Best Of Show: The H2Oi 2020 Impound Meet

If you’ve been following along with the madness that H2Oi has become, you’ll know that the Ocean City Police Department weren’t playing around this year.

Similar to a certain Parks and Recreation episode, even the most minor infraction could result in a car impound and/or jail time for the driver.

H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt

Picture this… you’re in town, cruising the Ocean City strip in your lowered Miata, and decide that it’s the right time to lay some rubber for the folks watching on from the sidewalk. Of course, you didn’t see the OCPD cruiser coming the other way, which promptly pulls a u-turn and lights you up. The reward for your heroic one-wheel-peel? A $984 tow fee, plus storage fees, and a long list of other tickets resulting in fines totaling more than the car’s worth.

H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt

What do you do next? The only thing you can do to recoup any money to buy a bus ticket home is strip the car of its valuable parts before the tow truck arrives and hauls it away.

I’m not sure what this particular Miata’s crime was, but it was one of many cars in town for H2Oi 2020 that ended up in the Ocean City Police Department’s impound yard. It was minus its seats, front bumper, and perhaps anything else able to be removed in a hurry.

H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt

I’m sure someone will be able to get a steal of a deal on a banana Miata with more water in it than the Atlantic when it goes to auction in the coming months…

H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt

But slammed Miatas weren’t the only things stuck in the impound lot when I visited. It was a proper meet with a bit of everything for the whole family.

H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt

With everything from cambered-out Hondas and BRZs and FR-Ss, to Lamborghinis and Toyota hybrids – the OCPD wasn’t playing favourites.

H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt

To give you some idea of how hard the crackdown was this year, the total number of tows from the entire H2Oi weekend in 2019 was 65.

H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt

This year, there were 345 tows at $1,000 a piece. Let’s just hope that money is going back into improving Ocean City…

H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt

As it turns out though, getting your car into the impound lot during H2Oi is the easy part. Getting it out is a little harder.

Even if you have the money to pay for your car’s release, chances are you’ll be waiting through a few days’ worth of delays – with storage fees continuing to be accrued of course. And then there’s the surcharges on the towing fees out of the impound, as tow companies are the only ones able to do this.

But wait, there’s more…

H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt
H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt

I spoke to numerous folks who had just paid a few thousand dollars to get their cars out of impound for silly things like suspension modifications, exhausts, and window tints, only to find that their keys had been misplaced. So now you’re flat broke and own a car without keys, so therefore also require the services of a locksmith.

H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt
H2OI Day Impound Car Meet - Speedhunters - 23 - 9 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt

But despite all this, there’s a high probability that’ll you’ll do it all over again in 2021…

But will, or should there even be a next year for this ‘event’? We’ll discuss that in my final story from H2Oi 2020, coming soon.

Keiron Berndt
Instagram: keiron_berndt

Car Culture stories on Speedhunters



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That's just sad that even if you're car is parked on the side of the road and you haven't done any speeding or any kind of reckless driving, they will still impound your car just because it is modified
Man that is just so stupid! I hope the owners get to retrieve their cars


This is just pissing me off
Like all we're doing is having a meet with our cars and yet there's always some jackass that comes over and ruins the fun then everyone gets arrested
And all this impounding for nothing it's still hasn't fixed the problem like I would say that a parking lot should be reserved or rented out for these meets while having some security so that we can have the meet peacefully without someone coming over and messing up everything and at least if someone tries to then we just have them arrested and go on with our days no problem I hope someone writes a letter to the governor of Maryland about this

Ivor Yhe Engine Driver

Dude, the governor of Maryland has more important things to worry about than cement head car abusers.

Disgusted 75 yo resident

Stop crying and whining and try this—
Schedule one in your neighborhood
Invite thousands of people
Behave as you do in Ocean City
Do this year after year
Invite more and more
See how people like it
Finally stay the hell out of Ocean City


Good idea


On the other hand every one of those cars had violations...even at the curb they were driven with those violations. It is clear the the community doesn’t want this meet to happen. Why would these car owners choose to go knowing they were open to thousands of dollars of fees? I don’t know if making a statement is worth having to leave my car behind.


Reminder they towed a bone stoxk miata with stock wheels and everything stock


Can anyone just blurt out what "the statement" might be?
Being a moron isn't a statement, and it isn't even a minority we make fun of anymore- seems like it's normy norm nowadays, a doggy pile wasteland of goosestepping morons defending each other over some imagined right to be a moron? This isn't at all what the civil rights movement sacrificed for, so please someone with an impounded car just chime in with what their delusion is so the actual few, the actual brave can know what the new red flags are to ignore you.


resistance to authority is a statement. when the cops crack down, defiance is a deliberate choice meant to send the message that you don't respect their authority.

not endorsing it or saying these cars shouldn't have been towed, not saying these guys are philosophers advancing a noble cause through carefully considered discourse. but a statement is definitely being made here.


