Oktoberfest Car Show

Oktoberfest and Volkswagen are both undeniably German.  And for the second year running Ontario VW is honoring its heritage with its 2nd Annual Oktoberfest Car Show.

Everyone is invited to this free event!  Great food, music, and soft drinks will be served.  Yes, Oktoberfest with no beer, but you can test drive all the V-Dubs you want!

And there will be some incredible cars on display.  We get the details from Jimmy Willhide, one of the event organizers, in this iDSC Podcast.  Click play to listen and check out pictures from last year’s event in the gallery below.

Off-road custom Volkswagen dune buggy parked in front of Ontario Volkswagen car dealership, iDriveSocal 116 Oktoberfest Car Show, Ontario Honors VW Heritage


Recording date – August 30, 2018 in Ontario, CA

Oktoberfest Car Show 2018

Jimmy Willhide: Everybody is welcome to come out, check out the new cars and check out the old cars, it’s just a really good event. We want our Volkswagen people to come out and have a good time together.

We’re going to have food and drinks for everybody, we’re going to have music, we’re just going to have a good time and hang out and talk cars, you know.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California, Tom Smith here, with my good buddy, Jimmy Willhide.

If you’ve been listening to the podcast, you know that Jimmy Willhide is a VW guy, pretty hardcore actually, has eight VWs at home. He is one of the service advisors here at Ontario Volkswagen in Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California, just off the 15 here. And Ontario is a great partner of iDriveSoCal and we thank you guys as always for that.

Parked Volkswagen race car with cool paint job. Royal blue, with white, black and gray sharp-edged shapes throughout.

This here podcast that we’re going to be talking about is a really cool event that … easy for me to say. Ontario Volkswagen is going to be having in October and it’s actually called Oktoberfest and obviously, Volkswagen being German, it all ties in, it’s really cool and we’re in the automotive capital of the world here, so it makes sense that we are honoring the heritage of the brand that is VW, right?

Jimmy Willhide: That is correct. All generations of Volkswagen. Everybody is welcome to come out, from old-school classic air cooled to old school classic mark three to mark two, Jetta’s and GTIs and so forth, all the way to the new gens, we want everybody to come out and have a good time.

Mark and Generation

Tom Smith: And just to clarify, if you are a Volkswagen person, you already know, but if you don’t, because I’m an appreciator but I’m still learning the specific lingo.

You heard Jimmy just interchange the word mark and gen, so generation is what gen stands for and mark is also so, for instance, well let’s go the Beetle, the old slug bug, what gen are we on on that one? It’s not being made right now, but what was the most recent?

Retro, high-contrast image of a parked classic Volkswagen Beetle slightly lowered but still original looking and completely immaculate. Windows open and very shiny - freshly polished.

Jimmy Willhide: That would be … Most recent would be the 1975 Beetle, anything from ’57 on is a classic Volkswagen air cool. The generation/mark situation, it started from mark one from ’75 on up, to the mark two is from ’85 on up and then the mark three is from ’93 and up. And then our four, five, six and sevens are newer generation Volkswagen’s, we’re all welcome to come out.

Tom Smith: Okay. So you don’t have to be an old-school Volkswagen person, guy or gal, a new school Volkswagen … it’s everybody.

Jimmy Willhide: It is everybody.

Tom Smith: And even, hey if you’re not a Volkswagen owner, but you’re an appreciator, if that’s a word, if not I just made one up, that’s cool, you know, come on out, it’s a good time and it’s going to be, of course, in October, which is… Isn’t it funny how so many Oktoberfest’s are actually in September?

Jimmy Willhide: Oh yeah, it’s crazy. But it’s a lot of fun.

Tom Smith: Right. So, Oktoberfest… this is going to be your second year of the event. You guys did this last year as well, right?

Annual Oktoberfest Auto Show

Jimmy Willhide: We did it last year, we had a great turnout. A lot of folks showed up with a lot of nice cars and we want to do it again this year to show appreciation to everybody that drives a Volkswagen.

Tom Smith: Where did the idea come from? It makes perfect sense and when I saw it on your website, I was like, duh, how is this not something that has been going on for the last 30 years in the United States?

