After a long drive on the back roads we arrived at the Pasco County fairgrounds in Dade City for the 25th Annual Pasco County Bug Jam. Two officers were directing traffic into a huge field for parking. Dozens of folks were working to quickly and easily get all of us parked. Our hats off to the parking crew, we were quickly parked and into the show.
Walking through the parking area, we saw VWs of almost every color, model and year. Bugs, campers, things, dune buggies, sand rails, Ghias, plus plenty of the more modern water-cooled ones. Wow, we were still just in the parking lot!
For a small admission price and a donated can of food we were among the VW enthusiasts for hours and hours.
There were one owner vehicles. And those who are now second or third generations owners. Many who grew up with their car and had photos to prove it. There were scrapbooks filled with photos of careful restorations and vehicles left as found. Plus plenty customized, ones from mild to wild.
More than once I saw the decal ‘Rust is not a crime’.
Elvis was in the VW Bug Jam Chapel. The same chapel where eleven years ago an attending couple said their wedding vows. Elvis officiated a ceremony and then did a vows renewal for dozens of VW owners.
More and more the ‘modern’ or newer VWs are parking in-between the old air-cooled faithful. No one seems to mind, they all share that iconic VW emblem.
I found myself peering under the hoods of a few water-cooled cars. I marveled at the simplistic ’78 Rabbit motor. There was room to work! You could see the ground while looking down. You can’t do that in anything now.
It is a bit disturbing to see an antique tag on a VW Rabbit. Are they really that old!? Here in Florida, once a vehicle turns thirty it has earned the right to wear a special blue ‘antique’ tag. Hmm 2013 minus thirty, that’s….
Never mind. I don’t want to know anymore.
I didn’t see any of the early sports coupes: the Sciroccos from the ’80s or Corrados from the ’90s. They are the cars that paved the way for the sportier VWs we see today. I’m sure that it’s only a matter of time before they show up at a Bug Jam!
After lunch we met with a few friends from our the local club, The Oil Puddlers. We jokingly called a quick meeting to order, motioned that everyone was to have a good time at the show, and adjourned the meeting. It’s not just the cars that make a VW show special, it’s the people. Young, old, and everything in-between. At three of the last four VW shows we’ve attended, we’ve run into an old friend or made a new one.
If you garage is still lacking a vintage VW, there were opportunities everywhere to resolve that problem. There were ‘For Sale’ signs on bugs, buses, campers, and buggies.
If the garage is full you can always find all kinds of VW swag: models, key chains, posters, decals, hats, shirts, and even your own Bug ceiling fan chain pull.
Walking down row after row, we smiled, looked at cool cars, and talked to owners. With tired feet and our minds spinning, we headed home with new ideas for Primrose.