While I grew up falling in love with import car shows, I can't remember the last time I attended, let alone enjoyed, a Hot Import Nights (HIN) event. I got older, the car scene matured, better shows emerged, and the era of import models died (RIP). Yet a couple weeks ago, I was propositioned with the unusual opportunity to visit Sydney, Australia, for a show that I haven't considered attending in years. Yes, that's right... Hot Import Nights.
First things first... While HIN shares the same name as the show series here in the States, it's run and operated by a completely different team. Now you're probably asking yourself "why the hell would someone want to use the HIN name?" Well, just think about it... for over a decade, HIN was the shit and represented the peak of the import car scene's popularity. While the name makes some of us cringe, it's still a globally recognizable brand that other countries respect. With all that said, I did my due diligence by hitting up all the local Aussie enthusiasts and builders that I knew and, sure enough, they vouched for HIN as one of the biggest events in the country. It was time to book my flight!
To be quite honest, whether it was HIN or any other show, I had to go to Australia. For as many years as I've been in this industry, I've never attended an event in Aussieland (World Time Attack Challenge is next on my list); however, I've featured several builds over the years from this region and that includes a good amount of cover cars. Two years ago, I attempted to attend a show called Fitted Festival but due to unforeseen weather issues, the show was postponed. Redemption was in order and I still owed it to myself, and to you, to give an accurate account of what the scene is like down under.
Won't spoil the beans quite yet but here is part one of my Hot Import Nights Australia coverage during "bump-in" (we call it "roll-in"). Straight off the bat, I was greeted with some JDM gems such as a sweet AE86, MR2 and Celica, while on the other end of the spectrum, I caught a glimpse of an all-out, radiant green FD RX-7 on twenties. Already during setup, HIN was showing some promise. Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of my coverage next.