It’s swarming time again!
Swarming Time, or Beetle City, as it is currently called, is my favourite Beetle event of the year.
Previously held at a different location every year including the Hungaroring, a historic skating rink and the rooftop of a popular shopping mall, the get-together was now organized at the parking lot of the Premier Outlet Center for the second year running. Despite the name it is not exclusively a Beetle extravaganza, though; Transporters, Typ3s, Kübelwagens, Typ181s, Karmann Ghias and custom VWs of all sorts are also welcome.
As this is the event kicking off the Beetle season of the year (any year, that is) in Hungary, this is the place to go and find out what fellow Beetle maniacs have been welding, rasping, painting, disintegrating and assembling since last autumn. You'll see more reborn cars than new members of the VW community, though. It's not unusual to see a car painted green one year, then red the next, the painted steelies swapped for shiny chrome ones.
Swarming time officially began on Saturday morning, but the traditional Cruise Night, organized by the Hungarian VW Beetle Club and the Retro Autó Klub, was held the night before. The cars gathered at the parking lot of the Stop Shop, and although the actual cruising didn't come about this year, it was a fine get-together with fellow-minded petrolheads chatting well into the night. I do have an air-cooled VW myself, but as it is not in working order just yet, I had to rely on public transport to get there. I got lucky, though, as our executive director Tibi arrived in his brand new purple acquisition and gave me a lift home.
The next day the whole community woke up later than intended, so we got to Biatorbágy later than planned. The location was great, as you could combine paying a visit to the event held in the shopping area in the outskirts of Budapest with doing the week-end shopping. Even activities had been organized to keep the kids occupied. We focused on the cars, though, drooling at a turbo rat-rod Beetle, a custom Buggy, classic air-cooled VWs, and my personal favourite, the Ghia stripped bare. There were a number of beautiful water-cooled VWs, too, mainly Golfs.