Generally when you look down into the packed parking lot of Qualcom field you see acres of lifted trucks with trailer hitch mounted bar-b-ques and beds full of ice cradling kegs of the finest cheap domestic beer money can buy if it's on sale. Armies of blue painted bare-chested men burrow between the trucks like NFL liveried ants in elementary school science project. Today however, the home of The San Diego Chargers is over run with European Car Fanatics all brought together by

Many of the car enthusiasts I meet seem to have a singular goal of just driving and enjoying their cars. They have no interest in racing or even driving on a track, they couldn't care any less about showing their vehicles and they have no wish to compete in any way. They still have a desire to get together with other enthusiasts just to hang out and talk about cars. That's what the Socaleuro Big Get-Together is all about. Best of all. It's free.

This year an estimated 1400 cars filled the parking lot to meet vendors, share ideas and just hang out. Just about every type of European vehicle can be found at the gathering, there was even a brand new Fiat 500 that was in the country on tourist plate. Every generation of Volkswagen was represented from air-cooleds to MK1s and MK2s all the way to the latest GTIs, GLIs and Passats. Audi and BMW were equally as well represented while Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini while less prevalent was still there. We showed up with our long term Cooper S another group of MINIs all gathered in the corner.

This event is really made possible by the vendors and it's great to see everyone support them. They all offered special prices and had more than enough help on hand to handle all the technical questions posed by attendees. Since the vendors pay for their spots and donate raffle prizes and socaleuro members volunteer their time this event stays free to enthusiasts and continues to raise money for charity.

If you didn't make it this year, I encourage you to make plans for next. Cool cars, thousands enthusiasts, even great deals on products. This really is one of the must attend events in Southern California every year.

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