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Volvo Club of America Davis Show and Swap Meet


Here are our events for 2019 (April 27 & 28):


Breakfast at Niello Volvo (Saturday)


Our Silver Level Sponsor, Niello Volvo Cars Sacramento, is again hosting a full buffet breakfast for us at their dealership (4609 Madison Ave., Sacramento, 95841) from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  No formal car show here, just good food, lots of Volvo owners and their Volvos.  This is also the meeting point for the Saturday drives.


No charge for this event, but you must pre-register online at GGVCOA.com by the deadline, April 21th.


Foothill Drive - Spirited Group (Saturday)

The Spirited Group will tour the scenic foothills East of Sacramento at a brisk pace, with stops for lunch (on your own) and fuel.  Meet at 9 a.m. at Niello Volvo Cars Sacramento (4609 Madison Ave., Sacramento, 95841) for a brief tech once-over and assembly into groups, this group will depart at 10:30 a.m.  The drive will conclude in early afternoon.

No charge for this event, but you must pre-register online at GGVCOA.com by the deadline, April 21th.

Foothill Drive - Scenic Group (Saturday)

The Scenic Group will tour the scenic foothills East of Sacramento at a more leisurely pace than the Spirited Group, with stops for lunch (on your own) and fuel.  Meet at 9 a.m. at Niello Volvo of Sacramento (4609 Madison Ave., Sacramento, 95841) for a brief tech once-over and assembly into groups, this group will depart at 10:00 a.m.  The drive will conclude in early afternoon.

No charge for this event, but you must pre-register online at GGVCOA.com by the deadline, April 21th.

BBQ at Walter's (Saturday)

Sacramento Chapter President Walter Donnell III is again hosting the pre-Show BBQ at his home.  There will be the traditional BBQ fare (cash donations to offset food expenses are gladly accepted) or feel free to bring your own food and beverages.  2 p.m. to ?  Please make sure that the e-mail address that you register with is active, as you will be sent an e-mail with Walter's address and directions the week before the Show.


No charge for this event, but you must pre-register online at GGVCOA.com by the deadline, April 21th.


The Show (Sunday)


This is a one-day show held on April 28th, from 8 a.m. until about 2:00 p.m.  The show is staffed and organized by volunteers from the Golden Gate and Sacramento VCOA Chapters.  The location is Central Park (Third & C Streets) in downtown Davis, California.  The show is open to all Volvos and Volvo-powered cars.  Admission to the show field for cars is from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. and the registration cost is $20 per car, payable in advance online at GGVCOA.com or $30.00 at the entrance gate (cash only) on the morning of the Show.  Online registration will close Wednesday April 24th. Since the Show location is a public park, walk-ins are welcome at anytime, free of charge.  There are awards for registered Show cars, and we anticipate having a few prize drawings, too.  You must be registered for the Show to be eligible to compete for the car awards and to participate in the prize drawings. T-shirts will be available at the show, not on-line.


The Swap Meet (Sunday)


In conjunction with the Show, there is a Swap Meet and vendor area with Volvo-related products and services.  Swap Meet spaces are limited, and available by pre-registration only.  No Swap Meet spaces can be purchased on the day of the Show.  If you are interested in obtaining a Swap Meet space, please contact Larry Biltz, our Swap Meet Coordinator, at: larrybiltz925@gmail.com to see if we still have spaces available.  Those interested in a vendor space should contact Al Simons, our Sponsor Liaison, at: alan.simons@sbcglobal.net



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Note: if you have any questions, your fastest answer may be to check the FAQs (roughly sorted by topic) below.  If you can't find an answer to your question, please contact Gary Lodge, our 2019 Event Manager, at GGVCOA@yahoo.com


About the Show-


Q: What is the VCOA Davis Show?


A: It is a Volvo show held at Central Park in Davis, CA on a Sunday.  It is a one-day show planned and staffed by volunteers, primarily from the Volvo Club of America’s (VCOA) Golden Gate and Sacramento Chapters.


