It all started when I stumbled across a posting announcing the upcoming Wekfest. After further investigation, there was a call-out for owners to submit their cars into the show. On a whim, I decided to indulge and sent over a couple photos of my car for screening. I mainly did this out of curiosity, but one thing led to another, and I found myself on the fast track towards my first experience as a registered participant.
I’m relatively unfamiliar with car shows in general, so the feeling was definitely new. I never attended any of the previous annual Wekfests, but I knew that their attendance numbers was never an issue. This upcoming one would be their 5th anniversary and would be held inside the San Jose Convention Center. If anything, I at least wanted to give my car more exposure to the public since it’s tucked away behind closed doors most of the time.
The actual staging was scheduled on Friday, the day before the show. I didn’t have time to give the car a full detail, and was too lazy to anyway. I gave it a wash and rinse in the morning, and then kept a bottle of quick detailer to finish the prep once staged. Regardless of not having any wax or sealant, the paint ended up looking quite nice under the lighting inside the convention center.
When I arrived in the morning the next day, I was flabbergasted at the line that had amassed… which apparently had people waiting in since 6AM. While everyone was waiting for the show to officially start, I cut straight to the front and waltzed right in. It felt boss. One of the perks of showing your car…
Eventually the floodgates were opened and the show had commenced. At the peak of the traffic, there were swarms of people filling up all the walking lanes. It seemed like half the population there had a DSLR, so I didn’t bother to take any pictures except for a few select ones with my cellphone. I’m sure there’s a bountiful amount of professional media a quick Google away.
If publicity was what I wanted, it was certainly achieved, I think.
While entering a car show is a lot of work and you have to hang around until the very end, it was a memorable and engrossing experience. One of the highlights of Wekfest is the variety of cars. There were over 1000 applications during the registration phase, but only 300 or so were picked. Everything from standard protocol blinged-out show cars to time attack machines were presented. Overall, the caliber of the cars were very high. In the midst of all these wild creations, I felt that my RX-7 was relatively tame and subdued. Although the cars themselves were definitely cool, I particularly enjoyed talking to numerous old and new faces throughout the day.
At the end, the various judges decisions were tallied and the winners were announced. It was to my amusement when they declared I had won 1st place Mazda. All my hard work and efforts this past year finally amounted into something recognized and substantial, which felt great. I can acknowledge that the Mazda category was relatively niche so the competition wasn’t as fierce, but I’m still not going to let that notion diminish my award. A win is a win!
I was initially worried that the judges wouldn’t pick up all the minor details in the car, since they didn’t seem to scrutinize the car much. My premonitions were ultimately laid to rest. It just goes to show that cleanliness still triumphs above all – a universal truth that’s appreciated by everyone. From what I’ve gathered, having an engine bay worth showing is also especially important and will certainly net you an edge over your closed-hood peers.
Wekfest was long and tiring, yet a lot of fun. I can see how entering car shows can become addicting…