Do you enjoy classic vehicles, do you enjoy talking about petrol and do you like the unmistakable design of vintage cars? You want to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of classic cars and don't know exactly how to do it, which classic car rallies suit you? Then you are in the right place. The following pages give you a comprehensive overview of all the important events and opportunities, even without joining the classic car community of your own.
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Would you like to be at the front when old racing cars shake the asphalt? And wouldn't mind meeting one of the legendary warhorses of yesteryear in person? Then you will find everything you need below.
Grand Prix Historique Monaco
24 h Le Mans Classic
AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix
Dates: every two years in May
City: City circuit of Monte Carlo (FR)
Type: Speed races on a closed circuit
Regulations: You can only take part if you are invited by the organizer. The fastest in different vehicle categories wins
Two weeks before the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco, the same street circuit as the Grand Prix Historique will be held. Although the Grand Prix does not take place on a classic race track, it is not one of the classic car rallies. Former Formula 1 sports cars take part in the race, which is held in seven different categories. Racing cars from the pre-war period up to the year of manufacture 1980 are permitted.
The absolute elite of international racing meets here, a rendezvous for living legends - and billionaires. In addition to the travel expenses, participation in car races incurs large amounts: purchase, maintenance, servicing and wear and tear of the cars. When it comes to historic racing cars, we are also in the premier class in terms of costs. The framework of the secluded tax haven and the glamor of the royal family fits in with this.
As with every Formula 1 race, the practice sessions at the Grand Prix Historique are held on Friday and Saturday, with Sunday being the actual race day. Of course, it's still about speed today - the fastest wins. Even if the Grand Prix Historique is regularly the stage for the performances of all Formula 1 stars still alive, for us the invaluable racing cars in the backdrop of the city-state are the real heroes.
There is only one opera hall for the concert of roaring engines in historic racing cars - the street canyons of Monaco's street circuit. Of course, so much sophisticated ambience has its price. If you don't have a friend whose yacht you can spend the night on, you should move far into the area to be part of the spectacle at a reasonable cost.
Dates: every two years in Juli
City: Le Mans (FR)
Style: Speed race on a closed track
Regulations: Anyone who has a vehicle, a so-called “eligible car”, can apply. The fastest in different vehicle categories wins
Few places in the world are as associated with motorsport as the city of Le Mans in north-western France. This is where the tradition of the “24 Heures du Mans”, the 24-hour race began in 1923. Here, on June 11, 1955, the biggest catastrophe in motorsport took place with 84 dead.
The "Automobile Club de l'Ouest" is still the patron of the long-distance race of the same name, which involves driving the 13.88 km route as often as possible within 24 hours. Notorious on the Le Mans circuit is the nearly five-kilometer-long Hunaudières Straight or "Mulsanne Straight", which used to reach speeds of over 400 km/h . Films and famous actors such as Steve McQueen contributed to the formation of legends, as did the “Le Mans start”, in which the drivers lined up across the road to their pit lane lanes vehicles had to sprint.
Around 600 historic racing and touring cars start in different categories at the Le Mans Classic. Significantly less elitist than the Grand Prix Historique in the south, but just as popular as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Le Mans Classic offers an authentic trip back to the 1960s and 1970s, allowing entire classic car clubs to visit the site, including picnics, campsites and campfire romance.
Unfortunately you can't meet Steve McQueen here anymore, but it still feels like he was here not too long ago. If you like France and mild summer nights, are interested in cars and get goosebumps from glowing exhaust pipes and deafening engine noise, you have to go to Le Mans once in your life. Period.
Dates: Annually in September
City: Goodwood (UK)
Style: Speed races on a closed circuit
Regulations: You can only take part if you are invited by the organizer. The fastest in different vehicle categories wins.
Every September, the Goodwood Revival takes place in Kennel Hill, near the town of Chicester, less than half an hour's drive from the seaside resorts of the English Channel. On the extensive estates around Goodwood House, the host Lord March invites you to a world-class event that has become an integral part of the classic car scene.
