Places, Shows & Races

RACE: Rendezvous am kleinen Klausen (10.10.2021)

Yesterday i spent my day at the “Rendez vous am kleinen Klausen” historic car hillclimb, which was more or less a celebration of an annual race that was famous with both spectactors and racing drivers in switzerland (and across the border) in the past and used to happen the last time 71 years ago. Actually it was planned to do a 70 years memorial event last year, but it was delayed by one year due to covid. Honestly i didn’t have any big expectations. One of the organizers is my former schoolmates dad, who also happens to have this collection, so i thought it would be more or less a bunch of local gentlemen-drivers and friends driving up the historic hillclimb on the same public road as 71 years ago. Boy was i wrong!

There were more than 250 Oldtimers, many of them beeing pre world-war cars and many of them were not only historic cars, but historic racing machinery with a long history on tracks! I was blown away by the sheer mass of expensive old metal. And the best, despite the laps not beeing timed, many drove their cars quite at the limit (i even witnessed one or another spin into the green during the day – luckily no bigger damages)!

1917 LaFrance Fire-engine-converted-to-race-car anyone? The driving chain was bigger than most propshafts cars have today and check the size of the oil pan lurking below the hood… 🙂

The time was split up into historic racing cars, historic racing motorbikes and other classic cars which “just” offered passenger rides and took it a bit easier. The motorcyclists definitively enjoyed their rides and went quite nuts in their banging and noisy (sometimes one-cylinder-two-stroke) bikes:

There were surprisingly many lady-drivers too which is not exactly a common sight at motorsports events.

Many locals decided to bring out their historic Tractors, the local old fire-engine and other historic stuff and park it along the track or up in the village. There was something cool to see in every corner of the big area.

And even the spectactors were transported between the different hotspots in style with the legendary swiss yellow “PTT Postauto” Cabriolet busses!

After the race, the cars were parked in the village of Opfertshofen on the top of the hill, so there was more or less a free car show to spend all day looking at the famous and odds of yesteryear.

And between the races all the cars drove by the people to get to the start line, where you could see them driving at slightly lower speeds. There was a car for everyone, from a 70ies buggy, to Fancy rolls-royce’s to Racing Mini’s to open-wheeler formula cars, to luxury supercars, to rallye-cars. to US Musclecars, to pre WW cars. Everybody got catered and the diversity of styles and breeds really made it even better…. The only thing i missed a bit were of course the Japanese cars, but – well – these are a rare sight in switzerland anyway, so i don’t mind.

Between the finishing line and the parc fermeé in the village where most drivers drove slow, they got cheered by the specators and waved and smiled back 🙂

There was apparantly also famous racing queen Cyndie Allemann driving up the hill full pedal-to-the-metal in an ex WRC Lancia Integrale, my mate stefan in an ex DTM BMW M3 (see gallery), a bike race on historic bicycles (including the clothing and all) a Go-kart race up the track, and (no joke) world’s fastest bathtub. But i was checking out cars in the parc-fermeé or relocating between spots when that happened, so i completely missed it. Which happens easily with the constant action during the day and so much to see around the villages. Even the walk up the hill was lovely. It felt so good to be back at a motorsports event. the smell, the views and of course the bone-shattering sound. Lovely.
I don’t want to say too much, check out the gallery below (click images for full size high resolution pictures) and i hope this event will repeat. It was a great day with sunny weather and lovely machinery and people and everybody seemed to genuinely enjoy it! I definitely hope i can attend such an event as a driver, once my car is completed. It looks like so much fun!

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