We had ambitious plans for Ostkuste 2018. Here’s the story of how it all went tits up, and how we weren’t going to let it stop us enjoying ourselves.
As some of you may know, my blue Golf decided it would be a good idea to shit itself in England, when the timing belt tension pulley decided it didn’t want to be in one piece anymore. This left me with roughly a week to get it working before the show – a tall order when you’ve decided to do a TDI swap on it.
We were determined that we were taking four cars with us – My two Mk2s, Rian’s dad’s Audi Coupe GT, and Shea’s Jetta – despite the fact that it was too new to be entered into the show, we were going to take it anyway just to have the full squad. Sadly, things didn’t quite work out how we would’ve liked…
After working my ass off all week and driving hundreds of miles around the country trying to get parts, Debbie became a victim of circumstance and just wasn’t able to get finished on time. I had the conversion about 95% finished when she succumbed to a fatal issue, meaning that with a day to spare there was absolutely no chance she would be finished on time. But I’ll go into that more whenever she is finished, as I think that story will need an article of it’s own.
After that crushing defeat, we got another blow of bad news – Rian found out that he wouldn’t be able to get insurance to cover him to go down south, so we were now down another car. Coupled with this, Conor then wasn’t able to make the trip either so we were a man down as well.
Things were looking bright for Ostkuste then.
Thankfully, having just got Veronica back from her full rebuild, we had at least one classic to take with us. Sadly though, since I’d spent essentially all of my time trying to fix the other one, it was a last minute effort to get her looking her best again. Touching in the centre caps, hoovering her out… it was nice to be cleaning for a show rather than fixing for a change.
As a token of our appreciation for the show, we wanted to give out a couple of prizes at the event too. These were made up by our friends at Gaelic Crafts and we have to say, we were gobsmacked by how they came out.
As you can see, we gave out two prizes, the “Spirit of 427” Award and the “427 Choice” award. The 427 Choice award was given to the car that the three of us could easily agree was just outright cool, which I thought was likely to spark some arguments between the three of us but turned out to actually be quite an easy choice – what the prizes went to I’ll give away in a little bit. The Spirit of 427 award was (I think) the most important award – this was given to the car that we felt truly encapsulates what we at 427 stand for – a car that’s had a life well lived, and looks like it has a hell of a story to tell.
Eventually, we got ourselves together and departed on our journey. The main thing to me was the difference between this year and last year.
Last year when me and Conor embarked on the trip, this car was an absolute heap. It had the horrible TDI conversion in it which never quite ran properly, and by “never quite” I mean it was absolutely bloody abysmal.
Clouds of smoke followed us the whole way (and not the good kind of smoke), there were huge knocking sounds and vibrations, and it was so loud that we could barely talk in it. Not to mention a breakdown not 5 minutes from my house. It was so horrible, and it was so well known how bad the car was that it was greeted with a round of applause from everyone upon arrival purely because it was a miracle that it had even made it.
This year, it was like a dream. It was practically silent. No issues, no noises – it felt like I’d taken a completely different car. Just me, my best mate in the passenger seat, a playlist of awesome tunes and a big cool box of drinks. If ever there was a better start to a summer, I’m yet to experience it.
After a night of camping under the stars and some of the most fun I’ve ever had, it was time to hit the cot and get ready for a day of chilling. After waking up, we took a quick jaunt into the local town to get some breakfast supplies, and took Veronica into the display area.
Now, onto the actual show itself. What is Ostkuste? Why do we love it so much? Well, I’m here to do some teachin’, so make sure you get taught.
Ostkuste is a show held in Wicklow, in a place called Avoca. Yes, as everyone is keen to remind me every time I mention it, a show called Ballykissangel was recorded there, and no, I haven’t seen it. Open to V.A.G. (Volkswagen Audi Group) cars that started production before 1995, it’s a chill day in a car park surrounded by amazing scenery to talk cars and bask in the sun.
There’s no in your face promotions, no forcing products down your throat, none of the bullshit that most of the huge shows have become accustomed too. Just a nice, small gathering of friends appreciating cars – exactly how it should be.
It’s this that makes us love the show so much – it’s much more personal than the bigger shows, and everyone there is so genuine and passionate about their cars. There’s a mix of all sorts, from absolute show pieces to cars that have been literally dragged out of a hedge and put on display. There’s no elitism here, there’s no looking down upon others – this is an event where every car is equal and loved the same.
Put it this way: This is the only show I’ve been to in a long time where I didn’t once hear a negative comment about a single car. No “that should be lower” or “I don’t like those wheels” or any of that – everyone here loved everything, whether it was to their personal taste or not. That’s exactly the way it should be.
It’s because of this, you can rest assured that you’ll find us here, in the same spot (literally – we parked in the exact same spot as last year – can’t break tradition after all.), year in, year out.
So who won the prizes?
Well, after a while of what was frankly just recovering from the night before, we got up and looked around to see what was going to take home our trophies. At first we thought it would be tough for all of us to agree on one, but it turned out we all agreed on one straight away.
And then another one.
And another one. And so on, and so on.
It was more a case of narrowing down to one as opposed to picking one in the first place. For our “427 Choice” award though, we decided on this awesome T25 Crew Cab pickup on airbags.
There was something about it that just spoke to us – The fact it was a pickup was what got me the most. But it was everything – the square light conversion, the dedication to getting it low (as shown by the welds on the door…), the single spotlight on the front, the tattiness… It just spoke to us as “Yes, this is damn cool.”
The true gem of the show however goes to a car affectionately known as “The Hedgehog”, and it took home our “Spirit of 427” Award.
When this thing rolled into the yard, we all thought “holy crap, that’s cool”. But it wasn’t until we were walking around and heard through the grapevine the car’s story that we decided this is the one. Originally destined for the scrapyard, this car was rescued by it’s current owner and given a second attempt at life.
The owner put their heart and soul into the car, and it’s reflected in the fact that’s even still here at all. All of that patina – that’s genuine. Those cut arches? Absolutely fantastic. You just know that if this car could talk, it could teach you a thing or two about life.
I’ve also never seen someone more happy to win a trophy before, which was nice.
And the rest.
After the prize giving, the show came to a close for another year. We’re very excited to be back next year, and hopefully we’ll be back on form with all of our cars on display. Here’s the rest of our pics from the weekend, and we’ll see you there next time.
A huge thank you to all involved in running the show. You can check out the Ostkuste page on Facebook here – be sure to give them a like.