VW Car Show Outtake: Small Show, Small Cars

I’m a bit of a reluctant car show participant.

But, when I was at a local cruise night with my VW, I got handed a flyer for a local VW show during an upcoming Sunday afternoon. It was only 20 minutes from my house, and since it turned out to be a beautiful cool sunny day I decided to go for the drive to check it out.

My 1963 VW had been wrapped in it’s car cover for a few weeks while we were on vacation, so I unwrapped it and washed the worst of the dust and cobwebs off. That was the extent of my pre-show prep.

Arriving at the show I drove up to the organizer’s tent.  A very nice lady checked me in, thanked me for coming, and gave me a little gift bag.  Classy!

About 40 Volkswagens attended, and it wasn’t just Beetles either.  Here we see a Rabbit pickup, and a nice Type 3 sedan with EMPI (??) wheels in the middle.  Also there were a surprising number of Westfalia Buses, mostly the 1968-1979 Bay Window type.  I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a bus someday, but there are a few issues:

First of all they are eye wateringly expensive.  In the Toronto area $10,000 will buy an incomplete and/or hopelessly rusty project, and Westys in good condition fetch over $20,000.  If you can even find one to fetch.

Second, I’m not sure I’m the right kind of guy for this.  I’m a 50 year old married dad, with teenagers and a professional job and responsibilities.  As good as it sounds, I am not about to kick off for six months to surf and eat fish tacos in Baja Mexico.  If you look at bus videos on YouTube those people all seem pretty hip, and if you’ve met me in person at a CC event you will know, I’m pretty straight laced and not hip at all.

Maybe later in life, perhaps all those hip youngsters will grow into a set of responsibilities of their own, and not need their buses just around the time we become empty nesters?


I got a kick out of this, it reminded me of Ed Stembridge’s former Herbie.


Then there was this. I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of hearing 1950’s music over a PA system. I have nothing against Buddy Holly, but that part of my brain is now full.


As we have seen elsewhere at CC, it is considered indelicate to criticize others’ valid VW choices but just for fun let’s check off the currently fashionable VW accessory cliches seen here:

Lowered – check
Patina – check
Swamp Cooler – check
Roof Rack – check
Two Tone Paint – check
Vintage luggage in the roof rack – check
Vintage sports equipment in the roof rack – check

That ol’ fella walking by looks pretty depressed about this state of affairs. I should have told him to cheer up, at least we didn’t check additional chrome, fender skirts, Porsche wheels or surfboard.


And that brings us to the most enjoyable part of the event.  Several casual attendees approached me and said “Is this your car?  Now that’s what I remember a VW looking like!” As you may know my goal is to present what a normal daily driven Beetle would have looked like in the mid 60’s.  So that means zero accessories, with some allowance for scratches, dents and dirt.  That allows me to enjoy the car without being too concerned about keeping it pristine, and it’s very gratifying that other people seemed to appreciate this approach as well.

After about an hour and a half I’d had sufficient, and we had family coming over for dinner so I headed out. The nice lady at the entrance tent protested that the door prize draw was about to happen, but I told her I’d already lost my ticket.

I stopped at a farmers market on the way back, and got my own prize: a raspberry-peach pie and a half dozen ears of freshly picked corn. Yum.

One of my co-workers attended the 1800 car Moparfest on the same weekend, so his tolerance for single marque car shows is obviously far greater than mine.  How many hours can you take?