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In October of 1968, Vic Wilson started what would later become the greatest Volkswagen event ever. Fresh off his win a year earlier at the first ever Baja 1000 in a Meyers Manx, Vic had an idea for a “buggy” event to be held at the Orange County International Raceway. This would also be the location for race contingency/tech for the second Baja 1000 held a month later. Rich Kimball, who was 20 years old at the time and a member of the Newport Beach Volkswagen Association, would eventually go on to work for Vic at the BUG-IN events and mange his Saddleback Motorcycle park in Silverado Canyon.

About 10 years later Vic decided to retire and sell both the BUG-IN event and motorcycle park. Rich Kimball then took over the BUG-IN and ran the last dozen events until OCIR closed down in 1983. Rich kept busy with his parts business Bugs for You and writing for Hot VWs magazine over the next few years. In June of 1985 he secured the parking lot at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre and the VW Classic was born. Over the next 15 years the VW Classic grew to be one of the largest Volkswagen Car shows in the world and attracted visitors from all over the globe.

In 2001 the Classic was sold to Bugorama promotions and a year later Rich along with his son Andy brought back the Hot VWs Drag Day at Irwindale Raceway. Three years later the BUG-IN returned to California Speedway (now Auto Club) in Fontana. In 2007, after visiting events in Germany like Bad Camberg and Hessisch Oldendorf, Rich and Andy began the Southern California Vintage VW Treffen. A true Vintage event specifically for 1961 and older Volkswagens. In 2019 the Silverado Camping event was created to really push a family friendly VW camping experience. A 3-day event that includes Camping, Swap Meet, and Car Show along with bands, food trucks and kid’s activities.

After 2020, the Auto Club raceway decided to remove their drag strip, which put an end to 1/4-mile Volkswagen Drag Racing in Southern California. Now the BUG-IN and Drag Day are both held at Irwindale Raceway for our 3 race series Triple Crown. Rich is now retired and Andy runs Periscope Enterprises full time. The Kimball family has a long lasting love for VWs which spans back 50 years. We are very fortunate to be part of a great community and look forward to seeing you all at the next event.

Thank you.

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