This entry is a bit late. I find it difficult to take the time to write articles when I’m focusing on creating YouTube videos. Coincidentally, I find it difficult to DO the things worth sharing if I’m making YouTube videos. It’s all quite time-consuming! I’ve taken a break from video creation so that I can do more things with the car. My current project is a ham radio contest rover build. Read about my progress HERE. I’m getting ahead of myself. This entry about a few VW and European car shows that I attended recently. Still, the shows and my communications build are somewhat related…
I attended VAG Fair in York Country, PA in 2021. I didn’t write about it; but I did create a video that shows my preparation technique and some show tips. Here’s a quick photo, too. What’s going on here? Well, many show car owners choose some sort of theme for their display. It garners extra show points and lets viewers imagine a few things about the car or its owner. Some cars go for a travel theme, maybe a Marvel motif, a “new car at the dealer” look, vintage, off-road, etc. The limit is only one’s imagination… and perhaps their budget. I’ve been pleased with my car’s modest performance modifications, but it seems that nearly everyone has them. However, my communications suite is another feat of which I’m proud. Showing as a communications exhibit also sets my car apart from the rest, perhaps in a bit of a nutty way. VAG Fair was my first attempt at a “mobile comms” display. It was more of a success than I expected, especially when in light of winning 1st Place in my show category!
I targeted a pair of indoor winter shows in 2022. My daughter, Diana, had shown her 2015 Launch Edition Golf at “Winter Volksfest” in Raleigh, NC in 2021. She wanted to go again in 2022. So, we turned it into a dual-entry and converged on Raleigh from our separate locations. As luck would have it, Southeast Euro Motorsports had also launched their inaugural “Eurofest Raleigh,” which took place the following day at the same venue. Both of these events took place indoors. Winter Volksfest has a heavy lean toward vintage aircooled Volkswagens. But there’s a growing contingent of modern VWs beginning to appear at this show. Here is Diana’s car the following day at Eurofest.
We showed our cars side-by-side on Saturday. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of them together. The forecast called for heavy rain that evening and Sunday. Thankfully, event organizers allowed show cars to enter and setup the day before each event. So, we only needed to move our cars into new positions, all without going outside and getting them wet, and then get a ride to our hotel. My wife had come down to be our ride and hang out for the evening. Diana had made friends with a group called “The Lost Boys” and was invited to display her car near them. The photo above shows that her position was almost a place of honor that was set aside by herself, but not far from the other cars. Note that she has the axle-back exhaust from my original Baun Performance setup. It makes her car look a bit like a two-door GTI, which she enjoys.
It’s tough to see in the top photo, but I showed with my comms exhibit again. I took it just a tad further by adding additional signs and placards. You may recall that I travel with a refrigerator. Truth be told, I also do a lot of my ham radio activity with the fridge installed so that I can have refreshments with me throughout a long session. Why not show the car as it would be for a Parks on the Air activation? I showed the car with the fridge and new business cards. Diana told me that the judges looked at my car and said, “I don’t even know how to judge this.” HAHA! They must’ve figured it out because I was given a Top 20 award for the show! This photo shows a micro-celebrity within VW circles: Charles, the Humble Mechanic. He approved of my installation methods.
Sunday’s Eurofest had a different vibe because it featured all European makes. There were fewer vintage VWs at this show, but nearly all European makes available in the U.S. were represented. I didn’t see any Fiats or MINIs, but nearly everything else was represented. Remember my comment about themes and displays? Well, check out this GTI that’s been lifted and shod with all-terrain tires. I might have made it across some problem areas during my off-pavement POTA activation if I was setup this way! I swear: I wasn’t far from making this decision just to change up my drive a little. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that it would cost ~$1500+ to downgrade my brakes to clear smaller wheels and then buy the 16-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, all to gain just two inches of clearance. No thanks! This driver’s car came stock with the smaller brake package; so, the conversion was much cheaper on his car.
Feel free to check out this extended video from Volksfest. It’s long, but gives you a view of what it may have been like to walk thru the show cars in person. What’s next? My car, my YouTube channel, and even this blog go where my interests move. These days, that’s been leaning more and more into ham radio. My communications setup has expanded to nearly ridiculous levels. I will take that to my next VW show, Eurofest at Maggie Valley, NC. I also hope to drive Tail of the Dragon with the full setup. I like getting rolling photos of the car. A drive down “the Tail” is a great way to accomplish that.