As is so often the case, the full scale of an event only becomes clear to us once it’s all over, and we allow ourselves to take a few steps back as to see the greater picture. Only then can we fully perceive the gravity and all the emotions of what actually happened. That is certainly the case with regard to our Swedish roadtrip!
I have spent the last week and a half o/d’ing on an intense classic car experience. I have enjoyed ever moment immensely, but only now that I am sitting in the back of an aircraft on my way home to Hong Kong again, can I fully comprehend the sensory overload that this journey has been. As day 6 ended I called it “Motoring Nirvana” and I stand by that, though I do realize this can of course take many forms. Thrashing a Jaguar C-type around Goodwood, cruising down the coast of California in an early 50’s Buick Roadmaster Convertible, or a bit of spirited driving up the Stelvio Pass in a Lancia Fulvia are all things I have yet to experience, but – for me at least – more than 2000km of backroads through Sweden with a good mate by my side in a 47 year old dream-BMW is right up there with the best of them. It’s one of those experiences that will never come to its full right through just mere words. One must be there in person – connecting with the car and road.
And for me the experience didn’t even stop when Paul jumped ship in Copenhagen. Another four days were spent with family on Sealand, while continuing the motoring theme. Thursday, the day after I dropped Paul off at the airport, I took the ’66 up to the weekly “Youngtimer Meet” at Roskilde Harbour to meet an old car-buddy of mine. The fabulous weather we had in Sweden continued in Denmark, and as a result the turn-out of classics was astonishing, with great variety from a well-worn Toyota Crown panelvan over heaps of 60’s Yank muscle cars to a meticulously restored pre-war Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
On Saturday morning the ’66 and I headed back into Copenhagen for “Cars ‘N Coffee” at the famous historic Arne Jacobsen petrol station by the seaside in Skodsborg. This event is organized by ViaRETRO, so it seemed that most people at this great informal meet already knew about the purchase of the ’66 and our epic roadtrip that followed. As a result AMY received a lovely and very warm welcoming with loads of interest and approval.
The very next day it was the 25th anniversary of Gavnoe Autojumble & Concours de Charme. I used to be a regular at Gavnoe, but living overseas meant I’d missed out on the last two years. It felt good making my comeback to the beautiful settings of Gavnoes palace gardens, which were packed with more than 1000 classic vehicles this year! As always at Gavnoe, the atmosphere was very relaxed and I just enjoyed wandering through the gardens admiring the many beautiful classics, while meeting loads of old friends and making a couple of new ones too, as people recognised AMY from my ViaRETRO reports and came over for a chat.
Time had come to cover those last 300km to Herning in Jutland, so the ’66 could join my other two classics in “AutoGalleriet”. Funny how 300km suddenly felt like just a small uneventful sprint. But in contrast, arriving at “AutoGalleriet” was quite the event, as some of the other members there had formed a welcoming committee, that were cheering us on, as AMY and I entered the parking lot. It was a fantastic way for the whole trip to end, and a joy to see that the stories from our roadtrip had clearly reached other classic car enthusiasts and inspired them! That’s after all what this is all about.
It’s not just owning a classic car – it’s using it! Once having found and bought that dream classic, it’s time to bond with it. Very much like a relationship with a woman – or any human being really. You need to nurture it and show interest to keep the relationship strong. If you don’t, that dream classic will unfortunately end up just sitting under its cover in the garage, with boxes full of the kids old toys mounted on top of the bonnet. Not a very dignifying life for a beautiful classic car, and also not a lot of fun for the owner. Especially those initial moments of bonding with a newly purchased classic can sometimes take quite a while though – maybe even years. AMY and I had that sorted in a mere ten days! By the time the ’66 was parked up next to my other 02’s in “AutoGalleriet” I had added more than 900km more since dropping off Paul, bringing the total to just a few clicks off 3000km in only 10 days. With a start like that, AMY and I have already got each other figured out. We’ve bonded and feelings have already developed. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of great drives together in the years to come…