Car Culture In Kailua, Hawaii

Think that Hawaiians drive Jeep Wranglers and Mustang Convertibles? Think again - local Hawaiians have a strong culture to be proud of.

The Tourist Are The Ones In The Convertibles

How do you spot a tourist in Hawaii?  Hint: look for a Ford Mustang convertible.  You won’t spot a local in a one though because convertibles are not ideal for Hawaii for two reasons: one it’s super hot here and two you can’t fit your surfboard on top. How do you spot a local in Kailua, Hawaii?  Look for a Toyota pickup truck with some sort of board attached on top. It’s un-freaking believable the amount of Toyota Pickups here in Kailua, Hawaii.

Toyota truck with a couple boards in the back

Another thing that shocked me is the super strong car culture in Kailua.  Everyone has a cool car, and everyone has multiple cool cars.  Most people work on their cars themselves, and there is a lack of Toyota Corollas (that’s a great thing). Once you start walking around Kailua you too will feel the car culture is strong.

Can you spot all four Mustang Convertibles?

Where the hell is Kailua, Hawaii?

That’s what I first said when my wife picked it out as a place to stay for a couple days on our honeymoon.  But when she told me that President Obama comes here when he visits, I knew she was on to something good.  Kailua is a small town Northeast of Waikiki.  And Southeast of the big wave (pipeline) North shore.  And it is home to one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen in my life. Life is slow and life is good. People are happy and they love cars.  This is definitely something I could get used to.

Does it get any better than this?

The Top Cars of Kailua

  • Trucks, trucks everywhere. And a bunch of other really cool cars.
I guess these things just don’t die
You can rust me, but you can’t kill me!
Most trucks in Kailua had these racks to hold surfboards, kayaks, etc
  • Classics.  Like this Cheverolet Bel Air wagon built by my neighbor Jerry (thanks for the hospitality Jerry!).  He even painted the car and did all the body work himself.
Chevrolet Bel Air Wagon
Beautiful interior and I can’t get enough of the color blue

1971 Mustang
1971 Mustang
  • Volvo’s – A Volvo wagon with a roof rack gets me every time!
Volvo. Wagon. Hawaii. Canoe. Dreamy.
Volvo’s are so important Hawaiins keep them under car covers
  • Electric Vehicles

Nissan Leafs had a heavy presence in Hawaii.  With Tesla’s coming in a strong second.  Your license plate says “electric vehicle” – so your neighbors know that you are green.

This particular owner had TWO Nissan Leafs!

Free electric charging stations everywhere.
  • 90s Toyota Beaters that just won’t die
How do you make a Toyota Corolla wagon cool? Throw a surfboard on top!
Plenty of 4Runners on the shores of Kailua
This defines car culture here in Oahu, Hawaii