It’s Too Easy In California: AutoCon At FD LB
20 minutes At 50mm

Typically, at any event, a Speedhunter’s day is so busy that we often don’t have time to eat, let alone take even five minutes out of a hectic schedule.

That didn’t really change last weekend in Long Beach, but due to the Formula D driver briefing taking place in private, it gave me a welcome 20 minutes to explore something that I’ve been so keen to check out.

Previous to this, I’ve only ever attended one car show in the Southern California area. That was last year’s JCCS, which coincidentally was also in Long Beach. That afternoon in front of the Queen Mary blew my mind as to the potential of the SoCal car scene.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-1
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-2

It’s not as if I was oblivious to this beforehand, it’s just a whole different thing to seeing something with your own eyes rather than in photographs or videos. Although I don’t recall writing about JCCS, it did strike me as quite a remarkable event. Glorious sunshine, an insane collection of cars and a general happy atmosphere.

It was a bit easy; too easy if you ask me.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-3

With the drivers being briefed in the briefing, I began an aimless wander. First, around the vendor area of the FD paddock before heading over the Firestone bridge and into the AutoCon portion of the event.

Prior to this moment, I’d never seen a gasser in person before. I’m most certainly into it.

When it comes to attending car shows, I’m more used to waking up in the dark, driving in the rain, parking in the rain, walking around in the cold and rain, before driving home again in the rain and eventually back to bed in the dark. It’s rarely a pleasant experience, but the cars are usually worth it.

This was different though.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-30

This was nice.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-58

Further to this, the collection of cars blew my mind. This was one of those rare moments where I reckon almost every car would be a showstopper in Europe. And I mean that.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-12

Curiously, the first car to really grab my attention was maybe the simplest build present. I’ve seen countless JZX100s, but never any in the United States before. Obviously, this couldn’t have been one, it must have been a rare model Camry…

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-14

While not every car was for everyone, there was something for everyone. The standard to which most cars were finished was phenomenal. I haven’t been able to figure out just why this is. Maybe there’s a higher income level; maybe the SoCal scene just demands higher standards.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-28

I’ve always enjoyed the Californian style of car modification; it seems to lead the way in so many different areas of automotive subculture. There’s often a great sense of cleanliness and just enough to make things work.

I was pretty much at maximum attack at this point as I knew the FD track was about to go live again. Armed with just a single body and a 50mm lens, I was mentally weighing up how much time to give each car. It’s a ruthless system, but a necessary one when under pressure.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-31
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-36

This VIP pairing did hold my attention for a little longer than some.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-57

A car that has been getting a lot of traction on social media as of late is LTMW’s Pandem BNR32 Nissan Skyline GT-R. The Pandem kits, which tend to lean towards a more box shape than the rounder Rocket Bunny overfenders, seem to suit a lot of the late ’80s and early ’90s cars as they flow with the factory lines, rather than breaking them. I think that this is a great implementation.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-61

This is quite a striking colour on a new BMW 2 Series coupe, but on closer inspection I was pretty surprised to discover that it was a wrap. There was a deceptive fleck and depth to the colour, but there were one or two tiny giveaways that it was a vinyl finish, but a very impressive one at that.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-69

A turbocharged AE86 was another highlight for me.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-68

The polished and clean bay was home to an SR20 with a high-mount turbocharger, a v-mount intercooler, and featured a who’s who of JDM tuning parts.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-66
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-72

There was a lot of overfender-ing going on, which will either delight or disgust you. I’ve spoken before about something I call the Overfender Paradox, where it means nothing to you when viewed online but you’d probably sh*t your pants if you see one in person or in the wild. Thankfully, the only skid marks this day were on track. Still, I was impressed.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-70

I thought this simple, subtle E30 was the perfect complement to the wild cars either side of it. It was parked slap-bang in the middle of the overfender row.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-78
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-82

At this point, I was pretty much running to get back to the track but for the last time, I was stopped in my tracks by this wild FD3S. Louis might have shown it in his recent AutoCon LA coverage too, but that’s just another endorsement for how good this car is. I need more of it in my life.

2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-83

For an event that was almost literally a sideshow to the main FD event, I was left speechless by the quality of the cars assembled. In all my years hunting speed, I never had it so easy to shoot such an array of cars in one place. In 20 minutes, give or take a few chats for some requisite spotlights, I shot examples of cars that I had never even seen in person before.

Damn it, California. It’s too easy to hunt speed here.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos
paddy@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-4
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-7
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-13
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-15
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-20
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-21
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-22
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-23
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-55
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-24
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-25
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-26
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-27
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-29
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-34
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-43
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-44
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-53
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-64
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-65
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-67
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-73
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-74
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-75
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-76
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-77
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-84
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-85
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-86
2017 Autocon FDLB Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-87
ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

41 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

I’ve spoken before about something I call the Overfender Paradox, where it means nothing to you when viewed online but you’d probably sh*t your pants if you see one in person or in the wild.

I saw an LB Works R35 a couple of weeks ago at an event but it didn't do anything for me. Not my thing.

2

I agree, saw an R35 recently in Seattle and wasn't at all impressed, quite the opposite actually as it made the factory body panels fits stand out for their accuracy and fit versus the relatively sloppy overfender fit. This to me ruined the value of the R35 as it looked no where near as neat and clean as the original, and wasn't going to be going back to stock if it was sold...

3

Normally not a fan of the overfender thing, but that purple R32 is pretty wicked!

4

I loved it too for the most part, mostly for the color and attitude, but to me it would be far more awesome if it was all steel there and not bolted on plastic with the bolts all showing, unlike anything else on the car...

