Written by Austin Hattabaugh

Water By The Bridge (WBTB) is an all European car show located in Louisville, Kentucky. With this being one of the first shows of the season, everyone was anxious to get their cars together and come into Louisville. WBTB is put on by SoWo Partners, who also put together shows such as European Experience and NOLA Speed and Style.

With 510 cars the show was the perfect size for the location. Hosted at the famous Louisville Waterfront Park it is one of my personal favorite venues for a show. The names says it all, a park sitting directly adjacent to the Ohio River. Surrounding the park are places to eat and hangout in walking distance. Not only was the location great but the weather did not disappoint.

The last three years it was 30 degrees and raining. This year was different, it was 65 and sunny. It couldn’t have been better. Too hot and you end up dying in the heat. I know we’ve all experienced shows like this. Too cold and wet, the day can’t seem to end soon enough. WBTB was one of the shows you don’t want to end.
The event was on Saturday, March 25th, but a lot of buddies came into town early on Friday, March 24th. There was not a pre-meet planned for WBTB, so we took it upon ourselves to organize a pre-meet at a local European performance tuning shop, Track Days Tuning.

Ryan Speck (@ryan_speck)’s Audi TT on Rotiform IND.
Ryan and friends made the 6-hour trek from middle Michigan area to attend WBTB. Ryan said his rear tires were rubbing his quarter panels, so we had to jack the car up and began grinding on the car for more clearance despite it being a brand new TT-S. After we had cut into Ryan’s car, we headed to the Jeffersonville Wharf to photograph the cars that had showed up.

The shoot at the wharf was a very productive time. As the sunlight faded away, we tried to fit as many cars in as we could to photograph. Crammed both of the snow-white cars together. The Volkswagen Jetta on OZ Pegasus being Matt Reinert (@mattmaynetf) and Edward Ross (@hotsauz_1)’s Volkswagen CC on WatercooledIND wheels.

At this point everyone had hit a wall of exhaustion from driving four to six hours that day on top of everything else. We all packed up the cars and headed to our beds for the night to get ready for the show the next day.

Show day
All of us had gotten up early Saturday for the show, around 7:00 am. The event started at 9:00 Eastern Standard Time, but we wanted to be there an hour early to get in line before everyone else had gotten there. Upon arrival to the venue, there was already cars lined up down the road. Waiting to be let in, I had walked around and photographed a few cars that were waiting in line. Two of the vehicles that had caught my eye was this aircooled beetle and older bus.

One car that was hard to miss was Brandon Smith (@brantheman89)’s MarkIV Volkswagen Jetta equipped with Airlift Performance air-ride and Rotiform DIA 3-piece wheels sitting pretty at the entrance of the venue. Brandon had made the trip from the Atlanta area along with the rest of the SoWo Partners crew.

9:00 am hit and everyone had started to roll into the venue.
Everything from old to new, aircooled to watercooled and everything in-between.
Cody Hoskins (@vdublove_) was driving his super simple MarkII daily driver while his MarkI rabbit is being built. Another car that had caught my eye while rolling in was Tim (@timsentusiastgarage)’s gorgeous Lotus Espirit on Fifteen52 Tarmacs.

Once everyone had gotten settled in and parked, I begun walking around. There were some very nice cars that had me pulled me in. One of those being Trevor Picknell (@demrimz)’s bagged Volkswagen Golf Harlequin. It’s rare that you see a Harlequin, let alone a bagged one on very nice wheels. Trevor had this car stored away for a couple years ripping the motor out, but I am glad he is finished with that and is now bringing it back out.

One of the more famous shoot spots you may have seen was the cement dock that everyone seems to pull up on for photos every year. Its a badass spot with the Ohio River in the background. Reese Lawyer (@reesemflawyer)’s bagged MarkV GTI with wide SSR KS Koenig wheels in the rear.

Winding down the day making one last lap, Brock Bickford (@dasvwswag)’s crazy BBS Volkswagen MarkII GTI was possibly my favorite car at the show. Brock’s GTI had come a good way over the year with him building it for his daughter, Ellie. All BBS everything on Brock’s GTI from the bodykit to the wheels. Pair that with Airlift Performance’s air-ride and you have a gorgeous all around car.

Matt Bounds and everyone over at SoWo Partners have ran a fantastic event. Cannot wait until next year already.