A well-established part of the regular Euro scene in Southern California, SoCal Euro has gone from a small event in an office parking lot to a major event at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego in a few, short years.
Organized by Lon Mok and his merry band of ne'er-do-wells, the show pulls in plenty of industry support and includes a high-octane autocross that quickly descended into an impromptu drift session as the more powerful rear-wheel drive cars took to the track.
The beauty of the Qualcomm lot is it's size, which has allowed SoCal Euro to expand as needed. And with the organizers claiming almost 1000 cars on-site, the large space allowed visitors to stroll easily between the assembled groups of cars and vendor booths.
What singles SoCal out from the rest of the local shows is it's a genuine Euro gathering. In one corner we found a collection of older Volvo wagons, in another was a crowd of Mercedes, we also saw air-cooled VWs and a posse of Mini owners. Of course, the stalwarts were there in force, with VW, Audi and BMW being represented en masse.
Another cool aspect of its southern location is the ease with which Mexican enthusiasts can join the fray. West Side Mexico was particularly well represented, bringing a host of Golfs, Jettas and Caddys across the border. In previous years, they've been known to bring the occasional Spanish Seat as well, just to whet our appetites.
With great weather, good freeway access and free entry, there's nothing bad to say about SoCal Euro. Plenty of people already know about it, but if you're one of those who've never made the pilgrimage, make it a resolution to hit it in 2010.