Sunday, April 26, 2015

Project Resurrection: Intimacy.....


n. pl. in·ti·ma·cies
1. The condition of being intimate.
2. An instance of being intimate.

Seems like a strange title for a post about a car eh? This is definitely not a post regarding relationship counseling with another human being, that is certain but the parallels with that are clear. 

This post is about getting to know something. About becoming fast friends and then deeply involved. The ins and outs, finding quirks and accepting them, or in other words becoming "intimate" 

The 337 was intended to be cheap transportation from something that I have just wanted to drive daily. That was the plan of course. The first red flag should have been the drool trickling out of the corners of my mouth (or better described as "foaming" when I first got it) and the voracity I attcked it with once it was in my hands. I never saw a clapped out hoopty in this car and I could not (can not) leave it alone. 

I have become very intimate with this car. I have been deeply involved under the hood (nether regions) and now have done some tidying up on the exterior. Well, some may be an understatement, let's not allow me to fool myself here haha. This post delves into the prep I had to do to help the wrap be successful in being cosmetically fit.

Let's start with the easy stuff. The vinyl is thin, like paint, so the surface underneath will show any surface imperfections pretty clearly and just like paint, different colors will highlight that pretty clearly. The first night I brought the car to Josh at Art City Signs He pretty much looked it over and said "do you really want me to wrap over this? You will see every ridge/bump/etc!" What I had done was went around the car and sanded surface rust and imperfections in the surface and then treated it with a rust convertor.

Every spot I had put the convertor on had of course had a rough area where it wasn't smooth. No good. The plan that night was to just get a jump on it before the weekend when he planned on attacking the car as a whole. I still needed to address the driver door and now, flat sand all of everything in an attempt to get the body smooth enough to not make Josh's end of it look bad in the end as just like in paint, prep is everything. The end result will only look as good as the preparation.

So we got the driver fender and roof installed that night and I took it home with plans to meet up Sunday and hit it hard. This is where the "intimate" part of this post comes in.  I have been well into the engine at this point, know the needs mechanically of this car in and out, It was time to get down and dirty with the exterior. With a list of stuff to take care of from Josh that ended with "and anything else you see" (the list was not short) I took it home and through Friday and Saturday night really got aggressive with the car. Friday night I sanded the snot out of that thing thinking the door would be a quick easy just pop the old one off, and the new one on. Right. 

In a nutshell, the entire car looked alot like this when I showed up with it sunday. It was a true odyssey getting it to this point. The sanding alone which included flat sanding the hood, the wheel arches, a better chunk of the hatch and bits and spots on the door  kept me active in the garage until somewhere in the realm of 3am friday night. I then proceeded to go to work from 8am to 5pm on saturday and that night I went after the driver door.
Remember this door? See that fold articulated into the front of the door? Yeah, that had to go.
So I had the spare door from my bits and pieces post almost ready to go, I just had to take out all the mechanical components of the door as they were junk, remove it all from mine and reinstall them in the new door. In a terrific epiphany, I remembered far to late that I had forgotten to grab the stubby triple square sockets from my tech at work which I needed to efficiently remove the door from the hinges. 

My friend Jason came by to assist me with this task as even with the guts removed, these doors are no light. After assesing the situation we decided the best course of action was to remove the fender and attack the hinges that way.

After alot of screwing around with it we got the old door off. I need to add that no matter how much of a pain in the ass something is, it sure is gratifying and pretty exciting to see something coming together. The biggest sense or relief, or self induced gratification was having this sitting on the ground and getting the new one on!
Clearly this damage would not be covered or hidden by the vinyl.....
With the replacement door on and some tweeking done, the results were satisfactory to my needs

Cosmetically, this one action was probably the greatest in my mind. It drove me absolutely crazy everytime I saw that door peeled back. 

After another 3 am night, I was comfortable turning off the lights and calling it a night. Whew.

One last thing I shouldn't forget here is the wheels as they are a very noticeable part of the car and can easily make or break the appearance of a car no matter what the rest of it looks like.

