Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort

August Bank Holiday normally has me heading north to watch the Gold Cup meeting at Oulton Park but this year we decided to venture a bit further afield.

 

Since joining the ranks of the classic car world I’ve met many like minded folks, one of them being Spencer Elton a jovial character who sells automobilia at some of Europe’s top classic car venues. Earlier this year he told me about one of his favorite events, the Historic Car Festival at Zandvoort in the Netherlands.

 

After discussing with the chief of home affairs the prospect of attending it was decided we would go. Like the trip to Spa in May we travelled from Folkstone to Calais via the Euro Tunnel. The only difference this time was that we travelled in my SL instead of Jagger, a wise decision soon realised when we reached Antwerp.

 

Living close to the M25 I thought had hardened me for all types of traffic jams but the traffic around Antwerp has to be seen to be believed. It felt like being stuck in the middle of the biggest lorry park known to man and poor old Jagger would certainly not have coped too well hanging around for two hours in 30 degree heat to cover no more than a few miles. The delay meant our journey to Zandvoort from Calais took almost 6 hours when it should have been no more than 4 but we soon forgot about that when we arrived late in the afternoon at the seaside town that is Zandvoort.

 

After a few wrong turns we eventually found our home for the next few days, the Hotel Furber a family owned hostelry in the centre of town and only a short walk from the circuit.

The hotel is located in the middle of a residential area and not too much parking is available, however the owner said we could park off the road alongside his dining room.

The following day we went to watch some motor racing and what a treat we were in for. As we passed through the gates a display of great looking Porsches greeted us.

Some were parked in mocked up old fashioned style garages - similar to the kind seen at the Goodwood Revival.

In my opinion no collection of the great German brand is complete without a 917 and not to disappoint, here's one!

The entry list had everything from pre ’61 F1 cars to ’80’s F1 cars as well as many types of classic sports cars and we witnessed some great racing. Watching the Historic F1 race with a field including Tyrrell’s, Shadow’s, March’s and Hesketh’s to name a few had me thinking back to my youth when I used to go to the British Grand Prix in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

Deja Vu - I witnessed grids like this more than 30 years ago with drivers such as Carlos Reutemann, Jacques Laffite and Gilles Villeneuve.

You can rely on me to find any E-Type in attendance.

On Saturday evening the atmosphere was carnival like and not surprisingly the locals came out to play. At 7.30 there was a parade of cars that cruised through the streets.

A short nose D-Type caught the attention of the crowd.

In the town square was a stage where we listened to a local band perform.

A few cars stopped in the town after the parade.

Once the weekend was over we left Zandvoort for a slow drive home sticking as close to the coast as possible and avoiding the dreaded Antwerp. We stayed in a Belgian coastal town called Heist not far from Bruges and the following morning on our way to Calais we stumbled upon this ship at the side of the road - it’s actually a restaurant.

We arrived at the Euro Tunnel with plenty of time to spare so we went in search for a coffee On our walk from the terminal I saw a large crowd close to our car, many were taking photographs and as we got closer I realised why. A couple of Italians had parked next to us, in fact when I unlocked the car a man said to me “I much prefer your car to one of those” I couldn’t agree more - call me old fashioned but these so called supercars do nothing for me.