A quick recap
Actually, we never really left, but the club has clearly taken a dip in visibility in the whole Scion/car scene recently. Gone are the days of being the majority Scion group at car shows, the days of 100+ members together at any given meet.
There are a few of us still around, still hanging out at our usual meet and greets. We still do this because as members of Scion Evolution we have developed a family like bond that has gone beyond our common interest in our cars. And now as a family, with old school experiences and infusions of new school ideas, we are determined to make Scion Evolution prominent once again!
Before we begin this new chapter, we feel that it is important to never forget our roots. And what better way than with a recap of Scion Evolution, coming full circle from the beginning with the founders to now? It will be a good piece of information for new members as well as a refresher for current members.
Interestingly enough, there was another club that came before Scion Evolution. This club was known as Team Scion West (or TSW for short). Unfortunately some members had different philosophies and had to part ways. From TSW, three friends decided to discuss a new movement.
Together Nilo Miranda, Adrian Lazatin, and Steve Wang spent countless nights brainstorming ideas to create a new club. They threw out a couple of names. They almost went with Scion Revolution or SR for short, but its a good thing they didn’t because Scion Racing might have had some naming problems later on. In truth, they decided to drop the “R” because of the negative connotations associated with the word “revolution” and thus, the name Scion Evolution was born.
By this time, a few other members from TSW had heard about the movement and decided to join in as well. Soon after, logos were being designed and shirts were made for everyone. All in all, everyone was having fun with this project, and that’s the main goal we all really wanted…to just hang out together and have fun!
With logos designs and shirts made, the three founders and a few others joined thousands of other Scion enthusiasts at the old Air Base in El Toro, CA in February 2004 at an event called Scion Exposed.
Instantly, without any marketing ploys of any kind, Scion enthusiasts left and right started talking all about Scion Evolution. The interest in the club was so amazing that people on the spot were asking questions about the club, how to join, and even for some shirts. Every single shirt that they brought was given out, heck the members that were there were lucky to leave the event still wearing their own shirts!
From there, word just started to surge throughout the whole Scion community. Part of it was because Scion Exposed attracted enthusiasts from across the nation. And that’s when we realized that Scion Evolution was going to be a nationwide hit.
Through past connection, SE Founder Adrian, had simultaneously sent a formal letter to Scion about the formation of the new Scion club. The reception from Scion was great as they like the name and loved the brand that it brought with it. Scion Evolution was a perfect club to help usher in the new brand by Toyota Motor Corporation and help it evolve in the automotive industry.
Things were going to get as serious as they’ll ever be now; along with backing from Scion themselves, chapters filled with members were popping up across the country, even before Scion even released the cars out to those regions! The next move for the founders was to help form a type of council so that multiple ideas can always be heard and the club would never feel like it was run by one absolute control. This council became known as the Board Members. The board encompassed ideas from many individuals: Carl and Becky Feltro, Paul Dabao, Dave Moulton, Denny Huang, Alex Park, Keith Morris, Gary Nishimura, Mike Nguyen, Julian Mondragon, and the 3 founding fathers were all a part of the committee at one time or another.
The Scion Evolution rise to popularity was probably at its highest between 2006 to 2008. In addition to this SoCal chapter growing, there were chapters forming across the nation: Las Vegas, Chicago, Hawaii, three in Florida, Detroit, Minnesota, Virginia, Washington, Michigan, Puerto Rico, Guam, and even Japan. Since many of the Scion enthusiasts at Scion Exposed were from Las Vegas, that chapter was the first to join; Chicago shortly came afterwards. Whenever Scion had an event in mind, they would go through Scion Evolution SoCal to get the chapter liaison to coordinate with Scion’s regional manager in the area. Scion executives, such as Jeff Bal, kept in close communication with the original members to hear their ideas. Together they came up with a number of events and promotions, one of which being the movement for the main event of Scion Nights at Knott’s Scary Farm to be located in the main parking lot rather than across the street.
