Bullshitters hate him! Learn these simple secrets to your favorite import car show.

We don’t often cover import cars. This year, we had the honor to see Hot Import Nights here in Scottsdale, AZ. I was genuinely excited for a few reasons. Not least of which was it’s venue, Westworld, where we have the absolutely massive Barrett-Jackson auction every year. I assumed this was supposed to be a big show for the import scene.

It’s too bad that it didn’t work out that way.

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The day of the show  I receive an email from one of the shows corporate staff. Unlike any other car show or event I’ve ever been to, it has a list of demands that need to be completed and submitted within a week or else I would not be eligible for media coverage next year.

I understand how a traditional shot list works to benefit the promoters, but I’ve never been held to one at an event like this. Not to mention how absurd their requests were.

The list includes making sure that we’re really putting a focus on the vendors and models (not models as in the cars, but the barely dressed attention mongers standing in front of the cars) and to be sure to portray an overall positive experience.

As you may be able to tell in the above picture, there’s really not many cars there. In fact, there were probably less imports inside this building than at the pavilions off Indian bend and the 101 just miles from the show. That was my major gripe of the evening:

There were hardly any imports.

Look at these pictures of these amazing “import” cars found at Hot Import Nights:

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Are you kidding me? I came here to see the imports I think are cool like the z31, z32, 3000gt, Starion, 1g DSMs, and anything with a turbocharged Toyota inline 6. Not Scions with fast and furious wraps and any other car that is all mouth and trousers.

When I imagined this website almost half a decade ago it was to represent the automotive counter culture. At one point in time, I’m sure the import scene was the counter culture to the rest of the performance auto world. If this show is truly representative of today’s import scene then I must say good riddance. You’re dead on your feet.

1986-1991 Toyota Soarer Z20

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The Ford Thunderbird will go down in history as the car that created an entire market segment: the personal luxury coupe. Since that time, many other auto makers have produced their own version of the Thunderbird. Over time, the segment came to be defined by a few characteristics: an emphasis on luxury and the latest technology, powerful engines with comfortable suspensions, and of course, a 2-door, 4-passenger seating arrangement.

Although the American economy went through a recession in the early 1980s, things  turned around and the demand for personal luxury coupes was on the rise by the later end of the decade. General Motors had the Buick Riviera, Ford had the Lincoln Mark VII, and Chrysler had resurrected the Imperial name for their 1981-1983 coupe. The United States wouldn’t see the Lexus SC400 until 1991, but this car was its Japanese predecessor: the Toyota Soarer Z20.

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1974 Toyota Corona 2000GT Hardtop Coupe

While wandering around at Cars and Coffee a few weeks ago, I spotted an odd-looking car with its rear view mirrors attached to the front fenders. “Oh yikes, this thing probably belongs to some weeaboo guy who gets a raging boner from reading his collection of Initial D mangas” I thought to myself. But as I got closer, I could see that this car was not some wanna-be drift machine covered in JDM stickers. No, this car is the real deal.

I’ll admit that when it comes to vintage Japanese automobiles, I know next to nothing about them. However, I know just enough to recognize that this right-hand drive Toyota Corona 2000GT is a very unique automobile here in the USA. Having spent a couple of hours researching mid-1970s Toyotas, I can now proceed to share with you some information about this car.

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1982-1986 Toyota Supra Mark II

The 1980s were a gold rush of Japanese sports cars making their way to the United States. Manufacturers were importing cars such as the 280ZX and 300ZX from Nissan, the RX-7 from Mazda, the Mitsubishi Starion, the Isuzu Impulse, and the Subaru XT. Perhaps one of the most memorable Japanese cars of the decade was the Toyota Supra.

This two-seater sports coupe is pretty much a direct descendant of the Toyota 2000GT I covered recently. It has an inline-6 cylinder engine, rear wheel drive, and a long, sloping front with a hatchback roof. Toyota produced the second generation (or Mark II) from 1982 through 1986. They were badged as “Celica Supra” at the time, becoming just “Supra” in 1986 with the introduction of the Mark III Supra.

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1983-86 Honda City Turbo II

There is a basic principle of engineering that affects all cars: in order to make an engine produce more power, you need to add more fuel and more air. Adding more fuel is the easy part, but adding more air can be challenging. That’s why automakers use turbochargers to boost the incoming air, which in turn boosts the power output of an engine. This is particularly effective on smaller engines.

Turbochargers have been standard fare on Saabs, Volvos, and high-end Nissans for decades. One car manufacturer that has kept their distance from forced induction is Honda. However, they did experiment with it during the “turbo craze” of the 1980s.

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Driven: 1985 Z31 300ZX 2+2

Welcome back to Driven, where we feature cool cars found in hotel parking lots that are actually driven! Today we have a naturally aspirated 2+2 300zx. It has a beautiful interior, metallic brown paint and a manual transmission! Judging by the lack of a Datsun badge, 50th Anniversary Edition-styled steering wheel, Leather interior and steering wheel controls, we can decipher that this is more than likely a 1985 GLL-trim model.

The car you see here is powered by a SOHC 3.0L V6 that managed to make 160hp in it’s naturally aspirated form, according to Nissan. Not too shabby considering a 5.7L v8 nearly twice it’s size could barely manage similar numbers with exception to the brand-new L98 TPI mill for the 1985 model year.