Winter is over! Well, at least on the West Coast. That can only mean one thing in our eyes, car show season is here. We finally have an excuse to wake up on a Saturday morning with the warm sun greeting us, rather than cold darkness, and head to a local car show - of which there are plenty to choose.
This year, California Car Cover in Chatsworth, CA got the ball rolling with their summer long feature car shows to be held each month. They chose wisely when they selected our favorite marque - European. Even local V.A.G. lovers like Dub-Nation got in on the action and put the word out to their loyal euro-heads to turn up in force. And turn up they did. Filling every conceivable parking space on the property and turning the front lawn into a mini concours showcase with a Ferrari and Maserati to attract any pedestrians driving by.
EcoShine, a local So Cal green conscious detail company came out for demo sessions and our hosts, California Car Cover raffled away prizes ranging from car covers, dash covers and even an entire detail kit from Golden Shine. Also on hand was Solo Werks raffling off a set of their coilovers.
While roaming the show grounds we came across one Mk2 GTI that warranted further investigation. It turns out the owner, who simply goes by Webb, had originally intended for the car for Time Attack. Sadly due to budgetary limits he ventured down the show stopper path. Once he located a rare Porsche Grey paint code and had the car painted focused on performance. A VR6 was built from the top to bottom and replaced the aged original heart. Inside, a set of Corbeau racing seats and stripped out interior made room for the roll cage. To think this car has been driving from show to show (28 in total in 2012 alone) for an entire year after its construction is amazing by our standards.
One shop, Janky Garage came out from El Cajon, CA with a few show cars that are sure to help put them on the map. A 2003 Jetta 1.8T had our attention from the moment it rolled in.
Starting with Jeff Lockhart's Jetta. At first glance it seems like any other slammed Mk4 on BBS RS wheels (17x9" front, 17x10" rear). Upon closer inspection this car had all the subtle details most tuners swoon for. Take for example the Votex front bumper with a three bar grille, tucked neatly behind a 1" Boser hood extension. Not to mention the barbershop straight-razor shave the entire car received to bring outs its better design qualities. Getting the car nice and low is all thanks to a OCD installed brass hard lined AirLift super slam air ride kit with Koni rear shocks and a 5-gallon AirLift fat tank with V2 management keep the system in running order at all times.
Grant Keller's R32s caught our eye at the Slammed Society Car show in Long Beach last month. This was our first chance to hang with him for a while and get into the hidden details of his car. A set of 18x8.5" Work Meister S1R white with polished lip wheels are tucked nicely under the factory fenders. Inside, Grant ditched the rear seats in favor of a more fitting display of his polished aluminum hard lines emerging from the trunk and running through the car with military precision. Mind you, Grant performed the completed the hard line install himself. The motor was given a complete rebuild after suffering a catastrophic failure during his move from Boston to sunny SoCal. Luckily his friends back in Boston shipped the car back from the scene of the crime in Ohio, rebuilt the motor, and shipped it to Grant in San Diego. Talk about a great set of friends?!
If the California Car Covers European Car Show is any hint as to what this year's events will be like, we are in for quite a special year. The aftermarket economy is steadily coming back stronger and better than ever. Builders are also coming with more talent than we've seen in some years. Know this, the VW tuners around the U.S. are going to steal some thunder from our overseas counterparts.
Keep a weathered eye out on our website eurotuner.com this month for in-depth features on all three cars.