Looking back on 2021 and my choice for the classic of the year

The year 2021 is over. Despite the pandemic gloom that characterized the past year, everyone involved knew about Auto Motor Klassiek manage to create twelve magazines and countless stories for you. I contributed regularly to the magazine and online. Thanks in part to the various reports, I experienced many beautiful moments. Together with the unsurpassed photographer Bart Spijker I went out into the wide world to record beautiful stories and make beautiful trips and reports. Plus, I chose my classic of the year.

I started the reporting year 2021 with the completion of the double stroke about the Belgian years of Toyota Team Europe. I was so captivated by that that I decided to write another series online about this illustrious history. I just couldn't say goodbye to it, and when I finally did, it hit me hard. Men like Ron Moës and Benny Heuvinck fanned the fire. They kept it burning and that made TTE retroactively a part of me. It still feels that way. For example, when I see a Toyota Celica TCT, I know why. I was allowed to be there and write about it, this has become a part of me. Another thing that instinctively belongs to me: the Bremen Classic Motor Show. In February I did not walk through the exhibition halls of Bremen. Due to the pandemic, Frank Ruge and his people provided an online show, the Messe Bremen and the ÖVB Arena remained closed to the public. The German organization did provide a great show, but it could never beat the feeling of being there.

Back in Leek

2021 was all about meetings with old and new acquaintances. Not only driving and talking about classic and older younger cars is part of my job, of my editorship. The contacts with the owners, the supporters and other acquaintances from the world are the fuel for me, which give even more sjeu to the making of the stories. I noticed that in October in Leek. There they greeted countless acquaintances during the Oldtimer & Classic fair, it was as usual at a time when life was back to normal.

Rally with the Giulia of Frans de Groot

Enjoyment was blown in that somewhat surreal atmosphere, suddenly it was all possible again. Anton Rosema and his people traditionally ensured an extremely successful event. This qualification also applied to the anniversary broadcast of BNR Petrolheads in Zandvoort, which we also paid attention to online and in the magazine. Very cool was the RRR MFA Sexbierum rally, another highlight. I was there at the invitation of Sicco Dijkstra and it was fantastic. On that June Sunday I drove the route with the Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Super, which Frans de Groot allowed me to use for a weekend. I lived a dream for a weekend.

From 1300 to 2000, a beautiful process to follow

I saw Frans regularly in 2021 and also got to know his wife and his adult children. Frans is a concept in the Dutch nationality Alfa Romeo world and a fine person besides. He converts his son Koen's Giulia 1300 Super into a 2000. I follow that beautiful process full of precision mechanics extensively. When Koen's Giulia is ready, a double report will be published in the magazine. And that in 2022, the year that the Giulia celebrates its sixtieth birthday.

Love for the Giulia

Durk Tinga, Bart Spijker and I took Koen's Supertje with us for a day last summer. Still as 1300, and this Giulia was good for a day of fun and admiring glances. I enjoyed both Giulia's. Every second they revealed new details. Every second they crawled under the skin. And they told me why the Giulia is my favorite classic. And why love cars. De Giulia I am eternally grateful to Frans and Koen.

Traveling abroad and Hans' first car

In 2021 I also recorded beautiful experiences from others. The adventure that Egbert and Roy experienced with their Baja Bugs during their trip across Europe was very impressive. It became a story that not only gave new goosebumps to the protagonists in the report, but also to me. And what about the experiences of Joost and Buby during the Mille Miglia 2021, which they completed with verve with the Peugeot 203A. We were there for a day and got completely into the atmosphere of the illustrious and prestigious rally. The stories were countless, the rally was still completely in the system of equipe 183 and the dust from Italy was still on the Peugeot from 1951. Beautiful, so beautiful in fact that we got the idea that we had been there. Anyway, it was a very special day.

Toyota people together

That also applied to the day at Hans de Jong in Groningen. Long ago he saw how his father became the first Toyota dealer in the Northern Netherlands. I was together with Ron Moës - who made the contact - and Jan Hendriks with Hans. He bought a Toyota Celica TA1980 in 40. New, his first car and he still has it. The car is the center of a series of surprising historical stories that emerged during our visit, and which you will soon find in Auto Motor Klassiek. And Toyota people among themselves, it remains a beautiful and dog-faithful company. You can count on them in every way, just like you can count on any Toyota.

