TUNING BY THE LAKE
So.Ga Peschiera del Garda
They come from all over Europe and gather in a charming and picturesque setting, to show off their individual taste and stylish interpretations, where wheels and tires are the true protagonists
This is what we like to call tuning. No crock of dubious origin, but elegant, personal, sometimes very sophisticated solutions, always functional, usable every day and free from those extreme exercises in style. Cars to be driven, not just admired – and getting to Peschiera del Garda is possible only with your own wheels – meeting on the southern shores of Lake Garda, where the Southern Gardasee (So.Ga.) international event of soft tuning is held, one that involves more and more fans as well as tuning kits manufacturers. Organized and managed, with taste and intelligence, by a namesake Venetian organization, and sponsored by premium players in the sector, like Vossen Wheels from the US, Italy’s OZ Racing and Swissvax, the Southern Gardasee event (www.southern-gardasee. com) was staged on the last weekend of May, with more than 500 cars on display, brightly polished and extravagantly customized.
KERMESSE BY THE LAKE
The fact that the charming town of Peschiera del Garda is undeniably an exceptional setting was confirmed by the number of visitors to the fourth edition of So.Ga, with two appealing exhibition areas prepared for the international event, one in the central Town Hall square, right in front of the harbor, the other in the square of Forte Papa, a nineteenth century fortress where most of the participating cars were on display. The double location was intended to give more prestige to the exhibition, with a selection of the best vehicles equipped with OZ Racing wheels, lined lakefront and greatly admired by the many tourists who flock here in late spring, attracted by the holiday atmosphere, alongside the picturesque parade of cars, that peacefully invaded a large area near the Austrian walls.
A selection of the best five hundred custom cars chosen among the more than 1,200 applications received from all over Europe, which represented a substantial capital injection for the small lakeside town and local business activities, thanks to the thousands of visitors attracted by the motoring event, whether individuals or entire families sharing a passion for these extravagant beauties. The limited number of participants showed the clear intention by the organizers to focus on quality rather than quantity, closely examining each application in order to make the event more exclusive for anyone wishing to participate.
A real happening dedicated to the world of high-class tuning, with a wide range of vehicles on display, from the latest generation of sports cars to older but still attractive models, including vans, all in their eye-catching looks.
The lion’s share belonged to German-made cars with Audi, Porsche, BMW and Volkswagen fighting for exhibition space, but also American pick-ups of yesteryear, with wheels playing the part of real prima donnas, rims of countless shapes and sizes, emphasizing the taste and inclinations of each owner, both in form and in substance, ranging from aggressive looks to simple substitutions of OE elements with approved tuning kits.
In honor of the event’s two main sponsors, OZ Racing and Vossen, many side events animated the exhibition. The Vossen Party Timeless Night Vol.1, gave a festive spirit to the event, with music and culinary entertainment and enthusiast flocked here already on the Thursday evening before the event. Once the nocturnal euphoria was over, the following day was dedicated to welcoming the exhibitors while Saturday and Sunday were entirely dedicated to admiring - and been admired - along the town’s roads as well as the dedicated areas of the event. Obviously, the traditional OZ Rally Parade could not be missing, held to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Padua factory, which unveiled a flaming red Golf GTi, equipped with OZ Futura modular rims (no longer in the company’s catalogue) , a perfect wheel /vehicle match, harmonious in style thanks to a rim cover that perfectly matches the overall car design.
The countries of origin of the cars on display did not go unnoticed, most of which exhibited number plates from a number of Central European countries, with a few coming from France, Belgium and Holland. Considering the tough selection imposed by the organization during registration, and the international flair of the event, Italian enthusiast made up no more than 30% of the exhibitors, though much appreciated here on the shores of Lake Garda.
The recent "Decreto Ruote" (Wheel Decree), in force since October 1, 2015, provides for the mandatory approval of wheels for cars and off-road vehicles different from OE as well as official replacements from the manufacturer of the vehicle. A new Legislation that marks an important step in identifying serious and approved equipment manufacturers responsible for vehicle tuning along with tire dealers and tire specialists.
Similarly to what has been observed during the So.Ga event in Peschiera del Garda, every aftermarket wheel of a different size from what is officially established by the car manufacturer must clearly report the approval number, following the European Regulation UN / ECE 124 or Ministerial Decree 20 (NAD), along with a certificate of conformity issued by the installer. A big step forward compared to the previous patchy legislation, one that establishes clear directions on the matter, and will definitely give new impetus to a sector that has so many enthusiasts.
After the closing credits of this year’s event, plans for the next edition are already being made, with confirmations and enough news to whet the appetites of fans, enthusiasts and visitors. So, get your wheels ready, polish your roadster, in 2017 you might also be there.