Volkswagen, Porsche show Saturday

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Ed and Robin Walston pose with their Volkswagen Beetle at the Heimatfest’s car show a few years ago. The Beetle will be in Saturday’s Southern Indiana Volks Force Car Show in Huntingburg.


HUNTINGBURG — Ed Walston was not originally a fan of Volkswagen vehicles.

But that changed once the St. Anthony man met and married his wife, Robin. She owned a 1968 Beetle.

“It was Robin's first car,” Ed said. “Her last semester of college was an internship at a newspaper and she had to have a car. This is what she got. When we got married, she had it. And we've had it ever since. It was paid for, so we just kept it.”

Now, Ed is a fan — a big fan. He is also one of the original founding members of the Southern Indiana Volks Force Car Club. And he wants to share his love of Volkswagens with others.

The club will hold its 12th annual SIVF Car Show at Huntingburg City Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. And this year, the show will include Volswagen and Porsche vehicles.

“Both are German cars,” Club President Joe Myers said. “We were Volkswagen only until this year. We've been talking about opening it up to other maybe German vehicles.”

The 26-year-old club decided to extend its scope to include Porsche vehicles. It made sense since Porsche company founder, the late Ferdinand Porsche, designed the Volkswagen motor back in Germany in the 1930s.

“It's just a natural tie for Porsche and Volkswagen,” Joe said. “When you're talking like old cars, like '30s and '40s cars, and maybe even into the '50s, there's a lot of interchangeable parts from a Porsche motor and a Volkswagen motor back then.”

Most of the members of Southern Indiana Volks Force Car Club are from southern Indiana. But the show attracts people from more areas, including Kentucky, northern Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee. There have been participants in past shows from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Joe said.

Ed has been a club member since the club started in 1994; Robin is also a member by association.

“Once you become a member, we consider the whole household to be members,” Ed said. “They can come and they can attend events. It's a family-oriented club.”

Joe, who has been president of the club for the last three years, was raised around Volkswagens. “When I was a kid, my babysitter had them. And she could tell I was into cars at an early age,” he said. "So she would send me like Volkswagen magazines and whatnot, just watering the seed a little bit. And so I’ve just always liked them”

He now owns a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle.

“I sold my little (Volkswagen) Golf to fund this build on my Beetle,” he said. “I found a Beetle, and I just went crazy with it. To finish it out, I needed a few thousand more bucks. So I sold my Golf in order to finish the Beetle.”

The Walstons have worked on the 1968 Beetle over the years. “It runs better than it did when we first bought it,” Ed said. “We wore out the first engine and rebuilt it, then wore out the rebuild. In 1994, we put basically a brand new engine, all brand new parts in it. And it runs very well.”

They drove it all the time until 2005. “At that point, it was getting close to turning over 300,000 miles,” Ed said. “So we decided to semi retire it.”

But they still maintain the Beetle, despite driving other vehicles.

“I still love my Volkswagen Beetle,” Ed said. “When we drive the Beetle, people wave and give you the thumbs up. It’s kind of a hot rod now, and I love leaving people in the dust.”

Their car will be in Saturday’s show. “Look for the red Beetle with flames on the side,” Ed said.

Last year’s show, also held in Huntingburg, had 110 entries. Joe is hoping to top that number this year. “I like growing our club and our show,” he said. “Each year, it's a personal challenge for me to top what we did last year.

Saturday’s SIVF Car Show is free for the public to attend. Porsche and Volkswagen owners can register their vehicles for a fee from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Awards will be given out at 3 p.m. Old School Cafe will provide concessions. Proceeds from the car show will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“We would encourage everyone to come out,” Joe said. “It's fun.”

The Southern Indiana Volks Force Car Club can be contacted through its Facebook page.

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