Schloss Dyck Classic Days ... establish itself as the biggest classic car meeting in Continental Europe


 

Jüchen, 5th - 7th of August, 2016

Ten years ago the picturesque water castle of Schloss Dyck served as a superb background for the Classic Days for the first time. Over the next decade the event, traditionally held on the first weekend of August, could establish itself as the biggest classic car meeting on the European mainland. In unique atmosphere an international FIVA-A Concours, the demonstration runs on a closed off round course plus many smaller themed displays attract classic car fans from near and far, 2016 again more than 40,000 visitors with about 7,500 classic cars made the nearby fields the biggest outdoor exhibition.

Entering the event area one could see vendor booths, picnic places along the alleys, the COYS auction tent and the paddocks of the different categories ranging from motorcycles and single seaters in the “new paddock” to Edwardians in the inner yards of the castle. With the help of the classic days the castle is undergoing a refurbishment over all those years and the progress is very interesting to see. With the main building in old glance the stables will become a hotel and restaurant in near future.

Friday is the opening day and although there are no cars on the track a lot of visitors take the chance to see the cars arriving without the crowd of the following days. Every car that is checking in is introduced by the commentators so the places around the check in are very soon taken. One of the highlights is every year the arrival of the members of the Benjafield Racing Drivers Club with their big Cricklewood Bentleys parking next to their opponents of the era, the supercharged straight-six Mercedes-Benz. In memory of long time Bentley boy and dealer Stanley Mann the old “Mother Gun” led the entry list and the fast parade laps on the following days.

Entering the new paddock some of this year’s special themes and works demonstrations could be seen. Just to the right the futuristic GM Futurliner could be seen next to the impressive Fiat-Isotta Fraschini that made its race debut earlier this year in Goodwood during the Members Meeting. Once powered by two Fiat engines it was soon equipped with a massive Isotta Fraschini aero-engine with 16.5 litre displacement. Presumable the longest steering shaft out there and the most backward driving position make this car more than a hand full to drive and the owner assured that despite the massive engine the front axle gets very light at higher speed.

Only two third of its engine capacity was seen just across at the Mercedes-Benz booth with the 1906 Mercedes GP that was driven throughout the weekend by Roland Asch who was brought alongside Jutta Benz (driving the Motorenwagen like her great grandmother Berta), Touring car Champion Klaus Ludwig alongside Ellen Lohr (the only woman winning a DTM race) and Le Mans legend Jochen Mass who piloted a Mercedes-Benz 630 K.

But Mercedes was not the only factory bringing their gems and former drivers to Dyck, the VW Autostadt and Audi Tradition had a few more highlights including a reunion of Walter Röhrl, Christian Geistdörfer and their Audi Quattro S1. Röhrl certainly was one of the stars of the weekend and being tall he was easy to recognize in between the crowd of autograph hunters surrounding him, Röhrl is still considered one of the best rally drivers ever. But Röhrl did not only drive the Audi but was also part of the 72Stagpower display of Jägermeister-livered cars. Led by Hans-Joachim “Strietzel” Stuck in the March single seater the famous orange livery could be seen on the Porsche RSR and 935 as well as on the BMW 3.0 CLS and 320 or the Ford Capri. International star guests this year were 5-times Le Mans winner Derek Bell alongside John Fitzpatrick. To complete the Le Mans theme Frank Biela was present to drive the Audi R8 that formed the long successful history of Audi in Le Mans making them the second most successful marque in the history of the 24 hours race behind Porsche. 

In the first years of the Classic Days undoubtedly the concours on the isle behind the Orangerie was one of the highlights of the classic days attracting variety of cars from different eras on the show field. Since last year the former concours was parted of the Classic Days into an own event, the Masterpieces & Style, but a smaller concours was reintroduced after last year’s marque displays. Maybe not the most important of its kind it still had some nice cars to admire ranging from elegant Rolls Royce to very sportive Lancia Stratos. 

When talking about the Classic Days the name Goodwood is mentioned quit often but over the years the Classic Days have found their own style and part of it success is the down-to-earth concept that features many of the well-known German small cars in the section “Lovely Heroes” or the colorful commercial vehicles of the German Economic Miracle of the 1950s who are much more popular for many visitors than Italian exotics. This could be also seen on the concours field where the public choice award was presented to a lovely Borgward Isabella Convertible rather than to a Ferrari or Delahaye.

A big theme is also the American car meeting in the Stars and Striped area. With a center display of hot rods on a symbolized salt lake and an original diner the main stage offered Rock´n Roll music and dance program. Now for the first year on a more prominent place at the entrance of the car field rather than in the back of the garden this was very well visited and certainly attracted a lot of visitors. 

Looking over the entire exhibition area that was enlarged again this year one could see that also the Germans can throw a garden party. The Classic Days get more and more recognition in the surrounding countries and one could hear different languages more often than in the past. The Classic Days made it through their first decade and today they are well established for the next to come. We are looking forward to future editions and leave you with a rather extensive picture gallery either to get some appetite to visit yourself in near future or to relive some memories from this year.

 

Report & images ... Peter Singhof
www.ClassicCarPhotography.de