Las Vegas, NV - We just returned from our annual trip to The SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV and we're pretty excited about some good talks we had with friends, clients, and colleagues from the car scene while we were out there. Looking forward to making some interesting moves in 2016. But in the meantime, we attend SEMA every year to see all the new exciting builds and products, as well as to grow our network. But the main event of the week for us and for most is the Mothers Shine Award. This year marked their third year operating with our eJudged iOS app at their fingertips. We are always eager to hear feedback and learn from the panel of all star judges from all over the planet. This year we saw some unbelievable quality builds.
2015 was sort of a Bizzarro SEMA for us. The weather was cold and raining for a good portion of the week. We watched snow form on the mountaintops from our hotel windows in the morning. But most importantly we were blown away by a number of more personal, individual builds - which stole the show for us - over the usual suspects from the "OEM dollar car" builder game. That is not to say that our friends didn't build impressive new concepts to help market their companies and the manufacturers they partnered with, but we were just overwhelmed by some of the not-so-new to market vehicles that caught our attention and admiration this time around. There was the RyWire Porsche inspired RHD Integra Type R build that finally nailed the concept of a race inspired show car with expert craftsmanship. There was the east coast Legacy Innovations RHD Corrado build that blends the concept of VW Top Dawg Quality and Hot Rodding culture. There was former Ridler Award recipients debuting something fresh. There was yet another Ring Brothers creation - maybe something like an LS7 powered carbon body vintage Mustang for example. But who would've ever thought that Rusty Slammington was going to show up and win the internet all week long. This car was thought to be destroyed in a garage fire, but four years later, it was on display at SEMA... and quite frankly it was all anyone could talk about.
Ocean City, MD - The H2O International event is without a doubt one of our favorite events all year long. The end of the season banger for all things VW and Audi has grown to unbelievable heights over the past few years, as it has now become the annual end of the season cruise weekend for seemingly everybody in the car scene. While the show itself is and always will be open to VW and Audi only - with our Ford Transit Connect mobile command station being the only allowed exception to that rule - the city of Ocean City becomes overwhelmed with european, asian, domestic, old school, new school, drift wanna-be, stance inspired, VIP styled, and of course the ridiculously cambered folks as well. It has become such a spectacle that OCPD has to come out in full force and keep the streets safe. This year there was another regulator in town for the weekend, Hurricane Joaquin. As we traveled closer and closer to the beach high winds, horizontal rainfall, and flooding made us wonder how the weekend was going to still happen.
But happen it did. And to be quite honest the Hurricane failed to scare off the H2O faithful. The meets still happened - and we were happy to be accepted at the Mk1/Mk2 meet which was our favorite of the weekend. We were also posted up front and center in front of OC House of Rock for the Official Hurricane Party - hosted by eJudged certified expert judge, Denis Dewar, and our old pal B-Rad Hoffman, of OC Car Show fame. The streets were still popping with people cruising - and those select few people who preferred to be "that guy" were able to gain major scene points by getting their unsafe vehicles impounded by OCPD.
Elysburg, PA – September 2015 marked the third annual Knoedown event at Knoebel’s Amusement Park. The show is put together by some friends of ours – and two huge names in the current car scene and clothing line community – Junkstyles x Lowlifestyle and CounterKultur. Both brands join together to organize one of the coolest weekends in our scene. This show is all about having fun with friends and family. While they do give out awards to recognize some of the most impressive builds on display, the guys behind the event stress that the competition aspect of this event is far from top priority. Knoebels Amusement Park – the largest free admission park in the country – creates a unique atmosphere for the event and helps set the tone for fun. Car owners get ride tickets and a lunch pass included in their vehicle display space and spectators can also join in on the group lunch which is cookout style food served in a giant pavilion so the show-goers can enjoy each other’s company together. It’s a very cool premise for a show and a great alternative to the growing number of elitist “send pictures to get approved” style events that have been popping up all over the east coast over the past few years. We also love the event because our JunkStyles x LowLifeStyle buddies always save a great spot for our Ford Transit Connect Wagon mobile command center. We need that prime location so that we can blanket the showfield – which this year grew to right around 500 vehicles of all breeds – with our WiFi signal for the judging portion of the event. This year the format was switched up to a Top 20 overall with a handful of creative specialty style awards. The Top 20 trophies were in the form of beer growlers, while the specialty trophies were laser cut, engraved, and anodized one-off metal designs that were donated by the geniuses at IDF (Innovative Design and Fabrication) and LowJambs DropShop. While we see them needing to bump up to a Top 25 at least in the future, we have to admit these were some of the coolest trophies we’ve seen at an event yet. We simply cannot wait to see what the JSxLLS and CK guys have in store for next year’s Knoedown event – and the streets are talking, telling us that these two iconic brands may team up to do another event as well. Count us in!
Hampton, VA - As the summer heats up, we took a trip south to team up with B-Rad Hoffman and the Live-Wire-Media crew once again. This time it was all about hot rods and muscle - of the classic and modern variety at Langley Speedway. Langley has been host to plenty of NASCAR events in its day and is located near a NASA facility featuring a wind tunnel. But on this hot August weekend it was host to the Southern Fried Festival - which features the outdoor version of the VA Hot Rod & Custom Car Show as well as great live music and an official sanctioned BBQ competition. Cars, music, and bbq - what more could you ask for in a proper event?
Of course we had our Ford Transit Connect Wagon posted up on the midway - in the infield. While impressive show and race vehicles were on display on the famous short track. We've said this before, but its always a great time when you're at a Live-Wire-Media event. This year has been a learning experience for us, and B-Rad has been a big help along the way. The competitors at his Hot Rod events are the true definition of southern hospitality... and they build some bad ass vehicles as well. We can't wait to see what is in store for the event series in 2016.
York, PA - VagFair is easily one of our favorite events of the summer. We've known Cory Sterling, the man behind the mayhem, for a really long time. He's worked his tail off to make this show a huge success. This year Volkswagen of America came out to show support - so you know he's doing something right. We were able to park the bus - aka our Ford Transit Connect Mobile Command Center - in the JunkStyles x Lowlifestyle mega booth, right on the midway. It was the perfect location for us to blast some WiFi across the showfield for the judges.