Cars and drivers flocked to Bellevue College to be a part of StanceWars, one of the largest car shows in America. The show, which is a celebration of personal style and aftermarket modifications, opened to the public on Saturday, July 13, although events for drivers occurred all weekend.
StanceWars claims to offer a VIP-style event for drivers to show off their fitment style. Fitment was used archaically to describe furnishings or equipment of an item. The term is in vogue again, and fitment has become synonymous specifically with after-market vehicle upgrades, both functional and cosmetic.
A background knowledge in cars is not necessary to enjoy the show. StanceWars feels like a high-class art show where the cars are the canvas, and only the best artists are allowed to compete. StanceWars gives those who want to show off their mods a chance to shine in front of the public and their peers, but getting a car into the show is not easy. The StanceWars website details the process that the show uses to select cars, which includes a gauntlet of judges and the yes-or-no approval of the show’s owner.
The public show did not open until 5:00 p.m., but that did nothing to dull the energy of the event. The crowds of people were as excited to enter as the lines were long, and the relatively quick movement of the lines themselves helped to keep spirits high.
The show was marvelous. All types of makes and models were in attendance, from McClaren to Volvo and everything in between. Mysterious and coveted Skylines could be found around the corner from the simple charms of the Beetle, while lifted pickups shared space with red Barchettas. Each car was modified and celebrated in its own way.
For the drivers, StanceWars was not about how fast a car could accelerate from 0-60. It was about how good a car looked before, during and after getting there.
One vehicle in particular stood out from the rest. CardboardCamry came together with an idea to poke fun at themselves and the rest of the fitment community. At the Spring StanceWars 2018, Isaiah and Zion, the founders, had a stock Toyota Camry, plenty of cardboard and no plan. It has been that way since then, although the group has grown to about five drivers today. They have shown up to each StanceWars since then, to cover their Camry in satirical cardboard versions of many of the mods seen on other cars at the show.
It works too, as the group often has the most liked car at the show on Instagram. This year was no different, as pictures of their car overtook many other popular car group’s photos in likes. Tim, one of the CardboardCamry members, said he knew why people loved the car. “It’s more fun to look at something different than the cars everyone else has.” Being different at a car show that is about being different takes some creativity, and CardboardCamry hopes to be at every StanceWars that will have them.
As cars began to leave later in the night, an impromptu rev rally formed at the main entrance’s roundabout. Attendees would line the sides of the road as extraordinary cars would cruise by, an unintended secondary show to the main event inside. Cries of “Send it!” would follow each car as it exited, and most drivers would answer in turn by revving through the loop. A few more adventurous drivers performed burnouts to much applause from the high-energy crowd. Unfortunately, as spectators started gathering in the roads themselves, the unofficial event became too dangerous and the police stepped in to calm things down.
StanceWars was a success at Bellevue College. The huge turnout was well-managed to ensure that the high-quality cars on display were the stars of the show. StanceWars is a large part of the car scene, and its success speaks to the local support to the drivers of the fitment scene.