Q: What types of Volvo are welcome at the show?


A: Any and every type of Volvo-bodied car, as well as Volvo-powered cars of other makes, old, new, and everything in-between.  Our variety is part of our appeal.  Daily drivers, modified, race cars, beaters, concours-worthy Volvos, you’ll find them all here at the Show.


Q: What kinds of Volvos show up?


A: All kinds! (See previous answer, above.)  In addition to the more common models such as 240s, 850s, S60s, past showgoers have seen the unusual, including a 444, P1900, 480, and an 850 pickup (not a production vehicle.)  Part of the fun and attraction of the Show is that one never knows what unusual Volvo they might see here.


Q: Why is the Show in Davis?


A: Because someone volunteered to host the initial show in Davis in 1999.  Davis’ Central Park has since proven to be an ideal location for our show.  The Park is in the city’s downtown area, which has an abundance of restaurants, shops, and other attractions.  The Park has two children’s play areas, large grassy areas, and a pavilion, which comes in handy if we should experience some rain during the show.


Q: What is the Show format?


A: It’s basically a car show with a few awards selected by judges and a People's Choice Award selected by people with Volvos in the Show.  From 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., participants arrive and are parked on the show field.  Once parked, participants should go to the Registration Table and pick-up their registration materials and goodie bags.  After that, participants are free to stay with their car and answer questions about their car, look at other cars, peruse the swap meet or vendor displays, or explore the numerous attractions within easy walking distance in downtown Davis.  In early afternoon, we conclude the Show with an awards presentation.  Afterwards, some folks choose to linger and socialize, while others prefer to get an early start on the drive home.


Q: I've never taken my Volvo to a car show, what do I do?  Do I need to do anything special to my Volvo?


A: Nearly all of the Volvos you'll see at the Show are driven daily by people from all walks of life.  You'll see Volvos of many different ages and conditions.  Just bring your Volvo and be prepared to enjoy the Show, perhaps share the story of your Volvo with interested passers-by, and learn more about Volvos.  Also, if you're looking for advice or leads on parts or service, this is a great place to ask around.  You'll be in the company of dozens of fellow Volvo owners, not to mention vendors that cater to Volvo.


You don't need to do anything special to your Volvo to prepare for the Show.  Some owners detail (clean and polish) their Volvos before the Show, but many do not.


Q: If I bring my Volvo and want to park in the Show area, why do I need to pay?


A: Your registration fee goes to pay for the fees that the City of Davis charges us to use the Show area, as well as offset the cost of awards, and help support the local VCOA chapters.  Our fee is on the low side, and it’s good Volvo Community Karma to pay it.  Who knows, your Volvo may even win an award.


Q: Can I just bring my Volvo and park in the Show area without participating in the awards stuff?


A: Absolutely!  Please register online in advance or pay (cash only accepted) at the gate on the morning of the show.  In your registration materials, there will be a numbered car identification card that awards participants will need to display.  Don't display the card on your car, and you will not be considered for any awards.


Q: Do I have to pay admission just to see the cars?


A: No.  We’re located at a Davis city park and street closure with pedestrian and bicycle access.  There is limited on-street parking (please observe the posted parking restrictions) outside the Show area, so come early.


Q: I have to leave the Show early, what do I do?


A: If you've registered for the Show, as you park your Volvo, you should be guided in by a Parking Assistant.  Let them know that you will be leaving early, and they will try to place you in a spot from which you can leave once the Show is underway.  Also, give your car and personal contact info to one of the volunteer staff at the Registration Table, so that we can contact you in case you win an award.


Q: Can I line up on the street early for the Show?


