It’s that time of the year again. That time when the car covers get taken off, the last nuts and bolts are fastened and torqued down, and a wash and wax are performed. That’s right it’s show season. Here at JET we thought we would start you guys off with something good. So a couple weekends ago, we woke up at the glorious time of 4:30am to begin a trek to Louisville, Kentucky for Water By The Bridge.
A dreary eyed but buzzing JET crew met up at the Stover household at 5:00am Eastern standard time to begin our cruise to the show. Drake and Rachel Stover had their 1995 BMW 325i. Spencer Stover was driving his 1984 Volkswagen Jetta diesel. Ben Spencer was in his rowdy 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel. Brad, Nick and I were in Spencer’s 1981 Mercedes-Benz W123 Diesel Wagon.
As expectation for the adventures ahead grew along with the morning light, we had some fun on the highway on the way south. Being in the biggest and slowest vehicle, we brought up the rear of the convoy. Spencer and Ben poked fun at each other by darting between lanes in their miniscule Mk1 Volkswagens. Drake followed suit when he deemed necessary whilst remaining resolute in his Bimmer. The speeds we were carrying on the highway seemed a bit much for the Beluga Whale of a vehicle that was the Mercedes. The car seemed happiest when it was cruising around about 55mph, but it had no trouble keeping up with the much more spritely Germans in the convoy when needed.
After a little bit on the highway we picked up Ben’s brother and his red Volkswagen Corrado. Then quickly lost him as he turned into the Starbucks that we just left in Gas City, Indiana. While the sun was on its upward trajectory I drove slowly alongside everyone’s cars so that Brad could get some rolling shots.
After a few hours blasting down Indiana’s highways and across the Ohio River into Louisville, We arrived at the show. Being the first big Euro show of the year, some very well put together cars emerged out of their hideaways and garages after a long winter’s slumber.
When we parked in a lot adjacent to the show grounds we were immediately greeted by some pretty great cars, this E30 and 2002 just being a couple of the around 90 cars that were already parked and awaiting the start of the show. At 9:00am, and this wasn’t even the show grounds! Strolling next to the staging lanes we could tell that this wasn’t just going to be some meet and greet in a random parking lot. There was some serious metal attending the show.
Once most of the cars were parked in their spots on the wharf, and a few laps of the show grounds later, our good friend Geoff Patton strolled up, having driven with the rest of the Fort Euro Gruppe from Fort Wayne for the show. So began the discussion of what our favorite cars of the show were.
A couple of air cooled Porsches, an E30 M3, and a slew of very well put together Volkswagens did their best to sway our opinions in their favor. After grabbing some submarine sandwiches and much discussion about the show attendees, we went back out to do a few more rounds to narrow down the field of favorites, to make our final picks.
For Nick, his pick was an obvious choice after first laying eyes on what he intends to be one of his future cars. An R32 Nissan GT-R. ” A NISSAN?!?” you say. Yes a Japanese car, at a Euro show. It begs the question, who wouldn’t let one in? This one was very well done up too, with some choice engine mods. A very tasty set of Rays wheels, and a Nardi steering wheel. How could you not love it?
Brad’s choice is a car that we didn’t notice until our last lap of the show. He went with a MK4 Jetta of all things. But, not a normal Jetta you see. This one is definitely something special.
The reason Brad choose it is because it’s a COUPE! The owner painstakingly cut the rear doors out, then grafted the rear quarter and window from a Golf 3 door. It had nearly all the trim and emblems shaved in order to clean up the body. A euro BORA trunk was fitted to give it a foreign feel, to top it all off it was Right Hand Drive! My favorite part of the car is that it took us so long to notice. After about ten laps around the show, the car didn’t really stand out, it was only due to the fact that we stopped to chat that we noticed the car. Very subtle and detailed, this is what we like to see in a Euro.
It took a lot longer, and much more internal debate for me to choose a favorite. After a while. I decided on a S14 swapped BMW 2002 track car. The widebody, two tone orange and black paint really did it for me. Not to mention it had my favorite classic wheels from ATS on it.
After sitting around for a little while longer. We decided that it was time for some food and to head home. Some delicious Mexican cuisine later, we made haste on our way back to the Fort. We had a wonderful day down in Louisville and can’t wait to do it again. If you’ve never been to WBTB we highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed!