The FHVI Royal Classic Drive to Mysore

The 30th of September – 2nd of October 2018, was the weekend when 50 participants from around the world, England, France, Sri Lanka and across India drove their glorious cars across Bangalore and Mysore through some of the most iconic structures created by man.

A feast for the eyes is an understatement. Every location rose straight out of a fairy tale. With the regal Mysore Palace lit up with 90,000 bulbs for the occasion, or the grand old Legislature of Karnataka the Vidhana Soudha, with the Chief Minister himself standing on the steps with participants viewing the city, or the breathtaking Chamundi Hills as the backdrop for the lunch at the Race Club, and last but definitely not the least the opulent Lalitha Mahal Palace a suitable residence for the guests and their vehicles. This event stayed true to it’s name every step of the way. Presenting, the Federation of Historic Vehicles of India’s maiden and most Historic event the country has ever seen, ‘The Royal Classic Car Drive to Mysore 2018.’

Elegant luncheons in palaces and stately dinners at breathtaking locations is what awaited the visitors in order to give in to the splendour of the state of Mysore during the famous Dasara, the festival symbolizing the victory of good over evil.

This grand effort visioned and executed by the President of FHVI, Dr. Ravi Prakash and his team gave participants a three-day immersive experience of a time gone by.

Over 40,000 onlookers in Mysore stood cheering at different locations, to witness the grand cavalcade pass by.

In attendance with their cars ranging from Lanchesters, Mercedes, M.G, Jaguar, Ford, Buick, Chevrolet, Morris, Austin, Alfa Romeo, Lincoln etc were some of the most passionate collectors and enthusiasts from across the country and globe. Mr. Patrick Rollet and his wife Julie, not only graced the occasion as the guests of honour but participated by driving the route in a 1956 Jaguar XK 140. 26 participants came all the way from Sri Lanka, headed by the president of the Classic Car Club of Ceylon, Mrs. Ramani Ponnambalam. Mr. Peter Noble and his wife Suzie brought their beautiful 1924 40 hp Lanchester all the way from England.

Cars and participants came in from every part of India- Nagpur, Lucknow, Chennai, Kolkatta, Goa, Jaipur, Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore.

It doesn’t stop there, the event ensured to engage every participant and their entire family throughout. Whether it was the exhilarating treasure hunt organised all the way from Bangalore to Mysore or the adrenalin pumping Slalom Test where the cars proved that age wasn’t a barrier for skill and speed. Sounds of laughter and excitement from all ages filled the air everywhere.

The finale, a surprise unfolded as participants in their finest walked through a star-shaped arch and a zig-zag light path into a beautiful field lined with coconut trees, lit up with fairy lights and 50 gorgeous Marques parked in a crescent. The fragrant smells of mouth-watering spices with dozen’s of chefs cooking up the best for the best along with beautiful music and performances tying up all the emotions into one magnificent, memorable experience. .

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Great Wall Classic Rally – 2018

Starting at the Kempinski Hotel the day after the Concours D’Elegance, this rally is a fun couple of days whereby the teams are not stressed to the limited but have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery as well. With a very clear road book with pictures and the well know pictograms, the stints of 70 to 150km are over good roads and can be followed also by those who are less familiar with these kinds of regularity rallies. With staff around that speaks English, any question can be answered and since there are a lot of volunteers as well, I’m sure the organization can even find you an on-board translator/guide if you would like to have one.

The first day brought us to the Mutianyu Great Wall – To the northeast of Beijing in the Huairou district. Mutianyu Great Wall measures 2,250 meters in length, with an elevation of 535 meters. Studded all along the wall are 22 turreted-fortresses, and the Mutianyu section is accessible by cable cars from below. On the southeast side, there is one general gateway platform connecting three towers together, which is quite rare in the whole Great Wall, and on this platform, a reception was given for the participants, press, and others. The organizers of the Rally also provided a cheque to the chief restoration architect of this section of the Great Wall in order to support the restoration.

The area of Mutianyu has some interesting villages and the organization managed to secure a number of villa’s that are off-site hotel-rooms of a local hotel that was to small and could no accommodate the many participants. Bus transport for both dinner and breakfast was organized, so one is not left out in the wilderness and a direct telephone line between the villa’s en the main hotel provided extra comfort.

Sleeping in one of these converted farmhouses is a nice experience and they show a good mix of traditional style and modern comfort with WiFi, coffee machine and comfortable and large bathrooms. Compliments again to the organizers!

The next day brought us to Gubei Water Town. Gubei Water Town surrounds the beautiful Mandarin Duck Lake Reservoir and leans against the Simatai Great Wall, the most dangerous and majestic section of the entire Great Wall. Gubei Water Town boasts a combination of mountains, water, and ancient villages. The town is characterized by the northern architectural style and the history and culture of the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and the Republic of China (1912-1949) historic period. Although looking old, the whole village is a reconstruction and a combination of several examples of water towns that can be found around China. If you are in for a short stay in China, visiting Gubei gives you a good impression of such towns without having to travel too much.

The day was closed off with a roof-top dinner serving a typical Chinese dish called ‘hot-pot; a dish whereby you cook your own, thin-sliced, meat and vegetables in a soup and eat this with a sauce you can make to your own taste with spices and oils. While the night was setting in, a spectacular view on the lit part of the Simatai Great Wall made this a fairytale setting, topped with a marvelous display of multiple drones equipped with LED’s flying in different formations.

The next day was a day off, so all participant could spend time visiting the town and looking at the different culture- and craft shows that are given. For those who rather refresh themselves (we found out that many of the female co-drivers used this opportunity), a full spa is available in the hotel and complimentary tickets where provided by the organizers! Unfortunately, around noon that day, yours truly had to leave for other business in China but the rally continued for two more days, no doubt all in good spirit and with the same level of comfort as during the earlier part of both events.

Despite the challenge of having to miss you vehicle for a considerable time if you ship this to China and back, I can wholly recommend participating in both events. They have a playful character, things are not taken too seriously and creature comfort is taken in high regard considering the hotel accommodations booked. Foreigners should not be scared by the language either, most road signs around the Beijing area have English as well and many lunches and dinners are buffet style, so you can pick those dishes you feel comfortable with but do try this other dishes too, you might be in for a very positive surprise!

There is plenty of staff that speaks English and should you run into a technical issue with your vehicle, there are mechanics available too and for the more serious cases flat-bed trucks too! Having witnessed the great comradery between all participants and the factory teams from Jaguar-Landrover, Audi and Skoda, who occasionally also helped other participants, the YanQi Island Concours D’Elegnance and Great Wall Classic Rally can be nothing than a long-lasting and very positive memory for all who participated!

Thanks again to the organizing team, Auto Bild China, the many individuals, the volunteers, and other staff!

Jos Theuns

See the pictures here

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YanQi Island Concours D‘Elegance – 2018

The YanQi Island Concours D’Elegance is held on a peninsular island in the manmade Yan Qi Hu or YanQi lake at the grounds of the Kempinski Hotel. The hotel and lake have been used for the G20 Energy meeting in China in 2016 and several other high profile meetings and hence should be regarded as ‘top of the bill’.

Located about an hour north of Beijing and close to the Chinese (or Great) Wall, the end of September timeframe is ideal for this venue. The temperatures are nice, in the mid-20-ies, while a nice cool-down in the evening refreshes things for the next day.

Three ‘factory teams’ brought cars to the venue, Jaguar – Landrover, Skoda, and Audi while some new vehicles where speckled around the grounds such as the brand new Bentley Mulsanne, a Lamborghini URUS and several new Jaguar models. It underlines the importance of the event and shows that a number of brands see the value of bringing their history under the attention of potential customers.

Unfortunately, 2 special vehicles were delayed due to a hurricane that hit the Shanghai area just before the event. The SS-1 and XKSS Jaguars could not be unloaded due to the hurricane and the resulting high pressure on the port authorities with hundreds of ships waiting to load- and unload once the hurricane was over. We are sure these vehicles would have added to the whole event but nature cannot be forced but they were dearly missed.

Vehicles were brought to the event from Shanghai and Hong Kong as well as local collectors living in or near Beijing that came along. Being a car collector and driver of a historic vehicle in China is not easy. Several laws prevent the use of older vehicles on the road and importing older vehicles fall under the category of ‘used vehicles’,  something that the Chinese law does not allow. A recent change in the law now allows for the import of vehicles that are 100 years and older as cultural items, however, the full extent of this law is not yet clear so if this also includes usage on the road is not confirmed yet.

Despite these issues, we were treated to some very nice examples such a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Seville, 356 Porches, several Ford Mustangs, 2 Citroën VC2’s, Nissan Skyline, etc. Maintaining and driving these cars can be a challenge in every country, in China, the added difficulties of finding spares and qualified mechanics add a whole new dimension to our hobby.

With 3 factory teams participating, the judges had a hard time awarding the prices in the many categories. Should we take into account the local situation versus the easier access to spares and knowledge of the factory vehicles or not? This question played a role during the judging but we are happy to say that despite this, the final outcome of the whole event found approval amongst all participants during the prize-giving ceremony. Best of show was a 1972 Audi Coupe-S with less than 100.000km on the clock, still with original paint and interior so it would have been a contender for a FIVA preservation award! The YanQi Island Concours D’Elegance was closed with a nice dinner in the Kempinski hotel, on the evening of Mid- Autumn as you can see from the picture of the full moon rising over the lake.

Should you consider participating in this event next year, do consider to stay a little longer and join the Great Wall Classic Rally that starts the day after the YanQi Island Concours D’Elegance, see more on this further down. Bringing your vehicle to China sounds more difficult than it is, several companies are specialized in the temporary import of your vehicle, providing services for short-term insurance and a quick roadworthiness test. These companies will also organize transport from Shanghai to YanQi Island. A Chinese driver license will be needed to operate your vehicles during the rally but excellent connections between the organizers and the authorities make this a smooth process too.

J. Theuns

Concours under a September Moon

Pictures here

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A Passion for Historics

 As has been a regular appointment for all who are passionate about historic vehicles in Andalucia, the 23th of September was the day when at the Speed ​​Angel Nieto Circuit of Jerez de la Frontera, in the municipality of Cádiz, an extraordinary exhibition of historic vehicles was held titled “Jerez 30 The Legend,” organized by Race Ready – Iberian Historic Racing. More than 400 historic cars, coming from different geographical points, clubs and individuals, participated. Amongst the clubs were Club del Automóvil Clásico de Cádiz, Club de Vehículos Clásicos Escape Libre, Club Clásicos y Joyas de Sevilla, All Star Classics, etc.

 This exhibition, which was located in the interior of circuit, featured Seat 600s, 1200 Sport popularly known as the “Bocanegra”, 850, 1430, 131, 127, 1500, 124, 127 Emelba Poker, Fura, 850 Sport, 128, a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am replica of the “Fantastic Car,” Chevrolet Camaro, El Camino SS Pick-up, Bel Air, Pickup Truck, a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, Austin A40, Lancia Beta, Ferrari Mondial, Jaguar C-Type, Cadillac Series 62, Dodge A120, even a Stutz Blackhawk. At the end of this wonderful exhibition, 120 registered historic cars were able to do a parade through the route of this legendary circuit.”

 Text and photos: Vicente Sevillano Guerrero

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Concours under a September Moon

On the weekend of the Mooncake Festival in China, Auto Bild China celebrated with a very successful fourth edition of the YangQi Island Concours d’Elegance, with 46 exciting automobiles vying for as many as seven class wins and the ultimate Best of Show, which went to an immaculately preserved Audi 100 S Coupe, from 1972. Though observers may speculate that the standards of the show had had shown some decline, given that the Best of Show winner last year was the delectable prototype of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale (owned by the redoubtable Italian collector Corrado Lopresto), the winner this year – the Audi Coupe – was no less deserving despite its “ordinariness,” as it really impressed the five member jury by the sheer immaculateness of the state of a car that was 46 years old and had covered close to 200,000kms. Also the significance of the win for the Audi (and Audi Tradition, who had entered the car) was that it was perhaps the first time that, in an important concours d’elegance competition, a preservation-class winning type of car had won the Best of Show.

