Since Speedhunters’ inception in 2008, we’ve featured occasions from everywhere in the world. A decade and a half later, many of those are nonetheless occurring. Others have merely light away.
BLOX Evolution is without doubt one of the latter, however that’s to not say the occasion was a failure. For the few years that it ran, it introduced collectively one of the best of the San Francisco Bay Space’s tuner tradition in a massive means. So let’s wind again the clock and be part of Speedhunters OG Mike Garrett in 2014, to see what that 12 months’s BLOX Evolution occasion was all about…
The San Francisco Bay Space is thought for lots of issues – hippies, tech begin ups, thizzin’, fog and clam chowder in bread bowls. Vehicles – excluding EVs or the newest self-driving prototypes – aren’t thought of one of many space’s claims to fame. However maybe they need to be.
I simply received dwelling after a couple of days of Speedhunting across the Bay Space – a go to that left me very impressed with what I discovered. This journey included every part from professional touring monster machines to lowriders, and I completed off my keep on Saturday by trying out one of many area’s most anticipated auto occasions of the 12 months.
It’s referred to as BLOX Evolution, and if that title doesn’t sound acquainted you aren’t alone. It begins with BLOX Racing, an organization that makes efficiency elements for quite a lot of import automobiles, headquartered within the East Bay metropolis of Fremont.
For the previous a number of years BLOX has held an open home meet at their HQ – the turnout rising larger with every year’s occasion. By final 12 months it was clear that the meet was outgrowing the venue, so for 2014 the organizers determined to alter issues up.
Really, they didn’t simply change issues up, they took the occasion to the following degree, aiming to create one of many space’s new way of life automotive occasions. You already know – import fashions, DJs, meals vans and that form of factor. Thus BLOX Evolution was born.
In fact with the bigger ambitions of the occasion a brand new venue would should be discovered. A run-of-the-mill enterprise park simply wouldn’t lower it any extra.
The venue for BLOX Evolution was one of many extra attention-grabbing automotive present places I’ve seen – an outdated warehouse at Pier 70 within the Port of San Francisco. In fact, locals know that summer season climate in San Francisco will be removed from summer-like – however fortuitously Saturday’s circumstances have been lovely. It felt extra Los Angeles than San Francisco.
If I’m sincere I’ve by no means been an enormous fan of music-blasting, import ‘way of life’ occasions as I want to let the cars communicate for themselves. However realizing what the Bay Space’s auto scene can deliver to the desk, I used to be excited to test this out.
I’ve to say the outdated port venue actually made for a cool ambiance and there was positively much more character than you’d discover at your typical conference heart or fairgrounds automotive present. Rolling as much as the large brick constructing on the Bay, I felt like I used to be going to some type of secret underground assembly. I used to be simply ready for some man named Hector to come back out and ask who the Snowman was.
As for the occasion itself, BLOX Evolution could be divided into two most important areas. Exterior could be the ‘meet’ space, arrange within the spirit of the unique open home occasions. Contained in the warehouse could be the ‘present’ space – the place automobiles have been judged in quite a lot of classes.
Present ‘N Go
As I headed inside the huge warehouse to get my first at have a look at the present, I wasn’t fairly certain what to anticipate. Would there be rows and rows of stanced vehicles? VIP luxurious machines? Conventional tuner automobiles? Classic vehicles? Because it seems, there was somewhat little bit of every part…
It’s been about 15 years for the reason that explosion of import tuning initially took over locations just like the San Francisco Bay Space. A variety of the children the could possibly be discovered modifying Honda Civics and Acura Integras again within the day have since moved onto different vehicles and different scenes.
However whereas they may have grown up, developed careers and began households, they actually haven’t outgrown their love for vehicles.
Some have moved on to the world of VIP vehicles, and there have been quite a few examples of modified Japanese luxurious sedans hanging round Pier 70 on Saturday.
Others saved their want for pace, choosing up trendy excessive efficiency turbo machines just like the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Nissan GT-R.
One other group went again in time to rediscover the roots of the scene, constructing among the nicest 510s, Zs, and Celicas that you just’ll discover wherever.
