Of course we have known Maria Pels as the driving force behind the big King Cruise event on the Maxis site in Muiden and later Borchland in Amsterdam. But she is not just a cheerful smiling blonde, this is a lady with a story. She has something to say. And since her youth she has a passion for great heavy American classics. "I have something with the models from '67, they often have the' coke-bottle 'line that makes me so hot," she says. Her first car was therefore a Buick Le Saber, with which she is still regularly seen and who now enjoys a little makeover.
AMK came back to her track during her fanatic lobbying in The Hague, where she fiddles with the now watered down change in the MRB exemption for classics. We thought she should tell her story to the AMK readers and so we publish a column by her every month: "Maria."
"I've died and gone to heaven"
On Easter Monday I traditionally went to watch cars. We used to do that in Soesterberg near Stoutjesdijk. After the arrival of the little monster it was not possible for a long time to look at cars on that particular holiday. Doing something together at all is quite unique. And now watching cars was also replaced by a search for Easter eggs at Soestdijk Palace. But fate was good for us and we were childless for a few hours.
Hop in the car and on your way to Oldtimerland in Amersfoort. The owner had already invited me a year ago to come and have a look. Oh well you can feel it coming ... child and vintage car. I still don't find a successful combination. And although she fortunately has the right combination of gasoline and glitter in her blood, it simply remains a toddler who after 20 minutes really no longer wants to stay away from anything else.
I knew about the enormous private collection, but I could never have realized that it would be so overwhelming. Upon arrival, I was a little quiet about the size of the building. Once inside, no meaningful word came out and I could only think; "I've died and gone to heaven." All of them outright beauties. A bright red Chevrolet Impala coupe from 1960 was secretly flirting with me and also a mint green Chevrolet Bel Air convertible from 1953 was screaming for attention. I did not hear them anymore, because I was already staring at the car that I used to dream of as a little girl, a Corvette C1 from 1958. "Ah," said the owner of this special collection with a smiling face, "that's not possible at all, because they have always told me that this is a boy's dream." Yeah ... I just didn't get it back.
In the second part of the showroom, my mouth may have dropped even further. A huge space, where the most crazy cars were neatly parked. Some for sale and some clearly NOT for sale. Alfas, BMWs, Ferrari's Cadillacs, Chryslers and Porsches. Unique designs or copies. This extensive collection shows that the owner has an enormous love for cars. He can tell with just as much passion about his latest acquisition, a Panda 4 × 4, as about a recently purchased Ferrari. He secretly thinks that Panda is more fun than his daily car, a modern Bentley. Eeh…
Somewhere in the very back was a car that makes me awake at night. A Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine from 1948. Wow. I fell in love instantly. When I stand next to it I feel almost small with my 1m85. It is a huge device. I dream away and feel Bonnie, the dangerous other half of Clyde. Staring and searching for the American dream. Ripping over deserted dirt roads. Leaving large dust clouds. Haunted by hordes of police cars with screaming sirens. I am startled by my daydream when my love touches me and tells us to pick up the monster. Sigh ... I still have to look for Easter eggs on my oh-so-loved 'car viewing day'.