Southern Wörthersee, AKA SoWo, is one of the largest Volkswagen/Audi shows in the US. It is based off of the Wörthersee Tour which is held in Austria every year. SoWo is held in a town named Helen. Helen is a quaint little town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of north Georgia. It features a Bavarian-style theme which gives it a distinct feel of southern Germany. Absolutely perfect for the Southern Wörthersee event. During the third weekend of May, it is home to thousands of cars, enthusiasts, and the ruckus that comes with it. To gauge how small of a town Helen really is, it does not have a stop light and the population is around 500 people. My excitement for the 8th annual Southern Wörthersee event began months ago. Nate, Dave, and I had a group iMessage chat that we would explain our excitement for the trip almost daily. As the countdown became shorter and shorter my excitement skyrocketed. I would get asked numerous times in the days leading up to my trip this one simple question; “why are you going all the way to Georgia for a car show?”. “That’s a good question”, I would respond, followed by “It’s what I like to do”. I didn’t know what else to say. That question stuck in my head and I pondered on it, finally answering it fully in my head. It is way more than a car show to me. Yes, I travel 600 miles down to Georgia to see cars, but more importantly I travel this distance to be surrounded by and share the wonderful experience of SoWo with good people. I may only see some of these people once or twice a year so it’s nice to catch up since the last time we left off and talk face to face rather than through countless texts or Instagram comments! I am thankful for who I am involved with in this car community. It makes being apart of it that much better. Now onto the photos instead of boring you with more text, enjoy!
My departure was set for 11:30PM on Wednesday. After a full day at work I rushed home to wash and finish packing up my GTI and triple-checking my list to make sure I did not forget anything. Before I knew it, it was 9:30 and I had to leave in two hours! I laid in bed and checked the clock calculating how much sleep I would get if I fell asleep at that moment. Needless to say I did not get very much sleep. On the road I go. My next stop was somewhere in Virginia to meet James at 2:30AM.
Pit stop for gas around 3:00AM
We ran into heavy rain about 4:00AM and it continued for most of the trip.
Stopped at a scenic overlook along I-26 in Tennessee
As we approached Helen James and I finally ran into people also headed to SoWo
As soon as I pulled into Helen I ran into Jason Paul and his static A5 on Rotiform TMB’s. He said he raised the car an inch for his trip from New York
Finally met up with Nate after breakfast thursday morning
Pat hiding from the camera
More of the MK2 that was on the trailer
Friends, cars, cameras all weekend!
Wes & Ali Cardy’s Beetle is one of a kind. Pictures do this car no justice! The Beetle was given the classic patina look by adding real iron dust over the blue plasi-dip.
Ryan Norris’ Miami Blue MK1 with a 24V VR6 swap.
Kip Love from Loves Trim Shop’s immaculate MK2
Good vibes the entire weekend!
Erik Stevenson’s Beetle caught my eye early Friday morning. Gotta love an aircooled!
Nate and Erin being goofy at lunch
Very clean MK5 GTI with a rabbit front. Apparantly pushing out some healthy numbers
MK7 GTI with a brushed alluminum vinyl wrap
APR tuned RS7
Onto the show field Saturday morning
Country Golf! You don’t see these often. My first time seeing one in person
Michael Houck’s compound turbo GTD as seen on StanceWorks
New Audi A3 sedan sitting nicely
Steve’s wheel and brake combo
Love to see a Harlequin kept clean
Marc’s MK6 rocking Pink Panther VIP Modular’s
Sammy’s blue raspberry Rabbit on 2pc Fifteen52 Snowflakes
OEM+ on this MK6 Golf R
TH-Lines will always be a favorite of mine
Who says you have to have air ride to have a neat trunk set up!?
This B5S4 was painted Nardo Grey
On Sunday, I went to the bridge that crosses Unicoi Lake. I ran into Kevin Connally (white CC) and Geoffrey McDonough (black Passat). The lake and mountain back drop was beautiful, even on a rainy and foggy afternoon. I think I’d rather have it that way for pictures anyway
Last year I took off in my GTI to take advantage of the mountain roads around Helen and I had so much fun I decided to make it an annual drive for me. I found this pull-off after a few hairpin turns and stopped to snap some shots of my car. What an experience! I highly suggest you do the same next year. Just go drive!
Some fellow enthusiasts had the same idea and came passing by
Volkswagen brought two MK7 GTI’s along as a part of their Driving Experience. There was no line on Sunday so I took advantage of the opportunity to drive one. I was very pleased with it!
APR’s MK7 again
Steve’s stage 3+ GTI after the rain cleared on Sunday
Somewhere in Virginia on the home stretch we came across Steve in his GTI and shortly after Baker came rolling by in his Golf R
Words and Photos by Chadwick Kreiling (@Chaddwickkk)