After three years, it's that time again. The Oerol festival on Terschelling returns. I am a regular visitor to Oerol, which has a lot to offer for everyone. You can go to performances, but you can also use Oerol to immerse yourself in a casual atmosphere of vacation and celebrating a nice party, everywhere on the island. It is a little less obvious to make car memories during Oerol. Nevertheless, a number of memories have been an extra icing on the delicious Oerol cake. On June 16 I will return to Terschelling with my friends. And in the run-up to that, I'd like to share some beautiful car memories with you.
In 2004 I experienced perhaps the most turbulent Oerol edition of all times I was there. I went to the island with my soccer comrades for the third time in a row. That tradition actually started at Leeuwarden station. You know that: meeting each other on the platform and then getting unsolicited cans of beer pressed into your hand, so before you are on the train to Harlingen-Haven. A few hours later you are on the rented coaster and then you already know: things are really going crazy. On the quay of the port of West-Terschelling, the telephone calls come from the inner pocket. Just message the old contacts by SMS that you are there, if you understand what I mean.
That's how it went in 2004, there was a very elated atmosphere. The autumn of 2002 and the month of January 2004 had been sad thanks to a few major events. But I was also allowed to greet beautiful moments, and in June 2004 the sky had cleared. That made it easy to enjoy everything 100%, to be absorbed in everything. And I connected everywhere with Oerol, it went so easily, as if everyone saw that I was liberated. I talked to acquaintances and strangers, met with my mates a beer, relaxed on the Green Beach, and also went out solo, in the prelude to the evenings to come.
During the 2004 edition, I had been in the grip of the classic I would buy for some time. And in the run-up to that summer I had already mastered the necessary classics, and of a diverse character. I almost tacked for a Mercedes-Benz 230.6 (with that good-old M180 engine under the hood), but it was high in price. And there was no stretch in that. I shifted my focus to everything. I also drove a Fiat 600 (other side of the spectrum, but a childhood sweetheart) and a few more classics that I had a soft spot for since childhood.
Finally my eye fell on a Renault 4 Savane, a beautiful example that was parked at de l'Est in Vlaardingen. The asking price was quite reasonable, and just before I went to Oerol I had the Renault in a sort of option. I would be called when another buyer came forward. That didn't happen. What did happen at Oerol was that on Saturday afternoon I came into contact with a Renault 4 owner, this had to be the case. We talked for a while and the friendly man already gave me some information about the R4 Club. I was one step closer to the Renault 4 Savane.
Then I walked to one of the cozy pubs on West, to reunite with my football friends. And then it happened. A VW 1303 S painted in Leuchorange crossed my path. Suddenly I thought of my grandfather, I thought of my uncle, of my friends from Alkmaar. All VW people, and the Beetle was the first own car for all of them. The Beetle has always fascinated me. The powerful boxer sound of the 1584 cc gave me goosebumps.
I had driven a Beetle regularly in the years leading up to 2004, and every time I fired up the engine I felt a confidence-inspiring bond, a hidden deep love that surfaced. Yes, some driving experiences with an R4 were not strange to me. But I doubted. Would my own R4 release that feeling that I had with the Typ 1 in me too? And would my great sympathy for the R4 be reinforced by the engine noise? Don't I think the Beetle is even more characteristic? And wouldn't that suit me better? Because I look like my grandfather, and my uncle is almost my older twin brother.”
Those thoughts flashed through my mind. And what was always true: if I heard an air-cooled VW engine and/or sat in a Beetle, then I felt that deep family bond, that undisguised love that I have for my grandfather and uncle, of which I am still so proud. The VW 1303 S on Terschelling shattered my intention to go 100% for the much desired Renault 4. But I decided on the spot to let the classic considerations rest for a few days.
In the evening the roof went off again in the old-fashioned way in café de Zeevaart. I was happy, I met beautiful (and sometimes very beautiful) people, other friends and (also old) acquaintances were there, it was one big party. And during the Saturday evening settling, it was hardly about the little cars I was working on in the afternoon. A few visitors from my team towered over the music and said: "Nice man, that you buy a Renault 4 and already had contact with a club member this afternoon, great!"
Three months later I bought my classic. My teammates sometimes asked about it, but I supposedly paid little attention to it in the response. “Everything in its time guys”. And when I bought my classic I said nothing. But one day after I had picked up the car in Twente, I drove it to the first training session. Between training and after-dinner drinks in the cafeteria, I said, “Come on guys. Let me see something.” Three minutes later I pointed to my classic car in the parking lot. "This is him." My teammates were stunned. And some were stunned. Because they didn't see a Renault 4. They looked out on my Senegalrode VW 1303.