Volkswagen Passat Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone that's been around in the VW world noticed something?

There are basically two factions of people you see at VW shows or events.

A) The air-cooled crowd: Typically older people that grew up in these models, they like the relative simplicity of the mechanics, they're nostalgic, and on the plus side IMO, are far more likely to keep their cars to original specs. There are of course exceptions, but overall, most of the cars in this group are unmolested. The bad? Many believe that air-cooled RWD, rear-engined VWs are the only "real" VWs and some couldn't even identify a Jetta or Passat if they saw one.

Then you have the other side.

B) Tuner kids with lowered, stanced, bagged, slammed, chipped GTIs, Golf Rs, etc. that also have a $5000 set of wheels and a stereo that can be heard from half a mile away. They have a need for speed and laugh at anyone who would even think of putting something like a Bone-stock Mk IV Jetta, B7 Passat, or any other late-model factory VW in a show. In fact, as soon as someone purchases a water-cooled VW, the first question they're asked is "What mods are you going to do?" They employ the rationale that you can go to any VW dealership lot and see stock cars, and who wants to do that?

I do. I long to find ordinary VW owners who just love their cars as they were meant to be and want to hang out with others that are like-minded. In the 15 years I've been active in the VW scene, I've had a hell of a time trying to find people with this mindset. Is anyone out there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,101 Posts
Probably not many. Midsize, non-performance sedans are not known for attracting enthusiasts (apart from the ones on this website). Much like the people who like wagons, other people tend to shake their head or roll their eyes unless it's modded like crazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I understand the "to each his/her own" philosophy in terms of modifying, but I'm a purist that strongly believes that while they may not fetch big bucks at Barrett-Jackson 30 years down the road, something like an ordinary Passat, Golf, Jetta, 21st Century Beetle, etc left as the factory intended will nevertheless be appreciated at VW-specific shows some day. I cringe when I see something lowered or has wheels tilted at a 45 degree angle regardless of its age. Racing or even how fast a car goes from 0-60 has never interested me. However, I love it when I see something like a meticulously-restored Toyota Camry from 1985 with Collector plates or any car that's only 2-3 years old that looks like it just rolled out of a showroom, and I just wish I could find more VW people like that. The air-cooled people are sort of like that except they don't think cars are show-worthy unless they're decades old. On the other hand, if I was , say, a Mustang enthusiast, a mint 2015 model would excite me just as much as one from the 60s. And....I wouldn't have to have a Boss or GTI. A Base 6-cylinder or even a Mustang II would be fine with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
Frequently the factory intention is no more interesting than to meet a competitive price point in a given market. Accounting driven engineering can result in very dull cars indeed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Tuning companies would hate me for saying this, but my thought is that if you don't like the car the way it's built at the factory, then why buy it in the first place? For example, if someone doesn't think a Base Golf cuts it, then get a GTI or a Golf R. I'm looking for VW people that are like the old Saturn owners that had an annual Homecoming in Spring Hill, TN or Mini owners that just like to get together and do that cruise across the country or see how many they can get on the Mackinac bridge as opposed to putting their cars in shows and being ignored because it's not tricked out like some race car. I'll probably never find them, but that's what I'd wish for.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
23,309 Posts
Tuning companies would hate me for saying this, but my thought is that if you don't like the car the way it's built at the factory, then why buy it in the first place? For example, if someone doesn't think a Base Golf cuts it, then get a GTI or a Golf R. I'm looking for VW people that are like the old Saturn owners that had an annual Homecoming in Spring Hill, TN or Mini owners that just like to get together and do that cruise across the country or see how many they can get on the Mackinac bridge as opposed to putting their cars in shows and being ignored because it's not tricked out like some race car. I'll probably never find them, but that's what I'd wish for.
There also the thought that they like the car and love to improve on things and make it theirs. There's no performance b5 Passat other than a W8 and it really was just more power.

The suspension set up is perfect when you get the right springs, shocks, and other bits underneath.

