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A Conversation with a Classic Car Racer
A Conversation with a Classic Car Racer
If you were a member of aristocracy, what passions would you pursue? Perhaps it may come as a surprise that Nicola, Countess of Dönhoff, is passionate about racing. She came across motor racing when she was a small child. Since then many things have changed, but the German aristocrat’s passion for racing classic cars is stronger than ever. We’ve been connecting with people pursuing their passion and we spoke with Nicola to discuss all things racing.

A Conversation with a Classic Car Racer

A Family Affair

In 1973, Nicola’s father started a racing event at the famous Nürburgring, with just 12 people in attendance. Now, in 2017, and many editions later, the Oldtimer-Grand-Prix has become a yearly event with over 500 race cars and over 50,000 visitors coming from across the world to experience one of the most important classic car racing events in Europe.Although Nicola’s passion for racing stemmed from her father, the classic car gene has failed to pass down to the third generation. “I have two sons; they surely don’t care. I have a husband and he doesn’t care about racing either, so I’m really on my own here.”I love the smell, the sound of metal grinding against metal, when you shift gears…

A Conversation with a Classic Car Racer

A Woman in a Male-Dominated World

Nicola’s passion about cars is not something that everybody understands. “People say I’m crazy… ‘That a woman, with the kids at home, gets herself inside one to these accident-prone cars and starts going around curves like crazy'”, but she doesn’t let other people’s opinions stop her from doing what she loves. “I do believe these cars are great for women. It fits me perfectly at least,” she grins.

Racing still is a man’s world. There aren’t many women around. It’s a pity, but that’s the way it is.

A Conversation with a Classic Car Racer

Racing the Mona Lisa

The car aficionado races an aluminium body Alfa Romeo GTA. Only 500 units of this beauty were made and it still has its original body, adding up to a 6 figure value. For the countess, this means racing her Alfa is a constant game; trying to find the balance between pushing the car to its limits and avoiding harm to her or her precious car.

Many people would question why she goes through with racing such a costly motor, but to Nicola, it’s simple. “Sure, you could make a replica of a classic car and race it, but it would be like going to the museum and looking at a fake Mona Lisa. You’ll want the real Mona Lisa”

[My car is] a piece of art, a really well made piece of craftsmanship.

A Conversation with a Classic Car Racer

Ben je geïnspireerd door Nicola? Je kunt je oldtimercollectie beginnen of uitbreiden met behulp van de wekelijkse Oldtimerveilingen op Catawiki. En je kunt als verkoper op Catawiki ook geld verdienen met de verkoop van auto’s. Dit is heel eenvoudig: registreer je hier als verkoper.