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Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself

Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
ER Classics Desktop 2022

The alarm goes off nice and early during Ascension Day. And whistling I get out of bed. Today the Oldtimerfestival in Hoornsterzwaag is on the agenda. And that is a very big event where, among other things, many old-timer owners go with their classic. And because it has been three years since the festival was held, expectations and desires are high. Everyone goes, everyone missed this. And I belong to everyone, together with Piet, Michel and Jens.

At half past eight I am picked up by Piet Verhaag, with the red Fiat 124 Spider 2000. And a little later we drive one after the other in a column from Leeuwarden. The mini column consists of two Spiders, the other belongs to Michel, who takes his son Jens with him. Jens is getting ready for a nice turnover day.


We are early in the game, and that's a good thing. Later in the day it will be very busy, traffic will come to a standstill before noon. But we are already having coffee together at half past nine. Just before that, the Spiders – after a warm welcome by the organization – were piloted to the location for the day. They merge with everything that makes the Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival such a colorful fair. There is everything around us. Already. Americans, pimped Volkswagens, beautiful classic Opel, and very nice classic Japanese are flowing onto the site. We're standing next to a huge 1964 Cadillac. At the other end of the Spider spectrum is a Citroën Ami 6 parked. In front of us a beautiful Ford V8 (pre-war) and… well, it's too much to mention. But the day is early steps in the right direction. That makes the coffee taste good, also in the knowledge that we still have hours to spare.

And what makes me very happy is that on this day with many old acquaintances, a very special old acquaintance is also nearby. With the NSU 1000 C, the car from 1973 that, together with the Triumph TR3A the cover of Auto Motor Klassiek adorned. Mr and Mrs Stoeten are back and that makes me very happy, this is a very sweet couple, who have been given a place next to a Beetle and a beautiful Celica with sympathetic owners. They just got it, and they are gradually finding their way in classic Toyota land.

Mr and Mrs Stoeten's NSU is brand new and only represents a subculture of what you come across in Hoornsterzwaag. Everything comes together. Top-class classics, rat-looks, cars that you feel have just completed their very last drive, all mixed up at an event where your stand is determined by the time you arrive. And all those old-timers are just one part of what you see, and of what immerses visitors in a cacophony of sound throughout the day. So a colorful fair, and a very nice one. I get the first bonus when I make an appointment with the owner of an Opel Rekord A two-door (!) to make a report with him and the car. And the second bonus is on its way.

Because I continue my way over the mowed grass and quickly receive my first purchase. "Just cash." A very sweet VW van in scale 1:43 with Bio Tex inscription disappears for 5 Euro in my bag. I ask the seller (I always do when I feel I'm paying too little, people think that's strange, I think that's decent) if he's sure of the asking price. "You've been awarded it, I see you're happy with it man, have fun with it." I am as happy as a child with the T1, which is now in the cupboard next to an old Van Nelle can. In the afternoon I add something to the collection to my great joy: the book 'Dafjes' by Jan de Lange, what I've been looking for for a long time. That's bonus number three.

What makes Hoornsterzwaag so great is the complete lack of etiquette, hassle with dress codes, and heavy entrance fees. No messing around, no protocols, everything runs smoothly without noticing. If you don't know what low-threshold means and have never been to Hoornsterzwaag, you should come here. I feel at home, everyone gives each other space, and you can be yourself here, just like everyone else. Pantofolas or clogs, faded jeans or a hip outfit; nobody cares. Even if you walk bare ass in Hoornsterzwaag, nobody at this festival will think anything of it. Not that I even considered traveling to Hoornsterzwaag without clothes.

But a naked pinstripe lady does take that idea. People like it, but in Hoornsterzwaag it is not surprised. “Hey, dizze hawwe wy earder sjoen. Soe se net kâld wee?" So that. That primal sobriety. The fearlessness. It fits me like a coat again, and here everything runs as it does. And I also do a lot of walking in the afternoon. Piet and I cover a lot of meters, we talk to everyone and at the end of the afternoon our laughing muscles have stretched ten meters.

I always have a good time during events. But events like Hoornsterzwaag, I feel most at home there. Here I notice again how deeply rooted I am in Fryslân. Nothing is framed in Hoornsterzwaag, it's a chips peanut in a cone† You get cola, coffee and beer in a plastic cup (a big one, because in Hoornsterzwaag nobody is cheating, that is different at certain events with so-called cachet). They are just a few silent witnesses of the atmosphere. This is literally pure enjoyment, for a day. The term was recently mentioned in a broadcast of BNR classic car shame (really, how do you make it up). It doesn't exist, at least not with us, in the Northern Netherlands. Because here everyone enjoys old-timers, which are more popular than ever among people in their twenties and thirties.

