|August 21, 2000
After the success of our Spring Bash on April 29th, it became obvious to us that Audi fever had really taken hold in the Northeast. Planning for the Summer event began soon after. The question was how big was this thing really going to be? Well, as planning got underway, the scale of the event grew and grew and grew. Ira Porsche/Audi jumped on the bandwagon early. I had approached them initially about being involved in some way and their response was that they wanted to host the event! Well, that sparked the inferno. Cris Lau, Mark Pogers, Dave Low and myself started heavily publicizing and promoting the event, while in the meantime calling a whole host of vendors. In the end, nearly all of the major east coast tuners representing most of the Audi aftermarket was there.
For me the event began on the morning of Friday, August 4th. I loaded up my father's A4 Avant (the workhorse) and my show-ready S4 and headed out from Northampton, MA to Danvers, about 10 miles north of Boston, and the location of Ira Porsche/Audi. Along the way we hooked up with Mark Pogers and rest of the drive was rather spirited (see pictures of the drive at CT/NY "On the Border" Audi Group under "Events"). We met up with a Boxster that played with us for a while, and also a yellow Civic buzz-box. Upon seeing us, the owner's jaw dropped almost as low as his slammed car.
We arrived at Ira, ticket-free, at about noon. They had already started clearing out the lot, but still, we were worried about not being able to accommodate nearly 300 Audis. As we pulled in, we were greeted by some of the sales staff, who still had no idea about what was really going to occur in the next 24 hours. The APR trailer was also there. Seems that they had arrived from their 1,200 mile drive the day before. Mark and I spent the rest of the day putting final detailing touches on our cars, while more and more people began to trickle in. Many had come from far distances -- from Chicago to Canada to North Carolina -- and were spending the night at the Marriott, Peabody hotel, where we had blocked off a number of rooms for the event.
Probably the most eyebrow raising appearance was by Neil from LLtek with his radical A4 Avant. When we spoke earlier, he had told me that he was bringing a car that would make people say what the hell is that!!?? He did not disappoint. Over the course of the evening, all the major tuners arrived. All the while, a car washing party was happening at a nearby car wash about 1/4 mile down the road from Ira. At about 7:30 pm, all the tuners and many of the guests headed over to Joe's American Bar and Grill for dinner, drinks and socialization.
Saturday morning came quickly. The entire dealership was rocking as we set the stage. The tuners set up their displays, the show cars were put on the platforms, more cars were moved, parking zones were designated, banners were put up, raffle prizes were collected, local vendors came andthe food arrived!!!! The flood gates opened at 11 a.m. and by noontime the lot was full and the show was packed. It was incredible to see APR installing chips in car after car, and to see UUC install shifter after shifter, as well as introducing their new S4 driveline stabilizer. The new PES G2 supercharger was a work of art. To the unsuspecting, it looked like part of the engine straight from the factory. LLtek's big news was their new intake system, while Stratmosphere unloaded a boatload of MTM products.
All told, the following Audi aftermarket vendors were at the event: APR, LLtek, Stratmosphere(representing themselves and MTM), PES tuning (representing themselves and Garrett), UUC Motorwerks, Autobahn Performance (representing themselves and TAP), Ross-tech, Auto Design Haus of Boston (representing Oettinger, Avant Garde, and CEC), Cocomats custom floor mats, Adrenalin Motorsports, Tweeter etc. car audio, Audi Quattro club, and Key Credit Union, one of the biggest sponsors of Northeast Audi Owners Club events. The fun went on for over six hours. Oh....and who can forget Joy and Erin, the APR girls who were spectacular in helping with the registration and raffle. Just wouldn't have been the same without them there!!!!
The raffle was at 3pm. Thousands of dollars in prizes were given out highlighted by 3 Valentine One radar detectors courtesy of Key Credit Union, a free chip install from APR, a Brullen S4 exhaust courtesy of the Northeast Audi Owners Club, and a $250 gift certificate to the Tirerack from, who else, AudiWorld.com. The Boston Globe was there to do a full feature (published Saturday, August 12) and Mike Duvall was there photographing for MAX Power magazine. As the event drew to a close later in the afternoon, a few cars were gathered for a Max Power photo shoot. We'll keep looking for that issue!!! As usual, the day ended with the some test drives around the local back roads.
I left at about 6:30 pm, and headed up to the New Hampshire coast. A scattered few were still left behind. Not sure when they left, but as I headed up I-95, windows open, music blasting, a smile came upon my face. All those long hours of planning paid off. It was the true world-class event we had hoped it would be. Still I couldn't help thinking 2001 is gonna be even better.