European Desk

European Desk 99

Wednesday, 20 October 2010 23:16

Vintage Moments With a Splash of Chianti

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Back in 2009, the proposed Alfa Romeo Centenary celebrations in Milan the following year sounded like something to aim for. One of the doubts in quite a few of our older car owner’s minds was the trek, either in the car or by trailer down to Milan and back. I did not mind driving back but did want to arrive with us and the car in decent fettle. A few enquiries pointed me in the direction of the Holland to Italy night sleeper car train which leaves St. Hertogenbosch for Alessandra (Close to Milan) with a very good restaurant car on board.  There would never be too many people wanting this option but that suited me, I did not want to be overrun.  I wanted to enjoy the event as much as anyone else.  As the event drew closer it became apparent that Alfa themselves did not intend putting much at all into the whole affair, however, quite a few like ourselves took the view that we would just enjoy the trip come what may.  I know full well that the days of being treated like royalty when visiting Italy with vintage Alfas is long past and are highly unlikely to return.  So, make the best of what is I say. 
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 09:06

38th Oldtimer Grand Prix

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The AutomobilClub of Germany (AvD) proved again that the combination of historic cars and the Nürburgring is highly valued by many car enthusiasts. More than 50,000 visitors drove to the Eifel area to enjoy a multifaceted professional program.  Apart from being a real race event with more than 600 racing drivers (from over 20 nations) it’s also the meeting point for classic car fans from Germany and surrounding countries. Several car clubs organise their international meetings during this event enjoying their own car park in the surrounding area of the circuit while the Ferrari and Porsche Club have the privilege of a car park in the centre of the circuit. During the weekend 10 races and a regularity run are held on the Grand Prix circuit while a long distance race takes place on the legendary Nordschleife. Like the previous years the fickle climate in the Eifel area caused problems. Friday was cloudy but nice, during Saturday the sun was shining all day but what a contrast it was on Sunday. Low clouds and heavy rain ruined a day of wonderful motorsport. The first race started at 10.00 am instead of 8.30 am. and further racing had to be cancelled.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009 05:16

Spa Six Hours 2009

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 Just a few days before the Spa Six Hours would take place, there was uncertainty if this event could be held. What was the cause of all this commotion ?  The problem stems back to a permit, which was issued to and received by the circuit in 2007 in relation to the new F1 Pits buildings. Soon afterwards, a Belgian noise pollution organisation called the Mute Association served legal papers at the Justice Department forcing the circuit to agree to rules governing noise levels.  But on Tuesday this week, after 2 years and coming completely out of the blue, the Justice department suddenly announced that they'd decided to uphold the legal papers from 2007, and so on Wednesday the circuit was forced to close their gates. In what must have been a frantic negotiation on Thursday morning between the circuit-management, the Justice department and local government officials, the permit was re-issued enabling activities at the circuit to continue for this year starting with the open practice on Thursday of the Six Hour event this weekend.