Friday, September 21 2012
Brands Hatch became a haven for owners of classic air-cooled Volkswagens yesterday (Thursday) as leading enthusiast magazine Volksworld held their 25th birthday party at the circuit. The centrepiece of the celebration was a photoshoot where an estimated 400 vehicles lined the track, while 800 cars were present at the venue.
In addition to the evergreen Beetles and Campervans; Beach buggies, Variants, Karmann Ghias and even a few Porsches joined in with the celebrations. Enthusiasts of all ages joined in and quite a few families were present too. There was even a VW-themed disco next to the Kentagon!
Ivan McCutcheon of Volksworld Magazine explained the reasons behind the event: "It's the 25th anniversary of the magazine and we decided to do a photoshoot at Brands Hatch as it's a historic motorsport location and not far from the office!
"The event was promoted on our website, as well as on Facebook and in the magazine and we were amazed to get 720 pre-registered VWs, and with others turning up the total number could be over a thousand. We'd love to get that number for a photo poster that we will produce - and after we've taken photos we'll have a great evening in the Kentagon!"
Despite Volksworld's first issue being published long after Beetle production transferred to the Southern Hemisphere, Ivan is sure of the enduring appeal of the air-cooled cars. "A lot of people will have progressed from VWs in the 80s and worked their way up, plus there is the younger generation," he said. "They're one of the few cars around that are easy to work on, modify and personalise. The car becomes an extension of your personality - you can have your camper van or Beetle. Although they are essentially all the same, every one is unique."
Clive Househam of publications Classic Porsche and 911 & Porsche World predicted that a few owners of the Stuttgart sportscars will join in the fun. "Lots of VW owners graduate to Porsche ownership. 911s and 356s are effectively big Beetles, so it's a logical progression. The only difference is the badge and lots of owners are brand faithful. Volksworld got the modifying scene off to a start in 1987. Other magazines didn't really get it - whereas Volksworld catered for the younger reader and had its finger on the pulse."