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We are very lucky to have friends and customers all around the world and today it's our pleasure to share a show report from Gary Pilcher in Utah, USA. Gary used to live in the UK and was a regular at our Heretics events in Burgess Hill, but despite moving overseas we have stayed in touch and he's kept on with the VW hobby. Here's what he had to say.
Utah VW Classsic Show
Welcome to summer 2021 in Utah. We've had relentless 100F heat, drought, and smoke drifting in from California and Oregon wildfires making our air quality the second-worst in the world. However, for some of us, this wasn't uncomfortable enough, so we choose to go outside and drive around in old VWs too! In fact, we're just back from the 2021 Utah VW Classic Show.
20 miles outside Salt Lake City is a place called Riverton which appears to be the very greenest part of Utah; and despite the morning rain, cloud and wind the locals warmly welcomed approximately 250 cars to their town. The spread of cars and the diversity of owners was as impressive as the headcount. Everything from early Beetle to the most recent Golf R was in attendance, and it was a task to refrain from taking photographs of every single vehicle.
Things to make you go mmm!
The 181 /182 Trekker, or 'Thing' as they are called in the USA has been increasing its popularity in recent years, but judging by the facial expressions which range from confusion to joy upon spotting one, they still divide opinion even amongst VW owners. The Beach Buggyfraternity was out in force on the day too, with some great examples of both classic and modern styling on display. This red example with huge chrome rims and a lift-off roof really looked the part.
The Bay window bus remains ever-popular and regardless of your taste there was a camper to tickle your fancy. From a 'Grateful Dead' styled Westfalia to a slammed Single Cab Split complete with canvas cover on the back.
A Vanagon Man
As an old fogie with regards to air cooled VWs but a complete newbie to the watercooled Vanagon which we now own, myself and wifie made a bee-line towards a row of third gen Transporters. With the display of camping accesories and off road upgrades on show it was real inspiration for what we might do with our own bus.
As is so common at Volkswagen events, a Porsche or two will also turn up, and the show in Utah was no different. Although, more unusually it was a modern iteration, a 991 GT3RS no less that caught my eye, and had me giggling like a schoolgirl.
My car of the show
Judging shows must be a hard task and not something I would relish on a day like today. I much prefer to potter around the show and get dreamy with the shiny ones and steal everyone's ideas... I mean be inspired by all the utilitarian stuff.
I don't care about best in the show, and awards and all that, but nothing could take my eyes away from Matt Milligans 1952 Zwitter; a Beetle of exceptional condition.
For the purists and the Concours De Elegance nerds, I expect there may have been something more up their squeaky tight alleys, with regards to originality and all the other things that get their anoraks wet.
Matt has spent a lot of time tracking down information about this Zwitter, which appears to have spent most of its life in New York, but somehow ended up 2200 miles west in Saratoga Springs, Utah.
Matt has discovered that the engine was changed from 25hp to 36hp at some point and that it looks to have been green from the factory.
Maybe some seat covers and a carpet kit clean the years up a little on the inside, and Matt did have a fresh clear coat applied last year, but without a shadow of a doubt this car is a time machine, and one of the best looking early Beetles I have ever seen.
It has class, the fragility of a 70-year-old car, yet it blew my mind the fact that it is tough enough to still be here, and Matt drives it all the time. This was my favourite car at the show by a considerable margin.
Gary Pilcher, Utah.
Footnote: If you've been to a show and would like to share some photos and a few thoughts about it, please get in touch. With the uncertainties of the past few years, we have traveled less and seen far fewer cars and campers than we would have liked! Hopefully, you can help us address this. Andy