H2-No: The Show That Refused To Die

Photography by Brandon Cody

It seems as if every enthusiast in the car community has heard of the legendary H2O International, or H2Oi. What began 20 years ago as “the laid back 2 day Volkswagen/Audi event”, an annual gathering of water-cooled Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) cars, has morphed into an entirely different animal.

Each year towards the end of September, enthusiasts descended upon Ocean City, Maryland, some up to a week before the official show was held in Worcester County, MD. Eventually, some stopped attending the official show altogether and just hung out in OCMD cruising the strip and hanging out in the large parking lots empty for the off-season.

As you can probably guess, an empty resort town with a long highway through its middle and plenty of spots for meets began to attract more than just the original VAG crew. The word spread about this unique event and Ocean City began to fill with enthusiasts of all kinds. It became an official end-of-the-season party, and any party of this size was bound to get out of hand – and get out of hand it did. At least one bad crash is inevitable each year, along with numerous burnouts, and several run-ins with police.

It wasn’t long after the event gained popularity that local law enforcement began cracking down hard, even to the point of encouraging the H2Oi show organizers to cancel the event in 2017. After a great deal of pushback from the city, the official H2Oi show was moved to Atlantic City for 2018. This did not sit well with the internet, and many vowed to return to OCMD anyway to enjoy their long weekend of annual shenanigans. No one knew what to expect going into this year; would the event be successfully relocated? Or would H2Oi live on as this immortal gathering of unapologetic lunatics?

I will let this crunched-up Mustang answer that question for you.

Come that fateful Friday, while the official event warmed up for the H2Oi diehards in Atlantic City, sure enough OCMD awoke to the sounds of modified cars cruising the strip. The internet was flooded with photos and video of meets, cruising, burnouts, and the mayhem that can only come with H2Oi.

Speaking of mayhem, this creation that began its life as a ‘67 Mustang made the trek from Ontario, Canada. Nope, not on a trailer, but driven 1,100 kilometers by its owner @mustangkyle. As I try to describe this fabrication behemoth over the shrieks of my Mustang purist coworker, I realized as controversial as this monster is, it represents the theme of H2Oi – anything goes.

So for a lack of words, here are thousands worth in the gallery of H2Oi 2018. Enjoy!