Nitto Auto Enthusiast Day Details:
- Nitto Tire held its inaugural Auto Enthusiast day at Auto Club Speedway
- Event commemorates Nitto's five millionth Facebook "like"
- Hundreds of show cars included Liberty Walk wide bodies
- Drift demo and ride-alongs put on by Nitto pros
Nitto Tire prides itself on being an enthusiast brand, one that caters to all levels of driver, and to that end does a lot of outreach in engaging its base. Recently, some of those efforts paid off big time when the company soared past five million "likes" on its Facebook page, an amazing number any way you slice it.
To commemorate the accomplishment, Nitto staged its first ever Auto Enthusiast Day on Saturday, December 7, in the infield parking lot at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Organizers promised hundreds of show cars and a drifting demo, with sponsored drivers Vaughn Gittin, Jr. and Matt Powers giving ride-alongs to a few select raffle winners.
What Nitto didn't bank on was the early-season winter rainstorm that moved through the area Saturday morning and early afternoon. While it wasn't pouring the entire time, there was enough rainfall in the first few hours of the show that we're almost certain more than a few potential show goers were discouraged from coming out.
It didn't stop us, though. Rolling in at noon of the 11am-to-4pm soiree, we sloshed around the aisles and aisles of show cars, each one beading with precipitation courtesy of Mother Nature. The selection ran the gamut: tuner cars, VIP, motorsports machines, Euros, and a handful of old-school whips, supplemented by a smattering of trucks and a sizable showing of American iron.
As one might expect, the Liberty Walk cars drew the biggest crowds, the first time we've seen the wide-body lot together since the SEMA Show this past November. The group included the gray and Laguna Seca blue E92 M3s, the blue one now rocking crazy custom paint on the faces of its BBS LM multi-piece wheels, and the most jocked LW car yet, its Ferrari 458. In fact, the event was lousy with BMW -- E92 and E46 3s aplenty, a couple of Z4, even a 135i.
If you came out to Auto Enthusiast Day, you had fun, in spite of the crap weather. Considering what Nitto was able to pull together for so late in the year, we're really hoping they do this again, and with any luck Mother Nature will cut the event some slack next time. Big ups to Nitto Tire for five million Facebook fans, a truly impressive milestone.