Old baby in the shadow of the castle
Kempen The old-timer meeting in Kempen was a complete success: many lovers of the old treasures came to the castle on Sunday to admire cars, motorcycles and even a tractor and to have “gasoline talk”.
There is a smell of petrol in the air, and engine noises can be heard. For the second time, vintage car enthusiasts from Kempen and the surrounding area will meet on this Sunday under the motto “Oldies in the shadow of the castle”. The meeting is organized by the interest group of oldtimer friends “Altes Blech” from Kempen. The weather cooperates, oldie fans from near and far have come to the castle parking lot to exchange ideas, examine the old treasures and enjoy the company of like-minded people.
The event was brought to life by the founders of Oldtimerfreunde, Stefan Schmitz, Armin Horst and Theo Balters. “You keep seeing individual beautiful oldtimers in the area, but before that there was never anything organized,” says Schmitz. So the three of them decided to organize this event for lovers. The classic car meet-up was already well-received last year – more than 100 vehicles were on display, and there were many other interested parties in addition to their owners.
Kempen’s Mayor Christoph Dellmans (independent) is also a staunch supporter of the event. He grew up with cars himself and praises classic car enthusiasts for their commitment. “Cars like this don’t wind tunnel tested like today’s cars. They have a lot of life and character and they preserve human history, ”says Dellmans. New cars arrive regularly. The parking lot fills up quickly and drivers need to get creative with finding a parking space. But that doesn’t detract from the good mood.
Both big and very small car fans admire the old treasures. In addition to cars, there are also some motorcycles and even a tractor on site. The large audience is enthusiastic. “Events like this are important,” emphasizes Schmitz. “On the one hand, oldtimers are an investment for more and more people. On the other hand, the owners exchange experiences here, enjoy the conviviality and the variety of cars and can just have ‘gasoline conversations’. “
He also talks about the difficulties that Corona had with planning: “Last year only a total of 300 people were allowed to be at the meeting. That’s better this year. Nevertheless, there was always the risk that the whole thing would simply be called off. We are of course very happy that this was not the case. “
Uwe (63) and Erika Cramer (62) from Grefrath are also happy. You are there with a Ford Mustang from 1966 that you bought privately in Willich. Of the many events in the area that they attend, they find the classic car meeting at Kempen Castle the most beautiful. They have a soft spot for America, which you can quickly see in their car, which is given the finishing touches by an American flag in the trunk and old rock’n’roll songs on the car radio. It was the previous owner’s bridal car and even while they were standing in the parking lot, the couple was approached by a young woman asking if they would go on bridal trips.
Another former bridal car is the Volvo P1800 from 1962 by Theo Balters. After buying it in 1995 and investing 2,500 hours of work, it was used by the Balters as a wedding car in 1999. The Volvo was used at weddings and classic car rallies and carried actor Tom Hanks in the film “Bridge of Spies”. Balters proudly presents photos of Hanks in his car.
The Kronen couple from Lobberich own one of the older vehicles of the day – a Mercedes 170S from 1951, which the couple took over from a colleague from the Mercedes-Benz Veteran Club in Krefeld. A “connoisseur car”, say the two of them. As with many classic car owners, a prerequisite for a drive is a clear sky – and preferably sunshine. They too are enthusiastic about the great variety of oldtimers at the castle. They are an important cultural heritage that “hopefully will decorate the streets for many years to come.”