This year’s Big SoCal Euro was so good (and so big), I’m breaking it into two posts; the first will cover the “Pre-Meet” hosted by San Diego Audi Club (SDAC), the latter will cover everything else. Since moving to San Diego I’ve been continuously blown away at how well organized and active the San Diego Audi Club is. In Arizona we struggled to get a few events a year, but here in sunny SoCal there are so many events I literally cannot keep up…and for the bigger events like Big SoCal Euro, the club really goes all-in and even does events before the event (kind of like “pre-gaming” in college, only with cars instead of alcohol). This year’s Pre-Meet to SoCal Euro was at the Fry’s Electronics right outside of Qualcomm stadium and there were close to 100 cars that showed up from all over including the Las Vegas Audi Club, Silicon Valley Audi Club, Inland Empire Audi Club, and the Autobahn Club of Los Angeles. It was massive, and had the day ended here I still would have been quite happy.
It was cool to see both SDAC members I’ve met before, and new cars & owners from Audi Clubs around the Southwest United States. Because Big SoCalEuro is such a flagship event, many owners were debuting new mods (or in my case, lengthy detailing sessions) and were proud to be showing off their latest work to their fellow Audi fans. It was raining for most of the pre-meet, but it didn’t put a damper on anything other than our meticulously detailed paint jobs. We turned out in droves, and were probably the most exciting thing to happen to Fry’s Electronics since the debut of the personal computer.
One of the biggest surprises was Ryan Q’s A4, which now has a carbon fiber wide body. It’s definitely aggressive, and quite possibly one of the most extensively modified B8 A4s in the United States. Like Ryan, I can never leave “good enough” alone, and I’m stoked to see him continuing to push the boundaries. Personally I’d like to see the arches wrapped to match the body (except maybe the very outer edge left exposed CF), but I really dig how it came out and appreciate Ryan’s ambition.
The other cool thing about the Audi club, unlike other German clubs (no names mentioned) I’ve visited in the past, is that there are a lot of owners that aren’t about who spent more money, or how new your car is, or other outward forms of showmanship or one-upping each other; instead it is an eclectic group ranging from avants to coupes, autos to manuals, new school versus old school. Everyone has at least something in common, namely an appreciation of Audis, but each car is pretty unique in terms of everything else. Anyone who thinks all Audis look the same has never been to a SDAC event, nor read this blog.
Being a B7 guy I’m always excited to see RS4s, and we had three in our group alone. If I had a three car garage, I think I’d be adding a B7 RS4 to my fleet pronto. The older they get, the more I like them…but maybe that is just me missing my B7 S4. Talk about aging gracefully, I can’t think of a sedan from the mid 2000s that looks better. If only we had RS4 avants here in the US, then I’d probably sell my TTRS tomorrow and buy one – until then all we can do is build our own like Dan Gray did.
Another one of my favorites was this RS5 sporting Volk TE37s, and a number of other track focused upgrades. The RS5 styling, much like the RS4 that preceded it, only gets better with age, and remains one of Audi’s greatest designs. While the RS5 is more of a grand tourer, it can hold it’s own at the track – and this car makes it out regularly to prove it.
Another highlight was meeting Denis Podmarkov, otherwise known as @_dpod_ on Instagram. He’s the social media manager for Seibon, but also does photography for the Audi Club of North America, Quattro Quarterly, and a number of other places. His photography is super legit, and it was cool to pick his brain for a few minutes on how he gets such crisp & awesome shots. He gave me a couple of ideas I hope to implement with my own photography soon, and he took a few shots of my car that I’m excited to see soon.
Because it was raining some of my photos didn’t turn out as great as others, but I’ve included some of my favorites below. For the rest of my photos from the pre-meet as well as the actual event itself, stay tuned for Part 2 of my coverage which will be coming soon. A big shout-out to the organizers including Devin, Amy, Sher & Matt, and anyone else I’m missing. There was a lot of effort that went into herding so many “cats” and getting everyone lined up and organized, not to mention negotiating a special SDAC discount for VIP parking. A group like this doesn’t survive yet alone thrive without dedicated volunteers such as yourselves. I know from experience that it’s a lot of work, and often means missing out on parts of the event itself, so thank you for that.
And a few bonus shots at the event in the “VIP” section where the Audi Club went: