Hella Good: AutoCon Takes Over NorCal
AutoCon is making some big moves. After a big downtown LA appearance earlier this summer, they capped off their first show up in Northern California at the San Mateo Event Center, home to many shows over the years. Coming in to a market where they're relative newcomers, the AutoCon crew brought their signature stage to the Bay Area, where highlighted cars are displayed and owners take a few minutes to explain the build process to the audience. It's a unique twist to a show concept that can sometimes be drowned out by smoke machines and import models hawking signed 10x10s, although AutoCon keeps the EDM flowing all day long.
But it takes balls to set up shop at a venue like San Mateo's. Though it was a prime spot back in the late '90s/early 2000s, it later lost its cool once the local PD started handing out fix-it/state ref tickets like they were free Niners tickets (anybody outside of California, do a Google search for this and be thankful you don't have to worry about those). Most Bay Area promoters ditched the spot for other, more popular venues, but there's nothing like nostalgia and it was great to walk those floors once again.
No big debuts to talk about, but a few teams rolled deep. Some standout builds that are worth mentioning:
1. Dan Melchner's '69 BMW S2002:
Easily the most unique of the entire show, combining two very distinct worlds into this hybrid BMW. From the untrained eye it's an older 2002 chassis but deep within lies the soul of an S2000. That includes the F20 engine transplant, and inside it doesn't stop with an S2K gauge cluster (which is required to get the engine running)...the steering wheel, front seats, push engine start button and retractable roof controls, all from the S2K, have been swapped over and made fully functional.
2. Or how about William Estrada's '69 Toyota Corolla?
This is quintessential old school tuning here, a bit of a rarity to begin with out of all the generations of tuned Corollas that are out there. In the engine bay lies a 20-valve 4A-GE with individual throttle bodies, and the chassis is dumped on tiny 13-inch SSR MKIIs.
3. But this Chuckles Garage truck is all sorts of hyphy:
It doesn't fall into any one single category, boasting a twin-turbo Cummins diesel engine, custom coilover suspension and a bed filled with additional custom chassis/suspension work, two bottles of nitrous, a Mishimoto radiator and large single exhaust tip. Not sure how much power this thing makes but if it requires a parachute to stop it, then we're guessing it's up there. Insanity.
By the way – huge shoutout to Toyota for hooking us up with this super sweet Corolla SE:
The sportiest offering of the base sedan that one ups the S with enhanced styling, steering wheel paddle shifters, rear disc brakes and a Sport Driving Mode, as well as special 17" alloys and interior accenting unique to the SE model. Sure, we could've taken it somewhere as iconic and touristy as the view overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge or taking a spin down Lombard Street (and it actually drove fantastically well within the city), but that would've been too easy. So we took it to the It's It factory instead, a true San Francisco treat!
Next year AutoCon continues their nationwide takeover with shows expected in Hawaii and Florida with dates/venues to be announced, and of course, you can bet they'll be back stronger than ever in California, no matter if it's up north or down south.
Check out the gallery below for more photos from AutoCon SF!