At the same time Audi Tradition must be counting itself lucky, considering that it’s most serious competitor – an amazingly low mileage SS1 that Jaguar Classics had entered – couldn’t make it in time for the concours when the ship carrying this SS1, as well as a Jaguar XK-SS, had to be diverted to avoid the hurricane that had hit Hong Kong the week earlier. Yet main sponsors Jaguar Land Rover did show up with as many as ten cars (Jaguars and Land Rover/Range Rover), whilst Volkswagen Group brands such as Audi, Skoda, Bentley, Porsche and Lamborghini together also had as many as ten entries. An individual collector Xu Tao entered over a dozen of his cars, and amongst them was an amazing barn find Volkswagen T1, which must have been an ambulance in an earlier life.

Two well restored Citroen 2CVs as well as three early Ford Mustangs caught the eyes of the jury, made up of three FIVA representatives – legislation commission member Laszlo Tomcsanyi, Trades, Skills and Youth Vice President Jos Theuns and Communication Vice President Gautam Sen – as well as two other luminaries in veteran event organiser and FIA member, Johannes Heubner, and the Director of the Turin-based Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile (MAUTO), Mariella Mengozzi. The jury was no less excited by two very impressive Japanese cars from the 1970s, an extremely well restored Datsun 240Z, from 1970, and a really rare 1971 Nissan Skyline GT-R. Sadly, there were no Chinese cars this year, unlike last year when two gigantic HongQi Red Flag limousines had visitors gawking.

Mention must also be made of the two Porsche 356s, one a convertible from 1962, the other a lovely coupe from 1963, which came from Hong Kong with their respective owners, two true-blue enthusiasts who seem to delight in the regular use of their cars. In fact Auto Bild China’s publisher and editor, Michael Wang, and marketing director Sherry Xu had pulled out all stops to get these two cars, as well as organise most efficiently this beautiful event, over two very beautiful days and full moon nights, when Beijing had blue skies overhead, an event which has the makings of becoming one of the more important concours events in Asia.

–          Text Gautam Sen; Photos: Cynthia Lin, Lorenza Maccio

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Iran is home to more than 15 percent of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, amongst them being Naghsh-e-Jihan Square (the “Image of the World Square”), also known as Meidan Imam located in the former capital of Isfahan. Constructed between 1598 and 1629, the square represented the attempts of the rulers of the period to recreate Isfahan as a grand capital of what was then known as Persia.

When constructed, the square represented one of the pinnacles of Iranian architecture, and today tourists come from around the world to revel in its beauty. On the 6th of September, residents and tourists alike had the opportunity to enjoy another form of beauty, namely 45 historic vehicles, which were put on display by the Isfahan Chapter of the Classic Vehicle Committee of Iran. The cars, comprised a gamut of vehicles, ranged from 1952 to 1979 model vehicles.

This event was all the more unique in light of the fact that the square has been closed to motor vehicles for several years, and the fact that this event took place, and the cars were allowed to enter the square, represents the confidence placed by the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran in the activities of the Committee.

The Isfahan Chapter of the Committee, which is part of the FIVA AFN, is one of the most active members in Iran, routinely holding rallies, shows and other events, many of which has received coverage in international media such as the New York Times. The chapter president, Ali Samandarian, is no stranger to FIVA members visiting Iran, including a veteran who is reported to have had an evening drive in a 1950s Chevy, one of 24 such vehicles in Ali’s collection of historic American cars.

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What does the FIVA Events Commission actually do?

A very good question.  Well, it hardly comes as a surprise, that Events are one of FIVA’s major focus points as we promote and encourage the active use of our historic vehicles.  The spirit of yesterday’s vehicles on tomorrow’s roads lives on within the Events Commission’s work to help to address FIVA’s broader mission of the protection, preservation and promotion of historic vehicles.

It is not just a question of placing events on the FIVA Events Calender, appointing FIVA Stewards to International category events or even attending exciting Events Commission meetings.

