Reifnitz has barely 700 inhabitants. It’s a charming, picturesque town on the southern bank of the Wörthersee in Carinthia. A spot that appeals to families who just want to relax. Except in May that is, when it’s so crowded that traffic comes to a standstill. With broad swaths of the town blocked off, it is given over to the car-tuning fans. With its traditional catchphrase, “The lake is calling once again!” the event took place for the 33rd time. Some 150,000 faithful fans turned up at the largest meeting on the GTI scene. Enthusiastic Volkswagen buffs come to show off their prized possessions and talk shop with other aficionados. Wörthersee has grown from a hot insiders’ tip to a huge event – the highlight of the year for many. In the most positive sense, worlds collide here in a picture-perfect setting. The event is a combination of family outing, folk festival and nightclub strip. The young amateur mechanic with his highly tuned Golf is having an animated conversation about retrofitting with the classic car fan. Bass sounds thump from gigantic sound systems while parents hold the hands of children gazing lovingly at “Herbie”. The nights are for partying, but proud car owners show up early in the morning to secure the best spots on the meadow. After all, the stars of the event are the new and classic collectors’ cars, whose owners have put so much heart and soul into their care and maintenance. Slightly away from the main promenade we meet with Volkswagen fans who tell us about themselves and their cars.