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Hot Cars in Hawaii & the First Hawaiian International Auto Show

Hot cars seem to go with fun in the sun and Hawaii is no exception. There is a surprising variety of classic cars, as well as new muscle cars, on these islands. The cars are often out on weekends, taking a Sunday tour around the neighborhood. This past weekend in Kailua, beautifully restored and maintained cars gathered with their owners for a Mustang Madness car show. Not all the cars were Mustangs, but there were quite a few in various stages of restoration. Two red 1966 Mustangs were displayed side-by-side, one restored to top condition as it was originally sold, the other modified for racing.

While I am always struck by the variety of cars that have floated their way to Hawaii, I am also reminded of an old LP record I had decades ago by the singing duo Jan and Dean. One side was all songs about surfing, the other side was all songs about cars. Two of their hits were “Surf City” and “Drag City,” along with the better-known “Little Old Lady from Pasadena” and “Dead Man’s Curve” (a real portion of road near where Jan Berry was seriously injured just two years later).

The Beach Boys also sang of their love for cars. Their album “Little Deuce Coupe” came out in the summer of 1963. My father was a mechanic when I was young and I remember writing down the lyrics of one song (“409”) to ask him what the words ” four speed dual quad posi-traction 409” meant. He got out an auto manual and showed me the car parts that had so inspired teen aged boys that they wrote songs about them.

There is a huge auto show this coming weekend at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu: “The First Hawaiian International Auto Show” is the title, although there was a similar car show last year around this time. Many of the cars will be new models displayed to encourage sales, no doubt. However, I will look for the local car clubs showing classic VWs, Mustangs and Shelbys, Porsches, Camaros, rare and antique autos and, yes, Lowriders, all the while with the Beach Boys song “Our Car Club” playing in my head.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Mar 24, 2010