On a picture-perfect weekend in Southern California, car enthusiasts from all over the country made their way to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, for the annual Nitto Tire Auto Enthusiast Day. The free, one-day event, now in its sixth year, brought together over 26,000 car fanatics making this year’s show the largest to date. The large venue played host to plenty of cars, music, and vendor areas and allowed enthusiasts the chance to get up close and personal with some of the hottest aftermarket parts for their favorite vehicles.

Nitto Tire Auto Enthusiast Day is an event we mark off early in the year on our Southern California car show calendars. And what made this year’s event so memorable was the large Blue Oval footprint that was present throughout the venue. Once again, Ford Motor Company was on hand with an impressive lineup of 2018 vehciles for fans to explore. RTR Motorsports also brought out its big trailer this year with a large Vaughn Gittin Jr. interactive zone. And Vaughn’s crew also brought three Mustang RTR drift vehicles for display and ridealongs throughout the day.

Nitto Tire

The Blue Oval enthusiast was out in full force at the 2018 Nitto Tire Auto Enthusiast Day.

As we made our way through the large venue before the start of the event, we couldn’t help but notice how many aftermarket accessories were on display for the S550 platform this year. While many might assume accessories for the refreshed 2018 Mustang GT would be the big seller this year, this just was not the case.

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Parts Paradise

There was an abundance of the full range of 2015-2018 Mustangs in the vendor booths; Everything from custom camo accessories for your Mustang GT to cold air intakes that will take your EcoBoost stallion to that next level of performance. But one particular vehicle that caught our eye this year was at the American Racing Wheels booth. The Magnetic Metallic 2016 Mustang GT looked stunning with a set American Racing Wheels designed explicitly for the S550 platform.

The American Racing Wheels Flowform cast aluminum wheel looked great on this S550. The wheel combines all the lightweight and strength characteristics of a forged wheel without the higher price tag.

While we are well aware of the popularity of the American Racing wheels lineup in the classic muscle car community, we were anxious to find out more about the newest line up of wheels for late model Ford vehicles, so we caught up with Chris from American Racing to walk us through the lineup…

“Our American Racing forged monoblock wheel is designed to clear the big Shelby GT350 Brembo brakes,” American Racing’s Chris Plump said. They are also available in a 19- or 20-inch staggered fitment and can be custom paint-matched in any color you choose.

Nitto Tire has always been about putting the enthusiast first. By creating the free, family friendly Auto Enthusiast Day each year that specifically targets and rewards the fan, the company seeks to create good will for the Nitto brand. Based on the smiling faces we saw, it works.

Of course, AED is more than just static displays. This year, Nitto Tire pushed the boundaries of drifting even further by setting up a drift zone experience where select guests were able to experience the screeching tires riding shotgun with one of the Team Nitto drivers. There was even a 700-horsepower Ultra 4 Off-Road Biggie jump over Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s drift car while in motion between the ramps.

We had a blast attending this year’s Nitto Tire Auto Enthusiast Day, and to see more of the action, you can check out our large photo gallery from the event below. And, if you happen to be in SoCal next July, plan on attending AED.

Photo gallery

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