That was not always so. After the Second World War, an airfield was converted into a racetrack, but it struggled to catch up with the major motorsport events in England. The tenacity of the owners, the huge grounds in excellent condition, which also includes a horse racetrack and a golf club, the ever-increasing numbers of spectators, and of course the commitment of numerous sponsors have made the Goodwood name engraved in motorsport. In contrast to the Goodwood Festival of Speed with the Hill Climb, the Revival takes place on the historic circuit of the Goodwood Motor Circuit. A small, fine event limited to classic cars.
The "Goodwood Revival" offers the lovers of the island and the connoisseurs of British automotive history the most elegant backdrop. Anyone who loves green grass and gas talks with drivers who made history should stop by here.
Datum: Annually in Summer
City: Nürburgring (DE)
Style: Vintage cars race on a closed race track
Competitors: 590 Racecars
Regulations: Classic cars from 1920 - 1990: anyone who owns a so-called "eligible car" can apply. The fastest in different vehicle categories wins
Every year in August, one of the most legendary racetracks in the world becomes the scene of the "AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix". The AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix is an exciting homage to the glorious times when the "who's who" of motorsport met in the tranquil Eifel.
The AvD Grand Prix consists of ten races on the short Grand Prix track, the Historic Marathon and the Nürburgring Trophy on the first day of the race. With a total of 600 vehicles taking part, the AvD Grand Prix is one of the largest classic car events in the world. The rush is correspondingly large, here you can experience automotive history at your fingertips. The "Parc fermé" is open to all spectators, a good opportunity not only to marvel at the racing cars, but also to talk to the drivers.
For those who shy away from the slightly longer route to Le Mans or England, the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix is a worthwhile alternative.
Do you like it stylish, from the launch pad to the graduation party? And can't resist the fascination of classic cars on long journeys? Then you will find everything your collector's heart desires here.
Coppa d’ Oro delle Dolomiti
Targa Florio Classica
Klausen Race Memorial
Gran Premio Nuvolari
The Princesses' Rally
Silvretta Classic - Classic Car Rally
Creme 21 - Classic Car Rally
Dates: Annually in August
City: Cortina d´Ampezzo, Dolomitenrundfahrt (ITA)
Style: Classic car rally with special tests and classic car parade
Competitors: appox: 200 Teams
Regulations: Regularity race for classic cars built up to 1971, anyone can apply to take part with their own classic car
The Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti was held between 1947 and 1956 as a day race, which led about 300 km across the Dolomites. The “Dolomitenrundfahrt” has been held as a vintage car rally since 1972. As with the Targa Florio, the Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti is run as a rally.
The classic car rally lasts a total of four days. On Thursday there will be the vehicle inspection and a small opening ceremony, on the second and third day you will start from the noble ski resort of Cortina d`Ampezzo on a long route with many mountain passes in the Dolomites. On Sunday, the most beautiful classics will be awarded at the car parade.
The scenery of the Dolomites is absolutely unique, and the participating vehicles can keep up with the big vintage car rallies. Cortina d'Ampezzo as a base camp is unreasonably expensive even in midsummer. There are reasonable alternatives in the neighboring towns. In contrast to the Mille Miglia or the Gran Premio Nuvolari, the compatriots stay among themselves at this vintage car rally, 90% of the participants are Italians, and the press hype is less than usual. An insider tip for me.
Dates: Annually in May/June
City: across Italy, start/finish in Brescia (ITA)
Style: Regularity races on open country roads
Competitors: approx: 375 teams
Regulations: Anyone who has a vehicle, a so-called “eligible car” (built before 1957), can apply to take part. The most accomplished team that does all the regularity tests best wins.
Die Mille Miglia ist unbestritten die Königin aller Oldtimer Rallyes. Nirgendwo ist das Medienecho größer, die Anzahl der prominenten Teilenehmer am Rennen dichter, sind die teilnehmenden Rennwagen kostbarer und die landschaftliche Kulisse beeindruckender.
Every year in spring, the Mille Miglia entourage starts with a total of around 375 teams in the city center of Brescia and leads to Rome and return over four days. There are countless opportunities for spectators to admire the teams in small towns or magnificent squares. Only classics that took part in one of the historic races up until 1957 are allowed to take part. Despite the very restrictive conditions of participation and the demanding high entry fee, three times as many teams as there are places apply to participate every year.
