Hawaii is not a place I associate with old school JDM cars, or really anything other than lifted 4x4s and dorky dads in convertible rentals that obviously come with any tourist territory. However, after being in Oahu just a few days, it became clear that these islands have everything you need, car culture included.
Trevor and I got a taste of this last year, so we knew that there are a number of really nice modified cars on the island of Oahu. But we didn’t know what to expect when we headed out to a meet in Pearl City last Saturday night, as organized by Tommy Dolormente.
Tommy kindly invited us out to see what the Oahu has to offer, and helped round up an extra strong group of cars for the evening. Trevor and I were pleasantly surprised when we rolled up to the outer edge of a Walmart parking lot in the center of the island and straightway spotted some of our favorite cars.
‘Old School Imports Hawaii’ was inadvertently started by Tommy and his friends when a handful of guys donated gifts to a toy drive and were required to report their ‘club’ name. In reality, Tommy says the group is not a club or a crew, so to speak, but rather a community and family of people who love old, quirky cars.
The OSIxHI crowd definitely has a long-term relationship feel to it; it was almost like we were witnessing an extended family barbeque rather than a car meet. And although there was no slow cooking of meat here, the meet was ultra-mellow and inviting in stereotypical Hawaiian fashion.
There were also no burnouts or cops getting involved, instead just a group of friends doing what they love to do most. There might not have been a row of numerous NSXs or modded RX-7s, but I felt like at least one of everything you needed showed up.
Some of my all-time favorite models made an appearance too, so allow me to take you on a quick tour of my personal picks…