GALLERY: Historic Racing On The Nürburgring Brings Out BMW M1s, Porsche 935s, Alfa GTAs, And The Rest Of The Best
Photography by Armando Musotto
Our collective love for classic cars has never been stronger or more evident—just look at how fast auction results are outpacing the rate of inflation for a cold, quantitative measure of this. By all accounts, it was sometime in the late 1980s/early 1990s that we stopped thinking of old cars as old cars, and while that’s not to say that enthusiasts didn’t appreciate the mechanical prowess and aesthetic excellence of a Ferrari 250 GTO in the 1970s, but nobody was paying dozens of millions for them back then either.
The same thing holds true for the events that gather up these now-revered cars. There was a time when the must-see bucket-list events and venues could be counted by on your fingers: Goodwood, Monaco Historique, Le Mans Classic, Pebble Beach, Villa d’Este. Now it’s only a matter of buying the plane tickets if you want to fill up just about every weekend in your calendar with a high-caliber classic car event.
It might seem overwhelming. The cynics will bemoan the organizers for cashing in. But for someone who’s always been a fan of classic cars, how can more interest in them be anything but good? The upward trend of interest in these cars has only been a positive one in my opinion, but at times it can seem like the comfortably retired white-haired contingent are the only ones who can afford to participate. Classic shows and race weekends offer an avenue to interact with these otherwise untouchable machines. I say bring on the copy-cat events, spoil us for choice. The more access we have, the more likely the upward trajectory of classic car appreciation will continue.
And after all, the existence of new events doesn’t take away from the longer-standing ones that inspired them. Case in point, the attendance—both vehicular and human—at this year’s AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix. Even with adverse weather coming and going throughout the weekend, over 50,000 people flocked to the greatest racing compound in history: the Nürburgring.
I’ve been to all kinds of historic car events, but this was the one where I felt the most proud to count myself among these other fans of motorsport. We were gathered to watch twenty different races, contested by more than 500 cars over the course of three days in the Eifel mountains. Here’s what I saw, I hope some of it will inspire you to make a similar journey to the ‘Ring for the AvD Oldtimer weekend next August—if you’re already seeing snow out your window, call it something to look forward to. I know I am.