As HIN 2k17 comes to a close tonight, I'm sitting in my hotel room in absolute awe. Coming from the Brisbane scene where you're lucky to see any form of exotic cars at an event, let alone a modified one. To seeing something like the Liberty Walk Aventador- clad in it's 24 carat gold plated wheels, and it's $25k paintwork, menacingly idling as it airs down onto the floor, is absolutely mind boggling.
Hot Import Nights is no stranger to showmanship- their pedigree of some of America's largest meets across the board shows that they mean business. And to see them come to such uncharted territory and pull off one of the biggest nights of the automotive calendar in less than 12 months is a bold move to say the least. So how did the USA heavyweight fare against the Australian scene?
Overall, the word that comes to mind is 'immense'. The event itself was hosted in Sydney Olympic Park, and it spanned the whole of Hall 6 without including the food alley outside, so they definitely had space on their side. Not to mention it brought in names the likes of Queen Street Motor Group, Liberty Walk, Autocraze, Honda, Rarest Rose, and some of the most unique and out-there builds that Australia has to offer. HIN definitely hit it off with a banger, and with their showpiece for the night being a rocket bunny 350z- you can tell they're going to stir the scene up around the country.
But it lacked connection- the event was more of a display night rather than a meet, and there was so much going on that even looking at the schedule for the night left me in a spin. Which isn't to say that's a bad thing at all- HIN hosted a mini-meet earlier in the year as part of their launch conference, and turnout for that was impressive to say the least.
But if their first main event is essentially an extravagant trade night, what impact does that have on the community?
As Albert Einstein put it;
'Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.'
HIN chose to pull out all the stops for a reason- if the calibre of attendance for their very first meet is anything to go off, then they will be working with some of the most influential presences in the Australian automotive world. And as a result, they have the ability to help shape the scene in Australia to rise above that stereotype of 'hooning' and indecent behaviour in public environments. To bring the big hitters together and show promise towards the outside world of the potential that we hold within our hands as enthusiasts- the ability for change is immensely amplified. And as they gain more and more traction here in Aus, their ability to influence will grow, and from there who knows?
I'm not saying we'll have a perfect community of enthusiasts- there will always be outliers that choose to let their actions ruin the image of the greater community. But if we show the world that those outlying minority do not speak for the majority (rather than what the media would have people believe), then perhaps there's hope for change on a national scale.
So if HIN continue to pull off big-ticket events, bringing in the best of the best to showcase their talent each year. Not only will it help motivate the scene to keep pushing the envelope, but it will act as a beacon for the outside world to come and experience what we can do when we put our heads together. And combining HIN's display style with the WTAC show & shine event only a couple of months prior to satify the community connection aspect on the east coast, and Racewars in WA looking after the east coast- I think the future of the Australian scene is looking a lot better than previously thought, and I personally am super stoked to see what happens in the next 12 months.