Summertime is a time that I look on with both happiness and sadness. It was a time that I remember as a kid as being the time I look forward to the most. Well, not really. I’m lying there. I actually looked forward to Christmas time the most. Then as a kid, and even now as an adult. It’s one of the most charming of holidays and the feeling around my hometown has always brought me back to a simpler time. But, alas, other than Christmas break, it was summer that captured my heart. On one hand, summer usually means that the sun is out and whether you like it or not, you’re going to live your life in one of two ways. You’re either going to sweat your ass off, or burn your ass off. As terrible as that seems (and if you are around for August of all times), then you know that it is going to be pretty rough. However, on the other hand, summer means something completely different. For folks like myself, summer is when the car show season is in full swing, and week by week there are a steady flow of events all around the SoCal area. For us, it’s a great time to be out and about. Since we frequent a lot of car shows, it’s the perfect time to attend them. At least every weekend there is a show (or two, or even a few), and more often than not, they are shows that you’ve probably waited all year to go to. One of those shows is one that I have been to for the past 10 years. It is a show that no matter what is going on, really warrants an appearance from me. And this year was no different than it has been before. Yes folks, you know what I’m talking about. It is the show that sits smack dab in the middle of the year, and one that I don’t even have to introduce. Spocom. Need I say more?
If you’ve been following us, or following the car scene in SoCal, then you’ve probably heard of this show. Once a year we are fortunate enough to have this car and lifestyle show invade our shores, and once a year we look forward to what it will bring. Spocom isn’t so much a car show any more. It is an institution. Just the mere mention of the name conjures up images of slammed, tricked out cars, pulsing music and a bevy of beautifully bouncy babes. Well, that last one may or may not sell you on the whole notion, but, dammit, if those things don’t come packaged together, then you just don’t get it. You don’t have to agree, but, there’s something superbly sexy about everything at Spocom. From the moment you get to the Convention Center and see the beeline of people heading to the main hall, it is pretty obvious that it’s going to be something special. The roll-in for us set the tone for what the show would be like.
Unlike the last few years where I was rolling in on my own, this time around I would be joined by my homeboys Brandon (Bee) and Gee. I love hanging out with those guys and having the opportunity to check out this show side by side was something that all of us were looking forward to. It took a little bit of magic and the planets to align in order to make the day happen, but, it was worth it when we all finally arrived to the show together. That was especially true when we were like everyone else and joined the crowds walking up to the convention center. We didn’t know it at the time, but, we were stopped just moments before we hit the front door by a beautiful woman. I don’t normally get stopped by beautiful women (well, not as much as I would like to), but, then again, it isn’t unnatural. I mean, I could think that I may not have what these ladies are looking for. And, you may be right. But, I like to think that I am just too damn sexy, and they are the ones intimidated by my fashionably good looks and pumped up gluteus maximus. Yeah, say what you want, but, it’s true. And walking into Spocom with my good friends flanking either side of me, we were surprised when one of the beautiful women walking in stopped us to ask if we were going to the show. Were we going to the show? Holy moly, you betcha. We were definitely going to the show, and wouldn’t you know, as pretty as this lovely lady was, we would go wherever she was going. Now, mind you, as creepy as that sounds, you can’t ever show your full poker hand. It’s not in the players handbook, and would be out of place to be creepy around someone as lovely as she was. But, we were going the same way and happily escorted @miss_mackin to the show. Yeah, we chatted about it later on, and it was funny that we ran into each other that way. Just a month earlier we were up in the Bay Area for Hot Import Nights San Jose, and lo-and-behold, we would meet her for the first time then.
