Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

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June 7, 2014

VWs roll into town

EFFINGHAM — Volkswagens, from tiny compressed Beetles, to the attention-grabbing van, all sporting the iconic VW look crowded downtown Effingham Friday to kick off Mid America Motorworks Funfest for Air-Cooled VWs.

Many drivers from around the country showed their vehicles around the courthouse square with new and old, customized and classic parked side by side.

Darrell Scales and his wife, Wanda, drove his customized 1972 VW from St. Joseph, Michigan, and made sure it caught the attention of those at festival. The pale blue vehicle had a windup key installed on the trunk which unwound as he drove, as well as a host of accessories, from a rack for surf boards on top, to a drive-in tray in the window and a knitted blanket on one side. Scales said he knows the reactions he gets when driving into shows.

"It's a hoot," the six-year Funfest attendee said. "People were laughing and pointing as I drove in."

A longtime muscle car collector, Scales said he got into the VWs after getting tired of seeing the same cars and the same people at every show. He said seeing the way people were attracted to the iconic Beetle was what drew him to the shows.

"I work with a guy who always says that he wants me to get back into showing muscle cars," Scales said with a laugh. "I told him if we put his car and my car in a lot, we'll see who draws the biggest crowd. It's always me."

For others, the VW has a place both in automotive history, as well as personal history. Dayton and Karen Carey of Newton, Wisconsin, first met in 1982, working on a VW while both were stationed in Italy before they lost track of each other. Dayton eventually tracked Karen down again in 1985 and proposed to her after a cross-country road trip from California to Wisconsin years later.

"We've been married for 22 years, and we just keep collecting the '67s and the '69s," Karen said.

So far, that collection totals 11 VWs, and the festival has given the couple the opportunity to show their passion for the classic vehicle for the past seven years.

"This is our big event for the year," Dayton said.

Scales said the Effingham festival, as well as the environment and the people are what keeps him coming back to the Funfest year after year.

"This is the one we come to," he said. "It's just fantastic. The people are always happy to look things over and everyone's really glad to be here. That's precisely why we go."

Funfest continues Saturday at Mid America Motorworks campus. For a schedule of events, www.funfestacvw.com.

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or at jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com or via Twitter @EDNJAdams.

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