In the early 2000’s, import car culture was exploding after the phenomenon that was The Fast and the Furious movie. Hot Import Nights was the car show at the center of all the flash and ran hand in hand with it in all its loud eccentricity. But as with all trends, car styling and its enthusiasm shifted in an entirely different direction, and the Hot Import Nights lost a bit of its momentum in recent years. However, this past Saturday marked Hot Import Night’s first return to Houston, Texas in 3 years. In high school I had fond memories of Hot Import Nights being everything dreams were made of, so there was no stopping me from making it out for the show’s rebirth.
Originally, I was just going to cover the Miss HIN pageant with photos, but it didn’t turn out to be as large a chunk of the event as I anticipated. I decided instead to direct my efforts to producing a little video of the whole show that you see above.
I’ve been getting to know a lot of people through Thanh at Auto Essence (because he knows EVERYBODY) and it’s really cool to see so many of the people behind tuning and street culture. DJ MIK ONE and Danny are two such guys I met through him at the show. Must say they are fun couple of guys and real life savers when they even let me stash some of my camera gear under their table. Check out the mix they did during the show here!
Danh from MaydayGarage told me that even though both HIN and Autorama used Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center as their venue, the lighting would be night and day. Literally, I found out. Though Autorama was dim, the lighting at HIN was further from ideal; work lamps, gallery spot lights and disco strobes were the only lighting in some parts of the hall.
While I’m not the biggest fan of VAG cars, I can’t help but appreciate the aesthetics of some of their builds. It’s not unusual to find them struggling between being sedate and neckbreaking, and that makes them some of the most attractive cars at shows.
My favorite auto at HIN, however, was this Champagne S2000. I love roadsters, and this one was just too pretty. Subtlety has its place, but at times one needs to be outrageous and different and I’m glad they leaned a little to the left.
If I had to choose a picture that represented sport compact car culture of today it’d be this one. It’s a society with enthusiasts that are getting younger and more ambitious. Kids are putting themselves out in front of an audience and everyone loves it. Everyone loves it and everyone’s having fun and that’s how things grow. I’m definitely looking forward to Hot Import Nights Houston 2013!
For more photos from the show, check out the gallery below and Auto Essence’s Facebook Page where I submitted a few pictures not shown here!