Anyone who is allocated one of the coveted starting places at this vintage car rally spares no expense or effort to make their vintage car fit for the start on the Viale Venezia. The Mille Miglia self-confidently calls itself "La corsa più bella dell mondo", the most beautiful race in the world. Accordingly, teams from all over the world come to Italy to take part in the Mille Miglia.
There are many reasons to travel to Italy. The “Mille Miglia” is definitely a particularly good one. You don't need to have good connections or a historic racing car to experience the flair of this race up close. How exactly the selection process works and what chances you have to take part can be read in the blog post "Das große Abenteuer Mille Miglia".
Dates: annually in October
City: Start/Finish Palermo across western Sicily (ITA)
Style: Vintage car rally with regularity tests on non-closed country roads
Competitors: approx. 175 teams
Regulations: Anyone who has a vehicle, a so-called “eligible car” (built before 1957), can apply to take part. The most experienced team, which is the best in the regularity tests
The Targa Florio is one of the TOP 10 vintage car rallies and is held in Sicily every year in October. Rallyes lead from Palermo to the beautiful hinterland or along the coast and back to Palermo in the evening. The combination of exotic ambience, rough landscape and passionate spectators is impressive. After all, the history of the "Targa Florio" itself is exciting, it is the oldest car race on the continent.
You don't have to be an Italy lover to fall in love with the idea of experiencing bustling Palermo in autumn with bathing temperatures and then chasing across Sicily in an open Alfa Romeo. Of course you can bring your own vintage car there and take part in the “Targa Florio” directly. More charming is a trip that we present to you below.
Dates: Annually in Summer
City: Gröbming and across Styria, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria (AT)
Style: Regularity races on country roads and vintage car parade
Competitors: Approx. 300 teams
Regulations: Anyone who has a vehicle, a so-called “eligible car” (built between 1919 and 1976), can apply to take part. The most accomplished team that does all the regularity tests best wins.
The Ennstal Classic is the Austrian classic car event par excellence and is one of the best classic car rallies. Approximately a total of 900 km will be driven through Styria, Salzburg, Carinthia, Upper Austria and Lower Austria over three days. The departure and destination of the trips on Thursday and Friday is always Gröbming.
The highlight of the classic car rally and spectator highlight is the Grand Prix on Saturday in Gröbming, a classic car parade attended by many celebrities and some racing legends. 20,000 spectators populate the center of Gröbming that day to admire the exclusive sports cars. In 2022, modern super sports cars, rally vehicles, Gran Turismo and Formula 1 racing cars will be taking part in the "Race Trophy" for the first time.
Most of the route offers a picturesque mountain panorama, the field of participants is filled with great racing cars and many celebrities. The entry fee for participation is in the middle of the big rallies.
City: Urnerboden and Klausen Pass (CH)
Style: Vintage car parade and motorcade
Competitors: approx. 1,000 teams, everyone can apply with a classic or modern sports car
The Klausen race is the "Swiss variant" of the Targa Florio and was considered the hardest mountain race in the Alps. 21 km, 163 bends and 1,237 vertical meters had to be mastered.Rudolph Caracciola set the course record in 1934 in a Mercedes-Benz with around 15 minutes.
The Klausen Race Memorial has been held on the original route since 1993, the last time the race took place was in 2006. Unfortunately, the Swiss authorities have banned the mountain race because it was carried out in the format of a real speed race. In 2022 there will be a new start, celebrating 100 years of the Klausen race with a big vintage car parade and a show ride up the Klausen Pass. Around 1,000 participating classics are expected.
Since the event in this format and the organizer are new, we cannot make any recommendations. Due to the high affinity of the Swiss for classic cars, and thanks to a number of large private collectors, it is quite conceivable that spectacular classic cars will be on display here.
Dates: Annually in September
City: Start/finish in Mantua from there across Upper and Central Italy (ITA)
Style: Classic car rally with regularity tests on country roads
Competitors: Approx. 300 teams
Regulations: Anyone with an “eligible car” (built between 1919 and 1976) can apply to take part. The most experienced team, which wins all regularity tests, wins by points.
