The past few weeks have been good ones around here if you like German cars. And I do. The car show season is packed into about five months in these parts, and some weekends are stacked two or three deep with events you would like to attend. Just a short distance away is an event called the VW Cult Classic. As the name implies, it is predominantly a VW show and predominantly newer water-cooled vehicles. Cool stuff, but not exactly my sweet spot. However, the show has grown to include a healthy contingent of air-cooled vehicles and a healthy contingent of other German Marques.
VWs from the Rabbit-based mini pickups to new R32s numbered over 100 in the show, and that again in the parking lot. Sciroccos and Corrados and Jettas and Golfs made for an interesting stroll through the show field. There is some serious money tied up in these cars, but all i could think about is how many old relics i could get for the price of one of the cold air intake systems on display. For some reason, wherever I find lots of modern VWs, I find lots of modern Audis. I am not aware of many Audi shows, so perhaps this is just an efficient strategy. There were modern Audis from mild to wild. There was also an “Other European Cars” class which turned out to be almost all German. There were a couple of Porsches (914 and 944), an Opel, and a nice Mercedes 190E 16V. I ended up talking with the owner for a while and got a few tips for my own stalled 16V project. Eventually, though, I headed off to the air-cooled section. It was not a big section given the name of the show, but it was diverse. A Squareback, a nice super beetle, a Ghia, a few Westphalias, a dune buggy, etc. Several had been at the Oil Drippers show a few weeks earlier. Something you don’t see very much in the east is a Sand Rail. I was left wondering where the owner has to go to enjoy that vehicle!
Fast forward to the Deutsche Classic show. This is a show for all German Marques that has steadily grown over the years. I went to the first 3 or 4, and then missed a few. This year I drove out in a gaggle of Porsches and BMWs. This show is skewed toward older stuff, so I was running around suffering from a combination of whiplash and ADHD. Interesting cars were everywhere. A real Porsche RSK Spyder was a highlight. Seeing this car outside of a museum was priceless (as is the car). David and Jeff from the ErsteGruppe had cars on hand in the Porsche area as well. The VW area was split into cars and buses. Lots of nice Beetles were on hand including some museum-quality restorations and survivors. They were complemented by square backs and fastbacks and a few notches. A couple of Things and beach buggies spiced up the section as well. A couple of tempting for-sale signs were present, but I moved on to the buses. Unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately, there were no for-sale signs in this section. There was a collection of stellar buses. 1967 and earlier are my favorite as regular readers will know, and the 1965 21 window was spectacular. If it was for sale, it would have been house money given the recent Barrett-Jackson craziness. However, even the later buses in this group were nicely done. Mercedes was well represented at the show with another highlight, a nice gull wing that you could get up close and personal with. It was complemented by some 190s, a couple of nice 230SLs, and some nice early 70s sedans. The survivor 250E with 46k miles was particularly stunning to me.
Audis were not a big presence, but there was a very nice TT on hand. There was a nice group of Opels dominated by GTs, but including a Record wagon and a Manta. The BMW section was highly varied. It went from Chris’ survivor 2002 Bauer Targa, to a carbon fiber everything E92. Most interesting (to me anyway) was the 2002 SCCA Rally car. More on that in a future post. John brought his immaculate black square light tii which hopefully won the class. Off on the side next to his vendor stall was Todd’s monster E30 M3. I would have a hard time voting for a winner if it was in the BMW class. All in all, a great show for fans of the German Marques, and a great way to spend a Saturday. With these two shows within weeks, I am happily in the midst of the German marque immersion experience. The only thing I am missing is time to make all of the upcoming shows. Oh yeah, and the winning lottery numbers so that I can buy a bus.