The Wildest Car Week: A Night on 56th Street
Buckle In

Last year went by in what feels like a flash of lightning followed by the thunderous claps of deadlines, flights, and the never-ending shenanigans that we Speedhunters can somehow call a job.

Looking back on a year filled with memories and all sorts of events from many countries, it’s hard not to think back to the unsanctioned H2Oi/not H2Oi event in Ocean City, Maryland.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

While I had covered the journey to the event with MustangKyle, along with a brief history lesson on the show by Dave Thomas, and published a few pieces on the show itself, I felt like I hadn’t really shown the diversity of the event along with the endless slew of burnout pictures.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

With that being said, grab a bite to eat, crack a cold ginger beer, and buckle in for a look into a night at the wildest car show of 2018.

The Day Before Dusk
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

I had been in Ocean City for a few days, but still had some things to check off the to-do list before the proverbial pawpaw hit the fan. First up on the docket was getting together with a good friend, Sam Schwartz, AKA SchwaaFilms, to film a segment with Kyle for his H2Oi after-movie.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

Somehow we managed to shoot under the radar and didn’t attract any police attention, even with our bodies – allegedly – hanging quite far out of the vehicle.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

After wrapping up, we headed to Kyle’s soon-to-be-favourite store where he proceeded to buy enough clothes to last a lifetime, including some truly American clothing.

Buckwild With The Build Bros.
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018-

With the shopping and chores taken care of, it was time to meet some new friends from Ontario, Canada, known as the Build Bros. Garrett, the organizer of the Berlin Klassik had mentioned that some wild characters were headed down to the show, and that it could be an interesting time. That was an understatement.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

The Build Bros., Jamie and Tanner, can best be described as a Canadian highway pileup between the Trailer Park Boys, Larry Enticer, a truckload of maple syrup, and a little too much Molson Canadian.

The duo had driven down from Ontario in what could be described as fairly unique rides. Jamie was keen to show off his two-stepping R32-powered VW 4-Motion Bora Jetta, whose flames and gunshot-esque noise had earned an impoundment and other traffic infractions earlier in the week.

Tanner, on the other hand, had burnt through a few gallons of oil on the drive down in his VW Westfalia Camper, complete with a custom hand-painted mural, LED disco lights, and of course, a beer fridge.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

The Bros. were eager to help shoot some features, and Tanner offered the use of the Camper’s sliding door option, which was hard to resist.

Screenshot_20181219-001644

We had just wrapped up shooting a feature when I received the above Facebook message along with a bunch of calls from random people telling me that ‘my’ car – a certain Mustang – was being towed.

After a brief call from Kyle, it seemed that I had become the owner of a 1967 Ford Mustang, and due to it being parked at our condo the neighbours were unhappy with the amount of attention it was attracting.

With the car moved over a few feet and the tow truck driver paid, we set off in the bus down ‘The Strip’. I had cruised The Strip in over a dozen cars so far that week, but none got the amount of attention that the Westfalia did.

The Night The Sky Turned Pink
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

The Westfalia did a few laps of The Strip before it was time for our appointment with a 2JZ-swapped Subaru. Adam and I had been chatting on Instagram earlier in the week, and he had given me the details of a burnout that promised to be one for the ages.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

This wasn’t just a regular burnout, but one that would be a gender reveal for Adam’s soon-to-be-born child.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

With 655hp to the wheels, he didn’t hold back on roasting the tires off until the sky turned pinky-red and the smoke billowed across many blocks.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

Adam’s burnout had sparked others to join in including this Skyline GT-R and RX-7. While the Nissan was lucky and narrowly avoided a drove of police, the Mazda did not fare so well.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

The police had hardly blocked him in and the smoke was still in the air when the crowd flocked from the street and sidewalks to start chanting ‘one more, one more, one more,’ in the hopes that the owner would throw caution to the wind in front of a dozen officers.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

With the gender reveal concluded and congratulations passed on to Adam and his family, we were back in the van, rolling down The Strip and headed to the French part of town.

Meet The Québécois
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

Earlier in the week I had been jokingly razzed by some French-Canadians on the street, and after a few playful Canadian taunts back and forth, they invited me in their broken francophone words to a car meet that they were hosting, which promised some tomfoolery.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

They too had made the trek down from the cold North in a variety of cars, so I was excited to see what was in store. Never mind the fact that we could talk about poutine and other Canadian things, eh?

We arrived just as they were finishing up ushering cars into parking spots, but it didn’t take long for the police to show up and put an end to any and all activities. Anyone drinking from a ‘open container’ with their toes grazing the sidewalk was arrested.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

With the show being shut down, we clambered back into the van and headed back to the corner of 56th Street.

Please Don’t Hit Me
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

This is the part of the story that I’m hesitant to share, because I do not want to glorify or encourage this sort of behaviour. It could have easily ended badly for numerous people.

But it’s all a part of the H2Oi experience, right? Kids, anyone actually, don’t do this at home.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

Pulling up to the corner of 56th Street and The Strip meant navigating through an endless sea of people on the road and sidewalks, and with that successfully done and the Westie parked, I set my stomach on some pizza across the street.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

As the the signal told me to cross, I checked both ways and started my jaunt across the street. But I had barely made it halfway across when a Hyundai Genesis driven by a wannabe Drift King launched itself into the intersection (through a red light, nonetheless), did a one-wheel-peel and a donut, and then attempted to flee the scene.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

But justice was served in the form of an undercover officer sitting at the corner waiting to turn onto The Strip.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

I managed to chase down the Genesis just as it was being pulled over, and watched him plead and beg not to get any tickets. But the police weren’t having any of it. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time, or pay the Ocean City fines.