Als Hommage an einen der größten Rennfahrer aller Zeiten, haben die Mille Miglia Organisatoren nach seinem Tod 1953, eine Teil-Etappe der Mille Miglia als eigene Wertungsprüfung den "Gran Premio Nuvolari" ausgelobt. Auch deswegen wird der moderne „Gran Premio Nuvolari“ manchmal auch als die „kleine Schwester“ der Mille Miglia bezeichnet und findet alljährlich im September statt. Von Mantua, dem Geburtsort des legendären Rennfahrers Tazio Nuvolari, startet die Rallye in einem Rundkurs durch die Emilia-Romagna und die Toskana. Viele Mille-Teilnehmer starten auch beim Gran Premio Nuvolari. Wenn Sie mehr über die faszinierende Rennlegende Tazio Nuvolari erfahren möchten, lesen Sie hier weiter: Rennlegende Nuvolari
A great way to experience the golden autumn in Tuscany, with fewer celebrities in the spotlight than at the Mille Miglia. The "Gran Premio Nuvolari" is quieter, but the participating classic cars are hardly inferior to those of the "big sister", so we recommend this classic car rally as a valid alternative.
Dates: Annually in Summer
City: Paris and Across France (FRA)
Style: Classic Car Rally
Competitors: Approx. 100 teams
This vintage car rally is exclusively for female teams who drive around 1,000 km through France in five days with classic or youngtimers. The start is always in Paris, the route changes each year.
No question, this is the rally for you if you are of the right gender, own a classic car and… speak very good French!
Datum: annually in midsummer
City: Start and finish in the Montafon, stages lead to Switzerland (AT)
Style: Vintage car rally with regularity ratings
Competitors: Approx. 150 race cars
Regulations: Historically valuable vehicles from 1923 - 2002, vintage car rally with regularity tests
For more than 20 years, the Silvretta Classic has been organized by Motor Presse Stuttgart and journalistically accompanied by Motor Klassik Magazin and Auto Motor und Sport. The media echo of the rally, which brings an exciting field of participants to Vorarlberg every year in midsummer, is corresponding.
The Austrian Montafon and the adjacent Swiss Alps are at the center of the rally, which skilfully stages curves and alpine passes. The approx. 150 teams come mainly from German-speaking countries and have to put up with long stages, drive up many altitudes and unfortunately, all too often, bad weather. This is the most promoted among the vintage car rallies in the German-speaking area.
If you like a grandiose Alpine panorama and curve spectacle, this is the place for you.
Datum: Annually in Autumn
City: Start/destination changes annually - nationwide (DE)
Style: Youngtimer rally with exciting tests
Competitors: Approx. 180 Race cars
Regulations: Youngtimer from 1971 to 1990, everyone can apply to the organizer with their youngtimer
Creme 21 is the most important youngtimer rally and is organized by Autobild Klassik. Creme 21 is a skin cream that was very popular in the 1970s and embodies the motto of the rally: the 70s attitude towards life: colourful, wild, cool. The approximately 100 teams drive cars that must be at least 21 years and not more than 40 years old, once across Germany. The Creme 21 is one of the longest running rallies and one of the few events that changes start, finish and course every year.
A great event with long stages and cool teams, not only the cars, but also the participants are much younger than usual!
Do you love class and upscale elegance? Would you like to be in contact with selected personalities, in top-class locations and with the who's-who of the automotive world? Then you should visit one of the few Concours d'Elegance between Europe and the Americas. Here we show you the highlights
Concorso d’ Eleganza Villa d’ Este
Pebble Beach Concours d‘Elegance
Classic Days at Castle Dyck
Zoute Grand Prix
Dates: Annully in May
City: Comer See (ITA)
Style: Beauty contest
Participants/cars: approx. 50 classic cars in closed competitions and many concept cars
Reglement: the most beautiful classics are exhibited and awarded in different vehicle categories
The noble, somewhat ancient luxury hotel Villa d'Este on the western shore of Lake Como is the scene of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este. In 1929, the beauty contest for new automobiles was held for the first time and awarded the "Coppa d'Oro Villa d'Este".
This tradition was revived in the 1980s, but awards are no longer given to new cars but to particularly beautifully restored vintage cars. As the main sponsor, BMW has been making an event with beautiful classic cars in a dreamlike setting possible for years. The classics compete against each other in eight different classes and vie for the favor of the jury and the public. In the end there are eight class winners and one overall winner. The award sometimes increases the value of the winning vehicles considerably.
