words: Troy Sicotte, photos: Denis Podmarkov
Editor’s Note: This story originally ran in the Winter 2018 issue of the Audi Club North America quattro quarterly print magazine. This time around, we’ve added the entire collection of photography shot on site by Denis Podmarkov. If you don’t receive quattro quarterly and wish to subscribe, join the Audi Club North America HERE.
It’s no secret that Southern California is a special place. The birthplace of skateboarding, Oakley sunglasses, surf rock and cruising in hot cars has a noticeable effect on the Audi aftermarket scene. Nowhere is this more present than at the one of the biggest all Euro car shows on the West Coast, Big SoCal Euro. Held at the massive facility that is San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, it’s one of the longest running car events of its kind, going strong since 2001 and open to all European marques, from Alfa Romeo to Volvo.
Leading up to the show are big SoCal caravans, usually a few set up each coming from the North, South and East that lead to an area of VIP parking to show off, eighth mile drag racing and a big SoCal raffle. There’s also a massive vendor showcase where retailers such as Pure Motorsport and TAG Motorsports are there showing off project cars while manufacturers such as Motorsport Hardware, Wagner Tuning, 034Motorsport and APR/EuroCode display their latest creations.
This year, the show was greeted not only by Alfas, Audis, BMWs, VWs and Mercedes Benz cars polished to the nines; it was also greeted by significant rain. By 11AM, things had dried off, cars were re-polished and vendor tents secured. So, the festivities continued.
Audi had a massive presence this year thanks to a few California car clubs: Members from ACNA’s Golden Gate and SoCal chapters congregated amongst friends from other Audi focused clubs including Audi Gruppe Silicon Valley, Audi Club San Diego and Autobahn Club of Los Angeles.
The show proved that now, more than ever, Audi is on fire and folks are spending money making them unique in big ways. In SoCal, a $10,000 set of wheels and $6,000 vinyl wrap is virtually the price of entry in order to get noticed, be it on an occasional track toy or concours garage trophy.
So, what did I learn with my first big exposure to the SoCal Euro scene?
Wheels and tires…it’s all about wheels and tires! As someone who favors the OEM+ look, and never spends more than $400 on a track wheel, seeing and touching wheel-sets that cost $10-20k blew my mind. Those forged shoes (as they call them) are a gateway into shiny big brake kits and suspension mods to establish the perfect stance. It may not be my thing, but I came to really appreciate the look, approach and the business behind it.
BigSoCal Euro 2018 is already scheduled for Sunday, September 2nd, 2018. The event has free general admission, free standard parking, and is family friendly. For more information, visit www.big-euro.com.
Editor’s Note: The organizer of Big SoCal Euro would like to add that the NorCal vs SoCal Euro is happening on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Buttonwillow Raceway. For more information on this event, please click here.