Everyone knows that summer time is car show season, and even in a climate like San Diego which is nearly the same temperature year around, that same rule holds true.
So when Dubs on the Shore started posting on Instagram that they were hosting an all-new event focusing on Audi/VW this summer, I was pretty excited as I was long overdue for a car show.
And when I found out that car show was being held oceanfront in my hometown? Done deal!
I promptly submitted for a featured spot and was granted a spot along the water, where there were views on views on views.
But this being the first event, I didn’t know what to expect – would people show up? Would it be any good?
Two days before the show I get hit by debris driving home from work and it cracked my grille. I was pretty bummed and almost ready to bail on going.
Thankfully I buffed out some scrapes, detailed the car, and went anyway, even if my car wasn’t looking it’s best.
Despite the roadway incident, my car cleaned up nice, although the bar was set very high for “nice” at any event like this, where several cars were trailed in and others were clearly not daily drivers like mine.
The turnout ended up being amazing for the show’s first year, and just as the organizers had hoped, it was much needed boost in the arm to the Southern California Audi/VW scene.
The backdrop was absolutely epic, and with tons of space to roam and a carefully curated set of only Audis/VWs (okay, one BMW snuck in somehow, lol), it was one to look forward to again for next year.
The bayfront park area was lined with heavily modified VAG cars of all different styles, all spread out so you could really check things out.
The waterfront location was definitely the cherry on top, and with perfect summer weather it was nice enough that many, including myself, were able to take a dip on the water mid-show.
Side note, remember to take your key out of your pocket before jumping in the ocean.
The organizers hope to keep growing the show to compete with the likes of the biggest shows in Europe, and while it has a way to go, the show also has a lot going for it…most of which is the awesome turnout.
I like going to car shows with exotics and other European cars, but its really nice to go to a show that is curated specifically for Audi/VW fans.
From air cooled to air ride, there was something for everyone. Every car was heavily modified, so you could enjoy the craftmanship and detail that went into each car.
Rather than focusing on quantity of cars, this one put quality first, which I really enjoyed.
Dubs on the Shore paid special attention to line up the featured parking spots with cars they knew the audience would love, and spaced all of the cars out far enough that it was ideal for photographers and onlookers alike.
As you first walked in you were greeted by an Audi R8 on air ride, letting you know that this wasn’t going to be a show for the purists who like to keep things stock.
On the flip side was a bagged SQ5, and before that was a bunch of food trucks serving San Diego favorites like fish tacos and snow cones.
Keep going in and you can find crazy wraps, period correct 80s VWs (complete with Hella fog lamps), and a row of super clean cars from Mexico.
You also saw a lot of families, friends, and familiar faces, making it a great way to kill an afternoon at the very least.
The outcome was an awesome experience for any dubber, rather new school or old school, to geek out with likeminded enthusiasts.
The judging experience was also very cool, and they had a ton of trophies and categories to try to give as many people as possible some hardware.
Despite a disappointing third place in my category, out of three cars, Im already looking forward to returning next year, and hey, I got a trophy, so that’s pretty cool.
On the west coast most of our shows don’t get judged as is common on the East Coast, and it was a cool twist.
I was even lucky enough to be asked to help judge the B8/B9 category, which was pretty competitive with a lot of nice builds.
Cars were judged by the workmanship, interior, exterior, performance, and then a special category with bonus points for things like engine swaps or custom mods, so the cars that won were typically those that had been heavily modded throughout, whereas cars that were just a drop and wheels had lower chances as interior, performance, etc. would all get low scores.
The event was also great for getting the wheels turning; as an owner of a relatively newer Audi/VW, its cool to see what owners of older models have done when they’ve had decades to push the extent of their platform(s).
A big thanks to the organizers for their ambitious vision and hard work pulling it off!
Peep the rest of my pics below, and leave me a comment if you were there, or are planning on going next year.