Eibach meet 2018. For those of you who have heard about it, it’s surreal to hear that title and those numbers come together. For those of you who have never heard of it, it’s only getting bigger: so pay attention.
(Cue historical harpsichord music) The first Eibach meet was held at Eibach Springs headquarters, in Corona California. Initially, it was a small meet to bring Honda enthusiasts together from the local area. Since then, the Eibach Meet has reached tens of thousands of enthusiast from coast to coast, since 2004. That’s right; for 16 years. That means some of you were born the first year Eibach meet took off, and now you’re basically grandparents (math is hard).
So what’s changed since then? Well, it seems our scene as a whole has gone from being a niche, underground hobby, to an international lifestyle, with hundreds of meets across the country. Now we can get into how Fast and the Furious had a lot to do with that growth, but that’s another article in itself. More importantly, I want to focus on how Eibach has stayed so relevant for so long. The way modern business practices have shifted these past few decades have proven the importance of adaptations and relevance. Eibach seems to manage a fine balance of modern practice and old school, grassroots connection. That’s where this weekend’s Eibach Meet and Eibach Track Attack comes into play.
The meet itself is something that feels familiar yet special in is own way. Honda enthusiasts from as far as Texas and New York brought their daily four bangers, their track warriors, and on one case, their lifted military influenced response Honda hatch. Honestly, the diversity was unexpected. When you attended a show, show cars are typically what you’ll find. But this meet fosters much more from the cars, the drivers, and the builders.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the guys at NeoGarage Performance Parts, who shared a mindset that I found not only refreshing, but inspiring. Proud of a pair of track built Integras in front of the booth, they popped the hoods to reveal one of the rarest things you’ll ever see at a meet. Dirt. Grime. Thumbprints of grease from a weekend at the track. Here we are at a show, where people are waxing their entire car as soon as they put it in park. Then there’s these two, who probably haven’t made a wax purchase since ’04. And you know what? That’s badass. It’s saying you don’t need to throw all of your money on the newest wheels, polish every bit of your bay, and throw a hashtag decal to @followme to be at this show.
If you like making your four banger scream and your rubbers squeal, you’ll find your brother. If you enjoy the low life, cruising with the windows down, you’ll find your convoy. If you scour the web and shops across the world for that one rare, 1/300 produced In ’93 part, you might find your luck.
But wait… There’s more! Eibach recognized that diversity and managed to lock down a track day. A full on, push your build, change your tires half day – track day. The straights were the perfect length for these drivers to push their screamers to 4th gear and make the brakes works for best apex on the turn. The serpentine put the racer’s suspension to the real test as they approached the hairpin turn. The wide left was typically taken at 2nd gear only to open up to full throttle for the 2000ft straight. This part of the track held the top speeds of the day. As I stood at the center of the West side of the track loop, chasing the hatches with my lens, pivoting my tripod a full 360°, the echo of motors at wide open throttle resonated from the woods just beyond the trackside perimeter. The experience is like no other.
Halfway through the day, the team’s and staff took a lunch break. Visiting the pit area, the atmosphere was incredibly welcoming and humbling. Some drivers are adding oil and coolant to keep up with leaks for a few more laps. Others change out tires to cut seconds off their personal time. But all seem to slowly end up talking to their neighbor or track mate; sharing tips, experience, and funny stories about how they drink milk before a track day (you’ve been warned). It’s a welcoming yet competitive, grassroots style event for anyone at any driving level. That means it’s for you!
If you didn’t make this event weekend, you truly missed out on more than I can write here or capture with my camera. So next year, don’t be shy. Bring your modded, +300,000 mile, dirty Honda, pop the hood, and bring a helmet to feel what it’s all about. Until then, keep with Eibach and The FIRM for future events and open track dates. You will not be disappointed in the slightest.