These are the OEM (factory equipped) wheels for this car, one of the things that caught my eye so many years ago and I saw no need to change them. I have a friend named Kris who is very active in many many things. One of his hobbies is powder coating. How neat, instead of getting real crazy with these, I had them sandblasted and Kris then powder coated them with just clear. No color. I wanted to try and keep with the matte silver theme and I'm not into flashy anyway. Kris did an excellent job with these! These are as important to the prep as anything else on the car, and I'm about to post a photo of the car with them on it so an explanation was in order.....
It's hard to believe this is the same car, even for me and I had my hands on it the whole time.
That is how the car looks now. Next go round here will be the actual process of wrapping the car.

Till then.......

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Project Resurrection: "Movement"

Have you ever opened the hood on a car and thought "What the hell is all that crap?" I remember thinking this many times early on in my early years of dealing with automobiles. The seemingly tangled mess of hoses, wires and mystery items that only fufill the purpose of blocking your hands when you need to access something as well as performing the magic that prevents your check engine light from joining you in your travels in the early stages of your cars life, and transforms into an ugly demon hell bent on keeping it on in the later stages.
This is an AWP code 1.8T engine (not mine) still carrying most of the factory equipment, looks tidy? No. Go ahead, put your hand in there.
My engine in particular had some of this stuff eliminated before I got it but was still in need of much more help. Some of the stuff in there was questionable on initial inspection, and there was still a maze of brittle plastic breather hoses that had been along for the ride since the car had rolled out of the factory. It needed to go. If there is anything that drives me nuts, it's an engine that has a mess of crappy crap all over the place (which is a bit odd, because I am generally not a "details" guy) random looking hoses and just crap in general.
Same view as the last except my starting point. Like I said, a bit less but still a mess.
So after reading all the threads on the mystical and all knowing internet, I assembled everything I would need to delete all of these things and after work one Friday I fired up my garage heater and pulled the 337 in.

Always with other issues to address and just some fun stuff to add I got started several hours later (with the temps outside at negative stinking cold, it took about 3 hours for my heater to get the garage anywhere near sort of comfortable. Thanks Wisconsin).

Before I dug into the main task, like I said I had a couple other odds and ends to address. Fist one was an upgraded engine mount known as the "dogbone". See the photo and the name will make sense. One great effect changing this mount to an upgraded unit is it will help keep things sound and planted in the event of wheelspin.
The new one installed with the old one held up. With the old units bushings all worn and floppy, the switch to another one from VF with poly bushings is a strong upgrade in itself for this car.
With that out of the way my next piece was a turbo inlet pipe ie: how the engine gets it's air. I am not going to drivel here long about how a turbo works, if you are unsure see here for a full tutorial:How a turbo works.
Ultimately the working theory is the better the engine can breathe, the better it will perform. So to help it breathe better the first thing to do would be how it takes in air. Start at the beginning and work your way to the end.

So one of my purposes under the car was to get a good shot at the lower end of the inlet pipe from the bottom of the car to release said pipe from the turbo. Of course as I do these things I am generally under my car making crude noises and mutterings mixed with barely intelligible curses every so often as I figure out how to get to something. As with most projects there is far more dis-assembly to access one thing than you would anticipate so instead of taking photos (that process is forgotten and out the window by the time I figure out what comes off next one reason I will never be able to publish an accurate and thorough "how to" article) I move forward and realize far to late for any in progress pics and move on to this:
The new (left) and the old (right)
As you can probably see, even if you have no idea what you are looking at, the pipe on the left would probably allow far more volume of anything through than the one on the right. On the right is stock equipment from VW, it's worked for years, but doesn't mean it can't be improved upon. Note on the stock piece how at the bottom it pancakes and has to impede airflow at least a bit and the replacement holds the nice round pipe shape all the way down. The one on the left is from APR and is absolutely an upgrade from factory. This particular pipe is actually for a different application than my exact engine so I got an ok deal on it, and with the ports in slightly different spots than original it actually worked a little better for me as I was putting everything back together I relocated some things for a little tidier finish.

So now the meat and potatoes of this. The main purpose of this project is to get rid of all the old, brittle evap system and secondary air injection system hoses, as well as rebuild the meddled with and substandard crankcase ventilation to a system that doesn't fill my intake tract with oil causing a burning oil smell from start up on due to a faulty pcv valve. Ultimately they are emissions related and not absolutely needed for proper engine operation.
These plugs each get a 1watt 330 ohm resistor to plug into the harness to "fool" the car into fueling correctly without the emissions stuff  that was plugged in those spots.

