As an event organiser, it should be good for you. In several ways. Full old-timer agendas turn old-timer days into competitive battles. In the southwest of Fryslân, people don't worry about that. Especially if you have organized an event more than twenty times, you are a certainty on the calendar, and you have everything under control. Except the weather. And that turns out to be less favorable on July 1. Fortunately after rain comes sunshine. Literally and figuratively.
I visited Sint Nyk several times, where Bauke Bos and a team of volunteers are a permanent fixture during the early summer. Rain or not: I'm going there, but not with the newly acquired Jetta. When I arrive in the Frisian village and then take the well-known route, I have a bit of regret. Many old-timer owners are more heroic than I am, given the considerable number of classic cars that are lined up in the streets. The variation may be there. Americans, a few sporty Datsuns (Fairlady and 280Z), Peter Visser's Tatra, Fords and Opels in several trims, the very cool Mazda 626 hardtop (first series facelift version, delivered when the CB series was already sold in the Netherlands), Fiats and much more fun: you will find it all in Sint Nyk, where those who stay at home are wrong.
Further on there are really nice tractors, including those from Deutz. Those who regularly visit the Saarland or the Black Forest will recognize them. These tractors are still in daily service there. Between the vines, or for smaller local farmers. There are some trucks. And in the meantime, a few classic clubs are visiting the event, such as the Solex club from Joure. At that moment I see Bauke in person for the first time. We have been in contact several times online, but now we meet in real life. Bauke himself also makes a very nice contribution to the event in his village, in his old street. Because his nicely patinated Renault 4 from 1970 and the Austin, which has been soaked in linseed oil (which he owns together with his equally car-crazy son), are nice eye-catchers in their own way.
There is also a set of bicycles with an auxiliary motor, a Bitri scooter (made in Dokkum) and the old Spartamet. Bauke likes such relics, such signs of times gone by. Simple means of transport with which, thanks to an auxiliary engine, you could just travel far into the world, and further than expected. Delicious. The preference is clear and I also like it, there at the central post where you can get a cup of coffee or tea for one euro, and as an extra you can order a slice of cake. Simplicity and authenticity are golden concepts, and here - in Sint Nicolaasga - that comes to full fruition. I love it.
In the meantime I hang out with Henk. His Celica RA24 will soon be in the magazine, and Henk said in the run-up to the event that the circle is complete. He also bought his real dream car: a Celica RA29. Henk bought the car in Germany. “Yes”, says the new owner, “it was restored in Belgium. All documentation is included. And I had a lot of contact with Holvoet in Dendermonde, who made it like new.” I don't know what I'm hearing, because I saw Henk's purchase three years ago in Belgium, on the Holvoet site. In September 2020, that was the starting point of the double report about the Belgian Toyota rally years, which I made together with several people involved. “There is no such thing as coincidence,” says Henk. We are both stunned.
Later we meet the sympathetic Lysbeth and Johannes, who appeared in AMK with their American collection. They are present with the Pontiac Bonneville Safari, a late addition to the collection that Max de Krijger made the report about. The story was in the same issue as the report that Ron, Jan, Wouter and I realized with the Toyota Corona RT40. The Corona belongs to the Strikwerda family, who nowadays serve a large part of the Frisian Toyota market. And that's exactly where, at Strikwerda, Liesbeth works. “So we were in the magazine, and so was the boss's classic Corona. What a coincidence?" Indeed, and with Henk, Liesbeth and Johannes it is very nice in Sint Nyk. It's not for nothing that the four of us stay together for a while.
Our paths part, and I walk another round. Just a quick trip to the central post, where Bauke, his wife Wieb and the volunteers run things smoothly. Meanwhile, Peter Visser tells a lot about his Tatra, and that is nice to see. People ask Peter if his Tatra has a two-stroke engine. Peter - former teacher - reacts calmly, and shows why this is not a two-stroke, but a V8. He explains it all calmly, the old teacher's blood runs patiently through the veins and the interested parties are all ears. In retrospect, the Tatras shows individuality and the drive with which one of the oldest car manufacturers conceived and built vehicles in Kopřivnice. Wonderful.
I notice that I'm enjoying myself here in Sint Nyk again, I'm very relaxed. It flows smoothly, the organization arranges everything perfectly and is easily recognizable with yellow vests. They once again succeed in bringing fun, special, everyday heritage in different conditions to Sint Nicolaasga. And literally bring it to the people. The relaxed way in which all this happens breathes experience. The Sint Nicolaasga old-timer show and annual market exudes a pleasant atmosphere. It is such a setting in which you constantly have the idea that you are having a chat with the neighbor. This is only possible if things are properly arranged. And nothing distracts you from what is offered.
The sun breaks through gently, at the end of the afternoon. I say goodbye to Bauke and his wife Wieb. Shoot another picture. I get an ice cream at the fair. And walk very satisfied to my car. Because I enjoyed the simplicity and the quality, that of Saint Nyk make it a permanent fixture for me. Weather. Or no weather.