First, let me preface this post by saying I'm not a huge fan of the VIP scene. That is not to say there's anything wrong with the scene, it simply doesn't hit very hard on my personal car enthusiast radar. So when I heard that the Pure VIP crew was putting together a big meet here in Sacramento (of all places), I immediately RSVP'd "I'm going" on Facebook weeks in advance. Yeah, doesn't make sense to me either.
While I've been to meets that had one or two VIP builds present, I've never been to one that catered specifically to that crowd. Just like any other type of event, there were plenty of cars that didn't fit the "VIP" mold (as a matter of fact, I showed up with some of the Midtown Euro crew in three E30s). There were mini trucks, drift-style builds, and even another old-school Euro or two. One thing that most cars had in common though: they were slammed. The organizers did a great job choosing a venue with relatively even pavement, and pretty clean entry points--because whether bagged, static, or even on hydraulics (!), the scrape potential was real.
The other thing the cars had in common was how clean they were. The major point of a VIP car is to be as clean and luxurious as possible, so even the builds that were outside of the traditional VIP definition showcased near perfect fit and finish. The few rides that were still under construction showcased details that I can already tell are going to be something special once the clear-coat dries, and the final "accomplishment" beer is popped open
If I was out of my element at this meet, I didn't really feel it much. Sure, very few of the cars were models that my heart skips beats for, but the atmosphere felt very familiar. As I walked around and snapped shots of these cars, I still found myself calling out the same familiar greetings from meets past, and paying attention to the same details as I would at a Euro or track meet. For everyone I know, the conversation with other attendees stands front and center in what we remember about every gathering we go to. The most memorable for me was a conversation with Spencer Gibber’s dad (IG: @nlxspencer), who explained that Spencer drove to the meet in the same truck that took him home from the hospital when he was born. To most people at the meet, it was just an old Chevy on air ride with some cool details. To him, it was a family heirloom, the first thing with four wheels and a motor that he'd ever heard and been in.
The atmosphere itself was great. The Pure VIP guys know how to make a meet feel like more than just a parking lot traffic jam. There were raffles, swag giveaways, and games. All around the cars you could see crews with tables set up for brews, hookah, or a picnic. There was even a food truck hanging around for refreshments. The parking lot was shared by Sacramento Zoo and Funderland visitors, so there were a lot of families with young children going back and forth. Some of them even took some time to check out the cars, and as far as I know the blending of two crowds went without a hitch. The only thing I would have liked better would’ve been to have our own parking area or entire lot just for meet cars. But hey, we can’t have it all.
Overall, the meet was a great success. I didn’t stay too much later from the official start time, but for those who arrived later and from the Pure VIP Facebook page itself, I’ve heard nothing but good things about this standout meet. If you haven’t been out to a big meet yet this year, make it happen. We’re at the end of summer, and soon all the projects will be locked up behind garage doors getting upgrades out of the limelight. The next big meet that I recommend is Waterwerks in the San Francisco on August 24th. Check out Water Werks.