All the help Scion Evolution was doing to actively pushed the Scion brand was not going to go unrewarded. Scion Evolution was fortunate enough to be reward with a lot of perks that have helped shaped the popularity of the club. Scion regularly provided giveaways and funds; such as for events or car shows booths, Scion goodies and swag, and even opportunities to take part in builds; such as the 1:1 Scale HPI RC Switch xB or the first modded out rally Scion xA.
In addition to Scion, many of the members had strong connection with other companies in the automotive industry. Just about every car was sponsored with products in some way or the other. Along with these sponsorships, photos of Scion Evolution cars were prominent in many car magazines, which would of course help increase the popularity of the SE logo. With that and being the first to style the 1st Generation Scion xB and the Scion xA, companies, such as Axis Wheels, Five Axis Design, and many others, started to contact Scion Evolution members to use their cars to help design other products.
One of the best qualities we had as a club is the amount of participation we have had together. We have pretty much done just about anything the car scene has to offer. Getting together for photoshoots. Being focal points at car shows such as Scion Nights, AutoCon, Encore. Helping out at various dealership events such as Longo Triathlon, Longo/M2 Motoring New Dimensions, or Cabe Reconnect. And cruising together at Cruisin’ For A Cure, cruising to Solvang, to Las Vegas for Extreme AutoFest, or anywhere nice!
But Scion Evolution is more than just a car club doing car things, we are all friends that just love each others’ company and having fun. We have done other types of cruises as well. We have cruised around on our bikes and even taken an actual cruise on a boat! We have also organized Christmas parties, HPI RC Car racing events, and other gatherings in the past. And these are all just a few of the things that we are sure going to bring back.
The popularity in the Scion brand also had a part in the most recent years of Scion Evolution. The poor economy had a part in tying Scion’s hands in providing funding and with more Scion clubs being organized, it seemed less and less fair for Scion as a company to favor only one club. In addition to that, the growing number of Scion owners has opened the opportunity for egos to develop and creating a more competitive, “My car is better that yours” type of rivalry throughout the Scion car scene. From the start, the founders of Scion Evolution had one goal in mind, and that was to keep things fun and those times seem to have faded away quite a bit.
However the Scion culture might be on the verge of changing again and it is the perfect time for Scion Evolution to charge in full force!
Just recently we were lucky enough to meet Lisa Marie Chen, an Editor-in-Chief at Scion Canada’s magazine. Thanks to her, we learned more about the new found Scion excitement that was happening up north and even got Scion Evolution featured in their 3rd issue. Lisa, a 2nd Generation Scion xB owner and Scion enthusiasts herself, also became an honorary Scion Evolution member in the process!
Another aspect that is sure to rejuvenate the interest in the Scion brand is the recent release of Toyota 86/Scion FR-S.
Through key people, such as Scion’s VP Jack Hollis, there is sure to be a growing number of potential Scion owners, who could possibly be future Scion Evolution members! Even former members that have moved on from their original Scions are coming out of the woodwork and having a strong eye on purchasing their own Scion FR-S. This car will be a major key to bringing Scion back, let alone Scion Evolution. And just as how Jack Hollis calls the FR-S, the timing now to bring everything back is going to be “Freaking Really Sweet!”
Here is an excerpt from SE Founder Adrian from the 1 year anniversary that we plan to still hold true:
The way we envisioned this club was to get everyone involved as our statement says. Be it stock or wild, everyone that owns a Scion will be accepted. We wanted to run the club independently as well and wanted 100% control.
We wanted to have members be equal and there was no hierarchy. That is why to this date we don’t call ourselves President or Vice-President. We are all core members or chair persons of the club. Each chapter that has started up has each respective chapter liaisons. So if you are new or have been in the club since day one; we are all equal in say. As members of this club, you determine the success of this organization. We are here to support and help out in any way we can, but the bottom line is that the enthusiasm and dedication of all our current members is what makes us a success.
Scion Evolution Founder
Feb 06, 2005
You can see more photos from past years on our Flickr page.