ray diaz volkswagen type 3 fastback norcal dubaffair
Ray Diaz of Gilroy, shown with his 1967 Volkswagen Type 3 Fastback, is organizing the second annual NorCal DubAffair in San Juan Bautista. Photo: Erik Chalhoub
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Ray Diaz has been restoring Volkswagen vehicles since he was in junior high school, helping countless others get their prized possessions back on the road.

Somewhere along the way, though, the time he had to devote to such projects dwindled as work and family commitments took a priority in his life.

But the Gilroy resident caught the bug—pun intended—again when his cousin showed up to his house with a derelict Volkswagen on a trailer, asking him if he could fix it up. Diaz initially declined, citing his busy schedule, until his wife Bilha suggested he “get back into it.”

Two months later, Diaz had three more Volkswagens in his shop, and a year later in 2018, he organized his first car show at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

Now, Diaz is bringing back the NorCal DubAffair, this time in San Juan Bautista on July 29.

More than 200 Volkswagen vehicles, both vintage and custom, will take over Third Street and side streets. A swap meet will also be featured, where Volkswagen enthusiasts can find original parts for their vehicles.

Live music, vendors and children’s activities are also on tap.

Diaz said he is working with the businesses in San Juan Bautista, with many offering deals at their establishments for participants in the show.

“Everyone’s been really inviting,” he said. “They’ve really opened their doors.”

Such hospitality extends to the Volkswagen community.

Bilha Diaz said that when a Volkswagen breaks down on the side of the road, it is very common to have someone who is also a VW enthusiast pull over and help, as they can relate to such a situation.

Ray Diaz cited a recent instance when a tire blew on a VW he was working on while driving down Monterey Road in San Martin. Within minutes, a man walked over to help him out, saying he spotted Diaz’s situation from a nearby business.

Diaz’s love for Volkswagens blossomed thanks to another enthusiast he met at a young age.

Diaz said he grew up building Chevrolets with his stepfather, who taught him “around the toolbox.” As a young teenager, he noticed his neighbor had a 1968 Beetle in their front yard. While its body was off of the chassis and weeds were growing through it, the car captivated him.

“I asked him, ‘how much would you sell it to me for?’” Diaz recalled. “I bugged him all the time. I eventually got him to sell it to me.”

After wheeling it over to his mother’s garage, Diaz realized he “didn’t know anything about these cars.” He eventually met a Porsche mechanic in Campbell, and thanks to the German manufacturers sharing similar motors, Diaz learned what makes a VW tick.

“After that, I got more and more into Volkswagens, and I took what I knew and shared it with friends,” Diaz said.

That continues today, Bilha Diaz said.

“He’s been such an inspirational leader and always will be to others,” she said. “He’s always helping others. He’s just a great person.”

Registration ends July 25 for VW enthusiasts wanting to show off their vehicles in NorCal DubAffair. For information, visit dubaffair.com.

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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