VWTrends Editor Ryan Lee Price...
VWTrends Editor Ryan Lee Price and Advertising Manager Rob Gonzales hosted the evening ceremonies.
Another year and another list of honored industry elite. January 30, 2004, marked the date of the Third Annual AVWI (Aircooled Volkswagen Industry Awards), presented by VWTrends Magazine.
As with past award galas, the guests on hand included a who's who of the Volkswagen community, including respected shop owners and parts manufacturers, notable VW collectors and enthusiasts. The ceremonies once again took place at the retro-inspired Continental Room in historic downtown Fullerton, Calif. Editor Ryan Price and Advertising Manager Rob Gonzales hosted the reception, which provides an opportunity to recognize those who have made a positive impact within the VW community.
Lifetime Achievement recipient...
Lifetime Achievement recipient Tom Lieb of SCAT Enterprises with Awards presenter Ditra Sperle.
A total of seven Editors' Choice categories were presented, the most to date. These included Best New Product, Best High-Performance Product, Best Aircooled VW Web site, Best VW Club, Best New Vintage Product, Most Accomplished Racer and the highly coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.
Best New Product
Chosen for its unparalleled quality and performance, the Best Performance Product Award was handed to Manuel Vasquez of A-1 Muffler for its new, yet highly proven exhaust system.
Debi Vasquez, wife of Manuel...
Debi Vasquez, wife of Manuel Vasquez of A-1 Muffler, received the award for the company's new high-performance exhaust system.
The company's new header is ideally effective in design, fit, application and resulting performance. Available in either true 1-3/4-in. or 1-5/8-in., the header relocates the #2 and #4 pipes away from the crank area, allowing more clearance and substantially reducing heat, ultimately increasing performance efficiency.
"Manuel is very appreciative of this award and is extremely honored," said Debi Vasquez, receiving the award for her husband.
Best New Vintage Product
In recognition to their recent production of quality vintage steering wheels, Ventura Warehouse Group (VWG) received the nod for the Best New Vintage Product Award.
Terra and Rose Snivichit were...
Terra and Rose Snivichit were representatives of the Sacchette camp.
Company founder Scott Dempster was on hand to accept the honor and took advantage of the opportunity to display the strength of his steering wheels by using a unit to support his weight while maintaining a handstand. "Never pass up a good media opportunity," said Dempster after nailing the stunt (on the third attempt). "I want to thank VWTrends and my staff at Ventura Warehouse for making this possible."
The company produces replacement, quality vintage steering wheels for most early model Beetles, as well as for Karmann Ghia and Type III models.
VWTrends Managing Editor Breanne...
VWTrends Managing Editor Breanne McMullen with a few new friends from the German Folks.
Best High-Performance Product
The Editors' Choice for Best High-Performance Product Award was presented to C.B. Performance in recognition of unparallel quality and performance in the production of its Hi-performance CB044 CNC Heads. A recognized pioneering leader within the Volkswagen aftermarket, the company is responsible for a variety of quality performance-oriented products such as fuel injection, various turbo packages and a host of street and custom speed components.
Ryan Price accepted the award on behalf of company heads Bob and Rick Tomlinson.
Best Aircooled VW Web site
In today's technologically centered world, printed media is no longer the only resource devoted to VW hobbyists. Web sites catering to the Volkswagen community are extremely popular with increasing appeal and diversity.
Ventura Warehouse's Scott...
Ventura Warehouse's Scott Dempster wowing the crowd with a handstand on one of his award-winning steering wheels.
This said, VWTrends recognized TheSamba.com as the leading and most influential of these sites. Founded and continually operated by Everett Barnes, the site, which began in 1997 with photos of Barnes' own VWs, has grown immensely and today is considered the premiere Web site for VW enthusiasts.
Complete with a full range of content, the site features an impressive layout with user-friendly search functions and popular anchor pages such as Classified, Gallery, Forums, Community and Archive.
