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“It’s Been a Long Time!” VW and Audi Enthusiasts Unite for Grid Icons with H&R
BY Sam Du //
November 8, 2023
Photography: Renz Dimaandal
  • With the support of H&R, Pit+Paddock hosts a special edition of its Grid Icons car show dedicated to Volkswagen and Audi builds of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s.
  • More than 30 modified vehicles curated by staff editors were on display at 405 Motoring to more than 300 spectators. 
  • Prominent members of the VW scene were in attendance including Matt Crooke and Brad Beardow, co-founders of fifteen52, Jason Whipple of Rotiform, and Bernie Chacon of European Car Show. 
  • For three hours, the vibe of Grid Icons was perfect for a Sunday as spectators enjoyed breathtaking photo ops, complimentary German food fare, and a self-service bar.
  • The afternoon was capped off with a special Pit+Paddock x H&R capsule collection giveaway where guests played a prize wheel game to win a skate deck, hoodie, or Leen Customs pin.


After the first Pit+Paddock Grid Icons car show last July, we felt like we were onto something cool. The inaugural event for our new show series focused on quality over quantity, curating a showcase of performance-themed builds based on a very specific theme. Our first Grid Icons brought together 30 JDM Nissan Skyline GT-Rs from the R32, R33 and R34 generations. It was truly a sight to see with more than 600 guests packing the host venue 405 Motoring, plus the photos and videos posted following the event racked up millions of social media impressions. Grid Icons was a whopping success, which made us hungry for the next one. And it just so happened that H&R approached us shortly after to collaborate on a new event together. Collectively, we decided to embark on the second Grid Icons show, but this time with a genre and generation of vehicles that spoke to one of H&R’s core customer base – the Volkswagen and Audi community. 


The VW/Audi scene hits home to me because it’s this community that welcomed me first and it’s where my career started in journalism. If I didn’t attend events like New Dimensions, Waterwagens, and the Leavenworth Drive… If I didn’t work at a shop called Evolution Sports or pick up my first project car – a Mk4 GTI… I might not have made it as an editor of a magazine or found myself at Pit+Paddock! But over the years, the VW/Audi community dwindled especially on the West Coast with fewer enthusiasts buying newer Volkswagen models, and previous owners moving onto different auto manufacturers.

For myself, in 2011, I left Eurotuner magazine to work at Super Street, and if you look in my garage today, you’ll find nothing but Toyotas; however, I’ve still held onto my GTI! But as a guy who used to spend every free minute on VWVortex and look forward to every Waterfest and H2O International every year, I realized that there hasn’t been a well-organized or widely-attended VW/Audi-centric event in California anymore. The entire Pit+Paddock team agreed and together with H&R, it felt like the right move and set the stage for the second Grid Icons with a celebration of Dubs from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s.


Last Sunday, the studio-like backdrops and garage ambiance of 405 Motoring welcomed more than 30 water-cooled Volkswagen and Audi builds. The Golf/GTI was well represented with the Mk1-Mk4 chassis on display, while there were also some more rare vehicles such as the Scirocco, Corrado, and Ur-Quattro on-site for spectators to see. For many of the curated vehicles, we have Matt Crooke, co-founder of fifteen52 and owner of the Mk2 Golf Rallye, to thank. Matt’s passion and experience in the Euro scene have built him a Rolodex of friends who still own dope Dubs. Some of these gentlemen include Brad Beardow, fifteen52’s other co-founder, Jason Whipple of Rotiform, and seasoned collector and builder Carlos Gomez. Matt was also instrumental in being our poster child for the limited-edition capsule collection with H&R. More than 100 guests went home with either a complimentary Grid Icons Hoodie, Leen Customs pin, or skate deck featuring Matt’s super rare Golf Rallye.


I can’t say enough how well the Pit+Paddock x H&R Grid Icons exceeded our expectations. While it’s collectively known that most diehard VW/Audi enthusiasts are based on the East Coast, there is still a strong contingent here in the West, as we were able to demonstrate last weekend. We can’t thank our title partner H&R enough for joining us on our new journey with the Grid Icons car show series. We reignited a flame that was lost in the California VW/Audi community, and we hope next year more of you can join us as continue to celebrate performance car culture.





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