Words: Mark Aquino
Images: Mark Enriquez
Before we go into the show, we’d like to share our thoughts with you. We’ve also asked Khris at KUConnection about his opinion since he’s organized and judged at shows. We wanted to shed some light on the scene from our perspective. We’ve attended shows both near and far, we’ve almost seen it all. Drama surrounds them all.
Like most events, politics are always involved. Let’s face it, people go to car shows for different reasons and that should be respected. Some go to compete, there’s nothing wrong with that because people actually build their cars with that purpose – to compete. Call them what you may, trophy chasers, trophy hunters, etc. They still deserve respect. Some just go to hang out and have fun with friends and some promote their brands and businesses.
Some win trophies, others win hearts.
If you organize a car show with awards for different classes, please make sure your judges actually specialize in their assigned category and most of all, see through all the politics. Inform your participants about the criteria for judging; be transparent because you owe that to the competitors. I’ve competed at a well known show that was disappointingly rigged. I didn’t cry about it though, I just chose to never attend it again. Why? because sometimes you can’t change the politics. No matter how nice your car is, no matter how heavily modded it is, even if you get the perfect score in each criteria, you won’t win. Why? Because you’re not in “their” circle. Yeah, it’s fucked up. Some shows have already been judged months before the actual show takes place but the organizer still uses you and takes your money.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have people that have this messed up mindset that their car is the best thing out there since twin-scroll turbos. These are the ones that will suggest (or cry) an award or class of their own. They’ve probably collected “Top 50” awards at small shows where only 40 cars showed up. Don’t get me wrong, everyone’s build is unique and respectable as long it was built for them. A trophy is a byproduct of your passion for your hobby. If you didn’t get one, that’s fine, move on, unleash your creativity and build it for a purpose. As long as you stay true to yourself (please don’t lie to judges about parts you don’t have), the car scene will be one that you’ll enjoy.
“Although there are different perspectives in regards to ‘trophy hunting’ and social media cries for attention, hope is not lost in this subculture. Behind all of this ‘drama’ , purity and brotherly love is still evident in the subculture. In the age of social media, enthusiast ego from perceived fame is caused by instant gratification and the yearning for recognition.
Social media should not be KING. It should only be a tool to inspire and educate. Conflict is actually a failure in both parts. A failure of newer enthusiasts to respect experienced enthusiasts and the established processes of the industry. Veteran enthusiasts also fail to guide these newer enthusiasts and mentor them in the correct way of respecting other individuals’ creations.
The other clash is happening with the misuse and misinterpretation of the word SPONSORSHIP. Automotive Industry experts are going through more lengths to educate the younger enthusiasts on the correct way to even submit a sponsorship request. The biggest point is this: you have to be able to provide the sponsor more value than what you are asking.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way. Let’s proceed with the show.
Ranger Ramirez at Elite Tuner is one of the most down to earth beings that I know. His love and passion for the car community is what drove him to organize an automotive gathering. He was able to bring automotive industry names together under one roof. Names such as High End Performance, Tanoshi, Mastermind North America, Import Expo, OC Car Show. I was surprised Manny at High End Performance brought the elusive Veilside RX7 to the show. Manny has been in the industry since back in the day. He is responsible for Auto Concept Elite, High End Performance and a partner of MasterMind North America, one of the leading JDM parts specialists in the country.
It was a good turnout. Vendors such as APAC and Impulse Automotive showcased their builds and products. The jaw dropping cars from Camber Gang were present as well.
It’s been a long day. After the awards, we finally headed on our 4 hour drive home. We’d like to thank Ranger Ramirez for inviting us to be a part of the show and congrats as well for throwing this successful show – his first big event organized. We wish you more success in your upcoming events.
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