Out of all the cities I've been to in the world, Honolulu, HI, ranks in the top three. Beautiful beaches, warm turquoise waters, rolling surf, great food and about the warmest people you'll meet anywhere, it truly is paradise. Plus, any municipality where Spam is readily available-like in three out of four of the island's restaurants-is Shangri-La in my book.
So when Import Showoff and Falken Tires sent out an invitation to their annual Streetcar Showoff at the Blaisdell Center, minutes from Waikiki Beach, I had to think long and hard. For half a second. Not that I had anything better to do, but because I couldn't imagine an import car show in Hawaii. Sure, the population is skewed Asian and it's closer to the island of JDM, but come on, why would anyone want to fix up a car when the farthest from point A to point B is 44 miles? It's like buying a Segway just to get your mail. Overkill. But hey, if anyone can throw an import shindig, it's Falken Tire and Import Showoff.
So when I got to the show, I really didn't know what to expect. Were the cars going to be mack or wack? All done up nice or full of rice? In fact, for once, I showed up early. The doors weren't even open yet. Curiosity, as they say, got the best of me. Three steps into the hall and I got an answer that was clearer than the plot of Lost: The Hawaiian rides were sweeter than a Leonard's malasada stuffed with custard.
From JDMed-out Hondas to drift-ready Corollas and 240SXes, Streetcar Showoff had the best of everything. The super cool Hawaii Chapter of Scion Evolution brought out some of the wickedest xBs, including chapter liason Marshall Lum's already VIP'd second-gen xB. Bippu went beyond the B-spec with many big-bodied sedans, rocking clean body kits dumped on huge wheels. In one corner of the show however, there was a whole lot of rice. A food stand was selling plate lunches. Loco Moco, anyone?
Besides a hall full of hot cars and music blaring from the Falken and Vertical Junkies booths, there were other forms of entertainment. Namely, girls. Let's face it, a car show without the requisite booty-shakin' and bikini contest isn't quite a show. A suggestion, if I may, for next year: wet hula contest! Actually, nevermind. Moistened leaves don't have the necessary translucent effect. And the chafing? Ouch.
Grass skirt rashes aside, the best part of Streetcar Showoff was something you can't see in these pictures, and that's the vibe of the event. Take a collection of some of the most cleanly built rides, avid enthusiasts and chill locals and mix it with the Aloha spirit, and the event was postcard perfect.
Wish you were here.