A: No.  Lines of cars on the street block access for emergency vehicles and hinder access to surrounding businesses.  We understand that you're anxious to get in, park, and enjoy the Show, and we will get you in just as fast as possible, once the entrance gate opens at 8 a.m.  If you wish to wait close by the gate, please park in a legal parking space, not in a street traffic lane.  Those of you who attended in 2018 can recall that we got people in and parked pretty fast.


Q: Why can't you give me my registration materials and goodie bag at the entrance gate when I drive in?  I don't want to walk from my Volvo to the Registration Table.


A: In order to keep your waiting time at the entrance gate to a minimum, we have found that the whole process works a lot faster by handing out registration materials and goodie bags at a separate table inside the Show.  Besides, the short walk to the Registration Table is a great opportunity to start checking out the Show.


Q: Why can't you open the entrance gate before 8 a.m.?


A: There is a fair amount of setup work that needs to be done before we can open the gate.  Also, the Show is staffed by volunteers, some of whom travel long distances on Sunday morning to help with the Show.  Getting enough volunteers to adequately staff the Show is an ongoing challenge, the earlier the starting time, the tougher it is to get volunteers.  Please contact us if you know of seven or eight volunteers that can be at the Show before 6:30 a.m. and we may able to start earlier in the future.


Q: Why is this the 20th Davis Show, but it started in 1999?  You’re off by a year.


A: We skipped a year in 2016, there was no show that year.  Now the math makes sense.


Q: What is the Davis Meet Weekend?


A: The “Weekend” refers to both the Saturday and Sunday activities.  While the car show is on Sunday, Saturday events were added starting several years ago.


Q: What’s happening on the Saturday before the show?

A: See our 2019 schedule of events, above.  Note that these activities are “a la carte”, you can pick and choose whatever activities you’d like to attend.  But you do need to register in advance at GGVCOA.com no later than April 21 for the Saturday activities.


Q: Why don’t you do _____________?


A: The Davis Weekend is organized and staffed by volunteers.  If there’s something you’d like to see, please contact us and volunteer to do it.


Q: What kind of volunteer help do you need?


A: All of the Weekend events are staffed by volunteers, and we can use help on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as before and after the Weekend.  Assistance is needed both on-site and remotely (acting as a RSVP point of contact for a Saturday activity, for example.)


We’re in particular need of assistance on Sunday morning, as that’s when the Show is at its busiest.  Our areas of greatest need are for parking assistants and registration.


Q: If I have questions about volunteering, or want to volunteer, whom do I contact?


A: Please contact the Event Manager, Gary Lodge, at: GGVCOA@yahoo.com


Food and Drink-


Q: Do you sell food or drink at the Show?


A: No.  There are many, many food and beverage options in the surrounding area.  From morning coffee to lunch to take-out food and deserts, you have plenty of choices within walking distance.  You can also bring a picnic lunch or brown-bag it.


Q: Can I bring alcoholic beverages to the Show?


A: No, the City of Davis prohibits alcoholic beverages in the Park.


Q: Can I bring a barbeque grill, hibachi, or camp stove and use it?


A: Sorry, no open flames are permitted.  With the high concentration of cars and pedestrians around the cars, no grills or stoves are permitted.


Q: Can I sell or give away food or drinks?


A: No.  Our Park Use Permit doesn't allow the sale or distribution of food or drinks.  Sorry.




Q: Is there an official or host hotel?


A: No, we’re not that organized, but there are many motels in the area, and a lot of showgoers do stay at the Best Western in downtown Davis.  The downtown motels tend to be smaller and book up fairly fast, so we encourage you to make your reservations early.




Q: Why do I need to register for the free Saturday events?  Can't I just show up?


A:  We require registration in order to make sure we have enough space for cars, food, etc.  If you show up without registering, please note that registered people will have first crack at parking, food, etc.  Not registering and then showing up is like standby status on an airline flight, you might get on... but you might not.  But if we have extra space, food, etc., then there's no problem.  The easiest way to make sure we'll have space (and food, depending upon the event) for you is to register.