It is continually updated with new content and site features such as its new chat page and updated dictionary, facts and literature archives. With so much information at the click of a button, it's easy to lose yourself within its various pages. As the site title tag states, "When you're daily-driver isn't enough..."
Evening guests Lenny Copp,...
Evening guests Lenny Copp, Sue Paquette, Nate and Briana
Best VW Club
Founded over 20 years ago in 1982, the German Folks Klub received honors for the Best VW Club Award. Known for its immaculate and highly accessorized Resto Custom Beetles, the club--under the direction of club President John Canales--has become increasingly appreciated within the Volkswagen community in recent years and has also gained popularity overseas. The SoCal-based club currently operates with affiliates in Arizona, Texas as well as Japan.
Lined from one end to the...
Lined from one end to the other with German Folks Klub member vehicles, the parking lot in front of the Continental Room garnered lots of attention.
"This award is a big surprise for the club and really means a lot," said Canales upon accepting the award from editor Price.
Various members of the club, including its founding President Ruben Navarro were on hand for the ceremony. Last year, The Vintage Volkswagen Club of America (VVWCA) received honors in this category.
Most Accomplished Racer
Racing is an important aspect of the VW community, greatly impacting the industry overall. This said, we felt it necessary to reward those who have made significant gains and accomplishments in this area.
The West Coast Classic Restorations...
The West Coast Classic Restorations team, along with VW collector Dr. Mack
After careful considering, Jack Sacchette of Jay Cee Enterprises was our majority pick.
The decision was based upon Sacchette's numerous years as a successful racer, performance part fabricator and shop owner, as well as for his unparallel contribution and support of VW drag racing and to the industry as a whole. Various racing highlights that span over two decades include numerous Pro Stock VW championships ('80s-'90s), setting a Super Street low e.t. record with a 10.40sec. at 127mph (1993) and making the quickest pass ever (10.09 sec.) in a VW Bug during a 2003 Sport Compact NHRA event.
TVA's Randy Carlson and Ryan...
TVA's Randy Carlson and Ryan Price.
A resident of Huntington Beach, Calif., Sacchette is married with five children. On behalf of the Sacchettes, good friend, Terra Snivichit, accepted the award.
The highly coveted Lifetime Achievement Award closed the evening ceremonies. "As with past Lifetime Achievement honorees such as Joe Vittone and Lorenzo Pearson, this year's recipient has made an immeasurable impact to the VW industry and has helped shape the performance aftermarket as we know it today," said co-host Rob Gonzales, acknowledging Tom Lieb of SCAT Enterprises as the Editors' Choice recipient of the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award.
"I am extremely humbled by this honor and would to thank VWTrends and its staff," said Lieb.
It's been nearly 40 years since Tom Lieb and SCAT introduced the industry's first counterweighted crank in 1966. Lieb's passion for VWs and to the manufacturing of quality parts has perpetually pumped life into the VW aftermarket.
German Folks Klub President...
German Folks Klub President John Canales accepting the Best VW Club Award along with club founder Ruben Navarro.
From the innovative counterweighted crank to the introduction of the first flange crank (1972) to pulleys, shifters, ProCar race seats and numerous other industry firsts, SCAT, under Lieb's direction, has created quite an impressive resume.
Manufacturing 15,000 crankshafts annually within its 42,000 square foot facility, today, SCAT continues to build cranks for aircooled VWs, in addition to specially manufacturer units for Ford Motorsports, Daimler/Chrysler, Toyota Racing, Nissan and other automakers.
After the ceremony, many of the guests continued the celebration well into the night at the post industry mixer, which included industry guests such as Dee Berg, Clyde Berg, Randy Carlson of TVA and Oldbug.com, Lenny Copp and his team from West Coast Classic Restorations, VW collector Dr. Mack Jones and others.
Many of the So Cal based club...
Many of the So Cal based club members were on hand with their cars in full display.