The annual Worthersee Treffen has grown to be one of the largest car events in the world. Officially backed by Volkswagen themselves the festival attracts people from around the globe for months at a time to the picturesque Austrian resort of Lake Wörthersee. But do you know much about it’s origins?
Wörthersee show hasn’t always been on a giant scale, the huge car show had humble beginnings some 35 years ago as a small group of VW enthusiasts met at an Austrian hotel. The official show has grown into a week-long event with over 100,000 visitors regularly attending each year. Unofficially the show can be anywhere from 4weeks to 8 weeks long, as people flock to the region to experience the show in their own way.
The official, VW-backed part of the festival isn’t the favourite haunt for hardcore VW fanatics, who prefer to come to the show two or three weeks before the official start. You’ll see every type of modification from the sublime to the err, interesting, at Wöthersee. Cars from all over Europe flock to the event to show of the unique style of their area or club.
Unlike a biker meet or some sort of hot rod outlaw gathering the GTI Treffen was never really a counter culture event, it was not borne out of anarchy. When the first owners of Golf GTIs came to Reifnitz for the first time in the early 1980’s, the cars were barely 8 years old by that time. As luck would have it for these show going pioneers the event coincided with a need for boosting local tourism. And it does that exceptionally well today.