“Are you here for the car show?” asks the Canadian border officer. He quickly looks over my passport, then my face, then at the remains of a dead fuzzy something that is sprayed across the entire 19 foot length of my grey Audi A8L. Somewhere between my subframe and aluminum body is a slab of roadkill steak ripening as we speak. “Yes sir, until Sunday afternoon” I reply. “Ok, have a good weekend Andrew. Drive safely”. He glances once more at the guts of whatever dead thing it is that exploded in my fenderwell along the 6 hour drive through NY to the Canadian border.
The sun is just breaking the horizon and it’s golden morning light highlights farmland adjacent to the border, and later highlights the potholes, expansion joints and general shittiness of the roads leading to the hotel I’m sharing in Laval, QC. I’ve been awake for nearly two full days, venturing on yet another weekend kamikaze mission leaving immediately from work. The exhaustion I had anticipated hasn’t hit yet thanks to a combination of caffeine, excitement (of attending possibly the best east coast car show), and terror (of smashing the oil pan or transmission pan of my A8L along these treacherous Canadian roads).
I meet my good friends Sam Desmarais, his fiance Kristi Price and their business partner Shazad Chughtai of Sam’s Euro & Westside Motorsport in NH. A quick breakfast, a quick scrub of the cars, and we’re off to navigate route 15 to ICAR Mirabel racecourse where Eurokracy has been held for the past four (or five) years. It’s the combination of setting and organization that help Eurokracy to hold the rightfully earned title of “Canada’s Finest VW/Audi Car Show”. The rain we are met with upon our arrival doesn’t dampen our excitement at all, and it hasn’t seemed to bother any of the other attendees.
Throughout the maze of turns and guard rails of ICAR you’ll find some of the most complete and well executed builds across all platforms. Engine swaps nestled in perfectly shaved engine bays, immaculately re-trimmed interiors, expertly painted and detailed bodies lowered millimeter exact down to wheels and tires exemplify the quality of the work put into the cars of the Canadian scene. What sets the show aspect of Eurokracy apart from most others is the concentration of cars built to the standard I just described- there’s just many more quality built cars present than most other shows. Even outside the main Show and Shine or vendor area, there’s no shortage of beautifully done cars- VW/Audi and otherwise.
Let’s face it, car shows can be boring- this is where Eurokracy sets itself apart from other shows. ICAR has a circuit which throughout the day cars race around- some of these cars are the same ones you’ll have seen in the show area. It’s not every day you see a Porsche 965 Turbo S lapping the track with a V10 R8 Plus, an AAN 5cyl turbo swapped Audi 80 cab, track prepped MKI and MKII Sciroccos at the same time, amongst others. Once you tire of watching the action on the road course, you can head to the drag strip to watch vehicles of all horsepower ranges go head to head down the quarter mile. In addition to the motorsports, Eurokracy hosts a limbo contest-with a twist. In addition to the usual limbo bar, the Airsociety boys have thrown in speed bumps and obstacles to level the playing field and add to the amusement of bodies piled across hoods and trunk lids.
Everyone loves a burnout contest, and Eurokracy has become known for having one of the best. The infamous purple MKII Jetta dubbed Burnoutslut is the running 4 year champion and again, did not disappoint. Piloted by the beefcake duo Max Boileau and Alex Teolis, Burnoutslut sports an ebay turbo kit piped outside the hood, directly in front of the windshield. Two spark plugs adorn the edge of the exhaust pipe extending upward from the exhaust side of the turbocharger for the sole purpose of turning the Burnoutslut into a flamethrower between performances.
With the Jetta chained to the wall and drivers fueled up with a mix of testosterone and pre workout, Alex smashed in the windshield to rile up the crowd and Max mashed the pedal to the floor. The Jetta lurched forward and almost took out Krispy and yours truly- turns out the Burnoutslut was never actually chained up. I ignored the few drops of piss that had escaped during the near miss and stayed put in the burnout box while Max and Alex filled the skies with the sulfuric smoke of burning rubber. A loud pop signaled the driver side tire had exploded and shrapnel from the tread began to litter the area. The burning on my shins and feet signaled that molten rubber had found my skin. Max and Alex weren’t satisfied with just one round. Between other competitors’ turns, fresh tires would be swapped on and the Jetta would return to the pit to sacrifice more tires. This would repeat a total of four times before the end of the show, each time wearing more shredded tires on the roof like a crown.
Speaking of other competitors, noteworthy entries include Ford work truck, an LS swapped S10, a Holden, and a Mercedes CLS with a Louis Vitton interior who drifted out of the burnout box with a passenger seated on the edge of the door, half hanging out of the vehicle. Photographers, videographers and organizers of the event held B and C pillars to help struggling FWD cars to stay put in order to get their tires spinning.
Jesse James of Airsociety and Mike Mckie were on MC duty, heckling the crowd and keeping things lively. You can’t help but have a good time while Mike was calling people out who were not making enough noise between taunting Jesse with “Keep sweeping! We pay you five dollars an hour to sweep!”, among other shit talking gems. Jesse soon gave up sweeping to turn the hose used to wet the the tires of contenders in the burnout pit toward the crowd, and for one unfortunate spectator- a point blank blast of water to the crotch.
Finally, the last contender in the burnout contest rolls up against the tire mounted on the guard rail facing the crowd and attempts to spin the front tires. The cabrio stalls and struggles to turn over, finally giving up. The driver shouts in his finest french “The battery is dead!”. Within a minute the driver and one of the three passengers yanks the hood open and does the fastest battery swap in Canadian history. A few dismal attempts to get a solid burnout going has everyone a bit disappointed, until Max and Alex roll in with the Burnoutslut. The flame throwing purple Jetta is now wedging the cabrio against the wall, both cars spinning tires at full throttle, completely enveloping the screaming crowd in tire smoke. Alex and the passengers from the cabrio both jumping on the roof and hood of the two vehicles, still spinning tires.
With the burnout contest over- tire smoke still thick in the air, it was time to hand out awards for the classes. Jesse, Jesse’s father, Rick and Sergio launched free Eurokracy goods from the trailer turned stage and DJ booth. Winners of each class were invited on stage to receive their Eurokracy euro plate trophy in front of their peers. The award ceremony was brought to a close with Eurokracy’s organizers announcing their appreciation to all the attendees. As our Canadian friend FP put it- “Everyone here just wants to have a good time. Everyone loves everyone”.
Eurokracy holds a special place for me, as last year’s show marked a turning point in my love of photography and the automotive world. I’ve been a photographer for many years, and part of the VW/Audi “scene” since early 2007. I had lost my love of shows and my passion for the community had waned after H2Oi 2013. I had been completely burned out and hadn’t been to a VW show since then. I attended Eurokracy on a whim after a streak of bad luck, just for a change of pace. I had such a great time with my friends from Sam’s Euro &Westside Motorsport and Sam Dobbins, my love for the community and the combination of dedication and creativity of those who build these cars was restored and elevated even more than before. So I’d personally like to thank Jesse, Rick and Sergio for putting on such a great event. It’s well worth the 7.5+ hour drive, the roadkill, the shitty roads and sunburn, and I plan to attend for many years to come.