As evening slowly approaches, the waning sun casts her amber glow over Waikiki beach.
Like an image out of a postcard, Hawaii's natural beauty is peppered with the long shadows of surfers riding the gentle waves and barely clad sunbathers hoping to absorb the last warm rays before the Pacific Ocean extinguishes the daily flame. You walk by the lei-wrapped arm of Duke Kahanamoku's statue and sip on the watery remains of your Matsumoto shaved ice. A serene end to a perfect tropical day.
Screech! The far-off squealing of tires breaking traction destroys the moment. Souvenir-hunting tourists meandering the sidewalks stop in their tracks with a look of confusion. SCREEEECH! It's getting louder. Even the sunbathers laying out on the beach now turn their attention from the sun to look for the cause of the commotion. The noise loudly crescendos as a blood-red 240SX rounds the corner sideways, tires smoking and engine screaming, bouncing off the rev-limiter. For a moment, it looks like it's about to run into one of the dozens of ABC stores that litter the beachfront street. The driver, however, quickly counter-steers and the car immediately corrects itself. The Silvia accelerates up to the next corner, brakes, drifts sideways, and leaves just as quickly as it came.
When you think of Oahu, images of palm trees, warm beaches, fresh pineapples, Spam, or half-nekkid girls running around in skimpy bikinis usually run through your mind. One of the last things you'd expect to see is a heavily tuned car. It's a freakin' island, right? Everything has to be shipped thousands of miles, and what's the point of driving when the farthest from point A to point B is 44 miles? What they consider an expedition to the far reaches, we mainlanders call a commute. Hawaii, however, is home to a ragtag bunch of Macadamian-eating nuts who are deep into the import scene. Despite their pidgin accents and love for all things Spam, they surprisingly manage to track down some of the hottest JDM parts and build some of the cleanest cars in the US. Take this S14 owned by Braden (yes, that's right, Branden minus the "n") Lee for example.
For the complete story and more pictures, pick up the September issue of Super Street Magazine, on newsstands now!