Drive a couple hours north of Los Angeles on California highway 101, past the hustle and bustle of tinsel town, the vacuous Valley, the housing tracts dotting the hills and plains of Ventura County, the moneyed enclave of Santa Barbara, and then into the rolling oak-studded hills of the central valley; one reaches the sleepy town of San Luis Obispo. It was one stop of many on the Spanish mission road called El Camino Real, and because there's a California state college in town, it's not quite a sleepy hamlet. But it's the sort of town where one can enjoy life. Just the place to call home.

SLO has long been home to German Parts and Restoration, a familiar name to longtime european car readers. The purveyor of OE and performance parts upgrades for Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen cars threw another of its great parties last January 15, when GPR's Dave Shepard threw open his doors and parking lot. Even though it was an impromptu event, more than 400 cars and drivers made the trek to show off their wheels.

In attendance were a couple of internet-based clubs, both of which are relatively new. So Cal Euro is the combining of the So Cal VW and So Cal Audi clubs and was launched in April 2002. The Nor Cal VW Club traces its roots back to June 2001. Today the Nor Cal VW Club boasts over 900 members, while the So Cal Euro Club has over 1,866. Each club sees its web-based membership grow daily. Although both clubs focus on VW and Audi cars, the January get together was open to all European marques, and present were a number of other brands, including Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and some tweaked Minis. Two intrepid souls even brought out a pair of Alfa Romeos. The event actually began all over Southern and Northern California at various locations, with of cars and drivers assembled for caravans to the event.

In addition to the 400 and more cars on hand, european car's own sales man, Rob Mullner, who is now a familiar site on the Volkswagen scene, made the trek with the wife and kids to schlock european car subscriptions, magazines and other swag.

Neuspeed's Greg Woo also had an early morning wakeup and call to action to drive the company's newly imported R32 to the event, along with a booth of Neuspeed go-fast trinkets for display. German Parts and Restoration is a Neuspeed dealer, along with many other lines of widgets and parts. The local folks, of course, grabbed the prime parking spaces in and around GPR's warehouse, so the stragglers from So Cal had to park in the dirt. Upon arriving, The Man was present to keep things under control, although everyone was well behaved and the ounce of prevention went unneeded.

On this page is but a sample of the many diverse cars that appeared at the GPR So Cal/Nor Cal GTG (GTG = Internet car club speak for Get Together). We have more pictures on our Web site at Look for european car at other club events as we build momentum for July's 1.8T Challenge at Englishtown, N.J. *

Extended Coverage
Photos by: Jacob Leveton and Melissa Spiering

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