Peer Pressure
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

The commotion of the Hyundai caused quite a stir, and more people swarmed the sidewalks until the crowd control police were called in.

I quickly devoured the pizza, caught up with the ILB crew, and then headed up The Strip on foot to see what all the crowds were about.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

The sheer amount of people crowding the streets, yelling all sorts of chants and trying to pressure those cruising past to ‘send it’ was unreal.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

Some people caved to the peer pressure, but many were quickly pulled over down the street. Truth be told, the police presence didn’t seem to be much of a deterrent.

A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018

As soon as the crowd would take over the road, the police would arrive, try to split everyone up, and attempt to arrest who they could. The flood of people would then walk a block down the road and do it over and over again until the crowd either dwindled or the police presence became overwhelming.

With that, I retired to the Westfalia’s pop-top roof bed and called it a night on one of the wildest car weeks of last year. H2Oi, not H2Oi, or whatever you’d like to call it will be back next year, and I’m going to try my best to be there again.

Keiron Berndt
Instagram: keiron_berndt

Cutting Room Floor
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
A night on 56th Street - H2oi - Keiron Berndt - Speedhunters - 2018
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23 comments

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1

Wow, what a night!! I think that was an Infiniti G37, and not a Genesis coupe.

2
sdimes r the next classics

definitely a G37 coupe, what a crazy show!

3

What type of smartass would do a donut in the middle of an interesection and on a RED LIGHT and then beg not to receive any type of punishment or whatever. Pure stupidity.

4

He probably recognized Keiron and wanted a nice pic. He got it :')

5

This is why we can't have nice things.

But seriously events like this are probably a net negative for the car community as a whole.

6
Keaton Belliston

What a bunch of wankers... This kind of shit damages the reputation of every car enthusiast.

Also, that cop car is a sweet Caprice PPV! I want to get one from an auction pretty bad!

7

I just wanna see the car feature on the 2j Subie!
This type of stuff used to go down in Pigeon Forge TN back in the 90s. We would carry water buckets down to the strip, sit in our lawn chairs and Peer pressure people into doing burnouts. We would gather some money together for the unfortunate souls that would get caught by the cops. All of you whining about bad for the car scene are a little late...

8

Another example why car communities get bad names. Get a bunch of idiots together and this is what happens. Ruins it for everyone else.

9

I grew up going to this area, I guess I've just aged out, but driving around Ocean City let alone even being in Ocean City is sad enough. Why anyone thinks collecting tickets and fines is fun or a badge of honor is exactly the type of person in car culture I avoid.

10

No offense but this is everything wrong with the car community. Stupid side shows like this are making police crack down on any modified car they see regardless of what it's doing. This is the bottom rung of the car community doing burnouts and hood rat stuff might as well just borrow your moms van. Just when I thought drag racing was lame.

11

I concurr. 100%.

BTW, nice Genesis.

12

H20i and the type of "enthusiast" it attracts are the bottom rung of the car community. Idiots in snap-backs and hoodies quoting Fast and Furious movies and being a public nuisance. It's a shame that they insist in making us all look bad, and Speed Hunters gives them visibility...Some aspects of car culture don't need to be highlighted....

13

When the H20i story first ran I thought the police presence was a little unjust. But after seeing this story, it is well and truly justified. I love a skid as much as the next guy, but these dudes are just acting like wangs.

14

In reality, any weekend where theres a shit load of people coming to OC, the cops are required lol. Its not a classy place,lets say that.

15

aids scene
nice photos

16

On the other hand we have hot rod shows lined with older folks sitting in their lawn chairs doing nothing. HOPING that someone (anyone!) comes by to ask them a question. Only problem being there is nary a scent of any of the general public around.

Pick your poison.

17

A bit too much tomfoolery, although I probably would have supported this behavior when I was young and stoooopid.

18

This content should not be on SH. As said before this is a bad example and ruins car community reputation.

19

This article got me thinking about how sick I am of people who get caught speeding or drifting or doing burnouts and then utter some sheepish variant of "...yeah, I was stupid for doing that."

Stop apologizing for having fun.

Just because it's the law doesn't mean it's right. Just because it's against the law doesn't mean you were wrong for doing it.

20
Dark Black Applause

Looks like an epic night, nice one Keiron

21

Wow, you have "written" three or four articles about this so far?

Why this celebration of dumbassery and ignorant behavior in a town that does not want it continues to be glorified, I will never understand.

It is too bad the police didn't impound all of the idiots in attendance. It is well known the town doesn't want this to happen. Instead of treating it with respect, and approaching the town council and working it out (which does work, I know for fact) these people just show up and do the same stupid crap that gives us all a bad image.

Speedhunters, come on. Enough of the H20i crap. This childish behavior doesn't have a place in the hobby / lifestyle.

22

I 100% agree with this mate. This site should be better than this. You can't say "don't do this at home" but here it is on a hugely viewed website for all to see. The odd bit of naughtiness is fine but blatant disregard for laws and safety of spectators is well below acceptable for me.

23

I can honestly understand why the locals hate this so much and why the cops harass everyone with a modified car...jeezz wth is wrong with people

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