Because that really stands out. There are many young people with their classic in Hoornsterzwaag. They fit seamlessly with the seniority from others, with whom they love to talk about their shared passion. The passion, which in turn consists of so many subcultures, which came together more massively than ever. It was never busier at the always well-attended Oldtimer Festival Hoornsterzwaag, where, as always, the concept of dissonance doesn't stand a chance. This is a magisterial event that floats on petrol fumes, frying fat, noise and authenticity. An event from which the so-called elite can still learn a lot.

Op our Facebook page you will find more pictures of the Oldtimerfestival Hoornsterzwaag 2022.

Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
This Opel Rekord A in two-door trim was a big surprise in Hoornsterzwaag. And promise: we will do something with this.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
You may remember this immaculate Volvo PV544 from a beautiful AMK report from 2019.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
Who knows may say. Vehicles like this also fit in Hoornsterzwaag.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
Ratlook, a subculture in Hoornsterzwaag. Here, this special classic style is represented by a Mini and a VW Beetle.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
Two nice purchases from your editor. The Van Nelle tin serves as decoration.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
You also know, except for the middle Beetle. The Bajas are ready for several long journeys.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
In the foreground two Fiat 124 Spiders, and visitors hunting for bargains. You will soon hear more about these Spiders.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
A fat Ford Corsair in rally outfit. Classic Fords continue to delight no matter what condition or trim they are showcased in.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
This also remains special. This Cadillac Deville 62 dates from 1958 and impresses on all sides. In the background a VW 181.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
In a very beautiful condition, and no strangers in Frisian. Both the Kadett LS and the Diplomat 2.8 proudly show the classic history.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
Twice Mercedes-Benz W115. The duo shows the organic class of yesteryear.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
Another such picture: the Auto Union 1000 S from 1963.
Hoornsterzwaag Oldtimer Festival. Massively visited, completely himself
DAF 750 in impeccable condition, a Brabant gem in the Frisian country.

10 Comments

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  1. Nice event but found 2 cash registers too few and getting coins for food difficult 2 times in a row and 6,50 euros for a hamburger mayo and curry that's it big prices and 40 waiting for us and yes there was nothing for 2 years that's why there was enough time to arrange it better, I'll just leave it alone then

  2. There is a danger that you will be destroyed by your own success. It was very busy, the catering industry was not prepared for it. But what do you want after a 2 year break….
    Atmosphere was fine, but will I start the Nimbus again next year to travel to Friesland?

  3. I'm glad there are still people who appreciate what we all do. Thanks and see you next year Gr Lars de haan (oldtimer festival)

  4. This beautiful event has completely grown out of its jacket
    Unfortunately this year only around noon to stand in line and after more than 2 hours of traffic jam the car turned around and went home.
    Just like the many beautiful oldtimers behind us.
    Because if we had already made it to the cash registers as visitors, we could have stood in line for another 2 hours.
    At least that's what people who walked back said.
    Because they went with children and wheelchairs (there were no disabled cash registers) against the current of runners to make the walk back to the main road.
    Hope to see a better organization next year

    • There is a danger that you will be destroyed by your own success. It was very busy, the catering industry was not prepared for it. But what do you want after a 2 year break….
      Atmosphere was fine, but will I start the Nimbus again next year to travel to Friesland?

  5. As exactly described, it was again a wonderfully casual event where there is always a lot to see. And lucky with the weather, ideal. Got there early with my white shortbed Dodge pickup and left sometime around 14:30 PM, but even then heaps of people and cars were still arriving. Remains very cool! It's a shame that some other events have disappeared, like here at Appelscha on the Hildenberg which was also very nice every year but which no longer came around I think from 2018 or something (at least the first year that I had my Dodge in order and would go there, damn ). That was a different atmosphere than Hoornsterzwaag because that is and remains completely unique. In short, it was a lot of fun again!
    ps. It's a pity that photos are on Facebook: there are people who don't have that and don't want to…

  6. Erik has perfectly articulated the atmosphere in hoornsterzwaag.
    These are those events where you feel immediately at ease and relaxed for hours
    enjoy all there is to see and buy.
    Erik once again enjoyed your article and hope to read many more.

    • Would love to have a chat with you Eric. Normally I'm the only one with my R4, second model grill, but now there was one more. Hope you also want to come to Fryslân on 2 July to the old-timer show in Sint Nicolaasga, a slightly smaller, but that is soon possible, but friendly show, where rare copies can also be seen

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