Events Coverage
European Event Coverage: 2005 Wörthersee Treffen
By by: Mike Kippen
May 24, 2005, 13:02

Editor's Note: We asked contributor Mike Kippen to check out the annual Wörthersee Treffen in Austria and report back on his experience. This was his first taste of the world's largest VW/Audi GTG/Week-long Party and we were blown away by his photographic essay. With over one thousand magnificent pictures in total, we suggest you put aside a couple hours and look through them all - we think you'll be just as blown away as we were. Enjoy!

The Wörthersee Treffen is a car show like no other. At first you will find yourself driving over the European Alps into Austria, with some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. A few hours later, you arrive at a small town named Reifnitz that is situated on a lake called Wörthersee. Surrounding the town are luscious green forests and awesome mountains with historic Austrian homes and churches nestled within. Post card material? Riccola cough-drop commercials? You bet.

The Wörthersee event can probably be best described as more of a gathering of amazing cars and awesome people, rather than the usual formal car exhibits and ceremonies we usually see in the States. From the start of the week that begins the Wörthersee Treffen, (this year’s dates were May 1st to May 8th), Reifnitz and surrounding towns could see anywhere up to two to three hundred thousand people and tens of thousands of modified German cars.

A typical day at Wörthersee would have you waking up at sunlight, and get you straight onto the streets of Reifnitz and surrounding towns, where you find yourself immediately surrounded by the most stunning modified cars in Europe and thousands of people from all parts of the world. During the day the streets are filled with so many cars and so many people that you find yourself pushing through the crowds, even while walking down the center of the road in the main town. It’s truly a unique feeling to walk around the towns and see in real life so many of the cars that you have drooled over in magazines or photographs.

During certain periods of the day, people can also make their way to main stage for the “gummi gummi” show - otherwise known as “burnout lot” - where people go to compete with their cars, performing insane burnouts until their tires literally pop. The official show activities don’t stop at the end of the day either, and Wörthersee is known for its parties that seem to go until the early morning. From the many bars in the towns that are set up to hold as many people as possible, to the live concerts on main stage, there are plenty of events to keep the crowds entertained.

Beyond being in a small town with thousands of people who all share the same passion, Wörthersee is one of the premiere events for displaying new trends, new products, and new vehicles. It seems to be the one major European event that most of the enthusiasts build their cars for each year, and many of these cars seem to exhibit the new products that we probably won’t see in the United States for a long time. A lot of the cars undergo extreme and complete overhauls from one Wörthersee to the next, and it’s not unusual to see some owners keep their cars for 5 to 10 years.

I can imagine that each year Wörthersee is going to be getting bigger and better, with new cars, new styles, and more people. I look forward to going to the show again next year. I hope that you can get a little bit of a taste of the Wörthersee experience from my photos - but really, no photos can truly represent what this event is really like.

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For more photos of the car in this story, click on the link to our gallery at the right.

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