The mixture of design studies, concept cars and classic rarities in the noble ambience of Villa Erba and Villa d'Este on the shore of Lake Como is extremely successful. If the champagne glasses are clinking on the finely trimmed lawn without being disturbed by the noise of the engine, it is advisable to show up in the right outfit.
Dates: Annually in August
City: Pebble Beach & Laguna Seca/ Monterey, California (USA)
Style: Beauty pageant, motorcade, speed races, auctions
Participants/cars: Approx. 300 Classics in closed competitions
Regulations: The most beautiful classic cars are awarded prizes in different vehicle categories, and the lap times count on the Laguna Seca race track
Pebble Beach is the crowning event of Monterey Car Week in California. For a week in August, a variety of automotive events are held in and around the legendary Pebble Beach golf resort and Laguna Seca race track. This is by far the most important automotive event on the continent, all premium manufacturers for super sports cars are present here and the most exclusive, expensive classics come under the hammer here at the auctions.
The main event is the "Concours d´Elegance Pebble Beach" at the Pebble Beach Golf Course and the motorcade "The Quail". In Laguna Seca, races with historic sports cars take place over several days, many car manufacturers present new cars, celebrate birthdays, offer free test drives and present their own history.
The various events are very spread out (you need a car to get everywhere), the entrance fees are partly astronomical. However, most of the money is used for charity purposes, and the public can afford it if you look at the parking spaces: nowhere else in the world are there as many Ferraris and Lamborghinis parked for a week. For us, it is one of the loudest, most dazzling of the classic car rallies.
The Monterey Car Week is an absolute must for motorists, despite the long journey, the August heat and time difference, immense hotel prices and very limited ticket contingents for the Concours d'Elegance and The Quail. You should plan your visit well in advance!
Dates: Annually in March
City: Amelia Island in Florida (USA)
Style: Beauty competition, Cars & Coffee for Clubs
Participants/cars: approx. 100 classic cars in close competition and many concept cars
Regulations: the most beautiful classics are awarded prizes in the various vehicle categories
Amelia Island is a beautiful little peninsula in northern Florida. The Amelia Island Concours d`Elegance takes place in the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and Resort. From Friday to Sunday there are various classic events on the site. Similar to the Villa d'Este, the classics are not driven, but only shown, auctioned and sold. Exclusive dinners and cocktail receptions take place in the hotel, and the US club scene is included in the event.
Amelia Island heralds the new classic car season at the beginning of spring and is a professional classic show. The location on the Pacific Ocean Front is very nice and the ambience is much more relaxed than in California in August, but the journey is more worthwhile if you then spend a few days on vacation in Florida. The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este is at least as beautiful and much easier to visit.
Dates: Annually in Summer
City: Castle Dyck (Germany)
Style: Beauty Competition, Motorcade, Cars & Coffee for Clubs
Regulations: everyone can apply with their own classic car or take part through a classic car club, the most beautiful classic car will be awarded by a jury
The classic event at Castle Dyck has gained a place among the most important classic events in recent years. The central events are a Concours d`Elegance and the Racing Legends, demonstration drives of 120 rarities from motorsport on a circuit around the castle. Similar to Amelia Island, clubs and classic car owners are allowed to drive their vehicles onto the castle grounds and present them at a picnic.
The Classic Days are less glamorous than other events, but are very well organised, calm and still have a top-class cast. Exciting classic rarities are not only displayed, but also moved around the circuit. Absolutely recommendable, protects it
Dates: Annually in Summer
City: Oostende & Kokke-Heist (BE)
Style: Beauty Competition, motorade, and auctions
Competitors: 400 vehicles are divided between the rally, the concours, the auction and the motorcade
Regulations: everyone can apply to take part with their classic car or super sports car
The small European “Monterey Car Week” is how the event on the Belgian coast can be summed up. The triad of Classic Car Rallye, Concours d`Elegance, Super Car Corso and Classic Auction is reminiscent of the world-famous event in Pebble Beach, California. As a result, the Zoute Grand Prix has blossomed into one of the largest and most renowned world events for fans of vintage and current top sports cars, about 200,000 visitors come to Belgium every year for the event.
