words & photos: George Achorn
Editor’s Note: With the news that Waterfest has found a new home at Atco Dragway in southern New Jersey, we thought we would rerun this article. This story originally ran in the Fall 2017 issue of the Audi Club North America quattro quarterly print magazine. If you don’t receive quattro quarterly and wish to subscribe, join the Audi Club North America HERE.
America’s largest Audi and Volkswagen tuning event continues to throw an incredible show. Audi Club North America again took part, bolstering its usual vendor area booth space and chapter gatherings on the field by making it an exclusive stop that was part of the ACNA National 2017 event hosted in New York.
Highlights in the Audi stand varied, both in age and form and also in day the cars were displayed. Saturday saw several Audi models on loan from Audi of America, including the only TT RS and RS 3 to make the show and also alongside an Audi exclusive S8 sedan. Sunday saw a more historical focus with vintage 1984 4000 S quattro and 1995.5 ur S6 Avant. Both days also starred ABT Sportsline’s white widebody Q7 built as part of that tuning house’s Formula E weekend presence.
Vendors are always an important part of Waterfest. For many enthusiasts, this show is the place to see, touch and feel those parts they’ve been lusting over for their cars. Any number of vendors display in order to cater to this demand, manufacturers such as APR, Waterfest first-timer 034 Motorsport, tuners such as New German Performance and also used parts vendors like Orchid Euro who ships container loads of parts yard picked European parts over from Europe.
One highlight amongst the vendors had to be APR’s latest acquisition. The Alabama-based Audi tuner is a longtime title sponsor for Waterfest and you can bet they’ll have a big display. The array of Audis on site certainly was impressive, but it was their new RS 3 LMS that caused the most dropping of jaws that weekend.
Another new entity to the vendor space was Audi Sport Club NY. This great club local to NY is always one to turn up with some very impressive built cars. Not only did they deliver as usual, but they also took up a large space where they put the cars on display all weekend, additionally hosting a great driving sim competition.
Of course, the car show is the main event and that didn’t disappoint. Waterfest is an event known for an emphasis on tuning, so boosted and/or bagged Audis of all sorts are always there in massive numbers. Even still, there are usually a few surprises one may not have expected, and we found a 1985 ur quattro on the field so pristine and preserved that it even had its original window sticker intact and displayed behind the rear quarter glass.
Making Waterfest a participatory event for the annual ACNA National gathering was a special occasion for the Audi Club North America. With guests travelling in from across the country, this gave the opportunity for many not local to New York who had their first chance to take in this one-of-a-kind event. Not surprisingly, these first-timers walked away profoundly impressed by the size and scope of Waterfest.