After our first ever trip to "Wörthersee" in Austria last year, there was no way we were going to miss it this year. If you don't know what Wörthersee is, putting it simply, it's the biggest gathering of modified car enthusiasts in the world, and the ultimate petrolheads vacation. The Wörthersee fascination started with "GTI-Treffen", a Volkswagen event which first took place all the way back in 1982. With the event still taking place every year, the Wörthersee hype has overgrown the actual event, and is now attracting all marques and models. Once you arrive in Velden am Wörthersee, it's easy to see why people are so fascinated with driving thousands of miles to get here... The scenic lake, picturesque mountains, and countless photo opportunities. And, of course, modified cars absolutely everywhere! We decided to go the "week before" the GTI-Treffen event, this tends to be when more 'stance' cars seem to gather and take over the area.
Our friends at Kustom Kolors built their latest demo car which was finished just in time for the trip, a BMW E34 540i Touring, which we made the journey in. It's running Air Lift Performance / BAGS by OCD suspension, widened ACS Type 2 wheels, complete re-trim in red leather, full repaint, and custom rear arches... plus much more. The car is an absolute beast, and made the 1000-mile / 15-hour journey in one hit, faultlessly.
WELCOME TO THE CAR WASH
If you're taking a car to Wörthersee, one thing you'll find yourself doing multiple times throughout the trip is trying to keep it clean. Luckily there are numerous petrol stations with outside jet wash facilities in the area, although due to the amount of people wanting to do the same thing, you'll have to get used to queueing, too! After driving solid for 1000 miles, the 540i was certainly in need of a proper wash ready for the day and XS Carnight event later in the evening. We got to work with our care package from Meguiar's UK - our go-to car care products.
XS CARNIGHT 'WÖRTHERSEE EDITION 2.0'
XS Carnight announced their second edition of the Wörthersee event, held at an indoor exhibition centre in Klagenfurt, situated just the other side of the lake from Velden (a 15 minute drive), although we stayed in Klagenfurt that night to make things easier as it's a late finish. XS are known to put on some of the best shows in the stance scene, and, let me tell you... they didn't disappoint. We were totally amazed by the sheer size of the event, let alone the amount of people in attendance. We think the numbers were around 10,000 visitors! Absolutely astounding. Plus, the quality of the vehicles was another level compared to what we're used to in the UK. With years of experience putting on events, the XS team clearly know what they're doing and what people want.
ILB DRIVERS CLUB MEET & VILLACHER ALPENSTRAßE
You can spend your time in Wörthersee however you want, but most people enjoy attending local 'meets' put on by various car groups and brands in the surrounding area. As social media is king nowadays, it's best to keep an eye on it throughout your stay to see who announces a last-minute meet. Our friends at ILB Drivers Club decided to hold their first meet half-way up the Villacher Alpenstraße, a scenic mountain pass, so, of course, we used the opportunity to have a look and also enjoy the sights of the mountain road. Unfortunately, it started raining as we arrived, but still managed to enjoy many gorgeous cars.
VELDEN AM WÖRTHERSEEAfter visiting the mountain, we made our way back to town to park the car up, grab some food and check out the metal on display. It's the 'norm' for people to park up in Velden, meaning you can walk down the high-street and see modified cars absolutely everywhere. It's a super cool experience to witness. Here are a couple of highlights...
Our third day in Austria called for a host of meets, starting with Swissbox meet which is famous for being the biggest meet at Wörthersee. This year they changed their location to a Camp Site on another lake just a little further up from Velden. Once again they packed out the location with a huge selection of cars.
XS MAG MEET
Later that evening, we heard that the XS Mag guys were also putting on a meet in a retail park in Klagenfurt... a quick 15-minute blast and we were there. We managed an hour or so, before the local police decided to come and shut it down!
'Turbo Kurve' is a stretch of road outside of Camping Arneitz, host to a buffet restaurant with a huge car park opposite. Throughout Wörthersee, the car park is turned into another modified car destination, with people coming and going throughout the day, every day. It's a great spot to park up at and have a wander to see some cars, and to grab some food. People tend to sit up and watch the cars drive up and down the 'Turbo Kurve', hoping for some burnouts and anti-lag.. although the police are pretty hot on it nowadays. It's the place to be when darkness falls if you're looking for antisocial behaviour!
VELDEN AM WÖRTHERSEE
For our last evening of the trip, we decided to head back to Velden to check out the cars once again. With most people on a similar time scale as us, getting ready to essentially leave, the town was packed, and the busiest we'd seen it.