Ficke wins Best of Show award at auto fest


Taga Customs owner Sean Ficke handily pocketed the Best of Show award at the 2018 Island Summer Auto Fest at the Marianas Business Plaza parking lot last Saturday night.

Ficke, who won several other awards, got the Best of Show award for his tricked-out 2016 Toyota Tacoma.

The same Tacoma went on to receive the first-place prize in the 4×4 category and the AK award, a category that judges all car brands under Atkins Kroll: Toyota, Lexus, and Scion, while his “CNMI Blue” 1993 Mazda RX-7 won first place in the two-door category with 392 total points as well as the Triple J Motors award, which clumps brands Mazda, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi together.

“We worked really hard with taking care of the customers and the vehicles that we work on. I believe this success [means] doing hard work pays off,” Ficke said, talking about his Mazda RX-7, which he noted was more worrisome than his Toyota Tacoma.

“We’ve had a lot of challenges this year on trying to get things done, all the way down to the wire and getting the wrapping done today. I am very grateful to a lot of people for contributing and helping out,” he said, mentioning a long list of contributors such as Ideal Signs, Triple J, Philippine Eagle, Taga Customs, and more. “It’s not just me, it’s a lot of people coming together and the product speaking for itself,” he added.

Alongside Ficke, Jaymark De Guzman nabbed second place for the 4×4 category. First and second place for the truck category went to Abe Barce’s red 1991 Toyota pickup and Crisanto Calub’s blue 1994 Toyota Hilux, respectively. The first place for the cafe bike category went to AJ Llagas’ 2013 Yamaha R6.

Buddy Igitol’s black 2007 Harley Davidson Softail got him third place in the cruiser bike category, while Zachary Sasamoto’s red pearl 2005 Harley Davidson Sportster got him second place. Ton Basa’s black 2014 Harley Davidson V-Rod Muscle nabbed first in the category.

The Honda Ruckus dominated in the scooter/moped category, with the black and white 2005 version of the scooter winning George David third place in the category. The beige 2002 and silver and grey 2008 versions of the scooter won Angel C. Reyes and Sidney Camacho second and first places, respectively.

Rip Stephanson’s black 1991 Ford Mustang nabbed first place in the classics category as well as the Joeten Motors Award.

Norma Quichocho’s black 2014 Mazda 2 hatchback sport won third place in the four-door category, while Anthony Allen’s red 2015 Kia Soul got him second place in the four-door category. Derek Reyes’ grey 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer nabbed first place in the category.

Tyler Palacios’ matte grey 2006 Nissan 350z Roadster was awarded third place of the two-door category; Arvin Mettao’s silver blue 2003 Infiniti G35 coupe was awarded second place while Ficke’s CNMI blue 1993 Mazda RX-7 won first.

Maylyn Agulto’s blue Honda Civic LX won third place in the sound off competition while Rick Ramos’ steel grey 2017 Honda HR-V placed second and Fidel Alomia’s black 2001 Honda Coupe nabbed first.

Auto fest organizer James Fleming told Saipan Tribune that a point system was used to judge the vehicles.

“We look at the overall of the car…what you built in the car—the engine, the interior, exterior, under carriage, suspension, etc.—pretty much the entire car,” he added.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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