If you’re a self-professed Volkswagen fan and you haven’t heard of Vdub Camp Fest then you should up your game. In fact, if you are a VW nutter and you have heard of SA’s largest gathering of all things VAG but haven’t attended – it’s time to move on. There’s not really any excuse for not attending, especially with Camp Fest X being the tenth installment. Missing all ten events can only mean that you simply like the brand and you’ll never get into a shouting match or a fist fight to defend the honour of the People’s Car, but we don’t judge too harshly. Finances, work commitments, horrible bosses and nagging from the Mrs (or Mr.) can definitely play a role in missing an event and it’s for these guys that VAG Cafe makes sure to get coverage for you. I’d like to tell you that this year the show was O.K and was pretty much the same as usual, except that would be a lie. This year’s VDub Camp Fest was not only the milestone tenth show, it was hands down the best one yet. The main site for the venue as well as extensive accomodation was Warmbaths – A Forever Resort, along with many of the surrounding B&Bs, lodges and hotels. Not even two hours away from Jo’burg meant easier access, a lower fuel bill and a more central location, something that defines a good venue. This was one that the family could be dragged along to even if they don’t like cars because you could send them away until sunset and they would be kept busy with all the resort entertainment. Having good and affordable shops in and around the resort was an added bonus, as was having a Spur on the property. Over and above, the organising was also spot on and everyone knew where they had to be thanks to loads of security and venue marshalls placed around the resort. I have seen some complaints on social media about cars not being let into the venue on show day and there was no park-off space for them – odd because I have pics of where everyone parked off. No matter though, there will always be people complaining and all that can be done after the fact is for the organisers to review the complaints and try amend for the next time. Crying out that you’ll boycott future events just means you’ll miss out and no one else, which is quite silly.
There were plenty places to stay in the resort – the main hotel, chalets, log cabins and the campsite – all of which were well spaced out and in great condition making everyone’s stay a good one. All facilities were top notch in fact, so much so that many opted to stay an extra day and leave on the Monday morning instead of Sunday evening – and when many started off early on Friday, that’s saying something. Friday was a set up day of sorts for everyone and so not much happened besides a major chill session for the visitors and intense car prep for competitors. We took this time to get shots of cars throughout the resort before things got dirty (rain was forecast) and while everyone was still all smiles and not sporting hangovers that we’d undoubtedly see on both Saturday and Sunday. That takes us to Saturday… More prep from competitors and set up from exhibitors was the main order of the day, but I already had my judge cap on and made my rounds of the resort to basically pre-judge a huge whack of cars so that I was more familiar with what’s what during the main Show & Shine event that was to run the whole of Sunday. A festive mood is an understatement… Cars were cleaned, photoshoots were planned, drinks were drunk and a decent party topped off the night – with DJ Fresh being the main attraction. These Cum Laude Events chaps know how to do things right! While everyone was deep into the party, Jamie Orr and his support crew arrived with the Citi Golf project up and running and looking absolutely awesome, and sounding even better – there’s just summin about 3600cc and 6-cylinders in a Mk1 body that warms the nether regions – VAG Cafe was happy to help with the customs clearance on the imported engine. While the car was not in Jamie’s usual show-winning condition, it was definitely a sight to behold. The niggly bits needing attention will take place in a few weeks when the car arrives in Europe where it will represent SA at Worthersee.
There was an incident late on Saturday afternoon where someone took it upon themselves to wreck the Revo gazebos that made up part of the VAG Cafe exhibitor stand. We’re not sure who did it or why they did it, but we have to state for the record that screwing with other people’s shit IS NOT COOL! There’s no way the wind could have done it as suggested because lesser gazebos remained in place and intact. The canvas was returned to us the following day, but no one is giving us a real story about it. Anyhoo, besides that, Saturday was great and Sunday promised to be even better. Our friends from the Volkswagen Club of South Africa helped man entry to the show, and along with the Cum Laude guys and the resort staff, things went off really well. The various food and vendor stalls looked to be happy with the business, which means they’ll be back in the future – and that’s a good thing. The main point of Sunday was the Show & Shine event, and the team of judges (comprised of Junior Pitstop from Pitstop Media, Jamie Orr from Orchid Euro in the USA, Ian Foat, Chrairman of the Volkswagen Club of South Africa and Chris Krutch Wall from Chris Wall Media) had their work cut out for them. This year the competition was brilliant, the field of cars was great in just about every class, although there were some classes emptier than they should have been but it didn’t detract from the show at all. We planned on some notable mentions, but there are just too many needed because the amount of top-quality cars was on another level. Oh, and the promo girls on Saturday and Sunday need a mention, not only were these ladies ever so pleasing on the eye, they and great with the crowds. Dealing with a bazillion not-so-sober men can’t be fun, but they did great!
There were 105 cars entered to be judged, and at around 6 minutes a car, the 10:30am start time would see the show running late into the night. Oddly a bunch of entered cars never pulled up on stage to be judged. It could be that the owners were still hanging like fruit bats from the previous night’s party or that some saw the cars that had already pulled up on stage would likely score a little higher taking them out of the running – either way it was actually rather appreciated because the eight hours or so that it did take to get through the amount of the cars that were there looked to be rather guelling. Some entries were proudly and completely kitted out by VAG Cafe and Revo Technik, but there were plenty others in the show that also sported stickers and logos – proof that we’re doing something right. Take a look at the pics in the post, and then click through to the VAG Cafe Facebook page to see hundreds (literally) more. The full results list will be available on the Vdub CampFest page soon, but in the meantime we want to send a huge congratulations to our mate Julian Blues Ramnarain from FR&R Tuning for taking the overall Car of the Show with his minter of a Mk1 Golf. Proof that old school is still alive and well. Runner up Chadlin April’s Audi S3 is also a brilliant example of a complete show car – well done all round guys. One very lucky chap walked away with a custom-painted Mk6 on air prepared by Europrojektz, a pretty damn cool lucky draw prize at just R50 a ticket – it was the first number drawn that won too; something that’s never happened at a Camp Fest draw. Well done to everyone involved with the event, it’s a good job from each individual that results in a great event overall. VAG Cafe will see you at the next cool Volkswagen-related event – keep your eyes on our social media pages for details, until then, Like √ Tag √ and Share √.