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Member Spotlight – Alexander Cabinian

A new feature of our web site is being launched today. Each week, we will profile a member of Fahrenhart. Today, we start out with a profile of the group’s resident racing driver.

Name: Alexander Cabinian

Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ

Current Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Job: Senior QA Engineer, Comcast – Downingtown, PA

Interests other than cars: beer, computers, video games and technology

Thanks to a friend of mine who got me to come out to an autocross event in Atlantic City on July 31, 2011, I’ve been hooked on racing. Whether it be autox, track days, wheel-to-wheel road racing or drag racing, I’ve jumped into all of it. Being able to control a car at its limit while going fast is a never-ending pursuit and makes time spent at the track worth every second.

Cars

2009 Volkswagen Mk5 Golf GTI

  • Bought in August of 2009, this was formerly a dual purpose track/autox car and daily driver. Recently, though, it has recently been relegated to daily driving purposes. However, it still retains all of the equipment from its days as a race car: K04 turbo, Bilstein coilovers, APR sway bars, USRT chassis bracing and others.
VW Golf GTI, SJR-SCCA Solo 04/12/15
Photo courtesy Bravo Whiskey Productions

1986 Volkswagen Scirocco 16V

  • Bought in December of 2012 to be the race/fun car, it has seen its fair share of motorsport and broken parts in 2.5 years. Relatively fewer modifications have been done – the car has an ST Coilover suspension, front sway bar, a rebuilt 020 transmission with a Peloquins LSD and an OMP fibreglass racing seat. Other than this, the motor, with its CIS-E fuel injection system, is stock.
VW Scirocco 16V SJR-SCCA Solo 07/12/15
Photo courtesy Steven Bryson Photography and Design

Dubs on the Boards – A Car Show With a Twist

Dubs on the Boards (DOTB), organized and run by SlickSpeed Productions, is a unique take on the typical Volkswagen and Audi car show. Held around the “unofficial” end of the Summer, the 2014 edition was the 7th time the show took place.  Since 2008, the show has steadily grown in popularity amongst the VW/Audi enthusiast community, with greater and greater turnout each year. 2014 saw 200 Volkswagen and Audi owners meet up in Wildwood, NJ on September 6th.

I see multiple reasons for this, first of which is the location. Wildwood, NJ is one of the many popular shore towns in New Jersey. You could infer from the name where the actual show takes place – on the boardwalk. That’s right – cars are parked right in the middle of North Wildwood’s famous boardwalk. That, in itself, is a very unique aspect that sets it apart. Of the shows here in the NJ/PA/DE/MD area, I can’t think of any (off the top of my head) that do something similar. Parking cars on the boardwalk puts them right front-and-center for everyone to see.

The second reason is the relaxed atmosphere amongst the participants. Unlike most VW/Audi shows that I’ve been to where the greater majority of participants have newer cars (say post-1995), a good amount of “old-school” cars, and their owners, younger and older, come to DOTB. This includes everything from Beetles, Dune Buggies, Ghias to Buses and much more. Of course, there’s no denying that a majority of the field is still made up of “newer” cars that reflect today’s modification trends.

I came out to this year’s show with my ’86 Scirocco 16V, thankfully repaired after destroying the front wheel bearings at an August track day. Along with the rest of the group, we had a clear mission in mind. In 2013, on top of the individual awards, we won an award for Best Club Participation, ahead of the Coolwater VW group. It was clear to us then, and prior to this year, that Coolwater wanted  that award back. As I walked up and down the Boardwalk, it was evident that they  had come out in force. Their cars were across multiple categories and in much greater numbers overall. It would come down to the very last participant in both groups to determine this winner.

Participants started showing up very early on show day. Because of local laws, there were hard time deadlines for when cars could be lined up and then brought onto the North Wildwood boardwalk. I’ll tell you this straight out – driving your car onto a boardwalk is something you have to do to appreciate – I can’t adequately describe it with just words. A majority of visitors were intrigued by the sight and had mostly positive comments (from what I could overhear). The heat and humidity, however, became very stifling as the day progressed. It felt like a sauna, prompting more than a few folks to find air conditioning and fluids, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Voting took place with paper and pen, and, unlike other shows, both participants and spectators could pick what they felt was the best car in each class. One could argue that this isn’t a fair way to pick a winner, but I could easily say the same thing for a “traditionally” judged car show. Again, this is another unique aspect of the show that isn’t used very often elsewhere. In between the consumption of liquids and food, myself, the group and everyone else picked their favorite cars.

Tension built up as the awards ceremony approached. After being cooked in the sun all day, I was looking forward to a nice shower and a cold drink, hopefully celebrating in the process. Marc went through all the classes and announced the winners, with some surprises and unexpected results. However, to be frank, the only trophy that mattered to the group was what we were all interested in getting to.

…drama builds…

By ONE person/car, we had won the Best Club Participation trophy for the second year in a row. Instant happiness.

It’s amazing that we were able to pull this off. It speaks to the enthusiasm that all of us share for our cars and the group as a whole. Overall, despite the heat and humidity, the accomplishments of the group and its members in winning multiple awards made the day and the weekend worth the time. It pains me to think that I’ll now have to wait another year for this show to come around again. This has rapidly become an event that I look forward to participating in, simply because it’s just so different than your typical car show.

Congratulations to the winners from Fahrenhart, listed below (including your author):

NamePlace and Class
Alexander Cabinian1st, Scirocco Modified
CJ Atkinson2nd, Mk4 Modified
Arnold Petras1st, Passat Modified
Michael Fetch1st, Mk5 Modified
Keith Moore2nd, Mk5 Modified
Griffin Ouimet3rd, Mk5 Modified
Tamas Lazin1st, Touareg/Tiguan
Arlynne Lopez2nd, Touareg/Tiguan
Christine Kennedy3rd, Cabio/Cabriolet Modified
Joelle Gavlick1st, Audi A4/S4 B6
FAHRENHART1st, Club Unity! (most participants from a club in the show)