Nitto Tire’s Auto Enthusiast Day of drifting destroyed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim parking lot for the sixth year in a row.

The annual event features tuner cars, off-road rigs, drifting demonstrations, vehicle launching (aka jumping) demos, top professional drivers, and so much more. Nitto Tire’s Auto Enthusiast Day is free and brings together various car lovers and automotive aficionados from all across Southern California.

iDriveSoCal’s very own Professor Quan, and his Associate Professor joined me at this exciting, jam-packed auto event.  Click play below to hear our entire report and check out the pics… you might even be able to smell the burnt rubber!


Recorded July 3, 2018, Los Angeles, CA

Auto Enthusiasts Day

Clinton Quan: This is the sixth annual Auto Enthusiast Day at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. It’s a car show, drift demonstrations, big component too, the off-road vehicles. What I thought was really cool was that Lightning McQueen themed truck.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.

Tom Smith: Hey, hey, hey. Hey, hey, hey. How are you doing today?

Clinton Quan: I’m doing great.

Tom Smith: Today’s podcast is … And thank you for joining us as always. Today’s podcast is about Auto Enthusiast Day, which, is basically … It’s sponsored by Nitto Tires. It’s their big shindig they do down at the Anaheim Angels-

Clinton Quan: Angels Stadium Anaheim.

Tom Smith: Angels Stadium of Anaheim. Los Angeles Anaheim Angels, whatever they’re calling themselves these days.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Angels Stadium Parking Lot Destruction

Tom Smith: Down in the parking lot down there. And a couple of things about this one. I did a pre-event podcast with Harry Kong, one of the marketing guys from Nitto Tires, that’s in charge of putting it on. And I was like, “Harry, how do you guys get Angel Stadium to allow you to destroy their parking lot every year?”, because this Auto Enthusiast Day is a ton of drifting, right. They had that drift competition.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, that’s a big part of it.

Tom Smith: Yeah. So, there’s burnt rubber everywhere. And they’re just literally destroying the parking lot. And Harry said, “Well, you know, it helps that we sponsor the Angels every year.” So, yeah. Yeah. I think the beginning of that podcast is like, “Yeah, you know. Hey, we’re going to ruin part of your parking lot each year, but we’re going to have a really great car show out of it.” So, that’s what Auto Enthusiast Day was all about. The Professor has been there a number of times. It was my first time going, and it was pretty cool. But Professor, why don’t you fill us in on some of the granular stuff, and I’ll chime in from time to time.

Day of Drifting

Clinton Quan: Well, this is the sixth annual Auto Enthusiast Day. And, as you said, it took place at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. Basically, it’s a car show, drift demonstrations, and award ceremony. And it runs from 12:00 to 7:00. So, there’s a number of people that come in and out throughout the entire afternoon and early evening.

Tom Smith: And they had … So, there was a car show, kind of, within a car show, really, because they had … The parking light itself had groups of automotive enthusiasts that had grouped themselves together, and kind of tailgating, not in an alcohol kind of situation or anything like that, but tailgating, hanging out, enjoying cars, enjoying each other’s company. So, that was the outside, the parking lot itself. But then, on the inside, which, again, the whole thing’s in a parking lot but then-

Clinton Quan: Yes.

The Show within the Show

Tom Smith: … on the inside of the, you know, gated-off or a fenced-off area, the actual show, there were many booths and participating organizations, as well as more just cars. And I mean, it seemed to me everything was around the tuner kind of performance stuff, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes, that’s correct. So, basically, there’s one area where you have people that bring in their own cars-

Tom Smith: Right.

Clinton Quan: … for the show. And then, you have another area where you have all these vendors and booths, and they’re displaying their aftermarket products. And they have their own vehicles set up there, so people can see what all the products are all about.

Off-Roading Well Represented

Tom Smith: Yeah. And it was everything that focused around tuner drifting, and I guess sort of some off-road stuff there too.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, that was a big component too, the off-road vehicles, a number of Jeep vehicles. They had these jeeps that were on display and the tires.

Tom Smith: I saw those.

Clinton Quan: They were on top of the tire-

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: … which was kind of cool.

Tom Smith: Yeah. It was like-

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: … three Jeeps. Did you get a picture of that? I didn’t get it. I should have taken a picture of that.

Clinton Quan: There was one of those. I didn’t get a picture of that one, but I did get one where there was one jeep on top of another jeep.

Tom Smith: And we do have a picture of those … of that?

Clinton Quan: I do you have a picture of that one.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Jeep Wranglers On Display

Tom Smith: All right. So, we’ll post that. But what the Professor is talking about is there’s a little jeep exhibit, and there was … I think, there were three side-by-side newer jeeps, the Ford Jeeps.

