“Behind the Wheel”: the story behind the Volkswagen passion

Volkswagen has created a new mini-documentary series with twelve authentic portraits

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 — 'Behind the Wheel' is a new documentary series featuring twelve Volkswagen fans that gives a unique insight into their passion. An authentic set of unforgettable memories, compact stories and iconic VW models. Meet Mark, Stéphane and Guillaume who have had the honour to open the series with their likeable enthusias

“Behind the Wheel” is a large-scale production, with one episode being posted online each month. As each film takes about three weeks to make, two for the preparation and one for the post-production, everything must be prepared in advance and in detail. The film recordings themselves take place during one day, so the film crew needs to be up bright and early. The Volkswagen team meet at the home of the fan in the morning for a first interview, and then the entire crew goes to the selected location to film the rest of the story.

Episode 1: Stéphane Hanoulle – “The Reporter”

Stéphane remembers it as if it was yesterday. “My uncle bought the Golf Mk 1 in 1974,” he says. “And he took me for a little drive. I sat in the back between the two front seats. And I fell in love.” Stéphane bought his first GTI in 1980. “Brand new,” he says. “That was the top. I was madly in love with that car. There’s still nothing that beats the Golf Mk 1 GTI. Will there ever be?” Stéphane also did some professional racing a few years later. “That was a logical step. Together with a friend, I participated in the 24 hours race at Zolder. It was 1981. And the GTI? It drove like a well-oiled clock. Zero problems. Zero worries. It was a dream. We finished sixth in the overall rankings and first in our series. A fantastic experience!” In the meantime, Stéphane has had to say goodbye to motorsport. “Racing, tuning, mechanics … it’s all over now. I was diagnosed with Lyme’s disease a few years ago. That was a blow. Fortunately, I could count on my best friend, Mark. He helped me through it. I am extremely grateful to him for that. Yes, friendship is important in life.”

Episode 2: Mark Mouton – “The Caveman”

Mark became a passionate Volkswagen fan when he was still a young man. “Or to be more precise, a fan of the Volkswagen camper bus,” he smiles. “It occurred early in my life as my father was a mechanic. He inspired my passion for beautiful cars – quite literally – as we used to play cars in the middle of the living room (laughs).” Three years ago Mark had a unique opportunity. “I'd been looking out for the perfect camping bus for a while, one that I would be able to restore myself. And finally I found it. I started working on it right away. It took me about a year in total. I did everything, from the camping interior all the way to the exterior. And it’s been fun, particularly as the kids have helped me.” Now the camper van is ready. “But not completely. Right now, we’re going for the occasional drive … they might last from a weekend to a week. It’s our little house on wheels. Really. It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy it with the family. These times together are the best.” Mark has no plans to sell his T2. “No, my camper bus is not leaving me. Not for all the money in the world. I’ve had so many fun moments with it. You just can’t buy that.”

Episode 3 - Guillaume - The Monster

One of the liveliest portraits from the “Behind the Wheel” series has undoubtedly been Guillaume and his vehicle, Jeannine. He has an immense monster truck made from an original Golf Mk 1. Guillaume found his great love on open ground and has since made a statement vehicle, to say the least. “I owe my friends a lot,” he says. “There is no doubt that without them, I would never have succeeded. We spent more than a few hours on it, but also had lots of fun. The car was completely rusted when I found it, and so we really had to replace virtually everything. I still remember our first drive. We were so excited that we forgot to close the windows. You can already imagine what happened when we drove through a huge puddle. It was a tsunami!” His passion for Volkswagen started when Guillaume was a young man. “I’d already had a Golf Mk 1, but after a while I wanted to do something different. It has always been fashionable to lower the car, and for that reason I thought: why not do the opposite? So I decided I was going to raise my Golf.” Guillaume doesn’t want to stop. “I want a second monster,” he says. “A sister to Jeannine. Or something totally different, perhaps. I just don’t know yet. The truth is, as long as we have fun … after all, we’re all just big children. The only difference is the size of the cars: they’ve got bigger.”

Client : Volkswagen Belgium
Contact : Simon De Pauw, Frederic Lequeue
Agency : DDB Brussels

CD:  Peter Ampe, Odin Saillé
Creation: Laurent Righetti, Kenn Van Lijsebeth
Account Team: Sylvie De Couvreur, Florence Vercammen, Anneleen Vande Voorde
Community Manager: Laura Bertone

 

Production Company: Landvogel

Director: Michael Bombeeck

DOP: Piet Deyaert

Executive Producer: Thomas Cassiers

Producer: Yannick Verdonck

Editor: Glenn Renard

Volkswagen | Behind The Wheel – Episode 1 - Stéphane

Volkswagen | Behind The Wheel – Episode 2 - Mark

Volkswagen | Behind The Wheel – Episode 3 - Guillaume