Variety is, as they say, “the spice of life” and throughout my relatively short stint as an amateur photographer of automotive lifestyle both in North America and Australia I have been exposed to a fair bit of “car culture” from all different styles and genres if you will. While trucks, specifically custom minitrucks will always be what got me into the car scene, over the last year or so I’ve definitely noticed myself broadening my horizons a bit, which I might not have found myself exploring as much previously. The import car scene and high-end super cars have definitely caught my interest as of late.
That’s how I found myself cruising down Highway 5 South on my way to Vancouver nice and early this past August to cover Canada’s first instalment of the Hot Import Nights franchise. I was already feeling unsure of myself and slightly apprehensive about covering a show dedicated to something that I knew less about than what I was use to covering. Looking back, I think this would be the first show I’d ever been to that I didn’t know the show organizer or club hosting it on a personal level, something that I have grown strangely accustom to being around truck clubs and truck shows for the majority of my life. Not to mention the anxiety of meeting Facebook “acquaintances” for the first time in person – but upon arrival all my worries were quickly put at ease.
Photos & Words: Steve “Chance” Berndsen
My main reasons for wanting to check out Hot Import Nights were two fold; first I hadn’t left the ski hill where I work all Summer due to a lack of transport (my old Blazer finally died) and was in desperate need of an automotive injection of some kind. Second, I really wanted to meet up with a friend in person and begin to build a relationship that I hope will bring many Slam’d Mag feature worthy rides your way in the near future. The man I’m referring to is none other than J.J Dubec, a local Vancouver Physician and owner of two (yes two) kitted Liberty Walk creations – an R35 Skyline and a Ferrari 458. Just to see these two cars in person for me would have been “day made” material after following his builds for so long now, but J.J had a few more surprises up his sleeve for those who attended HIN Vancouver.
J.J. brought out his entire F7LTHY crew and they rolled deep to include some friends from SR Auto Group who rolled in with a beautiful Lamborghini Murcielago and the first Canadian example of the Liberty Walk kit for the Porsche 997. Needless to say I was speechless when I first caught sight of these four beauties, not to mention the plethora of other exotics that were positioned around the tents which included a McLaren, a topless BMW and various other modified exotics and imports from the greater Vancouver area and beyond. I was in heaven and surrounded by every dream super car that’s ever been on my list, which is a lot to say for a guy who grew up shooting minitrucks!
All this, and I hadn’t even looked around at the surrounding areas which included everything from a badass ‘bagged VIP Lexus to a well-endowed RWB Porsche to Rocket Bunny kitted FRS’s and stanced VW’s as far as the eye could see. There was literally something for everyone from imports to exotics. Having the show take place in the parking lot of a casino was a stroke of genius also as the day got progressively warmer and I retired for a few quick hands of Black Jack while rehydrating before heading back out for “golden hour” shots. The show itself was split into two sections one being right at the front door to the casino and the other down on the second level. Once the day and show itself began to wind down cars from the lower level were invited up to participate in the rev-off (yes you heard correctly), which involved cars taking turns revving their engines in a surreal display of performance showmanship.
The crowd of onlookers were kept entertained throughout the day not only by the cars on display but also by a few HIN Models who were eagerly followed around by a throng of photographers (needless to say that wasn’t our thing so we kept shooting the real beauties in attendance – the cars!), while the local DJ spun out tunes in between event announcements. It was all very reminiscent of an early Need For Speed game and thoroughly entertaining to say the least. All in all I would definitely say the show was a huge success and I definitely enjoyed myself and will surely be back next year with some even bigger and better coverage of all the killer Slam’d rides in attendance.