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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sun-kissed bodywork !

12th Annual Members Meeting of the ACM at the heels of the Bavaria 

The German Automobile Club "AC" which is based in Munich was established in 1903. It not only has a long-standing experience regarding motorsport events, but can also boast some well- known personalities in the early historic era, and in the modern racing world as some of its prestigious members. Many of these members are sadly no longer with us, but I do find it very intriguing that this automobile club had so many famous faces associated with it that were mostly all racing drivers taking part in various motoring events from hill climbing and mountain racing, and using both motorcycles and cars!! To these belongs to the motorbike racing legend Ernst Jakob Henne who became famous in 1937 for setting a world record on his BMW 750 cc compressor motorbike with a top speed of 280 kph. Also Hans Stuck, the "King of the Mountains", who started his hill-climbing career in 1925, also Anton Fischbacher one of the most winning hill-climb and mountain racers from the 60's. Georg Meier and Manfred Anspann who were very passionate drivers, also Eddy Hau, Thomas Jäger and many more. They all succeeded in various national and international motorsport disciplines and passed on this know-how to the club activities.
Great history with the ACM                        
A good example of this would be Sepp Greger, who was a well-known and enthusiastic motorsport driver, he was the owner of many car dealerships and the promoter of the "Greger Racing Show", who took on a leading role within the motorsport division of the  Automobil Club Munich (ACM) in the 50's and 60's. He pioneered many fabulous events like the "Rallye Bavaria"; also mountain races like "Sudelfeld and Wall Mountain" and various others were born and re-developed. Exciting racing events like the "Day of Thunder Historic Trophy" at the Salzburgring, this had enormous popularity up until and as recently as 2012. Sadly after 2012, this particular event ceased to continue due to organisational difficulties. 
However, for the passionate Bavarian Old-timers and motorbike owners, the ACM, (that is under the umbrella of parent organization ADAC), is the best choice and one of the most prestigious addresses when it comes to unforgettable motor events and to exchange interests with other likeminded people. 

Annually and during the springtime, on the arrival of the funfair "Frühlingsfest" that is held at the plaza 'Theresienwiese', the traditional ACM Member Meeting takes place at the foothills of Bavaria, at the famous landmark of Munich town. This year it was the 12th round, more than 2900 cars and motorbikes gathered together at the large plaza to present their beauties and extravaganzas to the public, old-timer enthusiasts and paparazzi. 

The ADAC also exhibited a completely fabulously restored car and motorhome trailer combo from 1962, and there were plenty of nippy little micro cars that also arrived to celebrate the 60-year jubilee of the BMW Isetta. On the day of the event day, the 19th April 2015, I was up nice and early, and just before 9am, I was overlooking the Plaza 'Theresienwiese' below from the top of the steps beside the Statue Bavaria. I was very fortunate with the weather, it was a little cool and windy, but there were picturesque blue skies and magnificent sunshine. The plaza was almost empty, just a few cars had already arrived.
I had an excellent vantage point from the platform below the Statue Bavaria, as I was positioned on the many steps that would usually be overlooking the Beer Festival. I savoured and enjoyed this view for a while, and then I decided to follow the loud sound of thunderous motors and rattling exhausts on the opposite side of the exhibition area, to my surprise, the parade of cars was actually on the opposite side of the Bavaria! It was an amazing spectator sight to observe all the motor cars and bikes as they drove in, majestically arranged into rows of three, one after the other. 
As the cars drove around the corner to assemble themselves into order, they somehow lost their "three in a line" choreography! A very cheerful marshal, equipped with flags and a yellow-vis vest, tried to advise the drivers how to best position the cars, however, it was fruitless as there were far too many.
The last old-timer meeting that I attended was in Hannover, at the "Maikäfertreffen", with my red 1984 VW Bug. The most exciting part was on the way back to Hamburg, I actually had to tow my friend's bug with trailer. I was unable to take a photo because I had to focus hard on the road because of the many hills and bends. Luckily there were no police cars, just a lot of faster VW bugs that overtook us. Maybe that's one of the main reasons I'm so passionate about classic cars. 

I have no idea what the actual theme of the event was, but it was utter confusion from my personal experience, from cars driving around, the roaring and spluttering engine sounds, the strong smell of petrol, enthusiastic and happy faces, the drivers, children being pushed around in their pushchairs and walkers, families with their dogs!

Also, there were so many people riding bicycles, it was almost like being at the centre of a stampede!  Some of the classic car owners told me that in the recent years the cars were sorted into groups by the manufacturer and also by country of origin.

However this year it seems that the cars were exhibited all over the place!

As a result of all the confusion, I somehow missed the 11 o'clock start and the convoy of the legendary " Automobile Corso" across the funfair "Frühlingsfest".
Only a few motor cars were able to find their respective marques, like the DeLoreans from the "Delorean Club", I had already spotted them at 9 o 'clock in the morning beautifully arranged in a circle, and others like the British Jaguar car owners.
They arranged a little picnic and were enjoying a glass of champagne. 


This event is a "must" for any classic car enthusiast. It is worth getting up early and attending the drive-in of all the motor cars and bikes. The weather this year was grandiose for all the shining, nostalgic and glossy polished motor cars, which brought many emotions, and a breeze of the bygone days.

I chose to sport a weatherproof style, as the Plaza Theresienwiese is very dusty in some parts and does not have a proper road surface throughout. My outfit was a dark blue parka and handbag, pink sneakers, a long-sleeved t-shirt, dark green thermo tights, and my beloved golden mini skirt. I was fascinated that crowds of people showed so much enthusiasm for classic cars and motor bikes, also that the automobile owners were very open for a little chit-chat.

Some of them mentioned to me that they had arrived late and it was quite difficult to find a parking place, so they preferred showing their families the exhibition instead of re-parking the car. I fact I noticed a few of the cars, like the silver Porsche in the cover photo, parking in three different places. Maybe this was the theme of the event: "Keep the movement going". 

Myself, I had a lot of fun. Many interesting conversations about motor cars and the usual or regular question: "Why is a woman interested in cars" or "How can it be that a woman is interested in cars". It seems that woman are still very few and far between in this industry, but in the meantime, I totally enjoy it and reply to these questions with a big smile. 

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