Is VIP dying?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Kanmuri David, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Kanmuri David

    Kanmuri David New Member

    I couldn't sleep, and I got to thinking about this question, so I decided to make a post to share my thoughts.

    I think this is a topic that has been mentioned quite a bit on the podcast, and I think the general consensus is no, it is not dying. It actually is reaching more people than ever, but why do so many of us feel like it's dying?

    Before I go further, I want to point out that I'm writing this from the point of view of a scene that is outside the state of California. From my perspective, it looks like every scene in California is thriving. I am from Houston, and while there is plenty VIP out here, it doesn't feel like there's a real community.

    I think the feeling of "VIP is dead" comes from a variety of things. First, it is rare for me to see OGs or other high quality builds at local meets. John touched on this point a while back on the podcast, and Daniel Coffey and I talked about it over the weekend. I agree. I think a huge part of growing the community and encouraging quality builds is being willing to mentor newcomers, even those that may seem misguided. That's how I came into the scene.

    Another thing I have noticed is that in Houston VIP guys and gals tend to keep to themselves. Rarely, if ever, are there any VIP meets. Given, Texas isn't known for its VIP scene. Rather, it is known for Texas 2K, but there are enough of us.

    Lastly, I have noticed a steady decline in show quality over the years. I remember when I first got into Wekfest in 2014, I actually felt like I didn't belong there because the other builds so far surpassed mine. I don't really blame the show runners. It is difficult to screen cars online without seeing them in person. Really, I think it comes down to people with quality builds being willing to show their cars. Without those bad ass builds coming out to shows, show runners are left to choose from mediocre builds.

    Now, I'm pretty disappointed with a lot of the cars that show up to shows. There really doesn't seem to be much shame in showing a car that isn't show ready. I see a lot of bad quality paint, bad quality body work, and cars that aren't clean. At StanceNation Texas, for example, I didn't really even feel like I deserved the Best Toyota award because there weren't any other cars that I felt were up to show quality in my category. I'm not bashing on other people's builds, I'm just pointing out that I think the scene could do better, and I think the scene is better than this. In general, the car community needs to hold themselves to a higher standard, and I think that comes right back to showing people what good builds look like.

    Many older guys are tired of bringing out their cars or don't see a point since they aren't looking for awards, but I don't think that's what it should be about. I've really never gone for the awards. It's really a place for me to get feedback from other like-minded people. Also, it's a place for me to get ideas. I started getting into VIP when I saw some bagged LS460s from California at Hot Import Nights one year in Houston. While they may not have cared to show their cars, it inspires people. It inspired me.

    So, I suppose it's kind of my call to arms for the VIP community. Show your cars! People want to see them. People want to learn. People want to see what a high level build is.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  2. Lildann

    Lildann Member

    I think that you make some valid points. Here is my two cents. First, I think the car show scene is getting younger. It seems to me that older guys, like myself (I'm 39), don't go to as many shows as they we used to. I think that there are several reasons for this. First, I think that the scene has changed. For years, I used to drive six hours to go to NOPI Nationals in Atlanta. That was, at the time, the pinnacle of car shows in the south for me. And it was a place where you could walk around for two days and not see the same cars. Now, I wouldn't have been able to tell you what a VIP car was back then or if any were there. But you did see all kinds of cars in different stages there. But what you didn't hear was a ton of people talking trash about everyone's cars. I'm sure that people did talk trash but there wasn't social media so maybe it just didn't feel that way. Fast forward to today and there are people who start Instagram pages at shows like Import Alliance to make fun of people's cars. And after shows are over, you see posts on Instagram and Facebook that say so and so shouldn't have won this or I should've won that. Maybe I'm just an old man but I don't want to hear that crap. When I go to shows, I'm going to hang out with friends, meet new people, look at cars, and show what I've been working on. If I win an award, it's a bonus. It doesn't make or break my time there.
    Secondly, I think that the show presenters have a harder time putting on shows these days. Venues are more expensive to rent and I'm sure that they have to have insurance for incidentals like accidents, damage to property, or people getting hurt. Plus, shows have to be more than just car shows now. People want more entertainment. So there are DJ's and girls like always. But there's drifting, contests, bass competitions, racing, food trucks, vendors, etc. All of that equals added cost to put on a show. Because of that cost, more cars need to be able to show. While I believe that car show sponsors want the best cars at there shows, sometimes they also need to fill spots. And, with today's photo technology, pictures of cars can be edited to make a car look better than it really is. That, like you said, makes it hard to screen cars for a show.
    Lastly, for me, I've got more stuff going on now then I had before. It's harder for me to get out and also harder for many of my friends. We now have kids and that equals less free time. While I do take my kids with me to shows or meets, I have much less time to go to them do to other commitments. Between Boy Scouts, sports, homework, and just doing things with my kids, my weekends are much busier these days. Many of my friends are in the same boat that I am in. We went to a Lexotic meet Sunday and I saw people that I haven't seen in years. Literally the last time I saw two of them was at a Toys For Tots show in December 2015. When we got to talking, it was all about our kids.
    It is funny that some of us talked about not getting out to shows and we all kinds said what I'm telling you here. We still like going out to shows but it doesn't have such a big place in our lives as it used to. Personally, I don't think that VIP is dead. But I do think that the scene is changing. I can tell you that when I go to a meet with no awards, the vibe is much more relaxed and more positive. I feel like if shows get more like meets have been, higher quality cars will start coming back out.
    Again, just my observations.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. ultm8mind

    ultm8mind Member

    Seems like it's dying this site made a little comeback and now it seems like it's going downhill again...
  4. kos

    kos Member

    I think a big part of it is due to the decline in forum popularity for one. Too many people want to "scratch the itch" via Instagram and Facebook, where they see notifications on things they post / comment on, versus going to a forum and following up on threads, seeing what's being posted, and by who. A portion of that I believe is also the younger generation (take this with a grain of salt as I just turned 30 a few months ago), were never exposed to a true car culture that a lot of the older heads and OGs have been a part of for the last 10-15 years. The forum heyday promoted a tighter-knit group IMO, where everyone knew people by their handle moreso than their real names!

    Plus now you've got SO many people that want the "clout" "e-fame" etc RIGHT NOW and will sacrifice build quality just to "break the internet" for a month or two and then be off to something else within a year or so once the heat cools off. I have a feeling a lot of the OGs are still doing their thing, but are less public about it due to adult life and the shit that goes with it; work, families, kids, etc. and they aren't about to post their progress just to have some kid copy it blatantly with knock-off garbage.
    aristo93 likes this.
  5. aristo93

    aristo93 Active Member

    hi David still holding strong for some of us. Seen it come and go many times . True enthusiasts will stick around others will die out as soon as the likes stop coming in
  6. kingtoy10

    kingtoy10 Member

    I'm in north Texas and have been thinking this for some time. I think that yes, older guys like myself (I'm 47), don't do all the shows. I also have more of an old school style build so it doesn't quite have all the bells and whistles that a lot of the younger guys want to put into their builds. I started a all VIP club a couple of years ago and have really struggled to keep it going let alone make it grow. Yes, as I have gotten older I have a lot of things going on in my life. I have always been a car guy so I am always working on cars or going to shows, just not always a VIP/Import show. My personal opinion is that a lot of the scene is made up of guys that are trend jumpers. They like cars so they decide to build a car quickly and win as many trophies as they can. I think within a few years they fall out because they got their instant gratification. They are not truly into cars and you need true deep down cars guys to keep it going.

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