The weekend before last was my first time attending the Purist Group’s Winter Drive, an event that’s organized purely to benefit the community.
Rather than collecting a fee to gain entry to the show you’re encouraged to donate a toy (or two, or three, from the look of the collection boxes after the show). This definitely isn’t the first year this has gone down, and Antonio’s already given you a detailed account of how the Purist Group and their toy drive came to be.
If you haven’t already read his perspective of the event you should start there; my experience at the show as a first-timer was entirely different than Antonio’s. Being off my home turf I didn’t know that many people at the show and initially directed all of my attention towards the cars and the general vibe.
So, what was the vibe?
In short, I was blown away by the scale of what the Purist Group has accomplished with this event.
There was a huge turnout, resulting in a long line going down the road to even get into the Industry Hill Expo Center where the event was held. It was so packed that we ended up finding parking at an outside lot and walking a good half mile over to the event.
But even from the outside, I was getting pretty excited based on the cars I was seeing rolling in and out.
Once we made it into the show I was glad to see a healthy variety present. Of course, there were plenty of the standard show car suspects in the mix, but these were nicely complemented by plenty of exotics, rare JDM goodness, and even lowriders and other old school American rides.
Regardless of the type of enthusiast you might be, there were plenty of different cars to take in and get excited about.
Another part of the show that I was really stoked to see is one that I generally don’t care much for: booths, tire companies, and other commercialized aspects. Don’t take this the wrong way, either; I understand that these things really are necessary parts of the automotive machine, but I always personally prefer something a little bit more low-key or natural feeling, I guess.
But that’s what I loved about the Purist Group event. This balanced blend of grassroots and commercialism, of local guys and famous cars (keep your eye out for a spotlight on the Blitz GT-R), small shops and heavy-hitters alike, all there for a good cause. Even NASA JPL came out and set up a booth.
Everyone who showed up was doing something good for the community and the organizers didn’t make it about themselves.
Unlike Antonio, I’m not involved in the Purist Group or their extended circle of friends. He obviously has good things to say about all of them and the event, but as an unbiased newcomer to the show it was genuinely really cool to see all of these like-minded enthusiasts coming together to help others and have a good time.
This is really what it should always be about, after all.A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That
I did run into a few familiar local faces as well as a handful of friends who also made the trek down from Northern California, and their impressions were all similar.
A couple of these familiar faces belong to cars (or the other way around, I guess) that I’ve shot before, and it was good to see their builds again. Neither Gary’s R33 nor Jimmy’s W108 — which Antonio spotted as well — have really changed since I saw them last, a detail I point out because you don’t always need to continue to throw parts at a car. Don’t fix it if it’s not broken – am I right?
On the topic of Skylines, like Antonio, I was also surprised by the huge turnout of these cars at the event. They were quality examples, too, like Ernie Fixmer’s drift-spec four-door ‘R334′ which is definitely a car that deserves a closer look at some point. When it comes to numbers, though, R32s could be found in droves. It’s hard to believe there are so many of these cars stateside in one place, but then again it is Los Angeles.
Everything in LA seems to get cranked up to 11 and, like I mentioned, this included the donations themselves. Cars were covered with toys and the donation boxes at the end of the day were stuffed to overflowing.
Of course, it was that crazy variety of cars I’ve already mentioned that brought everyone out in the first place though.
I’m pretty certain I saw more Koenigseggs on Saturday than I have before in my lifetime, not to mention the other wild modified stuff that showed up.
I’m not sure if there was any screening process to get in, but everything was very really well executed, too. As a first-gen Mustang owner, I spent a long while taking in this particular car; Coyote-powered, supercharged, molded wide-body, center-lock wheel. Insanity!
All in all it was a day well spent, and I made a lot of new friends at the event. We hung out until the end when everyone started cruising out to get a final few shots…
And, to take in all of the sounds that accompanied this. I think my ears might still be ringing from that Supra, but it was probably worth it. Headphone users, you’ve been warned.
At a show like this you can’t see everything, but one can always try. On that note I do have a few spotlights from the Purist Group’s Winter Drive coming up, but the day was over sooner than I thought it would be.
I guess what they say is true: time flies when you’re having fun. Thanks to the Purist Group for putting on such a good show, and all for a good cause to boot.