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The Hot Import Nights group just held their second annual VIP Auto Fashion Show this weekend, and it was a bit of a mixed bag. Lots of over-the-top blinged-out rides and plenty of cute models as would be expected, but some things just didn't gel.

This year the show moved from Orange County to L.A. and perhaps the crowd was a bit more jaded than the O.C. crew was last year. Besides the few sponsored lounge areas, there wasn't a whole lot of energy in the hall. Follow the jump for a full gallery and more details.

The cars were pretty well turned out, but nothing really newsworthy. Instead of Civics, Supras, and Skylines, it's Ferraris, Benzes, and Bimmers. And the occasional SMART.

Even a couple of boats and bikes were on display.

With SEMA just a few weeks back, it was kind of anticlimactic, but nothing can match the scope of SEMA and that wasn't the intention here. SEMA is, after all, an industry show. VIP is for the general public, albeit a slightly more affluent public.

Taking the HIN concept and applying it to the upscale tuner crowd has some built-in drawbacks, but nothing too severe. The higher end tuner cars are generally only attainable by a slightly older and wealthier crowd than the typical HIN followers. The owners are a bit more secluded inside the lounges and behind the ropes. Maybe that's the true appeal and we just missed it. Wouldn't be the first time. Nor, probably, the last.

It makes it more of a gawker event than HIN, which can reach across the ropes and draw in potential new hobbyists quite readily. Kind of expensive too, at $20 for parking and $20 for tickets, although lots of freebies and discounts were available at recent local events.

What makes VIP unique compared to other HIN events isn't even the plethora of exotics, it's the fact that there's an actual fashion show held during the night. Some top designers and models got to strut their stuff for the crowd. It's hard to believe the assembled throng of guys with cameras was looking for some Holiday shopping ideas.

Best groupings were the Modified Luxury and Exotics collection that housed a Novitec Ferrari from CEC and an AC Schnitzer Tension...

...and also the Karma Lounge (benefiting The Karma Foundation) that was displaying a 300 SL Gullwing next to a TVR Tuscan...

...right across from the Mosler MT900S we just told you about. Pretty nice stuff, but not spectacular.

Having said that, it was still a lot of fun. I guess hanging with the right people makes all the difference in the world. The people at the Driven/Ferrari/Playboy Lounge were the stars of the show and, despite some of the aforementioned drawbacks, they made it a fun night.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      That show was extremely disappointing for me and my gf (both of us major auto enthusiasts). The layout was absolutely horrible, nothing really stood out, it was extremely small and they devoted an entire room to old mod Lexus cars (= boring to me). None of the import models were that good, the fashion show was just okay (some of the models didn't even walk a straight line correctly) and the playboy girls weren't that impressive (compared to other ones). Also any super cars there such as an F50 were from the Marconi Museum but no SLRs etc. And I don't go to an auto show to see small yachts = waste of time. However, last year's VIP Auto Show was absolutely awesome!! I guess that's why it was very disappointing. Along with the fact that like 5 other events were going on at the LA Conv Center which made parking/traffic a nightmare. So if you didn't go you really didn't miss out too much.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Went to the autoshow and wasn't impressed... Took me 40 minutes to go over the entire room... Plus, the girls weren't even pretty... I think after checkin the show.. anybody (as long as u have fake boobs) can be an import model...
      • 8 Years Ago
      RE: the banner on the floor for Rides magazine. 1986 called and it wants its vernacular back. C'mon, "illest"? WTF.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looks like the bling-a-thon to me. At least the models are consistently hotter than the usual car show models which all it takes is to show some skin.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Auto Show looked like a good time. Ton of cool lookin cars, and most likely a bunch of ugly lookin cars too.
      • 8 Years Ago
      it always upsets me that this kind of ugly-ing up of cars is not limited to hondas and scions..