The Capulets and the Montagues. The Unions and the Confederates. The Jets and the Sharks. Michael Moore and "Dubya." Delve deep into our past and the human story is one filled with rivalries. Hell, it's like it's hard coded into our DNA. At best, it brings out the competitive spirit in a person; at worst, the primal evil in all of us. It causes one to drink poisons, fight our brothers and even script, direct and star in eye-opening, yet entirely goal-missing documentaries.
Perhaps one of the ultimate rivalries in recent years-one that doesn't involve oil, the Middle East, Fahrenheits and overweight bushy directors, that is-involves two coasts, namely the West and the East. Climaxing with the death of two of the most talented lyricists, the conflict gave rise to some of the illest rhymes to both hit and not hit the airwaves (that's why I f---ed your wife, you fat motherf---). So in a twisted sense, rivalries and the ensuing contest bring out some good.
Now, what we want to do is convey that ideal to our scene. Not the feuding, killing or trash talking about other wifeys, but the level of competition. For a minute, back in the earlier days, sometime in the mid '90s to be un-exact, we had some of that rivalry between Nor Cal and So Cal drag racers. That didn't go so well. One side totally dominated. Don't want to say who won, but if you counted the trailers at tuning shops days leading up to races, you'd have a good grasp of the victor. Cough, South, cough!
With HIN holding their first stopover leg in New York, we wanted to stir up that old pot and see which coast truly has the most when it comes to the show car arena: The City that Never Sleeps or the City of Angels.
STREET SMART-NEW YORK
After walking the bladder unfriendly Brooklyn Bridge, an attempt to dine at the famous Peter Luger steak house was foiled when an older, inebriated Goldman Sachs-type gentleman attempted to kiss a former Super Street staffer on the lips. After a quick dodge and missed kiss to the cheek, Carter, the victimized staffer, as well as another former staffer promptly left, stomachs growling.
STREET SMART-LOS ANGELES
A certain Super Street staffer debuted his JGTC Supra shell. As for the motor-pacts, deals and bribes are currently being made in hopes that it will be unveiled in the somewhat-near future.
A great muse once said, "New York, New York, big city of dreams. And everything in New York ain't always what it seems. You might get fooled when you come from out of town. But I'm down by law and I know my way around" (Grandmaster Flash).
You'd figure in a state with abundant and plentiful, yet slightly soiled, public transportation, there would be a dearth of show-worthy, let alone vehicles period. That, or most of the cars would be rocking Jersey plates. Completely false, however. Some of the Nation's cleanest rides outfitted with New York plates filled the Shea Stadium parking lot from dusk 'til dark.
The birthplace of the modern import scene, HIN returned to its roots, once again filling the Los Angeles convention center to near bursting points. A whole slew of cars, models, and vendors lined the huge hall, taxing the building's air conditioning. On hand was the massive and ever-present Valvoline rig, shelling out free DVDs and literature as was our EU-auto half-sister publication, eurotuner.
The Paris of the tuning world, the prevailing style of the Los Angeles show was all about JDM-clean with a twist of VIP. Prognosis for the future? Look for more big-bodied, four-door sedan tuning.
VALVOLINE: NEW YORK
Free oil? For these lucky guys, yes. Don't thank us, thank the giving crew over at Valvoline.
VALVOLINE: LOS ANGELES
We sprung these unsuspecting show attendees with free oil simply for having clean cars. Sort of like a Compton-style carjack-minus the guns. And colored rags. And loud threats.
Los Angeles is Los Angeles. Car culture is a, ahem, driving factor for Southern Californians in their daily lives, so we take tuning seriously and the HIN demonstrated that. From old school to new school, JDM to VIP, wide-body to stock-body, the City of Angels has it all.
We love New York. It's the cultural hub of the US and the cars reflect that. Unlike some shows that are too much of one type of vehicle or tuning, it was as diverse as the crowds. One thing the East was lacking, however, was old school rides. When it came time to picking an MaxLife Valvoline winner, few contenders aside from Eddie Diaz and his Hachi were on hand.
That said, if we had to choose a coast, we got to choose the West. We live out here, so don't go there. But we're never gonna stop giving NY props. First HIN down, NY already leads the nation's pack as a strong contender for taking on LA. Our reply, bring it.