Everyone has to start somewhere
Born from the Pacific Northwest car scene, the founders of NWMotiv began in the same place as many young car enthusiasts do: by attending and participating in car shows.
The First Show – Emerald City Showoff circa August 2000
Most of the NWMotiv senior staff first started participating in car shows in the late 1990s to the early 2000s, when imports very much tended to be more style than speed. Car show teams were formed out of groups of friends just wanting to hang out and show together, and among the more prominent teams was Team Mospeed. Not just content with participating in car shows, Team Mospeed produced their first show in 2000 called Emerald City Showoff, which took place at the Sand Point Naval Station in Seattle, Washington. Team Mospeed continued to produce car shows for the next several years, including Import Jam and the Global Import Car Show. When they weren’t producing their own shows, Team Mospeed was active in showing as a team at the larger traveling car shows such as Hot Import Nights, Import Revolution, Sport Compact Nights, Driven to Perform, and Battle of the Imports. The team even traveled up and down the west coast to participate in other shows outside of the Northwest and even had cars featured at the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was only natural that fellow car show enthusiasts would get to know each other, and come 2004, Team Mospeed and upstart car show team Project One became good friends, often showing right next to each other as a big group at the various car shows.
Team Mospeed at Import Revolution 2001 | Global Import Car Show 2001 | Armin’s debut at Import Jam 2002
Team Mospeed and Project One both experienced great success in the car show scene between 2004 and 2007, taking home many trophies at the various car shows in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, along with being teams that car show organizers wanted to have featured at their shows. However, in 2008 the global economy began to falter, and with it so did the various car shows that would host events in the Pacific Northwest. Money was short for everyone, and the traveling car show model proved to not be financially viable. This created a black hole of sorts for the import car scene in particular, since with no car shows, all that was left were small parking lot meets and a few import-specific events at the few local race tracks. This drought carried on for the next two years, until members of Team Mospeed and Project One had enough.
Josh Mackey’s Del Sol | Matt Faraca’s Maxima | Jason Campbell A4
One day in late 2009, Team Mospeed member Josh Mackey came up with an idea. Mackey had been with Team Mospeed for over 10 years by this point, was well-experienced in both producing and participating in car shows, and had also established himself as an internationally-renown automotive photographer and author. The local car community was in shambles, and if big corporate sponsors and national car shows weren’t going to come to the Pacific Northwest, why not start something grassroots instead? Mackey struck up a casual conversation with Project One’s President, Armin H. Ausejo, who also had similar experiences with car shows and automotive photography. Ausejo shared Mackey’s vision, and together with fellow Team Mospeed members Jason Campbell, Matt Faraca, Brian Stevens, Matt Burke, and David Fotheringham, as well as Mike Bowen, who Mackey had made contact with initially for website development on his personal website, NWMotiv was conceived to help bring back the car scene to its former glory. These founding members set the standard that NWMotiv still strives to live up to today.
Jason Campbell’s G35 | Brian Steven’s xA | Matt Burke’s Sentra
The goal of NWMotiv was to build a completely new Northwest brand, not only focusing on producing the best car shows possible, but also offering high-end products that reflect their pride in the local Northwest community and car scene. Officially launched in April 2010, NWMotiv started off with a website geared toward providing editorial content of local cars, events, and even models, very much utilizing the established photography and writing abilities of Mackey, Ausejo, and other members of the NWMotiv staff. Project cars owned by NWMotiv staff were also featured, and the website became a central platform to show off each project and garner attention from potential sponsors. From the beginning, NWMotiv strived to stand out and break ground as the go-to online resource for the local car scene, through its strong branding and colors, its distinctive graphical style, and its print magazine quality photography. Nevertheless, success didn’t come easily overnight, and many hours were spent improving upon every aspect possible. Slowly but surely, NWMotiv audience and online presence grew, leading to local and national businesses seeking NWMotiv’s production help with graphics, photography, and sponsorship proposals. A number of NWMotiv features even went on to become features in various national print magazines.
The shows must go on
With a small, but growing following established on its website and its various social media channels, the time had come for NWMotiv to start producing events. Working with the City of Renton, Washington, NWMotiv produced the NWMotiv.com International Automotive Showcase in August 2010, featuring 100 pre-approved cars at the Renton International Festival. NWMotiv coordinated with city officials, judged the car show, and even provided event coverage to really hit the ground running. As with most first attempts, it was quite a learning experience for all of the NWMotiv staff, but the even still received high praise from the participants, fueling the fire to keep up the event production. In April 2011, NWMotiv hosted a Fast Five Premiere meet in Tukwila, Washington, which helped bring the community together to the likes that haven’t been seen in years. In June, NWMotiv took over the reins of Forum Fest at Pacific Raceways after running its registration and volunteering help the year prior, making the show much larger and more successful than it had been under different leadership, and in December NWMotiv hosted a Winter Toy Drive and Meet in Redmond, Washington with great success. Along the way, NWMotiv continued to provide editorial coverage of other local car events such as the West Coast Subaru Show and the Red Square Car Show, and also continued to feature local cars and car show teams with articles and photography.
Chris Dunbar’s Subaru WRX at the International Automotive Showcase | NOS Energy Drink’s Fast Five Premiere
Now established as not only a leader in producing local car shows and events but also as a local media outlet, NWMotiv secured a regional media partnership with Formula DRIFT in 2012, which led to coverage of Formula DRIFT events across the country, focusing specifically on local drivers. NWMotiv continues to be a strong supporter of Formula DRIFT and has helped provide opportunities for up and coming photographers to shoot on track with other established members of the media. 2012 also saw the return of Forum Fest, along with producing the Showcase at Nissan Fest and reintroducing indoor car shows to the Northwest with the inMotion Indoor Car Show and Drift Event. Coinciding with producing more events, NWMotiv also began offering more and more high-end apparel and products, sold at each of the various events as well as online.
Nissan Fest | inMotion | Forum Fest
Setting the trends
Today, NWMotiv continues its success in car show production, media coverage, and offering high-end products. At 2012’s Showcase at Nissan Fest, NWMotiv debuted its own car show registration and judging system called Auto Show Registration, which utilizes the power of mobile devices to check in and judge cars during a car show. The system introduced a new level of convenience and speed to the car show registration and judging process for both participants and staff alike, and continues to be improved with each car show going forward. No other car show uses such a system, still relying on old-fashioned pen and paper for judging and results tabulation, and thus Auto Show Registration exists as a product that can be purchased by any and all car show organizers.
In 2014, NWMotiv produced the first HondaFest NW car show, drawing in hundreds of cars and thousands of event attendees. With professionally-run car show production, photography and event coverage that is second to none, and a consistently strong and well-established brand presence both online and offline, NWMotiv is known across the country as a bonafide leader in the Northwest car scene and community. Despite the success, NWMotiv still stays true to its roots, and at the end of the day is still much more of a labor of love than a full time job for each of the NWMotiv staff. It’s the community that both inspires and fuels NWMotiv staff to do what they do, and giving back to the community that’s treated NWMotiv staff so well for over a decade is the ultimate goal. There are many great things on the horizon for NWMotiv, and the entire staff will continue to work tirelessly to make the Northwest the place to be for all things car-related.