Northwest Euro - The Leavenworth Drive 2013

Wrapped Audi S4 Leavenworth Drive 2013

Article and Photography by Jace Stout.

It seems that almost every region in the US has its own unique European car event that draws great numbers of enthusiasts from all over. The south has SOWO, the Northeast has H2O, while Southern California has more than a few. In the Pacific Northwest, that event is called the Leavenworth Drive.

Bellevue Community College fills up quickly the morning before everyone heads out to the Leavenworth Drive 2013
Bellevue Community College fills up quickly the morning before everyone heads out.

Each year thousands of European cars gather just west of Seattle at Bellevue Community College for one of the most beautiful drives imaginable. Arriving at the community college is a show within a show, as you encounter a seemingly never-ending stream of cars. Volunteers guide incoming vehicles through the twists and turns of the parking lot before visitors reach the Leavenworth Drive booth, where they contribute $10 to a charitable cause, which is a really great part of this event. Each year a different charity is chosen, and all entrance fees go directly to it.

People lining up to make their donations for the Leavenworth Drive 2013

BMW 3.0 CSL immaculate condition rare
This 3.0 CSL was in immaculate condition, a car very rarely seen—proof that all sorts of cars make their way out of the woodwork to attend this event.

BMW 3.0 CSL Profile

Volvo executive-style brick
This executive-style brick sported flags on the fenders.

Immaculate Porsche 993

Stanced BMW

Leavenworth Drive 2013 Audi stanced with poke and tuck

Leavenworth Drive 2013 Jetta Coupe Classic

Once drivers are finally situated among the sea of enthusiasts, you are amazed by how many cars are actually there. It’s quite a beautiful sight to behold. The automobiles certainly help shape the visual landscape, but once everyone is out on the drive from Seattle to Leavenworth, the truly epic nature of the day is revealed.

Leaving Seattle, the next leg is to hop onto Highway 2, which winds up and over Stevens Pass and onto Leavenworth. Stevens Pass features some truly breathtaking views, and its daring corners are accentuated by the sweet sound of exhaust note music coming from thousands of Euros ripping up and over the pass.

Mercedes-Benz Cosworth on the road to the Leavenworth Drive 2013
Spotted this beautiful Cosworth just outside BCC.

Audi TTRS on the I-405 on the way to the Leavenworth Drive 2013

Drivers eventually reach the peak and arrive at Stevens Pass Ski Resort, a very popular stopping point for many people during the drive. It’s a great place to stretch your legs, take pictures, and chat with one another. Another great thing about this stop is that it allows everyone to stand right off the highway and witness all the other drivers put the pedal down as they pass the ski resort.

Volkswagen MKIV Jetta sitting at the top of Stephens Pass on the Leavenworth Drive

While all these things are fantastic, the best part of this drive is the next section between the ski resort and the actual town of Leavenworth. After the resort, the highway drops down from the pass and follows the Wenatchee River into Leavenworth. While on this stretch of Highway 2, you can see the river’s massive rapids butting right up against the mountains—something equally as eye-catching as the cavalcade of Euro cars streaming by.

2.7t swapped B6 Avant snarling and spitting flames on the Leavenworth Drive
This 2.7t swapped B6 Avant was snarling and spitting flames like a dragon going up and down the pass.

Clean Audi Avant cruising on the Leavenworth Drive

Big turbo Audi A4 killing it on Stephens Pass
This big turbo A4 was killing it up the pass.

Beautiful views as you drop down by the river near Leavenworth
Beautiful views as you drop down by the river near Leavenworth.

Leavenworth Washington

Upon arriving in Leavenworth, you’ll find yourself in a tiny Bavarian oasis in the middle of the Cascade Mountains, a dictionary definition of the Pacific Northwest. From here comes the most challenging aspect of Leavenworth . . . trying to find a place to park. Modified Euros seem to take up every single square inch of this tiny mountain town. It doesn't matter if it’s a side street, an alley, or a residential road. The town is generously overrun with European cars of all shapes and sizes. At least there’s plenty to look at while trying to find a resting spot.

Leavenworth Washington looks like Bavaria

At this point, the drive is technically over, but people still do their own thing for the rest of the time they’re in Leavenworth. Some choose to shop, while others flock to the beer gardens for bratwurst and some delicious Leavenworth beer. It’s really a fun little town to kick around in for the day, especially with all the beautiful scenery in every direction.

German Beer

Ferrari 348 Leavenworth Drive 2013
This gorgeous Ferrari 348 even found its way out to Leavenworth.

Volkswagen Sportwagon Leavenworth

Volkswagen just kept rolling into Leavenworth

What goes better with German cars and Beer? Polka! At Leavenworth
What goes better with German cars and German Beer? Polka of course!

Stanced dumped BMW M-coupe at Leavenworth

Dumped and stanced BMW M-coupe at Leavenworth 2013

Air-cooled VWs rolling into Leavenworth
Quite a few air-cooled VWs made an appearance as well.

Dual kegs mounted on VW roof rack at Leavenworth Drive
These guys sure were having a good time with dual kegs mounted on the roof rack.

VW Tiguan air-suspension on copper wheels on the Leavenworth Drive
This Tiguan on air really caught some people’s attention, especially with those copper wheels.


Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Leavenworth Drive
What's a Euro event without the sighting of a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia?

BMW e30 Convertible on the Leavenworth Drive 2013

BMW E36 Track Prepped on BBW wheels at Leavenworth

Audi B6 Pacific Northwest Leavenworth Washington 2013

If you are a European car enthusiast and you happen to be in the Pacific Northwest during the drive, there should be no reason to miss this event. It’s one that delivers time and time again in the best way possible.


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Write a CommentCOMMENTS
Jordan Marsh7/16/2013

Gorgeous shot of my car with the kegs! Anyway to get a full size copy?

Boostedavant's Profile Image

Thanks guys!

Edgeautosport's Profile Image

This event looks like crazy fun.

Boostedavant's Profile Image

It's a blast, you should really try and make it out.

Imprezions's Profile Image

Great article, love the photos. So lush out there in the PNW.

Boostedavant's Profile Image

It really is a beautiful drive.

Surferman802003's Profile Image

Great Pics!!! really well done!

Misfit77's Profile Image

Jace you magnificent b*st*rd! Great article and even better shots! I will not be missing this next year!

Boostedavant's Profile Image

It's so much fun, you guys would all love it.


Excellent read and great pics!