Editor's Picks: Top 10 From Auto Enthusiast Day 2018
Auto Enthusiast Day is a celebration of all motor vehicles and our relationship with them. This year's event was the biggest yet, with over 26,000 enthusiasts in attendance. Throughout the show, many of the industry's top companies displayed everything from new builds to classics we continue to love. Cars and trucks of all kinds lined the vendor and car shows, but there are always a few that catch our eyes more than the others. Our Director of Audience Growth, Mike Sabounchi, has been a long-time import enthusiast, and our resident expert on tuner cars. Our Truck Editor, Matt Moghaddam, has worked with off-road vehicles for years, and definitely knows his way around a truck or Jeep. Together, they scouted this year's Auto Enthusiast Day to bring you their top five notable vehicles from the show, in no particular order.
Mike's Top 5:
1. The Auto Factory Realize R32 Skyline
There are so many things that make this build better than the rest. Not only is it one of the raddest R32 sedans I’ve ever seen, but it’s completely covered in all the best parts. BN Sports kit, White TEs, great stance, Ganador mirror, giant turbo and a clean bay, plus it’s just oozing style. How can you not love this beautiful build? It’s almost like this is the newer version of the A-B0-Moon R32.
2. Jennabelle RWB Porsche
Not only are RWB Porsche still cool, but 993s might just be the coolest of all RWBs. It takes some guts to chop up the one Porsche chassis code that keeps skyrocketing in value. I also love that all it takes is an RWB kit, suspension and wheels to immediately make your car a neck breaker.
3. Off-White x E36 M3
I only picked this build because I can’t stand it. I dig that car culture and street wear culture have always run parallel, but I don’t dig when the two worlds collide. The M3 is already such a great chassis to begin with. A Rocket Bunny/Pandem E36 is even more crazy, and an Off-White tribute Pandem E36 M3 might just be too much. Then again, I drive a RAV4, so maybe I have no clue what I’m talking about.
4. Red FC3s RX-7
I don’t know much about rotary builds, but I love this red FC. It has good wheels, a good kit and looks like it has a boosted rotary from an RX-8 in it. Every part of this thing has been addressed or refreshed, and it might be one of the best-sounding cars from the '90s you can actually buy. 10/10 would totally daily.
5. Track-Prepped Fiat 500
I can’t tell you how much I love the idea of a tiny and light FWD track beast. It’s almost like every Forza/Gran Turismo dream came true. It’s so rare to see a Fiat 500 on the track, and it’s even more rare to see a completely gutted one with tons of upgrades, fender flares and good wheels looking like it's ready to hunt down license plates. I bet this is one of the most fun cars you could ever drive at the track. I really, really hope it has a limited slip differential, because then this car would be perfect.
Matt's Top 5:
1. KMC F-350 Chase Truck
Chase trucks embody all that is in excess. After all, in order to be ready for anything your off-road racing team might need in the middle of nowhere, it's best to be over-prepared. I really love the simple but effective style of the KMC Wheels' Super Duty. This is a true testament to the durability of these trucks, still getting the job done almost 20 years after rolling off the lot. Rolling on 35-inch Nitto Ridge Grapplers, this chase truck will go anywhere the call of duty takes it.
2. King Shocks Jeep JL
I know you might be tired of seeing all the new JL builds floating around the interwebs, but I have to include this awesome build by King Shocks. Known for their hardcore racing suspension technology, King took the best parts of the 2018 Wrangler Rubicon and ran with them. The high-line fenders allow for 37-inch Nitto Ridge Grapplers to wrap around KMC Wheels and sit tucked under the fenders with a modest lift. The "King Blue" camo wrap draws you in, which leads you to start noticing the finer details on this effective JL.
3. Street-Style F-150
When it comes to building a street truck, I only have two rules: It's gotta be a single cab, and it's gotta have a bright paint job. This F-150 featured on @ie_streettrucks hits both nails on the head. The bright red paint with black stripe give it a retro look, while keeping with the modern styling of the new F-150 body. This truck was rolling on a set of Nitto NT420S tires, with white-letters out. Can't forget the spike lug nuts either. I'd daily it!
4. Kevin Stearns' 4502 Ultra4 Car
If you follow our Ultra4 coverage on Driving Line, you may have seen some mentions of Kevin Stearns tearing up the 4500 class in his GMC-inspired race car. With a 650hp LS2 mated to a Maximum Offroad Transmissions 4L80E and NP205 transfer case, this 4500 will throw you for a loop. Add a set of size-mandated 37-inch Trail Grapplers, and there are few places this Ultra4 can't go. I just wish it could go to and stay in my garage.
5. P-40 Warhawk Gen 2 Raptor
If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm kind of a Ford guy. This Second-gen Raptor caught my attention while walking through the show, not because it has tons of cool parts or huge tires, but mainly because I have a thing for trucks with military-inspired themes. My first build had a similar P-40 Warhawk "Shark Mouth" front end on it, and it was cool to see a clean new Raptor with the same look. This truck was rolling on a set of Nitto Terra Grappler G2s with KMC XD-series wheels. It looks like a comfortable all-around truck for the office or the desert.