• Import Reactor 2011 - by Son Le (InvaderXin)

    Import Reactor, the show of all shows that brings Teams all over Texas together in conjunction with another event, Anime Matsuri. Who would have thought to bring these two groups of people together to share a passion for Japanese Car Culture and Japanese Anime Culture? And while the event was off to a rough start in the beginning, it clearly picked up toward the end as the event coordinators did their best to tie up loose ends and fix the initial chaos that ensued the morning of March 18th. But while all of that was occurring, Strictly G’s was up bright and early and ready for a great show.

    The morning started off early. First it was the meet and great with the Team at Uptown Park. The usual meet spot for all of us, since the Team is spread out all over Houston. Regardless, the Team always pulls together for a large gathering without any hesitation. But of course, Hieu is always the Team straggler and we’re always waiting for his late arrival. We’ve all grown immune to it.

    Once decals were handed out, parking layouts are discussed, and cruising speed is finalized the entire Team is ready to go. However, Anthony discovered a bolt wedged into my rear passenger tire and made sure to notify myself and the Team of the mishap. It was decided that we’d continue on with the cruise since the bolt wedged inside created its own seal and I wasn’t losing any air.

    “When one of us has a flat tire, we all have a flat tire.”

    As we approached Highway 610, I hear the bolt hit my rear bumper. Immediately following, I could hear the loud and distinct hissing of air coming from my rear passenger tire. I immediately phone Jeremy, who was leading the convoy, and he promptly led the Team to a parking lot where we could assess the situation. As the damage is surveyed, I leave with Anthony to Wal-Mart to pick up a tire plug kit. As we return, I noticed that the entire Team has not only already parked themselves around my car, but also that my car is on a jack and that my wheel is off and ready to be repaired. The kit does its job. I put my wheel back on and we’re all ready to go. Jeremy said it best during this whole ordeal, “When one of us has a flat tire, we all have a flat tire.” It is the strong bond that we all have with one another that makes me feel blessed to be part of a group of people that think this way without any hesitation or any reward. We’re all brothers here, a family.

    We slowly arrive at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The distinct sounds of deep exhaust notes could be heard around the block as we come toward the entrance. In the distance, I can clearly make out images of lowered cars, shiny wheels, and beautiful car colors through the metal fence blocking off the Hotel’s Parking lot. Strictly G’s roll in, 10 cars deep, and immediately all eyes are on us. I roll my windows down, to let the cool Friday morning air circulate into my cabin and I could hear the whispers among some of the attendants there. Out of the corner of my eye, I see people pointing at Kevin’s Vortech Supercharged G35 and Josh’s 360 Forged Carbon Fiber wheels.

    Parking is a mess upon our arrival. It is evident that something went wrong between the hotel and Import Reactor staff. Regardless, the Team does what it does best: improvises, so we can have a good time. After sitting around for an hour and then hearing Paul Morgan’s deepest and sincerest apologies about the parking situation, the Team takes action and begins parking ourselves. As the cars finally gain position and other cars move out of the way, our little corner is finally established. The flags are flown, the canopy and banner are set up, and we have our humble little area.

    The spectators for Import Reactor and participants of Anime Matsuri quickly begin pouring in that afternoon. The Team sits in our corner for the next two days and we are easily able to identify some of our favorite game characters and cartoon superheroes of old. Gabe still describes the scene as “a bunch of crazy people” and didn’t dare venture into the convention by himself, for fear of being attacked by one of the many “Anime Freaks” that roamed the halls. Still, these “Anime Freaks” didn’t stop the Team from venturing inside to check out the vendor booths and buy some souvenirs.

    Let’s not also forget the fine display of vehicles that have graced the parking lot to be part of Import Reactor. A VIP style Infiniti M45 gets many stares in the parking lot along with the subtle widebody Athens Blue Infiniti G35. A matte black vinyl Lambo arrives on scene as well, inviting you to follow it to get a closer look. Two wide body Supra’s grace the lot as well along with PowerFab Automotive’s little red Datsun. But out of the many vehicles that are there for Import Reactor, it is Bryan’s fully built 700whp Top Secret Widebody G35 that got the attention of Strictly G’s. It has been a long progress for Bryan and the Team is excited to see him finally approach the end of the long stretch and complete his car.

