February in South Florida does not, shall we say, suck.
Perfect weather is almost guaranteed and though this may be true for that part of the country, the rest of the nation is typically much less fortunate. For VW/Audi enthusiasts cold, crappy weather is even harder to stomach, as it usually means it’s been many months since they had a good reason to clean up their cars and spend a Saturday with a few thousand of their closest friends.
The organizers of the South Florida Get-Together (SFL-GTG) each year graciously offer any VW/Audi enthusiast willing to make the trip a reason to get the ride shined up and head south for a truly great time. Each year’s event is larger than the last, and this year was no exception. Estimates for the 2005 event put the number for cars between 700 and 800, and owners and spectators at a couple thousand. And if anyone is worried about this getting too large, organizers tell us that the host location, Markham Park, is ready to offer up an even bigger event field should the need arise. Good thing, too, as Markham Park is really a great place to hold such an event and it’s one of the reasons the SFL-GTG always has such a laid-back, friendly feeling about it. Despite the huge size, it really is a GTG and not a typical show. Pay the park’s one dollar entrance fee, follow the signs to the GTG-specific event field (it’s a huge park), find a place to park, and that’s about it. Let’s hope this GTG flavor never changes as it’s one of the things that is truly charming about this wonderful event.
Sponsors for this year’s GTG included, Gunther VW, APR, Forge Motorsport, Unforgettable Sound & Performance, Autobahn Touring, Jax Dubs, VWvortex, SFLB5.com, VWFixx.com, EuroTuner Magazine, JL Audio, Wolf Cars, Urban Imports, and Champion Motorsport.
It has to be said that the older cars were few and far between this year, but you can’t blame the event for that – for whatever reasons, either there just aren’t that many A1s, A2s, Sciroccos, and Corrados in the area or their owners simply choose not to attend. Still, this year saw more air-cooled VWs than in years past, and a huge number of Audi owners attended as well. It truly was a glorious day for any VW and Audi enthusiast.
It is the word ‘enthusiast’ that really applies as far as the SFL-GTG is concerned, as the event is organized, conducted, and attended by enthusiasts. This is no big moneymaker or something used to promote a peripheral business – what you see is what you get. Still, it must surely be one heck of an undertaking to get this thing put together each year, and as each year brings seemingly exponential growth and popularity, let’s all make sure that those responsible know the rest of us really do appreciate their efforts.
This event, as it stands, may well be unique amongst North American VW/Audi events, and for that everyone involved should be applauded for making it such an all-around success.
See you next year!
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