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Mid America Motorworks 2010 VW Funfest


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SEE ALSO: Volkswagen Buyers Guide 1997-2011

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

Effingham, IL. This midwestern town of about 12,000, bills itself as "The Crossroads of Opportunity" because of its location at the intersection of two major Interstate highways: I-57 running from Chicago to Miner, Missouri, and I-70 running from Utah to Maryland. Effingham sits about mid-way between St. Louis and Indianapolis.

Mike Yager has taken “the opportunity” combined it with his passion for the “American Sports Car” Corvette and grown his Mid America Motorworks in to one of the most renowned providers of parts and accessories for Corvettes and Air-cooled Volkswagens. Started in 1974 with $500, today this multi-million dollar enterprise is dedicated to the automotive enthusiasts.

In 1998, Mid America Motorworks branched out from its Corvette base by adding a product line for Air-Cooled Volkswagens. “Volkswagen has a strong cache’ and is truly an iconic brand”, says Mike, and Mid America Motorworks provides quality parts and accessories for the 1950-1979 Air-Cooled VW Beetle, Karmann Ghia, Type 3, and Air-Cooled VW Bus models.

Mid America Motorworks recently combined the MY Garage Museum and the Retail Store, to create a place “where our catalog comes to life!”

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Now all under one roof, customers can purchase any product available in the catalog, while viewing a dynamic collection of unique and historically significant Corvettes and Volkswagens. Numerous one-off special build Corvettes are housed in MY Garage Museum along with two VW “Herbie” Bugs that were used in the movie. Cutaway Beetle engines, a complete Beetle rolling floor pan chassis and numerous pieces of memorabilia and collectibles just dazzle before your eyes.

On the weekend of June 5-6, the 12th annual Funfest for Air-Cooled VW attracted more than 1,300 air-cooled Volkswagens and some 8,000 Air-Cooled VW enthusiasts.

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I caught up with Mike late Friday afternoon as he and his team were putting the final touches on the weekend activities. Being the congenial person he is, Mike stopped his work and gave me a whirlwind tour of his multi-building campus. I was quite amazed at his collection of all things Corvette and Volkswagen as well as the manufacturing facility that molds and sews new interior seats, carpets and door panels.


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The weekend kickoff was a Friday Night Cruise of around 100 VWs on an 11.6 mile jaunt through the countryside ending up with a car display around the square at the downtown Effingham Courthouse.
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Saturday presented a multitude of happenings, kicked off by Mike himself welcoming all the enthusiasts from in front of an original 1910 gas station that has been reconstructed and restored on-site.
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The “wagons were circled” as owners of classic VW Campers set up house for the weekend. The VW car show kept growing throughout the day with Celebrity Judges picking their favorites.
Bargains galore could be found at the all Volkswagen swap meet. Tech seminars and product demonstrations were held throughout the day by both Mid America staff and suppliers such as Motorsports Tulsa, RetroSound USA and American Car Craft to educate VW enthusiasts and provide help on rebuilding and restoring.

New this year at Install Alley, MST (Motorsports Tulsa) was installing high quality billet aluminum pulley sets. American Car Craft was showing off some bling. They debuted the most-raved about 1977 VW Beetle, the Bling Bug!


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The past few years Mid America has made a special recognition to a Father/Son or Father/Daughter that share the VW Passion together. This year’s recognition went to the Father/Daughter team of Scott and Stefanie Wilson who spent 9 years rebuilding their ’74 Super Beetle.

An Exhaust Sound-off Contest, a Volkswagen car auction, a family zone for young folk, the first year of a pedal car display, fun big-kid games like the Iron Cross Wheel Toss, Bug Haul pulling contest and the 4 Wheel & Tire Changing competition attracted folks and kept them busy. The day was near perfect with a brief mid-morning sprinkle but mostly just warm with light cloud cover. Evening brought another Cruise Road Tour for about 30 miles bringing folks back to the Mid America Campus for an evening of entertainment.

A great old-fashioned country buffet was made available to be enjoyed in rows of black and white checked tablecloth covered tables under a large tent. Closing out the day was a performance on the Field of Dreams Funfest Concert Stage of great music from the 70’s with ZoSo, “The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience”.


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At a mid-day VIP luncheon Mike shared his passion and how it grew from his family of 9 siblings who were all into cars. His first Corvette was a ’67 which prompted him to start a local Corvette club and then to begin selling accessories while he worked as a journeyman tool & die maker. Now 35 years later he employs 140 people and has even begun employing some of their sons and daughters. His vision is to continue to grow Mid America Motorworks and to expand the campus to include a motorsports complex with the goal of holding some type of event every weekend. While the VW Funfest was going on plans were being fine-tuned to host the Hot Rod Power Tour on a lunch stop on June 7 that would bring over 3000 cars to Mid America.

The predominant customers of Mid America are individual enthusiasts who enjoy their own hobby cars. This truly is a place for auto enthusiasts to pursue their passion. Visit Mike Yager at: www.mamotorworks.com

Larry Nutson