Not too long ago, I popped Need for Speed: Underground, one of my very first racing games, into my Gamecube just for kicks. Having considered myself to be a car enthusiast for a number of years now, I was curious to see how far the tuning scene had come. I really wish I had some screenshots to show you just how much my own interpretation of “cool” has changed. My entire stable of Underground cars rocked wild metallic paint jobs, tear/stripe vinyls, neon, and planet-sized chrome wheels.
My lasting impression of Hot Import Nights was that the cars that turned up were all somewhat like my virtual Underground garage – most show, little go. I fully expected to see some Lambo doors on cars that weren’t Lamborghini’s and maybe even hear the distinctive plume of nitrous purging. How things have changed. HIN has matured and grown up in time with our scene and even with the closure of Irwindale Speedway, the show had to go on.