Long Beach is home to one of the most iconic ocean liners of all time. Built in Scotland and run across the globe, the RMS Queen Mary is just chocked full of history. For years, this ship would take passengers to and from America to Europe, and would later ferry American and allied troops over to the European theater (during World War II). With a reputation for reliability and for having a great sense of style (i mean, who doesn’t like the 1930’s art deco look?), this ship ruled the seas for many years. While it dominated sea travel for a period of time, the time came for this ship to be retired, and its final destination would be the Southern California town of Long Beach. It may not seem like it now, and living in Southern Cali, it’s easy to become jaded to the sights of our towns. Having such an iconic landmark in our backyard is fantastic, and it’s definitely something that residents should check out.
Who would have thought though, that this iconic ship. in all of its splendor would one day take the back seat to Wekfest? Just what is Wekfest though, and what makes it so special that one of the titans of the Oceanliner industry would take a back seat to it? Wekfest is an “International Automotive Tour” that is dedicated to showcasing cars and their communities. With a tour of just six shows domestically and overseas, Wekfest is a show dedicated to showcasing only the best in the industry. Having gone to their 2015 show, it’s definitely and impression you get walking around. With so many of the finest cars, models and vendors, the Queen Mary is more than fitting a spot for this show. Having the show be held on one of the prettiest days of the year helps as well.
Wekfest is a show that I had heard about for a long time now, and was always curious about checking out. The impression I had gotten from social media was that it was a really good show. You can tell a lot about how events go by the reactions of the people covering it. Whether it’s professional coverage of a show, or the low down and dirty pics from one of the fans, you can tell a lot of what went down from there. The looks of this one always intrigued me, and when I had the chance to check it out, I just knew I had to go.
I knew driving up to the Queen Mary that this show was going to be something else. With one of the sunniest and (because it’s Long Beach) coolest of Summer days, you couldn’t have asked for a better setting. Of course, that’s what Southern Cali is all about, and this day was no different. Even though there was a line about a quarter mile just going into the parking lot, that wasn’t enough to deter the fans and myself. With some sick cars just in the parking lot, it was a lot to take in. Definitely a good sign when you’re excited about a show before you even get in!
Upon going through the front entrance you are flanked with cars on all sides. In primo real estate, you had one of the biggest booths of the entire show. Occupied by the folks from R1 Concepts, this booth for many was one of the first things you saw coming into the show. With some of the hottest cars out there (most, if not all of which are show winners) and some of the prettiest models this side of the Mississippi, I think one can see this booth even from low orbit. The gravitational pull of this booth is hard to deny, and it was something really nice to witness. While R1 was an impressive sight, it was the rows and rows of cars and booths that continued to catch my eye. From Toyo Tires and their sweet, sweet GTR (and Porsche) at the booth, to Ferrari’s at Crooks and Castles, there was so much to see at the show.
The draw of some of these cars is enough to bring in fans from all over the country. It’s easily said that SoCal is the center of the car culture in America, and having a setting that brings in the cream of the crop sure does bring just that. Some cars are built up to the hilt with some exotic parts and materials. While even the humblest of cars really do represent that show-car quality. It is impressive, and the credit goes to the organizers for finding the cars that they do. Much more credit goes to the fans that attend however. Without them we wouldn’t be as impressed we were. The variety of vehicles at the show was a welcome addition as well. With a nice mix of imports from Japan and Europe, with a few domestic cars thrown in, there was a little something for everyone.
Just walking around and seeing the people interact with each other, and appreciate just what the car culture is, is a real treat. So, while Wekfest could be seen as just another car show, I think it’s really something different. In a lot of ways, it’s an event. And maybe that’s why the crowd participation is what it is. It was also nice seeing the many familiar faces in the scene. Not only were models such as Jessica Weaver and Jeri Lee present (at the same booth no less), but, so were iconic models of the interwebs (such as Tianna Gregory). It’s enough to make one’s head spin. Definitely a show I would go to again, and one that begs to check see under the same conditions. But, don’t take my word for it. Check out some of the pictures from the show, and tell us what you think. We’re sure that you’d be just as excited to attend. Let’s hope that the next one lives up to the reputation of this last show. The Queen Mary deserves nothing less. It’s nice to see such an iconic figure be host to Wekfest and the many shows that occupy its space. A real treat to see worlds collide. We can’t wait until the next show, and we are sure that neither can the fans.
Words and Photos By Daniel Navarrete
For more information on Wekfest, check out their website at http://www.wekfest-usa.com/#home