|May 24, 2006
Carlisle Import-Kit/Replicar Nationals: 3rd Annual “Audi Club” Get Together
Many car enthusiasts have participated in some sort of Audi get together—be it a picnic, a fun-run, a night out for drinks or a photo shoot in a random parking lot. Informal get togethers are one thing, but one dedicated group of enthusiasts took the idea to the next level by participating – for the third consecutive year – in a three day event in a small town in Central Pennsylvania.
Back in 2004, 27 brave AudiWorld forum members ventured to Carlisle, Pennsylvania in their 4000s, CGTs, and other older-model Audis to be part of the first Audi gathering in Carlisle. In 2005 the same core group formed the “Mobile Audi Museum” by combining the AudiWorld crew with some members of the ACNA MidAtlantic Chapter. 41 Audis came to Carlisle that year. Continuing the trend, 2006 was bigger than ever with over 60 Audi enthusiasts from all over the U.S. and Canada converging on the Carlisle Fairground to participate in the 3rd Annual Audi Club Get Together.
Planning for the event started in December with weekly updates and reminders posted on the 4000/CGT Forum to register for the event. Since the Carlisle Fairground is a large venue with many car shows yearly, the registration process has been streamlined via their online website: $15 registers the owner, the car, and one guest for the entire weekend. On-site camping is available for $15 and 80% of the registrants choose to take advantage and camp, while others check in to local hotels. Registrations sprinkled in slowly, but by early May over 40 AudiWorlders’ vehicles were registered. The ACNA MidAtlantic Chapter had a handful of registrants as well, and at one point 61 Audis were parked on the show field!
Cars came from as far as Georgia, Indiana, Connecticut, and Canada—loaded up with spare parts, tools and camping gear in preparation for the long weekend ahead. Many followed the old adage “safety in numbers” and caravanned in to the show—the Indiana group drove east to meet up with participants from Ohio, who then met up with others in western Pennsylvania to all drive to Carlisle together. In the years past, Saturday was the “big day” to show up, with the highest number of cars on the field. This year, participants were eager to start the festivities earlier, and showed up Friday for the first day of the event. Enticed by a planned dinner out to a Carlisle pub and ale house (we had a reservation for 30!), over 20 cars appeared by Friday afternoon with owners looking forward to enjoying good food, drinks and old fashioned Audi company.
While most cars drove in, Phil Friday used a trailer to tow his interesting piece of Audi history - a beautiful replica of an Auto Union type C/D Hillclimb car - all the way from Virginia. This wasn’t just any replica made with non-VAG parts, but one built using a 1963 DKW chassis and engine. Once off the trailer, Phile fired it up and treated the crowd to the sound of a working two-stroke, three cylinder engine.
Also adding to the group’s history was a 1967 NSU Spider with a Wankel rotary engine, a tan-colored 1962 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxe (driven by Steve Sears all the way from Ontario) and a gray 1957 Auto Union DKW 3=6 owned by William Ellis.
In addition to these remarkable examples of Audi history, we also had a variety of “old skool” Audis: many 4000s, CGTs, and 5 Ur-quattros, most making the trek to Carlisle without a hitch. Also appearing were newer models such as A4’s, S4’s, allroads, a TT and an A3.
Every person that registered was responsible for bringing some sort of food, drink or snack for the whole-group barbeque scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Though the windy conditions made it difficult to maintain good BBQ’ing conditions, the group was thankful the rain held off! In addition to hotdogs, burgers, Polish kielbasa, sausage, and brats, one forum member actually carried a North Carolina microbrew on ice all the way from home.
Later on Saturday afternoon many of the cars left the show field to line up on Carlisle’s autocross course for a large group picture. Upon returning to the show field, most stayed to continue enjoying the food, drinks, and company until late into the night before finally retiring to the camping area.
Sunday, the final day, our Audi Club was awarded a plaque for 3rd place in club participation based on the number of vehicles registered. Having already taken home 3rd place in 2005 we were hoping to step it up a notch this year, but we were certainly pleased with the turnout regardless.
Numerous people and organizations helped make this a successful event. Toyo Tires donated bright yellow lanyards to wear—thank you Chris! The Ohio Valley Chapter of the ACNA was generous in donating credential holders that attached to the Toyo lanyards, into which we put name cards with our AudiWorld screen name and “real” name. This definitely made the identification process MUCH easier—thank you Craig! Dan Jackson of the ACNA MidAtlantic Chapter rented tables for our barbeque at the fairground. And of course the Carlisle Fairground was nice enough to provide us with two tents under which to congregate. Thanks to everyone who showed up to make the event successful and here’s hoping for one hundred Audis at Carlisle in 2007!