Really. These items, a couple resistors to go in those plugs (not pictured) and a bunch of hose clamps. And time, and maybe about a c-level technician skillset. That's it.
I did miss the 90* and "T" pcv fittings as of course I forgot to take photos as I was doing this. Surprising.

This is without a doubt a "some disassembly required" project. As always some photos I'm missing are the removed intake manifold and a couple "disassembled" photos.
I managed to snap this as I was starting to take everything apart. This barely even scratches the surface of this process.
So after alot of removing, and less reassembling, this was my pile of stuff on the floor.
This is the "deleted" pile. All kinds of stuff taken out. 
Now, as this is my daily driver, I needed to get it back on the road asap. Hence I did not take everything off and clean, paint or polish. Not a big deal to me, some will chastise me for this but hey, I did do some major cleaning in this bay with good noticeable results.

Access to the engine is far easier now, and the engine bay doesn't look like a hose factory barfed in there. I also installed a set of silicone coolant hoses while I was in there this time too. 
Next steps in the engine bay are: find an intercooler set up that the piping is less obvious. I am not into that big shiny pipe traveling through the bay. I would much rather sticker bomb it than have that much brightwork. And maybe I'll take the components off and run them through the hot tank. Not a priority by any stretch. This works, it's not a show car. More for purpose than beauty.

Now the outside, well, that's a different story. Somewhere in the area of a week this will look like a completely different car......
Wonder what this means?
So in the end, I get a cel about every 200ish miles for an improper flow in the secondary air injection, which I clear and it goes away for a couple hundred miles. Not a big deal considering this is was a beginning point for this car:

my starting point.

And this is current:
I'm ok with an infrequent check engine light......

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Project resurrection: Bits and pieces.....

At gatherings of family and friends and the topic of cars comes up, my dad will tell a story from my childhood and then joke that I have achieved said story. 

I grew up across the street from the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds. I played in there when I was a kid, and that property played a big part in my imagination as when I dreamed of the what the world held for me, the fairgrounds was often part of the plan. My dad and I used to walk around in the junkyard every now and then as well as go and examine the ravaged hulks of steel left over the day after demolition derbys. 
So my pops story is about how one day we were standing in the front yard as fathers and sons sometimes do, although neither one of us remembers what exactly we were doing, but I looked right at him and said "Dad, someday I am going to buy the fairgrounds and make it into a junkyard." Now, I don't know how old I was, but I wasn't very old. 

Although I no longer hold hopes I will open a junkyard (I've found other things to fufill childhood hopes and dreams) I still throughout the years have had a collection that brings this story out of my dads mouth as well, to most, I could have a junkyard albeit a small one. 

I have progressed from calling what looks like junk to most to calling all these things people obtain "collections" as really, that's what they are. 

I am always posting "looking for" threads in different communities on facebook and other social media outlets. Now more than ever with the 337 as I needed alot of stuff for this thing. The biggest hunt was straight body panels so I could move forward with the cosmetic part of this build. Almost never without a lead to follow up on, I love getting out and seeing what people have laying around. Even when going to look for one thing in specific, frequently you stumble across people that have all kinds of stuff you weren't expecting to see. Of course that can also go the other way. You can talk to somebody about some parts and they will invite you out claiming to have the honey hole, Alladins lamp, and a stable full of unicorns and when you get there you are looking at the biggest most awesome pile of 85 golf parts that are covered in mold, dirt and rodent droppings.
My journey that day was nothing like that. My friend Andrew had ridden along for poops and snickers and as we came around the bend in this rural Wisconsin driveway and the property came into view our vehicle heard several "whoas, lookit thats, and dangs!" from the cockpit. Just about every generation of VW was represented just in plain sight, and there were several outbuildings that through the open doors you could tell were full of cars. Damn, score!
Along with the cars I had anticipated being there, there were more cars than I could even get a quick count on in varying conditions and several of which I am always on the hunt for. I call these things "treasure" and immediately go into what I call "acquisition mode" In my earlier posts on project resurrection I had mentioned the struggle for my wife. The wide assortment of yard art I would bring home and shove in the garage provoking sometimes not the most awe inspiring reactions from her as well as the neighbors. Of course when that switch is flipped in my head it's more like a feeding frenzy vs a well thought out plan. I've impulse bought cars that needed to be moved out from the point of sale 2 hours from home and no plan on getting it out and a family function in an hour. If you aren't living on the edge, you are taking up to much space. Fortunately for my wife, the transactions were not going to happen that day but I can assure you, there has been a flurry of text activity regarding some of the treasures that surfaced for me that day. 

