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Steyr-Puch Haflinger Tour: The stony road to Rome

Steyr-Puch Haflinger trip
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T he little Steyr-Puch park under the giant mountains of Switzerland. They don't yet know what to expect from their 643 cubic centimeters and 27 hp: 1,050 kilometers to St. A car life without a Steyr-Puch, say the owners, is like a sky without stars. That's right.

Puch Haflinger: A bonsai Unimog

The Haflinger is reminiscent of a bonsai Unimog. Launched in Graz in 1959, it was supposed to be a small, bustling army vehicle for the 500 kilo transport class, including all-wheel drive and differential locks. Almost 17,000 were built in a good 15 years, in almost 50 variations. By chance, a South African Haflinger gallops across our path, steered to the right and once not assembled in Graz-Thondorf - like most of its conspecifics up to 1974 - but like around 900 kits at Autolec in Johannesburg. The Swiss Brotherhood smells morning air: We're going to Rome, just come along! Can you say no to that? The first stage leads over the Ratenpass to Gstaad: 219 kilometers. We drive in a fixed order: the navigator and woman in front. Then there is See-Max, who is so called because he comes from Seebach, is a big player in the wood business and moves with the Hafis tribes like Rübezahl during morning exercise.

In Aosta a Haflinger is starting to lame

He is followed by Pla-Max, bourgeois Max Planzer, founder one of the largest Swiss freight forwarders. The African lines up behind the red Planzer tarpaulin, and at the end Jean-Philippe Rickenbach and Hans Burckhardt make sure that nobody gets lost. In Aosta, the Hafi from See-Max begins to paralyze. Ironically, because See-Max is the Haflinger driver who likes to check the oil again between two oil level checks. Now an oil seal on the crankshaft is the culprit. The sports garage outside of Aosta successfully tackles the breakdown. The boys have a heart for pilgrims and are hereby expressly recommended. Further major ailments are avoided. The fact that the Pla-Max sinks its Puch behind Aosta on gravel and clay in a ditch is bad luck for the artists.

The fire guards in the Alpine region had warned us about the descent: “You will probably come up again.” We won't come , but a hard edge of clay breaks away from under the Maloya profile like crispbread, and then it has to be recovered. Afterwards, the Haflinger is almost in better condition than before, apart from two dents in the side profile. CompletelyIn contrast, the discovery of the relativity of speed is surprisingly conveyed. Who would normally want to drive a maximum of 65 km /h for 14 days with a clear mind? But 65 things in a Haflinger are completely different 65 km /h than in a Maybach, for example - the driver sits just above the asphalt, has neither a door nor a seat belt and feels as if he was flying through the undergrowth like Munchausen once did on a cannonball. It falls into every hole, which is no wonder with a wheelbase of only 1.50 meters. Every bump, no matter how gentle, catapults it into the air like a champagne cork. Driving slowly can also be hard work. The technology of the little wonder of the terrain from Styria is fascinating on every meter. Cut!

In the Puch Haflinger through Rome's traffic chaos

The round through Rome turns out bold after eight days of arrival: The Haflingers throw themselves into the urban traffic like a swarm of tiny marathon ants . Photos in front of the monument of the first Italian king, at the Colosseum and on St. Peter's Square, then enjoying Roman life. The return journey: from Rome the route goes to Assisi, then to Cesena and Verona. The twelfth day of the trip brings the actually no longer expected disaster: In the Haflinger of the African, the vibrations become dramatically violent beyond 2000 revolutions, the needle of the oil pressure gauge hangs at the upper stop. That looks like a defective crankshaft bearing - end of the journey. Nevertheless, the desire for pilgrimage by no means comes under the 12-inch wheels. A Haflinger teaches humility from the very first kilometer, because that is the greater sense of a pilgrimage.


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