Melbourne’s VW Cruises and Melburg Luft staged the 10th annual VW Jamboree at Caribbean Gardens on Sunday 25th March, 2012.
The weather was perfect for a car show and entrants and spectators showed up in their droves. An estimated 100 Volkswagens of various models, ages and condition were on display.
The VW Jamboree is a little different to the VW Club’s annual Day of the Volkswagen and VW fans coming along expecting to see rows of pristine restored Beetles, Kombis, Karmann Ghias and the like would have been in for a bit of a disappointment. Whilst there is certainly a ton of excellent craftsmanship on display, the approach of many entrants is certainly not to restore their cars to better than factory condition. Rather, the approach of many entrants can possibly best be described as being a bit alternative.
A number of cars were obviously highly modified, with the BUG ME buggy being a stand out (the orange colour helped in that regard as well). KARMIN, a modified 1964 Karmann Ghia features headlights from a BMW Mini and other parts from a variety of makes including Honda, Falcon, Mitsubishi, and more – the spectacular red paint was a highlight. Other modified cars included a Beetle Ute and a Type 3 Ute and War Bird, a modified Kombi/Bus. Many of the cars on display appear to be on their last legs, covered in rust or well work paint work, but things aren’t necessarily what they seem. Engine bays usually belie the outer wrapping, and car bodies sitting on the ground usually manage to give themselves a bit of a lift before they head off home.
The VW Jamboree is a well established event with corporate sponsors involved and a large selection of trophies are handed out across a dozen or so categories. Voting is done the old fashioned way with spectators being issued with voting slips and volunteers tallying up the results for the award presentation, although there are some specialist judges for a select number of awards. A variety of traders stalls offer spare parts, models, manuals and more to the VW enthusiasts.
Caribbean Gardens and Market is a great venue for a car show although the large numbers meant that they were squeezed in pretty tightly. The surrounding car park also included an interesting collection of VWs whose owners perhaps couldn’t commit to staying for the whole day. One amazing vehicle associated with the Jamboree was a rare Ansair Flxible Clipper bus that had been converted to a motorhome.
Spectators included VW fans who went along specifically to see the cars as well as many others who simply happened to be at the popular Sunday market. Live, loud music from Inferno, a rock-a-billy type band, also drew attention to the VWs. The mobile coffee van was greatly appreciated by many, and of course food was available from the market stall-holders.
Congratulations to the organisers for another great VW Jamboree. Can’t wait until next year.