SEMA is one of the largest automotive shows on the…
Some lingo that will be of use before you read the article that proceeds it:
CJC = Circle Jerk Crew
Jerkfest = Annual Circle Jerk Crew AGM and trackday
Jerk = Circle Jerk Crew official member
Family = All the descendants of a common ancestor
Friends = a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations
Crew = a group of people who work closely together.
A common interest, this is how it all starts. This is how the people are brought together, you would also say this is the easy part. Staying together is where the difficulty lies.
Cars are what bring the CJC together, it’s what bonds them. The relationships that have developed over the years from helping each other out, having laughs over meals or a few (or few too many) beverages and generally getting to know each other on a deeper level than just car meets.
The club (if you could call it that back then) started on November 2009. Over the last 7 years a ton has changed. From having no direction and starting from a troll, the CJC is now one of the strongest modified car clubs in the country. I use the term strongest, as there are clubs that are bigger and clubs that are older. It’s the strong bond between all the members that set this club apart. It is essentially a 200+ large group of mates now, who all happen to have a pretty rad ride sitting in the garage.
Jerkfest is where most the club members attempt to get their car out of the garage and on to the track for a proper hoon. On the day there is drop flag drag racing, drifting, grip racing and a ton of on the fly mods to keep you going.
One of the highlights of the day is the ‘pit banter’. It seems ones abilty to spin a solid yarn is a compulsory attribute each Jerk must posses. From the yarns of how much they can drink, how fast their ride is, what obstacles they had to go through to get their ride ready for the event. Conversation of the highest calibre whomever you spoke to. Even some sorry souls that indulged in one too many ‘Shoeies’ the night before, still soldiered on not letting their bodies get the better of them at the event.
On a few of these pit conversations I asked, ‘what is mean to be a Jerk?’ Eight times out of ten the reply was ‘These guys are family to me’. The other two out of ten said ‘this is not a club, just a group of friends that all happen to be into cars’. At about this moment you are probably thinking, that sounds rad as, where do I sign up. Unfortunately you don’t. It’s an invite only club that you need to be vouched into. That way the quality of the people in the club is high and the cars in the club remain ‘of standard’ too.
Since the inception the club has spread throughout the country. The stronghold and core of the club is in Hamilton but crews in Auckland and Wellington are growing too. At Jerkfest all the smaller fanctions merge together to make an impressive larger crew, like how the constructicons become devestator.
This Jerkfest was the last under the ruling tattoed arm of Tank. He has presided over several years and with his no nonsense approach has given the club a direction. Describing his job as ‘hearding cats’ more than anything.
Taking over from Tank (above) is Tony (pic below in the epic blue tee) . Tony brings on a new direction and hopes to make things greater than they already are. Will be quite an interesting 12months especially with talks of expansion.
The club wouldn’t run effciently without the efforts of the many. A handful of brilliant and dedicated individuals create the support network for the pres. They are the ones that do the hard yards behind the scenes. Keeping the machine cranking tirelessly so all the events run smoothly and without any drama.
On the track the atmosphere is laid back. The Jerks have a chance to open up their rides in a non-competitive environment. A few members have some semi-serious track set-up vehicles and they have a play against the like-minded similarly speced vehicles. Other than that people are just having a fang at their leisure, honing their skills a corner at a time.
Even the ‘drift racers’ are the same, it’s an expression session/skills developing session for them. In saying that there were some lads there that could really peddle, not really pros but we will call them ‘style sliders’ – For the love, not the money.
The drop flag drags are always a huge hit at Jerkfest, being 100% grudge match, drop flag drag racing it’s all for pride. More to have some solid stories about ‘how you almost had me, and how I never had my car’ at the pub later on that evening.
Once the track day wraps up, it’s off to get changed and ready for the AGM. You would say that this is the serious part of the day, followed by the most reckless. The AGM turns into a bbq, which then morphs into a drunken mess of an evening/night. Lets just say there were plenty of yarns to be re-told at next years event. “My mind was telling me nooo, but my body, my body was telling me yes.” This is pretty much everyones attitude toward drinking that night. If I told you there were some sore souls the the next day I would be telling you a shit yarn.
As far as Jerkfests go, this one had felt like it had matured just a little bit. There was more warmth, it felt as if you were coming home after a long journey away. Like any Jerkfest before it, you got to meet a bunch of new faces and get reacquainted with the old. During the weekend you get to make some amazing memories with an amazing group of people.
There has been a shift in the way the scene is progressing of late, rather than being based on hate, it’s the love thats starting to shine through. I would like to think that the CJC has been at the forefront of the change. Ironic as the clubs inception was born from hate. With a new pres, new direction a majority of the crew maturing (in age not attitude) there is some interesting times on the horizon.
At the AGM two more CJC events were announced to go along with the Jerkfest, the Driftfest and the Gripfest. If you are interested in attending, best to hunt down someone you might know from the pics below and see if you can ask to come along. Because once you are in you won’t regret it, well maybe your liver might.
Till next year!
p.s. We have put together a 30+ minute video of the event and it can be viewed at the Speedmagnet Drivetribe tribe HERE