Since Speedhunters’ inception in 2008, we’ve featured events from all around the world. A decade and a half later, lots of these are still happening. Others have simply faded away.
BLOX Evolution is one among the latter, but that’s to not say the event was a failure. For the few years that it ran, it brought together one of the best of the San Francisco Bay Area’s tuner culture in a big way. So let’s wind back the clock and join Speedhunters OG Mike Garrett in 2014, to see what that 12 months’s BLOX Evolution event was all about…
The San Francisco Bay Area is understood for loads of things – hippies, tech start ups, thizzin’, fog and clam chowder in bread bowls. Cars – aside from EVs or the latest self-driving prototypes – aren’t considered one among the world’s claims to fame. But perhaps they ought to be.
I just got home after a number of days of Speedhunting across the Bay Area – a visit that left me very impressed with what I discovered. This trip included every part from pro touring monster machines to lowriders, and I finished off my stay on Saturday by testing one among the region’s most anticipated auto events of the 12 months.
It’s called BLOX Evolution, and if that name doesn’t sound familiar you aren’t alone. It begins with BLOX Racing, an organization that makes performance parts for quite a lot of import vehicles, headquartered within the East Bay city of Fremont.
For the past several years BLOX has held an open house meet at their HQ – the turnout growing larger with every year’s event. By last 12 months it was clear that the meet was outgrowing the venue, so for 2014 the organizers decided to alter things up.
Actually, they didn’t just change things up, they took the event to the subsequent level, aiming to create one among the world’s latest lifestyle automotive events. You understand – import models, DJs, food trucks and that type of thing. Thus BLOX Evolution was born.
After all with the larger ambitions of the event a brand new venue would have to be found. A run-of-the-mill business park just wouldn’t cut it any more.
The venue for BLOX Evolution was one among the more interesting automotive show locations I’ve seen – an old warehouse at Pier 70 within the Port of San Francisco. After all, locals know that summer weather in San Francisco will be removed from summer-like – but fortunately Saturday’s conditions were beautiful. It felt more Los Angeles than San Francisco.
If I’m honest I’ve never been an enormous fan of music-blasting, import ‘lifestyle’ events as I prefer to let the automobiles speak for themselves. But knowing what the Bay Area’s auto scene can bring to the table, I used to be excited to examine this out.
I actually have to say the old port venue really made for a cool atmosphere and there was definitely rather a lot more character than you’d find at your typical convention center or fairgrounds automotive show. Rolling as much as the massive brick constructing on the Bay, I felt like I used to be going to some type of secret underground meeting. I used to be just waiting for some guy named Hector to return out and ask who the Snowman was.
As for the event itself, BLOX Evolution can be divided into two principal areas. Outside can be the ‘meet’ area, arrange within the spirit of the unique open house events. Contained in the warehouse can be the ‘show’ area – where vehicles were judged in various categories.
Show ‘N Go
As I headed inside the huge warehouse to get my first at take a look at the show, I wasn’t quite sure what to anticipate. Would there be rows and rows of stanced cars? VIP luxury machines? Traditional tuner vehicles? Vintage cars? Because it seems, there was just a little little bit of every part…
It’s been about 15 years because the explosion of import tuning originally took over places just like the San Francisco Bay Area. Plenty of the kids the might be found modifying Honda Civics and Acura Integras back within the day have since moved onto other cars and other scenes.
But while they could have grown up, developed careers and began families, they definitely haven’t outgrown their love for cars.
Some have moved on to the world of VIP cars, and there have been quite a few examples of modified Japanese luxury sedans hanging around Pier 70 on Saturday.
Others kept their need for speed, picking up modern high performance turbo machines just like the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Nissan GT-R.
One other group went back in time to rediscover the roots of the scene, constructing among the nicest 510s, Zs, and Celicas that you simply’ll find anywhere.
Some have made the switch to European cars – Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and even MINI – the latter represented by this Cooper S loaded up with parts from Japan’s Duell AG.
Even guys that needed family haulers didn’t surrender on modifying cars. The Bay Area happens to be home to one among the biggest custom minivan scenes in america.
Finally, there are those that stuck with the cars of their youth, but now construct them higher than they ever could once they were scrappy teenagers. The Bay Area is true up there with LA in relation to clean Honda builds.
While there have been loads of cars with slammed ride heights and aggressive wheels at BLOX Evolution, I definitely wouldn’t call this a stance-oriented event. The wide mixture of styles was definitely some of the enjoyable parts of the show.
Not that there’s anything in any respect improper with a low and slow cruiser – especially a rare machine like Ken Stevens’ airbagged ’72 Audi 100.
I also thought this slammed Mazda Protege 5 was cool – not simply because it was cleanly done – but because this isn’t a typical platform for modification.
Is Performance Back?
If anything though, it seems likes performance builds is perhaps making a comeback within the birthplace of Hellaflush.
The constructing was stuffed with turbo conversions, engine swaps and other cars with spec sheets that included a lot greater than just wheel offsets or tire sizes.
Could there be a greater combination than the FD3s RX-7 and a GM LS V8? Rotary purists might cringe, but these powerful, aluminum V8s are only so well-matched to the FD’s light chassis and timeless looks. As an added bonus, this FD street automotive from the Encourage Crew as also packing some boost to associate with its eight cylinders of American muscle.
Speaking of motor swaps, a store by the name of Tech3 brought out its 240Z track automotive project. The Datsun sports all manner of functional mechanical upgrades.
Under the hood, the L-series six has been removed in favor of a potent SR20DET setup.
If there’s one thing I noticed concerning the Bay Area scene it’s that individuals here seem to actually enjoy their AWD turbo machines. Shops like San Jose’s Speed Element are turning out quite a few Evos and Imprezas loaded with high-end tuning parts from Japan.
In actual fact, I feel Tsukuba Circuit is the one place I’ve seen more Varis aero kits, Voltex wings and RAYS Volk Racing wheels. They definitely know the best way to do ‘em well within the Bay!
Speaking of Volk Racing, here’s an STI modeling the brand’s latest ZE40 wheels under a set of widened fenders. I dig it.
Is there any stopping Rocket Bunny mania? It appears not after seeing the gang response to the David Uy’s TRA Kyoto kit-equipped R35 GT-R. What a radical looking machine.
Some wish to look back to the Nineties to seek out their Japanese hero cars, and people people can be pleased to see vehicles like this ultra-clean JZA80 Supra. While the Supra has at all times brought big money on the used automotive market, I’ve got little doubt these items will only go up in value because the years go on.
The identical will be said for the Acura NSX, which was represented by this airbagged example from the Countless Projects crew.
You only gotta lave a Datsun 510, especially when it’s clean and original example like this root beer-colored wagon. Nothing outrageous in relation to mods here, only a classic machine that’s received loads of love from its owner.
In contrast to the meticulously presented 510, here’s one other Datsun that calls the Bay Area home. Relatively than a tidy show automotive, this 240Z is an absolute beast, coming straight out of Oakland’s late-night street racing scene.
It’s powered by a turbocharged LS motor, and with its exhaust dumped out right next to the front wheel it sounded absolutely gnarly.
This DC2 Integra with a bunch of JDM Type R parts and a set of Sprint Hart wheels was one other one among the various top quality Hondas and Acuras that got here out. Easy and to the purpose, don’t you think that?
Together with the tons of of cars that were readily available, BLOX Evolution also included other activities like an RC drifting display placed on by a neighborhood club.
There was also a powerful showing of customized scooters – that is one other scene which has roots on the tight streets of San Francisco.
As you may see, the Bay Area is about rather a lot greater than public transportation and the Prius.
This Article First Appeared At www.speedhunters.com