Volkswagens from every era showed up.
If you ever get a chance to visit South Africa, one of your stops has to be the Franschhoek Motor Museum in the Western Cape province. Surrounded by picturesque mountains and greenery, the drive there is worth it on its own. Once you arrive, you pay the equivalent of about $6 entry for adults and get the opportunity to view at least 80 classic cars at any one time, all arranged in the museum in chronological order. This kind of love for cars made it the perfect venue for Volkswagen South Africa to celebrate the 70 anniversary of the first Beetle being produced in the country, and the turnout from VW enthusiasts was almost as impressive as the showpieces displayed inside.
Naturally, there were a number of Beetle examples in attendance, including the highly sought-after split-window. However, the air-cooled fun continued with some stunning busses including an old fire truck and an all-original camper van. A few beautiful Karman Ghias were on show too, and even The Thing was present. Seeing these cars being used and enjoyed by their owners is a wonderful sight, and the diversity was stunning. You'd see Concours-level Beetles alongside those left to rust, and there was one that entered the Nuts & Bolts rally too, something not too dissimilar from the 24 Hours of Lemons here in the States.
As the Golf GTI is one of the most popular cars in the country (Volkswagen SA sells more GTIs than all other Golf variants combined), we got to see everything from a rare-for-South-Africa three-door Mk6 GTI to the limited-edition Clubsport. The Jetta was also in attendance in various guises, including a Mk7 model lowered on air suspension.
As Volkswagen moves closer towards full electrification and autonomous driving, it's little gatherings and events like this that show that no matter what era your car is from or how much power it makes, a Volkswagen truly is the people's car. Now if you'll excuse us, we need to get back to scouring eBay for a clean Beetle.