JĂĽchen, 2nd - 4th of August, 2013
On the first weekend in August the 8th edition of the annual
SchloĂź Dyck Classic Days were held in perfect sunshine with
temperatures above 30 degree Celsius. Sir Stirling Moss
(honoured guest of last year's event) described it best being a
German version of the both Goodwood events and although these
are big footsteps to walk in the Classic Days indeed share many
ideas with its British counterpart without copying them but
creating an own atmosphere.
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Just like at the Festival of Speed the centre of the activities is a
historic building with the moated castle Dyck in the park. This is
also the initial point of the whole event as it is held by a non-profit
association to raise money for the preservation of the 17th
century castle and the park resulting in a splendid renovation of
the main buildings over the last years.
Numerous activities including a Concours dÂ´Elegance,
demonstration laps on a nearby closed off triangle course, an
infield with classic picnic and fashion shows and a huge classic
car parking for the spectators again drew almost 30,000 visitors
during the weekend despite the high temperatures.
The Concours dÂ´Elegance â€śJewels in the Parkâ€ť is held in the
orangery and attracted again 45 selected cars in this Fiva
Category A event sorted into 12 classes. Starting with a nice
selection of small cars including a duo of Austin Seven Swallow
(CoupĂ© and Roadster) and a superb Amilcar CoupĂ© bodied by
Duval several pre-war classes featured cars from the know
marques of Bentley, Rolls Royce, Mercedes-Benz and Bugatti.
Being all in perfect condition it were the small stories and famous
owners that made some of them even more special like the
Lagonda LG45 in two-tone brown-beige once owned by Clark
Gable or the Auburn 851 Speedster from Marlene Dietrich brought
over to Dyck by the British National Motor Museum.
In class H â€śAmazing Concepts & Stylesâ€ť three ground breaking
examples could be seen with the VW38 Prototype by Reuter built
by Ferdinand Porsche in 1938 for the regime of the days
becoming famous after the war as the Beetle and the Peugeot
402 Eclipse that featured a completely disappearing hard top
ages before this concept came back into the contemporary
convertibles. But most admired (as less known) was the
aerodynamic Volkhart Sagitta V2 that was last seen at the Villa
dÂ´Este in 2012.
Post-war sports cars included four Ferrari, a 225 S Berlinetta
Vignale (0170ET), a 250 GT Series I Cabriolet (0735GT), a 259
GT Lusso and a 275 GTB. They were joined by a nice Fiat 8V and
one of the rare alloy 300 SL Gullwings.
Best of Show went to a Talbot Lago T120 with factory coachwork
that was already shown in Pebble Beach two years ago showing
the quality of cars the concours attracts.
In addition to the concours classes a special display was set up
for the coachwork of Erdmann&Rossi celebration the 125th
anniversary of the Berlin coachbuilder. Before the war
Erdmann&Rossi built some extraordinary designs mostly on the
German chassis of Mercedes-Benz, Audi or Horch but also a few
on Rolls-Royce, quit remarkable in the times of tension between
the Germany and Great Britain during this era. Erdmann&Rossi
was also responsible for the creation of a unique coupĂ© for one of
the best racing drivers of the mid 1930s, Bernd Rosemeyer. Being
works driver for the Auto Union Rosemeyer commissioned a one-
off Horch 853 with streamlined coupĂ© body nicknamed â€śManuelaâ€ť,
two reconstructions were displayed in Dyck. One of them was
driven that day by Rosemeyerâ€™s son Prof. Bernd Rosemeyer who
also introduced a new edition of his fatherâ€™s biography written by
his wife Elly Beinhorn, a famous pilot of the 1930s.
Leaving the orangery to the inner yard of the castle and the
stables one could see the paddocks for the older cars including a
superb line-up of about 20 grand prix Bugatti celebration 80 years
of the victory of Achille Varzi in Monaco with the Bugatti T54. This
car was for sale earlier this year in Paris at the Bonhams auction
but as it remained unsold the owner who is active in historic
racing, brought the car to SchloĂź Dyck to lead the special Bugatti
run on the circuit followed by numerous T37, T35 and T51.
But Bugatti was not the only special marque run as both the
Benjafield Racing Drivers Club and the Mercedes-Benz
Kompressor club are regular guests in Dyck revitalizing the old
rivalry of the Bentley boys and the supercharged straight six
Mercedes-Benz that dominated the long distance racing in the
late 1920s. Especially the five â€śwhite elephantsâ€ť were a big show
blasting down the main straight with their singing superchargers
engaged, a sound that could be heard even on the other side of
They were joined by two track record cars, the Pacey Hassan
Special Bentley driven in Brooklands and the famous Fiat
Mefistofele with a total displacement of 27.1 litres. Back in 1924
this red monster with 320 bhp was driven to a world record of
almost 235 Km/h and although comparable slow this weekend in
August it was still impressive to see and listen.
Two further stars of the weekend were the Gull livered Porsche
917K that featured in the Steve McQueen movie â€śLe Mansâ€ť and
one of the rivals of these days, the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Le
Mans. Alfa Romeo was always a supporter of the SchloĂź Dyck
Classic Days as is the sponsor Mercedes-Benz who celebrated
the race history of the S-Klasse. Although this is not a typical
race car the big Mercedes brought the motorsport company AMG
on the screen with the 300 SEL 6.8 (â€śrote Sauâ€ť) that won its class
during the 24 hours of Spa in 1971. It was joined in a special run
by the 300 SE in rally trim and a 220 in Mille Miglia livery.
Mercedes-Benz was also again responsible for the guest of
honour as John Surtees followed Sir Stirling Moss as international
top star of the Classic Days. The charming British motorbike and
Formula 1 champion was signing autographs together with Hans
Herrmann and Jochen Mass in the Mercedes-Benz tent in
addition to some laps on honour in a 300 SL roadster.
But not just the official program is part of the fun in SchloĂź Dyck
as just like in Goodwood some of the spectators add to the
atmosphere of the event with period dresses and lifestyle. In the
picnic area the visitors were hiding in the shadow under the trees
of the park to enjoy the days with likeminded, in the historic
camping area several period campers could be seen ranging from
small caravans from the 1950s to flower power VW Bull from the
A small display of commercial vehicles or â€ślovely heroesâ€ť, the
cars of the time of the German economic miracle in the 1950s
were some of crowdsâ€™ favourites. In addition thousands of cars
brought by the spectators were lined up in the miscanthus field so
there was plenty to see during this weekend.
Although the SchloĂź Dyck Classic Days share another trademark
with the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the alley with the
chequered flags around the trees it would not be fair to reduce the
Classic Days to a smaller edition of the big British show and
hopefully none of the participating organizers, sponsors or
exhibitors will ever try to compete with it but keep its own charm
that makes this to one of the best classic car events in Germany
during the summer months.
Certainly the 9th edition in 2014 will again feature some special
attractions and most of the spectators will be back again for a
great weekend in the lovely setting of SchloĂź Dyck.
Report & Images ... Peter Singhof