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Is Oahu a terrible place to own a sports car?

Discussion in 'Hawaii' started by Shotgun Styles, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Shotgun Styles

    Shotgun Styles Formula Junior

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    #1 Shotgun Styles, Oct 7, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
    I'm born and raised in Cali, both north and south. Outside of southern Europe, California is probably the best place on planet Earth to own a sports car. Tons of gorgeous, scenic, well maintained tarmac of every type. You want coastal drives? Got it. Twisty mountain roads? Done. Long high speed straights? Point and shoot.

    But I've been seriously considering Hawaii. Ahead of my trip there next year, I've talked to friends about it. Granted, most of them are Army guys like me, so their experiences are skewed in that direction. Almost to a man they've warned me off living there. They're car guys too and say it's a terrible place to own a fast car.

    1) Ridiculous 35 mph speed limits on the highway.

    2) Tons of traffic.

    3) Extremely slow drivers outside of urban areas

    4) Poorly maintained scenic roads

    5) Very aggressive police

    6) Local backlash against drifters that will result in scenic road speed bumps


    You guys live there, own sports cars, and know the territory. How much of this is real, and what are your actual experiences owning a Ferrari on the island. Can you really enjoy a car like this between 5 - 35 MPH?
     
  2. Hannibal308

    Hannibal308 Formula 3
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    Is this a joke? A trick question?
     
  3. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

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    You need a bike so you can go into the breakdown lane.

     
  4. marcw

    marcw Rookie

    Feb 22, 2006
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    I lived on Oahu. Very Very Very Very frustrating! The slowest drivers in the country. The H1 freeway actually has minimum speed signs, and HPD regularly gives tickets to people going too slow. Very high auto density, lots of congestion. When Hawaiian drivers visit the "mainland", they are too scared to drive on the freeways because they are too fast. If you move to HI, get a golf kart, moped, or beater Miata.
     
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  5. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #5 ryalex, Oct 8, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
    Lived 4 years on Oahu... IMO anything more than a 355 (or even 328) there is wasted power and an exercise in frustration. For Porsche, a Boxster S.

    Further, it is almost certain to get rusty unless you stay only in certain parts of the island. I lived on the windward side and there would be a constant film of salt and condensation on my old car. And even if body panels are galvanized, once they get scratched they will rust instantly.

    That said, a convertible to cruise in along Kam highway is very fun. So you should do at least that. But focus on something older than a Portofino!
     
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  6. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

    Feb 1, 2011
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    It's the exact opposite. A faster car will accelerate in a shorter distance. Better yet an open class bike. High speed blasts are best done at night, after the like minded have gone to bed. Sometimes you can get the H2 all to yourself.

    How fast can you go on the 405 north out of the basin on a weeknight ?
     
  7. Shotgun Styles

    Shotgun Styles Formula Junior

    Apr 11, 2018
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    There is no comparison.

    Lived in Cali nearly my whole life. Have been over 150 mph multiple times in So Cal and never ticketed for it. If you know how to speed (i.e. where the common traps are) and are a little lucky, you can use California Interstates like a raceway. There's just too much road and not nearly enough cops. The guys who get caught are these idiot kids trying to drift up on Mulholland. Or riding their motorcycles down surface streets with one wheel in the air. Or, notoriously, trying to smoke tires on their way out of Cars and Coffee.

    As I said in the OP, outside of southern Europe which has both the Cote d'Azur and the effing Alps, there's not a better place to own a sports car that The Golden State. You can drive fast, you can drive scenic, it would take years to see it all, and the state is full of hot girls who love cars.

    But I don't expect Hawaii to be California. Just a decent place to drive, because I love to drive.
     
  8. WPOZZZ

    WPOZZZ F1 Rookie

    Aug 22, 2012
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    Exactly! Late night is when I do my speed runs.
     
  9. nmcclure

    nmcclure Karting
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    You'll hate it. An open top anything that you enjoy going under 50 in is what I would focus on, whether that is a boxster Spyder or defender 110. I too, am on the windward side. I rinse salt off our windows every few days. The roads are pretty rough, and depending on the season stay wet for extended periods. Traffic is like one giant carousel, too many tourists wanting to look and stop and try to find that 1 magic parking spot. That said, I'm all in for a track if someone wants to spearhead that project, I'll gladly write a check.
     
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  10. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Yeah that's a good point and if you get a convertible: it should be one that the top goes up easily since there are sides of the islands were it rains about every 3 hours, if only for 2 mins at a time. ️

    Oh and if you park at the beach anything not battened down or locked will probably be "borrowed" while you are gone. Old sunglasses, shoes, CDs (in the 90s my friends repeatedly had their CD cases stolen), stereos, etc. Hell if you left a can of Axe spray that would be gone too.

    Living in Hawaii ruins part of the rest of your life. Because you are unlikely to ever live somewhere more beautiful, you will meet some of the friendliest people who will immediately open their homes to you and treat you like family (at least that was my experience), and you will miss something about it every day for the rest of your life. On the other hand it is relatively difficult to make money there, the cost of living is eye watering, the public education system is weak, if you have to go to Honolulu for everything you will wonder why the hell all of these people moved into this one corner of the island and apparently all want to drive at the same time, and for the most part people are not preoccupied with getting something done right now.

    By the end of our time there my wife and I were trying to decide between moving to Manhattan and Metro Boston because we wanted to be in the rush of "productive society" for a bit. And yet here I am 15 years later wistfully listening to white sandy beach (live version) by israel kamakawiwo'ole.
     
