The Sun Sets on a Classic Motoring Event
Photography by Máté Boér for Petrolicious
Marked with a thick red pen in my calendar every year is the always-brilliant Velodrom Millenáris, the finest oldtimer festival that Hungary offers. The sun has just set on its sixth edition.
The sun set on it because this year the show didn’t stop at dusk as it used to. The organizers had the wonderful idea to let all participants drive the track into the night. As the beaming rays of the sun disappeared below the historic walls of the banked racetrack a new event was born. Our senses were more focused on sights and sounds inside the bowl and the cooler temperature was a huge gift after the sweaty heat of the day.
There was no shortage of attractions, altough the people in period-correct clothes were a new experience for many visitors even before they heard the music of the old engines. This year the most attractive “two-wheel special guests” were the Harleysons Austria MC and famed motorbike builder Mr. Pavel Malaník. The Harleysons brought two racing Harley-Davidsons to Budapest from the late 1930s and one bike from 1942. All three of them customized with a soulful sense and it was a joy to see them rolling together. Pavel and his son arrived with two recreations of very special, one-off motorcycles. The 1909 Trojan & Nagl Torpedo V4 looks like the lovechild of a pre-war airplane and a beach crusier. The 1600cc four-cylinder is basically a double two-clyinder longitudinal engine; the result is insane. Pavel’s other motorbike is a Laurin & Klement CCCC from 1904. The original example was presented to the public only once in Vienna and it disappeared afterwards. Its engine layout is unique, made from four separate one cylinder blocks and it was the first real four-cylinder bike ever built.
The Bugatti Club Austria came to visit the Velodrom like three years ago and now they arrived with two cars, a 1926 T40 and a T43 from 1927. Both of these cars have an adventurous history which we’ll feature very soon! During their runs the Bugattis were joined by two other French cars from the same era, two Salmsons. Salmson was founded in Paris in 1890 and the small engineering company produced compressors, pumps and different engines for many purposes. Automotive manufacturing started following World War I and it became a separate business in 1922, named Societé des Moteurs Salmson. Salmson racecars proved to be succesful, they won more than five-hundred races and set ten world records until 1929. The Velodrom’s visitors were a VAL3 from 1923 and an early GSS from 1924–check them out in a previous Velodrom feature, here.
To continue the metaphor, the sun has now truly set on the Velodrom Millenáris, if the rumors are true. Some say the track will be demolished soon to make way for a modern sport arena and this would imply the end of this event. But we simply can’t afford to lose our small scale Goodwood Revival, as there is no other event in our country where anyone can get a taste of rare historical machines in an appropiate background. After all, where can a MIG g-suit wearing guy arrive in a Mini equipped with a huge loudspeaker playing Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries on a never-ending loop?