Clinton Quan: Ford wrap.

Tom Smith: The Wranglers.

Clinton Quan: Yes, the Wranglers.

Tom Smith: And each one was the … So, there’s one in position. And then, the one to the right of it had its left front tire on top of the one to the left of its right front tire.

Clinton Quan: Correct, yes.

Tom Smith: So, they were kind of like dominoes and literally, I mean, they just drove themselves into that position, which is kind of crazy, but there are some-

Clinton Quan: Yeah, it’s pretty amazing.

Fun for the Whole Family

Tom Smith: There are some performance vehicles there, both for the road, as well as for off-road. And, by the way, Nitto, and Harry, and Abigail from Kahn Media, thanks for having us. Thanks for hosting us. It was a very nice time. I got there a little bit earlier than the Professor. The Professor and the Associate Professor got there a little bit after me. I was offered a drift ride, and I politely passed on my opportunity to drift. I had to get home to my son, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to have time to kind of wash the rubber off of me because it was open. It was open, right? The car was open. The windows weren’t closed.

Clinton Quan: It was an open truck.

Tom Smith: Did you get rubber on you?

Clinton Quan: I got a little rubber on me.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yes, I did.

Tom Smith: Because, folks, the tires were burning so much that, literally, they are ruining the parking lot. Like I say, that’s the other thing that Harry was saying. They redo the parking lot after every year’s event. But then, Abigail from Kahn Media, who is, I guess, their PR agency, was telling me that after last year’s event just from her being a spectator, like she had to literally go home, and wash the rubber off her because it was that much rubber residue from burning tires-

Tire Sales Bonanza 

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I can imagine.

Tom Smith: … floating through the air.

Clinton Quan: You’re that close to the cars, yes

Tom Smith: Yeah. Yeah, but it was a really-

Clinton Quan: It’s like you’re running the car.

Tom Smith: It was a really cool event. I mean, you know, brilliant for Nitto Tires, right. If I’m in the tire-selling business, that’s exactly the kind of sport that I want to get behind 100% because all it does is just burn through tires like crazy.

Clinton Quan: Yes. Yeah.

Tom Smith: But it was a lot of fun. And, actually, before you got there, there was a guy. I don’t know. He looked like an actor of some sort or whatever, but he got some special treatment. He was taken on to the course before the actual … I think before the show even opened or before the demonstration started. And he was given a ride in one of the drift cars because the setup was they had drift drivers that were taking people for rides.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Street Cars on the Track

Tom Smith: The Professor included. So, this one guy got to go for a ride. And Abigail is showing me around the kind of like the pit area before the show started. So, this guy gets to go for a ride. And then, they pulled back, and they, you know, burned rubber, and do the drifting. Then, they come back. And then, the guy gets out of the drift car, hops in his own, I want to say it was a Challenger.

Clinton Quan: It was a Challenger?

Tom Smith: Yeah, but it was a streetcar and a custom license, but I’m beginning with the license plate said. Actually, no, I remember, but I’m not going to say it because it wouldn’t be appropriate, I don’t know. So, he got in the Challenger with … I think, he had a couple of little boys with him. So, one was in the back. One was in the passenger seat.

Clinton Quan: Wow.

Tom Smith: And then, they let him take his streetcar Challenger. It was an RT, for sure, or what is it? It’s a Hemi or whatever.

Clinton Quan: Well, that’s the name of the engine, the Hemi Engine.

Tom Smith: Okay. It was significant.

Clinton Quan: It wasn’t a demon, was it?

Tom Smith: It might have been. I don’t know. I mean, it was significant. It might have been the demon, but that-

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: That’s one they’re only making a few, not a lot of.

Clinton Quan: That’s the one that’s got something like 800 horsepower or something like that. It’s-

Tom Smith: This might have been.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: I’m not sure, but he took his-

Clinton Quan: Yeah, very limited.

No Shortage of Rubber

Tom Smith: He took his streetcar onto the track. And, honestly, arguably, the streetcar actually looked cooler and sounded cooler than the drift car did spinning around right in front of us. I actually thought that he was going to blow his tires. And I mentioned that to Abigail. She’s like, “Oh no. This …” Pointed to a huge trailer just over a couple of hundred yards away. She’s like, “That’s packed with tires. We got them. We’re not running out of tires today.” I was like, “Okay, whatever.”

Tom Smith: So, anyway, the Auto Enthusiast Day there at Angel Stadium. Is it Angel Stadium of Los Angeles or Angels? Are they calling themselves … Does Los Angeles have anything to do with the Angels’ name anymore?

Clinton Quan: I think so. I saw that recently. I think it’s still called Los Angeles-

Tom Smith: Is it Angels of Anaheim?

