The Highs & Lows Of Wekfest Los Angeles
Wild For What?

For years, Los Angeles, California has been known as an automotive mecca for new aftermarket trends, styles, and even jaw-dropping builds.

Don’t get me wrong, we still have incredible builds and a truly amazing car community here in LA, however, sometimes it feels like it’s slowing down. In this respect, Wekfest Los Angeles 2019 was a bit of an eye-opener.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

If there’s one thing you can be guaranteed of at any Wekfest event, it’s quality builds. And Wekfest LA had them in numbers, with everything from trucks to exotics.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

They’re also very well organized and attract large audiences. At Wekfest LA there’s never any problem filling the space with a few hundred cars, just as we saw at the Los Angeles Convention Center a weekend back.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

Many of the supporting companies and brands use Wekfest to showcase previous SEMA builds to the general public, while others treat them as the place to show off cars they’ve had for years.

Keep On Truckin’

Forgive me if I start to sound like our resident mini truck fanatic Dave Thomas here, but what happened to all the mini trucks and modified trucks we used to see at events like this?  And no, I’m not talking about lifting your base-model Tacoma, slapping some TRD badges on it, fitting a set of wheels and calling it a day.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

I’m talking about all-out, bed-cut, chassis-notched and tubbed masterpieces like this 13B rotary-swapped Mazda.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

Yes, trends and fads change or fall out of style, however, I strongly believe mini trucks need to make a comeback.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

Hell, how about a starting a trend lowering delivery vans? This JDM Daihatsu Mira Walk-Through Van shows us how it’s done.

Camber & The Right Angle
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

One thing an LA tuner show like Wekfest guarantees is stance, and when I think about the s-word, the word camber is usually not too far away.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

The two really do go hand-in-hand, because good stance usually requires a camber angle adjustment in order to achieve the desired aesthetic, feel, and fitment.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

That being said, I was a little disappointed in the lack of extreme camber stance that was represented at Wekfest LA this year. I know the ‘look’ is polarizing, but I like to see people pushing the boundaries.

For me, Wekfest has always delivered the most extreme modified cars around, especially those of the stance variety. So where have all these cars gone?

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

The Volkswagen Jetta was a prime candidate for this type of modification, and around four years ago I helped a friend cut the rear floor out of his sedan so we could tub it in order to squeeze out an extra few degrees of camber.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

At that time there were quite a few wild examples around, but now I have to hunt high and low to find a MK4 of any sort at a show. I must say, this one was very nicely executed.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

I am not in any way advocating unsafe stance or camber, however, I do wish people would express themselves more through their cars.

There’s Still Time
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

Don’t take this as me complaining, it’s merely my point of view. I’m fully aware that the modifying scene is always evolving, shaping, and changing – just like culture in our everyday lives.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

Things come and things go. However, I do wish some things would stay.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

I can’t help but think that law enforcement cracking down on modified vehicles in California has something to do with enthusiasts looking for different ways to set their builds apart from the crowd.

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

Some of you may have heard that it is now illegal to work on your own car in Sacramento County.

Additionally, you can get a nice fat ticket upwards of $1,000 and a court appearance if a police officer deems your exhaust system to be too loud. Where will end?

The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters

I’m not sure where the show scene is heading, but I say we bring back the mini trucks, the head-turning and cambered-to-hell Jettas, and all the other wild products of our automotive-overloaded imaginations. Who’s with me?

Keiron Berndt
Instagram: keiron_berndt

Cutting Room Floor
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters
The Highs and Lows of Wekfest LA - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters
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18 comments

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1

Electric tuning is what will happen, there are even hacks to have your volt /prius/etc hit 0-60
In 4-5 sec. All that speed and cleanliness for us in California....Monterey to be exact: )

2

Extreme camber used to evoke oni-kyan // bosozoku // drift spec cars in Japan.

Since catching on in the US, it moved over to evoke Bay Area / Socal car culture. Kids wanted to be like the cool guys out west, so then started maxing out their coils and dumping every shitbox they could find. Hellaflush and wrongfitment are defining factors of this group.

Now Bay Area / Socal culture has moved on to the next thing. The second wave of OEM+ is catching on, and with that is a certain level of restraint with mods. The entire package is being focused on for builds, with a mind for having a cohesive look. I can see it in a lot of the builds here, organized and tight execution.

3

I remember back in the 90s when car styling was all wild. Tons of body kits, crazy paint, tons of stickers and graphics, huge wheels, huge systems. Then came the more mild craze. JDM everything, subtle mods, smaller wheels, single color paint, smooth lines, performance in mind. I like seeing the changes of it all. I definitely like the more subtle/performance approach.

4

Nah, stance can die.

5

Yep, dumbest thing since the donk cars...

6

How exactly does the government enforce not working on your own car? Phrased like that, does it actually mean you can't perform basic maintenance yourself?

7

agreed! in some cities in Germany, you can't even wash your own car at home!!
I thought we had it bad up here in Montreal, Canada, but honestly, we can pretty much do anything to our cars (exhaust, slammed, etc,) as long as its not TOO cambered, you'll be fine!

8

"I am not in any way advocating unsafe stance or camber, however," -> "however i advocate people to use unsafe stance or camber and risk their health for my viewing pleasure" - that's how it sounds.

"Stanced out, oni-cambered, only running on 50mil of their stretched to the max 295 tires on 14" wide wheels" can well go extinct in my eyes.
Make more OEM+ builds like that beautifully S55'd M3 or those mini trucks and delivery vans for all i care - just make it cars you can drive and have fun with.

9

That being said, I was a little disappointed in the lack of extreme camber stance that was represented at Wekfest LA this year. I know the ‘look’ is polarizing, but I like to see people pushing the boundaries.



Pushing the boundaries? Of what? Unstreetable settings? Sorry, but unless your "camber" can be daily driven it doesn't push any boundaries.

10
The Bleedin' Obvious

So, $1000 fines for a loud exhaust and you wonder where the serious/dangerous/suspect camber has gone? Ummmmm...

11
Arizona Bay Sun Devil

The DOUCHE is strong in LA.

12

No Civics?

Oh right, this is California.

They've all been stolen.

13

@keiron_berndt any better pics/details of the blue TRD KP60 / cutting room floor pic? Looks mega

14

That black wide body SA22C RX7 caught my eye...(requesting full feature please?)

15

thank god for rural idaho..most of us dont even run cats.

16

I'm no tree hugger but it's worth noting that the air over American cities is much, MUCH cleaner than it was 40 to 50 years ago, in no small part due to the introduction of catalytic converters. they reduce NOx emissions by a factor of hundreds or more. as an Angeleno who has to deal with getting my old cars smogged, I'm still in favor of emissions regulations, and in a place like Los Angeles I'm in favor of decent enforcement, too. even today we have smoggy air and the bulk of that is from road vehicles, especially older cars and cars without cats. (diesel trucks also have a serious impact on people's health, especially near ports and industrial areas. read up about the incidence of asthma in West Oakland near the Port and the impact of anti-idling and anti-soot regulations on airborne particulates. it's no joke.)

California's visual inspections are absurd when older cars get measured with the tailpipe sniffer anyway, which is why I have a smog guy. but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. emissions controls aren't a bad thing.

17

I agree. I'm down with common sense smog controls. By that I mean set standards and do sniff tests. You should be able to do whatever you like to your car, so long as it runs clean.

18

SpeedHunters, please stop running articles like this. If I wanted to look at pictures of broken, undriveable garbage I would go to Stance|Works or Stancenation.

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