We barley managed to get over the chaos from H2Oi when we realized that the 4th annual Oktoberfest in Big Bear Lake, CA was next on the list. Seeing how no one needs to twist our arm to get us up a mountain road, we happily awoke Saturday morning ready for the day’s festivities.
Arriving in the small lake town of Big Bear we were greeted by a slew of log cabin styled stores and slammed VAG cars. We caught up with event organizer, Bernie M Chacon III (of Dub-Nation) to get the scoop on what Oktoberfest is and where it’s going.
Oktoberfest organizers worked closely with the city of Big Bear to help make this show bigger and better. This year’s host hotel, Northwoods Resort, was able to make 100 of their 140 rooms available to participants and successfully sold every single one of them.
Oktoberfest was created to eliminate the hardcore competition vibe and focus on making attendance and participation as fun as possible. The mission of Oktoberfest is to make it the premier vacation car enthusiast getaway. The event goes as far as throwing a “prom night” in the hotel ballroom, bringing another fun element to a weekend packed with great cars and people.
Title sponsors, Fifteen52 and HRE Wheels, decided to tease a few of their new wheels at the show. Fifteen52 brought out a set of their illusive 17” Tarmacs along with a few examples of their new three-piece wheels like the teardrop, tarmac and concave tarmac.
HRE brought out a sample of their new Flow Form series wheels and a newest edition to their Vintage Series wheels the 935, finished in matte black. Get ready to see even more this coming SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV.
The parking lot offered everything one has come to expect from a VAG themed show. Air bagged late models and even several track spec cars looking to carve into the nearby mountain roads.
We stumbled across plenty of well executed cars and plenty of SUV wheel tucking late models looking to stand out from the crows. We saw everything from older land rover wheels to X5 wheels and even GLK wheels on a Mk5.
Judging for this years show involved an interesting twist. Sponsors and vendors would be the official judges, awarding cars and owners for their projects and participation. While the parking lot was jam packed with cars for judges to pick over there were plenty more filling the parking lots and side streets near the venue. Judges had free reign to walk the town and select cars they felt best represented their award. HRE awarded eurotuner feature car Brian McCauley’s Mk3 Cabrio for best fitment. Brian was awarded a 19” Vintage Series 505 wheel face as his trophy. Other awards included best use of stickers, best t-shirt, people stuffer challenge and a 2-liter boot drinking competition.
We can highly suggest marking this show on your “must attend” calendar. Not only for seeing some of the west coasts best cars but to just cut loose. And rub shoulders in a community that has as much fun partying as they do working in their garages. This show is perfect rest from the serious shows taking place across the nation; hell, if you can’t make H2Oi, Oktoberfest is a perfect substitute.