this Z32 dropped low over bronze RAYS Volk Racing ZE40s.

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Of course, as part of our relationship with the Offset Kings tour we were tasked with selecting one car as the #FeatureThis award winner. At the end of the day it was the unorthodox, VIP-influenced style of Robert Sia’s Scion FR-S that won us over. Aside from taking home the Speedhunters award, Robert’s car will also be getting a full feature, which you can look forward to in the near future.

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From the RWB gathering to ’90s throwbacks and plenty of Japanese street style, this year’s Offset Kings Long Beach show was a perfect compliment to the spectacle that is a professional drifting event.

See you at the next stop!

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike
mike@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
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90 comments

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1

verry nice turnout of Cars!

2
EricSeanDelaney

Anymore photos of the pignose S13 with the NISMO wheels? I'm a sucker for clean pignose builds.

3

So many cool cars to feature..... and you choose a FR-S with stupid camber.

4

mmmmmm....oh sh*t i have work to do *zip*

5

Gorgeous selection! The FC, E36, and 300ZX all did it for me.

6

E30 or 510, I think I'll take the 510.

7

DonHoonigan I was thinking the same thing. Somethings only look cool in Japan, like that Itasha stickers

8

Waxhaw Brad  its definitely no 91 civic sedan but i would take to 510 too.

9

its definitely no 91 civic sedan but i would take to 510 too.

10

Ujean DonHoonigan Camber in a big Vip Lexus or Infiniti, ok, looks cool in that type of car. Camber in a car designed to have a nice response behind the steering wheel. Please no, you kill the balance and nice set-up of the chassis.

11
therealnecroscope

Most of these cars make me angry and sad at the same time. Performance-compromising style sucks. The Anime artwork is of outstanding quality! Are they printed vinyl graphics or hand painted?  Thanks for the coverage.

12

The teal E36 is on stock E34 M5 Turbine wheels. 
Love the Panasports and the LM's.

13

I like the dropped Passat. New VWs have a really strong "blank-slate" look about them that just lends itself to lifestyle mods. thumbs up

14

That Z32!!! Always had a fanboy love for those cars, this one is a beautiful example. The colour is perfect! My only dislike is that it's a little low for my taste.
I'd definitely pick the 510...I'm a sucker for a SR swapped 510 :)
And those NISMO wheels are awesome!!! I love "period correct" stuff like that. It's not the only way to do a car, but it's close to unbeatable if done right.

15

Thanks for the sweet pic of the 510 engine bay @speedhunters_mike .

16

Wow! Great to see all those cars with graphics on. I haven't seen graphics on a street car for a while now (they are street cars, aren't they?) not since TF&TF first came out. All the nostalgic feeling. I like it! :D

17

VW GTI speaks to me, diggin it.

19

tuned cars just keep getting uglier and more pointless, it's like fast and furious 1 had a love child with blade runner

20

The Japanese styled cars(the itasha'd and cambered cars) are much nicer then the" USDM" styled cars in my opinion. Cars like the red Integra, are just plain boring looking to me. On the other hand, Cars like the Itasha car, the VIP style FR-S, and the D1GP style FR-S (to name a few from this article) are quite refreshing to see.
It's good to see people doing something different and unique, instead of playing it safe with their car builds / doing what is currently "trendy" in the US.
Now the Integra does look like a very well done car. But it also looks like a model car, for a better lack of words..kind of fake looking with the exextremely tucked and shaved engine bay.
The comments about some of these cars are plain nonsense. Who cares about camber on something like FR-S. Its something that can easily be adjusted.

21

For what it's worth, it doesn't look like there was a single domestic car there. At least not one worth shooting.

22

Never in a million years did I think the "Squashed car" look would be deemed "cool" or "different". The cambered Scion is extreme, at least my book. So job well done?

23

Man that fair lady is sexy as hell. Such a rare chassi to see looking so clean. Thoses Porsches also just blew my mind, colour and stance is just spot on.
Thanks for the pics! Great start to the day (Aussie time) U0001f44d

24

That Blue Scion looks like a more tasteful build out of Underground 2. Pretty cool.

