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Old 14th August 2016, 00:59   #1
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Default Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany

This is one of the great events on the European Classic Car scene. I used to attend just about every year with my eldest son Luc. However, due to my posting in the USA and India I had not been for the last eight/nine years or so.

We used to drive out to this event with the Dutch Alfa Romeo Spider Register. Typically about a dozen or so Spiders, loaded up with tents and other camping equipment as we used to camp on the Nurburgring camping for the weekend.

This event has been going on for decades as far as I can remember:

https://www.avd.de/classic-racing/hi...er-grand-prix/ (sorry all in German)

It is set at the F-1 Nurburgring in Germany. Three days at which just about any oldtimer can be seen on the track and or in the paddocks. It’s all very informal. You buy one tickets and that gives you access to all the grandstands, the paddocks, the historic paddocks etc.

Since the last time we visited several new buildinsg had been put up, a Nurburgring boulevard, a roller coaster and some other stuff that we simply could not care about either.

This event starts on Friday and just driving to the circuit is a true joy. You are driving through hilly beautiful German countryside. Also, apart from the classic cars racing on the circuit many European (classic) car clubs have this on their event calendar, just like our Alfa Romeo Spider Register. So there are hundreds if not thousands of classic cars out on the road all heading towards the circuit.

This year, Luc and me decided we would drive up and down in one day. It’s 360 km from where we live. Mostly motorway till you get to about 40 kilometers near the circuit. So speed and comfort was of the essence. I own a Ford Fiesta (well my wife does), a 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider, a 1982 W123 Mercedes and a 2002 Jaguar XJR. My son has the latest Golf GTI. We opted for the Jaguar. We needed speed and comfort!

Also, I had not had the Jaguar out on the unrestricted speed stretches of the German Autobahn. I have now and it was sensational! We left at 0500am, so we hit the German border in little over an hour and with no speed restrictions and very little traffic I put the hammer down. I can now report that my Jaguar does more than 251km/h. That’s when I lifted because of traffic. It was still accelerating and that was the speed showing on the GPS! So in all likelihood my real speed was a little higher as during acceleration the GPS speed lags behind.

We did an average of about 1:6 over the total of 730 km back and forth. But then I filled up in Germany where petrol is still about 20% cheaper than in the Netherlands. On our morning run I managed to average well over 140 km/h during the first 90 minutes. Which if you take into account the amount of restricted speed stretches is still impressive! Lovely fast and comfortable cruising.

We use the latest TomTom GPS with Live Traffic information and all known mobile and stationery speed cameras. (We don’t really need it as we stick to all traffic rules and speed limits, obviously, but it is nice to be sure).

One coffee/toilet stop and that’s it. I love driving and I do prefer to be barreling along windy little country roads in my Spider, top down. However, I also do enjoy a few hours of high speed driving in my other cars. Very enjoyable and of course my son is good company and takes the wheel at times as well.

About the event: In typical German fashion the organisation is very professional, very good and very precise. (You will be told where to park you car down to the last centimeter!)

Plenty of food and drinks. As you will see on my photographs lots of coffee around. This being Germany there is plenty of the amber nectar around too, but I left those out as much as possible due to the TeamBHP rules regarding this sort of drinks. Never the less, this is very much part of this (any many other) German events.

There is three day of racing in all sort of classes. You will see anything from old Formula-1 to a MGB and anything in between. Some teams show up with multiple trucks full of cars, parts, mechanics. Others just rock up to the circuit in their classic car, put a little extra air in their tires and go for a blast around the circuit. In reality it is all very strictly controlled, you need a racing license, safety inspections, but yes you will see all sorts of cars from all sorts of era’s showing up.

The paddocks are open to the public, which I think is absolutely great. To be honest I don’t watch the racing too much. I just love roaming the paddocks. You might find yourself rubbing shoulders with the likes such as Nick Mason, Chris Rea and Rowan Atkinson. All Hard Core Classic Car owners and racers.

Most car clubs set up camp outside the circuit, but some of the very large and or very rich German clubs set up shop inside the circuit. Notable the Ferrari, Porsche, Alfa Romeo and Maserati owner clubs.