    But despite the earlier mishaps, the convention was a success. The Team begins to mingle with others and we recognize familiar faces from other Teams as we slowly walk through the lot. Wayne from Team 16NiSS greets us with a smile and invites us to the next XDC event. Kevin, myself, and Anthony finally get to meet the infamous “status:one” aka Chris Beardon and Daniel Pelayo, the winner of best G35 from IFO San Antonio. Hieu converses with his friend Stevie Phamo from Team Sunworks on numerous occasions and Ryan and Ariel get scolded by Beth after they get their picture taken with the lovely Vanessa Phil. Both Stephen and Megan from Imported Performance come by to say hello and enjoy a friendly conversation with the Teams. As more drinks are consumed, the Team begins to lighten up and enjoy the atmosphere. Laughter and jokes can be heard from our side of the corner. The unity and bond of the Team is easily identifiable by the other Teams, who have come to our corner to meet and greet with us.

    The sun finally settles down over the horizon and the winners are announced. All awards were presented by the beautiful Tia Tanaka, the dressed to impress Vampy, and the very lovely and cute Vanessa Phil. Strictly G’s own Kevin Ricci takes home Best G35, Josh Freeland takes Best G37, and Gabe Galvez takes home 2nd Place Best Infiniti. The event comes to a close and the Team begins its sporadic clean up. Despite the rough roll in and horrible parking layout, Strictly G’s once again creates a brotherhood of memories that will continue to live on through the hearts of its members, from Kevin laying on the ground and getting pooped on from a bird twice, to Jeremy almost ripping a guy’s head off, to my flat tire and fast consuming alcohol antics. One thing is definitely certain, Strictly G’s isn’t just a Team of car enthusiasts, but rather a family that spends time with one another and shares a strong common bond. And even though our G’s initially brought us together, it was very evident at Import Reactor 2011 that our cars do not define who we are. It was only merely a stepping stone to unite as not only a Team, but a close family.

    "...our cars do not define who we are. It was only merely a stepping stone to unite as not only a Team, but a close family."

    Comments 15 Comments
    1. Black Betty's Avatar
      I wasn't going to rip anybody's head off. Not unless I had to anyway...

      Good article on our experience Son. I also want to thank all the spectators, other teams, and our great supporters for all the compliments on our cars and our team's display.
    1. kricci's Avatar
      Nice Article Son... however i got **** on 3 times...
    1. Paradox's Avatar
      Great article and pictures!!! Those CF wheels on that G is SICK!
    1. RogerG35's Avatar
      Bout time the home page got an update.
      Nevertheless, great write-up and ....

      “When one of us has a flat tire, we all have a flat tire.”
      - Jeremy

      You guys are like a band of brothers
    1. Black Betty's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by RogerG35 View Post
      Bout time the home page got an update.
      Nevertheless, great write-up and ....

      “When one of us has a flat tire, we all have a flat tire.”
      - Jeremy

      You guys are like a band of brothers
      That's the thing Roger, we're not like a band of brothers, we are a band of brothers. This isn't the first time this has happened. Coming home form a long exhausting weekend in Austin I had tire troubles. The entire team stopped with me to fix it and we all limped home slowly because everyone feels obligated to make sure all of us get home safely.
    1. Mr.G37s^6mt's Avatar
      Nicely written Son; so good that I felt I was there for it all...

      Kevin being shatted on 3times is priceless that was great!!
    1. G_VQ3589's Avatar
      i love you guys!!! and i think the last quote should be put on our shirts!
    1. icfp1980's Avatar
      Dang Son, this is a great write up! Truly enjoyed reading this. Very well put.
    1. BadAzzG's Avatar
      NIce Son, way to put it and make everyone feel like they were there. Your descriptions of the events were true to form and you could vividly see everything happening.Thanks for the ride...
    1. InvaderXin's Avatar
      Thanks for the positive feed back! This was my first attempt at writing an article for the site and hopefully, it won't be the last.

      More articles will follow after events / meets / and future track days.
    1. JDM Autosports's Avatar
      Yeah we ARE all Brothers! One big dysfunctional family! Love you guys! NO HOMO!
    1. WARAT's Avatar
      Nice article Son!
    1. thenameistuan's Avatar
      Where's the LIKE button? LoL
    1. Mr.G37s^6mt's Avatar
      this isnt FB Alex..
    1. Danny's Avatar
      Great Article it took me back and felt like i was there again... Great work SON!!.... +1 on what Gabe said print that on some shirts