Wangan Miami

Traveling is a stressful and often exhausting ordeal if you have never done it before but compounds even more when you are working the whole time. When all is said

2 years ago

Latest Post Sunday at Leen Customs by Drew Manley public

Traveling is a stressful and often exhausting ordeal if you have never done it before but compounds even more when you are working the whole time. When all is said and done, there will be one or two things that stuck out to you about the entire trip that made everything worth it.... this is one of those nights.

On my 4th day in Miami, I spent most of the day shooting and I am super thankful that my buddy Brandon was able to assist and drive me around that day. Started off shooting Elie's aired 964, then ASG's RUF RSR and Benihana 930 and then it was to the late night stuff.

When I went to visit RMC Miami the day before, Danny asked me if I wanted to do something late night but things were up in the air. It wasn't actually until Sean hit me up and said that things were going down that night. So Brandon and I went to grub and headed back to a small gathering of the boys ready to bomb on the Miami highways.

We pulled up to a dark and moody setting at RMC but the striking beauty of Godzilla GTRs brighten the entire arena. R32 and R33 took immediate notice along with a 996 cab with a hardtop. All of them properly prepped with wheels to match, just what I expect visiting the boys here at RMC.

Of course the boys were in full automotive conversations and checking the cars before the evening run. We were waiting for the night to die down a bit before heading onto the highway but it is also the week of Art Basel, which means that Miami doesn't shut down until 4am lol.

We headed inside to figure out what other cars we were going to take and also to take a look at their full inventory of cars. Every time I visit, there is always something new and exciting inside.

Yea, as you can see above... lots of eye candy. Which ones can you name off the top of your head? Which is the most expensive? Most rare? One of the reasons why I connected with RMC 4 years ago was because of their love for the aircooled 911.

They usually have a rotation of Mizwa cars on display and today was no different. A rare 1993 Wimbledon Green Carrera 2 with gray interior.

Below you have some Benz jewelry laid out on the floor. Those monoblocks would look so badass on the wagon behind it. The good folks in Miami love color matched wheels on their German cars... not for me but one that is something I have seen frequently out there.

Outside was a R33 that just arrived from Japan earlier in the day. Still dusty and probably needing some TLC but that is what RMC specializes in. I know this thing will look cherry coming up pretty soon.

Danny asked me what car I wanted to see out there as he needed to move cars around to access them. Since there was a Supra IV hanging out mid floor, I thought it was a good showcase to put that with its nemesis or BFF (however you want to see it), the R33.

Caught this super dope shot of the Supra out in the yard when I shot thru the metal gate and the street light was reflecting off of the aluminium. Final preps were under way and we were getting ready to take off.

So we originally talked about doing some rollers inside of the Miami tunnel but this turned out to be a huge challenge as I will explain coming up. Our first point of business was to fuel up down the street.

Now that everyone was fueled up... this is where things got interesting. You see, I was in the car with Brandon who drives a Prius and everyone else was pretty much in 400-700hp monsters. We were the last ones out of the gas station and on top of that, we got pulled back by a G wagon that was driving super slow.

So by the time we got on the freeway, everyone was already a mile or two ahead. We had no radio communication since I didn't have any on me at the time and we lost about 40 mins in getting on and off the freeway to find a meeting spot. There was so much traffic cause of Art Basel, it soon became a nightmare.

When we finally got communication that everyone was waiting for Brandon and I by the entrance of the tunnel, we got there as soon as we could. It was a bit sketch no doubt as cars were whizzing past us over 80mph as we sat on the shoulder.

We ended up only getting one pass because the cops at the end of the tunnel stopped all of us but not for taking photos in the tunnel or causing traffic but to let us know not to sit at the entrance of the tunnel as it is a traffic hazard. There were super cool about it. It was also hilarious when one of the cops came up to the window of the GTRs and wondered where the driver was (since JDM cars are right hand drive lol). Good times.

Even thought I only got a single pass, I was generally happy with the results. I wasted a lot of time trying to get the guys to drive closer behind the camera car and wasn't able to get the other cars in the pack in the photo. You can't win them all...

Our next stop was also a location of circumstance. You see, many of us got disjointed because we lost with traffic and then the R32 had some issues with his car. By the time we got to where Danny was sitting, it was probably 20 mins later as this one segment of Miami has exits every 2-3 miles apart. GG

Now this is where things turned into Wangan Midnight Miami! Danny was literally waiting for us at the merging point of two freeway transitions lol. We basically loaded up on the split and hung out!

Just having car conversations on the side of the highway... no big deal. Just passing time lol but no joke, this was super Rad. I do not recommend doing this to all the young readers, it is very dangerous.

After 14 mins or so, the rest of the crew gathered and then we were off to the next area. A large stretch of highway that really look like a top speed raceway sitting high above the rest of the city. So off we went to the next location.

Loved this part of Miami as it was a bit more secluded from the Art Basel traffic and way more liberal for driving more spiritedly! We spent another 20 mins just chatting and hanging out like we do.

I asked Danny if he could take the R33 and Supra down the highway so I can get some panning shots but this proved to be difficult for a few reasons. Once again, the freeway exits are so far away and also we had no real efficient way of communicating.

On a few of the first passes, the issue was that the cars were way too far apart. I needed them to be way tighter. So as we were waiting forever for them to turn around, the oddest thing happened. Mind you, its already 1am and Brandon and I were waiting on the shoulder waiting for the boys to pass by at a high rate of speed.

Out of nowhere, this lady pulls up and stops on the highway lane to literally ask us for directions as her phone died. I tried to tell her to pull over because we knew the guys were going to be passing any second and sure enough, they did and we missed them. Here is a bit of life advice, when you are looking for direction, best to pull into a safe place like a gas station to ask for directions vs stopping directly on the highway!!!

I had them do one more pass as everyone was getting hungry and tired by this point. So off they went and this is all I was able to catch in the moment.

We decided to head back to RMC and regroup and then go eat but as it was getting closer to 2:30am, we knew our options were running thin.

When we got to Flanigan's, we got there just in time for them to tell us that the kitchen had just closed down. We decided to head to the other Flanigan's where we made it just in time for last call. Good times were had.

We eventually parted ways after and this was the last time I saw everyone before I took off two days later. I will always look back on the impromptu night we had just driving and hanging out in random places. Always got love for the boys here.

So yea, as I said in the beginning, traveling is a lot of work but in hindsight, it is moments like this that you look back on and remember why you do it at all. Documenting the culture and those that are obsessed by it. Yea those are my people and that is what I am looking  for more of. In this life time, that is all we have... the memories we make.

Thanks for chilling with me everyone on this blog post. Please share it with your car friends... much love, Drew.

RMC Miami
7380 NW 8th St, Miami, FL 33126
(305) 255-2274

Drew Manley

Published 2 years ago


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