25

Three spoke wheels are the coolest things ever. Glad to see the resurgence in 90's/early 2000's Japanese styling getting some attention on SH. Mike or Larry should make it out to Final Bout 2 this year!

26

So much fail. except, E30 good, 510 good. the rest are functionless, unless function is picking up 15 year old boys, in which case home run.

27

loslogo Yet another nonsensical comment..

28

I went, it was pretty cool, but there are a ton of cars that werent shown here that had some merit, wish more extra pics were posted.

29

loslogo Form is a function all its own

30

Observation: Long Beach must have some perfect roads or everyone is riding on airbags. None of these cars would clear the expansion joints on the I-5 freeway up here in Seattle; the bottom six inches would be cleaved off.

31

loslogo I get the feeling youre not much older than 15.

32

Its amazing how much effort people put into trolling on these posts.

I dont care for stance cars but I also dont care if someone else likes them. I never hear stance people bitching about other peoples cars, you typically get that kind of behavior from the domestic and euro crowd.

33

I see a hard E30 and a bunch of easter eggs, but that's none of my business *sip*

34

Hydrolastic  I hate those damn things!

35
Anonymous Idiot

When make a car slower, handle worse and become dangerous (the camber/stretch on your winning frs is not safe) you are doing it completely wrong. Change the name of this site to stancehunting, you are not worthy of anything relating to speed.

36

Anonymous Idiot Your username is apt

37
Anonymous Idiot

Protter Anonymous Idiot  way to refute my points, user names have no correlation to the content of a post

38

yeah, bring back the vinyl graphics! It's been a while

39

I spy a clean, cleean little prelude down in the bonus section. bueno, muy bueno.

40

Thanks for the awesome pic of my wagon!

41

although not all the cars in this article are what I'm into, you have to appreciate the time and effort put into the builds and the wicked imagination car guys//girls have and bring to fruition in their builds

42

Jagdroach loslogo  pure function always looks good. I guess if you don't know shit about vehicle dynamics this might look good to you.

43

So have you ever thought of adjusting suspension settings/changing the tire and wheel set up? What's the point in complaining about something that can easily be fixed?

44
Anonymous Idiot

@Guest there is a vast difference in tuning suspension and camber set up to increase performance and this. While it may be easy to undo, it is dangerous and has no place on public roads (I am not sure how said cars got there). Trailer your cars to shows if you want, but keep them away from the public.

45

Loooooved that datsun 510 <3

46
mazdaspeed619sd

Anonymous Idiot There are regular vehicles that are far more dangerous than that FRS.......... for the fact that the drivers of those vehicles are literally bad drivers.  Your stance on the topic of camber is futile for the fact that 18 year old kids who drive Mustangs crash and spin their cars in the rain.  I live in San Diego, a place where there is little to no rain yet when it rains I am almost guaranteed that a honda civic or a mustang has created a pile up somewhere out there for me to pass by on my way to work.

47

That Z32 is awesome

48

The best car in the post is the Hyundai Genesis in the last pic!!!!
It actually is painted a VERY tasteful and elegant color.  The aggressive wheel fitment combined with subtle mods make it a solid, interesting (AND UNEXPECTED) build.

I'm gonna show my bias when I say that it takes guts to invest that much into ANY car...especially a Hyundai! Hahahaha, just had to say it.

Seriously, kudos to the builder for actually TAKING A RISK!!!
Building a stanced FR-S is really just lemming behavior at this point...

Don't get me started on that car though...It's really just an S2000 for idiots.
FR-S should stand for F*cking Retard's S2000.
I'm really just not politically correct tonight...please allow me to apologize for not conforming.

:(

49

That E36 on M System Turbines though...

#backtotheclassifieds

50
Gianluca FairladyZ

LoL E36 on R33 GTR Wheels! Epic...

I've never seen such a clean and beautiful FC...!! That person who built this car has everything done RIGHT!!! Thumbs Up!

51
turbo BEAMS ae86

fav: green E36, Z32

52

Take a look at the Kawashima Celica. That car has probably the most extreme camber set up of any car, yet still gets driven to shows and is also used for drifting.
"I am not sure how said cars got there" is just a silly comment. Your acting as if some of these cars would be impossible to drive. Clearly they're not if they made it to the show.
If the Kawashima Celica can be driven to and from events, I'm pretty sure the cars in this post easily can.
Why would you need to "keep them away from the public "?

