It has been quite a long time since H2NOi and my coverage of it. I planned on doing it in two parts; a daytime coverage and nighttime coverage. After posting the first part, I kind of lost interest in the event and inspiration to craft the second half but after looking through the photos, I'd like to get them out there into the world instead of leaving them in my hard drive. Since the event was eight months ago this will be more of a gallery with minimal cohesiveness rather than some written out thing I end up pondering and over thinking for days. As far as the rest of my back catalogue of stuff I have saved up that's also late to release, I'm working on that too and I'm planning on rolling out posts more regularly.
I spent about an hour outside Mother's (the best tacos there) watching traffic and snapping some panning shots of stuff that rolled by. Despite originating as a VW thing, it brings a diverse crowd.
If your new M3/4 is not Yas Marina Blue, you've bought the wrong car.
After sundown, the energy changes drastically and it almost becomes a different event all together. Crowds start to spill out onto the streets and more cars circle the strip to show off.
I couldn't imagine a better vehicle to stunt in than a VIP UCF30, and it has to be low for the cameras.
There's hotspots across all 120 occupied blocks of Ocean City and the crowds swell into the streets. The constant police presence is always lurking to control crowds and ticket anyone they can get their hands on.
There are some quiet areas though, like where I grabbed this SE3P with enormous everything on my way to grab a coffee for the long night ahead of me...
While grabbing that coffee, I parked next to this Protege on Work CR01s. This is definitely a slept on chassis, especially in Mazdaspeed trim...
I spotted Kevin Espinoza slipping through traffic in the last iteration of his FRS. His build looks so at home at night...
Behind Kev was the timeless combo of S2000, TC105Ns, and a CR lip. Bonus points for the Spoon mirrors...
I can't imagine what it must have been like driving a Honda Acty from New York to Maryland, or the feeling of knowing you have to drive back.
Gas stations on the strip are always hot for spotting cool stuff. I happened to be walking through when this EK4 SiR and RHD DC2 pulled through. The EK4 was perfect on SE37Ks with it's custom blue hue and carbon fiber accents.
You have to keep your head on a swivel because 20 stupid and amazing things are happening within eyesight at all times. At one point in the night, about 200 people in banana costumes descended upon the sidewalks like a yellow ocean flowing through crowds of people and parked cars. Their mere existence upset local and state police who greeted them with mace, scattering the march of bananas.
It's hard to encapsulate the stress of trying to see everything that's happening because, from arrival to departure, it's mayhem and things are always happening.
There's always something to miss on every street corner, and unlike a static event, people are always moving and it's impossible to see everything. Sebastian Rodriguez's SXE10 was an exciting site tucked away behind Dumser's, a personal favorite hangout spot.
There's an endless amount of terrible ugly stuff, but there's an almost equal amount of impressive cars you've fantasized about online or had no idea existed until it flies by.
Strawberry faced S14s can be cool, but it was the Blitz gear that drew me over.
This very well may be the only VW I went out of my way to take a picture of that weekend. I'll own an air-cooled Beetle one day...
Seeing such wild and exciting cars cutting through the night really makes this event unlike any other. Going to a car show and being able to pour over evert detail is absolutely a special experience, but seeing and hearing cars like this NSX slipping through police lights down the strip is a whole different experience.
As of right now, even with the rona still kicking, people have already booked up a large portion of Ocean City for this year's gathering. I have no idea what it will look like this year, or if businesses will even be able to handle the crowds this time around. The police presence at these events has also always been hard and heavy, and with the elevated tension between the public and the police, I wonder if things will still be as intense come the beginning of October and what the result will be.
I personally will be playing it by ear but odds are I'll make the trip down. Especially after being cut off from so much going on this year so far, I have lost time to make up. If I do go, I'll try to make coverage more timely than the attempt I made this time.