words/photos: George Achorn
Editor’s Note: This article originally ran in the Q4_2021 issue of quattro Magazine. If you would like to subscribe to quattro Magazine, please join Audi Club here.
L’oe Show 2022 registration is open. You can register here.
Jamie Orr, better known for his YouTube channel and European car importation, jokes that the name of his hometown “Pottstown” may be apropos given the number of potholes on the streets near his automotive warehouse. Nestled in a residential neighborhood around the corner from an exclusive boarding school in an outer train line suburb of Philadelphia, Pottstown finds itself in this interesting spot between metropolitan growth of a major east coast city and the suburban and sometimes rustbelt nature of suburban Pennsylvania. Jamie too is in an interesting space, world renowned for his automotive activities, yet with a desire to do something local for the community he calls home. Enter the L’OE Show.
L’OE is effectively a play on (French-ish) words – L’ meaning “the”, OE standing for his company Orchid Euro, and finally pronouncing it “low”… as in the low cars that come out to enthusiast events. L’OE was also a rethink on the great European enthusiast events that take over untraditional locales, although in this case he’s trading out the likes of lakeside Austrian towns for a somewhat tired and half occupied Coventry Mall in his own town.
The idea was simple enough. Fill the empty stores with pop-up versions of brands relevant to car enthusiasts. Audi collection was on the list, as was Audi Club. Rotiform would set up their own store, as would the likes of New German Performance, FCP Euro, a model car vendor and several others. A podcaster would even record from a glass-enclosed space. Getting that all to come together semi-seamlessly was the trick. You don’t just take over malls… even half empty ones.
How it happened is a story for another day. Let’s talk about what you missed if you skipped it and why you should come out next time. For starters, there were the aforementioned Audi stores. Audi Reading manned a full Audi collection store in what was once a Pier 1 Imports, while Audi Club manned a second along with Audi Wilmington selling Audi Sport gear in a former Footlocker. The latter also enjoyed a diverse brand display including the 2005 Le Mans winning R8 LMP1, a Sport quattro, Cameron Kendall’s Group 4 quattro replica (featured pp. 26-29, quattro quarterly Fall 2018), an R8 V10 performance with Audi Sport performance parts and Audi Wilmington’s RS 3 LMS.
Display cars were featured throughout the mall, and also around the perimeter of the exterior. If you wandered outside, you caught a healthy mix of even more vendors, a strong showing of RS 6 Avants and other Audi models. RS2 Avants also played heavily, either fresh off the boat or formerly imported, each owing their American status to Jamie Orr’s importation efforts.
Of course, the mall effort was only one part of the overall plan. Jamie Orr envisioned a multi-day mix of entertainment as is more typically seen in Europe. This inaugural year that meant gatherings at breweries, Pottstown’s own main street car show and a gathering at Orr’s own warehouse. Next year we’re planning to interject a more specific Audi Club gathering elsewhere into the weekend.
Like so many of his SEMA and project car builds, the first L’OE show came off almost as if it were storyboarded and scripted. Rushed as it was, it went off fabulously. The crowds attending were remarkably large, and feedback universally positive. This new format certainly struck a nerve, whether measured by the interest from enthusiasts, the Audi and Volkswagen business community, and even permanent vendors at the mall who were ecstatic to see what one of their own brought into their space.