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Hooray I’m back from Mr Coffee and actually going to finish this post! I’m pretty much reliving last night’s events so I can say I posted after coffee LOL. Anyway, from the last time I’ve posted about my little birthday week, quite a few interesting events have gone by, but of course the main one being SEMA in Las Vegas. Quite a bit to talk about, but to cut things short I’ll just talk about random tidbits of the trip.

Anyway, Francis and the JDMs rolled out on Monday, but I had work and stuff to take care of before rolling out, so btune and I rolled out Tuesday late night, around 11PM. The drive there was relatively painless, besides having Allen pass out halfway through and commence his lawnmower-style snoring, and having the exterior temperatures reach about 34 degrees, making gas and bathroom stops rather unpleasant. However, my spiffy new iPhone RF adapter that I bought at the Beverly Center near my house just before leaving for Vegas helped quite a bit on this drive. Allen plugged in his phone and played a rather solid playlist that not only kept me energized and awake for the drive, but put me in the “zone.” Yes, that wondrous zone where you stay focused and drive, but time passes way more quickly than it really should.


Quick gas stop in Barstow


34 degrees!

We got to Vegas around 2:30 (yep, 3 1/2 hours in a large SUV isn’t too bad), then we picked up Francis from his hotel after he left the C16 party and went out to good ol’ Spring Mountain Road to find some late-night asian eats. Found this one chinese restaurant that turned out to be pretty good. Ordered a dish each, and ate everything family style with some rice. Solid meal. Afterwards, we dropped Francis off, and went back to Planet Hollywood where Btune and I were staying. This is where the day just turned to absolute hell. Found out that our room wasn’t ready yet, and they told us to come back at 7 to check in. To pass the THREE hours, we basically just chilled in the casino. Long story short.. Allen lost nearly $200, and I lost $20 LOL.


Wheel.. of.. FORTUNE! Where we lost our money LOL.

Once the clock finally hit 7, we went back, but once again… “sorry your room isn’t ready.” This time, they told us to come back at 11. Already frustrated with them, this put me in a horrendous mood. We ended up sleeping in the car in the self-park until 11, when I called them first to double check that our room was ready. Finally, we checked in, unpacked, showered real quick, then proceeded to pass out again until around 4.


View from our deluxe room at Planet Hollywood.

After waking up from a rather nice nap, we took a cab down to the Convention Center so we could get our passes and credentials for SEMA. We then headed over the Mackin Reception. Not much to say about this:

– Freshly carved roast beef
– Debut of the new TE37 G2
– Ray’s Authorized Dealer (RAD) Top 3 awards


Still setting up. Also changing to new wheels specifically made for the R35.


People just starting to come in.


Multiple wheels set on display. New G2s are on the 3rd stand from the left.


Mmmmm Roast Beef… I had about three more of these LOL. With some horseradish, this came out super good.


Waiting in line for my seconds…

Afterwards, Franco, Btune, Mai, and I went back to our hotel room to chill and relax, since the Scion party that night would be at Prive at Planet Hollywood. Mai took a good hour long nap, while the rest of us just watched some TV and relaxed for a bit. Rest of that night was just pure hilariousity. Once again, not much to say, other than OPEN BAR, blasted allen and franco, balance problems, and drunken dialing/texting.. the latter two only referring to Allen LOL. We got hungry, so we headed downstairs to Planet Dailies to grab some food. Ordered a Kobe Burger and an iced tea, and an order of Lettuce Wraps to share. Kobe Burger was definitely not the best I’ve had, but at the time it was more than enough to satisfy.



Got back to the room, passed out.

Next morning, Franco calls and tells me we need to stay another night, so I call the front desk to see if we could keep the room another night. As I was expecting… completely booked. So, I went on expedia once again, and booked another deluxe room at the MGM Grand. We couldn’t check in till 3, so we headed down to the convention center to walk the show and take care of some business.


SEMA in general this year was just not nearly as good as the past years have been. Record low attendance, multiple big-name companies pulling out last minute.. the fall of the economy really has taken its toll on the Automotive Industry. Overall though, the show still had it’s good points, but nothing really spectacular. Did finally get to talk with Brabus, and hopefully after some more meetings, plans will finally begin rolling.


South Hall.



Central and North Halls.


Still quite a few people.


Brembo – Central Hall.


Eneos. Zele R35 and AC Elite’s Evo X being the two main attractions.


Solid work by High End as always.



Wide. Also running the new Advan AD08 Neovas. More on that soon!


Ghostbuster’s Replica Car outside of the Central Hall. So awesome.





This looks like it would hurt.


One of my favorites at the show. fiveaxis GS. Troy and the rest of the fiveaxis team never cease to amaze me with the work they do.


Love the papaya accents on the front and brakes.




Craftsmanship is nothing short of amazing.


Great combo.


I’m sure you’ve all seen this one already: fiveaxis IS-F. Bit more wild, but still executed extremely well.



New Le Mans GT2 M3. Running on Rays Forged Mag wheels.





Can’t wait to see how this runs throughout the series.

After getting all the meetings and whatnot out of the way, Btune and I headed out to pick up Mai and Francis from their hotel, and then went over to the MGM so we could all check in to our spiffy new room. Luckily, this time check in went extra smooth, so we were in our room and already comfortable 10 minutes after we got there. Sat around for a while more, then we got hungry, and the idea of the Rio Buffet sounded amazing. It really was amazing though.. up until after we were done eating.. then looking back it really wasn’t such a great idea LOL. To digest, we walked around a bit, then went down to the In N Out for some annual Subie meet that Yoshi was invited to. Talked a bit with some of the owners of Tomei and INGS +1, met some new people, and chilled a bit, then headed back to the hotel. Seeing as how I chose to be RESPONSIBLE, and not go out, so I could get enough sleep to drive, so everyone could make it home the next day, I walked around the strip for a bit, ending up at multiple stores, but only buying a few things from the M&M store (jeez I wonder why LOL).


So good.

Went back to the room afterwards to relax and sleep, but before I knew it Francis and Allen were back, more inebriated than the night before. Good times. Random talk ensued, but we all ended up passing out around 4:30-5.

The next morning, as expected, was not a pleasant one. Waking up at 8AM after not sleeping much and having to drive back an hour later.. let’s not do that again please. We checked out at 9:30, then rolled out at 10.




LOL. Inside joke amongst the Aspec dudes. Only funny if you were with us or heard about what happened at Formula D: Las Vegas.

Nothing really interesting about the drive back this time. Stopped at Baker to get gas and take a restroom break, but we ended up back in LA around 2:30. I dropped Mai and Francis off at Aspec, took Btune home, then headed back to the office to check up on what I had missed that week. Good times. I was already ridiculously tired, so I finished up what I could, then headed home. First thing I do when I get home: HIT THAT SWEET METAMUCIL.


Triple serving. The beginning of my Post-Vegas Detox.

Anyway, that was about it for the SEMA trip. I would like to post more on the trip, but seeing as it’s 5AM now, and I can see the sun starting to rise, I’m feeling way too exhausted now to go back and add on. Today, I’ll post up about the rest of the days up until now and what I’ve been up to. For now, it’s definitely time to sleep. Quite an eventful day today, need to rest up =)

I once again leave you all with this.


Good Morning.

– Charlie


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