2017, May - Jun

Swingin' time is in store for members, guests at 62nd annual Club gathering 

By Shell Tomlin

We’ll be waiting for you at the Hampton Inn & Suites in St. Charles, IL for the 62nd Annual VWCA Convention. We have a fun-filled VW weekend that starts with a pre-Convention cruise-in and get-together at a classic 1950s-era diner on Friday and finishes on Sunday with BugFest 2017, NIVA’s (Northeast Illinois Volkswagen Assn.) longest-running and largest all-VW car Show! Sandwiched in between we’ll enjoy a double feature at an outdoor drive-in theater, a scenic rallye to test your observation and navigation skills and our Awards Banquet.

And we DO mean AWARDS Banquet. Of course, we’ll present the Eberle Trophy for the Best Local Newsletter, the Woodbury Dunn Award for the Best Local Safety Program and the coveted Wolfsburg Trophy for the Most Active Local Club. Trophies will also be given to the top three drivers and navigators in the Saturday afternoon scenic rallye. As if that weren’t enough, we’ll have prizes for the member who has attended the most Conventions, the oldest VW, and the one who traveled the longest distance to the Convention.

If you have a small Toy Collection or an Unusual VW-Related Item, bring it to the Convention. We’ll award prizes for the best displays as determined by votes cast at the Banquet. Space is limited (only 2’ by 2’ per display) so be sure to mark this on your Registration Form so we have a spot reserved for you.

Sunday is car show day, featuring BugFest 2017, NIVA’s huge all-VW show and swap meet. Spectators are always free, but your Convention Registration fee includes entry of your show car. Even if you don’t have a car to show, come for the camaraderie, food, music and raffles. And you might even find that obscure part you’ve been looking for in the Swap Meet.

You won’t want to miss any of these activities, but time is running short! Send in your Registration Form today – while you’re thinking about it! Convention deadline is Thursday, June 15, 2017, but reservations at the Headquarters Hotel is even earlier – Friday, June 2, 2017. See the instructions in this issue or simply go to our website, www.vwclub.org, and click on the link in our Upcoming Events article.

See you at the Convention. You’ll have a grand time!  VWCA

Shell Tomlin | vwclub@aol.com


Our Convention Headquarters Hotel is the Hampton Inn & Sites, 2875 Foxfield Road, St. Charles, IL 60174. Our special rates are guaranteed only until June 2, 2017, or when our block of rooms is sold out.

You have four different ways to make a reservation:

Personalized web page: Use this link – bit.ly/2lKq70x – to access our personalized web page, which will automatically display our group information, room availability and rates. Simply click on “Book a Room” and follow the instructions.

Visit www.vwclub.org: Select the article on Convention information in the Upcoming Events column on the left side of the Home Page.

Hampton website: Visit hamptonstcharles.com. Enter the dates and click search. Then, toward the bottom of the next page, add the group/convention code VWS. Clicking “Search” will automatically display our group information, room availability and rates.

Contact the Hotel Directly: Call the Hotel directly at (630) 584-0222 and refer to our Group Code CHXVWS and dates.


  • GOLF ALLTRACK:  After the diesel scandal this might be VW’s comeback car.
  • FAIRWELL TO GASTON: Club icon and all-around good guy dies at age 95.
  • SLICE OF LIFE: New cars can pose a challenge for accident first-responders.
  • MATCHMAKER: Paul Dvorak has your part and knows where to find it.


  • Driver's Seat - VW news & views by Cliff Leppke
  • Frontdriver – Richard G. Van Treuren
  • Small Talk - VW and Audi news - quickly
  • Retro Autoist - From the archives
  • Parting Shot - Photo feature
  • Local Volks Scene - A snapshot of local chapter activities
  • VW Toon-ups - Cartoon feature by Tom Janiszewski




Autoist Archive

Jul-Aug | 2019
Emotional rescue

Who would be crazy enough to drive a 36-year-old VW 3,000 miles over two weeks . . . with no A/C or other contemporary car creature comforts? Our Cliff Leppke, of course. He had a ball.


May-Jun | 2019
From beater Bus to dragstrip demon

The Goblin Works Garage team, part of a UK-based collective that rebuilds vehicles as part of a cable TV series, takes on a 1969 VW Bus.


Mar-Apr | 2019
Anniversary Theme

February???s Chicago Auto Show paid tribute to the anniversaries of four venerable marques, including VW???s Jetta GLI.


Jan-Feb | 2019
Tribute to a mom: How Kathy Janiszewski and a '72 Volkswagen helped inspire a lifelong hobby

From this VW Bus, Kathy Janiszewski emerges with her wedding party in July 1966. She inspired her son, Tom, to follow a passion for VWs.


Nov-Dec | 2018
Commemorative Issue

In commemoration of its milestone 500th issue as publication of the VWCA, the Autoist gets a facelift for the first time in a decade.


Sep-Oct | 2018
2019 Jetta: New, Larger Economy Size

Some things come in small packages, and the seventh generation of VW's popular Jetta sedan delivers.


Jul-Aug | 2018
What's in your garage?

Amid the chaos, a home to vehicular gems and memories.


May-Jun | 2018
GTI AUTOBAHN: VW's latest version is a shopping cart full of enjoyment

Pack 220-hp and 258 ft.-lb of turbo kick under this hot hatch's hood and you've got a grocery-getter with options.


Mar-May | 2018
ARTEON: VW introduces its stylish replacement for the CC model.

Volkswagen???s attention to detail is notable in its new Arteon sedan, which made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show.