Colorful DAF and Volvo day

Every story was special and every report in 2021 had its own character. The colorful double report with the DAF 66 1300 Marathon Coupé and the Volvo 66 GL Combi of respectively Cor and Ane was also a gem, which arose by chance. Cor had just received his DAF 66, a day later we did a round with the coupé. On our way to Leeuwarden we met Ane with his Volvo 66 GL Combi. We drove one after the other and half an hour later the appointment was made for a report.

Enjoy in Sexbierum

The always warm and hospitable Sicco Dijkstra introduced me to the enchanting and comfortable Ford Granada 2.0 V6 (a fine travel car and a rarity in the Netherlands, because it was never delivered here with this engine) and the MG ZT 190+, which was impressively good and drove . The MG is a sports saloon as a sports saloon should be today. It was thoroughly enjoyable. Not only about the car, because it is also very pleasant to visit Sicco and his sons.

dark horses

Every car had its story and made it. The almost virgin Renault Mégane Coupé of Marco van Rangelrooij showed why he is a dark horse in youngtimerland, I thought and think that is a very nice and totally underrated car. I also drove a 2 Rekord E1.8 1983S. It showed its good-natured travel qualities in a nice way. And made me realize that 1983 really is a long time ago.

Kadett, Amazon, Cathedral and a beautiful Oval Beetle

The extremely sympathetic Opel Kadett B Coupé F from 1971 provided a Kadett chronicle in the magazine. Theo's Volvo Amazon showed why this type of Volvo - especially when you relate age to daily usability - is one of the best models ever. A title that can also be effortlessly associated with the 400 Mercedes-Benz 1992 SE (Baureihe 140) that is impressive in all respects. The Cathedral was the home base for a day full of camaraderie, which I experienced with owner Richard Steenbergen and Peter van Wijk, among others. And speaking of the best: Thomas de Roy's beautiful 1200 VW 1956 Export showed why the Beetle was on the rise during the 65s. There was little or nothing that could compete with and within his class. This unique Oval also drove remarkably easy for a XNUMX-year-old car. And again it was striking how good, logical and solid Volkswagen always built the Beetles. It was a pleasure to be on the road with this Beetle.

The Renault 4 GTL in an air-cooled nest

A few months earlier we drove the Renault 4 GTL of Thomas' father, Peter de Roy. The Renault is a young cuckoo in the very cozy air-cooled nest of the de Roy family, whom I have known for years. Peter's 4 GTL was delivered new in the Netherlands in 1986 - the last Dutch delivery year. This French evergreen revealed why it was and is excellent in all its simplicity. And why the GTL with its excellent 1108 cc engine and excellently tuned technology helped the striking Renault 4 for years to come. He uncovered a dividing line that revealed that brilliant simplicity is really different from limitations.

Classic of the year

The Renault 4 exposes all facets of automotive and economic usefulness. And likes to submit to you. “Take everything with you. And go, go with me into the wide world. You can always count on me.” That's what a Renault 4 has been saying for sixty years. Millions of new car buyers embraced him. And many millions of used car buyers too. Because for sixty years he showed his cuddly versatility and reliability in a comfortable, charming and economical way. In all his simplicity, he also continuously provided a smile on the face. And you can still use it every day without any problems, especially in the GTL version. You don't really need more to enjoy the journey. He is still underappreciated. But he is fantastic. The Renault 4 is my classic of the year.

A beautiful, healthy and happy 2022!




