Source – More Than More
Eurokracy goes widely unrecognized in the United States and it’s a damn shame. Are we afraid of the border-crossing? Or perhaps the French language barrier? Or is it simply because it’s the most packed weekend of the summer when it comes to automotive events? With Cult Classic taking place down in Pennsylvania, Euro Hangar out in Michigan, Rally America in Vermont, and Born Free in Cali, the list goes on and there are simply not enough hours in the weekend.
This year, though, I mixed it up a bit. After having a booth at Cult Classic the past two years, a show Anna and I both love dearly, we decided to approach the weekend on separated fronts with photography as our main focus—leaving the booth home. Anna stayed close to her home in West Virginia and travel north for Cult whilst I left Boston in my rear-view with my sights on the Canadian border—and not just for some french fries and gravy.
But it wasn’t until I was sat in line at the border crossing that it hit me: “Everything is going to be in French in Quebec!” Truth be told, it wasn’t really that bad. Sure, it’s a bit intimidating to cross the border into a country where a Yank like myself can’t read a single word or road sign, but where’s the sense of adventure in that?! (to those reading this that are afraid of the language barrier—don’t be!)
Once I arrived at the hotel it was very clear that the guys behind Eurokracy had really addressed as many details as possible. There was a section taped off for the event guests and the staff was aware and very friendly with us travelers—quite the opposite of Ocean City, MD! After a quick photoshoot I found myself on a bus with a couple dozen other Eurokacites traveling into Montreal for the pre-party. I’m not typically one for the dance club, but I’m down to check anything out and really wanted to get the full experience.. man, these guys know how to party! Luckily, however, I made it back to the hotel in one piece, and a few short hours later was on my way down to Napierville Dragway for the festivities!
As soon as I arrived I realized that this show was wayyy bigger than I anticipated or had ever really seen on the internet. Cars were parked as far as the eye could see, and then even farther. It was quite evident that this is the show to go to in Canada, and I can see why.
Rick, Sergio, and Jesse haven’t just slapped this show together and hoped for the best. Their precision in event planning, along with the enlisted help of countless volunteers, really paid off and made the show an awesome experience. I was quickly thrown into the mix and began going through the top 100, working as the main judge of the event. It was a totally different experience from shooting or being sat in a booth, and despite the language barrier, I managed to meet some really rad car owners, give a couple of them trophies at the end of the day, and see their cars (that I’d previously been unaware of). All-in-all, it was quite a fantastic experience, especially when my dear friend, Tobias Aldrich, and I stumbled across the Best of Show winner, as seen below.
Recently shipped over from France, this Mk1 was the bee’s knees, detailed to a level that new auto manufacturers probably don’t dream of. More on that later, though…
Before I knew it we were finished with the 100 cars and the burnouts began. Now I am usually not one to condone burnouts and, to be completely honest, kind of despise them. Not the act itself, but the repercussions that are a result. Punk-ass kids spinning a wheel (because we all know how rare it is to make both spin!) and making some noise, getting the cops called and resulting in great events’ demises. However, when you have a dedicated event on a drag strip with the appropriate precautions and supervision, the outcome is nothing short of extraordinary. Some of these cars were purposefully-built just for this event, with radiator fans mounted to the hood and gas mask disguises. It was a full-on riot, and one of the main reasons I’ll be back.
After many tires and a couple engines met their fate, and the atmosphere was filled with unmeasurable amounts of smoke, it was on to the drag racing. 9 and 10 second VWs were out in force, and my personal favorite, a red Mk2 Coupe, was the force to be reckoned with. Although it was pretty fantastic to see a couple Audis out-perform a Lambo!
And just as the racing wound down, the Neck Breakers began to wind up! Now this isn’t your typical limbo, where Miatas and VW Things always win and the airride cars have an advantage. Each contestant had to drive under the bar, the staff would measure their height, and then they must cross two speed bump obstacles, preventing a car that is completely aired out from turning and navigating around and therefore leveling the playing field between airride cars and their coilover-clad counterparts. This was definitely a crowd favorite, so make sure you’re ready next year when your turn comes!
And then, before I knew it and a solid 10 miles of walking later, it was time to pack up and head home. As quick as it came it also went, but not without letting me see the light of what is hiding up in Canada waiting to be photographed. The most amazing part of the show, though? The sheer number of quality, finely-built cars that I had never seen before, undoubtedly hiding away on the other side of the border. But more on that later, as a return trip to shoot some of these beauts is about to be put on the books!
So what’s my take on Eurokracy after having thrown myself into the mix? It’s a must. I don’t care who you are or what excuse you have (unless it prevents you from leaving the country!), you need to make it up to Eurokracy in 2015.
If for nothing else, do it for the burnouts.