Also the initial price point. 1-2k in upgrades on a base car vs 8-10k more for a gti or something.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I don't have a problem with anyone wanting to individualize their car, but immensely dislike the idea that you HAVE to modify them in order to be cool. The original Type 1 was anything but a performance car, but loved by millions. I have a B7 now, and am perfectly content with the suspension it came with. I've heard some people say they are boring and bland and drive like a Buick, but some of us LIKE that. In fact, I have a T-shirt that has a photo of a plain B7 that says "Stock Ass Passat" that I plan to wear at shows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
PP- I can understand where you are coming from. Am I going to cut on my B5.5? Probably. But I come from a family of auto/drag racing bodymen. That said what I do enjoy is getting in my (for now) stock Passat, turning the key and not worrying. I can appreciate the fact that you enjoy a well taken care of auto, but what's good for one isn't good for another. I wouldn't hate on you for liking a stock car or even taking one to a show. That said, if you are showing a stock car, for me it had better be on point. You can't really appreciate a modded car without the original. And I'd have to agree with VAGguy, its a price point thing a lot. Plus I'd like to build something to my liking. (If I was going to build).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I haven't put my 2014 B7 in any show yet, but I plan to. Once in a while, I actually get recognition when there is a "stock class." That being said, however, most of the time my cars are ignored. I've been told in the rude Car Lounge that I'm about as much of an enthusiast as a soccer Mom who loves her minivan, but I prefer to think of myself as a purist. There's a show near Chicago later this summer called Windy City Dubfest where you have the option of paying a lower entrance fee and your car is not judged. I did that last year with a B5 and plan to do the same with the B7. Unfortunately, my B5 was totalled in a crash last fall....... Another thing besides the notion that a water-pumper has to be modded that really irks me is when some beat-up air-cooled rustbucket that may have looked good during the Vietnam War but now looks like it was pulled out of a swamp gets a trophy simply because it's 50 years old when someone else with an immaculate Mk IV Jetta or a Passat Wagon gets passed by. I purposely vote for the latter underdogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Sorry to hear about your B5. I for one have never been a purist. But I have also never been one who cared about what other people think. I think you should always do what makes you happy. That's the whole reason we do it anyway right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,144 Posts
I've never been snobbish as to what car is modified or stock. I like any car that's done well. But... If it's a show car only ? Knock yourself out with being 1/4 inch off the ground and 45 speakers. But as a driver, I prefer my car to be "driveable". I lowered both my 2001 GLX and the W8 but within reason. I don't want to have to come to a stop to traverse a pebble. Not to mention that those slammed suspensions with bizarre camber angles are only good for a glass smooth track. Drive on real roads and put things and people in the car, you know, like it was intended, then add an extra hour to get everywhere and plan detours because there's one too many expansion joints. Maybe I've just gotten old but I don't have much desire to do any of it any more. I changed the wheels on the Sonata last month as a 50th birthday gift to myself and that's probably all I'll do. Sure I can do a chip, intake, and exhaust, but to what end ? I mean as the saying goes, no matter how fast your car is, there's always one faster. It runs with cars it has no business doing so and the speedometer has seen 160 - ALLEGEDLY. I'm not building a race car out of an ordinary family sedan. I can out drive many other cars on the road. Anyone can push the pedal and point the car straight but when it comes to the twisties, the driver makes the car and not the other way around. It's big, fast enough and handles reasonably well. Brakes are as big as the W8 had and stops very well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I guess what I'm saying is that I couldn't care less how fast my car can go from 0-60 and have nor have ever had an interest in racing. Back in the day when I had an air-cooled Bug, I read magazines like Hot VWs and skipped over the hot-rod stuff and just read articles pertaining to vintage restorations. Another thing that really sets me apart from probably 99% of car enthusiasts is that I have no mechanical skill whatsoever, but I do adhere to the dealership's recommended maintenance schedule religiously and strive to keep my cars looking like they just rolled out of a showroom. . My car is my daily driver AND show car all rolled into one. I figure, maybe showgoers will give it a second look when that 2014 Passat is in a VW show in 2034, you know? I'm such a purist that on my last Passat, a Base 2005 1.8T, it came with VW hubcaps so instead of getting alloy wheels to replace the curbed ones, I ordered brand new hubcaps of the same vintage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
This a really old thread, but I recently got into it with the tuner crowd on a FB page created by VWoA. Basically, an ad appeared where a young woman seated in a slightly-modified Golf was saying how much she loved her VW. Below the ad, there was a disclaimer from VW warning that modifying cars can adversely affect reliability, warranty, safety, etc. I chimed in and stated that I wished more water-cooled enthusiasts would keep their cars stock. The tuner kids reacted immediately with stuff like, 'Never. Needs more low," "Friends don't let friends drive stock," "Stock is boring," etc. OR the other argument, "Today's cars will never become classics, so we might as well do what we want with them before they're junked." I was also, in true VW Vortex fashion, labeled as an old fart and opinionated douchebag.....That aside, the scariest thing to me is that with the latter attitude in particular, when the air-cooled crowd eventually dies off, the VW show/club scene will be nothing but twentysomethings with lowered, bagged, slammed, etc cars unless they grow up. Just once, I'd like to see a bunch of mature VW owners that just like to get together with their plain, ordinary cars and have a good time. Will that day ever come with water-cooled people?
 

