Joining presenting sponsor Evolution Sports, european car was again a major sponsor of the event, organized by Northwest European. The show was bigger and better, with 178 cars registered for judging and more vendors. There seemed to be at least one of everything, from a Vanagon-era Transporter with a Formula Ford Lola on the back to a sub-5,000-mile Mk2 GTI for sale. The fliers on the windshield weren't exaggerating when they said it was "like a time warp." Even the spectator parking area was loaded with well-maintained examples of German engineering. We're looking forward to the continued growth of this event supporting die-hard Volkswagen loyalists in the Northwest. See www.europeancarweb.com for more photos from Waterwagens 2002.

Northwest European
5806A 119th Ave. S.E., #321
Bellevue, WA 98006
www.waterwagens.com

We Hear....
* Safety First
Volkswagen and Audi of America have launched a child passenger safety program called Sit Safe(tm). The ongoing, dealer-based program provides comprehensive training (the curriculum is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to dealership employees, making them certified experts in child passenger safety. Sit Safe allows parents to learn proper installation techniques and have their child safety seats inspected by the aforementioned certified professionals at Audi and VW dealerships across the country. All vehicle types and brands are welcome.

* Best Residual Value
For the second year in a row , the Automotive Lease Guide (ALG) has selected Mercedes-Benz vehicles as the recipient of the Luxury Brand Residual Value Award. The selection signifies that Mercedes-Benzes have the highest predicted resale value of all luxury vehicles sold in the U.S.

* Chaparral Designer Chairs Concours
Jim Hall, engineer, race driver, team owner and manager, will serve as Honorary Chairman of the 2003 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, to be held March 7-9 at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Fla. Hall, whose racing career spanned more than 30 years, is renowned for his Chaparral race cars. The Amelia concours had 40,000 attendees this past spring and has raised $1.2 million for the local hospice since the show began in 1996. For more info, visit www.ameliaconcours.org.

* Million-dollar Cars
The World's Most Valuable Automobiles are on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum, now through Jan. 26, 2003. Thirty very high-dollar cars have been gathered under one roof for you viewing (and coveting) pleasure. The exhibit includes examples from Bugatti, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce, Talbot-Lago, Hispano-Suiza-they're all here. The Petersen Automotive Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p. m., Tuesdays through Sundays. For more info, log on to www.petersen.org

Alfa Romeo Owners Club Annual Convention
Almost 300 Alfa owners registered for the 2002 Alfa Romeo Owners Club convention, which took place this year at the Costa Mesa Hilton in Orange County, California. That means well over 500 people (adding in families and friends) gathered for the three-day July 4th weekend festival called "Alfiesta" and symbolized by an Alfa Spider complete with surfboard.

Orange County comprises the southern half of the Los Angeles sprawl, and the event took advantage of this by spreading the festivities all over the area. The first day's Time Trials and Autocross competitions, for example, took place at the California Speedway at Fontana, about 50 miles from the convention hotel. More than 40 Alfas took part in both competitions, and more than a dozen non-Alfas competed in their own Class N. Awards in the shape of miniature Oscars were given to class winners in the six Alfa classes. Non-competing Alfas got to drive the track at a more sedate rate during a special parade lap.

By Alistair Weaver, , Patrick Paternie
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