By: Martin Philippo
The National Old Timer Festival has a formula that is as brilliant as it is simple. Owners of oldtimers and youngtimers are invited to drive their car to the National Oldtimer Festival and to park on the grounds of circuit Zandvoort. And there: the entire paddock during the National Oldtimer Festival is filled with hundreds of classics that the public can enjoy.
Due to this structure, the range is enormously diverse. Everyone who likes to show his car is there. It is a super cross-section of what classic loving Netherlands drives cars. From a few pre-wars to cars that are only just earning the status of youngtimer. There are cars in completely original condition and there are cars that have been thoroughly personalized by the owner. You come across everything.
A single brand club takes the opportunity to unpack and show what that brand has to offer. The MG club is ready with a wide selection and at the Triumph TR club we see everything from a TR2 to a TR7 with such a wonderful eight-cylinder under the hood. The number of clubs could be more, they are always good for a nice presentation and give expert advice to those who are looking for it.
Cleaning giant Meguiars is co-organizer and plays host to the Concours d'Elegance. Beautifully shiny vintage cars are judged by the experts and shine to the loudest. We see really sublime cars passing by, sometimes so sublime that it is just a step too far. The red TR is more beautiful than he when he was Coventry left. But what an hour will be tucked in. If there is no passion in it ...
The diversity in cars also brings memories to the public. Whoever makes a living tells him that father also had such a car or that uncle Wim once moved in a Volkswagen. There are many 'normal' family cars that once determined the street scene. That gives recognition and we like that. Perhaps that is the biggest attraction of the entire festival, that recognisability. It brings the classic closer to the people and that's good. Everyone enjoys those once-ordinary Opeltjes and feasts on well-preserved classics that have been on the road countlessly in their years, but have completely disappeared for some reason. The Dauphientje from Renault is one of them. Complete with crocheted pillow in the back seat, he is endearing the people.
Of course, the circuit's track is also used. If you want, you can drive a few laps on the track where Verstappen may be driving the same laps. The main components are the races of the Catawiki Historical Coaches and GTs from '47 to' 65 and the State or Art Coaches and GTs from '66 to' 81. In the first a gladiatorial battle of Mini against Mustang and Hans Hugenholz who sends the Cobra on 'his' circuit to a first place. In the second a field of many Escorts with wide flared wheel arches that show very close racing and fight for every meter. The NK Coaches and GTs for cars from '82 to' 90 offered space for the youngest category of racers, mostly BMW E30.
They were two fantastic days and those who were not there missed a lot. Only once again next year?