What can we say? Another H2O International has come and gone and with it just a little bit more of the original spirit of the show has faded away too, much like the photo of Marty McFly’s family in Back to the Future (Part I). It would seem that the Biff Tannen’s of the scene are hellbent on making H2Oi something other than what it was meant to be. And much like in the movie, the future has been rewritten and no matter how much we long for the days when things revolved around the actual show (which most don’t even remember was held at a horse racing track) we have to accept the reality that H2Oi is now completely ‘unofficial’.
And it makes sense too. The DIY mentality that is responsible for the cars that show up in Ocean City, regardless of manufacturer or tuning style, carries over into the ‘show’ aspect too. With everyone so easily connected through social media, there’s no need to meet at one agreed upon time and place. There’s no need to park your car in a field and sign up to be judged in one particular category. The car show format as we know it is essentially dead – R.I.P. In its place is an impromptu slideshow of anything goes that lasts only as long as a snap, or until the police show up to kick everyone out, whichever comes first. The judging is all done online, and the votes are made with hearts, shares, and follows. The winner gets much more than a cheap trophy in a category that only has 3 total entries. The winner gets the virtual notoriety; the thing that everyone craves these days.
The benefits are obvious: no paying an entry fee, you can come and go as you please, no waiting in line and no waiting around until everyone is completely bored to hear that you didn’t win anything, or to hear that someone won in 7 categories that you couldn’t care less about. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
The downsides are fewer but still worth considering. If you don’t make it to the show, you don’t get to see the vendors, the companies who depend on your business to keep making and supplying the new parts for your car so that you can get those online props. You don’t get to see the latest products on display and you don’t get a chance to hold them in your hand to determine if it is worth purchasing, maybe not that day but in two months when your bank account has recovered. You also run the risk of missing potentially the best cars that were there the entire weekend. The cars that have so much work put into them and are so clean that it would be figuratively criminal to drive them on the strip (not the bullshit criminal that OCPD says they are). There were definitely more than a few machines on display at Ft. Whaley that were worth the price of admission.
Ultimately the decision will be made by the people. In this popularity election the establishment and organization are looked at as being uncool. We just hope that in the future there’s a way to bring the two together. The future has brought us hoverboards* and it has brought us auto-lacing sneakers. We just hope the future brings us shows too, because where we’re going, we need shows.
There was just a little bit of flooding this year at Fort Whaley due to the massive amount of rain they had leading up to the show.
Our first day in town was spent cruising the strip and checking out various parking lot meets.
Cathy’s super rare 8L S3 with a slightly bigger than normal turbo 3.2l VR6 motor.
Word is that there were at least 1,222 traffic stops from Thursday through Sunday, including 38 tows.
This MK7 is sporting the front and rear Maxton Design spoilers.
Jamie from Orchid Euro is always bringing something new over to the US. He recently brought this MK1 in from Belgium.
Sam Dobbins brought out his GTI RS project which is running Black Forest Industries Stage 1 Engine Mounts and a GS1 Full Billet Shift Knob. It was fun watching this project come together and the final product was totally worth the wait.
The owner of this R32 thought that the original paint needed a bit of a refresh, so it got two fresh coats of Tornado Red with three coats of red tinted clear coat.
Just a little R32 swapped Harlequin action.
Sometimes the older whips need just a bit more power, so why not do a 4 motion swap and throw in a 5V Turbo motor?
Our Project #UA30 got a few updates just in time for the show! Now sporting TT-RS brakes, S-Line bumpers and side skirts, and the new Rotiform KPS wheels, our A3 is a much more aggressive looking car.
Another car brought over by the Orchid Euro crew, this Golf Country came from the factory with Syncro all wheel drive, front and rear bullbars, raised suspension, and a few other bits to make it more worth of the off-road life.
The guys up at Unix Performance in Canada had all of the parts for an RS4 brought over so they could transform their S4.
We hope to see everyone again next time!