Yet ocean city are quite happy for the hot rods to do the same things when they have their show, in fact they welcome them with open arms. Lets pick on the young guys cos they probably dont have lawyers


Rodders got impounded this year too do some research

Carl Unit Steigerwald

No, it's the problems that solve of ther young idiots do. That's where the problem is. The classics are mainly just for show or driving once in awhile. They're two totally different car types.

Carl Unit Steigerwald

The younger idiots do


"and decide that it’s the right time to lay some rubber for the folks watching on from the sidewalk." And then its poor me when they get their shitbox impounded right? This show and these people are a joke

Utterly Slain Albatross

O say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


Maybe next year they just have the show inside the compound and pay the towing yard to rent the space that way the cars are already there... lol!
I know exactly what these guys went through and it's just wrong in so many ways. Not so much that the cars themselves have violations, that's just a product of Ocean City laws but it's what happens after the towing companies and yards get involved. Disgusting. Some of these places need to be investigated for how they do business.


So, despite knowing that the chances are VERY high for your car to be impounded, people still went? Lmao


Exactly. Play stupid games...


I’ve gotta say I don’t really have any remorse for any of the owners of these cars. There are always exceptions and there are sure to be some people who didn’t deserve to have their car impounded but, after all, they were naive enough to attend the event. If you’ve ever seen any of the H20i movies on YouTube, you’ll know exactly why the police are cracking down so hard on H20i. Some of these people are drifting through red lights, doing donuts in the middle of the street during the middle of the day and just causing major disturbances within the city. If you lived in Ocean City, do you think you would enjoy having a bunch of irresponsible driver’s in unsafely modified cars coming and majorly disturbing traffic, being excessively loud with their straight piped exhausts and overall just causing havoc in the city for a couple of weeks every year? I sure as hell wouldn’t be too happy about it and clearly the OCPD have had enough of it. My point is, H20i attracts some of the most bottom-of-the-barrel people in the car community and I don’t see why we should have any remorse for them. I’m not a huge supporter of police but I’m not naive enough to be a police hater. The OCPD had to do something about the situation with H20i which was significantly disturbing the city every year and this is how they’re going about it. I don’t see why there are any surprises about it. If you think the OCPD are unjust in their actions, you are naive and don’t see the bigger picture. Im glad that this SH article didn’t take the side of the punk car “enthusiasts” who mock our culture. I actually quite liked the take on this article, nice work, Keiron.


i too love the taste of boots


the (good, bad and ugly) car-things we do, out of love....


I got pulled over about 30 miles outside of Ocean CIty and the cops reasoning for pulling me over was, my car has modified suspension. Luckily I got out of a ticket that literally labeled my car as a dangerous vehicle because the cops printer died.


luck stat buffed


Can we stop encouraging people to do this kind of crap? If your reader base how now become 15 year olds who need to feel like they're rebelling then Speed Hunters is dead.

We all enjoy a bit of car culture and that's a bit different everywhere you go. You need to accept some things will look odd to you, but this is straight garbage. Stop praising idiots who intentionally go out to piss people off and give the rest of us a bad name.

I guess the standards are slipping around here. Can we get the editors to chime in? You guys are normally pretty communicative with your reader base.


this is like 1320video in a illegal street racing


I agree completely. This type of "event" is harmful to the car culture. Speedhunters is a celebration of car culture.

Why highlight and promote something that is actively and obviously working to destroy what we real enthusiasts love.

There is nothing worth celebrating about H20i. All that "event" does is damage the culture, and the reputation of the real car enthusiasts.


Speed Hunters has a great track record with quality work. I don't want to ignore that or ignore the fact that content might be hard to come by during COVID, but I'm glad some of us are speaking up. Speed Hunters can do better and at the very least not stoop to near click bait levels of content.


Where did they encourage bad behavior? Im pretty sure they photographed an event that was happening whether they were there or not. Impound lot car show is hilarious


Pay impound fee on credit card, call up credit card and dispute transaction.

Screw them


Nail in the coffin for me, here. Your entire publication has become an absolute joke, totally out of check from reality, context, or substance.

Goodbye speedhunters. I'm signing off.


Don't let the door hit you in the 455!


