Season openers are always long on anticipation-take 24, for example. Fox forces you to wait nearly half a year for the next round of Jack Bauer's open-up-a-can-of-whoop-ass-on-the-baddies and the show's producers finally satisfy your cravings by giving you two hours of non-stop action. While the downtime between the finale and opener for Hot Import Nights is not even two months, the tension was similarly intense, even though it launched in a city that rarely sees a show of this magnitude. The return of one the greatest shows on Earth had finally landed and San Jose was ready for abduction.
What seemed to be a never-ending presentation of Integra Type R conversions also had a few rare gems. N1 Concepts beat Honda to the punch by importing their own Honda Fit, a yellow-painted project that already has a K20 swap and bronze TE-37s. Chris Rado, adding to his track record of bad hair days, debutedhis new cornrows and proudly gave technical demonstrations to everyone who wanted to check out his tC dragster. Three powerhouse FDs to make the show were the BRS FD (see our Feb '06 cover), the Hinson Supercars-built 7 with a Corvette LS1 V-8, and Calvin Wan representing Nor Cal's drifting elite in the Falken booth with his Formula D RX-7. Sprinkled in various spots throughout the main hall were some of the Japanese D1 cars, including Team Orange's Impreza, the Espelir S13 coupe and Ueno's Soarer. Car clubs like Team Hybrid, Hokori and Auto Concept came in fine form, as usual. And wemust have died and went to import model heaven that night because we haven't walked around with chubbies at a ar show sincewalking around at import car shows withchubbies was fashionable.(We nearly fainted at the sight of our very own Super Street Hottie.)
Weekendride: Evo IX
Roadtrips are always fun, and even more so in a turbocharged car. Unfortunately Jonny's project 2Fizzle without tuning is just that, fizzled, while each of Carter's project cars are a non-operational mess. Luckily for us we have friends in high places, or rather diamond-star places, so we contacted Moe Durand, a former Primedian gone Mitsubishi, to aid in our journey. With a flick of his diamond-starred wand, Moe granted us a blue Lancer Evolution IX to make our weekend trek to the bay.
Lucky for us too, as we needed all 286 horses and sticky Advan tires to get through miles of foul-smelling cow fields and slower-than-molasses big rigs. The all-wheel drive and Active Center Differential also provided much-needed stability on our rain-soaked return trip to Los Angeles. And while hours in a car will usually leave your back stiff, the Recaro seats provided for a more than comfortable ride. All in all you couldn't ask for a better car in which to spend five hours a day. Many thanks have to go out to Mitsubishi and Moe for lending us such a cool ride. By the way, sorry Moe for any stray Cheetos or beef jerkey bits we may have left behind, it's all those damn hills in 'Frisco.