RAYS Tribute Car Meet 2018: Brand Loyalty on Display

The RAYS Tribute Car Meet was one year in the planning stages; that’s how long it took for the staff at Super Street in collaboration with Mackin Industries to iron out details for a mid-November car meet. Super Street’s meets are always epic, with hundreds of cars and spectators from near and far attending. We’ve witnessed previous meets—like the Petersen Museum event held earlier this year—that quickly spread like wildfire, forcing law enforcement to put a kibosh on the meet due to massive overcrowding.

As the car show season began to wind down for 2018, SS and the Mackin crew decided to throw down the meet of all meets at the Motor Trend facility in Santa Ana, California, by creating a RAYS wheel-specific event. TE37s, ZE40s, CE28s—to name a few—are among the dozens of RAYS branded aftermarket wheels that have been widely recognized in the import tuner market over the past decade.

Before the event even took place, staffers pre-screened over 400 vehicles planning to attend just to ensure they were all sporting the correct footwear. With the event officially kicking off at 10:00 am sharp, thousands of spectators began streaming into the venue and were given the opportunity to take a historical journey through the RAYS wheel display area, showcasing wheels from the ’70s era to present day.

Did you know the Volk mesh was Japan’s first 3-piece wheel, manufactured all the way back in 1975?

How about the fact that in 1982, the Volk Racing 370 wheel was Japan’s first wheel with a cooling cover attached?

Since 1986, Volk Racing has been perfecting the craft of manufacturing forged wheels. The first forged lip wheel was used in Japan’s Group A Racing.

RAYS also displayed wheel cutouts to showcase the quality of its forging process.

They even had a former RAYS Formula 1 wheel on display.

Porsche purists were in a state of shock during this year’s SEMA show when they came across Scotty Girondo’s K-swapped Porsche 911. When Girondo decided to outfit his Porsche with a K20A2 engine, the last thing on his mind was hurting a few feelings along the way.

Prior to the purchase of his Porsche, he was heavily involved in the Honda tuning scene. It was no surprise that he took his expertise from the H-badge and decided to shoehorn a turbocharged 4-cylinder Honda engine inside the back of this machine.

Prior to the K-swap, this Stuttgart sports car was actually V8-powered, but Girondo quickly realized that the lighter, more agile K20A engine offered improved front-to-rear weight distribution, while performance parts were plentiful on the market.

Another vehicle fresh from its debut at this year’s SEMA show was this Lucky 7 Racing Mazda RX-7, which was sporting the newly released FC3S Pandem kit. Kei Miura of TRA Kyoto designed the kit to give a fresh new look to the old school 80s-era car, but also mentioned he didn’t want to disrupt the vehicle’s original body lines.

Just in case you’re wondering, yes, it still rocks the Wankel engine.

Brian Yueng’s Varis Kamikaze Toyota 86 is always a treat to see. Without a doubt, his Toyota is one of the wildest 86s this side of the Pacific Ocean.

Yueng is no stranger to the tuner market, as he managed to bring three other vehicles to the meet, including his Evo X, his wife Julia’s Vertex kit-equipped Nissan 240SX S14, and his most recent pickup, a Silvia S15.

Leon Casino’s supercharged widebody ’93 NSX is outfitted with a Sorcery front bumper, custom front splitter, and rear APR Carbon Fiber GT wing.

Derek Yee’s Chevy SS might be mistaken as a Honda Accord at first glance, but all it takes is one look under the hood to see the fully chromed 6.2-liter LS3 with 2.9-liter twin-screw Whipple supercharger and realize that this isn’t an import. Additional mods include shorty JBA headers, ported throttle body, Magnaflow cat-back, Roto-Fab intake, and a Nitrous Express 50-horse nitrous system.

