You know that feeling you get when you’re about to go on your favorite vacation, whether it be with friends or family, and you get that extreme amount of excitement churning in your stomach. The anticipation of going out of state and seeing a completely different scenery, not to mention not having to worry about anything at home while your away. We definitely felt all of those emotions the weeks before Southern Worthersee, probably the best VAG event on the East Coast. Some might argue that H2Oi is a far better event, but most of us here at DubEmpire cannot agree. And this year was sure not to disappoint with the amount of high quality cars, great people, and roads that can make or break a driver, all making it very hard to have any complaints.
Our weekend started on Friday morning after a night drive out of Florida and into the quaint town of Helen, GA early that morning. As soon as we arrived at our cabin we wasted no time and quickly scurried into town to take a look at some of the cars that had already arrived. First stop was the infamous Helendorf Inn, the weekend home for some of the most highly anticipated cars of the weekend. From the DapperFam’s incredible line up of bagged MKIV’s and MKV’s, to an A4 on black chrome BBS RS’, and even an old school Toyota Corolla also on Southern Way Epsilon wheels. Honestly, probably one of our favorite set of wheels that were on a car at the Inn. Or how about the rusted Chevy Convair that was laid out in the entryway of the Helendorf parking lot. All of these cars and its only the beginning of the lot, while the rear lot was home to a vast assortment of older and newer VAG cars.
It’s only right that after you do your preliminary walk through the Helendorf, you have to walk down the back strip by the show grounds. Even though it was early in the morning, there was a good amount of quality cars littered up and down the strip. Some of the cars included our good friend Chris and his very dapper MK6 .:R bagged on BBS RS’. Most of you know him and the car as ‘Baconfenders’. Another car that we absolutely fell in love with was Gaets Orr’s MKII GTI on Porsche D90’s with a 24V VR6 power plant and an interior fit for a king (And as a side note, this year was host to a large amount of immaculate MKII’S! So much so that it made most of us consider getting one along with our MKIII’s.). Further down was a plethora of quality BMW’s including a stunning 3 series belonging to Mason Gavin on air and CCW LM5T’s, and a couple Clownshoes on RS’ and Compomotives (For those who don’t know, the Clownshoe is a BMW M Coupe).
Needless to say our first day/night was filled with sights and sounds of amazing cars and meeting new people who were absolutely rooted within the VAG community. Saturday morning and the town is filled with the noise of motors ripping in and out of the main strip trying to solidify a spot over at the show grounds. Groups getting their booths setup and parking cars to their liking, it’s show day. Now the back strip is cluttered with cars as far as the eye can see, booths selling parts and clothing. The show ground is chalk full of the most amazingly built cars you’d see in the South East, or on the East Coast in general for that matter. Rod Wraps brought out their freshly wrapped golden CC which brought tears to most of our eyes. Orchid Euro was also in attendance with Kole Grove’s MKIII GTI Panel Van and a SLAW Built MKIII GTI that ended up winning best paint, and surely deserved it with the amount of work that was put into the car. The JPM Coach Works was home to Twin Turbo R8 built by TopSpeed Motorsports. All of our jaws dropped and erections set in once we laid eyes upon the magnificent creature. One car that did grab our attention was a blue MKV Jetta on WORK Work Miesters and BC Racing coilovers (definitely a car to check out if you haven’t seen it).
But after the show was the moment that the majority of us were waiting for, The MKIII GTG! As damn near all of you know, if you follow us @DubEmpire on Instagram, we have an enormous love for MKIII’s in particular. Hell if you came to our cabin then you saw there was only two cars parked there that were not MKIII’s. The number of MKIII’s that showed out to the GTG was phenomenal, not to mention the fact that all the owners are total babes. There was Eddy Cambron and his Ginster GTI on CCW Classic 5’s and on air, to Lynn Machelle’s Jetta on Kercsher Carmona’s, even Mr. Andrew Farkas showed up in his purple 964. I think I can speak for all of us as our hearts dropped as the car pulled into the lot. It was great catching up with old and new friends just talking about cars and life in general. We would also like to thank everyone who purchased a MKIII GTG shirt, we love you all!
From this point on I’ll explain some things that I can’t agree with about Southern Worthersee this year. I have a strong love for JDM cars, hell I even pointed out the Carolla at the Helendorff and we are long time friends with our guys and gals over at HighwayStar Garage and the great folks over at Simply Clean. With that being said, I cannot agree with the amount of JDM cars that were glorified throughout most recap videos posted on Youtube or Vimeo. Unless most of us have forgotten, SOWO is an event for VAG cars (Volkswagen Audi Group). I totally understand if you have something other than a VAG vehicle and you wanted to come up to the event, but don’t ruin it for the rest of us. I was so tired of seeing every other car on the back strip being a 240, Civic, Miata, or something other than a European car. And since when did it become cool to trash the Helendorff parking lot with broken glass and burnout marks. I honestly felt bad for the local police department and what they had to deal with Saturday night. The majority of us who go are grown men and women who originally came to the show to see quality VAG cars and chill out with old and new friends. Meaning, kicking back with a couple brews and cleaning up after yourself before you called it a night. Being obnoxious and revving your engine and sitting on your two step for no apparent reason makes you look like the ricer Honda people you talk down about so much. I’ve been attending SOWO for 4 years and its crazy to see the drastic change each year. Sometimes its for the best, like the quality of VAG cars that attend. Then again it has also been not for the best, based on the way that people present themselves throughout the night hours. Sure there will always be bad apples in the bunch, and there’s nothing we can do to help it. But shouldn’t we be respectful to the town and those who live and work within it? Besides all of this though, we had a great time at Southern Worthersee 2014 and we will always be looking forward to future SOWO events. A big thank you to Forge for being a major sponsor for the event and to everyone who made it a worth while event.
Words by: Sean O’Connor
Photos by: Jerzy Nieves
To view complete set of photos click here.