CineCars loves to report on historic events at the most legendary venues. Something the Zandvoort race track can easily cope up with. Martin Philippo takes us to to the National Oldtimer Festival at Zandvoort van boy did he enjoy himself.
As a matter of fact the the fun starts as soon as you get on the road to Zandvoort. We see nothing but classic car going the same direction, to the circuit. Buffed, shiny, ready for thousands of admiring glances. The National Oldtimer Festival takes place in the same sea side town men like Carel Godin de Beaufort and Jan Lammers called ‘their’ circuit home. The fun shifts into fifth gear when we exit the little tunnel and enter the heart of the circuit. The paddock is one large line of classic cars. Numerous clubs have come to show why they do love their particular make or model so very much.
For those who love their classic cars there is so much to enjoy. There is truly something for everyone. Not just exclusive classics, but also cars that used to be, well common actually. Nowadays they manage to soften up the toughest of crowds. Be honest, who could resist stroking a Goggomobil the way you would your purring cat at home? That other cat, the Jaguar, is here looking for attention just as hard. Like the bright red XK 120 Fixed Head Coupé, of which the proud, slightly odd mustached owner tells us that Celia, that’s what he calls her, has not been restored ever. Just a coat of primer and one of the fiery red paint were necessary. ‘No filler, my friend, no filler!’ Just a little engine service and of course some new floor mats. Also from the UK we find a Petersen Bentley giving acte de présence. Ever so impressive! Next to that, from France, a nice Bugatti and a little further on an adorable little Peugeot. The Japanese are on it as well, being the classics of the future anyhow. We fall behind talking to a Saab owner, telling us about his white two stroke Saab with great enthusiasm. However much effort we put in saving the environment nowadays, we can’t just be not happy watching the blue cloud appearing from the cars exhaust when the three cilinder engine is being fired up.
The National Oldtimer Festival isn’t just about a static show, the whole thing isn’t situated on a racetrack for nothing. The Porsche Club Racing is here to race a few heats around the track. Just as we sit down on the stands to take the weight of our feet, these gentlemen present us with an incredible piece of close racing. Taking corners three at a time is no exception. The Morgan Sports Car Club from Germany is there too with a large number of ‘Moggies’. Morgans not really being built for track racing does not seem to bother the drivers at all. They take the circuit by storm. A Triumph TR3 is joining them, you can almost see the guy behind the wheel breaking a sweat trying to keep up. During the Legendary Circuit Series we enjoy the battle between a Porsche 911 and a Chevrolet Camaro. Like all others these cars race on the very edge, switching positions ever again, only deciding who’s best when the Porsche spins of in the Hans Ernst Bocht and gets of the track for a short moment. Spectacular!
Maybe, just maybe this National Oldtimer Festival hasn’t got the breeding of a Festival of Speed, maybe it doesn’t have the high end cars like Villa d’Este, but man did we enjoy our day in the dunes at Zandvoort. No doubt we’ll be back next year.
Text and photography: Martin Philippo