VW Nationals 2004

2004 VW Nationals

This year’s VW Nationals started on Saturday morning at the new WSID (Western Sydney International Drag Strip) with over 30 Volkswagens lining up for our own category of racing, which this year was over the full quarter-mile (just over 400 metres). The sun was up high in the sky with not a cloud to be seen. The turnout of cars was impressive with a few interstaters turning up also.


We had a wide variety of types; from purpose-built tube chassis VW race cars to 1300cc daily drivers, which proved to show off the difference in performance and reliability over the days event. This year we had a higher than normal mortality rate which meant when the afternoon had come around our field was somewhat reduced. We had a few spectacular gearbox failures, broken axles, CVs and one competitor managed to ventilate his crankcase, which unfortunately for most spelt an end to racing for the day.

The day was full of exciting racing and proved eventful as car after car retired as we moved into the evening. The evening’s racing was when the finals were held with lower air temperatures meaning those cars left were running faster and faster as the evening wore on. I was happy enough to run consistent 12 seconds all day in my street car, but failed to bow to peer-group pressure and let those tyres down to below 30psi in fear of joining the never ending list of retires due to a breakage.

At the end of the night Dave Becker was lucky enough to take the win in ‘King of the Hill’, and I managed to win the Berg Trophy again. This is the perpetual trophy donated by Gene Berg of the USA, and is awarded to the fastest street-registered Volkswagen. I won it for the fourth time in a row. Rod Penrose picked up fastest Volkswagen, Dave Becker again won lowest reaction time and Belinda Godfrey picked up best appearing Volkswagen.

Sunday's show ran without a hitch thanks to the support of those who helped. It ran like absolute clockwork. Car after car lined up through the gates for the car show. Spectators were kept happy all day with a very high standard of cars on display. Our judges had their work cut out for them with a record entry of cars in the show. Our swap meet seemed to be busting at the seams at one point in time with a few of us wondering where to park swappers next. Our traders once again brought out their best in products and supplies, which kept many scratching their heads wondering what to buy next. This year we managed to keep the kids entertained once again with new plaster moulds to paint and our face painter did a wonderful job keeping the kids amused whilst parents were able to browse the car show area.

Once again our engine blow was held in the outside pavilion with the motor lasting a total of 41 seconds before seizing with a clunk and a cloud of blue smoke.

Our club shop was kept busy all day with spectators able to buy a wide variety of Vee Dub related merchandise. Our raffle was a big hit with some lucky person walking away with a colour television or DVD player.

Those who were looking weary come the afternoon were treated with a usual selection of venders selling ice creams, drinks and that coffee that has become legendary from one of our supporting venders on the day.

The soccer club were once again there to fulfil everyone's needs for hot food, for breakfast and lunch. I haven't asked how much of each they sold on the day, but I was once again told they were completely sold out of food come afternoon.

Our car show judges were looking weary come 3pm in the afternoon after opening closing every door, bonnet and engine lid with the show area. One judge suffered a bad back after looking under each and every car. Thanks to those volunteers from each club who volunteered. It is indeed a thankless job, which you carry on with quietly behind the scenes.

Finally I would like to thank everyone who took the time out to attend the racing and car show over the weekend and trust you all had a great time at our event. We continue to do it year after year but only with your support, the support of our sponsors who provide us with the financial backing we require to make this day what it is. Thanks to those within the club who made an effort over the weekend and chipped in to help. It is becoming easier with time but even easier with more volunteers. It is those of us behind the scenes that put in a large amount of time just to ensure that the enthusiasm for Volkswagens continues on.

Leigh Harris