It's 3am on a Friday morning and we're having trouble sleeping. Project TDI and Silverstone have been polished, oil topped off and fuel tanks filled. But for some reason, shuteye seemed next to impossible. It was probably because we'd spent too long on the West Coast without a Euro car show to enjoy. That was until the third annual Wüstefest arrived on the first weekend of June. For three days, we'd be jam-packed into a caravan from several different states heading to Las Vegas, where we'd be treated to a car show, barbecue and, of course, Sin City mischief.
Wüstefest isn't your typical car show. You don't simply roll up to the venue, register and get judged. It's a weekend extravaganza. You bring your friends and enjoy the hotspots Vegas has to offer. Add an up-and-coming European event into the mix and it's a recipe for good times! Best of all, Wüstefest is free. The only expenses were food and gas. Lodging was generously discounted, thanks to host hotel Palace Station. Several sponsors also reduced the costs of the event, so thanks to DC Performance, NGP Racing, Integrated Engineering, Performance Café, German Auto Parts, Genesis Autosport and Black Sheep Performance. After all, everybody's on a budget these days!
After staying up all night, we left for Vegas on Friday morning with the Southern California caravan. Several other caravans collided that afternoon at the hotel, where more than 450 Euros arrived to check out the cars and celebrate. Every participant received an information packet detailing the schedule and directions to each event. You could pick and choose your activities or attend each of them.
Recognition goes to the brave souls who traveled farthest, including a group from Canada, as well as WA, OR, CO, UT and NorCal.
The big show took place on Saturday, with a new location at the local YMCA. The judging was "people's choice" with 1000 ballets scored and tallied. Two other competitions were taking place, including an air-ride challenge as well as "King of the Desert", which awarded the top-ten show cars. A list of the winners can be found on the Wüstefest website.
That night, the award ceremony took place in the hotel and was one for the record book. The venue reached capacity and the atmosphere was similar to a college frat rally. Loud cheers, live DJ, dancing and fountains of alcohol - it was the perfect blend of fun for a weekend in Vegas, and sharing with fellow Euro enthusiasts made it so much sweeter.
Other activities to enjoy over the weekend included parties at Treasure Island and the Luxor resort casinos, a group drive to Mount Charleston plus a free barbecue at Black Sheep Performance at Valley View Blvd on Sunday.
Wüstefest had all the right ingredients and fortunately we had the winter to prepare for three days of non-stop fun without sleep. Time to rest again until next year!
FYI: For our extended Wustefest 2009 photo gallery, visit eurotuner.com and click on Event Coverage in the menu bar