Oktoberfest Car Show
Sunday, October 28th
from 9AM to 2PM
at Ontario Volkswagen

Jimmy Willhide: Well, it’s something we’ve been working on for a while. We’ve wanted to do it, we just haven’t had the time to do it and last year I finally got the okay to do it. And the managers and everybody just saw how great the event went and how many folks showed up and how nice everybody was and it was just a really nice appreciated event.

Three forward facing Volkswagen vehicles parked in front of Ontario Volkswagen car dealership. The middle VW is newer and black the VW on the left is a classic Beetle and beige in color and the one on the right is also a classic VW and orange in color

So because of the turnout and the amount of cars that showed up and the amount of people that came out to check out the new cars and check out the old cars, it’s just a really good event. We want our Volkswagen people to come out and have a good time together.

Tom Smith: So the way that you just described it, was this kind of your brainchild that you were pitching for a while and the higher-ups finally bit?

Jimmy Willhide: Well I was one of the brainiacs that was trying to get it done. Gabriel and Earl both wanted to get it done. We just… It was a time crunch kind of a thing.

Concept Origination

We just were never able to jump on it and finally we said, you know what? We’re doing it and we got it done.

Tom Smith: All right. All right. Excellent. So we’ll drop the date a few times but I don’t think we’ve done it yet.

It’s October 28th, coming up here, 2018, October 28th, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM here at Ontario Volkswagen and the deal is come and bring your Volkswagen, of any year, come and bring your non-Volkswagen and check out the Volkswagen’s.

There’s going to be some prizes, cool prizes, but to be determined.

Jimmy Willhide: To be announced.

Tom Smith: We were talking about what those were. We couldn’t actually make any decisions, we were like, “Oh, we’re just going to TBD this one.” To be determined. Or TBA, to be announced. But the broad categories are going to be air cooled, which is the Volkswagen world is 1957 – 1975, and then water cooled, which is 1975 all the way up to current, 19 … 2019.

Multi-colored VW Golf parked with hood up displaying it's perfectly cleaned engine compartment


Jimmy Willhide: Yeah, 2019 already.

Tom Smith: 1919, what a minute, that doesn’t sound right.  So, Jimmy, this thing being your brainchild, and if you’ve missed the first podcast that I did with Mr. Jimmy Willhide here, he does, in fact, have eight Volkswagen’s at home.

He’s a huge Volkswagen dude and I love that. Part of your whole thing, with the success of the first year, from my understanding, was that you’re tied into a few of the local car clubs that Volkswagen’s part of or specializes in.

Oktoberfest with German… Cars!

Jimmy Willhide: Well, basically it’s part of the generations that are here in SoCal, Northern California as well, we’re all over the place and we all try to meet every show that we possibly can. A lot of guys aren’t able to come south, a lot of guys aren’t able to go north.

There’s a lot of car shows here in Southern California that are just unreal. It’s always just such a big focus group and it’s really cool. I’ve always wanted to plan a show of my own.

We did it last year and it was a great success so the man up top said, “Let’s do it again and let’s get our people out here and have some fun. Check out some cars.” So, that’s our whole objective. As far as awards and stuff like that, that’s just a little extra.

Packed side view of a multi-colored Volkswagen Golf with it's hood up. The hood. rear door and rear bumper are aqua colored. The bumper, front door and hatchback are yellow. The front quarter panel is blue and the rear quarter panel is red.

Tom Smith: Sure.

Jimmy Willhide: And we’ll talk about that later.

Tom Smith: Make it fun.

Jimmy Willhide: Yeah. But we’re going to have food and drinks for everybody. We’re going to have music. We’re just going to have a good time and hang out and talk cars, you know.

Tom Smith: Right on. Non-alcoholic drinks, of course, this a driving event.

Jimmy Willhide: Unfortunately no alcohol, sorry guys.

Tom Smith: The only Oktoberfest on the planet that doesn’t serve beer.

Jimmy Willhide: Exactly.

Tom Smith: But bratwurst will be had I understand.

Jimmy Willhide: Yeah, we have bratwurst, hot dogs, hamburgers, we’ll have some pretzels out, some drinks. It’s a good time.

