45th AvD OLDTIMER GRAND PRIX
Nurburgring – Germany
The fact that for a change time stood still, in fact went backwards for 3 days at the Nurburgring was as a direct result of the array of race cars that gathered here, hundreds of them, representing decades of motor sport history. They spotlighted the good old days of technological innovation and evolution, also highlighting how certain inherently bad designs have improved over time. Strangely it is the even numbers that stand out, 20, 30, or even 100 years ago, more so what happened 37 or 29 years ago.
Most notably is that 90 years ago the Nurburgring race track was opened in what at the time was a very poorly developed and little known area. Subsequently it has long since become a world famous location, with countless racing legends and myths into its rich history.
This is where I found myself 11th to 13th August this year, not only being overwhelmed of what the Nurburgring represents, but the mysteries of legendary drivers and their machines, the smell of high-octaned fuel and noise – epic.
To top all of this is the fact that this is 40 years of the Porsche 928 being celebrated at his venue – couldn’t be better.
Porsche Classic went all out in their representation at the track with celebrating the trans-axle evolution, the displays were amazing, rare 928’s were on display, dug up from beneath the dust. A 928 station wagon 4-door only one ever built for Ferdinand, a 928 convertible prototype – technology and evolution.
The Porsche car park was provided a tingle on your flesh as you walk amongst the iconic of marques ever built – 365 Speedsters to Carrera GT’s to 918 Hybrids and all in between. Michelle’s little Junior tractor also featured.
The Oldtimers Grand Prix as always never ceased to surprise with the hundreds of classic/historic racing machines, all in pristine original condition being raced hard by their enthusiastic owners. 12 classes of vehicles are being campaigned: Historic F1 Championship, Formula Junior, Historic Sports Cars, Racers and GT pre 60/61, Historic Grand Prix Cars pre ’60, Classic Touring cars, Vintage Sports Cars, etc, etc. More than 440 race cars were represented – all racing for glory in their segments. Highlights, the mighty Porsche 917, abominable Kremer 935 K3, Dakar winner Porsche 959, the all reliable Targa Florio winners - Porsche 356 Carrera and the crazy little 911 RSR.
Other marks such as 1978 BMW M1 Procars, Chevron B16/B8, Lola T70/T212, Ford Capri RS 3100,Porsche 935, Ford Escort RS Zalspeed and so many more spectacular machines.
The vintage sports cars were to die for, leather helmeted drivers, leather straps over the bonnet and spare wheel strapped to rear lid – epic. Cars from 1927 to 1954 – Riley TT, Lagonda M45 Tourers, Maserati 8C 3000, Alvis Speed 20, Mercedes-Benz 720 SSKL, Jaguar SS 100, Bentley Derby, Aston Martin Speed Ulster and the list of magnificent machines continues.
Privileged to have met the owner, Michael Lyons, who now owns the ex-John Love Formula Atlantic car out of the old Rhodesia – in original the Gunston livery.
I was fortunate to witness some of the best historic racing imaginable, also meeting some old friends Magnus Walker, Thomas Kremer and Willi Pitz – all legends. Meeting some SA friends like Lynton Lomas and Kevin Tucker at Skoda and Alfa facilities was a treat, made them buy the beer.
My stay whilst there at Eifelranch-Am-Ring with good friends, Sabine Schmidt and Klaus Abbelen, is engraved in my memory banks as awesome.
It is an event that is a must on any petrol heads’ bucket list, I can go on for the rest of the pages in this mag, that is if I am not at the back already but alas, not allowed. YOU have to go!!!!!
I will be there next year, August 2018, again and be on the lookout for my white hat and tourist umbrella!!