The Zoute Grand Prix Rally runs between the historic, sophisticated seaside resorts of Knokke-Heist and Oostende to Bruges, passing through and stopping in the historic centre. The Super Car Corso runs along the seafront of Ostend and ends in front of the 1953 built Casino and Kursaal in Ostend. The Concours d'Elegance takes place in the streets and squares of the historic city center of Bruges. Traditionally, a large classic car auction takes place on Sunday.
If you don't want to make the long journey to California, the Zoute Grand Prix is the place for you. The event is absolutely top-class. both in terms of organization. as well as the exhibits. The coastal towns and Bruges are worth a visit and form a perfect backdrop for staging this classic event.
Dates: Annually in March/April
City: Essen (Germany)
Style: Exhibitions & Fair
Competitors: largest in the world approx. 1,250 exhibitors on 120,000 square meters
The Techno Classica is the largest classic car fair in the world. All the important players in the classic car market present themselves here. The fair consists of a Classic car parts market, a large area for Classic car dealers and the vintage books, furniture, luggage area. The big car manufacturers are also present with their own exhibition stands, some of which are large, and present their own history. The Techno Classica usually takes place in March/April in Essen. The fair gives a good overview of what is on offer and the classic car prices. The exhibitors at Techno Classica are also recommended for those looking for spare parts.
Dates: annually in October
City: Padova (ITA)
Style: Exhibitions & Fair
Competitors: 1,600 exhibitors on 110,000 square meters
Main emphasis: Italian Classics and Sports cars
The "Auto moto d'epoca" in the northern Italian city of Padua is the most important Italian classic car fair. Overall smaller and less international than Techno Classica, there are nowhere as many Italian classics and parts specialists for Italian car brands as at this fair every October.
Dates: Annually in March
City: Paris (FR)
Style: Exhibitions & Fair
Competitors: 620 Exhibitors & approx. 120,000 visitors
Main emphasis: French Classics
The “Retro Mobile” in Paris is the leading French classic car fair. Naturally, the focus is on local brands, their dealers and spare parts specialists, although there is a tendency to give foreign brands, primarily German manufacturers, more space.
Anyone looking for Italian classics is better off in Padua, for French classics the Retromobile in Paris is recommended. Essen is the right choice for anyone looking for German classics or US muscle cars. The leading trade fair in Essen is the most important industry meeting place and also more international than the "Retro Classics" in Stuttgart.
Classic auctions are an important indicator of the value development of classic cars. Top-class classic car events such as Pebble Beach, but also trade fairs with several hundred thousand visitors such as Techno Classica in Essen or Retro Classics in Stuttgart are attractive backdrops for auctions.
Established auction houses such as Bonhams, founded in London in 1793, operate in this segment, as do automobile specialists such as the US companies Barrett-Jackson, Gooding and Company. strong>, and the now combined RM Sotheby's.
Interestingly enough, purely online portals have now also made a name for themselves, such as "Bring-a-Trailer" founded in the USA in 2007 and its European competitor "Collecting Cars" from London. With the media hype surrounding auction results in the tens of millions, it's easy to forget that the majority of lots are everyday classics, many of which aren't even in particularly good condition.
Dates: annually in October
City: Hershey, Pennsylvania (USA)
Style: Car show
Main emphasis: US-Automotives & Car Parts
The meeting in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on the premises of the chocolate manufacturer of the same name, occupies a special position among the classic car events. Since 1955, the enthusiasts of the "Antique Automobile Club of America" have been holding a huge flea market every October with 9,000 stalls now, and more than 1,000 vintage cars in the "car corral". Offered for sale, the conclusion is a rating of 1,200 classic cars, the result of which the owners are looking forward to with excitement.
Anyone interested in US automobiles and not afraid of the dimensions of a truly huge flea market should go to Hershey. It takes several days just to inspect the vintage cars exhibited for the award ceremony and, if you wish, you can literally ask about every screw of the owner's car. European models are absolutely exotic, but if you are looking for "all things American" anyway, you will definitely find it!
What makes a trip in a classic car special? First of all: the deceleration. It starts with preparing the car. It continues with the choice of routes: as scenically as possible, without motorways, through worthwhile intermediate destinations with attractive stops. A trip in a vintage car, whether it's your own or a locally provided, well-maintained vehicle, is an exciting experience that takes you where the roads are the most winding and the views are the most beautiful. Just one day of classic driving, as a journalist wrote in one of the leading classic car magazines, "is enough to come home with beaming eyes". Read here how it feels to discover the world at the wheel of a classic and to experience.
