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LA Auto Show's aftermarket emporium returns

LA Auto Show's aftermarket emporium returns
Mods for every kind of vehicle are on display at the LA Auto Show's "Garage" exhibit. (LA Auto Show)

Back to 'the Garage'

Los Angeles auto enthusiasts have been painting, accessorizing, tuning and otherwise "personalizing" their beloved rides for almost a century. The term "hot rod" even originated in the city, when daredevil drivers started racing their modified cars on nearby dry lake beds in the late 1930s. Suburban garages and city streets across L.A. still echo with the sounds of "gearheads" tricking out their cars - wheels, exteriors, interiors and under the hood - every weekend.

"You are what you drive" is the perfect mantra for Los Angeles, and the LA Auto Show honors the city's long love affair with cool cars, old and new, with The Garage (formerly known as Aftermarket Hall) being one of the largest and most eclectic collections of celebrated auto tuners, customizers and aftermarket goods anywhere. This unique destination features one-of-a-kind exotic vehicles, the hottest auto parts and accessories, outlandishly customized rides, tuner and specialty restoration services, product demos, celebrity vehicles and more.

Returning for its second year, The Garage, powered by Prestone, is located in the Los Angeles Convention Center's lower South Hall (accessible via the South Hall Atrium's escalators - look for the big "Garage" banner). Comprising 160,000 square feet and more than 30 exhibitors, it's where LA Auto Show attendees can see demos of the latest aftermarket products and services, check out incredible custom vehicles, and purchase branded merchandise. For its 2016 debut, The Garage featured vehicles from Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren, Porsche and Rolls-Royce. Celebrating its 90-year anniversary, Prestone is displaying more than 25 vehicles in The Garage, including its 1971 De Tomaso Pantera and 1972 AMC Javelin, both built by the award-winning Ringbrothers, and a custom 1966 Chevrolet C/10 Street Truck dubbed "Unruly." In addition, Prestone is featuring the most extraordinary cars from its colorful 90th anniversary rally, which preceded the LA Auto Show.


The Garage also includes a car wrap demo from Al & Ed's Autosound, customizable license plate frames from Custom Engraving Company, and the Girls' Pit Stop, which is hosting auto maintenance workshops catering to women from YouTube star Jessicann and other amazing female mechanics, race car drivers and auto experts.

Storied Japanese manufacturer Yamaha is displaying its watercraft, e-bikes (bicycles with integrated electric motors), ATVs, 4x4s, motorcycles and helicopter drones, while also partnering with its music division to feature a variety of instruments and performances by a "garage" band. Self-taught automotive designer Ivan Tampi is showing off his customized Ivan Tampi Customs kits for Corvettes in The Garage, including his latest creation, the XIK Widebody Kit for the C7 Corvette Stingray. Garage guests can also check out "The World's Most 3-D-Printed Hellcat" - a 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT loaded with custom parts created on 3-D printers from Fountain Valley-based Airwolf 3D.

America's leading kart racing company, K1 Speed (which has locations in Gardena and Ontario), has their signature go-karts on display for photo opportunities, while DUB Magazine has returned to The Garage with its DUB Show Tour - a remarkable assortment of customized exotics, SUVs, bikes and more. Additionally, Sylmar's internationally renowned Blaque Diamond Wheels is exhibiting its ultra high-quality, innovative and trendsetting designs.

The Garage is also a haven for holiday shoppers, with plenty to please the auto enthusiast in your life. Upland-based Burning Rubber Toy Company has brought over 4,000 of its collectible model cars and trucks to the LA Auto Show, while Traxxas, The Fastest Name in Radio Control - the number-one selling name in Ready-To-Race nitro and electric radio controlled vehicles - is showing an array of its trucks, cars, speedboats, and helicopters.

- Paul Rogers Custom Publishing Writer