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2012 H2O International

Bigger Than Any Year in History.

By Ezekiel Wheeler, Photography by Josh Brown

Some shows we attend we find ourselves gazing into the ceiling of the airplane trying to grasp everything we just witnessed over the weekend. Keep in mind, of the thousands of shows taking place across the world only a handful make us feel this way.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is great for satisfying our antique sweet tooth, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is perfect for quenching our gasoline burning thirst but nothing makes us light up like attending H2O International in Ocean City, MD.

A city lined with some of the most bizarre mini golf courses on the planet seems like an odd place to hold an event but that’s the charm of this show. It’s meant to be an oasis for tuners to enjoy in the opulent lifestyle of personalizing ones car. Our hobby comes with a unique identity and Ocean City, MD is as unique as it gets.

The Town Run-eth Over
H2O is many things but conventional isn’t one of them. We have never been so pleased to see a town taken over by a sea of tuned VW, Audi, Porsche and BMWs. Street races were occurring on nearly every block, local parking lots and hotels were overflowing with people and the streets were lined for miles with enthusiasts.

But this show isn’t just about the people, it’s the cars that brings them together. The bizarre Mk1 Frankenstein builds, the aggressively bagged late models and even a few exotics that decided to crash the party. Everyone is here to see who will create the next legendary moment for all to talk about until next year. What parking lot gem will be the talk of the town, and who the hell was selected for Top Dawg?!

Our first stop was Big Peckers on the far North side of the strip. Again, our east coast euro-guru Josh Brown was waiting for us with his childhood friends (and converted euro tuners) ready to escort us throughout the night’s festivities.

After we downed our enormous bacon burgers, we headed down towards 45th st. –the epicenter. If you had a car worth showing or even one you weren’t to ashamed of you had to make a stop here. Hundreds lined both sides of the street hoping for a drag race or even a burnout. But Johnny Law is no stranger to H2O hooning. The came by land, sea and air to make sure safety was enforced, along with the laws of the road. At one point we saw horse mounted and bike patrolling police take a breather as the crowds became too large to bark at. We were swimming in a sea of rev-hitting euro cars we just couldn’t get enough of.

Show Time
Getting home at a decent hour to be alive enough to walk the new grounds of H20i would be a tall order. The Fort Whaley Campgrounds in Whaleyville, MD would prove to be our greatest challenge of the weekend. Offering various terrains like a mud bogging vendor area, grass hill show parking and an enchanted forest filled with show cars.

The sprawling grounds would host 667 show cars and an estimated 5000+ cars parked throughout the estate. The show wrapped from the front gravel area, to the main road and even weave its way through the back forests.

Two hours after we arrived we would learn that our friends, the police, were starting to close the front entrance, diverting thousands of participants to find parking nearly a mile away. To say some were upset would be an understatement. But once on the campgrounds surrounded them with the cars they came for, most would forget their frustrations and enjoy the show.’

By Ezekiel Wheeler
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