VW Nationals 2017

2017 VW Nationals

Hi all, well the 30th VW Nationals have come and gone, and again our biggest VW show of the year was very well attended. The VW Nationals and the club itself could not exist without help from our club members and the club committee. We needed help leading up to the Nationals, during the day and after a long day at the show packing up the venue, so a big thanks you to you all, the show wouldn’t have been a success without your help.


With no Supersprint this year we had a go-kart day at Eastern Creek. It was great day! There were a few sore bodies afterwards. Thank you Norm for organising this at short notice. Maybe we should have a regular VW go-kart day, separate from the VW Nationals; what do you think? Meanwhile, Dave has been busy trying to organise a venue for the Supersprint next year. We’ll let you know.

After the go karting it was off to Fairfield on Saturday night to get the venue setup for Sunday’s show n shine – setting up signs, setting the layout, putting up tables, hanging banners, organising the club office and shop and all the other work getting the venue ready.

Early Sunday it was very foggy and strange to see lots of cars and traders arriving before dawn in the fog. Almost all the traders were in place early, and we had three brand new VWs on display. This year we had representatives from Volkswagen head office and they also handed out the trophies at the end of the day. The swappers had a bit more space this year. We noticed that the air cooled VWs are starting to attend in bigger numbers than the water cooled VWs. There were also numerous newly restored older VWs that hadn’t been seen before.

Thank you to all the sponsors who for their continued support; the updated sponsor list appears on the back page of this magazine. Please support them, because they support us.

The show classes and peer judging were the same as last year, with colour-coded entry forms for air- or water-cooled VWs and a minimum of entry information for owners to fill out. The queues at the entry were long but the cars moved through a bit quicker than previous years. We had 231 entries in the car show this year, which is 18 more than last year, and all of them were through the entry gates and parked by 10:45am. Almost all categories had entries this year; only the SEAT category had no entries this time, but we’ll see what happens next year.

Reflecting how popular Kombis are at the moment, the most popular category was T2 Kombi ’68 to ’79 Standard, with 15 entries. Beetle ’58-67 Standard had 14 entries, while T1 Kombi to ’67 Modified, and Rat Class, both had 12 entries. Beetle ’58 to ’67, and Golf 5 ’04 to ’08, both had 11 entries. Beetle ’68-on Modified, Kombi T2 Modified, and Type 3-4 Modified each had 10 entries. Most of these classes and some others had a second, and sometimes a third, place trophy awarded.

On the other hand, a great way to be assured of winning a trophy is to be the only entrant in a class! This year there was only one entry in each of the Karmann Ghia Standard, Factory Off-Road, Scirocco, VW SUV, Skoda and Watercooled-Race categories. We hope more of these vehicles will have a go next year.

Altogether some 1,164 votes were cast on the Peer Judging sheets dropped into our new blue voting box, with an additional 376 People’s Choice tickets. We were able to tabulate these quite easily, thanks to Phil’s computer programming and Lily’s efficient keying in. Peer judging doesn’t require adding up the scores, but rather counting the instances of any given entrant number entered. MS Excel has a function for this, which proved perfect for the task. Once we knew the count for all entered vehicles, they only needed to be sorted by category and count totals. Phil and Lily did an excellent job and had all the results worked out by around 1:30pm.

The only categories not decided by peer-judging and computer were the Volkswagen Group Car of the Day, chosen by our visiting VIPs from Volkswagen Australia; the Concours category, judged by a panel of VW industry experts; and the Ray Pleydon Award, chosen by Shirley. These were all decided by around 2:30pm and added to the results.

This year my son David was back taking the photos of all the entrants’ cars as they came through the gate in the morning, and he spent all afternoon matching up the photos to the winners for the Powerpoint presentation, which was ready for the 3pm trophy presentation.

Thank you to all the helpers on the main gate, and the traffic marshals, and the band of ladies, Gwen, Martha, Shirley and Zelko’s twin daughters, who handled the car show entry forms and helped people put their cars in the correct class. And to John Ladomatos and Craig Adams were helping out as well.

Christine had a well-earned break away from the Nationals this year but the raffles were as popular as always, and this year’s designs for the shirts and jackets were well received. The club stand was busy all day. Thank you to Raymond and Grace, Kira and Bettina for helping in the shop all day. Raymond and the girls also organised and took part in the German slap dancing demonstration, which was very popular with the crowd.

Parramatta Rotary again did a great job with the BBQ lunch, and Joe had arranged for a country and western band to entertain the crowd. At 2:30 pm the crowd began gathering for the raffle draw. Then just after 3pm Bret from Volkswagen and I presented the trophies to the winners, with Phil doing the microphone work. It all went well, but a few of the trophy winners weren’t around to collect them. These can be collected at this month’s meeting.

Once again, thank you to all our members who helped out with the Nationals at Fairfield on Saturday night and Sunday. It made the setting up, running of the show and the packing up afterwards so much easier. A huge thank you to everyone, and especially to Dave Birchall. We were all worn out at the end of the day. I think the golf buggy really saved our aging legs on the day.

We are open to all input from our members, both at the Committee and Monthly Club meetings, on the Nationals this year. What you liked, what you didn’t and how we can make it even better next year. Don’t be shy, let us know what you think. So if you have some great ideas or would like to help out next year, please come along to committee or monthly meeting. Or drop us an email or leave a message on the Club website.

See you with your VW soon.

Steve Carter