Jan-Feb | 2018

Volkswagen has upped the ante by inflating the 2018 Tiguan to almost mid-size capacity. Is it fit for a king?


Nov-Dec | 2017

Hundreds of VWs of every stripe gathered at Foster Park in Kokomo, Ind. for the annual Oktoberfest.


Sep-Oct | 2017
62nd VWCA Convention Wrap-up

Members gathered at the throw-back Cascade Drive-in Theater for "Cars 3," part of the VWCA Convention


Jul-Aug | 2017
Back To The Future Car

Cliff Leppke's 1983 Scirocco has notched its share of more than 333,000 miles in trips to Road America in Wisconsin. The latest covered about 3,000 miles during a whirlwind vacation excursion.


May-Jun | 2017
Swingin' time is in store for members, guests at 62nd annual Club gathering

Augustino's will get members rocking while the NIVA Club will roll out another lineup of VWs at its annual BugFest, part of the VWCA Convention in St. Charles, Ill.


Mar-Apr | 2017
Will VW See The Light?

VW once again evokes the memory of the beloved Microbus with its new concept called I.D. Buzz, which created quite a stir at the annual auto show in Detroit. (Photos by Tom Janiszewski)


Jan-Feb | 2017
Costly Mistake?

Joe Mayer says he's not out to punish VW over its diesel scandal - he just wanted to make some extra money on a car he thought would be junked. (Photos by Joe Mayer via jalopnik.com.)


Nov-Dec | 2016
WATTS OF FUN . . . . . . Meet the new e-Golf

Here's the car that, when you give it a charge, you'll get one back. In VW's first important pivot from its diesel scandal, the e-Golf provides an opening salvo in the carmaker's goal to electrify its fleet.


Sep-Oct | 2016
61st Annual Convention

What's an anniversary without a cake? This one didn't go far or last long as Club members enjoyed a variety of activities, including a Sunday car show and picnic, part of the 61st Annual Convention.


Jul-Aug | 2016
It's Time To Show Off

A couple of Karmann Ghias are resplendent at the Michigan Vintage VW Club's Festival in Ypsilanti, Mich.  The club held its 29th event in May, while Mid America Motorworks in Effingham, Ill., saluted the air-cooled crowd with a big show in June.


May-Jun | 2016
Windfall for TDI owners?

The scam was on as early as 2008, when this Candy White Jetta TDI Clean Diesel model, embellished with green plant matter, was rolled out.  In case anyone had a doubt, VW added the wording "Not a concept car."


Mar-Apr | 2016
Lost In Translation

VW CEO Mattias Mueller was in the hot glare of media lights at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, providing the company's latest response to the diesel emissions scandal.


Jan-Feb | 2016
VW's Game Plan

VW remains embroiled in a high-stakes game involving government agencies  and hundreds of thousands of owners of diesel models. The company's car on the road of Life has taken a big detour.


Nov-Dec | 2015
Engine with a split personality puts VW on the hot seat

The news in September was beyond belief for many VW and TDI enthusiasts: Volkswagen executives admitted that the company intentionally produced cars that violated clean-air laws.


Sep-Oct | 2015
Big bites of fun at the 60th VWCA Convention

Doug Narczewshi from Spring Valley, IL, looks over an assortment of water-cooled VWs on display at NIVA's Bug Fest event, part of the 60th VWCA Convention in suburban Chicago.


Jul-Aug | 2015
1969 Beetle gets a second chance to adorn the silver screen

Crew members working on the film "The Good Blonde" prepare for a shot on the California coast involving a 1969 Beetle owned by VWCA member and correspondent Lois Grace.


May-Jun | 2015
My Mom, the Daredevil

Around 1960, Cliff Leppke had no idea what was in store for him while being ferried about by his mother. Needless to say, his head was up and his eyes were open.


Mar-Apr | 2015
It's Show Time!

The Northeast Illinois Volkswagen Association has an activity-packed weekend planned for the 60th VWCA Convention in suburban Chicago.


Jan-Feb | 2015
Diesel Memories

Jack Pavie of suburban Philadelphia had to wait several months to get his 1975 Rabbit diesel, one of three models he enjoyed in the '70s and '80s.


Nov-Dec | 2014
Golf Lessons: Three new models charge up hatchback lineup

The scene at the Salamander Resort in Middleburg, Va., where Cliff Leppke and other media members ran the 2015 Volkswagens through their paces.


Sep-Oct | 2014
Having fun with miles per gallon

A morning commute for a 2012 Golf TDI has become a test on how high the fuel mileage will end up. It hit a high mark in July.


Jul-Aug | 2014
2014 VWCA Convention: Wagons, wagens and more - where the buffalo roam

In the VWCA's 59 years of Conventions, the setting in Hudson, Mich. was unique. Just ask VWCA's Tom Janiszewski, the guy driving the orange 1974 Camper.


May-Jun | 2014
New Beetle milestone: Though this 1999 model has shown it's flaws over 15 years and 90,000 miles, it's been a blast to drive

May 25 marks the 15th anniversary of my family's New Beetle ownership experience. It was on that day in 1999 that we took delivery of a brand new red GLS model from Kempthorn Volkswagen in Canton, Ohio.


Mar-Apr | 2014
Dune buggy with a twist at the Detroit Auto Show

There's a saying that everything old is new again, and since the New Beetle's production debut in 1998, that has been the car's underlying theme.


Jan-Feb | 2014
Back At The Ranch

At northern California getaway, Vernon and his family found plenty of ways to enjoy life