After weeks of escalating biological, medical and economic crises and the cancellation of many mass events, especially those of a sporting nature – I now have nothing to watch on TV (OK, slight exaggeration, but not by much) – it seems the classic car world is following the rest of the planet into complete lock-down, as the opening Spring events and meetings start to be postponed or cancelled.
Somewhat surprisingly, Retro Classics in Stuttgart went ahead in the last week of February, but the almost legendary Techno Classica just up the road in Essen has now been postponed until the end of June and might not take place even then. On UK shores, the Practical Classics and Restoration Show at the NEC scheduled for this week has been postponed too, and Goodwood has made a similar announcement regarding the Member’s Meeting, with new dates to be confirmed; the latter is a particular disappointment for me as I’ve been looking forward to going to it – for the first time – for months. Bicester Heritage has postponed their April 26th Sunday Scramble to June 21st. There seem to be no exceptions here with everything from the smallest local classic car shows in a field somewhere to those big iconic exhibitions and historic motorsport events suffering under the pandemic, and I’m sure most of us are probably already beginning to suffer from withdrawal symptoms – I know I am.
However, needs must and there seems to be no denying that our world and way of life is currently under (hopefully temporary) threat, and though a part of me wants to believe all these limitations on movement and gatherings are an over-reaction, if people obey these new rules and these restrictions do what they’re supposed to do, well, then they’re obviously worthwhile. Indeed, things seem to be changing on a daily basis – it’s entirely possible that by the time you read this, it’s already out-dated.
So what can we classic car enthusiasts do in the meantime as our shows and gatherings get shut down for the greater good?
Well, if you’re stuck indoors, one thing ViaRETRO readers can do is go through our archive and remind themselves of what normal used to be like – we’re sure you’ll find items of interest to either revisit or discover for the first time.
For those of us still able to get out of the house, another thing we can do is drive our classics – before that gets banned, too – and make the most of the early Spring weather and less congested roads. Let us know about any roadtrips or run outs you’ve made in your classic, or indeed any special journey, perhaps somewhere particularly scenic or noteworthy in some way.
I thought I’d kick things off with a few photos of a little run out I made on Sunday, which was blessed with glorious sunshine here in South-East England. I went for a self-isolating drive on almost empty roads and around the semi-deserted streets of the nearby old towns of Beaconsfield and Amersham and it was a great pleasure to run into a couple of fellow classic car isolationists while out and about!
In the meantime, the ViaRETRO team will continue to endeavour to post interesting, thought-provoking, nostalgic, informative and hopefully always entertaining articles for you to read over your coffee, tea or other beverage of choice.
ADDENDUM : Since writing the above, restrictions in the UK have been strengthened further and as of today, gatherings of more than two people are banned and we are only allowed to leave our homes to make essential journeys – so here at least, the only way to drive our classics is to do the supermarket shopping in them. What a situation we find ourselves in…to all our readers, whatever you do, whether you drive your classic or mothball it, stay safe and stay well.