So here goes for an impression:

These beauties are parked in the paddocks that has direct access to the circuit pit lane in front of the main grandstand/ This is where the F-1 teams would set up shop during F-1 races. A lot of fiddling with engines/suspension and what not goes on. Just to ensure a few rounds on the circuit!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132086.jpg

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One of my favourite parts, the historic paddocks. These are permanently occupied by historic race cars. Have a look; for these races they bring in a few more.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132090.jpg

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Here is a typical scene of what goes on at these paddocks. An owner decides his/her car is not running perfectly. So, obviously you take of the supercharger off, fiddle with some spanners and bolt it all back on. What makes this event unique is that the audience is allowed to be right on top of this!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132097.jpg

Some old petrol pump items

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Tell me whether you agree or not; this is a work of art. I’m always absolutely fascinated by these old cars, their brakes, the suspension, the head lights, it just looks magnificent!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132100.jpg

An engine bay to die for:

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132103.jpg

Can you imagine yourself sitting in this cockpit? Protected by, at best, some goggles and gloves, powering through the curves of this very hilly and bendy circuit!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132105.jpg

Some more beauties:

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132106.jpg

This elderly couple arrived in their gorgeous Jaguar MK120! It looked absolutely immaculate!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132107.jpg

At the paddocks, endless rows of massive tents. This is what some of them look on the inside. For most owners, this is just a hobby, but as you can see, they take it quite serious in terms of the amount of kit they bring along!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132111.jpg

One of the British Classic Cars magazine recently featured an article on this car. I hadn’t given this car much thought. But when I was a young boy, several of the dads in our street had one. It’s a Renault 16. For it’s time a pretty good, quite comfortable family saloon that drove well. Very few are left as they rust badly. They never had a big number of followers, so there are just a few left. Amazingly, they are still very cheap. Finding one is a problem, but they don’t cost much, if the owner is willing to let go of course. In the front a Porsche.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132114.jpg

Now I know we have some Skoda enthousiast on the forum. So here goes, some pretty sporty and sexy looking classic Skoda’s.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132115.jpg

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132116.jpg

Visit any German event and you won’t go hungry and you won’t go thirsty. Most of what you can drink I can’t discuss here. But let me point out that Germany has the best “unmentionable” in the world. Very strictly controlled, with no chemical additives whatsoever.

These days, as with any European event, there will be food/drink trucks selling burgers and coffee. I must admit, Luc and I both had a BBQ pulled Beef Burger and it was absolutely amazing!. The coffee was pretty good too!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132117.jpg

I mentioned earlier some clubs have access to the paddock area. Others just park in front of the circuit and on the camping. But these clubs have been here for as long as I can remember. For some reason not shown on the sign, but they do the largest splash out by far, the Porsche owners club.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132119.jpg

So here are some of these oldtimer clubs

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132120.jpg

You would like to see a Ferrari? Name one, any type and you will find it here!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132121.jpg

Of course, I’m a bit of an old fart and I like my Ferrari’s classic:

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132122.jpg

Some don’t consider the Dino a real Ferrari. God knows why? Just because it had fewer cilinders then all the earlier Ferrari's?
I think the Dino is still one of the prettiest Ferrari’s ever!! I don’t fit into one, but that’s beside the point.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132124.jpg

Now about these Ferrari owners. Without wanting to revert to stereo-typing but it seems they do attract certain clientele. The Ferrari owners clubs sets up a huge tent with all amenities for its members. And we mean ALL amenities. We are talking not just the restaurant and the bar, but also Jacuzzi and Sauna. I hate to say this, the Ferrari cars are beautiful but the same can not always be said about their owners. Their women stomp around the paddock in high heels, are too blonde, too tan and wear to much gold jewellery. For some reason Ferrari male owners don’t know how to button up their shirts above their navel. Whether this is to show off their impressive stomach or huge gold chain remains unclear. No account for taste I know, but not so much my style.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132125.jpg

By now, you will have gathered, that although this is an oldtimer / classic car grand prix there is plenty of modern, state of the art, automotive hardware about as well!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132126.jpg

Here is some more old meets new. Take your pick what you prefer!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132127.jpg

This McClaren is pretty amazing. You can shoot it from any angle and it still looks extraordinary. Not necessarily pretty, but impressive it is without a doubt.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132128.jpg

My eldest son Luc inspecting an Alfa Romeo 8C. There were so many of those about I lost count.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132130.jpg

Last edited by ajmat : 16th August 2016 at 07:35. Reason: Corrected - its a Renault 16, not a 14
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Old 14th August 2016, 01:54   #2
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Still more to come!!

Here comes some of my all time favourites; Alfa Romeo Spider. This is a Spider Giulietta. These little cars are getting pretty rare these days. A good well restored one is likely to fetch over Euro 55.000,-- .

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132135.jpg

A line up of slightly more modern Alfa Spiders. The so called 105 serie. Started with the Duetto (1966), the Coda Tronca (also known as Serie 2), The Aerodynamica (Serie 3) and the Serie 4, known as ehh Serie 4. Last Serie 4 was made in 1993. All the 105 serie variants share many common components.

Of course, when you say Alfa Spider, you say The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman and more importantly, Anne Bancroft. You might also have picked up on some Simon and Garfunkel!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfa_R..._Graduate_film

My Alfa Romeo Spider is a 1986 Quadrifoglio. Most of what makes it a Quadrifoglio from the outside (stupid skirts and horrendous spoiler) I took off.

Several newer models of the Spider have emerged since the Serie 4. In 1995 the model 916 was introduced. Front wheel drive! Alfa Spiders have never been the same. From there it went from bad to worse, with more and more weight added and less grace.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132137.jpg

Ok, don’t even ask. I have no idea why the owner of this Alfa thought: Hey, I have this great idea, let’s put some matt red paint on it!!

Takes all kinds I guess.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132139.jpg

Another picture, another beauty

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132140.jpg

I’ll be honest. I’m not a huge Porsche fan. I admire them from a technology point of view, but the total package doesn’t do too much for me.

Also, I like them pure, so again the original 911, earlier models or I’m not interested.

I am very interested in this particular one though. This is the hardware provided to the Dutch Highway Patrol from 1962 to 1996. They roamed the Dutch motorways in the years before speed restrictions and they needed a car that could outrun anything. Enter the Porsche 911! They also drove it open year round! Every little Dutch boy wanted to be a Porsche Police driver at some point in time. It was the coolest job on the planet, no mistake!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132142.jpg

Again, my favourite Ferrari

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132143.jpg

I was just thinking; People make fun of Henry Ford who offered his A and T-Fords in any colour, as long as it was black. You can order your Ferrari in any colour, but 99.9999% of Ferrari owners go for red!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132144.jpg

As I said, I like my Porsches in the original 911 version. Luckily a few of them turned up!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132146.jpg

Here some more modern ones, compare and weep

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132149.jpg

Better yet! Pre - 911

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132150.jpg

And some more old school Porsches

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132151.jpg

As old school Porsches go, this one stands out!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132152.jpg

As always several auction houses are present at this Grand Prix and they often some stunning cars. Look at some of these details I captured:

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132159.jpg

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All sorts of entertainment during the day. A little band playing some music

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132168.jpg

Here some more modern stuff. I can’t quite remember but I think I counted 5 or 6 of these Koenigeggs. In terms of performance, a most impressive car. In terms of visuals, nice but not that special.

Looks slick, but that’s about itl. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in day to day traffic though. But here you can see several. Notice how everybody is allowed to mingle it out with the cars, no barriers. Spot the driver and chances are they will let you sit behind the wheel. Very informal, everybody out here is a petrol head.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132173.jpg

Back to the paddocks at the pit lane. These (F-1?) cars were being readied to race. These days most European circuits have to comply with all sorts of noise regulations. Not sure how it works for the Nurburgring, but no restrictions on noise today during the oldtimer races. These cars are unbelievable loud!

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132176.jpg

This is the famous Mercedes Grandstand. I think it was originally sponsored by Mercedes or so, or maybe still is? Anyway, from here you get a very good view on the starting line as well as the first few bends of the circuit.

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132178.jpg

We watched only a few races. One was advertised as “Slow and Sideways”. This is where these old cars are put through their paces sideways! This guy was particularly good at it. Had the tail out all the way all the time

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132193.jpg

Some more classics chasing one another

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132215.jpg

When walking back to our car we passed several of the car clubs parked along different parts of the circuit. Here the MG club

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132179.jpg

And the Triumph club

Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany-p8132180.jpg

All in all, Luc and me had a great time. A few things have changed since the last time we visited. With the appearance of some of these new buildings a whole bunch of market stalls seems to have disappeared. These used to be of great interest to us as they sold car parts. Alfa Romeo Parts to be precise. Never mind, there is still plenty to see and do.

The one thing we did not do, was to take our car onto the “old” Nurnburg ring, the Nordschleife.

http://www.nuerburgring.de/en/fans-i...dschleife.html

We once took our Spider out there, but in all honesty its not an experience I would like to repeat.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and the story!

Jeroen
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Old 14th August 2016, 09:46   #3
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Note from Mod = Moving live

Thanks for sharing, how I wish I could have been there!
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Old 14th August 2016, 14:09   #4
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Default re: Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany

Thanks for sharing the pictures and your experience.
My take on owning a classic car is that it's worth it only if you are ready to get your hands dirty. Otherwise you will be one of those with the open buttons & gold chains that everyone will be laughing at.
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Old 14th August 2016, 16:11   #5
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Default re: Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany

I wish wishes were horses. I will for one love to see F1 back on the old 'Ring' at least for once. That belongs to the days before the sissy Tilke 'Micky Mouse' jobs, and needed 'real men' to drive the full course (14+ miles).
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Old 15th August 2016, 17:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I will for one love to see F1 back on the old 'Ring' at least for once. That belongs to the days before the sissy Tilke 'Micky Mouse' jobs, and needed 'real men' to drive the full course (14+ miles).
Agree.
Mind you, seeing the old original ring up close makes one really appreciate how dangerous this used to be. This does not look like a racing circuit by any stretch of the imagination. It's difficult to image that you could, even in those days, race F-1 cars on this narrow and very bendy circuit.

If you ever find yourself near the Nurnburgring a visit is highly recommened. Even if you might not want to take your own car onto the circuit, you can go on one of the Ring-Taxi. Quite the experience.

Every year, a few people still die out here on the ring. One the astonishing things is that during the open hours, everybody can go on it, regardless of your car, your experience, oh and bikes go out as well.

As most guys are under the misprehention they drive better than the average F-1 driver it's a recipe for disaster. And disaster strikes several times a year, unfortunatley.

If you do take your own or rented car onto the ring, better make sure you are insured, Most insurances are void, when you take the car on to a track!!

Jeroen
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Old 16th August 2016, 01:55   #7
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To my earlier post about taking to the ring yourself:

Before you do, have a look at this!

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Old 16th August 2016, 10:55   #8
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Default Re: Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany

Helllo Jeroen,

It was a brilliant read. Good to know in detail about old timers and about Nurburgring. Personally I would love to drive around the old ring someday. I always make it a point to watch Ariel Atoms and Porsche's drive around the ring. Great fun.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post

We once took our Spider out there, but in all honesty its not an experience I would like to repeat.

Jeroen
WHY? Is it because it takes a toll on your car or is it because it's dangerous?

Cheers!
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Old 16th August 2016, 11:22   #9
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Originally Posted by voyageur View Post
wHY? Is it because it takes a toll on your car or is it because it's dangerous?

!

No toll on the car, but a big toll on my nerves. Being out there in an old Classic car with my young son at the time next to me. Being overtaken by lunatics doing more then double my speed was not an enjoyable experience.

Jeroen
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Old 16th August 2016, 19:21   #10
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Default Re: Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany

Wow Jeroen - thanks a ton!

This is like a feast for the eyes. Browsing through the pictures and reading your comments, I felt as if I was there.
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Old 17th August 2016, 07:27   #11
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Default Re: Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Germany

Wonderful posts and beautiful pics. I'd give a lot to experience one of these at first hand.
Probably would love to amble along in an old MG T5 or similar, along the track just for the experience!
Loved this whole series of experiences you've posted.
Thank you for sharing!
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