Nisei Week Car Show

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Last weekend car enthusiasts were spoiled for choice when it came to great events. Everything from classic cars at the historics in Monterey, CA to race ready Mazdas at Mazfest at Willow Springs International Raceway. Luckily for us another fantastic event was happening right in the heart of Little Tokyo LA. It was time to brush up on my Japanese and head downtown to the 2014 Nisei Week Car Show. Ikimashou!

Having lived in the South Bay for some time now, I have been to all kinds of shows but the Nisei Week Car Show continues to be one that I always look forward to. Having attended this show many times, there are a few things I’ve learned over the years.

First, this Little Tokyo parking lot gets hot, I mean really hot! After about 30 minutes you will be draining your bank account on 3 dollar bottles of water. So armed with my umbrella, sunscreen, and bottle of ice water I was ready for battle.

Second, parking during the show is a premium.


This was somewhat alleviated with the addition of on site event parking, but this was quickly filled and was soon turning away many like these evo and wrx owners. So hot tip, get there early or be prepared to hoof it.


Rolling up to the front, there was a good size line of people waiting to get in. This being the 20th anniversary of the show’s running, it was no surprise.


This was also the second year the Nisei Week Car Show has ran in partner with StanceNation. While I have some reservations about this mashup, it is my belief that every car subculture has something to offer the greater car community. It is my hope that the Showoff Cafe guys can continue the same level of quality that has made this show so famous over the past 20 years no matter who they partner with.

Anyway, on to the cars!


Making our way through the entrance, Ings had a great setup with their 370Z demo car. This kit worked well in accentuating the car’s body lines while still retaining streetable looks.


Across the aisle was this tough looking RA Celica…


…packing some Honda F22 power under the hood. The neo chrome valve cover and trumpets were an interesting addition.


Though I think I prefer the Midas touch on this K swaped DC2 Integra.

The Nisei Week Car Show is open to all makes and models but many will note the heavy Honda presence here. Growing up and being the Honda fanboy that I am, I can’t help but enjoy seeing how these cars have evolved over the years. Like this EG6 hatch.


Clean and well executed K-Swap…


…a coveted Back Yard Special front lip with Top1 Motors diffuser…


…and Sprint Hart CP-R Competitions. Overall a great selection of modern and classic mods working in unison. It’s a good feeling knowing that tuners are continuing to push the boundaries for these platforms, yet still respect the classics that laid the foundation.

Speaking of OG’s, they knew that you didn’t need a lot to make these cars really shine. This EF9 was a great example of this line of thinking.


Subtle touches like the JDM EF9 front end…


…SSR EXC mesh wheels…


…and a clean interior with mods where it counts. No school like the old school.


This NA miata was looking great with the Project-G G-string cover, Work Glow Star wheels…


…and Ford powerplant?! Turns out the Ford Escort motor valve cover share the same bolt pattern but leave the cam gears exposed. A popular mod for Miata owners apparently.



A spoonful of goodness.


Simple yet aggressive wide body RSX on Wedsport TC-105N’s

Every years there is always a great selection of classic j-tin at the Nisei Week Car Show, our favorite pick this year was this stunning orange Corolla Trueno Sprinter.





In a sea of stanced and bagged cars, this pristine TE27 was a breath of fresh air. After seeing a classic like this I cant wait for JCCS later this year.

A lot of times at these cars shows its easy to notice the expensive wheels, wind tunnel approved aero kits and outrageous paint jobs. Though its when we look closer at the details that would usually go unnoticed that we learn more about the car and it’s owner. Take this S13.



S13 Silvia front end conversion is well executed.


And Nismo LM-GT4’s are also a nice touch. But look closer.


Project Mu NS4 brake pads keeps things under control. The execution and selection of mods are top notch. This JDM enthusiast has built a car that would be right at home on the streets of Tokyo.

While most of the cars were of the show variety, what really surprised me this year was the amount of track machines in attendance.


This CR-Z owner went ahead and did Honda’s work for them…


…by removing the boat anchor IMA engine,swaping in a responsive K-series and making the CR-Z the sports compact car the world really wanted.


This may be the perfect track day EG6 if I ever saw one. High ducktail spoiler.


B18C GSR swap.


And 949 Racing 6UL wrapped in Toyo R888’s with Wilwood brakes backing things up. Would love to get a few hot laps around Willow Springs in something like this.

Ah now this takes me back.



Throughout high school I drove around in my parents 1990 Honda Accord, dreaming of the day that I would swap in a H22 under the hood. Unfortunately that day never came and I ended up leaving it back home when I came out to Cali. But even now I still keep an eye out for a clean CB7 looking for a good home and a some big block Honda power.

Now this was interesting find.


Acrylic intake? Cool.


Supercharged H22A? Very nice.


Roll cage, quick release and a S2000 gauge cluster? Wow!


All inside a beautiful white EG hatch on Work VS-KF’s? Ok now that’s just showing off. Looking at the list of mods you may think it doesn’t make sense, but this owner execution and attention to detail is what makes this car outstanding.

For me this was the car that really personified the Nisei Week Car show. This car platform was brand new when the Nisei Week Car Show was first started and like the car, the show has grown and changed in finding its own identity. In my opinion no other show has such a unique and defining character of quality and community like the Nisei Week Car Show. A big thank you to the Nisei Week association and the guys at Showoff Cafe. Here’s to another 20 years of bringing the best in SoCal car culture.


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