Take the recent very successful FIVA World Rally 2018 held in Wales during late August and early September for example.  The UK ANF applied to put this event onto the FIVA Events Calendar three years ago.  Indeed in the same year other countries also applied as so many countries are now hoping to host FIVA World Rallies for cars and motorcycles that they are appointed several years ahead.  So popular are they that we already have applications for FIVA World Rallies as far ahead as 2022.

For the more usual events, both National and International categories, the calendar applications for the following year usually start to come in about 6 months before the New Year.  And these days we expect to have about 25 International and 100 National events worldwide on the Events Calendar each year.

For an International Category event the Events Commission needs to be satisfied that the organiser is capable of organising and running such an event according to the FIVA Events Code and the rules and regulations pertaining to motoring events of countries in which the event will take place.  The evaluation usually entails visiting the organiser’s national event one year before it becomes an International event.

Moving on, no event organiser is just going to approach FIVA without some promotional work by us to make the organisers aware of the benefits to them, and indeed our FIVA members, of putting their events onto the FIVA Calendar.  This promotion work is usually done through meetings with event organisers at exhibitions, events or at organisers’ offices as required.  When FIVA’s work to ensure the rights of historic vehicle owners to continue to use their vehicles on public roads is explained, by far the greater majority of event organisers understand the need to support FIVA’s work.

Some organisers may not be aware of what FIVA is and what its mission is; this also needs to be explained.  Indeed the FIVA ID Card system also needs to be explained to them to help organisers to select appropriate vehicles by not only looking at the participant’s event entry form, but also to study vehicles FIVA ID cards during the process.

For International category events the event will have a trained FIVA Steward appointed who can help and guide the organisers and, if any disputes arise, help with making any judicual decisions as required.  After such events, the Steward submits a report to the Events Commission and the event organiser, where any issues arrising can be raised and dealt with as required.

From an International pool of 40 trained and experienced FIVA Stewards the Events Commission appoints a FIVA Steward for all International category events.  And our Stewards must attend a FIVA Stewards’ Seminar, at their own expense, once every two years to maintain their knowledge of event rules and regulations.  The FIVA Steward is thereafter given a licence valid for 2 years.

The Events Commission has published a FIVA Events Code with relevant Annexes to help to guide event organisers and also a Stewards’ handbook for our Stewards.

The Events Commission also annually provides a list of ten events from within the annual FIVA Events Calendar at which a FIVA “Best Preserved Vehicle” award will be presented.


And to thank the organisers of International Category events each organiser is presented with a FIVA International Event Award.  Both of these awards are highly treasured by the recipients!!

The FIVA Events Commission is also one of the key FIVA links with the world motorsports governing body – the FIA.

Internally the Events Commission has an ongoing cooperation with all the other FIVA Commissions to ensure FIVA’s mission is addressed.

Well I think that is enough to be going on with for now.  Hopefully this short insight into the work of the FIVA Events Commission has been of interest and whetted your appetite to maybe come and join us in our work to protect, preserve and promote historic vehicles.

Text written by Tony Davies, FIVA Vice-President Events

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ASI and the future of historic motoring: a forum in Rome

On Thursday 20th September, ASI (Automotoclub Storico Italiano) organized a conference at the Senate of the Republic, at Palazzo Madama in Rome, titled: “The future of Historic Motoring, a cultural, touristic and economic heritage to be safeguarded and developed”.

With this conference, ASI focused on what historic vehicles represent in terms of economic growth in Italy through the different sectors, from the technical one related to the restoration and maintenance, to that of the tourism sector with thousands of events involving hotels and catering services.

To explain this better, the results of a long and in-depth survey carried out by the Istituto Piepoli was elaborated. The conference was inaugurated by the President of the Senate, Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati and the Presidents of ASI, Maurizio Speziali, FIVA’s Patrick Rollet and ACI’s Angelo Sticchi Damiani.

