EVENT: Light the Night 2017

MNCEC Light the Night Crowd

Last month we hosted our Light The Night show for the third year, the show actually predates the formation of MNCEC. Each year it has grown significantly and has become one of the go-to shows during the Minnesota Car Show season. The turn out was great, the food trucks were delicious and the only real issue was the city placing the restrooms a block west of where they were supposed to be located.

MNCEC Light the Night Awards

The edge lit trophies were a spectale in of themselves. Making custom trophies is always a gamble, sometimes the concept is better than the final product and other times they end up on the next level. I would place this year's Light the Night trophy in the latter field.

MNCEC Light the Night BRZ Rocket Bunny

The winner for best looking GT86 in Minnesota without a doubt goes to this Rocket Bunny BRZ. Sure, that wasn't an actual category at the show, but it still should be mentioned.

While the widebody kit is the defining feature, the car is also a rare Series.HyperBlue BRZ. Only 500 Hyper Blue BRZs were made and it features paint matched interior stitching in addition to some other cosmetic improvements that only GT86 otakus will be able to spot.

MNCEC Light the Night Mazdaspeed 3

The Mazdaspeed 3 is one of those cars that is entirely more fun than it has any business being. I always have thought of this car almost as a spiritual successor to the golden age Civics of the 80s and 90s, as an affordable Japanese hot hatch. Fun front wheel drive cars used to be a dime-a-dozen but I can only think of a handful of exciting models made in the last 10 years.

MNCEC Light the Night Jetta Front Swap Mk4 Golf

This Mk.4 Golf with a Jetta front swap looked great and it has me all excited for Eurowerks this year. I'm surprised VW never made a special edition with this front end on it already, it works so well together.

MNCEC Light the Night Nova Promod

This Nova wasn't lighting up anything except the back tires after being built for the sole task of getting down the 1320 as fast as possible.

MNCEC Light the Night Mazda Custom Barrel BBS

This Mazda 3 was rolling on some one-of-a-kind sets of BBS RS three piece wheels. One of the positives of 3-piece wheels is the ability to make them whatever size, width or offset you feel like and that makes the customization options second to none.

MNCEC Light the Night Zenki S14

Adam Cha of TYC Photography had a corner of the top floor set up for photoshoots. $20 and you got a fully edited and professionally shot photo. That's not a bad deal since Adam usually costs significantly more than that for his services.

MNCEC Light the Night Maxima

Once the sun went down, the lights began to come out. This Maxima in particular was lit up like a christmas tree. When these first came out I thought they had a busy exterior but now that I'm seeing them built, they're beginning to look a lot better to me.

MNCEC Light the Night GTS-T Skyline

With the glut of GT-Rs coming into the state, it's easy to forget that the lower trim level R32s were just as great. Check out this GTS-T in what I believe is Bayside Blue. The GTS-T was 95% of the fun that the GT-R was but with 0.1L lower displacement, a single turbo and RWD, so it's arguable that this is just as fun in it's own right.

MNCEC Light the Night Dodge Colt RS Mitsubishi Mirage

Miguel Masberg's '80 Colt RS was in show as usual with his awesome Team Snax signage. I know I keep going on about this but the twin stick Colt/Mirage is one of the most hilariously fun cars I've ever driven.

MNCEC Light the Night Brown Jetta

"I have a brown sedan with a roof rack" might be one of the most unattractive sounding statements of all time but this GLI seems to prove that statement false.

MNCEC Light the Night S30 Fairlady Z LS

I don't recall having ever seen this particular S30 prior to this show but it was pretty well built. Peaking under the hood revealed an LS swap, personally I would have gone a different route but an LS is cheap and easy so it makes sense. Plus my cars are usually broken 3/4 of the time so there might be something to this whole LS swap thing.

MNCEC Light the Night Outback Subaru lineup

Outbacks are secretly about 200% more cool than your high school art teacher's car would have lead you to believe and the proof is in the pudding when you look at this example of a 3rd generation Outback. The ramp to the lower floor housed a lineup of unique Subaru builds from this Outback to Crosstreks and Imprezas.

 Photo Courtesy of Wa Lee

Photo Courtesy of Wa Lee

This Scion xB has been coming out to events for the better part of the last decade and it looks like the owner is moving onto another project. Best of luck to the seller because it's a fantastic build, or should I say Vantastic?

 Photo Courtesy of Wa Lee

Photo Courtesy of Wa Lee

Speaking of vans, or rather Wagovans, this white example had the panda color scheme down. I would say the Wagovan is arguably the best looking Civic, at least of the EF generation. Somehow it's disproportionately tall windows and short, low hoodline come together in a way that looks way better than it has any right being.

 Photo Courtesy of Wa Lee

Photo Courtesy of Wa Lee

Electron Blue Pearl is the Hemi Orange of the Honda community. It is by far the most iconic color for the EM1. A trio of Electron Blue Pearl EM1s were on presentation and they were a testament to how good a well built Honda can look. Also if that is a real GReddy lip, it's quite rare so I tip my hat to the owner on that one.

 Photo Courtesy of Wa Lee

Photo Courtesy of Wa Lee

The S2000 is a great example of a car that looks perfectly sculpted in plain bodywork or down right rowdy with a widebody kit. The yellow headlights and widebody remind me of an old Super GT car from the mid-2000s.

 Photo Courtesy of Wa Lee

Photo Courtesy of Wa Lee

I am still absolutely on board with the widebody craze, this M3 looks 100% on point with this Liberty Walk wide body kit. The whole Nextlevel crew seems to be living up to their name. Keep it up guys.

MNCEC Light the Night ZZT230 Celica

I don't know where this has come from but the ZZT230 generation of Celicas have been having a renaissance lately. Maybe all the DC Integras have been built and stolen/wrecked? Regardless, I've always thought these cars looked really good and they do drive quite well, certainly than their "low" power FWD statistics will lead you to believe.

While the vanilla Celica isn't terrible, The GT-S has a 2ZZ-GE engine, which was among the last of Toyota's high revving 4-cylinder engines with a 8400-8600 RPM redline depending on the model. The same engine family found it's way to the Lotus Elise and ZZW30 MR-S. With 190 HP on tap on the NA models, they're more than potent to keep up with their peers from the same era. These cars might be worth a "What's the Deal With..." post sometime in the dregs of winter.

MNCEC Light the Night Veilside GTR

Moe Alvi's Veilside R32 GT-R made an appearance. We have additional coverage of this car coming and i'll just leave you with teaser images until the feature is ready.

MNCEC Light the Night  Charger Daytona Spoiler

This Charger Daytona always draws a crowd, it is an absolutely flawless representation of the car. That massive wing is the one of the most iconic pieces of muscle car design ever.

MNCEC Light the Night Christmas GTR

The Christmas family were in full effect, with their twin GT-Rs and their son's new Civic Type R. These cars were some of the wildest builds of the entire show.

MNCEC Light the Night Winners

Overall it was a fantastic show. It's yet another example of how much the Minnesota car community is growing and improving. For a state that has 8 months of car season, we take every second of it and make the best of it. Without all of you, we wouldn't be able to hold shows like this, thank you all so much.