Kicking Off Car Week At A JDM-Themed Pre-Party

It’s a wrap for Monterey Car Week 2023, which means it’s now time to get stuck into our coverage. We’re starting with a celebration of JDM legends thanks to Range Energy and Roundcat Racing, who invited me to come hang out at their pre-party meet, with the promise of some interesting attendees.

But before we dive in, for those new to Car Week, the spectacle takes place on the Monterey Peninsula here in Northern California every August. It’s a week-long event that gathers enthusiasts, collectors and industry professionals together for a celebration of all things cars. That can mean anything from new OEM releases to the debut of ground-breaking automotive technology and everything in between. I think it’s fair to say, that at this point, Monterey Car Week is the biggest automotive event out there.


With that in mind, I’ll be posting coverage of various events that took place throughout the week, including The Quail, Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and of course the pre-game party here at Range Energy.


There are definitely many more events that take place too, but with overlapping schedules it becomes nearly impossible to capture it all, so I’ve tried to highlight key events that everyone should experience at least once. 


Digressing back, the event here at Range Energy was supposed to be a small and intimate gathering, but with word of the Built By Legends R32 and R33 demo GT-Rs being welcomed to the Bay Area fresh from Japan, the local Skyline owners group decided to represent in full force.


I counted something like 25-ish Skylines, mostly GT-Rs, and course various other interesting cars that weren’t necessarily always JDM, but definitely fit the ‘interesting car’ bill. The stars of the show, however, were unquestionably the Built By Legends cars. You might remember that Dino featured the BBL R32 GT-R in 2021 and the BBL R33 GT-R earlier this year.


Built By Legends comes from Mine’s, which is a company synonymous with high-end GT-R tuning. Established in the mid-’80s in Yokosuka, Japan, the company’s founder Michizo Niikura has built numerous GT-Rs of every generation.


Both BBL cars are built around a philosophy of the perfect balance of OEM beauty and modern performance and feature the same amazing attention to detail.


While it was amazing to see the Built By Legends Skylines up close for the first time, the wide variety of other cars that turned up made for an epic night and a perfect way to kick off Monterey Car Week 2023. Stay tuned for my coverage from The Quail coming up next. 

Naveed Yousufzai
Instagram: eatwithnaveed



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migue castellanos

hello, These photos are good to put them as wallpaper for my cell phone... and the story is much better, greetings <3


I'm ashamed to admit, but I can't for the life of me remember what the car in the opening photo is. Lancia? Fiat? It's gorgeous nonetheless.


~1965 Nissan Silvia


That's it, thanks! I was quite a bit off, but I knew I've seen one before.


Car Week always seems a bit too...expensive for most of the people I know. Like it's more about doing rich guy things than doing car guy things, if that makes sense?


This was such a special event! I was lucky enough to attend. Excellent write up!