The 24th Ennstal Classic

Posted on September 27, 2015.

A 275 GTB on one of the mountain stages
Dinos are always popular at the Ennstal
A 250 SWB in a queue to start another stage

Text & Photos by Henk J. Brouwer of  ’nJoy Media

For 23 years the Ennstal Classic has shown many beautiful classic cars over the years, but during this 24th edition the changes in cars stand out compared to for example 2005. Where are the special exotic Italians, where are the “cannons” like Bentleys, Lagondas and Invictas, why don’t we see Railtons anymore and some really special Porsches? Of course there is plenty to enjoy but we trust that the 25th anniversary will again have a particularly varied field of participant, including some exclusive exotics of Italian descent!

In 2005 there were nearly 50 pre-war cars, this year there were 20. Almost 25% of the field of participants was Porsche, gorgeous models, but after 15 variants you have seen them all…  Of course with Porsche as one of the main sponsors this is to beexpected. A pity though, because you hear many people along the way wondering why there aren’t brands like Lea Francis, Riley, Alvis and Bentley but also the less known brands from Italy anymore. Those were the cannons that made the difference.

In addition to the Ennstal Classic there is also the Race Car Chopard Trophy. This year for the third time some very special cars complete various trials, such as the hillclimb on the Tauplitzalm and several laps at the airport Niederoblärn and on Saturday a sprint down from Moosheim to Gröbming center. The cars are often driven by celebrities from the showbiz or race world and so we see a varied field of participants, including the Raffo Alfa Romeo Tipo 1.5 (1978) with 1500ccm and a Maserati 4CLT O.S.C.A. (1958) with 4472ccm.

On Wednesday it all starts and you can walk along the scrutineering tents. In the main street one can see a green Ferrari 250 GT Lusso in a corner, but it’s not in the starting lists. Visitors also come with their classics. A black Bugatti T51 from 1931 is nonchalantly parked in a corner, tough with the wheels turned out. A little further a 1934 Alfa Romeo 6C is stealing the show in the shade of a tree. The hood up and a mechanic busy with grease gun, pliers and screwdriver.

On the back of the parking lot in front of the School of Agriculture and Food Industry, where registration takes place and the press center is located, Eduard and Theres Tomek climb into their FMR Tg 500 Messerschmitt Tiger (1959), which is a chore because the Tomeks are not the youngest anymore. Gingerly, the  roof is closed… “Prrtt-te-prrtt-te-prrtt…”, it’s humming like an well-oiled sewing machine and really beautiful!

A little boy – he’s 4 or 5 years of age- walks with his father alongside an 8-litre Bentley, which all of a sudden starts. Screaming with fear he cowers against his father and, sobbing, he looks angrily at the “monster”. A few moments later he’s allowed to sit in it and all his fear and anger is gone and he will remember it forever.

To see the various classics in action you can find a good place at the hillclimb of the Stoderzinken on Thursday. Somewhere in a hairpin where you can admire the beautiful cars or somewhere along a straight section where they pass roaring like lions. Every place on the mountain has its charm. For the Race Car Trophy participants it is the same, but they drive on the Tauplitzalm and these cars first drive slowly to explore the track, but in the two subsequent laps they fly up them. Thanks to the information given on the event poster, the spectators can choose a place where the cars will pass on Friday. In the villages there are time controls and lots of bustling activity but if you want a nice quiet environment then you can just spectate out in the countryside.

The contribution to both rallies by Italian beauties is as yet sufficiently versatile to enjoy. The Italian oriented participants enjoy their Lancias, Alfas, Ferrari, Maserati and, for the Ennstal Classic a rarety, an O.S.C.A. racer in the Race Car Rally.

Of course we remain positive and hopeful for the next year, the 25th anniversary. That should be promising at least and knowing the organizers of the Ennstal Classic they will succeed pretty good!

Click here for more of Henk Brouwer’s fabulous Ennstal pictures on our Flickr page.

Our Official Partners