Import War 2004

Take a look at modified cars in movies such as The Fast and the Furious, or look around trade shows like SEMA, and you’ll find that over-the-top styling and equipment are very much the trend in today’s compact scene. Like any competition with some money behind it, the compact show circuit is booming with plenty of events and heavy competition. Now in its third year, Central Pennsylvania’s Import War is carving out its own slice of that pie.

Held on the grounds of Hershey Park and in the shadow of the new Giant Stadium that plays home to the Hershey Bears minor league hockey team, cars range from stock and slightly modified to full-blown show cars that are anything but minor league.

One big draw for the serious players in this competition is Import War’s judging via the National Custom Car Association (NCCA). Competitors are quite serious, and points from the NCCA help a car’s overall score. Looking over the whole process, it’s not a whole lot different than the dog shows you might see on TV, though the cool-factor of it all is probably more in line with the latest Celebrity Texas Hold’em Matches.

Cars that turn out are mixed. The organizers of this show have a Volkswagen-enthusiast background, so cars from Wolfsburg are definitely present, though the rest of the field varies, including Audi, BMW, Honda, Mazda, Subaru and more. This year even found a few Caddies in the form of two Escalades.

Styling is generally over-the-top. Full color screens in door panels and trunks may not be that practical, but they’ll give you that edge in the judging, and that’s what many of these serious show competition cars are about.

Elsewhere throughout the field, one also found cars modified for performance. They weren’t all show queens, and many appeared to have the punch to back up the performance look.

If you’re into modified compacts, Import War is worth the trip. It’s not the largest show of its kind, but given the high-end cars drawn by professional judging and the plethora of other activities they hold during the day, it’s still one to fit into your calendar.

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