Düsseldorf, 5th - 7th of August, 2022
So, this year it finally happened, the Classic Days moved to the Green Park in Düsseldorf as an agreement
could not be found between the two parties. We went up to Düsseldorf on Friday with suspense as we did not
know what to expect. First the parking of the trade fair center in Düsseldorf did not sound to appealing but to
every-bodies surprise the location was far better than expected. First of all, the parking did not really look like
a parking as it is mainly grass and there are a lot of tries making this optical less wide than it actually is.
Plenty of room did not only allow the single exhibition themes to be well presented but also to solve the
lasting parking problem the old venue always had. Located at the Arena and the exhibition center the park
also had the advantage to be reachable by public transport and this was certainly well used by the public. To
be near to the city most likely attracted a lot of people who might not have taken the journey to Dyck in the
We mentioned the Concours earlier. Part of the Classic Days was always a concours in the Orangery, a
place just made for this sort of events. Unfortunately, the Concours lost a lot of its appearance at the new
venue as the cars were simply parked in the middle of the others without a real separation to show that they
are an own program part. At the end the concours did not really happen as there was no jury and no prices
given for the cars. This might have been a lost opportunity as those owners might not be back in the future so
unfortunately it is likely that the concours might not be part of the event any more over the next years.
Friday was the opening day when the participants of the different classes arrived. As in the past the key
activities were the racing legends with different classes of cars and bikes on the round course ranging from
vintage race and sports cars, bike and 1950 racers to the special runs from the Autostadt of VW or the
Mercedes run as those again were the sponsoring car manufacturers of the event. Highlights on the track
were the reconstruction of the Avus winning Mercedes-Benz SSK driven originally by von Brauchitsch, the
huge Isotta Fraschini that already graced the vintage races at Goodwood, the Porsche 917 formerly built by
David Piper largely from original parts as well as a Ferrari 512 BBLM. This car was just sold from the Guikas
collection and is a proper Le Mans veteran with proven race history. Furthermore, the Benjafield Racing Club
again made his way down from the UK in the numerous Cricklewood Bentleys.
On the static side there are always the cars from the German Wirtschaftswunder from the 1950s that
attract a lot of people as people have a strong connection and memories of these cars, much more than to
a lot of the exotics seen elsewhere. The Charme&Style area once again showcased people that added to
the appearance of their car by being dressed up and setting up lovely pick-nick tables matching the period
of their vehicle. Apart from the Concours they might have suffered the most from the location change as
they were usually in a lovely spot in the back of the park.
But there were plenty of other highlights to be seen and to be enjoyed by the families and fans. First there is
always the Stars&Stripes area for American cars. One has to say that most of the time the American car
owners are on their own when organizing events, rarely do they mix with the British, German or Italian car
community as their approach to the car is a little bit different. Normally it is not only the Ford or Chevy that
attracts them but more the entire life style of petticoat and Rock’n roll. Unfortunately, Germany is very strict
concerning the Gema fees for music and with this number of spectators the fees are getting unreasonable
making it almost impossible to play music on the festival unless one finds a band playing own songs without
the fees. Many Rock’n roll bands are cover bands though and so the park remained quiet apart from the
frequent planes starting from the nearby airport bringing people into holiday.
Another feature was the meeting of the DeLorean. These stainless-steel bodied cars became very popular by
the movie series “Back to the Future” and after having seen one of the movie cars a few years ago in Dyck
this time numerous of the “normal” versions very on display, although some of them certainly had a reference
to the movies.
Festivals are not only about cars but also about the people and the atmosphere. There are always known
drivers at the Classic Days and both Jochen Mass and Derek Bell can be certainly called friends of the
event as they visited several time in the past.
So, what would be the conclusion of the Classic Days and the new venue. The Green Park both has
restrictions and also provides new opportunities. With the castle as a background the Classic Days always
had a little bit of a noble character but probably the new venue seems to be a little bit closer to the people.
The driving round course is easier to access and despite having more space the paths are shorter. The
venue seems to be more family friendly and so I think this will be the character for the future. We certainly
hope that it will be also a success on the financial side as it would be a shame if we lose one of the last
German classic car events that attracts people even from further away.