She was fun to chat with back in the Bay, and running into her at Spocom was both a pleasant surprise. I didn’t know it then, but, that was just a taste of things to come. While I expect to see people I know from the car scene at these shows, I didn’t expect to see all of the people that I did see. From the moment we walked inside we would be greeted with a lot of familiar faces and a few new ones. While I love the cars and all the things related to them, it’s the people behind the scenes that I love interacting with. From those early years since I became a fan of the car scene all the way up until now, I have always loved chatting it up with the people around it. They bring the energy and the enthusiasm that makes all of us love what we love. If it weren’t for them the car scene would have died a painful and miserable death (at the hands of the ever changing laws and numerous other factors that have changed the way the scene is) long ago. But, alas the car scene is up and going, and if you are around during the summer, then you know that it is in full swing. Spocom though. It’s the show that I have always looked forward to and one that always brings in a few surprises. This time was no different.
Spocom is very well known to us here in SoCal (and from what I’ve heard, blowing up in the Bay and Hawaii), and so just the mere mention of the name conjures up a ton of images. I mean, if you’ve seen any of our previous Spocom coverage then you know the trouble we would be getting ourselves into this time around. Not that it was a bad thing. I mean, have you seen how awesome it is? Just for the cars alone I would go. Not to even mention all of the car teams, vendors and models (of which by the way, are always the cream of the crop, IMO). I wondered who we would see this time around.
The convention center was packed, and from the moment I walked in I saw a few familiar cars. Team Hybrid was there right near the entrance with an awesome display. They always come out in force, and seeing all of their rides in their corner of the world was pretty slick. I also enjoyed seeing the beautiful Lilly Evans and the other Hybrid models. Our friends from Team Elevate were also there, as were a ton of their cars. I heard later on that this was the first time that there had been that many members from Elevate there in one place. Just like Hybrid and a few of the other groups, they had definitely carved out their corner of the showfloor. Their president Gio was there as well as a a few of the iconic cars on the team. At this point, nearly every car stands out, so, no matter where you go, you’re bound to recognize them. Plus, I got to meet with the beautiful model Nikki. She has one of the prettiest smiles around, and is a very lovely addition to their team. I regret not snapping a picture though. Usually I do, but, for some reason my stupid self thought that I would be able to make it back in time to see her again. With the commotion of the bikini and dance-off contests though, I missed my chance. For shame!
We would also see Team Synergy and a few of their sweet rides as well. Team Synergy I have to admit, caught my attention not so much for their cars. At first anyways. But, because of who was there with them. I just happened to be walking around snapping some shots of what I was seeing when our homegirl Teresa (@saint_t) just happened to be there. She was posing for a picture with another photographer and had a nice little crowd for herself and her friend. We’ve worked with Teresa tons of times (including our trip to the Bay Area) and I was stoked to meet up her again. She’s an extended part of the Spektrum fam bam, so, we know it’s gonna be a good time when we see her. Plus, just like the Bay (when we all went up to the Bay together for Hot Import Nights San Jose), I was with my boys Brandon and Gee, so, it was just like that trip all over again. We yakked it up with her for a few and chatted with the president of Synergy. He’s a great guy, and we shared a few laughs in the few moments that we had.
Right next to Synergy display was the model lounge. I’ll admit, like a moth to a flame, I am drawn to this section. I mean, go to any Spocom show (or any show like this one) and the gravitational pull towards this area is something that has to be experienced to be believed. Even if you didn’t know it was there, everything in the convention hall funnels towards it. I think it’s the constant draw of people to that area and the fact that it’s right next to the main stage that helps it draw the crowds it does. It also helps that all of the women at the lounge are absolutely gorgeous. A lot of those models only make appearances every once in a while, and some of the ones that were there this time around were not even from our area. In fact, some of the models we saw in the lounge were some of the models we had met when we were up in the Bay. Not all, but, a lot of them were from out of town. For those of us from here, it let them make a ton of new fans. It was awesome, and sure did allow for some great photo ops.
