Pre-war automobiles have become part of the generation of survivors. CineCars visits the heroes that treasure these gems for the rest of us. For us and the next generations to enjoy.
The cold winter wind blowing through our hair, tear stained eyes caused by the lack of protection from the Brookland style windscreens. With roaring engine Jeroen Hoep pilots the pre-war Alvis along the back roads of the Zeeland Isles. This is the way to experience real motoring. No comfort at all, but an incredibly direct contact with vehicle and road. Jeroen is a man with passion for automobiles, a passion he loves to share. That’s what he does when he takes his car to an event, when he spends the afternoon with your CineCars reporter, but especially with his family. All members of the Hoep clan breath petrol fumes, high octane petrol that is.
The first time we encounter the Hoep ‘boys’ we are at the start of The Amsterdam 100 Miles. The A-post of the car shows the names of the inhabitants: Senior and Junior. Senior behind the wheel, Junior in charge of navigation. A father and son outing, what else do you need? It was quite hard in the end, Junior admits later on. Night time navigating isn’t all that easy. Sr. and Jr. aren’t the only petrolheads in the family. Brother Dennis, sister Patricia and mom Monique all love the family’s heritage collection. Tinkering might not be their main hobby, driving the cars is. This driving is being executed here, in the Netherlands, like the sprints on Het Loo and pre-war racing at Zandvoort, but international as well, like on the Via Flaminia in Italy.
The Alvis taking such a prominent spot in this article is a 1937 12/70 Sport ‘Greyman’, constructed on a completely restored original chassis. The bodywork is built to the specifications of original drawings from the 1930’s and the four in line engine has been completely rebuilt and slightly altered to keep up in modern traffic. Necessary alterations, since this Alvis ain’t no ‘trailer queen’. The Hoep family simply drive their car to every event they visit. That’s how they live pre-war driving at its best. Although the eighty year old mechanics are highly respected, the throttle isn’t fully opened before it has been warmed up properly, we’re pretty sure the 120 km/h top speed is reached regularly on these trips.
The sides of Jeroens’ cars invariably show his name and the one of his co-pilot, like we see on the Alvis. Only one example in the collection doesn’t carry his name. ‘I’ll be able to pick up the paintbrush again anytime soon now’, Senior tells us with a heart warming smile on his face. That one example is a pedal car with on the side, beneath the name Lucas, daughter Patricia’s son, a spot already reserved for son Dennis’s upcoming first born. Three generations of Hoep celebrating driving at its purest. The Hoep ‘boys’ themselves were introduced to the cars at a young age as well. Jeroen junior was put in the Alvis for his first laps only three months after he passed his drivers license. ‘We need to get youngsters acquainted with these historic mechanics as soon as we can’, says Senior. ‘The classic car world, and especially the pre-war scene, needs new blood to survive. We need to raise a new generation of enthousiasts that’ll take on the care for these veterans.’ Something the Hoep family gives all her best.