Fun Little Show

Short pitstop among the corn

Short pitstop among the corn

Last Saturday I tagged along with the crew from Further Performance to Fargo ND. It was our first trip to Volkswagens In the Valley put on by the Red River VW Club. It was a fun little show with around 100 plus cars, mostly air-cooled. There is something about low keyed gatherings that I really enjoy. While we all like to show off our builds there is something to be said about hanging with people who share your passion without being overly competitive.

The plan for the day was to start early from Further Performance and make the four hour drive from Minneapolis to Fargo ND. Five cars in total: My two cars the Golf R and the MK3 GTI along with three cars representing the shop. Tristan was in the Scirocco, Alex in the Karmann Ghia and Mike in his MK5 R32. It would not be a proper road trip if something does not go according to plan. True to form my friend Matt came down sick and was not able to drive the GTI so we left the GTI behind. Surprisingly that was the extent of the days drama.

The phrase a road less traveled describes Tristan and his approach to road trips. Avoid the interstate taking instead the forgotten highways and back roads of central Minnesota. No record speeds between points instead opting for slightly less than the published limits. Endless fields of corn, freight trains hauling their black gold to refineries far to the east and small town America never made a boring moment. It was a refreshing way to travel considering for the past 25 years I have flown back and forth over the exact parts without ever seeing the country on a personal level.

Much of the VW scene I have been exposed to is the hyper competitive build it bigger and better than the other guy. The scene at the Volkswagens in the Valley was laid back. People like me who enjoy their VW’s for the smell, sounds and feel of the vehicle. Sure there were some amazing builds but they did not scream out I’m better than you. Instead we all enjoyed the time and passion it takes to build a car, any car, and keep them running just because it makes you smile.

VWs In the Valley will definitely be on my 2016 calendar.

Awesome Type 3

Awesome Type 3

Porsche Powered Bus

Porsche Powered Bus

Bus

Bus

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A Sense Of Community

I spent the day at Further Performance as they assembled the rebuilt engine for my 1997 Golf GTI VR6.  Tristan has made his shop into more than a place to have an oil changed. So many people enjoy dropping by to see what new build is underway or just to chill out and tell hangar stories. There is a real sense of community among the people who gather at the shop. It is a community of people who share their collective knowledge of VW and Audi cars. The shop is also a place where it is not uncommon to see Tristan and everyone working at Further helping a new tuner find their way around an engine bay.

I have spent my life in the soccer coaching world, always willing to lend a hand and my equipment to young coaches or players. Despite their best intentions often my equipment did not come back in the same condition as it went out. For this reason I was amazed  when Tristan, in the spirt of true community, would willingly and with a smile, let tuners use the tools of his trade. I’m not talking about the tools of some giant unaware corporation, no, I am talking Tristan’s personal tools, the instruments of  his business. While I am sure, from time to time, a wrench or a socket went missing, mostly due to misplacement by the user, the vast majority of the time each tools was returned with care to its proper spot in the big blue toolbox. I guess in the end, when you trust the people who walk through your doors, it gives credence to the meaning of community.