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Three generations of De Roy at the classic of the year
It doesn't get more practical and charming, the R4 is still a formidable concept
IMG 4700
De Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Super van Koen, a beautiful car that will soon have a new heart.
Frans and Koen
Frans and Koen de Groot at the future heart of Koens' Giulia
Bremen online
No visitors in Bremen due to COVID-19, but a great online show.©M3GmbH/Jana Sordon
IMG 6532
Drive an Amazon and you'll know why this is one of the best cars ever
Photographer Nail in action 1
Bart Spijker often went on the road and took beautiful pictures
Also from this perspective the MG ZT looks fantastic
MG ZT 190. Fantastic and clean sports saloon. That's how it should be, and nothing else.
Also a nice car. The Granada 2.0 V6.
20210320114143 2 1
Absolute top class. The Mercedes-Benz 400 SE
Opel Kadett B
Very sympathetic and good for a chronicle in AMK. DeKadett B.
Father and son Spinder at the cars that guided them through the most inhospitable areas of Europe
Father and son Spinder with the Bajas. They traveled with it through inhospitable Europe
Col du Tende
Boyhood dream come true. Egbert and Roy Spinder drove their Bajas across Europe
Take a tunnel, but different. The Bajas in the Alpine region between France and Italy
Peugeot 203A
Peugeot 203A. Buby den Heeten and Joost Bindels drove it in the Mille Miglia 2021.
Mille Miglia
Tangible proof of participation, and special to touch
IMG 5638
Extremely enjoyable underdog in classic country, the Mégane Coupé
1 3
Jan, Ron and Hans: Toyota comrades and a wonderful company
1 69
Bought new in 1980 by Hans de Jong and still owned. The Celica TA40.
Anderson in 1975
Founder of everything that made the Toyota great in rallying. Ove Andersson
IMG 6194
Ingredient for pure pride. The Celica TCT that was unbeatable in Africa. Nice!
20210612 185917 41
Sending for a weekend with this Giulia was equal to living the dream
In action during the RRR MFA Sexbierum rally
With the Giulia active in the RRR MFA Sexbierum rally, a mighty experience
20210614 072047
One of the many participants in the RRR MFA Sexbierum rally. With a beautiful Capri
DAF and Cor Volvo and Ane
A beautiful and happy day with Cor and Ane, enthusiastic owners of Dutch heritage
Dutch heritage within a Dutch setting.
Dutch classics, Dutch quality, Dutch setting. It came together during a colorful day
IMG 6481
A jewel of an Oval Beetle, the VW 1200 Export by Thomas de Roy
IMG 6015 2
Nice and good-natured Opel Rekord. Travel car of yesteryear and a time machine
IMG 5882 3
Enjoy the old-fashioned way in Leek, October 2021
jubilees. Bas van Werven and Carlo Brantsen
October 4, 2021. Bas van Werven and Carlo Brantsen during the recording of BNR Petrolheads number 200


Leave a Reply
  1. Nice story, nice cars!

    I fully share the recognition for the Renault 4. That is indeed still a very good car. Extremely innovative at launch (first car with closed cooling system, front engine, front-wheel drive, large tailgate, independent suspension).

    Every year approximately 1.200 (!) Fours drive from Bordeaux to the south of Morocco as a student project and for charities. They all return in one piece every time from that journey that is more than 6.000 km long and largely on unpaved roads. See 4L Trophy on the internet.

    • Hi Henk, thanks for the 4LTrophy tip.
      After consulting the website about this commendable initiative, this does indeed leave you wanting more.

  2. Put me blindfolded in any car I knew as a child and as an adult, through my parents, brothers, strangers and myself: I can name them. The VW 1600 (Beetle Sound), the Ducks / Goats, Dyane, Ami, R4, Classic Mini, Daf, Mercedes 200 d and so on. Many who read this column will recognize that. It seems more difficult with the younger cars. It's nice to be able to share that love for cars with others. And all models of any price can be in the spotlight here. That's real love.

  3. All AMK employees,

    I think it is incredibly clever to put together a newsletter every day. There's a lot more going on behind the scenes than I can see, and I'm very happy about that.
    It's almost time for you, here everything happens 9 hours later.
    Happy New Year to all AMK readers.
    Kind regards and best wishes from a dying YVR.

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View the nearly forty-page preview at this link or a click on the cover.