Some have made the change to European vehicles – Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and even MINI – the latter represented by this Cooper S loaded up with elements from Japan’s Duell AG.
Even guys that wanted household haulers didn’t hand over on modifying vehicles. The Bay Space occurs to be dwelling to one of many largest customized minivan scenes in the USA.
Lastly, there are those that caught with the vehicles of their youth, however now construct them higher than they ever might after they have been scrappy youngsters. The Bay Space is correct up there with LA with regards to clear Honda builds.
Whereas there have been loads of vehicles with slammed journey heights and aggressive wheels at BLOX Evolution, I positively wouldn’t name this a stance-oriented occasion. The broad mixture of kinds was positively some of the satisfying elements of the present.
Not that there’s something in any respect mistaken with a low and gradual cruiser – particularly a uncommon machine like Ken Stevens’ airbagged ’72 Audi 100.
I additionally thought this slammed Mazda Protege 5 was cool – not simply because it was cleanly achieved – however as a result of this isn’t a standard platform for modification.
Is Efficiency Again?
If something although, it appears likes efficiency builds is likely to be making a comeback within the birthplace of Hellaflush.
The constructing was filled with turbo conversions, engine swaps and different vehicles with spec sheets that included a lot extra than simply wheel offsets or tire sizes.
May there be a greater mixture than the FD3s RX-7 and a GM LS V8? Rotary purists may cringe, however these highly effective, aluminum V8s are simply so well-matched to the FD’s gentle chassis and timeless seems. As an added bonus, this FD road automotive from the Encourage Crew as additionally packing some increase to associate with its eight cylinders of American muscle.
Talking of motor swaps, a store by the title of Tech3 introduced out its 240Z observe automotive undertaking. The Datsun sports activities all method of useful mechanical upgrades.
Beneath the hood, the L-series six has been eliminated in favor of a potent SR20DET setup.
If there’s one factor I observed in regards to the Bay Space scene it’s that individuals right here appear to actually take pleasure in their AWD turbo machines. Retailers like San Jose’s Pace Component are turning out quite a few Evos and Imprezas loaded with high-end tuning elements from Japan.
In actual fact, I believe Tsukuba Circuit is the one place I’ve seen extra Varis aero kits, Voltex wings and RAYS Volk Racing wheels. They actually know methods to do ‘em nicely within the Bay!
Talking of Volk Racing, right here’s an STI modeling the model’s new ZE40 wheels beneath a set of widened fenders. I dig it.
Is there any stopping Rocket Bunny mania? It seems not after seeing the gang response to the David Uy’s TRA Kyoto kit-equipped R35 GT-R. What a radical trying machine.
Some prefer to look again to the Nineties to search out their Japanese hero vehicles, and people individuals could be happy to see automobiles like this ultra-clean JZA80 Supra. Whereas the Supra has all the time introduced massive cash on the used automotive market, I’ve received little question these items will solely go up in worth because the years go on.
The identical will be stated for the Acura NSX, which was represented by this airbagged instance from the Countless Initiatives crew.
You simply gotta lave a Datsun 510, particularly when it’s clear and unique instance like this root beer-colored wagon. Nothing outrageous with regards to mods right here, only a traditional machine that’s acquired numerous love from its proprietor.
In distinction to the meticulously introduced 510, right here’s one other Datsun that calls the Bay Space dwelling. Somewhat than a tidy present automotive, this 240Z is an absolute beast, coming straight out of Oakland’s late-night road racing scene.
It’s powered by a turbocharged LS motor, and with its exhaust dumped out proper subsequent to the entrance wheel it sounded completely gnarly.
This DC2 Integra with a bunch of JDM Sort R elements and a set of Dash Hart wheels was one other one of many many prime quality Hondas and Acuras that got here out. Easy and to the purpose, don’t you suppose?
Together with the a whole bunch of vehicles that have been readily available, BLOX Evolution additionally included different actions like an RC drifting show placed on by a neighborhood membership.
There was additionally a powerful displaying of personalized scooters – that is one other scene which has roots on the tight streets of San Francisco.
As you possibly can see, the Bay Space is about much more than public transportation and the Prius.