There are only a handful of annual events within the European car community that are extremely well organized and show case a handful of exquisitely built cars. One annual event that has been going on now for 3 years is Euro Tripper, hosted in South Florida by Paul Barney and his hard working staff. It feels like just yesterday we were attending the first Euro Tripper event in Estero, FL.
The first event was amazing with the amount of quality cars and groups from around FL that came out to support. It was also at that event that Dub Empire won for best group. And here we are today, 2 years later and the event has grown leaps and strides in how large it has become. Not to mention how well organized it was as well. Paying close attention to where cars should be parked, where booths should be set up, and overall making sure that everyone was enjoying their time at the event. So here it is, our review of Euro Tripper 3 at Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers, FL.
You see there's only but so many events here in FL that cater to European cars; and even then it's either the quality of the cars, location, or disorganization that tends to leave a bad taste in peoples mouth. Similar to brushing your teeth and then promptly drinking orange juice right after. But Euro Tripper, even from it's beginning, has not been one of those shows. You see the attention to detail that is taken with the EuroTripper staff is that of people who have been doing this for years. Which in fact they have. If this was your first time attending a Euro Tripper event, then you're behind by 2 years (we suggest calling Doc and Marty McFly to take you back to 2013). Probably the most incredible aspect of EuroTripper is seeing how far it has grown from year one. And even then it was an extremely well organized event, even though it was not as large as the current year. But it's the attention to being organized that has been stuck in our minds, not to mention the cars in attendance.
So year three, what's changed? Well not much actually, and who could be mad with that after attending the years prior. You see the Euro Tripper event is quickly growing into an annual event that people from across the south want to attend. Similar to Fixx Fest or Southern Worthersee in a sense. In just three years Paul and his team have taken this event from a small brush fire into a state wide forest fire with quality vehicles coming out of the woodwork. Not to mention native Florida groups such as Simply Clean, HighwayStar Garage, and Cloud9 just to name a few. Fort Myers Volkswagen was also in attendance as they and Simply Clean presented the event. With a big name such as Simply Clean, it definitely adds to the amount of people who not only hear about the show, but want to attend solely because of the quality of cars.
Ok so I'm sure that after reading four paragraphs of how organized the event is, you guys are probably losing interest. Well let's talk about the multitude of cars that showed up from around the swamp, err well the state that is. Starting from oldest to new, there were a hefty amount of air-cooled VW's including Trey Davis' beetle that was parked at our booth! You may have also run across Tony Marlow's beetle, as well as Mike Unland's Beetle on Rotiform FUC's that we absolutely drooled over.
Mike didn't just bring his Beetle to Euro Tripper, he also brought his Type 3 Notchback that we fell in love with the first time we saw it at Euro Tripper 2.
Over at the Treffen South booth you may have noticed Raul Perez's 1957 (yes 57') Beetle in its pristine condition.
While on the other end of the spectrum, there were just as many if not more water-cooled cars as well. Next to Raul's Beetle was Scott Caufeild's MKII GTI. We have a heavy soft spot for MKII's and Scotts was no exception to the rule.
One car, that seemed to be completely misunderstood, was Panchito Mendoza's MKVI GTI built in Mexico. A lot of people seemed to have a lot to say without realizing that Golf R's were not sent to Mexico. So Mendoza, being the enthusiast that he is, built the car with all the necessary R bits and pieces such as the exterior and interior. Apparently the only pieces missing are the engine and the all wheel drive bits. I think the one thing to take away from this build, besides being absolutely gorgeous, is that it is an actual "BUILD". Unlike everyone else who bags their car and throws a set of wheels on, Panchito built a car that he wanted/couldn't have. And for that, we give him many a kudo points.
Jame's MKV R32 looked stunning at the 1552 booth with his new 3-piece Tarmac 348.
Other cars that we fell in love with include Derek Birch's BMW E36 3 series, as well as DJ's MKIII GTI with its stunning interior that caught almost everyone's eye.
We would also like to give a ton of props to our buddy Lucas Streter who trekked all the way down from Alabama in his MKVI GTI, as well as Greenwalt's MKVI GTI that came down from South Carolina and could be seen at the SOWO/KleenFreaks booth.
We would also like to congratulate the winners of the MKIII and Passat/CC categories with first place going to Hector Mendez and George Malioras. Also a long time friend Marc Beramsingh taking second place in the MKIII class with his beautiful Jetta with a Golf front end.
Best Club went to the fine folks over at Euro Alliance, based out of Orlando, FL, who honestly deserved this award more than any other group. People's choice award went to Trey Davis in his 66 Beetle which was another well deserved win.
Euro Tripper is not just all European cars, this year it has more to offer than just cars. This year you could find a BMX team (BMX Trickstars) that performed multiple shows and stunts throughout the event, which gathered a huge crowd both time the BMX team performed. While watching the BMX trick team on a very sunny day you might think, I need a place to relax and cool down. The Euro Tripper team was ahead of the game by providing "Water Cooled Lounge" and "Air Cooled Lounge". The "Water Cooled Lounge" was set up with water slides and a dunk tank while the "Air Cooled Lounge" was a tent bigger than your average house, where it allowed you to relax, get away from the sun and eat the delicious food that the food trucks provided during the event.
As always we were so thankful to be apart of this years EuroTripper3 and have high expectations for next years event. And if you can't wait until next year, then make sure to get in contact with the fine folks over at TreffenSouth for their event that will take place in Atlanta, GA on September 5th at the Atlanta Motor Speedway!
Make sure to check out Treffen South Facebook page by clicking here to find more information.
We want to give huge thanks to Paul and the Euro Tripper staff for an awesome event and we can not wait to be apart of the next event!
Photos by Elisabeth Danger, George Malioras, Skyelar Pifer, Tyler Nelson
Words by Sean O'Connor