Just look at that refrigerator. 1985 whirlpool, eggshell finish and an ice maker in the door. dang. Gotta have it!

Maybe I wasn't looking at the fridge :drool:
So I wandered around the property daydreaming about what I would do if I had a large outbuilding, with thoughts of a vintage VW junkyard (collection) just steps from my home dancing in my head, sigh.......

After realizing the clock was ticking away and I needed to get back to Oshkosh our attention turned to the task at hand.
The lucky donor. Between this car and another black mk4 golf I managed to get all the body parts I needed
Many ask why cars like this are left to sit. I say it's good that they are available for parts. Recycle......

So here we go. The meat and potatos of this project is coming for people who are bored with the trivial little things that you can't really see. Soon there will be a very visible transformation with this car. How will it look? In my minds eye, badass. I need to qualify that too. Some may not see it that way, I'm totally ok with that. I will build it how I want it, full steam ahead, my car, my problem if it looks dumb. I won't tell you what to do with yours, nor will I ask you what to do with mine. I don't think that will be a problem though. Like I said, I'm not looking to break the internet with this project, just build a respectable, clean driver that makes me turn around and look at it when I'm walking away.

The box of maintenance parts, and the box of fun stuff parts is growing and soon, it will be go time.
See you next time.....

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Dubs In the Valley 2007: The first go round. Educations are expensive........

So although the timeline isn't exact and perfect, my first post about DIV and the premise of it was pretty on (this decided by us, after I posted it, yes, us is still most of the people still involved that was part of the same "us" the first time we did this) See it here before you read further:Where we came from.

Matt and Bao are somewhat inactive but still come when they can and after that first meeting, several people joined in to help carry out the master plan. It can't happen without a good team, introductions will be made soon so don't fret.

I had moved back to Oshkosh in 2004 for a business venture. DIV had been a pipe dream for some time for us but it was always in our heads. It didn't have a name, it was a nameless faceless daydream to us. Always in the back of our minds but never coming forward. Laying in wait for us to decide it was time to roll with it. At some point in 2006 it surfaced in my head. A vision of epic proportions. The be all end all! A party to rival the best and be logged in the history books (I need to qualify my delusions of grandeur by letting you know my business vended in close quarters to to the EAA airshow. When you see that you believe anything is possible.) I feel closely tied to the EAA and it still fuels my thoughts on the show. Here's why, and remember this as this will come into play later. They are a grassroots organization, started by enthusiasts who have worked hard and built a gathering that people travel to from around the world. Think about that. Not a big corporation, but a guy, and some friends having a get together. I was amazed by this. Why not us?

So after a little chatter back and forth we decided it was time to pull the trigger. So step one: where? Well it just so happened that just up the road from me there was a pretty badass racing facility. Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna seemed to be the ideal place. Featuring a 1/4 mile dragstrip that is known for some ways around it seemed like an ideal place to carry out our agenda hence the "premium dragracing and carshow" on the banner of our logo.

The venue was chosen right about the same time as the name. The name came from VWs of course (Dubs) and "In the Valley" as in the Fox Valley. So we had a name that had a ring to it. How do you put a face on it? We sat around one night brainstorming this. I'm pretty sure it was Matt who came up with the idea for a classic looking design that had the feel of an old school beer label. Ironically, in the basement of the house I lived in, there was a poster glued to the basement wall made up of (get this, because it is ironic) Old beer labels. It was meant to be. Matt was employed in the graphic arts industry at that time so he contracted a designer he knew to build us a logo that employed the feel we were after. What became of that is a graphic that has become synonymous (ha! no spell check at the first attempt with that word!) with a good time. The shield has been with us since the inception of DIV and will be with us for good.
Note the "premium homegrown carshow" This change will be explained in future posts as we travel through time with DIV
Sorry for the resolution of that, being old sometimes creates challenges with things like internetting for me. You know this logo, If you don't you will after this.

