MNIllest Summer Closer


Photos & Text by John Krueger

This past weekend, MNIllest held their annual summer closer event and we were happy to be one of the sponsors.  We brought out our booth, a couple of our cars, and some of our good friends to park with us to have a solid lineup of cars on display.  Despite the cold, the weather cleared form the previous day's rain showers, and we had a crisp, sunny, fall day for the event.  The cool weather didn't stop the MN natives from enjoying one of the last events of the season.


If you would have told me 5-years ago that I'd have a lineup of cars like this in my booth, I would've probably laughed, but maybe it's a sign that my home state has stepped up their game.  Travelling around the country to do various shows and events has left me rather spoiled, but I'm happy to see the quality in Minnesota getting better, and I'm happy to support and promote events to showcase that quality.

Not long after we got setup and ready to go, the parking lot was quickly filling up.  By 12:30, the two parking lots were filled up (my guess is about 300-350 cars), and plenty of people were milling around to see the various cars on display, vendors and food trucks.


Prior to the event, a couple of the organizers asked if I would be interested in handing out an award for the best of show.  I was more than happy to do so, as I do enjoy getting to judge shows and events.  I had a cool trophy made, and while my better half and friends manned the booth, I was able to make some laps around the lots to take a look at the cars and do some judging.  At the end of the day, one car ticked all the boxes and took home the hardware.


Anthony's Supra proved that race cars can also look good.  With a host of go-fast goodies, crazy attention to detail, and great execution, his Toyota Supra wowed the crowds all day and stood a cut above the rest of the cars in attendance.  It was great for me to take a closer look at a chunk of MN's builds as well.  As I travel around the country, I sometimes feel I lose touch with what's happening back home.  It was great to step back into my local community, talk with old friends again, and meet some new ones.


As the 2017 car season comes to a close here in MN, I'll admit for the first time in awhile that I'm not quite ready to put the cars away.  Usually by this time, I'm ready for snow and snowboarding, but this year is different.  Events like this one made it fun to get out to a show, hang out with friends and meet new people.  Makes me wish there was another month or two to go, but it'll just keep me excited for next year.  I'm looking forward to supporting more local events next year, and seeing just how far the local scene has come.  Big thanks to the whole MNIllest crew for hosting this event, and their weekly meets, and for letting us be one of the sponsors.  Y'all really threw a great event to end the season.  Now it's time I get ready for another SEMA trip.

As a note, I only had my 80-200 2.8 lens with me as my 24-70 2.8 is off being serviced, so that's why the shots are composed as they are, and there aren't a lot of wide-angle shots.  The 80-200 isn't ideal for shooting shows, but it made for capturing some cool shots that you typically don't see in show coverage.  Most probably don't notice, but for those that do, there's your reason, lol.

Posted on October 17, 2017 .

MN Illest Meet

Text & Photos by John Krueger


Tuesday's mean two things; tacos and MN Illest's weekly meet at Battle Creek Park for some car hangs.  I usually try and make an effort to show up to this meet because the location is great, and the people and cars that it attracts are pretty good.  It gives me a chance to see friends, and meet new people and expand the brand.  The Q does a pretty good job of attracting a crowd, and  we always try and park a few of the VIP-Style cars together to help promote that as well.  Kyle and Edwin showed up with their GS400 and LS430 to showcase Minnesota's VIP-Style.

Kyle's GS400

Kyle's GS400

Edwin's LS430

Edwin's LS430

It's been awhile since I've walked around a meet with my camera and shot, but it was fun and a nice change of pace.  It's nice to shoot for fun sometimes instead of always for work.  Plus that whole saying of, "practice makes perfect."  I can never get enough practice behind the camera.  I also really enjoy my new, Nikkor 28-70 f2.8 lens, haha.

Cool VR-T swapped Cabrio

Cool VR-T swapped Cabrio

This 20th Anniversary Edition GTI belongs to Josh Hernandez, one of the admins of MN Illest

This 20th Anniversary Edition GTI belongs to Josh Hernandez, one of the admins of MN Illest

Pretty cool to see a JZX80 Chaser.  I'm a sucker for stylish sedans (shocker I know).

Pretty cool to see a JZX80 Chaser.  I'm a sucker for stylish sedans (shocker I know).

Anyways, enjoy a few more pics.  Turnout was alright, but there should be some decent ones since the season is winding down.  Quick plug for an event coming up on October 1st.  MN Illest is having a summer end show at the Aldrich Arena in White Bear Lake and we're a sponsor for the event.  We'll be having a booth there stocked with merchandise and some of the Mid-West's finest cars.  Check it out, along with MN Illest on Facebook.

Posted on September 13, 2017 and filed under Cars, Shows.


Welcome to a new section of AB, the blog.  Being that two of us here at AB got our start as automotive journalists, it made sense that we should have a place to document our work, travels and shenanigans on our site.  It'll take a bit to get going, but expect this area to be fairly active with posts, stories, pictures, and maybe even some videos for your viewing pleasure.


It'll be fun, and it's how  two of us got our start in this creative industry as photographers.  What we love?  Culture, and how in this day and age, how accessible different cultures are.  It's safe to say that the three of us that currently make up AB live, eat, and breathe cars, and the respective cultures in the US and Japan.  Our goal with this new project is to share our viewpoints of those cultures through media, as well as personal  projects.   So sit back and enjoy the ride. 

Posted on September 4, 2017 and filed under Cars.