Volkswagen Culture

Tom Smith: Right on. And all kinds of VWs. So let’s go back to when I was talking about the clubs. I brought up the clubs. You were talking about we, as if it was a family and what I want to get to is kind of the Volkswagen culture that you and your eight cars are a part of. But you don’t have to have eight cars, you can have one car.

Jimmy Willhide: Right.

Tom Smith: You could have a skateboard, not have a car at all, right?

Parked Volkswagen multi-colored Golf. Passenger's side, forward-facing view from the rear quarter panel.

Jimmy Willhide: Correct.

Tom Smith: But tell me a little bit about… ’cause there’s more than one club that you’re part of right?

Jimmy Willhide: Well, it’s essentially not part of a club but have friends at all VW clubs, you know, I’m not just part of one kind of club society. I’m part of four or five different clubs that I have friends with, not particularly in one certain club but in all general aspects. There’s probably a dozen car club members in different car clubs that I’m friends with all.

Tom Smith: I understand. So you’re the great connector.

Jimmy Willhide: Yeah, I guess you could say great connector, yeah.

Tom Smith: And I suppose that it doesn’t hurt, you being an expert in the service realm of the vehicles, so you gotta be a popular guy amongst all the VW lovers, ’cause, “I got a 20, 30-year-old VW and I need a wrench turned or something, I want to do it myself but I’m not quite sure how to do it, hey Jimmy, how you… you want to come over for a sandwich?” You ever get that one?

A Friend in the Business

Jimmy Willhide: We get that quite often, yeah. Yeah. But that’s what it’s all about. I mean, even though I work at Volkswagen, we’re always here to help. And I’m willing to do anything to whatever we gotta do to help, get information, a part, or if you need service. I’m here for the whole thing, so …

Tom Smith: So what … name some names, as far as these clubs go. Unless it’s like a secret society and you can’t. You’d have to kill me after telling me.

Jimmy Willhide: I would say first off you have Renner, you have-

Tom Smith: Renner?

Jimmy Willhide: Renner.

Interior front seats and dashboard of a parked Volkswagen multi-colored Golf. The seats are gray with yellow, red, green and blue squares separated by black lines - Andy Warhool-ish. The steering wheel is green, yellow, blue and red.

Tom Smith: R-E-N-N-E-R?

Jimmy Willhide: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Jimmy Willhide: And then you have Scrappy Dubs, you have-

Tom Smith: Scrappy Dubs.

Jimmy Willhide: Scrappy Dubs.

Tom Smith: Like Scrappy V-Dubs.

Jimmy Willhide: Correct.

Tom Smith: All right.

Jimmy Willhide: You know, it’s hard for me to name all of the groups. There’s so many of them. But just the two that I kind of spend most of my time with lately.

Tom Smith: Are Renner and Scrappy Dubs.

Jimmy Willhide: Right.

Tom Smith: And these are Volkswagen specific? Or do they open themselves up to vehicles-

Jimmy Willhide: No, well I mean, we stick with the VW brand, but part of that VW brand is also with Audi, so we also have Audi’s that we have in our car clubs.

Tom Smith: Sure.

Jimmy Willhide: And that’s pretty much it, Volkswagen, Audi.

Tom Smith: Okay. All right. So, Scrappy Dubs, I get that name. Where does the name Renner come from?

Volkswagen Car Clubs

Jimmy Willhide: Renner. Okay, so Renner-

Tom Smith: Is that a German name?

Jimmy Willhide: It’s a German name for, I believe it’s for something to do with being very fast, I’m not sure. Or for motorsports.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Parked multi-colored Volkswagen Golf - rear view. Slip on Vans shoes are pictured sitting on the rear dash and the shoes are the same multi-colors as the car - blue, yellow, red and green.

Jimmy Willhide:  I’ll have to define that for you.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Jimmy Willhide: But Renner is a car club that was basically started way back in the 90s, way back when, and it was a club that a couple of friends of mine and myself started back up and it’s not like a full on car club like you gotta meet every Sunday or whatever.

It’s a friend thing, you know, when you have the time, come out. So it’s a very cool set up and it’s a good society, you know. And especially now that we’re getting older and we have kids and we have responsibilities, we can’t always do what we want to do of course.

So this is the opportunity to come out and bring your kids, bring your friends and have a good time.

