ADAC Deutschland Klassik: Pott-Wahl

Frank Herzog
Oldtimer hiking
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W why are they waving around like that? They preached deceleration, promised total relaxation. Who, if you please, reached the class goal earlier than we did? Already lost in Altenessen, so what? Disoriented in Herdecke, not even a tired 'Omm' escapes us. Twice we even fell behind the broom wagon, who cares? So why are the helpers driving us so vehemently from the castle courtyard in Nordkirchen with the disgraceful argument that they wanted to leave at some point? They haven't really internalized the idea yet.

Nobody uses the word rally here

It's an automobile touring trip - SS does not mean a special stage, but a hiking point; Invitation to stroll. Self-experience while walking around the moated castle Vischering, instead of a road book a basket of strawberries in hand. There is also no mention of winners and losers. There are special cups for the beauty of the vehicle and games completed on the way, but otherwise no cheating with editing computers built into the radio, no protests, no rankings. Everyone can feel like a winner here - Waldorf school on wheels.

Not everyone thinks that is good, and after the stage finish two men are sitting in the hotel bar with a beer, pointing to the big screen where the second half of the tired World Cup kick between Brazil and Portugal began. 'Pillepalle, like this event,' says Werner Reifferscheid. Co-driver Wolfgang Obladen misses his stopwatch. 'My right thumb doesn't even know what to do.' So they could have built in two time tests, say the gentlemen at the men's table setting.

The other faction is clearly in the majority and simply follows the directional signs that are hung up everywhere. 'How wonderful,' says Marianne Kaimer from Kettwig with jubilation - and has recently refused to decipher Chinese characters. 'We were always in the wool,' she says, referring to husband Friedhelm. Many are tired of the road books, tired of the hose tests. Helga Kessler sums it up: 'beautiful landscapes, beautiful cars, no stress'. 'They run into us,' says an ADAC spokesman. Germany's largest automobile club sees itself as the inventor of hiking trips and has recognized the signs of the times. After years of free climbing the career ladder, the unrestrained increase in money, the constant availability, always longing to be in serviceman looking for rest.

Artificial deceleration is not required

Walter Röhrl's regular co-driver Christian Geistdörfer has appropriately organized a hiker from the Audi Museum and, after the prologue, grumbles about the trillion of red lights, paired with billions of construction sites. His co-driver Dr. Scheuer, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport, shares Geistdörfer's dislike. The CSU man routinely tries to make party political capital out of the heavy building activity: 'You can see how our stimulus package is taking effect.'

400 have entered, 105 cars are allowed to start. Less is more. 'In five attempts we were allowed to ride the Trentino Classic once,' says Andreas Färber with a grin. Regularity tests are not his thing, if at all he would like to drive a real race. Until then, he feels in good hands on hiking trips. 'The organization is top notch, we just felt so closed.' The Hamburger's Opel P1 wears an immovable hardtop in the best summer weather.

Our Audi also heats up extremely difficult. But indulging in dreams of roaring air conditioners would be the completely wrong approach. Rather, it is important to become one with the sun. You can learn from father and son Kohaus, who brought a Messerschmidt cabin scooter to the start. Father Heinrich sits in the back as a passenger and enjoys the area in the 'sauna with draft'.

It's not that it's about nothing

And so Anita Gajda stands nervously tripping on the ornamental lawn in front of Westerholt Castle, holding a golf club with which she is from 75 centimeters away should put in. 'If you don't meet: divorce,' announced husband Waldemar. The bystanders wonder if he's making a tactical mistake. Deliberately off the mark - no separation of property, the pretty Alpine A 110 is practically hers already. But the better half sunk the ball confidently. She hops across the green with high heels and cheers: 'No divorce, no divorce'. True love after 23 years of marriage. Even the lawn manager has to smile.

It doesn't always have to be love: 'In my experience, the friendships I make on hikes are more valuable than the acquaintances at competitions,' says Hans Middelberg. Decades ago he traded tranquil Germany for the hustle and bustle of New York City. The successful architect is such a committed hiker that he had one of his five Adenauer Mercedes shuttled across the pond especially for campaigns like the Trentino Classic.

The police do not trust the peace

A speed trap lurks behind Marl. Pinched faces under the hats, the Horch in front of us drives only 55 instead of the permitted 70. We are only on the road once at excessive speed. The police academy near Bork is teeming with uniforms,it just itches too much in the foot. Otherwise our Audi 100 purrs like a kitten through the country. A hefty 38 years old, but 100 hp, automatic and sunroof. 'In top shape,' says an admirer on the crowded market square in Castrop Rauxel. Incidentally, mouse gray is still considered a bright color here. The people smile, but it's really a very happy gray.

On the other hand, the blackness of soot still lays over the reputation of the Ruhr area. Many South Germans have never been there; Who will swap the Black Forest for a forest of smoking chimneys? Most of the chimneys have disappeared and the winding towers are now monuments. This year, the starting point in Essen is Europe's cultural capital. The weir at Lake Baldeney is illuminated in purple, and art sculptures swim in the water. A Dixie band plays on the boat, and the best seller at the buffet is currywurst. Isolde Holderied is so Bavarian that during the time of her professional career in rallying she even had photos taken in a dirndl. 'I'm surprised how much landscape there is here,' she says. Hans Middelberg's life has become richer: 'Since I've been driving so many vintage car rallies, I've come to appreciate the German countryside.'

When leaving the schnapps distillery at Obersprockhöfel, we are the penultimate. The driver of the broom wagon loads a beetle that is totally absorbed in the here and now. He just let the brake fluid run out of sheer relaxation and stopped moving. He used to be in a hurry and efficient. He was once a breakdown helper at ADAC.

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