There are several ways to enjoy a classic car. You can for instance use it for extreme events like The Winter Trial.

The Winter Trial is a rally combined of both regularity and track stages. He or she who manages to be the most regular driver and the best times on track will be the eventual winner. There are two classes, the Trial and the Challenge. The Trial having to compete more distance, manage a higher average speed during regularities and sporting two additional night stages. To partake you need an as near as possible to stock pre 1985 vehicle, pre 1979 if you want to compete for the win.

All cars are well prepared, often fitted with roll cages, bucket seats, race spec fuel tanks, extra power and preferably rear wheel drive. So there are Porsche’s, Volvo’s, BMW’s, Mercedes, Alfa’s, Fords’ and some oddities like a Golf 1 Diesel, a Skoda, a Tatra and one of these all time quirky 2CV’s! To be honest, the latter is mine, well Joost’s actually, but I get to drive it. In the past this little car has been upgraded for historic rallying. Better electronics, a 2CV6 engine with disc brakes, but that is mainly it. It still has only 29 hp. Still relatively standard, although we do have snow tires.

With little power to your disposal, it is important to drive the right route. On dry roads, the 2CV has the disadvantage. Steep climbs make it difficult to catch up time, in fact you’re only losing time. But, when snow and ice come into the equation, that’s when things change for the better. Where everyone finds it difficult to transfer all these horses to the slippery surface, the 2CV with is narrow tires and feather weight is in its element. That’s when miracles start to happen. Uphill we find grip where others don’t, the 2CV eagerly takes the hairpins and we take over one car after the other. Regularities are going pretty well, the car just keeps on going. Downhill is a little less funny, since you hope to keep your velocity going. Overstepping the line makes the backside slide out, forcing rapid action to prevent turning circles until you loose it completely. Up to three times things are a bit hairy, but I manage to keep it on the road. Just, but just is good enough!

 

We are on a roll. Even on dry tracks we manage to entertain everyone. The 2CV hanging in the corners in a fashion that everyone is sure we will tip over. To everyones surprise we don’t, we’re not even in the back of the pack, but usually somewhere in the middle, or even in front of that. On the last day we manage to reach second place in the ranking. Alas everyone is allowed to strike their worst regularity, which degrades us to third place. A little less than a minute behind the second and several minutes in front of fourth and fifth. In the end it appears that second place has cocked up their last trial, leaving us with no one but a BMW 2.0Tii in front of us. What a result!. No one would have thought this was possible. Years ago we discussed this, would it be possible? To be able to get this far with a humble 2CV? Well, it can be done. So leave those beefy rear wheel drive cars, buy a light weight front wheel drive one and hit the road!

Niko Bloemendal