The December issue, containing:

  • Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Super
    Erik van Putten explores the timeless charm of the Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 Super, with images of Bart Spijker and himself. The story delves into the world of Alfaenthusiast Koen de Groot, whose family is deeply rooted in the Alfa Romeo culture. Koens' special relationship with his Giulia, a car he has cherished for years and which will soon receive an impressive upgrade, is highlighted. The Giulia symbolizes car love and heritage, a passion enriched by Koen's father Frans, a Alfa Romeo expert and enthusiast.
  • Double Used Type Designations
    Peter Ecury unravels fascinating stories from the automotive world in the 32nd episode of his series on double-used type designations. This edition provides an update on the rumors surrounding Peugeot and Porsche and delves into the history of the type designation '142', used by brands such as Volvo and Austin. Ecury also discusses the evolution of the term 'GT' and the controversial use of the letters 'SS' in car names after WWII, with examples such as the Chevrolet Impala SS and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS.
  • Ducati 750GT, 860GT and 900GTS
    Hans Smid highlights the Ducati round carts, produced from 1972 to 1974, which combine minimalist beauty with unique technology. This article describes Ducati's drive for innovation and the creation of these models, highlights the challenges and costs of collecting them, and shows Ducati's journey from near ruin to iconic status.
  • Horex Imperator
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  • ClassicPost
    Readers of Auto Motor Klassiek share their discoveries and experiences. Eddy Joustra discovers a Peugeot 203 pickup in Heerenveen, while Robert Reessink photographs a unique Moto Guzzi moped in Italy. Stories range from Chris van Haarlem's Scottish scooter adventures to Bram Drooger's discovery of a Rolls-Royce Corniche and two FIAT 850s. Ben de Man finds a special Chevrolet Step-Van in the Netherlands, and readers share corrections and additions to previously published articles.
  • Nissan Silvia 1.8 Turbo
    Aart van der Haagen reveals the history of a rare Nissan Silvia 1.8 Turbo, originally registered as a commercial vehicle. The first owner transformed the car into a family-friendly vehicle, and Jan Manenschijn now cherishes this unrestored gem with only 67.000 kilometers on the odometer.
  • Peugeot 205 collection Team VCC Twente
    Aart van der Haagen highlights Team VCC Twente's collecting passion for Peugeot 205 models. Brothers Peter and Niek Olde Veldhuis collected unique examples such as the GTI and CTI, and even a rare 1.9 GTI Dimma. Their collection shows the transformation of a once ordinary model into a special classic.
  • Volvo and Classic Cars
    Alain Pondman from Volvo Lotte speaks about the true value of classic cars. He criticizes the trend of cheap, poorly maintained classics on Marktplaats, emphasizes the importance of making memories with vintage cars, and advises buyers to invest in quality and durability.
  • Volkswagen Beetle 1955 - Second life
    Max de Krijger tells the story of Hendrik Jan Hofman, a passionate Kever restorer. Hofman brought a badly damaged 1955 Beetle back to life with a dedication to perfection and detail. This green Beetle, complete with handmade high chair and open roof, reflects his craftsmanship. Hofman is now considering selling the Beetle to focus on a new project.
  • ClassicPost
    In the KlassiekerPost section of Auto Motor Klassiek enthusiastic readers share their unique finds and personal experiences. Eddy Joustra comes across a rare Peugeot 203 pickup in Heerenveen. Robert Reessink captures a unique Moto Guzzi moped on camera in Italy. Chris van Haarlem shares his Scottish scooter adventures, including an unexpected encounter with an Austin A30 on the Isle of Skye. Bram Drooger spots an elegant Rolls-Royce Corniche and two FIAT 850s. Ben de Man discovers a special Chevrolet Step-Van in the Netherlands. This section illustrates the diversity and deep-rooted passion of classic car and motorcycle enthusiasts, with stories ranging from local discoveries to international treasures. In addition, readers provide valuable corrections and additions to previously published articles, such as PBTM Matthijssen's input on the Ardie/Dürkopp Dianette, which contributes to the rich and versatile content of the magazine.
  • Once again almost twenty pages of short messages about everything that has to do with classics
  • And of course our section 'Classics' where you can shop around in search of your next classic.

The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also much cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.

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