One of the biggest surprises for us though, was a model that we had met last year at SEMA. I think I wrote about her in that article, but, she is definitely worth talking about once again. Brittany Murata is a gorgeous model and fitness ambassador that we grew to know and love in the short time that we got to know her. At SEMA we met Brittany at the JDM Sport booth and instantly fell in love with her charm and sense of humor(and stunningly good looks as well). While we kept in contact with her since then we were hoping that we would get a chance to see her. She is from Chicago, so, it’s not too often that our paths cross, and since I personally have never even been there, it didn’t seem like it would be any time soon that we would meet once again. While we did see a few folks from out of town down here for the show, we did not expect to see Brittany. The three of us at Spocom were the same trio that had met Brittany at SEMA way back when, and seeing her down in our neighborhood was one of the biggest surprises that day. Well, the biggest in the long chain of surprises that Spocom brought with it. It was awesome and we were stoked to catch up with her that day.
Then came the bikini contest. Yeah, of all of the things that go on that day, this is the event that stops traffic. All roads lead to Rome, and at Spocom all isles lead right up to the main stage for the bikini contest. While the day is really all about the import (and to some extent, the domestic) lifestyle, one cannot deny the power that a beautiful woman holds. They’ve been known to drive men (and women, of course) crazy, and have led them to do some incredible things. They have the power change opinions, get out of tickets, start ancient wars (read up on the Trojan War for some serious business) and make us do some foolish things. But, the one thing they are great at above all else, is to get the attention of the masses. In the car industry it’s an interesting thing. You can go to show after show and see hundreds or even thousands of cars in one place. Those cars can some of the finest builds in all of history or even something incredibly outlandish. But, the funny thing is, if you put a beautiful woman next to it, you’re guaranteed to see her get a lot more attention than the car. The appreciation between them and a car is mutual, and bringing them together is as wonderful as peanut butter and jelly. So, when the bikini contest at Spocom kicked off, we naturally had to be there. I mean, we had to. The moment that the contest started the entire showroom floor cleared out. I think that even the vendors cleared their booths. Pretty funny if you ask me. But, that is the power that they hold over us.
That was especially true this time around. The field of contestants was just as fierce this time as it has been in previous years. The models were all beautiful and some of the ones competing were the models in the lounge. Our homegirl Brittany was also one of the contestants, and while I would like to say I love them all, deep down I wanted her to win. What can I say, I’m totally biased. But, when you steal our Spektrum heart, then I can say that without impunity. Whatever the case, the group of the women was stunning and the competitiveness was amazing. They could all be winners truthfully, but, in the end, there could only be one winner. The top three ended up being Tamiko Lee, Clarissa Mendez and the winner Jessica Sunok. It was a triple threat for sure, and seeing how the audience reacted to the winner, I think it was safe to say that she was one of, if not, the most popular model in the running. I loved the fact that winner from last years’ show was the host of the show this year. She brought some energy to the show and it helped to see one of the past winners once again. It also made a nice picture at the end when she posed with the winners from this show. Congrats to the winners and to everyone else that competed.
This show was crazy. But, then again that is how Spocom always goes. The best cars, the top vendors and the finest of the finest in models and personalities. Spocom has always done a fantastic job in bringing people together. It’s not every day that a lot of us get to see each other, so, whenever you can put something together that brings us all in one place, then you know you’ve done a great job. I could sit here and go on and on about how awesome it was (and it sure was), but, I would rather let a lot of the photos do the talking. I really do recommend that you check out the show if you haven’t already. I’m sure that even if you’re new to the scene, or just want to see some new stuff, there is something here that you’ll really appreciate. There’s so much to see and experience that it’s somewhat of a shame that we only get the show once a year. Well, at least down here in SoCal. We’ve never been up to their other shows in the Bay or in the Pacific, but, that will definitely be something that we’ll have to check out. If it’s even half as good as this show is, then we are in for a real treat. Until next year folks, same bat time, same bat channel…
Words and Photos By Daniel Navarrete
For more information on the Spocom and any upcoming Shows check out their website at http://spocomusa.com/
This article was prepared or accomplished by Daniel Navarrete in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Spektrum Magazine, or its affiliates.