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  • Writer's pictureFrank Oles

VW Show Crystal Lake 2015

VWs as far as the eye can see! This was my third year attending this show, and it was the best and biggest yet. Weather was perfect, so attendance set a new record. Beetles, Transporters, campers, dune buggies, GTIs, Karmann Ghia's - there was a little something for everyone who is a VW fan.

The swap meet always has treasures, and this year we scored a whole transmission for $50. Still looking for a nice set of front fenders for our 64 Beetle project though. The hunt continues...

Beetles are always the biggest draw at any VW show - they cranked out millions of them, in a rainbow of different colors.

This 1957 Beetle was a real standout, with a fabric sunroof, pop out windows, and vintage Okrasa engine mods. Very nice!

Engine featured vintage Okrasa engine parts, which stood for Ottinger Kraftfahrtechnische Spezial Anstalt, the name of the company. High compression twin port heads, stroker crank and dual carbs boosted performance from stock (36hp) up to 48hp. Good enough to shave 0-60 times by 12 seconds! Those mods were worth every penny. Read more about Okrasa here:

Interior was also jaw-dropping. Centerpiece was this incredible banjo steering wheel with “golden lady” horn button. Attention to detail everywhere.

The coral pink of this clean Cal-look Beetle caught my eye. Great detail on the custom interior, and tasty BRM alloy wheels.

No VW show is complete without a Herbie tribute. This one was more accurate than most.

The finish on this 1967 Bus was first rate. Laser-straight sides, smooth as glass paint, Porsche Fuchs rims, and safari windows. And your knees are the crumple zones. Still, you gotta love a bus!

This 1963 Cabriolet has all the details correct. Beautiful details and presentation.

This is a 2004 Volkswagen Sedan "Ultima Edicion" - the last of the Beetle line, in Aquarius Blue. Amazing that this car soldiered on as long as that. Driving one today really gives you a nostalgic feeling. Must have been something brand new!

This 1978 Convertible Beetle is a twin to ours. It was for sale with a 12K ask. Needed a bit of work, riding quite high in the front like ours did before the drop kit. Hopefully it finds a new home.

Our little 78 (first from the right) had quite a bit of company this year, with a dozen other convertibles in attendance. 1979 was the last year for original Beetle sales in the US.

On the way home, our Beetle had two transmissions! We scored this one for just $50 at the swap meet. Fair Dinkum!

This chap had quite the collection of stickers. My favorite was the one with a nod to VW’s ad campaign from the 90s, only this adaptation read “Fukenbroken".

This Beetle had a very cool custom Safari Window conversion, which was an option on the early Bus. Who needs air con when you can have the ultimate in flow-through venting! More details at:

Thought I’d end on one of the best personalized plates of the show. A few more weeks of driving and it will be back to winter hibernation.

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