Another early morning, to a very, VERY long day. But this time it’s for the main event- show day. Arriving to the shop, Trevor brings Romel’s (@romelvw) mk8 Golf R to the rear parking lot for a quick tail light install. The Euro tinted IQ LED tails transform the entire rear end of these, and is definitely a must for a white mk8. The night prior the guys popped the worth-more-than-my-life 20″ BBS LM’s on to prepare for the day, and as we finish that up, it’s time to head out front to load the mk8 onto the display pallets.
Arriving out front we’re greeted by a substantial line for the carbon fiber shift knob release (at 10:00 AM, when the store opens), with Larry right at 4th in line (@19_gti_rabbit). I wasn’t kidding, dude wanted it bad!
The loading onto the pallets was stressful watching- not gunna lie. I trust the science and all that but man seeing a build like that driving up ramps onto wood- it’s a pucker moment for sure. On top of that, the front two planks splintered as the ramps weren’t at a bracing point on the pallets, so that made it extra exciting.
After that early morning Kegel exercise session, and a quick center cap install by Trevor, (I appreciated this, “BBS” was upright at all four corners- take note everyone) I got to work and started blasting away a la Danny Devito as the trash man in “Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.
But then the clock struck 10. Carbon fiber shift knob drop time! The hype was real for this. Larry was snagged #4, as expected, and many others were waiting in line- let in a group of a few at a time for crowd control within the store. The line lasted quite a while, with over half of them selling within the first few hours!
After getting some candid video and photos of patrons snagging this crown jewel of a knob- I continued my trash man adventures up and down high street- first visiting the long-lost cousin of the R32 and the chromatic aberration liveried nightmare right out front.
After a healthy dose of copium I was ready to walk away and venture forth- luckily there was a nice lineup of Golf R’s and R32’s not too far away. The Irish Green spektrum and Melissa’s (@caribbean.green.r) Caribbean Green (1 of 1) spektrum were amongst the crowd.
Slightly past these was what can only be described as the most extreme of just about anything. Crow race seats, twin turbo 3.2 VR, Bagged, over fenders, massive lips on BBS RS’, massive rear spoiler- really just everything turned up to 11. Hearing it pull up fell somewhere in between Hades mid-climax and an F22 raptor breaking the speed of sound. (@ryanmaretsky)
Making a loop back I started to notice my affinity for MK4’s to take grasp of my preference of what to shoot- lots of MK4 R32’s, 20th’s, and just overall clean MK4’s were vying for my attention, with others frequently being put to the side for them. The car ADD was real with this one- it’s complete visual sensory overload. I’ll say a few mk5’s and mk6’s grabbed my attention here and there. Then the other unicorns came out to play!
This one wasn’t as advertised as much as the A59 and TCR I think due to the rarity of public appearances of both vs this- could be entirely conjecture, consider that my own $0.02 on the matter. But I was actaully really excited to see this as this was one of a few mk5 era concepts I thought was absolutely sick – the mk5 R GTI. This was one of a few “R” concepts that VW did for SEMA, with this one making it’s debut at the 2006 SEMA. It retained it’s 2.0T, FWD set-up staying true to the GTI name, but with a bigger turbo, 22mm flared front fenders, 19×9″ wheels with 265/30 profile tires on all four corners, lots of carbon fiber body panels, center exit exhaust, and a ROWDY interior. Four- yes, four- bucket seats, with schroth harnesses- amongst many other little things here and there. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Neatly- and inconspicuously- tucked away next to it was the CC performance concept- a stage 3, APR tuned, tuxedo T-shirt wearing monster. This shared a similar story to the R GTI but with less pizazz. Different front and rear bumpers with 20″ performance wheels and 14″ Brembos on the outside, and a custom Recaro interior to keep it classy inside.
Keeping on schedule, I noticed it was almost noon-thirty- time for the super secret new car unveiling from VW! (seeing as the 20th anniversary mk8 Golf R had just been announced online, it was a safe bet that this would in fact be the unveiling- and surely enough- yes it was.
Realizing I had about 2 blocks (minimum) left of adventuring to do, I head back towards BFI to see what else is cooking. Sleeping dog was looking photogenic as much as they were looking comfy, so had to get that recorded because why wouldn’t you? Jamie’s 3.6 VR6 swapped mk2 Citi Golf popped out on the way back as well as Brandon Quail’s 1.8t swapped MK1 Cabrio (as previously mentioned, he’s an absolute G- @that_1.8tcabby)
Popped back into BFI for some hydration (z6 on an RSC2 with a monitor and da z7ii with a backpack is not light, at least not for me) and was told there’s a Carrera GT around the corner. Snapped some more MK8 photos- and got a shot of Larry’s carbon GS2 installed (first one on!).
Yes, the V10 mid-engined master piece straight from Stuttgart was there. Grabbed my camera for a stills-only run with plans to return for the video set up and hunted down the 10 cylinder surface to surface missile. I’ve seen a handful in person before- but it’s never not exciting. The bonus? A concourse level 356 speedster right across from it.
Yeah- this is a good day. Best part? There’s still DOZENS of show cars left down the rest of the street. There’s a red T5 and a brown Scirocco on BBS E50’s I had heard yesterday (sounded as good as it looked- incredible) that I headed towards and let my heart guide me.
Up and down the street there was a continuous supply of quality cars- one after the other being unique, rare, well-built- or the trifecta. Engine bays so clean you may get it dirtier by trying to clean it. The paint in some of the shaved bays as in better shape than literally ANY panel on my Polo. Mk1-mk7’s, just non-stop aces. Tyler Simon’s (@tylerssimons) Martini-liveried ABT kitted mk7 on BBS LM’s (see also: perfect) close to the Carrera GT was a fitting pair. Chuck’s (@lilpinkworm) yellow base Golf Harlequin on white Fifteen52 Turbomacs was a joy to see (as all Harlequins are, always). Audi of Wilmington (I believe it w as) brought out an Audi Sport kitted VW LT35 with a matching Audi Sport R8 V10 (sploosh), and Jamie’s Golf Country towing his Rallye sat closely parked to the gorgeous brown Scirocco. If you’re a VW nerd, this is the place to be.
There’s always one that humbles you though- in this case, a guards red 997 GT3 on BBS E88’s.
Then the Harle-homies cars showed up! Dave Nogueira’s (@rubiks_cube_Harlekin) and Scott Sayer’s from Deutschwurx (@deutschwurx) both looked awesome!
After the walk down and back up, I snapped a few of the Rotiform/FCP Euro cars including the Biagini Passo BFI hooked up for AVF and a sweet Porsche tractor!
After my photo lab, I did it all over again with video – keep your eyes peeled on BFI’s social media for the link/video!
Then came logistics of returning home. To make this work, I had to book a later-ish flight and an INCREDIBLY early return flight, anticipating working at noon the next day, being my holiday on. I had a 6:00 AM flight out of Philly, and ended up getting to Philly sooner rather than later as Lyft/Uver had no rides available at that time of the day (a healthy 45-60 minute trip one way at 3:00 AM on a Sunday night is not something I’d expect anyone would want to book even three days out- as I did- or tried to do).
Long story short- pulled an all nighter, ended up with a crying infant next to me (I get it, it’s a baby, it still sucks), napped when I got home, and was ready for work. That was a LONG 8 hours- but as you can see, it was so worth it and I cannot wait to do it again.