So now we get to the part of securing the track, assembling costs, etc. Which leads into the planning meeting in our first post. I'll spare you all the details as they are somewhat mundane, and there are far more fun things to talk about from 2007. I will say that the track and everything else came with a hefty price tag which we were not expecting. DIV almost didn't happen because of that. But we had a can do attitude and really, if you put the right group of people together, anything can happen and it usually will so we barreled forward with no idea what the future held but didn't care because we were not afraid. We were excited.

Lets get to the show. I don't have alot of photos unfortunately. But there are some neat videos out there, I remember when I found this one. Released shortly after the event in 2007, I was flattered and thrilled to watch it. Relive it, this one captured the feel well I think. You be the judge!

Everytime I click on that I watch the whole thing. The friends I've made and the memories, boy the memories. We have fun.

I see alot of folks in that video that I still see year after year after year, that is badass. So how did it go down you ask? Smooth. We were pretty damn happy with it all. we were running cars down the track, there were a bunch of cars in the show area, people were eating and drinking, it was well, what we wanted. Matt had shown up with something we had all forgot about, trophies.  It's a somewhat good thing one of us was somewhat grounded. The trophies he produced were probaby some of the coolest awards I could have hoped to see at a carshow.
We have never found a reason to stray from what Matt brought that day. Can you think of a reason? People proudly post photos like this with the trophys they win, That is reason enough to keep them just the way they are. We of course have added some. Sponsors are now invited to make trophies and pick the winners, a pretty cool thing alot of shows now are trending towards.

Hot summer day. dragracing, cars, people, camping. Goodtimes. We couldn't help but feel good throughout the day. Then came the awards. Most were happy, some however felt they were entitled more than the cars that were picked. Well, after a gravely burnout shouting unintelligible things about some Jetta from another club winning we had our first angry patron. Then it came time to settle up for the track. After the shirts were paid, office supplies, etc all came out and the list of sponsors that so anxiously signed up never paid, we were short. Uh oh. So we paid.

Then came the backlash on the internet from "Mr my car didn't win" and his peanut gallery. Of course a battle ensued creating a rivalry that made for many awkward times at future events, which when I was present and could participate in had a fun time as I really do enjoy a good argument although in times like that I end up infuriating somebody more haha as I don't take some things seriously, especially people who are mad they didn't win (on a side note, in response to the whole trophy thing, we said "step up your game" which that guy really did. well played sir, well played)

So with all this going on a few of us said "no way, too much money going out to do this again" I said I understood but I was going to continue. That was just too much fun and I was hooked. Well, everybody eventually came back on board when it was realized it was happening either way.

Now, I wouldn't couldn't do it without my team. It wouldn't feel right without them. These are my people.

These are my dudes. This shot is missing Mr Long Ball Rally as he usually retires well before us kids get out for the night after the show. I hope I never get old haha!
 I need to say, when defending ourselves against any attacks that were made, we never ever claimed personal sacrafice, or any other BS excuse as to problems we may have had. We simply did what we could to correct it, as we do now. Because this is fun, we love it, we love seeing everybody. Every last bit of it is worth every pennyminuteseconddollarandthought. No questions ever if it should happen. Thanks for reading. Maybe we will make some introductions next eh? We have some characters, that's for sure!
Til then!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

No tuna in this basket.....

The Cabrio. Little brother (or sister, depending on who you are talking to) to the Rabbit Cabriolet. Meant for sunny summer open roof cruising and general pleasantry. Equipped with a dependable, fuel efficient 4 cylinder engine and was plauged with the same sins as just about any other manufactures. Crappy cup holders, appalling ride height, not quite enough go when mashing the accelerator, you get the picture. Commonly joked about as a "ladies" car (that has a handle on it), hence the Tuna Basket title, this is one example not to be taken lightly......

Enter Billy Volms Cabrio. Purchased a few years back from a well known local who is a purveyor of just about all new, old, and used VW bits as well as builds of his own, already equipped with a VR6 swapped into it, Billy was off and running to make it his.
Adding bags and 3SDMs really set the car off cosmetically, and as far as making it go, Billy stepped up the VR Cabrio game!
I asked Billy to give me some specs on his Cabby, here they are:

268 cams
Dual valve springs
ARP head studs
C2 8.5:1 head spacer
185,000 mile stock block

Precision 6262
ATP clone turbo manifold
M20 intake manifold
Forge diverter valve
Tial 38mm wastegate
Auto meter boost gauge
30# c2 stage 1 software
Running 10 psi
Non intercooled

5 lug conversion
3sdm 0.05
Air lift slam series bags
Switch Speed management
VU4 manifold
Dual 444c compressors
4 gallon air lift tank
Zaetech Digigauge

Some build cars and baby them. Treated like spoiled princesses and queens of the garage they sit untill the next show where they get pampered at the spa created by their owners. don't get me wrong, I'm ok with that too. I am not like that personally but I also understand that alot of time, money and effort goes into our cars. I don't judge, cool machinery is cool machinery.

