Midwest Treffen 2004

The weekend of August 21,22 marked the 8th year for the Chicago Volkswagen Organization’s annual Midwest Treffen event. What started as a hastily organized, mildly attended but enjoyable gathering in South Bend, IN in 1997 has since developed a legitimate reputation as the can’t miss event for Volkswagen and Audi enthusiasts in the Midwestern US.

Treffen ’04 offered the laid back atmosphere that has become the norm at each Treffen event, making it accessible and enjoyable to a wide cross section of VW and Audi owners. This year however the organizers at the CVO added a new dimension to Treffen, expanding it into a weekend event, and adding a unique focus for the many ‘grassroots’ enthusiasts clubs that have developed over the past decade.

Saturday included an autocross, and a trip to a local import drag racing event, while the feature event, the Treffen car show took place on Sunday. In an interesting twist all three events were tied together as part of the inaugural CVO Dub Club Invitational. The basic premise of the DCI is that each invited club is able to enter a member’s car into each of Treffen weekend’s events, autocross, drag race and car show, in a special Club Class. Points were awarded based on finishing position at each event, with a champion being crowned at the Treffen car show. Volksport, a Minnesota based club earned the champions title, along with a seriously tacky traveling trophy, and a $200 donation from Virtual World Parts to the club treasury (intended to be used to purchase an EZ Up style tent). Despite a no-show for their intended autocross competitor, forcing a last minute substitution, Volksport proceeded to take first place in the drag race and car show rounds to earn a well-deserved victory. They have taken possession of the DCI trophy, and have already advised that they are planning some ‘subtle’ modifications to the prize before returning to next year’s event.

The Treffen Autocross was held on the same site as the car show, at Oakton Community College. The event was also open to any VW or Audi owners who wanted to compete in one of the five classes. The CVO has been operating its own CVO Cup autocross series for years, and the experience showed with an efficiently run evetn. There was a wide range of machinery on hand to compete, and at the end of the day Howard Meuller campaigning a 1983 Rabbit GTI was awarded the fast time of the day FTD prize, an aluminum racing jack donated by VFC Engineering.

The focal point of the weekend, as always, was the Treffen car show. While this is definitely a show that welcomes the average daily driver, the number of high quality show cars continues to increase every year. With solid growth in nearly all show classes, there was a wide range of machinery to see and owners to talk to. While the tally of the final results took entirely too long at the end of the day, it was otherwise a well-organized affair, with great, abiet windy (hey it IS in the Chicago area). The best of show award went to Zach Kurth and his very nice supercharged VR6 A2 Golf (below). The Volksport member carried off the traditional Treffen best of show trophy featuring a MOMO steering wheel donated by Dubwerks.

While the landscape of VW and Audi events seems to expand every year, the Midwest Treffen continues to offer a unique combination of laid back no-hype atmosphere and high quality cars/owners year after year. That makes this event one to keep marked on your calendar for next year.

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