VW Nationals 2018

2018 VW Nationals

Hi all, well the 31st 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.


Due to the persistence of Dave Birchall we again had a Supersprint at Sydney Motorsport Park on the Saturday. It was well attended with a few non VWs running including myself in my daily Nissan. We had a few delays with oil downs on the track which needed to be cleaned up before racing could continue. Ironically it was the water cooled cars dropping oil and not the air cooled ones for a change.

After racing 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 cold with lots of cars and traders arriving before dawn. Almost all the traders were in place early, and we had two brand new VWs on display. This year we had a representative from Volkswagen Classic Parts from VW Germany in Wolfsburg, Elena Dötenbier, attend the show. She also handed out the trophies at the end of the day. The swappers and traders both had a bit more space this year. Thank you to all the sponsors 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 that have worked so well were the same as last year, with colour-coded entry forms for air- or water-cooled VWs and the bare minimum of entry information for owners to fill out. The queues at the entry were long at times but the cars moved through a bit quicker than previous years. We had 193 entries in the car show this year, a few dozen less than last year, but even so they just fitted into the space available. All of them were through the entry gates and parked by 10:45am.

All 38 entry categories had participants this year. After Kombis have dominated for the last few years, this year the Beetle was back as the most popular entry. There were 53 of them across the six Beetle categories, with '58-'67 Modified the most popular with 16 entries. There were 12 entries in '68-on Modified, the next most popular category. There were 40 Kombis/Transporters entered in five categories, and 26 Golfs in seven categories. Every category was awarded a First Place trophy, while the most popular categories also had a Second, and sometimes even a Third Place trophy.

On the other hand, a great way to be assured of winning a trophy is to be the only entrant in a class! There was just one entry for the Best Race (Air-cooled); VW Sports Coupe, SEAT and Skoda categories this year, and just a couple of entries in Beetle Up To '57 Standard, Aussie Convertibles, VW SUV, VW Commercial, Best Race (Water-cooled) and Concours d'Elegance. I hope we see more VWs have a go in these categories next year.

All show entrants received peer judging sheets, and altogether 1,229 separate votes were cast on these and dropped into our blue voting box by the 12:30pm closeoff. As well, all general entry people received People's Choice voting cards, and 465 of these were handed in. Altogether that's 1,694 votes cast on the day for 193 cars, an average of nearly nine votes each! This year the People's Choice votes were added to the Peer Judging votes to give overall winners, and also to decide any dead heats.

We were able to tabulate these quite easily, thanks to Phil’s computer programming and Lily’s efficient keying in. Peer judging requires counting the number of times a particular entrant's number appears on the hundreds of voting forms handed in. MS Excel has a counting function, which proved perfect for the task once Lily keyed in all the votes. Once we knew the individual count for all entered vehicles, the computer only needed to sort by category and the total counted. 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 Concours category, judged by a VW industry expert; the Ray Pleydon Award, chosen by Shirley; and the new Brian Walker Award, chosen by Craig Adams. These were all decided by around 2:30pm and added to the results. There was no Volkswagen Group Australia Car of the Day this year as no representatives attended.

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

The results of the show are in this issue, and we will be replaying David's powerpoint at the June meeting on Thursday 21st at the Greyhound Club in case you missed it. We will also be handing out any trophies that weren’t claimed on the day.

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 who helped me hand to entry forms for the car show before they got to the gate.

Raymond and Grace, and their girls Bettina and Kira, were busy in the Club shop all day, not just selling shirts, jackets, mugs and hats, but taking memberships and answering hundreds of questions all day. Christine was back on the raffles this year, which were as popular as ever. This year our major raffle prize was a unique retro-styled VW fridge, donated by VW Australia.

Parramatta Rotary again did a great job with the BBQ lunch, and there were also a greater variety of other food, drink and snack sellers throughout the show. The swap meet was busy all day and the trader stands had crowds of interested buyers checking out their wares.

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. We were all worn out at the end of the day. I think having two golf buggies really saved our aging legs on the day.

We are open to all input and suggestions 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