The program included the presentation by Natasa Jerina Grom, Vice President of FIVA’s Culture Commission, displaying the panorama of historic motoring at a global level, Nicola Piepoli, President of the Piepoli Institute, presenting the survey on the social and economic value of historic motoring in Italy, Roberto Giolito, the Head of FCA Heritage, reporting on the cultural value of historical motoring, Paolo Pininfarina, the President of the Pininfarina Group, focusing on the historic vehicle as a work of art, Emanuele Pirro, Vice President of the International F1 Pilots Association, speaking on the theme of racing as a timeless heritage of passion; Antonio Ghini, the Head of the Key, illustrated the international manifesto for the sensitization to the values of the heritage that constitutes collecting and the serious risks that could be involved in that, and Roberto Sarzani, the President of the ASI, and Vice President of FIVA’s Commission for Utilitarian Vehicles, spoke about the protection of vehicles of historical and collectible interest in Italy. The conclusions to the conference was the responsibility of the President of ASI, Maurizio Speziali.

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A Welsh love story on wheels

“The routes! What a delight to drive!” was the instant response of one German participant when asked for his view of the FIVA World Rally 2018, a 450-mile, four-day, non-competitive event held this year in the dramatic countryside of rural Mid Wales.

The annual event is open to anyone with a classic car they enjoy using, not just members of FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles).

While the location changes from year to year, Mid Wales proved a huge hit with the participating teams, including two from Japan, four from Argentina, two from Slovakia, one from the Czech Republic and six from Germany – most of whom were new to Wales but have pledged to return as soon as they can.

“When driving,” continues Carl-Michael Emer from Germany, “one immediately understands the fascination of the Welsh people for the sport of rallying, because the terrain offers so many possibilities.

“Most of FIVA’s World Rally route followed small – even tiny – roads, sometimes just wide enough to let a car pass. Although it was called a ‘touristic event’, the driving was demanding, with tight corners, blind bends, steep uphill and downhill slopes (up to 25%), but we were always rewarded with breathtaking views in an ever-changing landscape. It’s easy to understand the affection the event organisers have for this region; and I think the participants now feel the same.”

Held from 28 August to 1 September 2018, there were four days of driving with a central base at the fabulous Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells, often regarded as the spiritual home of Welsh rallying. A detailed roadbook guided participants through the twists and turns of the route, while there was a relaxing break from driving when the teams took a steam train ride from Devil’s Bridge to Aberystwyth.

Event organiser Paul Loveridge added, “Many participants were amazed to discover the terrain and landscapes of Mid Wales – drawing comparisons with the alpine regions of Europe. What particularly struck them was that within a single mile, you come across radically different scenery that might encompass mountain passes, lush valleys or panoramic views across as many as eight or ten counties.”

Next year’s events (you are really lucky – there are two to choose from or maybe do both!) will have a lot to live up to but, given that they are being held in Austria and Andorra, they  shouldn’t disappoint.  FIVA’s Austria Classic, from 22-26 May 2019 and the Andorran FIVA World Rally Andorra from 1-7 July 2019, are again open to anyone – not just FIVA members.

Photo credit: Kevin Baldwin and Detlef Krukenkamp

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Meeting between friends

On the 1st of September, the Gibraltar Classic Vehicle Association, a member of FIVA (International Federation of Antique Vehicles) held its first display during the second part of the 2018 season. This event was organized by the club and was part of the regular monthly activities calendar that this club organizes.

 Among the many cars that participated and were exhibited in this event it would be worth mentioning the following: a 1928 Morris Cowley, which is one of oldest cars in the club, a Citroen ID 19 and a DS 21, a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, a Volvo P1800, a  Renault 4 Van used since it was new as a Gibraltarian commercial van for a company, a Rover P6 2200 TC, a Triumph Stag, a Seat 600, a Jaguar XJS-C Guy Salmon Jubilee Edition, which is one of only three cars built by Guy Salmon, a Pontiac Fiero, a Mercedes-Benz W123, which used to be taxi in Gibraltar since new, a Mini Cooper, plus a few youngtimers, such as a Citroen ZX, a Volkswagen and a Mercedes-Benz W201, plus several others.

It was a great atmosphere amongst likeminded friends, all of who are passionate about their hobby, and was also a new opportunity for showing off to all the spectators, including the inhabitants of Gibraltar, as well as tourists visiting Gibraltar, an important section of the collection of historic vehicles that this club has.

Text and photos: Vicente Sevillano Guerrero



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