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As someone who was born and raised in Northern California, I’ve lived through many years of this so-called rivalry. While in the past it was usually related to college or pro sports, with such rivalries as UC Berkeley vs. UCLA or the Giants vs. the Dodgers, it’s no surprise it’s now found it’s way to the car show circuit.
This friendly rivalry between the NorCal and SoCal European car communities began last year as the brainchild of Terry Ng (Kineda) of NorCal VW and Lon Mok of SoCalEuro with help from co-organizers Paul Chan and Lloyd Chao. With the overwhelming success of last year’s event, the event organizers decided to make a change in venue to a much larger location, the Earl Warren Fairgrounds in Santa Barbara.
One of the great things about this event is the fact that it isn’t a judged show. This allows everyone to bring his or her car out, shine it up and show it off to everyone without feeling intimidated by the competition. With almost 800 vehicles in attendance, it was obvious that format is a great alternative to the normal competition events.
While the majority of cars were VWs and Audis, BMWs, Volvos, Porsches and Mercedes were all well represented. The event was very well run, and the venue proved to be just the right size, with a large vendor area stocked with parts, car models and tuner cars.
The BBQ also proved to be a hit and provided a great mid day meal for the attendees.
The highlight of the day was definitely the raffle where prizes such as a set of 4 Toyo Tires, a set of Ronal R38 wheels from Ronal Wheels; a GFB Blow off Valve from New Dimensions; 2 GIAC ECU upgrades from Dynospot Racing; a ride in the Dahlback Racing 900+ hp Golf at Dubwars; Suspension components from H-Sport and a set of Swaybars from Neuspeed were among many other items. A big thumbs-up to all the event sponsors and vendors who attended the show and gave away all of these great prizes.
As the show was winding down and people were starting to leave, the Santa Barbara Police Department and California Highway patrol decided to send several officers to sit at the exits to the show and write citations for non-moving violations such as window tint, no front license plate and other minor items. It was sort of like fishing with a net at a fish hatchery. Other than the overcast day, it was about the only downside to an otherwise very well run, orderly and organized event. We look forward to 2005 and an even bigger event.
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