  11. Shotgun Styles

    Shotgun Styles Formula Junior

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    Thank you all for your responses. It's been an education. Whatever I rent to drive when I'm on the island next year will get to see plenty of miles. But it sounds very much like it's more a place to visit more than to live. Vegas, for example, is fun for a couple days, but after that it just gets ugly.

    I love California, and I guess I'm never gonna find a place that can top it.
     
  12. jlonmark

    jlonmark F1 Rookie

    Mar 29, 2005
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    I think Honolulu is the only island with a highway. The big island was good to drive on, but there are only 2 lane roads, sometimes 4 lanes. I did a lot of passing. Same thing here in SoCal. People with AMG Benzs, ///M BMWs, Ferraris, Lambos, Turbo Porsches, and Bugattis by the dozens! Yeah, they look great cruising in traffic up the 405. Mind you I have had most of those, and my fav is a 356 Porsche. You can drive the hell out of it most of the time, not get arrested and it feels like you're driving fast.
     
  13. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

    Feb 1, 2011
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    Don't hold your breath on a track. The local LUO requires racetracks to be on commercial property. IMX or I2 with a CUP = $100,000,000.00 for 100 acres. Also, the State/County will be tapped out for years with their bottomless pit called rail.

    The Leeward side of Oahu is quite dry.
     
  14. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
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    I lived in Kona on the Big Island and still own property there. It was a very frustrating time, and I finally left and I will not ever return to that crap hole
    again. Traffic is stupid, roads a mess, and the people and their ethics are not liked very well by me. My wife stayed.
     
  15. Bob in Makiki

    Bob in Makiki Karting
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    May 30, 2017
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    Lots of good advice above. It is a very personal decision -- some people love it here, others don't. I have lived here for 30+ years and probably could not live anywhere else. A lot of folks first live in Hawaii while in the military. Many of them don't like it. On the other hand, half the people on our street were retired military who fell in love with the place when they were posted here. I doubt any of us can predict how you will feel about the place. One thing I have noticed: if you enjoy anything in the water (sailing, surfing, scuba, anything) then the islands feel expansive. If you don't, they feel small and limiting.

    I have a ragtop Miata and a 360 Spider. I think Oahu is a great place for a convertible. I have no problems driving the 360, it is parking it that is a worry for me. The Miata goes anywhere and is a good choice for the islands, I think.

    Anyway, I think you will need to come and see for yourself. And talk to people that live here, see how you like the people. It is the people of Hawaii that keep me here, even more than the beauty of the place -- the wonderful diversity and warmth of the people.
     
  16. 808Forza

    808Forza Formula Junior
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    Reading how much you love Cali tells me Hawaii is not for you.
    I'm originally from NYC and miss the long impromptu drives out of the city, particularly in the fall when the leaves change color.
    I'm not much of a water person, however love the scenery.
    If there is one thing I miss the most, it is having a racetrack to go to. Of course, I live on Oahu. If you live on any other island, you'd have a track to go to, go figure.
    I live on the lesser dense area therefore my daily commute is opposite of heavy traffic flow, so traffic is not a concern and I top speeds greater than 3 digits on a daily basis. The roads on the side I live have all been repaved of recent, so no complaints here as well.
    To be able to drive spiritedly, you will need to know where the police set traps and also know how to identify the unmarked ones. Speeds of 180 is possible, just need to know where and when.
    Getting opinions from many of the young military is not the greatest. Many live in housing in not desireable areas and cost of living makes it costly to enjoy yourself here.
    Be prepared for horrible tight parking lots and people unaware of the left passing lane rule.
    Within a year you'll know if it's for you or not
    As a few stated here, it's really the people and way of life that keeps us here. You'll purchase a car privately from a local, next thing you know, you're having dinner with their family and made lifelong friends.
     
  17. F355steve

    F355steve Formula 3
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    There is a lot of good advice here. I had my F355 for 3.5 years in Seattle before moving to Oahu and now have had it 3.5 years on Oahu.

    Pretty much everything stated above about drivers, roads and lack of car culture is true. It is maddening at points. My Mini Cooper S is perfect for Honolulu, my F355 makes no sense here. I have adjusted expectations and found joy in just cruising and enjoying ownership of the car.

    Relocating to Hawaii from mainland is polarizing. You love it or hate it.

    To actually answer the title question, is Oahu a terrible place to own a sports car?.... Yes, it is. That is because you are comparing it to California. I have been to much worse places to own one..... Bangkok, Manila.......
     
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  18. WPOZZZ

    WPOZZZ F1 Rookie

    Aug 22, 2012
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    When you buy a car in Hawaii, the directional indicators are an option. Most don't order that option.
     
  19. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #19 ryalex, Oct 22, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
    I lived off of Kam Highway. Which is visually Heaven, but with any traffic is a 35mph, [almost] no passing Hell. I got one ticket there, I think it was for 40mph.

    I still think older Boxster S is probably the best balance of nimble, convertible fun without being so fast that you feel annoyed all the time. When my mom came out (sadly, she went there for a while after we had already moved back to the mainland) she got herself an original Miata.

    Image Unavailable, Please Login

    Time lapse: jump ~2 mins for the beginning of the area I mentioned.
     
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  20. Shotgun Styles

    Shotgun Styles Formula Junior

    Apr 11, 2018
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    This was pretty awesome, for a variety of reasons. His captions being one of them.

    It looks like he drove through 4 time zones and all 4 seasons. That's a lot of weather changes for a single drive. I doubt I could get used to that.
     
  21. spicedriver

    spicedriver Formula 3

    Feb 1, 2011
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    The Boxster S is a pretty fast car. And if not deliberately detuned, the Spyders would be faster than Porsche's flagship.
     
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