I don't think there's anything Speedhunters could do to make this article appealing to anyone but new age car enthusiasts. You simply label something with H20i and a firestorm ensues. Speedhunters has changed a bit since its start but they do still try to appeal to car enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes. The issues with this meet are obvious, the people. It'll be a sad if Speedhunters succumbs to this meets target audience and starts to only post articles of 1500hp Supras (because thats how they came stock right?) and lowered 2015 WRX's. I've barely read any of these articles since around 2016 and I can't really bash Speedhunters because 1. Theyre doing their job and attempting to open articles up to a new target audience and 2. This is still one of the best websites to go to if you enjoy automotive photography.


seriously? good riddance for ARE an absolute joke


So many different takes on the H20i event. I feel like so many people are on edge these days with everything that's going on in the world and this is one more example of young people inciting something to be part of a movement or incite change somehow. I think that the thing that unites us car people, (and it's not just old guys vs. the young guys) is why we love cars and why we dump ludicrous amounts of money into our cars, is that they're fun. There's nothing wrong with having fun. If cars weren't fun we wouldn't enjoy them so much. But with that fun, comes responsibility. If you modify your car in a way that it could jeopardize the safety of you, other motorists and pedestrians, you cannot expect to NOT be reprimanded for this. In addition I do believe that some people who had responsibly and safely modified their cars were wrongly impounded. This is a result of a corrupt police and impound/ towing company cooperation im sure. But also, the event isn't even legally sanctioned. Correct me if I'm wrong but no organizer of said event ever obtained a permit or permission to hold the event when it does. The O.C cruise has and is a sanctioned event. They have had permission to be there for years. H20i could be a fun, cool car event. I think it as an idea and a concept has merrit, but it's execution leaves alot to be desired. It seems like a good way the event goers could cooperate with police, would be to perhaps pay them a sum to close down a strip of coastal highway late at night, so that they could race and act like hooligans in a controlled environment. In the end it is important for young people to get into the hobby. More and more young people just aren't interested in working on cars or modifying them so let's not burn bridges let's lay long patches of rubber on them together, no matter where we are from or what we drive.


"why we dump ludicrous amounts of money into our cars" all of these cars were either bought by mommy and daddy or drug money


They told you not to come, but you did anyways. They assaulted a NRP! Ocean city made bank from you clowns. Business owners, hotels, and families cringe when h2o comes around.
Go to ac where the show is. We don't want you here in OC.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.


Too bad the police department hasn't started crushing the cars. That would be hilarious.

The town has made it perfectly clear for years it doesn't want this "event." Yet, every year a bunch of immature bottom-feeder social media fame seekers show up in droves to hopefully acquire tickets and impound fees so they can post about it like it is some sort of badge of honor (it isn't.)

The real victims here are the people that live and work in this town, and the police officers and tow truck drivers who have their normal lives interrupted because a horde of idiots in busted-ass jalopies show up to act like prepubescent teenagers for no good reason.

I really wish Speedhunters wouldn't cover this event as it is destructive to the car cultures. All this event and it's attendees are doing is hurting the car culture and giving more firepower to the law makers to pass more restrictive laws about automotive modification and ownership. No one who is a true enthusiast should or could support this type of event or behavior.


"Too bad the police department hasn't started crushing the cars"

spoken like a true enthusiast. Why even come on this site?

"i enjoy cars but ONLY when used the WAY I LIKE and if you want to do it differently then YOUR CAR SHOULD BE CRUSHED"

i'd hate to hear what you think should be done to people who oppose your politics...


The whole point here is the town, for years - has said don't show up. On top of that - every year this stupid "event" has been happening the police are more and more involved.

The fact that people still show up - and 99% of it is solely so they can brag about going somewhere they are not welcome and posting the results is my point.

There is NO good reason for the "event." None. It is literally a bunch of idiots rolling into somewhere they KNOW they aren't welcome - and then acting proud at the results and not giving a flying fornication about the damage they are doing.

I don't like seeing any car crushed. But I also don't like seeing a group of people who are masquerading as true enthusiasts actively ruining and working against the community - both the automotive community and the local community of the town.

Being a true enthusiast is more than the car. It is the attitude, the respect, the maturity, effort, passion, and being a diplomat for the automotive community. 99% of the people that still go to H20i are missing the fundamental qualities that makes a true enthusiast.

I don't care if someone has different political views than I do. I have many friends with many different leanings. The separation between that - and this - is the ability to intelligently and respectfully convey those ideas. There is nothing intelligent or respectful about H20i.


"there is nothing intelligent or respectful about h20i"

the website is called speedhunters, not intelligence or respect hunters.

side note, are you the marmot guy that was on AZHT?


