Continuing our series about car clubs, we'd like to introduce you to the enthusiasts of the Mississippi Gulf Coast VW Club, in the United States. Established in 1987 they are the centre of the VW community in this area, and as the name suggests located on the Gulf of Mexico.
Every year they organise an event called Buggin' the Beach, which occurs on Saturday 18th March 2023. Here's what you need to know, should you find yourself over that way.
Buggin' the Beach
Now in its 28th year, the team from Mississippi Gulf Coast VW Club put on a charity car show, right down by the beach. In their own words "assuming you’re not completely mesmerized by the water, you’ll spot a cluster of VWs parked on the grass in front of a historic home and under oak trees older than this country." It sounds pretty special to us, and the photos they've kindly shared with us do nothing to disappoint.
With more than 80% air-cooled attendance, there is a real focus on the classic VWs which the club built its reputation upon. A dozen trophies are given out for the various categories. Even the mascot (Schooner the Seagull) from their local semipro baseball team The Biloxi Shuckers, comes out and picks his favourite!
Stars of the show
The club pride themselves on the variety of Volkswagens that turn out from local towns and adjoining states too. Winners of “Best of Show” in the previous years have included a convertible Super Beetle, a Karmann Ghia, and a Double Cab, there is definitely no model favouritism here. The judging team does however reward the drivers and reveal that no outright “show car” brought in a covered trailer has ever been in contention for the main prize.
Whilst the cars are the star, the evening before the show offers a great chance for club members to catch up over a cold one around the camp fire.
Raising money for charity
There's an altruistic element to this event, and the club's social calendar too, as last year they had exceptional fundraising efforts and were able to donate around $10,000 to good causes. On top of this strictly VW event and its relatively small charity auction, they also volunteer in "America's Largest Block Party" on the Mississippi Gulf Coast which is for all pre-1989 Classic Cars held in October which attracted 9,618 vehicles last year!!
They spread the wealth of their hard work across a number of good causes, but I'll allow the guys to explain in their own words..."The funds we raise are thoughtfully dispersed, which includes housing for the homeless, advocates for minors caught up in the Legal System, and Armed Forces veterans in assisted care. We also contribute to food banks in three counties, sponsor “Parkinson Disease Awareness" plus help the unfortunate with short-term rent and utility help."
What a great effort!
Friends in nice places...
The MSGCVWC considers themselves truly fortunate. "We’ve got places to cruise, great places to eat when we meet up, and places to camp. We’re also lucky that we have good friends in two other clubs in neighboring states; the Air Coolers in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Rare Air in Pensacola, Florida. There’s always something going on. This is VW lover’s paradise."
And they are extending a warm welcome to you as well... "Come join us if you can. We won’t let you be a stranger; we always want to make new friends. Heck, you’re already prequalified..."
Give the Mississippi VW Club a follow on Facebook @ MSGCVWClub.
A big thanks to Stuart and the crew from the Mississippi Gulf Coast VW Club for getting in touch and telling us all about their club and their brilliant events.
If you run a VW or Porsche club then please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.