Clinton Quan: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Tom Smith: Or something.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: I remember like OC in Anaheim, people hated that when Los Angeles-

Clinton Quan: It’s a ridiculous name, whatever.

Tom Smith: At any rate.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Southern California (Motor) Sports

Tom Smith: At any rate, it would just be Anaheim Angels, if that’s not the name. It should be. It should be, but, hey, you know, sports in Southern California here, right. Just announced, we got LeBron James coming to Lakers. Woohoo. You know you got the Microsoft, one of the Microsoft guys that own the Clippers. You got the Dodgers that, you know, another World Series. Now, we have two football teams. You got to have two football teams.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: You can’t just have one, but, yeah. I think I like the motorsports aspect of Southern California more out of a whole lot of them. And you can’t forget the Kings and the Ducks, right.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Is there anybody I’m missing?

Clinton Quan: Oh, Galaxy.

Tom Smith: Galaxy. And what about those other, the other team? Chivas?

Clinton Quan: I don’t know that.

Tom Smith: Chivas?

Clinton Quan: I don’t know the other one. I only know the Galaxy.

Tom Smith: Anyway, sorry if we left out any teams. I kind of hijacked this whole podcast. I’m sorry, Professor. Why don’t you tell us a little bit that I didn’t already cover about the Auto Enthusiast Day?

Lightning McQueen Themed Truck

Clinton Quan: Well, what I thought was really cool was that Lightning McQueen themed truck.

Tom Smith: Oh yeah.

Clinton Quan: And my son was wearing the Lightning McQueen hat.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: I’m like, “You got to get a picture with this truck.”.

Tom Smith: That’s really cool. Yeah, so cute.

Clinton Quan: I was showing all my friends. They’re like, “Wow. How cool is that?”

Tom Smith: That’s a really cute picture, yeah. I didn’t realize that that was the same hat that he had on. But we’ll have that one on …

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: You got to check this picture out everybody at Go to this post. And we’ll have this really cool picture of the Lightning McQueen from the Cars Series, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: The Pixar-

Clinton Quan: The Disney cars.

Tom Smith: Is it Disney? Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Associate Professor On-Hand

Tom Smith: And the Associate Professor’s the cute little boy standing in front of the truck. So, that was really cool. Now, one of the things that Abigail told me, and, I guess, you missed this too, and maybe by the time we post this, everybody will have video or pictures of it that we’ll get from Nitto, from Driving Line, which is the Nitto blog that put this whole thing on. But they were going to be jumping the off-road truck. They were drifting off-road trucks, by the way. They were going to be jumping the off-road truck over three cars drifting in unison.

Clinton Quan: Wow.

Tom Smith: The Professor missed this. I missed it because I had to get home to my son, my eight-month-old. Actually, nine months old as of today. My son is nine months old. Happy Birthday. Happy ninth month birthday.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: So, yeah. So, that was cool. But the day was cool, fun, had by all. Professor actually drifted. And I don’t think that was your first time drifting, right? It wasn’t?

Clinton Quan: It was a first time, yes.

Tom Smith: Really? I thought you drifted before.

Clinton Quan: Well, I didn’t drift. I was riding shotgun.

Tom Smith: Well, had you ever ridden shotgun before in a drift car?

Clinton Quan: No.

Tom Smith: So, that was a first?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Drifting Celebrities Driving

Tom Smith: I swore you had told me that you had done that before.

Clinton Quan: I had not.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: No. I’ve been in Indy Car a couple of times.

Tom Smith: Okay. So, 2018 Auto Enthusiast Day, which just went down this past Saturday, Professor Quan got his first drift experience.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: He was a passenger.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: But you were whipped around pretty darn good it looked like.

Clinton Quan: Yes, yeah, in a 600 horsepower Mustang driven by Adam LZ. He’s a pro drift driver and a huge YouTube star as well.

Tom Smith: Oh really?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: All right.

Clinton Quan: He is a big YouTube sensation.

Tom Smith: It is a YouTube sensation with the drifting?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay. You can tell I’m really dialed into the-

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: … the drifting scene as well, the YouTube sensation scene. All right, cool. Anything else to add?

Clinton Quan: I think we’ve covered it.

Tom Smith: I just blow it off for you. I just-

Clinton Quan: No. I think you’ve covered it. I think we’ve covered it, I think.

Tom Smith: Yeah, I think you’ve covered it quite well today, Tom. Thank you very much.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Glad I showed up for this. All right. Well, Professor, thank you so much as always. We had a lot of fun out there.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: A little bit of time that we were able to spend together. And we’ll look forward to doing it again soon. Without further ado, thank you for listening for iDriveSoCal. I’m Tom Smith. See you.