English gardens in Nordrhein-Westfalen, ‘Schloss Dyck’ has become one of the great names in the North-European classic scene. The ultimate mix of English style and German perfectionism.
Classic Days Schloss Dyck, for the twelfth time in a row the classic car is the star in the vast and beautiful gardens of the ancient water castle. A varied programme, smeared out over three days in the first weekend of August. Mercedes-Benz celebrates its 1927 ‘Kompressorwagen’, Audi’s rally ace Walther Röhrl is 70 this year and Alfa Romeo reminisces on its DTM-successes with the now 25 year old 155. And that’s all just for starters.
During the Classic Days at Schloss Dyck it’s not just about gaping at the splendour that is on exhibit. There also is a genuine track to demonstrate the cars in all their magnificent glory. Mercedes-Benz’s museum pieces are being hurled around the circuit by great names from the past. Even the eldest Benz even, the 1886 Patent Motorwagen is driven around the track by great grand daughter Jutta Benz. Audi follows with a number of gems from the first half of the 20th century. A 1912 Type C 14/35 Phaeton, the 1938 W25 streamliner and the legendary 1936 ‘Silberpfeil C-Typ’. Even the accompanying 1949 Wanderer tow truck is in style.
A special guest at Schloss Dyck is the Fiat S76, nick named ‘The Beast of Turin’. This colossal 4 cilinder racing car, with no less than 28 litres of displacement, sprinted the Ostend track at a speed of 211 km/h. In 1913! The same kind of violence is produced by the 27 litre 12 cilinder Isotta Frachini air craft engine in Pratt’s Delage ‘Il Drago Ruggente’. Even the homemade 27 litre V12 Rolls Royce Merlin air craft engined Bentley doesn’t have to be shy. Just starting the engines of these machines is complete mayhem.
The ‘Racing Legends’ category shows us over 160 sports cars racing the nearly 3 km long track. The Benjafields Racing Club from England is represented by their powerful Bentleys. Various 4,5 litre models, Speed Six’s and the 8 litre racer by Stanley Mann Racing. Completed by the likes of Alvis, Riley and Lagonda. Contrasted by the small ‘Cycle Cars’, like the Chatter Lea, the Amilcar and the EHP Torpedo. All cars from the 1920’s that fit seamlessly in the entourage of Schloss Dyck. ‘Jewels in the Park’ brings us the calm of cars judged for the FIVA-A concours. This year bringing a display of the different types by Iso Rivolta. The ‘Charm and Style’ section shows us very special vehicles, like the 1908 Stanley K semi-racer. A lot younger but just as extraordinary is the 1950 Alvis TB Special Sports Roadster, sporting a genuine bar in the right hand door. ‘Nostalgic Journeys’ shows the way motorised camping was taken upon in the past. ‘Lovely Heroes’ shows us the evolution of small and large motorcars after World War 2, while ‘Made in Germany’ brings the evolution of the transport section.
We have a very special encounter with Heidi Hetzer. The now 80 year old lady travels the world in her 1930 Hudson. On her own, because, as she states it herself, that’s how she meets the most interesting people. In her ‘Hudo’, as she lovingly nick names her Hudson, the only thing missing is 4-wheel drive that would allow her to reach even higher and/or remote places.
An article like this never manages to cover the overwhelming offer of beautiful motorcars, motorcycles and everything related. Lucky for you there’ll be a chance to live it all yourself next year.
Jan van Hylckama Vlieg