Travelers who cannot or do not want to get their own classic car out of the garage have the choice between renting a classic car or booking with one of the few tour operators who have classic cars from their own stock for the trip. The practical thing about the second option is that you have less to plan for your journey and get there faster. You also save yourself the hassle of maintaining the classic car and preparing it for a longer tour. Quite apart from the fact that you don't have to worry about anything if the worst comes to the worst and if you have a technical problem you can simply continue your tour in a equivalent replacement classic car. In addition, with selected tour operators, you can also drive and change different models during the trip, a luxury that renting a single classic car does not offer. So much service has its price, of course.
Offer: Nostalgic offers vintage convertibles to go with all tours, with trips to Italy, France, Austria, England and Germany. There are many destination to the major classic car events on offer: Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Gran Premio Nuvolari, Festival of Speed, and Le Mans Classic.
Since it was founded in 2003, Nostalgic has been the leading tour operator in terms of guest numbers and vehicle fleet. Nostalgic guests have the choice between three very differently positioned automobile brands, which are harmoniously staged in the appropriate environment. Above all, the sports car tradition of Alfa Romeo in the form of the 1950s and 1960s Giulietta/ Giulia Spider models, with which you can make Italy more exciting from north to south, from Piedmont to Sicily. Then the classic elegance of the 1960s and 1970s Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster, superbly staged on the coastal roads of the Côte d'Azur and the lavender fields of Provence. Finally, the charm of our VW Beetle 1303 Cabriolets from the late seventies, which guests in Upper Bavaria, the Salzburg region and in Tyrol can indulge in. In addition, trips to exclusive classic car events are also offered, where classic cars are also driven, but where the focus is on the respective classic car event, such as a trip to the "Goodwood Festival of Speed" or the "Goodwood Revival". All regions offered at a glance: Lake Maggiore, Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Amalfi Coast, Sicily; Provence, Loire, Maritime Alps; England; Bavaria, Salzburger Land, Tyrol.
If you want to get a whiff of vintage cars in your home region and are lucky enough to find a reputable rental company nearby, give it a try! If you want to enjoy an open vintage car a few hours' flight away in the south, embedded in an attractive supporting program with selected accommodation, culinary insider tips and recommended routes, and don't have the time to plan such a trip for you and your partner - including surprises - you should entrust yourself to a tour operator with the best references:
Vintage car rallies take place on public, generally unclosed country roads, so they are in the tradition of the historical role models. In contrast, it is not the team that crosses the finish line the fastest that wins, but the team with the fewest penalty points, evaluated after complicated tests for which the classic car rally participants have to prepare. Read Ludwig Zoller's travel report on the Mille Miglia:
Endurance and the ability to suffer are almost manditory, both from the classic car and from the driver and front passenger. Depending on the year the classic car (and its occupants) was built, the weather and the length of the stages, newcomers to the rally need to be able to take the toughest parts. A 400 kilometer day's stage of the "Mille Miglia" in a pre-war car is not the same as a drive into the blue in a modern convertible. The various evaluation tests, time controls and skill tests that the teams have to undergo in their own classics can only be passed to some extent through meticulous preparation. Here, as in everything else in life, "practice makes perfect".
Classic car races usually take place on closed circuits, which are more often former Formula 1 tracks or training tracks. Since it's not just about "being there" like in certain classic car rallies, the corresponding requirements have to be met here: a racing license from the German Motorsport Association, and a vehicle that is equipped accordingly. The ambitious amateur racers compete against each other in a number of different categories, which correspond to international standards, it is not only about displacement and year of manufacture but also certain vehicle categories.
Starting with the preparation or the conversion of your own classic to a racing license, vintage car races are not recommended for beginners who just want to try it out, and naturally vehicles prepared in this way are not offered for hire. The costs for a race weekend are always in the four-digit range, just for the exchange of wearing parts, spare tires, and the transport of the vintage racing cars, which are generally not approved for road traffic.
Kann jeder an einer Oldtimer-Rallye teilnehmen?
