By: Evan Acuña
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By: Evan Acuña
| Waterfest was founded fifteen years ago as an annual refuge for an up and coming group of car enthusiasts. As its name proudly announces, the show was for water-cooled Volkswagens only. Long before Waterfest, air-cooled Volkswagens and the people who drove them had created an entire culture of car mania. VW Bugs, Buses, Things, Ghias, and others were frequently gathered in parking lots for makeshift exhibitions. Supremely fast Volkswagens sat next to slammed lowriders. Substance and style, both of a distinctly unique variety, intermingled in a group of diverse cars with individuality on their minds and air in their hearts.
The air-cooled fanatics clung to their lifestyle and to the culture they had founded. As air-cooled cars were phased out by Volkswagen in the U.S., owners of the outdated autos continued to flaunt their pride in large and loyal displays of antifreeze-free gatherings.
As all this was happening, a new generation of water-cooled Volkswagens was discovered by a new legion of fans. Realizing that Volkswagens were still great and unique cars, these new enthusiasts bought up Rabbits, Foxes, and GTIs, caring for them and modifying them as thoroughly as the air-cooled crowd. Looking for venues to showcase their vehicles, the water-cooled folks brought their cars to air-cooled VW shows.
Too often, these new fans were given the cold shoulder by the air-cooled purists. The new VWs were ignored and slighted, with even the very best being constantly upstaged by relatively mundane Beatles and Squarebacks.