Street Icons 2020

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Prime NYC has been most recently famous for their organization of 7's Day in New York City for the past few years, but prior to that, they've also hosted an event that carried a similar vibe but was geared towards Japanese car culture as a whole. Four years ago they held their first Street Icons event and it wasn't until a couple weeks ago that they held their second. Despite being hosted by the same people, this was not meant to be a replication of 7's Day with more "outsider" cars. Street Icons is its own standalone event and focused more on centralized meeting spots around the city instead of the more fluid parade-like Rotary celebration through Times Square. Being held by the same people in the same city there was quite a lot of repeat attendees but quite a few new surprises as well.

Saturday, the day of the event, Jason, Jing, Jimmy, and I loaded up Jimmy's R35 GTR, my Skyline and Jason's GE8 Fit for it's first event and first road trip and stopped by Providence to link up with Jared (holy shit that's a lot of Js) and his FD3S before making the journey to NYC. During the weekend, we were followed or stopped by a few people asking where we were going and if they could come along to whatever we were doing which is really random. Is that a new thing? Just finding random cool cars and tagging along? One guy was even a little pissed we wouldn't let him come with us when we were getting sandwiches. It's weird. Don't be like that.

Once we landed in New York, and before any activities could take place, a stop for street meat was a must! I don't know if it's special because we don't have it as readily available in Boston, or if it's just better in New York, but a stop is always in the schedule. Post-inhalation we linked up with some Tough Club friends before hitting the first meet spot.

The first spot was a street near some place in Long Island City that involved airplane repair (?) or something along those lines in an industrial area with a really cool city scape in the background. The vibe really gave off a Japanese PA feel. Tough Club hosted Nissan Night here a couple months ago and people were reposting footage of the event and tagging Japan. It doesn't help that case when there's tons of Japanese market cars too.

I think the car I was most surprised to see was this CJ4A Mitsubishi Mirage Cyborg. This car was Mitsubishi's answer to cars like Honda's Civic performance line and Toyota's Starlets. They came equipped with a DOHC 1.6 4 cylinder MIVEC engine and revved to 8,000 RPM; a comparative engine to Honda's B16B. We never got these cars in the US and they don't carry much global adoration like the EK9, but they are popular amongst niche groups in Japan and Ireland. That said, this is the only one I've seen stateside and I was very excited to poke around it for a bit. They're cool looking cars, especially with fat little TE37s.

There's an art to mixing aero from a variety of manufacturers that this car pulls off well. A Tamon Design GT3 carbon fiber lip is accompanied by TRD canards and TRD side skirts with Torodoki front fenders helping house the Advan RG3s.

Danny Choy of Tough Club recently modified his Amuse Superleggera front bumper to fit a set of fog lights behind clear covers and custom canards built to match the contour of the bumper's vents. He also swapped his SSR Koenigs for mag blue TE37s. I didn't think the previous look could be improved upon but the new look definitely elevates his Z33's style.

Corey Stover came through as a last hurrah before driving cross country to his new home in Washington state. His STI is one of the cars that seems simple at first but, the more you look at it, the more rare goods you discover.

I hope this NA2 NSX never changes. It's always exciting to come across it at events in the area.

As it got darker, it became fairly impossible to keep good coloring and light management with a shitty lens and no tripod so I switched over to black and white to aid in quality after the fact. Plus the event kind of suited it.

By far the coolest thing I've ever seen on the road was Mei's TCP Magic FD3S built by Nextmod and MS Auto Modify Service. I could barely keep my eyes on the road following it from the meet up spot. Seeing anything running a TCP Magic kit looks like it belongs at Tsukuba, but something about Mei's exuded an even stronger Japanese aura.

Seeing this Renault 5 GT Turbo slip past was for sure a shock to see. It definitely has a very 80s and very French look to it.

One thing I'd like to do some day is rip around a city like NYC or Boston in a little kei van like this. This was probably the slowest car here, but it's hard to go fast in the city and a car like this seems like so much fun to rip from light to light and duck and dodge potholes in.

I didn't really get a chance to look over this kouki S14 on OG Regamasters at the event but it's ok because the next day a local friend of mine drove down and bought it so now it lives 15 minutes from me.

It's always exciting seeing members of Liberty VIP represent. Zee brought out his 4GS F Sport draped over Luxury Abstract wheels for the occasion.

I say it often at these events, there's tons of incredible cars slipping in and out within a few short hours and your head is on a constant swivel. If you don't keep your eyes peeled, you might miss something incredible like this FC3S wearing rare Elite Racing Corporation (ECR) over fenders and RE Amemiya aero.

New Yorkers will put TE37s on literally everything - modeled here on a Ferrari 488.

I see MA local Jorgie in New York more than I see him in Boston. His NA1 NSX on Mugen MF10s must be a dream to road trip in - exactly as it was designed.

There aren't many NC Miatas kicking around meets and track days, but the number is growing. Hopefully that means the chassis is catching on because examples like this prove it needs few exterior mods to look good and being a Miata, it obviously performs well too.

Great looking early Evo street car. I think it was an Evo 3 but I am absolutely horrendous at identifying the early cars.

You could put your kids through college with a set of Nismo wheels these days. Anything Nismo has gone off the wall price wise and the wheels are far from an exception. This OEM aero S13 suits them incredibly well.

A couple hours later, people began filtering out into the New York City streets to the next spot in SoHo. There was no specific planned route or hard out to the next spot, so cars just filtered out as they felt and chose their own path which created a cool vibe seeing cars appear and disappear in and out of NYC's grid of streets.

This part of the event exuded a chaotic excitement. The first meet spot was sort of contained in a tucked off area where as the second meet spot was less contained and cars were slipping through crowds the rest of the night looking for parking and making sure to be seen.

What makes a guerrilla style event like this so stressful to cover is also what makes it so exciting. There's always something special hidden away that makes stumbling upon it even more exciting, but equally as disappointing when you see photos of cars you missed. In this case, a crisp white S30.

Right around the corner was a factory-fendered orange friend on RS Watanabes.

The narrow cobble stone streets in this part of SoHo were hard to get a photogenic angle on but were a real cool background for the cars attending.

Chester really is one of the most dedicated dudes out there. This event was the first event he told me he was actually staying the night after and not driving back to Rhode Island after midnight.

I'll never get tried of this Lexus RC. It's had a few different wheel setups but the TE37s it's running now are by far my favorite. That said, it was one of the first cars I've seen in a while that pulled off Work Equip 05s when it ran them at Wekfest.

I missed out on getting a closer look at this 80s Toyota pair at the first location and was stoked to find them at the second.