Worthersee Meet 2016: PH Liveblog

We've long wanted to visit VW's celebration of all things loud and lairy (Euro style) at Worthersee and in this 40th celebratory year for the Golf GTI PH is there! Our Matt will be at the show, reporting back on the sights and sounds as he goes. Follow his progress here on the liveblog and via Twitter on @PistonHeads.

Friday, 0800h - Saag Ja Beach Club Bar (That's what the campsite is called. Honest.)
One suspects we're all feeling a little fresher than the majority of Worthersee goers this morning. Lots of beer was being drunk yesterday, and the impression was that Worthersee only really gets going once the sun goes down.

We didn't witness that, but there's still plenty to talk about from a day in the sunshine looking at VWs. It's still hard to pin down exactly what Worthersee is, though perhaps that's the appeal. It's part motor show, part festival and part classic car event. And also like nothing else I've been to. It's a celebration of the brand, and VW must be happy with so much support in the face of current issues.

This is not one of those events to visit as a casual fan, but it feels like an absolute must for any VW fan. Just leave plenty of time for the journey, it's a fair old way!



Thursday, 1615h - VW stand
It's not all crazily modified stuff here - there are some cars you might even like!

I've found my car of the show. It's an old Audi V8, updated with some newer BBS wheels but otherwise untouched. I think. Alright, not exactly the point of this show, but doesn't it look fantastic?

There are a few unmodified, or only lightly tweaked at least, cars hiding here. See the Porsche 928, the Mk1 Golf diesel (!) and numerous mint GTIs. Put it this way - if there's a VW product that you like, chances are you will find a very nice one here!


Thursday, 1400h -somewhere in Worthersee centre
Look at the picture above of the Touran and and the Golf. One is clearly extensively modified. The other is far closer to standard, as well as being much older.

But both owners have parked up next to each other, at the same show and celebrating the same brand. That's the joy of Worthersee - it doesn't matter what your VW product is, when it was made or what you've done to it, you're welcome here. There are even some non-VW cars around...

Clearly some of the modifying won't be to all tastes, but there's a hell of a lot of effort gone into these cars. Here's a selection, more to follow soon!







Thursday, 1200h - VW stand
So the VW press conference and chat wasn't much use, being as it was entirely in German. Still, we were fortunate enough to get some time with Anton Konrad soon after, via an interpreter.

Who? Konrad was in PR at VW and led the team - his 'six-pack', no less - that got the Sport Golf project past VW management.

He is full of interesting anecdotes, and 15 minutes really wasn't enough in a group chat. Apparently VW was scared off performance cars following the response to the original Beetle GSR, but he wanted something fast to draw young people to the brand, to increase motorsport involvement and to, well, make VW more appealing.

There were apparently two engineers on the project with extensive rally experience; they were recruited to bring some motorsport nous to this ultimate road going Golf. It sounds like a fascinating project, one that really did begin as the idea of just a few. Having originally predicted to sell 5,000, VW eventually made more than 400,000 Mk1 GTIs...

Right, time to look at some more cars. There's a V6 Golf Mk1 I need to see!

Thursday, 1030h - Worthersee lake
What is the GTI Treffen Worthersee? As a casual rather than ardent VW fan, that's what I'm really keen to find out over the next couple of days. Is it a classic car show? A modified car show? A festival? Let's see!

VW is predictably making a big deal of this year's show, celebrating 40 years of the GTI and that lap record too. But immaculately presented heritage cars and the apprentice creations are one thing; what I really want to see are the fan cars that people have here.

There's everything, predictably enough. From immaculate Jettas to Audi V8s on chrome wheels, there's something for every VW taste. More of those soon though - there's a VW press conference to get to first!







Comments (7) Join the discussion on the forum

  • 405dogvan 05 May 2016

    Oh man, my first job in Europe was in the Netherlands and they gave me an old/cranky Mk2 (B2?) Passat Estate to get around with.

    I LOVED that car, it was super-basic inside, no power steering, 1.6 petrol which made 'enough' power -light and easy to drive - it also had a knackered clutch/gearbox which made 1st impossible to get and a boot with no actual space in it, but I didn't care!

    After a month-or-2 I went home for the weekend and when I went back it had been 'retired' - I was kinda pissed-off tbh, because after that it was all crappy Golfs with non-Turbo diesel engines (I took one around the 'Ring once, it took FOREVER)

    Anyway - love to see older Passats, the Mk2 was a great looking Estate!!

  • RS404 05 May 2016

    Bunch of hard parkers!

  • DoubleTime 06 May 2016

    I used to be a big fan of the VW car 'scene' (cringe) back in the late 90's/early 00's

    Now it's almost like a complete parody with window stickers down one side of the windscreen and 'lowz yo' with pink, PINK wheels.

    I click open the article in the hope that the cars are tastefully modified once again and have unfortunately been left with an even more sour taste in my mouth.

    Or is it just the chosen pics representing the show?

    Or maybe I'm just getting old...

  • ciandon 06 May 2016

    The thing about 'Worthersee' is that the official VW event, the GTI Treffen, is almost the tamest part of the whole festival per se. I lived out there last year, and its no exageration to say that this thing goes on for roughly about 3 and a half weeks, wrapping up with this weekends show in Reifnitz. While its nice to get into Reifnitz and get a sense of the buzz, beer is roughly around €0.70 a can and free to drink in the street, of a major car show, the other cars floating around is limited as it's ticket only to enter your vehicle. The weeks leading up to it, Vor Dem See, have become massive with no messing upwards of 2/3000 cars converging on this quiet corner of Austria. Groups come for a week at a time, so there is a massive turnover in terms of crazy cars floating about. Theres about 4/5 place around the lake that you ar guaranteed to see upwards of 200 cars at a time, with a massive amount of cars now starting to make the trip from the UK and elsewhere. Think at one point last year there were 7 different Audi R8's on Air Suspension in the one area!!

  • OwenK 06 May 2016

    Just been over there last week, a group of about 30-40 of us drove from the UK. Absolutely brilliant experience and will be going again as many years as I can. If you're an uptight "purity" sort of person it's not for you - if you can appreciate all forms of cars and customisation, you'll be in heaven. We could drive for 10+ minutes in any direction away from our hotel and 90% of the cars you'd see on the road would be interesting in some way. It's mostly slammed VW things of course, but the crowd there bring all sorts and appreciate everything -saw plenty of US muscle out and about getting whoops from the crowds, supercars, rally type cars, obscure classics, even some sort of 1920s Bugatti racer type thing at one point. It's huge and it's everywhere you go.

    Velden is a town on Worthersee lake that I literally could not have designed better myself- outdoor bar (gorgeous barmaids naturally) next to a pretty cobbled road with an endless parade of exciting cars, over the road from a casino where many pretty young things were out for the night dressed up to the nines - all without having to even turn your head smile

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