Q: I registered and can't attend.  What do I do?


A:  Contact us and cancel as soon as possible.  Before the Show, we can refund your Show registration fee and make your unused Saturday reserved spots available to other people.  Email GGVCOA@yahoo.com Thank You!


Q: Can I get a refund of my registration fee if it rains?


A: No, since the Show is on, rain or shine.  Volvos don't mind rain (or snow, for that matter), they're A Product of Superb Swedish Engineering.  (One of Volvo's advertising taglines from long ago.)


Q: What forms of payment do you accept on the morning of the Show?


A: We only accept cash payment for day of Show registration.


Q: What forms of payment do you accept for online registration?


A:  We can accept PayPal or you may use a credit card through PayPal without needing a PayPal account.


Q: Why do you have registration cutoff dates for signing up for the Saturday and Sunday events?


A: The cutoff dates are necessary for us to have sufficient time to make arrangements such as ordering food, finalizing space assignments, and processing registration data to make car award category lists, etc.  If you miss the online registration deadline for the Show, you can pay at the gate when you arrive on Sunday morning.


Q: I registered for the Show online.  Do I need to bring anything showing I registered?


A: For faster service at the entrance gate, we'd appreciate it if you can bring a copy of both your e-mail confirmation and PayPal receipt.  No worries if you forget to bring copies, it may take us just a bit longer to get you checked in.


Swap Meet-


Q: Why do I have to register in advance for a Swap Meet space?


A: There is a limited amount of Swap Meet space, and we know there is nothing more frustrating than bringing a trailer or car full of parts to the Show, only to find out that the Swap Meet spaces are sold out.  There is also State of California tax paperwork that must be filled out by all Swap Meet sellers, and we've found that things go a lot smoother at the Show if this paperwork is handled in advance.  Please contact Larry Biltz, our Swap Meet Coordinator, at: larrybiltz925@gmail.com to see if we have spaces still available.


Vendor Space-


Q: How do I get a vendor space?


A: Vendor spaces are limited to those selling Volvo-related products and services, and are typically tied in with Show sponsorship agreements.  Those interested in a vendor space should contact Al Simons, our Sponsor Liaison, at: alan.simons@sbcglobal.net



Origins of the VCOA Davis Show and Swap Meet


Prior to the Davis Show, an annual early spring Volvo meet was held at the Nut Tree restaurant near Vacaville.  The majority of the attendees were members of the 1800 Car Club of Northern California and/or the then-newly formed North Bay (now Golden Gate) Chapter of VCOA.  In the late 1990s, the sale and closure of the Nut Tree and adjoining property occurred, and the venue for the meet was lost.


Long-time VCOA member Mike Peterson suggested Davis' Central Park as an alternative venue to the Nut Tree.  With the concurrence of then-North Bay Chapter President Lee Cordner, Mike made arrangements with the City of Davis to rent the pavilion at Central Park for the first Davis Meet, which was held in 1999.


In that first year, all of the Volvos present did not even fill the area under the metal pavilion.  But the value of the pavilion was proven in that first year, when it rained heavily, and both Volvos and attendees were able to stay dry.  Since that time, the Davis Show has steadily grown to fill the pavilion and surrounding area, becoming the largest annual club-sponsored Volvo show in the Western U.S.  The Show has had over 150 Volvos in attendance for each of the past several years, with many participants driving from around the country to attend.


As the Show became larger and the Sacramento Chapter of VCOA was formed, the Sacramento Chapter began to host Saturday activities on the day before the Show.    Over the years, these activities have included autocrosses, high-performance go-karting, and more recently, drives in the foothills to the Northeast of Davis.  The Chapter has offered social activities, too, including barbeque dinners and potlucks hosted by the Sacramento Chapter President, breakfasts, and luncheons.  All of these activities have provided a full day of events leading up to the Show, and are an added draw to round out what is truly a "Volvo Weekend" for so many aficionados.





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