There you are, surrounded by models from Maxim, FHM, and Playboy, all wearing butt-floss bikini bottoms. The smell of burning rubber permeates the air and, out of a fog of custom-car exhaust, Maxim "Top 10 Hottie" Martina Andrews materializes. She leans over your table with her firm, perfectly symmetrical breasts, and asks for a sip of your beer . . . Stop pinching yourself. It ain't gonna happen. But fans of the fast and the firm can see some of their dreams come true at Hot Import Nights, the king of car-culture shows, which roars into Cricket Pavilion on Saturday, October 15.
The urban extravaganza features more than 500 show vehicles, from macked-out Mazdas to souped-up Supras; meet-and-greets with Andrews, FHM model Danielle Gamba, and the Glow-Go Dancers; a stunt-bike showcase featuring Las Vegas daredevil Kane One; performances by hip-hop artist Novelty and Cuban reggaeton sensation Pit Bull; and two separate "drifting" exhibitions, wherein full-size cars and Bondurant super karts take sharp curves at high speeds to cause a controlled tandem glide.
HIN has put on events all over the world since 1998, and founder Mike Munar says the shows regularly draw 15,000 to 20,000 people. "It's like Studio 54 meets a car show," he says. "It's the Disneyland of automotive events."
Hot Import Nights
Go get revved up from 4 to 11 p.m. at the Pavilion, 2121 North 83rd Avenue. Tickets cost $25. Visit www.hotimportnights.com. -- Niki D'Andrea
Hip to be square
The subjects of the "Box People at Burning Man" art exhibition look pretty naked -- most sporting only sleeves of tattoos or skimpy bikini tops -- but they're actually way overdressed. The annual, weeklong Burning Man festival takes place during the summer in the Nevada desert, where it's almost too hot to be alive, let alone wear a frigging leather face mask. Nevertheless, at least one of the festival attendees pictured in the exhibit donned bondage gear and leg warmers. Somehow, local artists John Romero and Bill Tonnesen found her out of 40,000 other funky festivalgoers and posed her in a hot steel box. See what other chic freaks they filmed and photographed at the exhibit's opening reception, taking place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, October 13, at Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art, 7160 Main Street in Scottsdale. Admission to the reception is free, but RSVPs are required. The 18-and-over exhibit continues through November 7, with viewing by appointment only. Call 480-968-7895. -- Niki D'Andrea
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FOMA at the mouth
Rummage sales are the bomb, filled to the brim with closet castoffs and other dusty gems just waiting to be rediscovered and re-loved. But, as the old saying goes, one man's shit is another's Shinola, and the trash-to-treasure ratio leans heavily toward the good stuff at the Friends of Mexican Art Mega-Rummage Sale on Friday and Saturday, October 14 and 15. The FOMA fundraiser features scads of vintage antiques, collectibles, and curios, plus hard-to-find objets d'art, and it's more like a massive estate sale than your run-of-the-mill garage hawk. We highly recommend early arrival. Daily hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The location is 7125 North 19th Avenue. Admission is free. Call 480-275-5746. -- Clay McNear
It sounds like a double-blade razor or the latest push-up bra, but to those in the know, the V-Twin is the mutha of all motorcycle engines -- a two-cylinder powerhouse that's responsible for the throaty roar of a Harley engine. You'll see the Twin and other hot chopper paraphernalia at the Easyriders '05 V-Twin Bike Show on Saturday, October 15, at Phoenix Civic Plaza, 111 North Third Street. Beer, tattoos, sexy centerfolds -- the show is loaded with everything a hog-lover needs to survive. Local builders square off in the custom chopper contest, with additional displays by customizer Eddie Trotta and original Monster Garage crew member Billy Lane. And musical headliner Blackberry Smoke practically oozes whiskey and cigarettes as it belts out tunes. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission ranges from $7 to $16. Call 800-962-9857. -- Wynter Holden