SFL GTG 2004


Let’s be honest for a moment. As far as the VW tuning and aftermarket scene goes, VW enthusiasts from the state of Florida have long suffered from a sort of inferiority complex. And I know this as truth, for I am a Floridian.

Being geographically situated in the Deep South and all which that implies as far as automotive trends and styling are concerned (NOPI, anyone?), Florida Dub-heads have often suffered in silence as we’ve watched practically every other part of the country provide VW freaks with a seemingly endless array of top-quality shows with top-quality cars and huge spectator turnouts. In the past, if we Floridians wanted to be a part of any of these events, we simply had to suck it up and travel thousands of miles, which we did. But now, if we do attend these other shows, it’ll be because we want to and not because we need to. You see, we Floridians, in fact we Southerners, now have our own event which can hang with the best from around the nation. This event is called the South Florida Get-Together, or SFLGTG, for short.

2004’s event was most certainly not the first (there have now been 12 SFLGTGs), but it was most definitely the biggest. Stats? How about 525 cars, over 1,200 people, 1,280 hamburgers and buns, 400 hot dogs and buns, 1,440 sodas, and some 384 bottles of water. Markham Park is where these events are held, and it’s a very clean, spacious venue with a decidedly family-friendly environment and its close proximity to several major highways makes it ideal for those people traveling from far away. Late February in South Florida typically brings beautiful weather and this year was no exception – sunny skies, mid-70 degree temps and a nice breeze made the event even more enjoyable for all.

I’d be remiss at this point, if I did not mention that this SFLGTG, as well as others past, is not your typical car show. For the most part, it’s a free event (minus the token one dollar admission the park itself charges all who enter) and there are no judges or crazy displays for people to stress over. It truly is just a simple, friendly get-together – a place where VW/Audi enthusiasts can hang out, eat some burgers, and perhaps buy a thing or two from some of the many vendors on hand.

The Title Sponsors for the 2004 SFLGTG were APR and Gunther VW of Coconut Creek. Other sponsors/vendors who helped make this year’s event such a huge success were Edge Racing, Forge Motorsport, D&N, CEC Wheels, Unforgettable Sound and Performance, LR Engineering, JL Audio, Velocity Factor, VWvortex.com, VWFix.com, VWFlixx.com, Eurotuner, Autobahn Exclusive, durty dubs, Autobahn Touring, SFLB5.com, QuickVWs.com, and Jax Dubs.

I got a late start for the event, and considering my point of departure (Sarasota, FL) is some 190 miles away from Sunrise, it was a good thing I had my trusty W12 Phaeton as transportation. Well, it wasn’t exactly mine, so to speak – it was on loan from VWoA for an upcoming article for VWvortex. Still, one couldn’t ask for a better car in which to make a quick 400-mile round trip jaunt down to the best damn VW event the South has ever seen. I didn’t get there till a little before 1:00p, and I fear I may have missed a few attendees who might have exited the event a bit early, but my late arrival didn’t lessen the impact of seeing some 500 or so Volkswagens and Audis sprawled across a beautiful grassy field. A wonderful sight, indeed.

VWvortex would like to congratulate all those who were instrumental in making this year’s SFLGTG such an unqualified success, and as a Florida-dwelling VW/Audi enthusiast, I’d like to personally express my gratitude at the very same time for finally putting our state on the (quality VW/Audi event) map. We can only imagine what next year’s event has in store, and rest assured VWvortex will be there to bring the rest of you our coverage.

But next year, VWoA, I’d like a nice Bentley Continental GT for the weekend, if you don’t mind. W12 Phaetons are so played out, don’t you know…

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