@herecomesthatguyagain Well, if the website is called "SPEEDhunters", that's all the more reason to NOT cover a bunch of morons in ridiculously slow shitboxes barely held together by zip ties crawling around at walking pace or hard parking "for the 'gram". Right?

So glad at least Paddy is still here to cover proper builds that get driven and put the "speed" back in "speedhunters". More of his contents please and less clapped out, useless, slow insta-junk.


Given Speedhunters is about celebrating the car culture - it makes no sense why they promote a bunch of dilly-dongs actively hurting the culture and community.

H20i isn't about car culture, it isn't about a gathering of enthusiasts. It is about a bunch of immature people traveling to a place they know doesn't want them there, and purposely causing havoc so they can post about their tickets/impounds like it is something worth bragging about. It is the low point of the car-centric universe. Speedhunters is better than this.

And , on your side note - of course I am. Who else would utilize "marmot."


"get off my lawn"


Carl Unit Steigerwald

Anyone know when these cars are being auctioned

Carl Unit Steigerwald

Anyone know when the cars are auctioned off?


On the other hand every one of those cars had violations...even at the curb they were driven with those violations. It is clear the the community doesn’t want this meet to happen. Why would these car owners choose to go knowing they were open to thousands of dollars of fees? I don’t know if making a statement is worth having to leave my car behind.


some people like to run the risk. lives like larry they said


Why some cars are jacked up on bricks?


too low to be parked on gravel


There are a few things to set straight.

First, all of the fees/fines issued go to the state of Maryland general fund. NONE of it goes to Ocean City.

Second, this is not a car show. It is willful and unlawful disobedience. What did you think would happen regarding the police? All of you Monday morning lawyers need to pay attention.

Third, the town makes very little of any Monday, so all of you saying that (beyond fines) that the town is getting lots of revenue, that is false. While a hotel might make some money on you, it has to put it back into the property when your neighbor destroys it. That includes the artwork swaps when the walls are damaged.

Finally, the town is playing hardball in preparation for next year. Legislation will be introduced that makes it a hate crime to attack police (like when you throw frozen water bottles at them) - that means it’s a felony at that point if you are caught. Good luck having a life after that. Additionally, with one of the state representatives witnessing the events both Friday and Saturday night, you can GUARANTEE that a curfew will be put into effect from dusk to dawn with zero tolerance. That means not only will you see very aggressive policing practices, but the locals are calling for the guard en mass to clear the streets. This means you can come and check in and run the risk of getting impounded and fines to death during the day, and very definate jail time at night. Note that when a curfew is in place, you won’t be allowed to be outside (even on the hotel property) at night. Zero will mean ZERO.

All of this amounts to the fact that there will be no H2oi as was enjoyed years ago. And, to all of those complaint that the same rules do not apply to the cruisers events, you are right. The event is sanctioned, and their cars conform to MD law. Further, most of the cruisers call it a day by 8 p.m., and they are not out in the middle of the street, drunk and shouting obscenities.

I hear they had fun in Canada recently - maybe that is the next stop.


'h2oi' Canada went pretty bad (they skipped the good years of h2oi and went straight to anarchy), and the organizers and IG account vanished shortly afterward.


Lol, there won't be a city wide curfew and nobody is calling in the national guard for a car show. I don't know how you manage to think the city doesn't make money from people buying up all the food and booze they can find for a few days. I also don't think you understand how hotels work, there is a reason they won't give you a room without taking your credit card number.


cant u sue them for misplacing the damn keys?
U had one job. Damn it


I get why ocean city have acted the way they have, its their right even if it is a little bit extreme but 'misplacing' car keys is not right, that isn't how to properly run a company.


Reading this, i feel no sympathy for ANYONE who lost their car in this. You KNEW how bad the law enforcement was going to why go and put yourself through this ? For likes on social media? Youre ignorant plain and simple. I understand why the city cracked down on things and dont blame them one bit! The damages to the city should go to the show founders that continue to bring the show back. While being an enthusiast its stuff like this that pisses me off.


I'm not coming back next year. They closed the bridges down Friday and Saturday night for no reason.


They knew the consequences... My friend decided not to go this year.. and pretty sure he lucked out because no way in hell he would of drove out of Maryland with a dump pipe exiting out the hood lol


H20i and lake20i are the shining examples of how not to do a meet. This article only further makes the case against this meet and will most likely sour the chances of any meets taking place in this area. Also for every 50 impounds, there may be one unjustified so let's not act like everyone is the victim here.