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VolksFest 2017

It certainly was a Volksfest in the park.

When the Advertiser rang on Wednesday afternoon looking for an old orange beetle for a photo shoot in front of a sunset with a model, I couldn’t respond immediately. I doubted there would be a visible sunset on Thursday and I could only think of blue, black and green pre 65 beetles that might be available.

A couple of hours later Ben Laube agreed to be at the beach so there was only the weather to worry about. As I watched the sky on Thursday evening, the sunset developed into one of the best you could hope for and everything came together. On Saturday morning, on Page 9, under a great headline, there was Ben Laube’s magnificent ’61 Beetle in front of an equally magnificent sunset. Thank you, Ben.



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The weekend opened with a cruise on the Friday night. That happened to be the last Friday of the month, so it was also Beanzn’Bugs night. The group assembled outside Solitaire Automotive Parts and Service Centre at Mile End.

Nearly 40 cars and their owners spent half an hour catching up, before heading to Henley Beach. We travelled through Henley Square to Grange and West Lakes, then along the esplanade to Semaphore.

Semaphore Road took us to Birkenhead, across the bridge and in to Port Adelaide, the former home of Volksfest, and the end of the cruise.


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Everyone arrived safely, some choosing alternate routes, and a few late arrivals made sure the car park was full. Fasta Pasta and Hungry Jacks made sure there were plenty of coffee and food options and a fine evening ensued.

In the weeks leading up to the event, new tram lines were put down in King William Road right past Elder Park. For a while, we expected they would continue across the City Bridge, but they stopped at Victoria Drive, and stayed there. That meant the intersection was not blocked and our access to Torrens Parade Ground remained open.

On Sunday morning nearly 170 Volkswagens made their way into Elder park for Volksfest 2017. There were freshly rejuvenated Volkswagens, many old favourites and at least two or three just waiting to start the road to redemption.


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Our fantastic team of volunteers also began to grow in the early hours of Sunday morning, as the café and the Club Tent were set up and the band warmed up. After a number of hot days, Sunday stayed around 24 degrees with a little bit of sunshine. The cricket match at the Adelaide Oval brought a few fans through the park as well.




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Simon Hunt took a Top Ten on Elder Award as well as the Roy Williams Memorial Trophy. Simon also had the lowest car at the event – even the grass was too long for it.

Lindsay Davie took a Top Ten on Elder Award as well as the Coolest Ride Trophy with his fantastic 1959 Kombi, which has fabricated suspension at both ends. Dale Wilson is a member of the Volkswagen Club of SA and his wonderful 1954 Beetle was one of the Top Ten on Elder.
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Terry Baker originally brought his VW Thing to Adelaide from Bali, then he turned up at Volkfest and was one of the Top Ten

We said Simon Hunt’s Beetle was low. It’s not always like that of course. He spent most of Saturday lowering it just for the show. Yes it was trailered in, but we understand. Ben Laube spent many years putting his Beetle together so he could drive to Volksfest. Now it’s a Top Ten winner two years in a row.
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Julie Bodner has one of the more unique Volkswagen kit-cars – an Australian made Purvis Eureka. A Top Ten on Elder winner!

The notchback of Ailbe Sheehy was presented with the Barny Myer Award for the best Type 3 at Volksfest – and it was. Tony Mudge has just finished repairing his ’62 Beetle after serious hail damage. Better than new and a worthy Top Ten on Elder winner.
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This van was for sale or swap. There was interest.

Great underfloor access. The good thing is that every panel you see is available new. Edward Davis was another Top Ten on Elder winner with his 1967 Kombi Panel. Nice work.
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So, congratulations to all our winners, and thanks to every participant and their friends and families who generated such a positive feeling through the day.

A big thankyou to all our members and volunteers, particularly those who spent hours behind a coffee machine, a barbeque, a counter, making cookies, sorting breads and sauces, selling t-shirts, mugs, hats, new memberships and anything else that wasn’t bolted down and then, keeping track of it all.

  • Thank you to the Adelaide City Council and their staff.

  • Thank you to Tom Parker and the Torrens Parade Ground.

  • Thank you to Drew Andrew for some of his Volksfest photos.



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