As it is around the world, there is a huge following in South Africa for Volkswagen and Audi brands.
Those who enter the VW Group scene usually find it difficult to leave, often changing their car for a new model or adding to the collection. My first car was City Golf and I am now in my fifth VW, so I too can be considered a fan. That said, I was a good companion when I recently attended the 13th annual VDUB Camp Fest – an event in South Africa that is worthy of being in Europe.
VDUB Camp Fest has been held in various locations over the years, but for the past few years it has been called the Warmbath Resort in the home of the province of Limpopo.
It is a two-day event with lots of people taking part in Tote with their modified cars. Apparently the event didn’t take place in 2021, so avoiding one year – and so more time to create great things – I was really interested to see what people came up with.
In the case of custom cars, ‘last minute’ is always the name of the game, despite having extra time to prepare. I was part of this statistic, because my own caddy ended the night before the event. Making a wrap and custom machining and painting wheel in three days was probably not the smartest idea, but hey, I made it.
The focal point of the event is a stage that features a mirror-topped car turntable as well as the lower parts of the judge’s car competing for the show prize. The judging panel includes some local VW Affionado and international guest Jamie Orr, who travels long distances from the United States each year.
While there are many who enter their cars at the VDUB Camp Fest competition, there are many who simply attend for a relaxed atmosphere and good company.
While most of it has VW and Audis appearances, the variety of models representing these two brands is great. Everything from old school staff to the latest and greatest VW Group offers, and I would say 90% of them are broadcast. Going back a few years, most cars were running static suspension setups, so tables must have been the case.
This triple stack – a bagged T6 Combi carrying a bagged trailer carrying a bagged Mk7 Golf GTI – was great. I really like how the theme has been carried across.
Owned by MC Vic Purdale at the event, the 997 Carrera S made quite a splash by winning the first 911 in the country. The conversion was done by The Loudown Co., the same guys are currently bagging Project LS for me.
The winner of the previous ‘Best of Show’ at this R32-swapped City Golf VDUB Camp Fest, and you can clearly see why. Its custom-modified RAYS volcanic racing wheels, perfect engine bay and other small details prove that less is sometimes more.
Recaro Wingbacks VW and Audi have become even more popular in the changing scene and with it their value has increased significantly in South Africa. They came in a plethora of colors and finishes at VDUB Camp Fest 2022, my favorite brown pair.
They were fitted to this beautifully made Mk4 Golf GTI-R, a factory model that I believe was only sold in South Africa.
The Citi Golf, a slightly more modern version of the iconic Mk1, was sold and built in South Africa until 2009, and a special version of this car was the Citi 1.8iR. It features advanced styling in the form of special bumpers and wide arches, partial leather front seats and aluminum trim on the dashboard. The engine was a 1.8-liter fuel-injected unit that produced 90kW (120hp) with an Estas 272-degree cam, Brospeed (Bosal) 4-2-1 manifold and sports exhaust system, as well as a factory Bosch MP9 fuel injection replacement.
It was the perfect weather for the whole weekend, and by that I mean the glow, and even with sunscreen the skin has become a crisp. However, everyone who attended enjoyed it.
Of course, a few non-VW groups of cars managed to sneak in, but hey, what’s the harm ?!
Shows like VDUB Camp Fest, although there are always some sort of competition, to hang out with like-minded people and appreciate each other’s cars more than anything else. There will always be people who make cars just to show off and compete for trophies, but I’m not sure they’re the best people. If you build your car for your own enjoyment and just come to hang out, enjoy a break from normal work and city life, then you are guaranteed a good time. That’s why I will definitely be back in 2023 for something more.