At the Movies - 2010 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

2010 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

2010 Volkswagen GTI: At the Movies

February 22, 2011

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Drove the 2010 Volkswagen GTI to the movies on Sunday afternoon.

Found out through a friend that Senna, the documentary about the late F1 driver from Brazil, would be playing at a small theater here in L.A., one of only a handful of places in the U.S. where this movie is scheduled to appear.

There wasn't much public notice about it, but it's funny how the word gets passed along and eventually finds the right people. It was interesting to see that I even knew some of the 75 people or so who had shown up at this anonymous theater late in the afternoon on a Sunday.

Ryan Delane had let me know about the show in the first place and he was there with his Brazilian girlfriend. I stood in line with his father, my friend John Delane, just back from picking up yet another FIA trophy for winning his class again in vintage F1 racing with the ex-Jackie Stewart Tyrrell 002.’s Mark Takahashi had caught the earlier show, but he stood in line with us before he had to leave. photographer Kurt Niebuhr let us know he was on the way, as he’d caught the checkered flag for the Daytona 500 broadcast and would barely make it.

Chuck Miller, the ex-Disney imagineer who is a member of the R Gruppe club of Porsche hot-rodders (his early 911 has big old Toyo Proxes RA1 tires just like some bad IT-class SCCA race car) came by to say hello. Even Ralph Gilles, the Dodge CEO and Chrysler VP of design, suddenly appeared and walked over to shake hands, smiling and in great spirits as always. (Gilles seems to be having more fun than any other car company president in the business, a good sign for Dodge’s future.)

Senna was released in Brazil and Japan last year, and will be screened elsewhere round the world in 2011. It’s a first-class production that won an award from the Sundance film festival last month. It’s been put together almost exclusively with archival video and film footage, and it’s remarkable that a story can be told so effectively in this way these days. The movie is quite affecting if you are a Senna fan, and while I am not, it certainly told the story of a very interesting time in motorsports.

Afterward, I walked out into the parking lot, and there I found the GTI parked next to a similarly Arctic white VW R32 , a kind of uber-GTI. It’s not like there are a lot of GTIs and R32s in L.A., and yet here these two cars were in the same place at the same time.

That’s how you discover just how good the GTI is. Somehow the word finds you.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, @ 21,056 miles

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