Billy is not one of those guys. The chapter of the cabrio has ended for him and he is on to building another car. The big stuff has been parted and the car is returning to its original form. Sadly, I never got to shoot any engine shots or rollers of it.

When I said Billy drove the thing, I wasn't kidding. I have no local pics of the car. We traveled, hence no rollers as I was always piloting my own car and well, it just doesn't seem safe to me to shoot photos while driving.

What I do have is alot of shots from all over the place as we traveled to many places for shows this last summer. Kentucky and Minnesota are the spots these photos are from. So enjoy, just a little documentation of a pretty cool little car from  my neck of the woods. I know what he is building next, and it is a car that will be dear to my heart for several reasons. I can't wait and I'll make sure the first shots I get are of the motor and some rollers.


Hand held. I got lucky and had an aperature to use.....

Proof that a Cabby can look ok with the roof up. Although that sentiment is rare with me.
 Till next time.......

Project: Resurrection, The key to it all.....

This post isnt going to be much of a progress update, I'll warn you of that right now. This is a little more about a late night saturday and my very strange ocd type symptoms manifesting. My poor wife, I bet she wishes it would manifest in the form of perfect laundry, or housecleaning of some sort. But nope, things like my keyrings are the things I am particular about. How does she do it?

You can tell alot about a person by their keys. I see many peoples keys everyday in my line of work. The no nonsense, straight to the point, no fuss types to the fun loving free spirits and all in between.
Memorials, pictures of the kids, funny slogans, a logo of a place of significance, hello kitty, or simply a car key and an office key if not just the car key. Personality types very distinctively manifest on a keyring. 
This is my everyday set of keys. I do have a spare, in a just as unexciting to me set up.
My keys hold things significant, for instance, being an enthusiast, I like to have something to show what I drive on it. It's not because I forget I have a GTI, it's because I just want to have that there because well, I just do. I noticed my keys were starting to seem cluttered though. With the advent of getting my hands on a parts key to fix my spare (it was missing the keyring loop)

My spare key on the right, The piece with the good keyring loop, and on the left, a key that brings fond memories every time I see it.

So I set about disassembling my spare key and replacing the part of the body that contained the loop. 

With that out of the way, it was time to start arranging my keys. 
Starting with my regular go to key I took what I wanted on there and put it all together.....
A car key, a house key, and a VW emblem cut out of a key from one of my old bugs which has been following me around since somewhere around forever. Remember what I said about sentiment?
 You can see the spare set in the backgound. The old key on there is from the first GTI I ever really dug into and put together. See my post about the origins of DIV and that was the car I was talking about when I said we liked to get into our cars and drive to shows. I wish I had photos of that thing somewhere, but back then it wasn't about taking photos, It just was never thought about. We all have that car though. I managed to salvage a key from the untimely demise of that car and I swear it's like sampsons hair for me when I grab it. 

And the finished product. Now that I have probably confirmed my nerdness, and successfully not given a useful useful update on the 337 as well as made you want your 5 minutes back, here is a quick shot of the intercooler mounted correctly. 
Remember this unsightly mess?

Although the intercooler looks much better, man this thing looks rough. All that will change very soon though. Just the little things for now! Stay tuned because when this one gets rolling, it is going to snowball. Wheels are off for some cleanup, parts are being ordered for under the hood and I almost have the needed body parts to get it in one piece for the beautification. 
See the introduction to the 337 here:The beginning of it all for this car....
And the first real post about it:How I found it/got it

Until next time......

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dubs In the Valley (DIV) Oshkosh WI: A history lesson

In a land not so far away somewhere in the roundabouts of the last decade there was a group of guys who were into cars. Big cars, small cars, wheels, a propulsion system and badass were about the only items needed to muster the attention of these fellows.