Im Prinzip benötigen Sie dafür einen eigenen, oder geliehenen, Oldtimer, welcher zur Liste der „eligible cars“, also der grundsätzlich zugelassenen Rallye-Teilnehmerfahrzeuge gehört. Nehmen Sie sich genügend Vorlauf für Ihre Bewerbung, nachdem Sie die Ausschreibung der jeweiligen Rallye studiert haben. Denken Sie daran, viele Rallyes liegen in den Händen von Automobilclubs und deren Funktionären, die sich (gerade bei starkem Andrang) genüsslich die Muse nehmen, Bewerber auszusortieren, und nicht, wie vielleicht der persönlich bekannte TÜV-Prüfer zuhause, auch mal „ein Auge zudrückt“.
Es ist in der Regel keinesfalls so, dass es reicht, in Vorfreude das Nenngeld zu überweisen. Schon während Sie auf die Zusage Ihres Teilnahme seitens der Rallye warten, sollten Sie mit den Vorbereitungen des Oldtimers und der Wertungsprüfungen beginnen, es sei denn, Sie sind ein „alter Hase“ in diesem Umfeld. Versteifen Sie sich nicht auf eine einzige Rallye sondern melden Sie sich an mehreren Veranstaltungen an, um die Chance zu erhöhen, teilzunehmen.
How do I prepare for the specific stages?
If you take it seriously, we recommend buying relevant literature - the topics are so complex for the everyday driver, at least at the beginning, during the rally - keyword: stage fright - you don't act as relaxed and confident as you would like. A sense of proportion and a sure instinct are required, both of which are taken care of in your everyday car by electronic helpers, cameras and sensors.
The rally road book contains all the details about the planned route and the individual special stages. Taking shortcuts or taking detours does not make sense simply because secret evaluations are usually carried out, which are usually checks of the average speed on a section of road specified in the road book.
To pass most of the singleness tests, you need a mechanical stopwatch with an analog display, as well as a calibrated odometer, a so-called "Tripmaster", which the passenger can set to zero at certain points . Certain flag colors tell you from where to where you have to drive in an exactly specified time - standing still is neither desirable nor allowed. Using the mechanical clock, the co-driver - also known as the "navigator" - counts the remaining time out loud to the driver, while the driver tries to spin the wheel at exactly the right moment that will give him as few penalty points as possible can be driven over the measuring hose on the ground. Deviations in the hundredth range are recommended for both the time and the distance - this is where fun often turns into the utmost seriousness.
Here is an overview of common special stages:
If you are looking for more detailed information on this topic, you can use the Blog post at Vintagedriver recommended.
The vehicle inspection and the participant meeting are mandatory dates. They also come from the time of historic car races, when periodic vehicle demonstrations (so-called main inspection or motor vehicle inspection) were not yet introduced in all countries. As the name suggests, the "vehicle acceptance" is a technical check of the roadworthiness of the participating classic cars and the correlation of the vehicle papers with the registered documents. All rally participants should take care of the technical fitness of the vintage car and check the information in the vehicle documents in good time in order to avoid nasty surprises shortly before the start. A rejected classic car may not start - but the entry fee will still be charged!
As a rule, after successful acceptance, you will receive your rally signs with your start number and the boarding card with the specified driving times, which are also given at the transit controls - also stamping points called - compared and stamped.
How much does it cost to take part in a vintage car rally?
In most classic car rallies, the participation price - entry fee - also includes a few overnight stays and meals during the rally. Since the participants mostly move from hotel to hotel (exception: so-called rallies), depart early and arrive late, the rallies do not book luxury hotels, but (three to) four-star hotels typical of the country. The entry fee to be paid fluctuates, as in real life, depending on supply and demand: under €12,000 you should not think of the "Mille Miglia", at the "Targa Florio" in Sicily you are there for a quarter.
Photo credits: We would like to thank all photographers and partners for permission to use the photos: Zoute Gran Prix, BMW Group AG, Motor Presse Stuttgart, Goodwood Revival, Shutterstock, ACI Sport Spa, Classic Days Schloß Dyck. Drew Gibson, Jochen Van Cauwenberge, Matt Ankers, Stephanie O`Callaghan, Stefan Mueller, Susanne Dobler, Günter Biener, MC Thumm, Wolfgang Wilhelm.
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