The Bug-In saga started way back on the 20th of October 1968 when the First edition was put on by Vic Wilson on the famous Orange County International Raceway (OCIR) wich sadly closed down on 30th October 1983, and that was the end of the Bug-In Shows aswell. The 31st and last Bug-In there was held on 9th October 1983, this was the last of the longest series ever of uninterupted VW shows ever put on, the Bug-In saga ended with a bang and got its legendary status, today these shows still are the example of what a show should be all over the world.

The Famous Champion Tour, one of the symbols of OCIR and the Bug-In
The Shows were held two times a year one in the spring and one in the fall, the Bug-In quickly grew to be the major show on the West Coast of the United States and each following show saw more bugs and spectators show up! The last one in 1983 counted several 1.000 volkswagens and over 10.000 visitors! a successfull show concept that lasted for 15 years...

Another iconic image : Quartermile racing and bugs with their front wheels off the ground!
There were multiple reasons for its success. In the beginning this event was oriented towards buggy owners and people who had built special vehicles based on the VW platform, which back in those days was a common past time. Just going with the flow, these shows attracted more and more volkswagen enthusiasts of all shapes and forms, all there with one common interest. It has to be said that the companies specializing in performance and custom parts for the small cars were all represented there too. each of the shows was sponsored by brands who today are known to all like EMPI, SCAT, TREUHAFT,AUTO-HAUS...

The Bug-In made it possible for VW Clubs to get together and show off their rides.
The Bug In organising team had filled the hole in the SoCal aircooled scene, the lack of a serious VW get together set up on a regular interval, the shows were growing and growing.

The famous Rich Kimball, well known figure in the scene these days, slowly took over the show and became the main promoter.

The Traditional Lineup of VW's in front of the OCIR Tower, staging and ready to race the quartermile.
The list of activities offered to the participants was long. First of all there was the Drag Racing, each edition saw the United States' Fastest race each other in different classes with one goal, to go home with the prized trophy and to get the Glory of having the Quickest car of the show. Another activity which was much appreciated was the Slalom course where the target was to drive the cars around the set course without knocking down the cones and this in the least possible time. Then the Show and Shine where America's most beautiful Volkswagens were on display, this in many different categories: Vintage, Customs, Exotics... there even was a Worst of Show award... Those were the days...

An example of the diverse styles of vw's that participated in the event...
The Miss Bug-In competition saw several pin-up's and bikini chicks compete to be the one wearing the crown for one day while on the other side amateurs and pros battled it out on the Engine pull contest. Elsewhere the traders of the vw scene displayed their goods under colourful tents presenting the latest bits and bops to improve the little cars.

The OCIR Tower in the background, competitors patiently staged waiting for their chance to run the Quarter... Note. Greg Aronson's sublime Tar Babe Race car.