They of course had a particular brand that captivated them the most, a brand that they had been drawn to from their early ages for a multitude of different reasons. Some had parents who had driven them, and hot rodded them, and their earliest memories were riding around in their parents old VWs. Some were enamored with them since their still developing minds could recognize what a car was. At events riddled with supercars and feats of engineering meant for the race track, these kids would gravitate to the dent riddled, battle scarred bodies of Rabbits modified with high compression racing engines, rollcages, numbers and sponsor logos all over the outside, and the cars held a certain mystique. The ugly ducklings that when put on the track blossomed into beautiful swans as they three-wheeled around the tight corners and outhandled cars of the same vintage that were equal to the difference of the pfister hotel and a one room shack with half a roof in the ozarks found abandoned by settlers decades ago.  I'm starting to ramble, telling my side of the story here, so let me get back on track......

This group of guys, all either deeply immersed in the VW modifying scene, or budding into it, were what the car world calls "enthusiasts". With a distinct passion for cars, beer, friends, and all things that go hand in hand with that lifestyle, these guys lived it. Always wrenching, hanging out, and having a good time in general.

Although from different backgrounds, all with a different idea of what they considered "fun" they had one thing in common. They loved getting their cars cleaned up, jumping in and driving to a car show.

They saw things at these shows that they found questionable at best. The awards, who was getting the awards, the activities, the location, blah blah blah. This was really the period where internet was starting to come of age. Peoples gripes and concerns were being heard via the internet as well as the golden age of: "internet fame" Pissing, moaning, building, yelling, name calling, and gratuitous complimenting were becoming prevalent and carshows were definitely one hot topic. Pages and pages of arguments, most started by a miffed attendee, and responded to by whoever was posting on behalf of the show. It made for hours of reading pleasure (I do think on of my favorite hobbies is reading arguments people are having on public forums, some of it is mundane, but every now and then you find some comments that lead you to believe that if society had not intervened with natural selection, there would be many less people on this planet)

These fellows were not the loud start a fight types on the internet, well, maybe once and a while when they something they thought was unjust, but they also held their own opinions about things. Usually  they held their tongues if only publically, as their thoughts generally came out to each other at what we could now call (looking back) meetings, normally held at the local VW shop where Benny worked or in my basement (the rock and roll palace also dubbed "manville" by my downstairs neighbor who built it) So that's it, a shop with cars, or loud sessions in a basement bar with instruments that carried alot of volume. That is where much brainstorming happened. How we were going to take over the world.
Circa- winter 06/07 Left to right: Ben Kwitek, Matt Kwitek, Bao Nyguen, And yours truly, Joe D. This photo is significant because it was the very first "official" planning session for DIV, the next paragraph will explain the premise of this night and leading up to DIV#1 in 2007.
In all the threads with complaints about carshows virtually every organizer responding to these gripes cited how difficult and time consuming it was to put all this effort and time into organizing said event. Committee meetings, venue problems, cost, infighting, etc. Toil toil boil and trouble right? Whatever, do you love it? Why are you doing it then if it sucks so much was the general consensus amongst ourselves. So in a (possibly inebriated, we'll never tell) discussion about this, as we laughed at these posts regarding how hard it was to set this up, we decided to have a carshow. If only to mock those posts. Yes, DIV started as a joke among a group of friends drinking beer in a shop In Madison WI. The photo above shows us at our first planning "meeting" at the Ale Asylum in Madison. A proposal was written up by one of us with scant (at the time we thought theywere plentiful) details about venue, basic cost, classes, etc. We were confident we had it all nailed down by the end of the first pint so shenanigans around Madison ensued for the rest of the night with the knowledge that we could actually pull this off.

And so it began. Next DIV installment will be about the players, the rulebreakers, the anti carshow carshow, and the development of a brand that is personal legend to us, and the times and trials of getting one of these off the ground. It's a good story, stay tuned. Up next will be a little closer look at some of the cast and crew, as well as some details from this:
Next up: burning questions left unanswered in this post. If we were in Madison, why is it "Dubs In the Valley" and in Oshkosh? Where did that badass logo come from that we plaster everywhere? Just to keep you interested, these are some original pieces of  memorabilia from DIV1, or 2007 as we called it then. See you next time and thanks for tuning in.