Four halls overflowing with automotive heritage, the 40th Antwerp Classic Salon offers something for everyone. The CineCars team submerges in the Flemish classic car club scene.

At a stone’s throw of the brand new Low Emission Zone that only recently was inflicted on the city of Antwerp, the Flemish classic scene gathers for a weekend amongst friends. There is a striking decrease in classics parked in the perimeter of the Antwerp Expo. The threat of serious fines only a few roads ahead shows in the streetscape. Once inside this is amply compensated by endless rows of dream cars. The silver haired public on this Friday afternoon enjoys the feast of recognition. Of cars from another era and the many acquaintances from the scene.

What makes this particular expo so nice, are the many club stands, where the Antwerp and Flemish classic car enthousiasts welcome their many members and sympathisers with brille, food and drink. The often themed stands this year find common ground in action against the rigid new regulations in the city. We see a rather lugubrious presentation of a gigantic American hearse, but also the magnificently executed vision on the future by the Volkswagen Cabrio Club. Shared sorrow makes half the sorrow, so it seems.

Flemish people wouldn’t be true to their ancestry, when not all this misery would soon disappear into the background. Willingly we lug along the different clubs. Drink something, have a bite to eat and make friends on the go. Nowhere the containment of the possibilities to enjoy using a classic car takes over the conversation. Here people gather to enjoy coming together, to meet old and new comrades. No defeat, but trust in the power of the collective. Here we make plans for next season and new projects. We’ll drink to that.

We talk about international rally’s, collaborations throughout Europe, make appointments for reports and articles. Promote our videos, our website and what we have on offer. Here in Antwerp it never feels like work. Here everyone is welcome to share in the great pass time that caring for our rolling heritage eventually is. Can friendship and passion still stand up against the dark clouds on the other side of the ring road. Do we once again remember why we love to visit our southern neighbours so much.

text: Marc GF Zaan

pictures: Mirko Cocco