5

THAT PANDEM SKYLINE IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF

6

"i ate Tokyo" haha what a number plate for a big lizard :)

7

Why the E in Tokyo though I wonder, did someone else beat him to the proper spelling?

8

Or maybe the owner knows as well that THIS model isnt exactly Godzilla, just something similar. So his car didnt ate Tokyo, ate a bit different city :)

9
Edward Armstrong

Considering the right hand drive nature of that JZX100, and that there was never a Lexus equivalent sold in the states to hack up into a rhd. I would say it's imported... And I'm dang jealous!

10

He was being sarcastic with the Camry remark.

11

How'd that R34 Skyline get there? I thought it was an illegal car in California!

12
V8wagondreamin

Show car regulation. It's only allowed to drive like 300 miles a year or something like that. There's an outlandish import duty on it, but to be one of the few some will pay anything.

13

Not if it's registered in Florida or Arizona :)

14
Mitchell Chapman

Wasn't aware of Florida and Arizona. I'll research it!

15

There are many states that will legally let you register your non Federal compliant R34. You just run the risk of getting pulled over by that one cop who challenges the legality of your car. Ownership of a vehicle that demands you always looking over your shoulder is no bueno.

16

a BIG compliment to you, Paddy!
If these great photo's are what you can come up with in just 20 minutes...., you're GOOD!!!
What a great diversity of cars and styles, really nice!

17
Christian Clark

With perfect light and lack of people (event was barely starting) and cars this good, it really can be easy. ;) Its damn great!

18

Does anyone have info on those Jzx100 Chasers, and how they are registered in california?! thanks in advance.

19

The pink one is a Toyota Cressida owned by Richard Rade. The head lights n stuff were swapped.

20

wait a minute? did someone really butchered a scuderia to put overfenders?

21

I understand everyone has a different style and I can appreciate them all but a Ferrari 459 is a Mona Lisa, and putting bolt on flares is like painting a mustache on it. That car is pure art and function. Ferrari spent countless hours in a wind tunnel, you can't mak it better.

22
Matthew Dockery

You can... and they do... Go watch some IMSA...

23

Wait are you really comparing that shitty body kit to a factory imsa race car?

24
Matthew Dockery

I'm not a fan of that kit either, but my problem stems mainly from the fact that it's purely aesthetic and that car will probably never see a race track.

25

Form > Function

26
Matthew Dockery

No, I'm trying to point out that the street car bodies are not the end-all-be-all of any chassis, even for supercars.

27

Anyone know the manufacturer of the bolt on fender kit that the black F80 M3 has on it? Thanks to anyone who has the answer.

28

Found em' they're made by Clinched.

29

Nice job man, shame though after looking at the site for Clinched, and looking at the article on SH about the 458, you can see the car more clearly and yep it is definitely just an F30. It isn't an F80 M3 like I initially thought, just a regular 3 series. Can't seem to find any aftermarket fenders of any type for the F8X M3, only the F8X M4. Well there is that one wide body that was made with the smooth fenders, but it looks awful.

30

I want to know this too. They look sick.

31

Sorry for the multiple questions, my computer freaked out and didn't show that anything was posting, even after closing/refreshing the page. After I logged into my FB it all popped up at once lol, can a mod please delete one of the previous posts here by JormungandM3/Jormungand, they are both me lol, sorry.

32

I was in SoCal last year and I just share your feels regarding to the car scene there, Paddy! It´s just the ultimate wonderland of modified cars. Nice write-up, totally enjoyed it. Now I want back to Cali.


BTW: Overfender Paradox hit me, too. Was never a fan of those kits till the moment, when I stood in front of a LB kitted R35. It just blew me away.

33

Where can I see schedule of car events here in California?

34

Here's one to get you started.

35

Any more of that Gulf livery Datsun Z?
Pleeaaase? :D

36

Too easy all right...too easy to see too many cars that are following the current trends packed together, thereby making their effect minimal since they all copy eachother more or less- slammed to the ground, multi-hued paint, manufacturer stickers (not race stickers/graphics), and over-over-overfenders.
Overfender paradox? Yep, the paradox to me is why a car with thousands and thousands of dollars put into it has a crappy alternative to actually extending the body correctly, like the R34 everyone drools over versus that Pandem R32. Both are pumped, only one done correctly and by the factory. I LOVE a pumped car made to fit excessive meat, and overfenders DO suit certain cars but not any car- so why not do it right like the rest of your work that as Paddy suggests, is done to a VERY high standard for the most part? Personal taste is a fine excuse, but does everyone there have that same taste, and not feel that being different means NOT having the same overfenders everyone else is rocking? Personally I'd spend all day drooling over a steel-bodied creation and really only spend a few seconds looking at an overfendered version of the same car wondering why they didn't go a little further and do the body right.
A Paradox for sure!

37

Awesome pics and write up! But you cant tease us like that with that G-nosed gulf Z! Please oh pretty please tell me you have a full feature lined up!? Cheers!

38
JBfromSiliconValley

Pros: some great builds and great shots.

Cons: non-functional, performance robbing extensive negative camber-BOOOOOO

39

Hello, if the am americans are going to snap up all the r32 gtr's can they please upgrade them tastefully I know we should all respect what others think is tasteful but I've seen more over fendered gtr's than I care to see. Maybe they should just buy gts' s and leave the gtr's?

40

"Maybe there’s a higher income level; maybe the SoCal scene just demands higher standards."

Yes and yes

41

yeah, I'm impress this 86/BRZ looks. I wanna know about this car, kits part, interior, etc. thx u.

decom_003315cb90bb54e2132618ad4b2795d2_58f388e1bc980.jpgdecom_003315cb90bb54e2132618ad4b2795d2_58f388e1bc980.jpg

OFFICIAL SPEEDHUNTERS SUPPLIERS