53

Anonymous Idiot  Protter What about the title of the event they picked the winning car for??? I think the 'idiot' part of your name is very apt

54

That Z32 is perfection.

55

Yes! great article and thanks for featuring one of BRG members ride FC3S Mike!

56

Not really into this "scene", I don't really understand how ridiculous fitment and adding excess for a like on insta/fb makes people so "valuable" to the car community, but I will always find my introduction to research of cars from the roots of "stance" and the car-show group; nonetheless, some of these builds are beautiful and do deserve merit. Just not into what seems to have come of this genre.

57

TheRace No worries. Knew not everyone was gonna dig this, but that's all part of the fun.

58

demzo_BRG Thank you!

59

Paddy McGrath M System Turbine - goddamn that's a cool name.

60

19Rome81 Good way to look at things.

61

too many WTF cars pictured, and still too much drifting influence/style.....

62

Anonymous Idiot I agree! this is a kiddie article, with kids first cars done up like they don't have a clue.

63

@Guest loslogo really?

64
Anonymous Idiot

mazdaspeed619sd Anonymous Idiot car =/= driver. That amount of tyre stretch and camber is dangerous and thankfully illegal where i live. It takes basic logic to work out why.

65
Anonymous Idiot

@Guest 
Excessive amounts of neg camber increases tyre wear and temperature, tram-lining and reduces high speed stability - especially under braking and on heavily cambered roads.

66

Mike Garrett I agree. Great write up. :)

67

I'm not sure its a case of playing it safe as it is more of a "less-is-more" approach. Trying to keep it classy. And while I will agree that its nice to see some of the more Japanese styles (for lack of a better way of putting it) coming over stateside, they just seem out of place to me. Almost like they try to hard to stand out and be different.

68

I love that the 90's style stuff is coming back. Those Nismo wheels are to die for.

69

Nice to see some KDM on the last picture.

70

Good coverage(im sure there is more coming),I  love seeing show cars. I don't understand how people can click a link knowing that they do not like this "style" then complain about whats in here. This is a site that covers car culture in general (more than just speed) if you haven't noticed. bunch of trolls in here. Speedhunters, continue giving us coverage and opening our eyes to all aspects of this event.

71

love that Datsun 510

72

Anonymous Idiot Youre 12, now go home.

73

cutterjones13 Anonymous Idiot Complete with kiddies like you complaining about it.

74
Anonymous Idiot

Smiggins Anonymous Idiot  You cannot say these cars perform well or are safe so you resort to calling me a child?

75

Seeing those FC's makes me want one so bad

76

I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad the Itasha scene is picking up in the U.S. but sadly i live on the close minded east coast. I've been trying to gather some fellow weebs and start the movement here in the east but so far no one is biting....

77

I'm the only one who is shocked by the fact that someone called those rims try force ZELDA right?

78

EricSeanDelaney
After driving the car for more than 800 miles from SF to LB, I took the car this past Wednesday to the local drift event at Sonoma Raceway.
http://static1.squarespace.com/static/53b38a78e4b09093499f4631/553057b1e4b0ba7d37711e7b/5530581ce4b0ed497846e8bc/1429231657149/IMG_4547.jpg?format=1500w

79

loslogo It's people like you who stop us from moving forward. You're no different to the people who hate all Japanese cars because they're rice.

80

Aaaaah there's that clothing company logo again on that orange beetle.  Is that the latest corporate consideration for SH?

81

TheDude69 dude just rock up to a vinyl graphics place and tell them you want some Mermaid Melody on your Accent and you'll have plenty of copycats in no time at all.

82

This site is the greatest!  No politics, just car stuff - and you never know what!  We all have different tastes, and I have my specific favorites too, but I love the way Speedhunters never act snobby or disrespectful of anyone really into cars. And did I mention lots of high quality, high res photos?!!

83
SteliosShomalistos
84

John Evans Thank-you for the great feedback John! We really appreciate it.

85

rwdybyz Will do!

86

Guys, anyone can tell me what is the rims on the red Acura Teg?

87

That orange RWB is sensational.

88

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