It is a love affair like no other.
The very special connection between VW owners and their vehicles was on display in Sheffield as almost 200 people attended a special outdoor meeting.
Proud owners of all ages showed off vintage campers and cars from down the decades bearing the famous Volkswagen badge at the annual summer gathering of Sheffield VW Owners Club.
More than 100 VW vehicles were on show in the car park of hydraulic industry supply firm Stauff UK on Carlisle Street East, Attercliffe.
The Sheffield owners’ club was founded in the 1950s, making it one of the oldest in the country. It has got more than 500 members, who meet up each month to swap stories and share their passion for the vehicles.
Youngsters were kept entertained by an indoor screening of the original version of Herbie, the much-loved film about a VW Beetle with a mind of its own.
Becky Gill, a club committee member, said Sheffield has a long history with VWs, with Gilders Volkswagen garage in the city importing the first Beetle into the UK in the 1950s.
Becky, aged 37, an education officer at Magna Science Adventure Centre who has a 1960s VW camper van, said the vehicles offer people the chance to unwind from the busy modern world.
“It is such a laid-back lifestyle. Everything at work is 1,000 miles per hour but as soon as you get in your car or van the pace slows down and chills out,” she said.
“We are the kind of people that day-to-day may not have much in common but then in the cars and vans we have this common denominator.”
Among those in attendance was Matthew Dolby, whose passion for the vehicles has resulted him setting up specialist VW garage Autohaus Dolby in Attercliffe.
He was showcasing a 1967 VW Beetle which he imported from America and has spent several months adapting. The 33-year-old said VW owners make up a special community.
“It is the people and the lifestyle. You meet people with a VW and they tend to be a certain sort of person,” he said.
“They tend to be quite laid-back and have a good outlook on life. Most of our customers are just fantastic people and everyone tries to help each other out.”
He said the company’s cars have stood the test of time, as proved by his latest purchase which is in good working order, despite being nearly 50 years old.
John Morris, managing director of Stauff, said the company first opened its grounds for a members’ meeting last summer and it is hoped the gathering will now become an annual event.
Mr Morris said the limited speed of the vehicles mean you can appreciate your surroundings when on the road. “In business and in life, you zoom from A to B. But here you are limited to 60mph. They are a pleasure to drive.”