Hot Import Nights 2011: Part One

Words by Matt Willis

If you’re into imports and live in southern California, then you should already be somewhat familiar with Hot Import Nights, or “HIN”. The show has been ongoing since the 90’s, when the import craze started to really take off. HIN’s network has since expanded drastically, with new affiliates, sponsors and venues around the nation. Up until last weekend, though, HIN had been looming under the radar. The company has spent the past few years operating under different ownership, and they started taking the show in a different direction. Rumors spread about the police getting involved  “behind the scenes” with some of their recent shows; of course these were only rumors but it was enough to lose their supporters’ interest. I don’t have a clue as to what went on or if any of that was even true, but between that and moving the show away from it’s roots…HIN as a name almost fell off the face of the earth.

Hot Import Nights: The Return was held at the site of the very first HIN event — the LA Convention Center. In addition, the event was promoted all the way back towards the beginning of summer, with the attendee list on Facebook rising daily. Back under original management, it seemed as if the starts had realigned and HIN was coming back with a bang…

Not…really. I’d be talking out of my ass if I said it was nothing like HIN in the old days, well, because I was still in elementary school when the event was at it’s peak. I remember going to one when I was a kid, but I was more of a tag along than anything. I do remember there was a decent amount of people, though. And more recently, Tim and I attended the last poorly executed “outdoor” HIN in Anaheim a couple years back. I walked away from that with the same feeling I get from Extreme Autofest, Spocom or the XDC Remix events…a diverse array of cars, lots of models, and DJs blaring music from sixteen different locations around the show floor. “The Return” was no different. I walked away satisfied, but with a slight headache from all the different shit going on everywhere.

Tim and I got to the convention center around 3pm, per the instructions provided to us by the media crew. I was informed the doors were open to general access at 4pm, so I thought we’d have a clear, lit floor for an hour or so. But, when we got inside, the lights were already off and I had to squint to see some of the cars. The lighting was just terrible in some spots, while other vendors brought in more than adequate lighting rigs. I have a horribly exposed shot of it, but there was a car towards the back that literally had a halogen shop light pointed on the front fender, and the rest of the car was pitch black. I had to really look sometimes to see the cars in detail, which I didn’t care for. I know HIN is about the culture and what not…which is fine, but at the same time I saw some new cars I’d never seen before and wasn’t really able to see them all in-depth because of how dim it was. 2 cent complaint…now on to the good stuff…

There definitely some quality cars. Cars that myself or Tim had never seen before. That’s really the only thing I could ask for. We can’t stand seeing the same builds twenty times over, so HIN was very refreshing and kept us interested through the whole show floor…oh and the models helped too…


Mercedes SL65 Black Series…

Ariel Atom…

Love the kit on this white FC RX-7…


I liked this 4-door G. Notice the trunk looks more like the 2-door G, as the vertical latch was shaved. Great wheel/tire fitment as well…

This M was nice. A bit too much camber for my taste…

Scion TC…

This Mustang at the DUB booth had some cool aero work on it. I like the flat charcoal finish too…

Simple 350Z with Hatsune Miku graphics…


We’ve seen this FD2 Civic with the carbon front at a few other events this year.



As with this RSX on Advan RGs…


This 240SX wins the prize for me. I see so many S bodies that are too overdone…this one hits the spot. Simple body kit (the CF trim was tacky, but it does give it a nice contrast), the black roof was retained, the glossy red paint and sports bronze S1-R wheels top it off. A+…


Nicely crafted MkIV Supra…

Cody Chan’s awesome Miata build that was recently featured in Super Street…


VIP 240SX…

Yuta Akaishi’s Heartbreaker 240Z…

Up towards the front, there were some nice VIP builds. I love this white IS…

This, on the other hand, not so much my taste. Still trying to figure out the style…other than being low, I don’t get it. Looks broken or as if the hub assembly is under an incredible amount of stress…







Apollo’s 3000GT…

This hatch was done up really well. Jackson Racing supercharged K…

Neither Tim or I are fans of the RSX dash, but its the first time we’ve seen it retrofitted into an EG. Looks great in front of the Bride seats and Momo wheel.

Del Sol…


I was fond of this track-spec S…




There were a few cool bikes on display…




Ka Wong’s F20C-powered Corolla. Not a stranger to us, but still an awesome car.


I’ve seen it once or twice before, but may not have mentioned it here on the site. Beautiful metallic yellow RX-7…


DTM Autobody and 9K Racing’s Amuse S2000 all dressed up for the holiday season…

That brings Part 1 to a close. More cars to come tomorrow…and of course, models…stay tuned! – Matt



4 responses to “Hot Import Nights 2011: Part One”

  1. Q45er Avatar

    Hi the pic of the black Q45 might look broken but its not. Its called negative camber and in Japan in the VIP scene there almost 90% of them run negative camber or Oni Camber. Hope this helps explain the look.

  2. Q45er Avatar

    Oh yeh also this car got 1st place at HIN “Hottest aired stance” by the way, I know this because I’m the owner =)

  3. moreboost Avatar

    Sorry Steve, but he’s saying your whip is still under-construction because all you have is wheels and an air setup.

  4. Q45er Avatar

    No worries, also in addition to the wheels and air, I have custom made rear upper arms and front camber plates, and 350z Ichiba ear camber arm.=)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: