Drove 300 km to experience the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix at Nurburgring

I saw a 1954 Mercedes Gullwing 300 SL. I think it was the most expensive car on display & was up for sale for mere 1.6 million Euros!

BHPian Jeroen recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Last weekend saw the 49th edition of the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in Germany.

Following text is from their website:

The AvD-Oldtimer-Grand-Prix is the most traditional racing festival of historic motorsport in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Hundreds of historic racing cars line up in numerous starting fields at the Nürburgring. Pre-war sports cars can be seen as well as formula cars from different eras.

The international races of the Masters Racing Legends with the fastest single-seaters in Formula 1 such as March, Tyrrell, Lotus or Brabham and Hesketh are particularly popular.

The HGPCA Formula I runs up to 1965, which includes classics like Fangio’s Maserati 250 F, the Ferrari Dino and whole packs of Coopers, Brabham, Lola and Lotus, as well as the extremely fast HSCC Formula II and the popular Formula Junior of the ‘Lurani Trophy” there will be 4 runs with fast monoposti every day.

There are also the Masters Sports Car Legends, whose classes are named after winners such as Bonnier, Hulme, Rodriguez, Stommelen or Siffert and contest an exciting 1-hour race.

The Gentlemen Drivers, which are open to drivers of the most important sports cars, offer an exciting GT field with Porsche, Jaguar, TVR or Cobra, as well as a race of the classic touring cars of the Gentle Drivers Trophy.

With the Aston Martin Masters Endurance Legends, other long-distance protagonists from the past that were built after 2000 and which also include the LMP2, various prototype classes and the GT1 and GT2 will be presented to the public, because as in previous years it is mid-August a big accent on the sports car and GT.

Here the alphabet of racing history ranges from the early Alfa, Maserati, Porsche 365 and the fast Lotus to the Ferrari F40 and mid-engine cars from the FCD Ferrari Racing Series and the Group C Classics with the spectacular Group C cars. But not only these ensure action. More than two dozen races in 15 racing classes and demo runs are on the program.

A special highlight is again the run for racing sports cars and GT up to 1965 with the popular evening race on Saturday, August 13, 2022.

Particularly worth mentioning are the DTM Classic Cup and the runs for vehicles from the former DRM, German Racing Championship, as the forerunner of the later DTM. Here the glory days of the “Golden Era” – the late 1980s to the early 1990s – come to life again.

The fact that the Oldtimer Grand Prix is a real racing event is also shown by the four series of the FHR, which compete for important championship points – these include:

  • The Dunlop Gentlemen Drivers ’65
  • The HTGT series for the Dunlop Trophy with the historic touring cars
  • The Dunlop Historic Endurance Cup and
  • The CanAm & Sportscars with the strongest and fastest prototypes of the race weekend.

In all runs, things really get down to business on the track – almost like when the racers and their drivers were at their best. Only the Vintage and Sportscar Trophy, with the involvement of the traditional ASC and taking into account the technology of the pre-war cars, drives again according to a regularity mode, which nevertheless allows for exciting comparisons, because most drivers are on the limit with particularly precise lap times.

The way to the paddock is also worthwhile – if the current Corona development allows it – because there is one attraction after another and motorsport to touch. In the old paddock are the boxes for the pre-war cars, in the new paddock the series and many tents with classics and accessories. Special exhibitions and many other highlights are waiting to be discovered. In addition, numerous prominent guests and former race winners can also be met for an autograph at the classic car GP.

Whether you came to hunt for autographs, to take a photo safari or just to enjoy the most beautiful racing cars from the last decades – fans of all ages will find what they are looking for here. Young visitors in particular are particularly welcome. Admission is free for children and young people up to the age of 17 when accompanied by an adult.

For all those who cannot come to the Eifel in person, the highlight of the classics will be made available professionally as a live stream on the Internet.

I have been going to this fantastic event since the mid-90s. In those days the Dutch Alfa Romeo Spider Register used to have it on its official touring agenda. We would gather at the home of one of our members in the south of the Netherlands early Friday morning. He and his wife would serve us coffee and traditional “Limburgse blaak” a sort of local cake. Then we would set off and drive across Limburg into the Eiffel area. A very nice drive, usually some 12-15 Spiders. We would camp at the Nurburgring campsite for two nights. Great fun. My son Luc would come along with me, he was about 10-12 years old at the time. Nice memories.

This event is still going strong, although it, as all events, was impacted by Corona.

It's about a 300-kilometre drive from where we live currently. I decided to leave on Friday afternoon. Took the Jaguar and drove southeast. Mostly along motorways for the first two hours. The last hour is a gorgeous drive across the Eiffel, nice winding roads. I had booked a small hotel room in Dahlem, a tiny village about 40 minute drive from the ring. You can’t find a room any nearer to the ring, it is all fully booked months in advance. I had a little stroll and went for a very nice German dinner afterwards.

The next day, Saturday, I had breakfast at 08.00 am and by 09.00 am parked at the ring. Always very well organised, huge parking lots in all the nearby fields.

I must admit I am not all that much into racing as such. But this event is not just about the racing. A ticket will give you entrance to nearly all the grandstands along the circuit, but also to the paddocks. And as far as I am concerned that is the most interesting part. You can roam around freely, talk to the drivers, mechanics.

In my teenage years, I was a bit more interested in (F1) racing than currently. I noticed this car, known as the JPS, John Player Special. It was raced by legend Nigel Manssell.

Apart from oldtimer racing, you will find just about anything related to classic and oldtimer cars on the paddocks. From club stands to classic car restorers, a market stall selling carmobilia, food etc.

Ferrari is always out in force here. I do like most Ferraris but I must admit the Dino always stands out for me. Absolutely stunning little car!

Mind you, this ain’t bad either!

Whilst one race is ongoing, they will be preparing for the next race. At the far end of the paddocks, they have a sort of staging area. Cars will be lined up prior to going onto the circuit. It is one of the busiest places here, cars coming and going. Mechanics doing some last minute preparation / adjustment. I can watch it all for hours.

All very relaxed and pleasant. So much to see!

Brabus Classic has a large presence here as well. Those of you who have followed my posts over the years know I am particularly fond of the Mercedes Pagoda.

This is a 1969, 280 version. I love the dark blue body! This one has matching chassis/engine numbers in accordance with the original MB data card. It comes with a 2-year full warranty. It has been painstakingly restored. Everything has been taken apart, fully restored or replaced by new original MB parts. It does come at a price though. It costs a whopping Euro 329.000,-- That is the price of a decent home!

Brabus does quite a bit in classic cars these days. I visited one of their dealerships in Dusseldorf last year. Got to learn a lot about them. Very impressive what they do.

You can find just about anything (classic) car related at this event. How about some special “oldtimer” socks for instance?

You will also be able to find and admire some pretty special cars. How about a Jaguar XJ220?

Or, still one of my favourites, the Ford GT40. This is of course the modern version of that legendary car. Jeremy Clarkson owned one. It features in one of their European road trips.

And now for something quite special. As far as I could tell the most expensive car on display and for sale for a mere 1.6 million Euro! 1954 Mercedes Gullwing 300 SL.

I was too late for this Porsche 356, already reserved, about 700K Euro.

On the whole, I am not that interested in BMWs, be it new ones, or even classic ones. Even so, this was a magnificent one, absolutely perfect.

Back to some of the racing. Endless of these tents where teams prepare their cars. I am always amazed at how much work these cars need on the circuit prior to or after the race.

There are at least a dozen or so grandstands to which a general ticket will give you access, all along the circuit. This is always a popular spot, with a good view of the chicane.

Now here is something I had never ever seen or heard of before. How about a watch, with a face made out of a piece of Nurburgring asphalt?

I had a little chat with the guy. It is a limited edition, 5000 pieces. Cost Euro 5500 each!

At the rear is an image with the circuit layout. If you look very closely you will see a red dot. That is the position where the asphalt came from!

At the far end of the circuit, there is an area known as "Historisches Fahrerlager” which means as much as historic pits. It is one of my favourite areas on the circuit. They have a permanent collection of some of the most epic historical racing cars. The owners rent a garage box and keep their cars in it.

They don't make racing cars like these anymore.

Continue reading Jeroen's experience of this event for BHPian comments, insights and more information.

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