If there is one thing Germans know and love, it’s cars! It’s Spring and the Hessen classic car shows are right around the corner. Earlier this week, we dropped our 1969 Camaro (yet to be named) off to have a little work done on the clutch and it reminded me that we need to get in gear if we are going to register her for this year’s Oldtimer Rally. Here’s a picture of No Name or Cammy, as I’m calling her until a fitting name comes to Ryan. He says you can’t force these things.
One of thethings that fascinates me is a human male’s love of cars. From 8 year old boys to 80 year old men, they stop on the street in a daze when the Camaro drives by. Maybe it’s the roar of the engine, which I’ll admit is quite impressive. Maybe the reason for the dropping jaws is that she’s American. There are lots of classic cars in Wiesbaden. We see old Mercedes and Jaguars fairly regularly but the American classic are rare, of course. At any rate, it’s an interesting phenomenon.
That intense passion for cars is celebrated every spring when classic car owners from across Germany flock to Wiesbaden for the Oldtimer Rally. The cars drive a course around Hessen (the state in which we live) and end up at the Wiesbaden Kurpark.
The shear number of cars was impressive in itself. We had heard tales of these fantastic German car shows so when we showed up at the Kurhaus to see about 50 cars in front of the casino, we were less than impressed. Don’t get me wrong, the cars here were phenomenal. Here are just a few of the cars that were parked in front of the Kurhaus…
There was even an old Army Jeep from the 1950’s.
As we finished looking around and started to head home, we ran into a friend from work. He had a 1/2 inch thick program for the show and explained to us that the real show was behind the Kurhaus in the park.
To our amazement, cars were lined up around the lake and seemed to go on forever.
Men (Ryan included) would stand and stare at the same car for what seemed like far too long to my decidedly untrained eye. I have no idea what is going through their minds. Are they thinking about how fast the car can go? Are they wondering what it would be like to drive it? Ryan explained that he is just “appreciating.” I still don’t get it but I’m learning and I find that the more I learn about these classics, the more it seems to make sense.
One of the fun things for me was the costumes. This couple below went all out. They arrived in style in the car below. This was when I got interested. I had visions of participating in the next show all decked out in late ’60s attire. Now this is for me!
Take a look at this couple. They are enjoying a champagne brunch, complete with fancy china, crystal stemware and silver candle sticks. At first I thought “Really?” Then, I thought “Fun!” A fancy picnic in the park, dressed in their Sunday best with a three-piece suit for him, a bonnet for her. The probably prepared for this for weeks, detailing the car, planning their picnic menu. Now, I’m intrigued.
There were plenty of other people having fun with costumes and there were lots of picnic baskets loaded with cheese, bread and wine. The Germans really do know how to celebrate and enjoy life. The rally takes over their whole weekend from Friday evening through Sunday evening when the prizes are awarded.
German car shows are definitely a “must do” if you’re ever in Germany when they are taking place.
I’ll end with this, an automobile from 1910…