Wekfest Chicago 2017

Words by: Jonathan Salmi

Photos by: Jonathan Salmi & Andrew Smith

Billing itself as a “showcase exhibition,” Wekfest has grown to be a popular destination in all of the eight cities in the US it serves. The show places a real emphasis on complete builds, quality parts, and a combination of form and functionality. Owners and builders who apply to show their cars are expected to not only represent the best vehicles, but also a positive contribution to the car community at large.

At this year’s Chicago stop, which took place on April 30 at McCormick Place, about 400 vehicles were on display. Nearly 600 more applied and were denied spots. Numerous Midwestern crews including Vaded Mob, JDM Chicago, and Team Hoon Buggy brought seriously modified cars to compete. Midwestern Automotive’s own Jacob Gordy took second place among Fords for his bagged Focus RS, losing out only to Gridlife’s track-ready Mustang.
Shooting an indoor car show brings with it a unique set of challenges. The light is surprisingly poor and uneven. Balancing color is also tricky as the fluorescent lights vary in intensity and color. This generally calls for fast glass and a high ISO setting, so I grabbed my full-frame Sony a7ii and 28mm f/2 lens and got to shooting.
When you see a license plate that says NOT A VQ on an Infiniti, you stop and take a look. In this case, you wouldn’t be disappointed by the turbocharged 2JZ replacing the stock motor. On the subject of controversial swaps, the LS-powered Nissan 240SX was a personal favorite of this muscle car fan.
The overall caliber of cars at Wekfest Chicago was as high as you would expect given the number of cars turned away. Given Wekfest’s focus on the youth of the car culture, many of the builds showed an impressive level of skill and maturity. A gratifying combination of high-dollar exotics, weekend warriors, and daily-driven drift toys made this an event to remember.
You can find more information on future Wekfest events at their website wekfest-usa.com. As always, you can find Midwest Automotive on Instagram and Facebook. Jonathan Salmi is on Instagram @jsalmiphoto and Andrew Smith is on Instagram @andrewsmithphotos
This entry was posted in Event Coverage.