How could I pass up going to 86Fest, the biggest AE86/FR-S/BRZ show in North America? Antonio Alvendia called me up to see if I could shoot it, and I had a free weekend and enough other reasons to spend a couple days in LA, so I took the opportunity when it came to me!
I showed up to Auto Club Speedway at 8 and had to wait in line with the show cars even though I was working for the event. That’s okay though, it gave me a chance to shoot the roll-in.
After I finally got in, I found the staff guys building the stage and setting up tents.
They spent a small fortune on printed materials!
As the vendors were setting up their booths, Daniel Song’s faux-carbon wrapped FR-S was one of the first cars I spotted.
You can’t go wrong with SSR Professors.
Other cars had almost nothing but carbon fiber in the engine bays.
Antonio’s paint looked incredibly good. If it weren’t for the handful of rock chips I would have thought it had been freshly repainted. Nope, it’s the result of trusting Glossworks with your car.
It’s kind of interesting being at a show with such a new car. Aside from the race cars and other booth cars, most the cars were relatively stock. A few had body kits, most had aftermarket exhausts and wheels (though a lot of the cars had the same wheels as each other), most still had the original paint, and a surprising amount had small details like JDM lights or BRZ lights on an FR-S.
That being said, the lack of craziness meant almost all of the cars were tastefully done. There was certainly nothing as wacky as drawers in quarterpanels.
I thought it would be fun to break out my film camera and shoot old cars with old technology. I used Kodak Ektar 100 for all the film shots.
A bunch of guys brought RC versions of their cars.
I don’t think I’d be able to find an RC Blastfinder anywhere.
Some RC cars were totally unrelated to their owners’ real cars.
I found Ken Gushi hanging out at the GReddy Booth. He was busy getting his picture taken over and over.
Luckily for him 86Fest was scheduled between the Seattle and Dallas rounds of Formula D, which meant his FR-S was conveniently in LA anyway.
Ken’s car was by no means the only pro track car at the show, though.
And not even the only pro drift car. Taka Aono has near legendary status in the AE86 community for sticking with the chassis long after most drivers moved on to newer platforms.
Could Taka pull it off in an FR-S? I think that’s the only move he could make without alienating every single one of his fans.
Some guys opted to autocross their cars rather than park them in one of the rows.
Does the Fujiwara Tofu Shop panda livery work on an FR-S?
Maybe No Tofu is the better choice.
I was disappointed there weren’t more AE86’s, but I was happy there were all kinds of other vintage rides.
It wasn’t just Toyotas either.
But Toyotas were by far the most common.
Some cars were preserved or restored to showroom stock, and others were built into insane machines.
Did you know Joon Maeng is an AE86 guy? He was showing off his Lucas Oil sponsored panda coupe.
Fred David of Belle-1, who DJ’s at Formula D, was DJ at 86 Fest as well.
AE86’s are’t your typical rally car, but I’ve see one in action before.
Maybe I’ll see this one in the dirt one day.
There were a few old school Celicas happily mixed in with the AE86’s.
Antonio and the other staff guys were zooming around on Ruckuses all day, taking care of the various issues that can arise. It’s also a good excuse to get friendly with the ladies.
The AE86’s were more unique than the FR-S’s, but that should be expected after 30 years.
I don’t think any two AE86’s had the same engine setup.
ITB’s and exposed cam gears. Awesome.
The show had some pretty fun awards, like “Furthest Distance Driven in an AE86. Whoever won that has some confidence!
Maybe it was this guy.
I wonder how long this guy has had the I♥MY86 license plate. I’d think that’d be one of the first ones to get picked.
I climbed up on the billboard catwalk thing to see what I could see. It was a pretty good view of the show but man was it windy up there. The whole structure was swaying back and forth.
I could also see down into the speedway, which was pretty cool. Some drivers from a different event were out practicing.
N1 Concepts had the craziest track build I’d say. Big Country Labs has got nothing on this wing.
Of course there were plenty of models and booth girls.
Some famous enough to sign autographs.
At the end of the day, everyone gathered around for the awards.
Who wouldn’t want to win a subwoofer that fits an FR-S like stock?