The point of annual events is usually for them to get bigger and better every time they take place, and the crew at Cum Laude events have it nailed down. For this 11th instalment of the country’s largest aftermarket auto show, Vdub Camp Fest, things were bigger and better in every way possible. The venue was upgraded specifically to cater for more people, the level of cars entered into the show & shine rose a lot, the amount of vendors and exhibitors grew and the amount of cars through the gate was the biggest witnessed to date. It’s safe to say that Camp Fest 2019 was epic, and of course VAG Cafe was there to see what’s what.

We arrived on the Friday after a convoy with some of the VWCSA guys and also Jamie Orr, the guest judge from Orchid Euro in the U.S who was piloting the new VW Arteon. We kicked through in the new VW Touareg, and daaaaaamn it’s an awesome car, but for well over R1 000 000 it should be. On Friday the campsite was already filling up, more so than previous years, a good sign. This day was for getting settled into the accommodation and to have a VAG Cafe-style social with loads of fellow VW enthusiasts.

Some went large, but the guys still got up bright and early on the Saturday to get their cars prepped for the show. The VAG Cafe camera did the rounds of the venue, from the camping section through to the new chalets that Forever Resorts Warm Baths built specifically to cater for the increased amount of attendees expected for this year’s show. It was a gamble that paid off, all accomodation was fully booked. Another sign of a great show.

The plan was to judge a bunch of cars on the Saturday so that the Sunday wasn’t too hectic for the judges, but not many went up for the judges to inspect. Also, the heavens opened for a wee bit so that saw the top guys detailing their cars late into the night so that Sunday would see them being show ready for the judges. Judges this year included myself (Krutch – VAG Cafe & ShowTime Magazine), Ian Foat (VWCSA Chairman) Junior Pitstop (Pitstop Media from Qatar), Jamie Orr (as mentioned above), and then Reone Botha, the first female judge and a previous Best of Show winner. A great group with so much car knowledge between the lot of them. Anyhoo, that night was the after (middle of show) party, which is always banging and packed thanks to the likes of DJ Chrizz Beatz.

Sunday started bright and early for some of VAG Cafe people, others were regretting having fun until the birds started chirping. This was also probably the reason that not all the cars entered into the show pitched up, although with judging billed for 09:00 and the first car rolled up after 10:00, this was a good thing or the judges would have been busy until midnight. Of course many were there just to have a party and see some great cars. Those that prefer different parts of this lifestyle were able to get power runs in on a mobile dyno, have their dBs measured at the IASCA sound off (on Saturday only) or lay frame at the Low Limbo competition.

The quality of cars was a step up yet again, it’s awesome to see. Even Jamie commented on this, he was blown away. Some regulars were seen, but many new builds entered too. Competition was tough, and since the show we’ve seen a few posts about X car should have won this class and Y car should have won this class, but unless you got your head inside, underneath and all around, you’d miss the details that either made or broke a car’s chances to win. The judges did say they would explain the whats and whys if asked, and a few people did. There were loads of classes and winners, we’ll get a list of them up soon, until then check out the VDub Festival South Africa Facebook page.

Best of show was awarded to Jacques Barnes who brought the heat with his Mk5 GTi that’s seen a complete rebuild since we last saw it in competition. It was close in most classes, a mission for the judging team for sure. Overall a great event, and seeing attendees from as far as P.E, Durban, and Botswana means the show’s status remains the best in SA. A huge thanks to Volkswagen South Africa for once again hooking us up with the new Touareg 3.0 V6 TDi as Fest transport, and to A-Line wheels for making people take a closer look at the car. Oh, and there was a draw for two Citi Golfs (as one single prize) that had been given some pretty cool mods, but we won’t get in to that because there was proper drama with the way the draw was done…

Were you there? Let VAG Cafe know your thoughts over on our Facebook page. Peace out.