You may have heard of SpeedHooked (SPD HKD), a Pitstop facility in Porvoo, Finland run by auto enthusiasts Ronnie Colin and Tony Salminen. I’ve seen this place in Speedhunters a few times in the past, and it was great to come back for a visit recently.
Throughout the epidemic, there have been some incidents in Finland, but restrictions have kept many people at home. So these events never seemed like they did in pre-covid time. But with the lifting of restrictions, this has begun to change. If I need any proof of this, it was the first SPD HKD meet of 2022 – promoted under the slogan ‘Back at It’.
Leading up to the event, the social media channel was buzzing. People were bringing cars from as far away as Finland, many making their first road trip in two years. I, along with a few companions, jumped on the first ferry from Estonia in the morning, arriving early to shoot a few cars before the event started.
Every time I hear of an incoming car, I get excited, but a few hours later the floodgates open and these distinct exhaust notes give way to a full-on cacophony. The organizers were tasked with picking crop creams for parking in a designated area next to the SPD HKD garage, something that was difficult at times, when many amazing cars were trying to get into the venue.
I quickly stopped counting the number of familiar faces and fist-bump exchanges (shaking hands here is still uncomfortable for many), but I kept an eye on the nine cars I’ve shown in Speedhunter before.
For me, the best part of any car show is seeing how projects have progressed over the years. This restored Opel Kadett, which I spotlighted in 2020, looks similar at first glance, but on closer inspection it includes a new side skirt, an added splitter, modified bumper and an airlift performance suspension kit. The owner has probably stopped at least a dozen more changes.
There were many standouts for me, including a Bunkers Ford Escort, a Carbon-Kevlar overall wearing Subaru Impreza WRX STI Type R and a rare rear engine Skoda. But my absolute favorite was a track-spec Suzuki samurai with a rotary engine. I will see all these builds more closely in the very near future.
The number of visitors was a bit low when it started to rain, but it just made it easier to take a clear picture, so I wasn’t complaining.
The meet had no theme and everyone was welcome, which is the best scene for me because I love everything a little bit. A hot rod next to a stationary meter does not bother me in the slightest; This is how it should be when everyone and all autonomous tastes are respected.
Also check out the General Visitor Area – there are really many car lovers in Finland.
For me SPD was the main takeaway from HKD: the long dark winter in Northern Europe may make you feel a bit depressed, but the sooner you introduce yourself and spend a day with like-minded people, the better you will feel instantly. “It’s good to be back.” Ronnie and many of his friends were chanting throughout the ceremony, and I couldn’t agree more with them.