In recent years, the Classic Days event at Schloss Dyck, not far from Düsseldorf (this year being held on 5-7 August), has come to be regarded as the “continental” version of the Goodwood Revival: everyone wears period clothes, and all the cars entered in the event are classics. The formula is very simple, but complete: the participating cars are lined up ready to be judged inside the castle grounds, while the areas outside are given over to the the clubs and special sections; moreover, the racing cars, often together with the sports cars and any other entrant that gets into the spirit of the event, will often do laps of the almost 3 km of road surrounding the castle. The setting is completed by the fact that fields around the castle become, for the duration of the event, a car park for classic cars, and by classic cars we mean anything built before 1985.
The Classic Days 2016 program
While the formula remains the same as that of each of the past 11 years, the guests and topics will, as always, be different. The main attractions this year will be, among others, tributes to Jägermeister cars and to Walter Röhrl, and the 70th anniversary celebration of the Vespa. Other hot topics will be the Mercedes-Benz Kompressor car, the racing Isotta Fraschini, and the Alfa Romeo 33 Le Mans. Audi Sport and Audi Tradition will share a special moment, with the R8 Le Mans and the pre-war C-Type due to do an honorary lap together.
One of the most popular, most enjoyable and most delicious traditions of the Classic Days event is the picnic. The idea of having lunch on the fields dates back to the very first Classic Days meeting and is, as always, promoted through a special trophy, awarded for the most charming “picnic table”. In previous years, a dedicated area has always been set aside, where lunching on the grass was “warmly invited”, but this year visitors will also be able to enjoy Cherry Lane – a new location, with a great view of the “track”, entirely devoted to the art of eating outdoors. To get an idea of the appeal of this particular location we need only say that all the available spots there had been snapped up within six hours of starting the bookings.
For many, Jägermeister is just a spirit, but for car lovers the name is also synonymous with orange cars flying to victory in the German and European championships. BMW, Porsche and Ford cars, as well as single seaters, have all been sponsored by this herb liquor manufacturer, proudly sporting its distinctive orange and black colors. A symbol of motor racing since 1972, the Jägermeister team, which has numbered around 150 drivers in total over the years, has included names such as Niki Lauda, Jochen Mass, Stefan Bellof, Graham Hill, Rolf Stommelen, and many others besides. This year, the “orange” team will be represented by the following models: Porsche 935, Kremer K3 Porsche 962 C, Porsche 934 Turbo, Porsche 956, BMW M3, BMW 635 CSI, and Ford Capri Turbo, not to mention single seater Formula 1 and Formula 2.
Walter Röhrl – The King
“Der König” is the nickname of rally legend Walter Röhrl. For years he has been regarded as the rally driver par excellence – the one against whom everyone else is set in comparison. He is the best ever interpreter of the Audi Quattro Group B, a car that, in its evolution version, was capable of generating 650 HP, but he recorded his biggest successes with Lancia, in a 037, and with Fiat, in a 131 Abarth. After winning two world championships (in 1980 and 1982), and four Monte Carlo rallies (in a Fiat 131 Rally in 1980, in an Opel Ascona 400 in 1982, in a Lancia Rally 037 in 1983, and in an Audi Quattro in 1984), he retired from rallying, but not from driving, going on to win the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb and the IMSA championship in the USA. Walter Röhrl will be present in person as the special guest of this year’s Classic Days, and, together with his historical co-driver Christian Geisdörfer, will share memories and also, many hope, do few laps in his old cars.
Pictures: F Becker, Courtesy of Classic Days