The Most Elevated Cars+Coffee of 2022 Adds a VIP SEMA Sneak Preview 

Photography: Renz Dimaandal

  • One week ahead of the 2022 SEMA Show, Pit+Paddock hosted a pop-up Cars+Coffee event at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
  • Not just any Cars+Coffee, attendees were treated to a VIP sneak preview of two SEMA-bound 2023 Acura Integra builds.
  • Pro driver Dai Yoshihara unveiled his Turn 14 Distribution x StopTech Integra, which takes cues from 1990s JTCC race sedans.
  • BMX rider Coco Zurita combined his own style with inspirations from the NSX GT to debut his Auto Tuned-built Integra.
  • In addition to the vehicle unveilings, a collection of 100 modified Honda and Acura builds from the Southern California car scene filled the Petersen’s rooftop parking garage.
  • Espresso drinks served by professional baristas, locally catered breakfast burritos, and Japanese rice ball sandwiches were provided to guests free of charge.
  • Without the support of presenting partners AnzoUSA, ARP, StopTech, Whiteline, and Turn 14 Distribution, this event wouldn’t have been possible.
  • This is Pit+Paddock’s first event hosted at the world-famous Petersen Museum and its first event collaboration with an OEM.

Pit+Paddock Continues to Evolve Cars+Coffee

While we launched as a media brand and online magazine almost two years ago, creating memorable experiences for the car community and our industry partners has become an equal priority. Much like how you can’t have McDonald’s without hamburgers and Apple without iPhones, Cars+Coffee is deeply ingrained in Pit+Paddock’s DNA. This year, we focused on expanding the concept with regional meets, new demographics, and, as you see here, specialized events.

Securing A Monumental Location

With a Cars+Coffee event of this stature tied with SEMA and backed by Acura, we couldn’t just post up in a Starbucks parking lot. We scoured LA venues that could accommodate up to 500 people and provide a unique vibe to help celebrate the occasion. In the end, the Pit+Paddock team secured the famous Petersen Automotive Museum. With more than 20 different galleries and 300+ vehicles readily on display, it’s rated by many as the #1 car museum in the world. For our event, we took over the rooftop parking lot, which offered 360-degree views of the city, ample parking for more than 100 cars, and a memorable stage to reveal two 2023 Acura Integra builds one week ahead of the SEMA show.

Highly Criticized but Slowly Picking Up Speed

We wanted the new Integra to be a small, quick, and nimble coupe (much like the DC2s of the past), but when Acura brought back the iconic nameplate, it came in the form of a 200hp, 1.5-liter, turbocharged, front-wheel-drive sedan. It feels more like a rebadged ILX as a result, but there are upsides. The vehicle shares much of the same components as the Honda Civic Si and comes with a six-speed manual option. With a starting MSRP of $31,895, it’s still one of the more affordable enthusiast cars available. The public seems to agree; sales have been ramping up, and nearly 11,000 units are on the road in the U.S. as of November. To quench more demanding customers’ thirsts, Acura has slated a 300hp 2.0-liter turbo Type S for summer 2023.

SEMA Sneak Preview

Surprising to many, Honda/Acura pulled out of the 2022 SEMA Show. This meant there would be no booth to promote its new sports sedan. All was not lost, though; the Pit+Paddock team caught wind that three Integras would be given to three Southern California enthusiasts to build for SEMA. We became a large supporter of one of the builds, which allowed us to pitch Acura on the idea of a SEMA Sneak Preview event for the trendsetting SoCal car scene. With only a couple of weeks to plan, let’s just say we were able to make some magic happen, and the event came together with a fairytale ending.

Making Noise with Dai Yoshihara and Coco Zurita

As we mentioned before, there were supposed to be three Integras revealed. However, drifter and model Sara Choi‘s ambitious widebody project needed more time before the big show’s debut. Nevertheless, our own Dai Yoshihara and BMX athlete Coco Zurita proved to be a perfect duo. Their builds made an immediate impact and got doubters thinking differently about the Integra’s potential. Following Cars+Coffee, an official Acura press release was published, which several accredited media (including Car and DriverAutoblog, and Motor1) shared.

Dai’s Turn 14 Distribution x StopTech Integra took cues from the 1990s JTCC race cars with an ultra-low stance, low-hanging front splitter, white BBS wheels, and Yokohama racing slicks. Mod list highlights include StopTech big brakes, Whiteline arms, RS-R coilovers, EVS Tuning aero, Sparco interior, and AEM dash.

Coco took a different approach with his Auto Tuned-built Integra. Using inspiration from his action sports career as well as design elements from the NSX GT, he used custom aero, RS-R coilovers, Wilwood big brakes, a GReddy intercooler, and a Gotham Grey 3M wrap to create a mean-looking street car.

Elevated Experience with Espresso, Breakfast, and Car Show

If you’ve ever been to a local Cars & Coffee meet, you never know what cool cars might show up. You’re also not going to get free coffee. What we’ve been striving to do at Pit+Paddock is provide an elevated experience above those expectations. In the case of our SEMA Sneak Preview event, we hired four baristas to make custom espresso drinks and served hot breakfast burritos and Japanese onigiri rice balls to start the day off right. The icing on the cake was 100 standout cars from the California car scene, with a focus on Honda/Acura vehicles. Some of our favorites included Alex Alfaro’s Integra Type R, which won our SEMA Show Car Contest with ENEOS, plus Michael Mao’s NSXMeng Tea’s Integra Type R, and Teddy Timoteo’s EK Civic hatch.

The atmosphere of Cars+Coffee felt incredibly comfy for a Sunday morning in LA. It wasn’t overly packed. Just the right amount of cars filled the rooftop without traffic jams, which can be a big problem at most California car meets. The three-hour event was capped off with an opportunity for every display car owner to snoop around inside the Petersen Museum, a must if you ever visit Southern California.

Dream Team of Partners

Hands down, this Cars+Coffee was Pit+Paddock’s most ambitious to date. It took place just one week after our Performance Car Invitational at Formula DRIFT Irwindale, and one week before the SEMA Show. We’d like to take a moment to thank our partners, each of whom shares a fitting passion for Hondas and Acuras:

AnzoUSA. Based here in Southern California, Anzo offers aftermarket lights for virtually every Honda and popular products for the Integra, RSX, and TSX platforms.

ARP. If you’re building any Honda engine, chances are you’ll secure it with ARP hardware. According to our friends at ARP, Honda owners are one of their largest customers in the world!

StopTech. StopTech supported this event but also came through in the clutch for us before. They designed a one-off front big brake kit for Dai Yoshihara’s Integra, demonstrating their dedication to the Honda community and their hardcore support for performance track builds.

Whiteline. Whether sway bars, control arms, bushings, or springs, Whiteline is one of the best suspension brands in the world. They’re also active in the Honda scene, which is why it’s no surprise that they had arms for Dai’s Integra readily available.