Carlisle Import-Kit/Replicar Nationals: 4th Annual “Audi Club” Get Together
For the last three years the Carlisle, Pennsylvania Fairground has been a gathering place for many Audi enthusiasts at the Import-Kit/Replicar Nationals. This year was no different as the 4th Annual get together was organized well in advance and occurred over the long weekend of May 18-21, 2007.
At one point there were over 80 Audis on the show field registered under “The Audi Club”, spanning everything from a historic DKW Junior de Luxe to current model year Audis. Some cars looked like they were freshly out of the showroom, while others definitely looked like they were well-used over a 20+ year span!
This gathering traces its roots back to 2004 when 27 Audis were registered, many of them enthusiasts who post on AudiWorld’s 4000/CGT forum. As word spread about the three-day gathering more and more interest stirred up. In 2005 attendance jumped to over 40 Audis. 2006 also showed significant growth with over 60 Audis registered and on the show field. The Audi Club of North America (MidAtlantic Chapter) boosted attendance by helping to publicize the event to ensure more Audis would arrive every year. In 2005, 2006, and 2007, The Audi Club has taken 3rd place for Car Club Participation.
This isn’t just your typical get together of locals for an afternoon of chit-chat, food, and drinks. This is a three day EVENT. Planning the get together begins months in advance, mostly by posts generated on the AudiWorld forums regarding registration availability.
Since Carlisle already has an existing “Import-Kit/Replicar” show they provide online registration so each Audi enthusiast can take care of registration securely and pay online. The fee for one vehicle is $15 for the entire weekend (this includes the driver and a guest), and also $15 to camp on site. There are hotels in the Carlisle area. That said, the majority of the registrants of The Audi Club opt to camp as there are ample flat green spaces to pitch a tent as well as covered shower and restroom facilities.
The show begins on Friday morning and lasts through Sunday. This year the majority of The Audi Club arrived Friday and headed to a local restaurant that evening (where we had a reservation for 70!) to enjoy great beer and excellent food. After dinner the crew headed back to the fairground to hang out until late into the night before retiring to the campsite for a chilly, yet thankfully dry night’s sleep.
Saturday tends to be the “big day” attendance-wise for the show, drawing the most show field registrants and spectators. Due to copious planning and sign ups which take place on the forums, Saturday’s gigantic barbeque went off without a hitch. Everyone “signed up” to bring something—grills, meat, cheese, snacks, buns, condiments, water, beer, soda, desserts—you name it and it was there! All of the attendees congregated among the food and rows of cars. Our group had two extensive rows parked on the show field and there were Audis as far as the eye could see. Seeing this many cars registered was only a dream for those attendees back in 2004, and is certainly a testament to how word of the fun has spread!
This show isn’t just for Audis and barbequing—quite the contrary! There are many different makes of import vehicles that attend Carlisle Import-Kit/Replicar so it’s virtually impossible to get bored. Saab, BMW, Volvo, Opel and Subaru always have an impressive showing yearly, not to mention exotic kit cars made to look like famous makes. On top of this, there are a variety of vendors selling goods, delicious concessions, and even organized Auto Cross events held by the SCCA. Add to that the fact that we’ve been lucky to have fantastic weather for the entire weekend for the past 4 years and it’s easy to see how so many people are drawn to this event.
The crew of The Audi Club are already looking forward to next year’s event, which according to Carlisle Event’s website, is slated for May 16-18, 2008. If you’re interested in attending the 2008 get together, check out the 4000/CGT forum early next year for the earliest posts about the event.