·
Wants to be TheFlipperGray
Joined
·
7,339 Posts
This is a fault in logic that occurs anytime someone thinks they're capable of dividing a group of people into two distinct categories. Those who prefer air cooled are not necessarily purists - there are so many fast, low, heavily modified air cooled beasts running around. Those who prefer newer generations and water cooled are not necessarily teens injecting doses of 2 Fast 2 Furious - there are kids who are stock and many older folks that are heavily modified. I went cruising with members here who were considerably more modified than I was, and considerably older (Jay? Still around?)


I chimed in and stated that I wished more water-cooled enthusiasts would keep their cars stock.
Then their reaction was entirely warranted. You tried to impose whatever belief system you think is appropriate on others, and that doesn't have to be tolerated.

Just once, I'd like to see a bunch of mature VW owners that just like to get together with their plain, ordinary cars and have a good time. Will that day ever come with water-cooled people?
In general, those with stock cars are not enthusiasts and will not have a meet. Why? Those who don't use cars simply as a means of transportation, enthusiasts, use the cars as an extension of identity. They might not know people's names, but they know them by car, or have them saved as a phone contact as "Imola Yellow B5 S4 Stan" to place context with the name. Being an extension of identity, they are often modified to make it unique, individual, something special to the owner. Why not make the car look the way you want when it is a reflection of you? And if it isn't, why bother sharing it with other people?

Personally, I enjoy the more inclusive meets where people were friendly to young and old, water and air cooled, stock and modified, fast and slow. Sort of humbling to be in a place where there are so many drastic differences between cars and tastes, but a sense of mutual respect for the builds accomplished by other enthusiasts. Respect even for stock cars if it still manages to look showroom perfect after 15 years. Should a GTG of water cooled stock VW owners be what you wish, then try camping out in the VW dealership parking lot and introducing yourself to prospective shoppers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I would camp out on a dealership lot, but the concrete's kind of hard. I only have a tent. lol Actually, something almost nobody thinks about is this: VW shows draw lots of spectators as well as entrants, and I would suspect that many are "Average Joe/Josephine" VW owners or simply interested in checking out VWs as a possible next purchase, and a show is a place that's much more laid back than a dealership where some salesperson will pounce on you like a vulture the split second you enter the lot.

You're right: There are modded air-cooleds, but I see a lot more that are stock. There are also a few older water guys with fast cars like Rs and GTIs, but at water-cooled-only shows, a good 90% of the people will be under 30, have heavily modded cars, some of which aren't even recognizable as Volkswagens, and they scoff and laugh at anyone that would even think of showing a plain stock car, and this is why I settle for the shows that are usually about 80-90% air-cooled with just a handful of water-cooleds in the mix. But..... Perhaps I should have said that I wished there were more owners of plain water-cooleds that would be enthusiastic enough over them to take part in clubs/shows. Everyone wants others to share their belief system, that's human nature, but basically the belief that I want people to have is one that has been lost: A love for ordinary cars that aren't decades old and/or long discontinued. There should be Toyota Camry clubs, Honda Accord clubs, Ford Fusion clubs, Hyundai Sonata clubs, etc......Cars used to indeed define a person whether they had a need for speed or not. Now to most they serve as nothing more than mere appliances. And THAT'S what needs changing. Tell that to a tuner kid and they'll laugh in my face.........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Haven't been on here in a long time...probably a year or better, at least in regard to this thread I started. I still hold to my guns on this topic, but I was inspired by a Facebook discussion and have decided to mellow out and stop caring what people think about me putting a bone Stock B7 in VW shows. The tuner crowd does have a point: You can go to a dealership, a used car lot, or any grocery store or Wal Mart lot to see a 5-year-old Stock VW. But...what they simply don't get and perhaps never will is that you can still be an enthusiast if you're a purist of today's cars as they come from the factory. Since the OP, my car has enjoyed a little recognition at events that have the foresight to include a Late Stock Class. Granted, there aren't very many people like me, but they're out there, probably not at the big water shows like SOWO or Waterfest, etc, but at smaller club shows, I'm not always alone. Let the tuners shake their heads and snicker.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top