Tom Smith: And if people get into the whole vibe, the whole scene, and they want to participate in either of these clubs, is that open to people?

Jimmy Willhide: It’s completely open.

Tom Smith: Do you have Facebook groups? Or do you have a website? Or do you have …

Jimmy Willhide: You can look up on our Instagram page, it’s called Renner Performance.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Jimmy Willhide: And it has all the club member’s cars in it and it’s mainly older generation Volkswagen, from the mark two era, which is ’85 and on and to the mark three era, basically from ’93 on.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Water-Cooled Volkswagens

Jimmy Willhide: So it’s more of a classic water cooled club, but everybody is welcome to come out and join and have fun.

Tom Smith: All right. And you guys get together weekly, a couple times a month?

Jimmy Willhide: Maybe once or twice a month if we’re lucky.

Retro, high-contrast, altered image of a classic Volkswagen Beetle painted to look old and weathered but truly in pristine condition parked in Ontario VW car dealership

Tom Smith: Okay, so it’s not a set thing, it’s just something that you determine online and-

Jimmy Willhide: It’s basically like-

Tom Smith: …go from there.

Jimmy Willhide: Yeah, it’s just like a long lasting relationship that when you have time to hang out, we’ll hang out.

Tom Smith: That’s very cool. Anything similarly that you want to note about the Scrappy Dubs?

Jimmy Willhide: Scrappy Dubs is another-

Tom Smith: I just like that name, Scrappy Dubs.

Rear view of a newer Volkswagen Golf parked inside Ontario Volkswagen car dealership with it's hatchback open and California license plate stating "VDUBROB"

Jimmy Willhide: It’s catchy.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Jimmy Willhide: Scrappy Dubs is another club that I hang out with these guys. I went to high school with these guys and they live close by and he actually makes performance aero kits, you know body kits and stuff for Volkswagen and Audi.

Tom Smith: Oh, okay.

Jimmy Willhide: So I got a pretty close relationship with them as well and we hang out all the time and just have fun.

Tom Smith: All right. Cool.

Jimmy Willhide: Yeah.

Tom Smith: So, you want to get yourself, you want to get into the tinkering with it kind of, so would your buddy that you referred to, do you want to drop his name by chance? Does he have a little business that might get a-

Jimmy Willhide: Oh yeah, his name is Mike Fleming, he owns basically a body kit shop, mostly fiberglass automotive, European parts.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Ontario VW’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest Car Show

Jimmy Willhide: Really cool dude. You should look him up. I can’t remember the name of his new company. He’s just changed his name, so I’m sorry about that, Mike, but you could drop me a text and I’ll be able to get the to you out there.

Tom Smith: Right, right. So what you want to do is you come here, buy your Volkswagen from Ontario Volkswagen, have Jimmy Willhide be your service advisor and then have Jimmy’s buddy, Mike, give it a body kit and away you go. You are set for Oktoberfest’s here at Ontario Volkswagen for many years to come.

VW race car with cool paint. Blue with white, black and gray sharp edged shapes.

So again, the event is the second annual Oktoberfest right here at Ontario Volkswagen in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California. The date, October 28th, the time from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM. There will be food, soft drinks. I understand they’re going to open up the morning with some coffee and pastries and then kind of transition into lunch as lunchtime gets closer.

Jimmy Willhide: Right, right. Yeah, we’ll get everybody a little snack while they’re rolling in, getting set up and we’ll get started.

Tom Smith: Come to see a bunch of cool cars. Meet and chat with a bunch of cool car people. Pick yourself up a new Volkswagen here at Ontario Volkswagen while you’re at it. Jimmy, thank you as always. It’s always fun talking cars with you my friend.

Oktoberfest Car Show
Sunday, October 28th
from 9AM to 2PM
at Ontario Volkswagen

Jimmy Willhide: Appreciate the time.

Tom Smith: And thank you guys, Ontario Volkswagen, for being a fantastic partner to iDriveSoCal.

Jimmy Willhide: Thank you and thank you, everybody, else for coming out.

Tom Smith: Yeah, we’re looking forward to it. We’ll be out here as well. For iDriveSoCal, I’m Tom Smith, thank you for listening.

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