Monday, May 25, 2009

Rolling Museum at the Gaisberg

Classic car events are able to gather impressive collections of historic cars. Last week (May 20-24, 2009) the well known Gaisberg Race took place around the city of Salzburg. What an impressive "starting grid"! From the BMW 328 Mille Miglia (see picture) to one of the 15 Porsche RSK built, from old Bentleys to a Porsche 908, from the Borgward 1500 RS to a Trojero-MG, from Citroen Traction Avant to DS. Many of these cars probably haven't been seen in Austria for years, others (such as the JWF Milano GT) even made it the first time to an event in continental Europe.
It's so much better to see the cars on the road than in a museum. The sound of the engines, the smell, the breath they take, the moment, when the engine starts, all this belongs to a car and can't be imagined in a museum really.
The drivers clearly love the event. It's a combination of a city circuit in Salzburg (with speed limits for safety reasons), a few laps on the Salzburgring, a 150 km rallye around the Salzkammergut and finally three runs onto the famous Gaisberg (approximately 8 km long). The hillclimb is what tradition is based on. And it's interesting to know that the street on the hill was built in the 1920ies with the idea of a hillclimb race in mind. It's sort of a Nurburgring Nordschleife that only goes into one direction.
Today as many other events the Gaisberg race is run as a regularity event. But many drivers still enjoy the blast to the hill and don't care about the imposed time limit. Around 4:30 was the time the Porsche 908 achieved, this means an average speed of roughly 100 km/h, not too bad for a narrow old road onto the top of a mountain. Gladly enough no really bad accidents happened, so that the race will be organized again next year. Most of the drivers will certainly return as it's quite a unique event. See you again next year!
P.S. The JWF Milano GT behaved very well, no bad habits at all.

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