Yee mentioned his SS makes over 520 wheel horsepower at 5 psi of boost pressure on 91-octane pump gas and is fully CARB legal. The beautification process includes Russell Endura fittings with Pro Classic black braided hoses and a complete re-chroming of every metal piece in the engine bay. The coil covers, strut caps, billet washers, and oil cap are all Maverick Man parts, a company owned by Yee. He also outfitted his ride with a Maverick Man carbon fiber fuse box cover, hood, spoiler, front lip, a cooling plate, and all the interior trim.

Every Chevy emblem was replaced with the Australian Holden VF Commodore badging, including an Outback license plate. To give his ride a distinctive look, a set of Gram Lights G0FXX wheels—a Euro-spec version of Gram Lights 57FXX wheels—were wrapped in Falken tires.

Jonny Gunwald’s RX-8 sports a widened stance thanks to a TRA Kyoto/Pandem wide body kit sprayed in BASF RM Mineral White Metallic paint. A slew of JDM parts were flown in from Japan to complement the body kit, including an RE Amemiya hood fitted with carbon fiber hood vents.

Titanium end plates and canard pieces are custom pieces made by Gunwald. The final piece to the puzzle is a set of bronze RAYS Volk Racing TE37V Mark IIs measuring 18×10.5-inches up front and 18×12-inches in the rear.

Having completed a successful shakedown at this year’s Super Lap Battle less than a week ago, Amir Bentatou’s RS Future K20Z turbo NSX found a number of curious onlookers scratching their heads in disbelief as they found themselves peering inside the engine bay.

Why swap the factory 3.0-liter V6 C30A engine that produced 270 horsepower with a K-series engine? In Bentatou’s recent interview with Joey Lee from The Chronicles, he mentioned that the C-series is an antiquated engine that costs more to maintain and build in comparison to the K-series. Another reason was that the K20’s lightweight architecture is less expensive to build and easier to replace in comparison to the C30A, especially when you consider the fact that a routine timing belt replacement can fetch anywhere from $1,800 to $2,500. Bentatou’s K swap doesn’t sound that crazy now, does it?  Check out this video of his most recent SLB track session here.

Alan Viado’s TE37-equipped Toyota Tacoma rolled into the meet with his super clean AE86 Corolla in tow. Stay tuned for a feature of his Hachiroku in the coming months.

Ford Raptor looking good sitting on a set of Gram Lights 57 Trans-X wheels.

If you followed professional drifting in Japan back in the early ‘90s, you’d be quick to recognize this ride. The boys at Apex’i USA displayed the famous D1 Grand Prix FD3S piloted by Youichi Imamura.

The Apex’i RX-7 dominated the Japanese circuit in ’03, as they took home the season championship.

Check out this clean Civic EF sitting on a set of TE37s with Spoon calipers hiding inside.

Underhood sits a turbocharged K-swap, enhanced with custom dimple-die fabrication work inside the engine bay.

Ed Liu’s R32 Skyline GT-R representing Greddy USA. Hey Ed! Didn’t you mention when you purchased the car it was simply going to be lowered on a set of wheels? Sure, buddy!

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a Ferrari on a set of RAYS Wheels. What made this vehicle especially interesting was the combination of TE37s in the rear and ZE40s in the front.

Big Mike’s infamous Prelude was on display in front of the DJ booth, where Mike kept himself busy behind the mic as the official MC for this year’s meet.

Mario Lozano’s 1800 SSS Bluebird Coupe sitting beside Todd Kaneko’s rotary-powered Datsun 510.

The last time we saw Ryan Basseri’s ’01 Honda S2000 project car was during our shop tour inside Rywire Motorsports Electronics.

Basseri’s S2K sports a full Mugen body kit, 2.5-liter Honda F22C engine equipped with 56mm Kinsler ITBs, eight 1,000cc staged injectors and full motorsports-grade electronics.

With the success of this year’s RAYS Tribute Meet, it’s a safe bet to assume another meeting will be heading our way with the possibility of expanding nationwide. Keep close tabs on their website for future scheduling.