Since it's inception in 1995 Waterfest has grown to be known as the biggest VW show in the US. This year's venue, Island Dragway, in rural Great Meadow, New Jersey was able to handle the largest crowd this show has ever seen. In the approaching days to Waterfest I found myself becoming more and more anxious as time drew closer. Infestation of the local townships by these modified Volkswagens became quite a sight and only added to my excitement. It's not every day that you are able to see a group of highly modified VeeDubs coming at you on your way to the store to pick up some bread and milk! The weekend actually started the night before at the Ramada Inn Hotel in East Hanover, NJ. This was one of the five hotels in the area that catered to show goers. The local police decided that this was an ingredient for lawbreakers and sent fourteen police cruisers to the parking lot. It was pretty funny to see long burnout marks all over the place as well as beer bottles scattered throughout. Some show goers were even quarantined to their rooms and protested by sounding their car alarms from their room windows. It was a surreal atmosphere that set the stage for Sunday's main event. New activities for Waterfest this year included a drag race and burnout contest, which seemed to be crowd pleasers to say the least. There was a black A3 Turbo Nitrous Jetta VR6 that hit 12.26 seconds @ 120 mph in the quarter mile. A green A2 Golf took top honors at the drag strip with an elapsed time of 11.63seconds @ 121 mph, which necessitated a wheelie bar to prevent unwanted wheel spin at the starting line. A notable contender was an Audi 5000 Turbo that polished off 13.85 seconds @ 96 mph and a white A1 Rabbit that hurled to 102 mph @ 13.28 seconds. The autocross track was set in a small parking lot, which was better suited for radio-controlled cars instead of automobiles. The actual space was good but very narrow. As a result, the organizers had to set up a slow technical course where second gear and over 25mph was rare. The burnout contest was a definite attention getter as the crowd cheered for all three cars that participated. The highlight was when a Jetta popped its tire during its run.

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