This post picks up precisely where the last one left off.
It has taken a day or so to sit down and process this surprise meeting, both from a photography perspective and for the significance of the occasion. In the meantime, I’ve also been shooting as much as I possibly can, before retiring to my hotel to keep on top of our coverage this year.
The weeks before the actual Wörthersee Treffen event sees countless meetings all around the area; from organised events at parking places to impromptu ones at service stations. This is essentially what Wörthersee is for those of us that choose to avoid the show itself. By the time said show actually starts I will be home four or five days, and already countless cars and owners have come and gone even before I arrived. It’s very much a fleeting occasion, which is what makes it so special.
If you remember, we were under a little bit of pressure to make it to Velden in time for a pre-planned ‘photoshoot.’ Or at least that’s how it was described to me. When we arrived at the location there were a few cars already assembled at the lowest level of an underground car park, and it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t a photoshoot. It was a private meeting organised by Audi themselves.
You could easily dismiss this as a marketing stunt, and maybe that’s all it was. However, when a manufacturer of Audi’s stature is paying enough attention to the aftermarket community and wanting to be actively involved in it, it’s a significant milestone.
It’s not all that long ago that I remember Volkswagen running a television campaign about leaving their cars stock, along with the tagline of ‘some things are best left alone‘. They obviously see value in the market and are aware that so many of us aspire to build and create our own cars, so why not on their own platform?
What started as a quiet afternoon with just a handful of cars almost instantly became a fully packed venue. With the ambient lighting switched off and a decent representation from most German marques – Audi, Volkswagen, BMW and Porsche – a legitimate vibe quickly established itself. In many ways it was quite surreal, if not almost impossibly dark. I particularly enjoyed when someone started playing the theme song from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift at full volume. It’s the small things in life…
I won’t wax lyrical about this get together though; I’m aware that I’ve only had four hours sleep in the last 48 and I can tend to get emotional and ramble on a bit when I’ve been deprived of my standard eight hours.
Before I work on laying out the gallery below, and for the sake of clarity, I know my first two Wörthersee stories have been Audi-centric. That’s really only because it’s how things unfolded on our first day at Wörthersee, and I can tell you already that day two was a completely different affair.
As always, what’s coming next is best viewed on desktop…
Essentially, that’s the first day of Wörthersee 2018 for Speedhunters wrapped up. You can probably see that we’re trying to bring you the most comprehensive look at the event in as timely a fashion as possible, rather than as a huge post in three weeks time when everyone has forgotten about it and mistakes it for 2019 coverage. As these stories are being published while we’re still on the ground, there’s no better time to let us know what you want to see more of from the greatest event that’s not an event but kind of is an event in its own right.